Read the fine print: What consumers should know about home warranties

Read the fine print: What consumers should know about home warranties

It’s every homeowner’s nightmare — something is broken, and it’s going to cost a lot of money to fix or replace it. Unfortunately, no matter how well you take care of your home, sooner or later, an appliance or major system is bound to croak.

Some homeowners plan for this by purchasing a home warranty, which can cover some costs related to these units’ normal wear and tear. But before you commit to one, make sure you really understand what the warranty is offering.

For example, even nationally recognized home warranty companies won’t necessarily guarantee that a replacement item will be the same size, color or brand as its predecessor.

In a complaint to Consumer Affairs, a website that provides consumer news and reviews, an outraged homeowner included a photo of her white replacement refrigerator that was too tall to fit under the cabinets in the space where the old…

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