Angie's List: Home Warranties

KANSAS CITY, Mo. - Companies providing home  warranties have been the worst graded category on Angie's List for 10 years in a row. Those warranties can be a huge help, or a headache, depending on if you do your homework.

Home warranties usually cover major systems in your house for one year after the sale. It often comes with the home, but many homeowners don't take the time to read through all the documents until something breaks.

"They are surprised when they have a problem and try to use their home warranty to find out that it doesn't work as they expected it or the item they have a problem with isn't covered," said Angie Hicks, who started Angie's List. "Also we see concerns over the quality of the technicians being sent out to do the repairs, and also the fact that the consumer is giving up their decision as to whether they should repair or replace the item."

The key is taking the time to read and understand your warranty. You can expect to pay between 250 and 450 per year, and 50 to 75 dollars per incident. You also want to know the age of your appliances. Newer models could still be covered by the manufacturer.

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