Some home warranty packages have limits per appliance and others contain caps on different items.
Read the fine print of a home warranty policy carefully to understand the extent of coverage.
According to the National Home Service Contract Association, standard home warranty coverage may include:
- Air conditioning
- Garage door opener
- Garbage disposal
- Pool equipment
- Oven, range, or cooktop
- Spa equipment
- Interior Plumbing
- Interior plumbing
- Water heater
More comprehensive home warranty plans may include ceiling fans, free-standing ice machines, jetted bathtub motors, trash compactors, pest control, pumps, and limited roof coverage.
What is not covered by home warranty?
The below are typically excluded from standard home warranty plans. However, in most cases, you can add-on coverage.
- Commercial kitchen equipment or appliances
- Pre-existing issues
- Washer, dryer, and fridge
- Built-in microwave
- Sump pump, septic tank, or well pump
- Garage doors and tracks
- HVAC system
- Windows, walls, and doors
- Hot tubs and pools
- Septic systems
- Sprinkler systems
- Re-keying service (changing the locks)
- Roof leaks
Home warranty companies that provide optional roof coverage will cover leaks but won’t pay for roof replacement. Some home warranties exclude meatal roof leaks and patio roof leaks. And don’t cover water damage caused by a leaking roof.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty covers home appliances and electrical, plumbing, heating, and air conditioning systems that breakdown due to normal wear and tear. You can also add coverage for items such as a well pump, freezer, pool, or spa.
A home warranty is not the same as a homeowners insurance policy. “Warranties” and “insurance policies” are different forms of protection.
A home warranty is a contract that provides homeowners with discounted repair and replacement of appliances and critical home systems. House warranties typically offer coverage for a yearly term.
Home warranties are not required by mortgage lenders, unlike homeowners insurance which is req.
While homeowners insurance may protect your refrigerator if it is damaged by a covered peril, it won’t pay to repair or replace your refrigerator if it breaks down due to poor maintenance or normal wear and tear.
Examples of covered perils that may affect appliances are fire, lightning, weather events, and theft among others.
Are home warranties worth it?
- Protect against unforeseen repair costs.
- Good for homeowners who aren’t handy or want to save time finding a contractor when they have an issue.
- Warranties make sense if you have expensive appliances.
- If you’re selling a home and want to bring that extra incentive to the table — especially if your appliances are old — you can transfer your home warranty to the new owner.
A home warranty may not be what you were expecting.
- The improper maintenance clause can mean that if the previous owner did not properly maintain the appliances and systems well, you aren’t covered.
- Homeowners have little or no choice on replacement brands or contractors. Consider creating an emergency fund for repairs instead.
- A home warranty costs several hundred dollars a year, paid up-front (or in installments, if the warranty company offers a payment plan). $60 to $100 service call charges apply each time a service provider examines a problem.
- Some problems won’t be covered by the warranty.
- Homeowners will still have to pay the service fee and repair costs if a claim is denied.
Top Home Warranty Companies
- American Home Shield
- America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club
- Choice Home Warranty
- Fidelity Home Warranty
- First American Home Warranty
- Home Warranty of America
- Landmark Home Warranty
- Liberty Home Guard
- Select Home Warranty
- ServicePlus Home Warranty
- Old Republic Home Protection
Worst Home Warranty Companies
Unfortunately a few home warranty companies have aggressive and misleading marketing tactics, unjustified claim denials, inexperienced service, poor communication, delays in repairs and replacements, reimbursement issues for repairs, or unexpected costs.
Do your research on the company that you purchase your home warranty contract from. Start by checking negative reviews on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website.
Here are a few home warranty companies to avoid:
- Secure Home Warranty
- Service America Home Warranty
- American Home Guard
Is a home warranty the same as a manufacturer warranty?
Many appliances are provided by manufacturers and/or installers and are usually covered by the warranty. The manufacturer warranty is for an extended period and is not applicable to older or usage-related failures of the goods or services.
The warranty will cover this if the goods are defective. Likewise, installer warranties and guarantees offer coverage of work done by professionals.
What is the home warranty claim process?
It’s important to file a claim as soon as possible. Choose a warranty company with 24/7 service. Most warranty companies say they will send a service professional to your property within three to five business.
When does home warranty coverage begin?
Most home warranties have a 30-day waiting period and you may not be able to file a claim or request a service visit during this time. This 30-day grace period helps home warranty companies avoid pre-existing problems.
Does a home warranty cover electrical problems?
Electric coverage in the house may vary depending upon the plans.
Most home warranty providers provide coverage for the most important components of the electrical system such as lighting fixtures, vents, fans and atriums, separate appliance and exhaust units.
Not every plan includes faceplates or circuit overloading, or wires for cable computers and video systems.
Does a home warranty cover a garage door opener?
Many home warranties cover garage door openers, but you must carefully read the details. Garage doors are usually excluded from warranty. A few warranty covers include tracks assemblies, switches, motors & carriages, but not the remote controls, hinges or springs.
Does a home warranty cover HVAC?
Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems are covered if the system has been regularly serviced. Some home warranty companies will reimburse you for an annual service visit.
Does a home warranty cover solar panels?
Solar panels can be installed throughout the home, but they are not protected by home warranties. Most energy suppliers provide extended warranties to cover solar panels.
Does a home warranty cover windows?
Structural components such as windows are not covered under a home warranty.
Does a home warranty cover fireplaces?
Home warranty does not protect fireplaces. It only covers the gas lines to a fireplace, which are part of your heating system.
Can some repairs or replacements be denied coverage by a home warranty?
Like any contract, the home warranties are limited in their terms and must meet all requirements required to complete a contract, and the warranty firm is obliged to protect the service provider against unjustified use to continue providing a quality service.
There’s also a limit. Typically, the policy will provide a maintenance requirement. The homeowners responsibility is the maintenance, inspections, and cleaning of the appliances.
Are commercial appliances covered by a home warranty?
Commercial appliances and systems are typically not covered by a home warranty. Some homeowners are attracted to commercial-grade kitchens that have modern stainless appliances.
Because these systems are typically not covered under a homeowners warranty, they are typically very expensive to replace and this is not a viable alternative.
Does a home warranty cover plumbing?
A home warranty can cover plumbing problems such as clogged pipes or leaks but cannot repair damaged walls, floors or structural parts of a house if leaks occur. Some home warranties include additional insurance for sewage and water piping.
Unless listed these items are not covered by home warranties. Another option is adding endorsements on your homeowners insurance for septic tank or water damage.
They can take care of damages caused by water, but do not pay for repairs of the vehicle. The added warranty covers the equipment but not damages.
Does a home warranty cover the roof?
Almost all home warranty providers have no roof coverage. Many roof insurance providers offer roof insurance without paying for roof replacement.
It usually covers leaky roofs, though not in all sections or all of them. A certain type of home warranty excludes leakage on a patio or roof.