How to Choose a Virginia Home Warranty

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If you’re a homeowner in Virginia, having a home warranty could protect you against costs from repairs and replacements to your home’s systems and appliances. However, warranties tend to have a lot of fine print and could lead to service contracts that do more harm than good. 
With property tax rates and a cost-of-living lower than the national average, it’s no wonder that many people are looking to purchase a home in Virginia. But like most things in life, owning a home comes with a lot of responsibility, and not everything goes according to plan. If you’re interested in protecting your investment, you may have heard about a home warranty. 
Not sure what a home warranty is? Not a problem—Jerry, the super app for home insurance,  is here to help! We’ve created a guide covering the ins and outs of home warranties in Virginia so you can make the most informed decisions about protecting your Old Dominion home. 
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What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a plan that protects you against costs associated with repairs and replacements for systems and appliances in your home. Typically the plans run for one year and cover things like heating, plumbing, dishwashers, refrigerators, and more.

Home warranty vs. home insurance

Though they sound similar, there is a clear difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty. Homeowners insurance covers the entire structure of your home, including its contents, but only against certain perils. For example, if your house is struck by lightning, your homeowners insurance should cover costs associated with the damage. Homeowners insurance does not cover natural wear and tear to property.
On the other hand, a home warranty will cover repair and replacement costs for systems and appliances in your home. The repairs and replacements must be caused by natural wear and tear—if a company suspects that you’ve intentionally damaged a system or appliance, they consider this owner negligence and will deny a claim if you file one. 

Do you need a home warranty in Virginia?

No. In Virginia, homeowners are not required to have a home warranty. While some folks may view the coverage as a necessary safety net, others may have the financial means to pay for repairs and replacements out of pocket. The best way to determine if a home warranty is right for you is by carefully weighing your options
If you don’t have an emergency fund set aside, a home warranty may be a good option for you. The home warranty can kick in to cover the cost of a dishwasher if it On the other hand, if you have a bit of money saved up, opting out of a home warranty could save you money that would otherwise be spent on premiums and a coverage plan.

How to choose a Virginia  home warranty

Once you decide if a home warranty is right for you, a great way to find a plan is by comparison shopping. A good rule of thumb? Compare at least three to five different companies, that way you can choose a plan that meets all your specific home needs. 
Below we’ve created a table that breaks down and compares five of the best home warranty companies in Virginia. As always, read the fine print before signing any contract.
CompanyMonthly paymentAnnual premiumService feeStates not coveredBBB ratingLimitsWhat it’s best for
Choice Home Warranty$40-$48$517-$660$$85WashingtonB-$500-$3,000Best overall, easy to read and simple plans
American Home Shield$50-$60$300-891$75-$125AlaskaB$1,000-$6,000Most customizable, more than 50 years experience in the industry
Select Home Warranty$36-38$630-$765$60-$75Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, WyomingB$500-$2,000Most affordable
Liberty Home Guard$40-$60$700-$960$65-$125Washington, WyomingA$500-$2,000Best reviewed, great customer service
Cinch$35-$62$420-$816$75-$150Alaska, HawaiiA-$1,000-$2,000Best workmanship guarantee
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The pros and cons of home warranties

Home warranties may not be for everyone, but knowing the pros and cons of a home warranty is a great way to weigh your options before forgoing or signing a contract. Factors like finances, preferences, and the type of home you own will likely influence your choice. No matter what your home situation is like, here’s what you should consider: 

Pro: A home warranty can take the guesswork out of hiring contractors

Rather than sifting through ratings and reviews of contractors yourself, a home warranty company acts as a middleman between you and contractors
Let’s say an appliance breaks down unexpectedly, and you need someone to fix it. A home warranty works with certain contractors, so you won’t have to do any comparison shopping or searching on the internet for the best contractor. 

Pro: No need for an emergency fund

Some folks are able to set aside money in an emergency fund, while others may not have the financial means to do so. For those without a financial cushion, a home warranty could provide some comfort because it will cover most costs associated with the repair or replacement of systems or appliances.
If your HVAC system breaks down and you have a home warranty, your home warranty will cover part of it—and you won’t have to pay between $5,000 and $10,000 (the average cost to replace a home HVAC system) out-of-pocket. 

Con: You won’t deal directly with contractors

As mentioned above, when you have a home warranty the warranty company acts as a middleman between you and your contractor. This means your home warranty company will be dealing with the contractor directly, leaving you out of the loop on the details. 
If you want to avoid any chance of miscommunication or added expenses, a home warranty may not be the right fit for you. 

Con: Low coverage limits and high service fees

The average coverage limit for a home warranty ranges anywhere from $500 to $5,000. That means if a repair or replacement service cost surpasses your coverage limit, you will have to cover the difference

Con: Warranty companies can deny coverage

One of the biggest concerns homeowners have with a home warranty is being denied coverage because companies are known for denying claims for reasons of owner negligence
We suggest reading the fine print of the contract before signing—oftentimes companies will include information about how and why they deny coverage. 

How to find affordable homeowners insurance in Virginia 

A home warranty may not be for everyone, but whether you live in a city like Richmond or in a small town like Fredericksburg, great home insurance coverage is a must. That’s why Jerry is here to help! 
In just under a minute, Jerry will provide you with quotes from dozens of the nation’s top insurance companies. As a licensed insurance broker, Jerry is here to help answer any questions you may have, assist with switching policies, and will even send you new quotes when your policy is up for renewal. Comparison shopping should be quick and easy—and with Jerry it is!
Jerry was wonderful! I used it for my auto and renters policies. I trusted it so much that I signed up my homeowners insurance under Jerry as well. All of the agents are amazingly nice and knowledgeable.” —Mary Y.
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FAQs

The average home warranty in Virginia costs between $490 and $1,300 a year, but how much you’ll pay depends on the type of coverage you choose and the type of house you own.
Home warranties in Virginia typically have a one-year term, but some companies may offer you a longer option.
The best home warranty company will differ from state to state, and from homeowner to homeowner. However, American Home Shield has been helping Virginia homeowners find comprehensive coverage for over 50 years.

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