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Perspective | Is a home warranty a waste or a smart buy?

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For most homes, warranty companies charge from $400 to over $1,000 for the first year of coverage, depending on the company, plan, and where you live. In addition to monthly or annual premiums, you are responsible for a “trade service fee” of about $65 to $125 each time you call for service. (Repairs are performed by companies that hire warranty companies to respond to claims.) Even if the warranty company denies your claim, you’ll still pay the service fee, based on the companies and plans Checkbook has researched.

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