A home warranty is a service plan that covers the costs of repairing or replacing major appliances and systems, including HVAC, dishwashers, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and water heaters. While a home warranty plan sounds similar to landlord or homeowners insurance, there are key differences regarding what each one covers.
A home warranty plan covers normal wear and tear on covered appliances and systems; insurance policies typically protect against damage from outside forces, like a natural disaster or the ceiling falling in.
In this article, we’ll discuss the financial protections that a home warranty plan provides for landlords, explain how this service plan works, and tell you about one of the best home warranty companies in the game.
If you’re looking for more information on insurance, you can check out our TurboTenant Webinar on landlord rental insurance.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
Home warranty coverage varies from service provider to provider, but most cover the home appliances and systems you likely have in your rental. For example, Armadillo offers a home warranty for landlords that protects:
- Central Air Conditioning System
- Central Heating System
- Plumbing System
- Water Heater
- Central Humidifier
- Kitchen Appliances (Refrigerator, Dishwasher, Oven, Range, Microwave, Exhaust, etc.)
- Washer/Washing Machine
- Ceiling Fans
- Garage Door Opener
- Garbage Disposal
- Trash Compactor
Need additional coverage? Armadillo add-ons cover well pumps, swimming pools, and more! Their plans also have repair and replacement costs built in.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
You choose a home warranty similarly to choosing an insurance company – your goal is to find a plan that best aligns with your needs. Consider what various plans cover, and choose the option that fits with your rental properties.
To help make your choice, ask the following questions:
- What exclusions are outside of this home warranty plan?
- How much would my deductible be?
- What is my home warranty cost per month?
- How long is my service contract?
- How do I submit service requests, and how quickly are they answered on average?
- Is there a service fee?
- Am I limited in the number of service calls I can make?
- Can I use my own provider?
- Have I read the fine print?
After you’ve chosen your home warranty policy, you’ll likely have a brief waiting period before you can submit a claim. For example, if you purchase a home warranty policy on April 15, you may need to wait until May 15 to submit your first claim.
From there, you can sit back and relax. The main exclusion from Armadillo is pre-existing damage – so if you purchase a new home and discover the septic system is blocked up during the home inspection, that damage would not be covered under a home warranty. However, all other wear-and-tear can be taken care of by their providers.
Let’s say that the electrical system in one of your rentals has burnt out. Your first step would be to contact your home warranty provider and ask for assistance. Next, you’d pay a service fee when the handyperson comes around to your rental. If the outage was caused by typical wear-and-tear, the handyperson will fix it and charge you your deductible, which covers repair and labor costs.
Before we move on to the pros and cons of home warranty plans, it’s important to highlight how this type of service plan differs from a manufacturer’s warranty. While both protect similar covered items, the key difference between these warranties lies in the longevity. A manufacturer’s warranty typically lasts for one year or so, while a home warranty lasts as long as you’re paying for it.
The Pros and Cons of a Home Warranty
Home warranties aren’t required like home insurance – so let’s weigh out the pros and cons of enrolling in a home warranty.
According to Forbes, there are four major benefits to protecting your home systems with a home warranty plan:
- Property owners can save on the inevitable cost of repairing rental appliances and systems.
- A home warranty makes maintenance more convenient.
- You don’t have to handle repairs and replacements yourself.
- Home warranties are typically very affordable.
And as with any protection plan, there are some potential downsides, including:
- There may be service call fees and coverage limits, depending on your plan.
- Though it’s unlikely, you may never need to use a home warranty plan – but having peace of mind is well worth the minimal cost the plan incurs.
The Best Home Warranty for Landlords
Are you ready to complete your coverage by enrolling in a home warranty plan? Look no further than Armadillo.
Armadillo aims to eliminate the headache that comes with property ownership. Their plans are designed to fit your needs, making repairs or replacements of major appliances and systems in your rentals uncomplicated and hassle-free.
According to their site, “Armadillo is a subscription-based home warranty plan for when a covered item breaks. [They] schedule and coordinate service appointments and manage the logistics to repair or replace it.”
And the best part? They know what landlords like you need, and they deliver accordingly. With an Armadillo home warranty, you’ll stress less thanks to:
- 24/7 service requests for you and your tenants
- Comprehensive troubleshooting of issues
- Active management of service providers
- Follow ups with tenants
The first time you use your Armadillo home warranty, you’ll be able to answer the question, “Are home warranties worth it?” Because let’s face it – being a landlord is stressful enough without worrying that a break in the ductwork or HVAC system is going to lead to expensive home repairs.
Serious real estate investors looking to protect their property management business should enroll in landlord insurance, a home warranty plan, and require tenants to carry renters insurance. That way, every part of the property is covered – just in case!