Welcome to Ask Clark, a column designed to answer your financial questions, by money expert Clark Howard.
Wanted: A Homeowners Warranty for Appliances When They Break
Crystal from Washington asks: “My husband and I recently lost our amazing, super 30-year-old freezer. We now have to buy a new one. Let’s face it: They don’t make them anymore like they used to. We have two old refrigerators, a water heater, and a 10-year-old furnace and an old stove that will need replacing down the road.
“For years, we talked about getting a homeowners warranty on appliances when they break but don’t know who to use or where to go. Who or what can you suggest to help us? We just haven’t pulled the trigger since we bought our house three years ago because we just want to be pointed in the right direction.”
Clark’s Take on Buying Home Warranties to Fix or Replace Appliances
Clark says: “You are so careful with your money that I don’t want you to spend $500-$600 a year on these home warranties.”
Clark is not a fan of home warranties. He highlights two issues with home warranty services that he’s seen time and time again:
- The quality of many of these companies is sometimes suspect.
- It can be difficult to get warranty companies to honor their agreements.
“They tend to, even for something that’s 20 years old, they’ll stall you and stall you and say, ‘Oh, the parts aren’t available still,'” Clark says.
Instead of sinking your cash into a home warranty company, here’s what Clark suggests:
I’d rather you take that $500-$600 a year and put it in an appliance replacement savings account that you can draw on — instead of messing up your life by trying to deal with these impossible-to-deal-with people at one of these home warranty companies.”
Want to set aside some cash? Read our Emergency Fund Guide.
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