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Top Things Your Home Warranty Should Cover

March 1, 2024


A home warranty is a service contract that covers repairs and replacements for appliances and major systems in your home like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and more. Having a home warranty can provide invaluable peace of mind for homeowners.

A home warranty is a service contract that covers repairs and replacements for appliances and major systems in your home like plumbing, electrical, HVAC, and more. Having a home warranty can provide invaluable peace of mind for homeowners.

Instead of having to pay unpredictable repair and replacement costs out of pocket when something breaks down, a home warranty covers the bill (minus any deductible). This means you don’t have to worry about coming up with hundreds or thousands of dollars on short notice when an expensive home system or appliance suddenly fails.

With a typical home warranty, you’ll pay an annual fee plus a service call fee for each repair visit. This can end up saving you a lot of money in the long run compared to paying full price for home repairs and replacements as issues arise. Home warranties provide protection against costly breakdowns of items like air conditioning units, water heaters, washers/dryers, and more.

Having a home warranty also gives you access to a network of qualified home service professionals. They take care of scheduling technicians to make any necessary repairs and deal with the claims process. This convenience factor is another great benefit.

While a home warranty isn’t a substitute for homeowners insurance, it’s an affordable complement that provides peace of mind. Knowing you have reliable coverage for systems and appliances that homeowners depend on every day makes a home warranty a worthwhile investment for many.

Related: Tips for Choosing and Shopping for Best Home Warranty

Appliances

Your home warranty should cover repairs and replacements for major kitchen and laundry appliances. These are expensive items that can fail at any time, so it’s important your warranty provides protection.

Refrigerators are one of the most vital appliances, used multiple times per day. Failures like the compressor going out can leave you without a working fridge. Make sure fridges less than 15 years old are covered.

Ovens and ranges have complex electrical, gas, and mechanical components that can break. Faulty igniters, broken knobs, and element burnout are common issues. Ranges over 10 years old should qualify for full replacement. 

Dishwashers have motors, heating elements, control boards and more that may need fixing. Leaks are also common over time. Your warranty should cover repairs and full replacement of dishwashers older than 10 years.

Clothes washers and dryers handle heavy daily use. From broken belts and rusted drums to control board failures, they regularly have problems. Look for coverage of washers and dryers up to 10 years old.

Plumbing

Plumbing issues can be some of the most troublesome and expensive problems in a home. Having plumbing coverage under a home warranty gives peace of mind in case any of these issues come up:

Leaky pipes: Over time, seals around pipes can degrade and lead to leaks. This can cause water damage to your home. A home warranty with plumbing coverage can cover the cost of locating and repairing leaky pipes.

Clogged drains: Drains can become clogged with hair, grease, and other debris over time. A clogged drain prevents water from properly draining from things like sinks, showers, and bathtubs. A home warranty can cover the cost of having a plumber clear out clogged drains and get water flowing properly again.

Water heater repairs: As water heaters age, components like heating elements and thermostats can fail. A home warranty can provide coverage for the repair or replacement of broken water heater parts. This ensures you continue to have access to hot water.

Getting plumbing issues taken care of quickly is important to prevent water damage and more expensive repairs down the road. A good home warranty provides peace of mind by covering the costs associated with common plumbing problems.

Electrical

Electrical issues can be dangerous and expensive if not addressed promptly. Look for a home warranty that covers electrical systems like:

Wiring: Damage to wiring inside walls can lead to power outages, electrical fires, or shock hazards. Quality coverage will pay for diagnosis and repairs to home wiring.

Outlets: Faulty outlets are a fire risk and need to be replaced. Check that the plan covers outlet repairs and replacements. 

Ceiling fans: Ceiling fans can loosen over time. Choose a warranty covering ceiling fan repairs, including motor replacement.

Lighting: Burnt-out light fixtures or broken lamps may be covered. Some plans pay for light fixture replacements if they stop working.

Select a warranty that provides comprehensive electrical protection. Out-of-pocket expenses for electrical repairs like re-wiring, replacing fuse boxes, or installing new circuits can cost thousands. Look for a plan that pays for upgrades to electrical panels and systems to meet building codes. Avoid policies that only cover visible wiring. Quality coverage for electrical issues ensures your home’s systems are safe and meet modern standards.

Heating and Cooling 

One of the most important systems in your home is heating and cooling. Without a properly functioning furnace and AC unit, you can experience major discomfort and even health issues. That’s why a home warranty that covers repairs and replacements for heating and cooling is so valuable.

When looking at home warranty coverage for heating and cooling, there are three key components to focus on:

Furnace

Your furnace is responsible for keeping your home warm throughout the cold winter months. Furnaces have many moving parts and complex components that can break down over time. It’s not uncommon for furnaces to need professional repairs for issues like broken igniters, faulty circuit boards, and blower motor problems. A home warranty can cover the full cost of these repairs so you don’t get stuck with an expensive furnace bill. Many plans also include coverage for full furnace replacement if your system is too old to be fixed.

AC Unit 

Air conditioning is just as important as heating during the hot summer months. Like furnaces, AC units can be prone to breakdowns and parts wearing out. Some common issues covered by home warranties include failed compressors, leaky evaporator coils, faulty capacitors, and broken fan motors. Rather than paying $5,000+ to replace your AC unit if it fails, a home warranty often covers the full replacement cost minus a small service fee.

Thermostat

Don’t overlook the thermostat when it comes to heating and cooling coverage. A broken or outdated thermostat can prevent your furnace and AC from running properly. Home warranty plans typically include coverage for thermostat repair and replacement. This ensures you can maintain the right temperatures in your home.

Getting comprehensive protection for all your heating and cooling systems provides invaluable peace of mind. It ensures your home remains a comfortable place to live in any weather. When comparing home warranty companies, be sure to look closely at what’s included for furnace, AC, and thermostat coverage.

Roofing

A roof replacement is one of the most expensive home repairs, so roof coverage is essential in a home warranty. Here are some key things to look for:

Shingles

Your roof’s shingles take a beating from the elements and have a lifespan of around 20 years. Make sure your home warranty covers full replacement if your shingles are damaged by wind, hail, or normal wear and tear. Cosmetic defects should also be covered.

Flashing  

Flashing is installed where your roof meets walls, vents, chimneys, and skylights to prevent leaks. This vulnerable area is prone to damage and leaks, so flashing should be covered for repair and replacement under your home warranty.

Gutters

Seamless gutters and downspouts carry water off your roof and keep it from seeping into your home’s exterior and foundation. Your home warranty should provide coverage if they become loose, leak, or are damaged. Most warranties cover cleaning clogged gutters as well.

Pests

Pests can cause extensive damage to your home if left unchecked. Make sure your home warranty covers common household pests like termites, rodents, and bees.

Termites are a major problem in certain regions of the country. These wood-destroying insects eat cellulose material and can quickly destroy wooden structural elements in your home if an infestation goes undetected. Treatment and repair costs for termite damage can run into the thousands of dollars. 

Rodents, such as mice and rats, can find their way into homes through the tiniest of openings. They not only damage insulation, woodwork, and wiring by gnawing and burrowing, but also spread diseases. It may cost hundreds of dollars to seal up all their entry points and trap the rodents.

Bees and wasps frequently build nests under eaves, in attics, and other hidden areas around the home. Getting rid of large nests often requires professional pest control services. Additionally, bees and wasps can sting and harm pets or family members. 

A good home warranty should cover the costs of pest inspections, removal, and minor damage repairs related to common pests. Without coverage, you could end up paying a lot of money out of pocket to handle infestations.

Pools and Spas

Your home’s pool and spa are luxuries that you hope to enjoy trouble-free. But issues inevitably arise with components like the pump, filter, and heater that keep water clean and at an enjoyable temperature. Having these items covered by a home warranty can provide peace of mind and financial protection.

Pool Pump – Pool pumps circulate water through the filter system to remove debris and keep chemicals properly distributed. They typically last 10-15 years, but can fail earlier from corrosion, leaks, or defects. Pump repairs or replacement easily cost $300-500 or more.

Pool Filter – Sand, DE, and cartridge filters trap contaminants and require regular backwashing/cleaning. Over time, filters can crack, valves fail, and media needs replacing. New pool filters range from $200 for cartridges to $800+ for DE grids.  

Pool Heater – Gas and heat pump pool heaters maintain desired water temperatures. Parts like thermostats, control boards, and heat exchangers can malfunction. Heater repair bills often total $200-800. New heaters start around $1,500 installed.

A home warranty that covers pool equipment can offset unpredictable, sizable repair and replacement costs. Be sure your policy includes the pump, filter, and heater, along with the pool’s plumbing system. This provides essential protection for one of your home’s biggest investments.

Septic System

A properly functioning septic system is crucial for any home. Septic system issues can lead to backups, overflows, and expensive repairs. That’s why it’s important your home warranty covers your septic tank and drain field.

Septic Tank

The septic tank is a buried, water-tight container that holds wastewater while solids settle and decompose. It separates solids from the liquid and contains them. A well-maintained septic tank should be pumped every 3-5 years to remove solids and prevent clogging. Look for a home warranty that covers pumping and repairs if the tank cracks or collapses. 

Drain Field

The drain field, also called a leach field or soil absorption field, allows liquid from the septic tank to soak into the soil. It typically consists of trenches lined with gravel and perforated pipes that distribute the wastewater. A failing drain field is usually caused by clogs from solids, overloading the system, tree roots, or overly saturated soil. 

Getting coverage for septic pumping, the tank, and drain field can save you from expensive emergency repairs.

Conclusion

Purchasing a home warranty can provide peace of mind and financial protection against unexpected home system and appliance breakdowns. When choosing a home warranty, opt for one that provides comprehensive coverage of your home’s major systems and appliances. Carefully review what is and isn’t covered, and look for a warranty with high coverage limits, low service fees, and a good reputation.

The best home warranty for you depends on your home type, age, and specific needs. Focus your coverage on items that would be very expensive to repair or replace on your own. While you hope to never need to file a claim, the warranty can pay for itself if you do experience a covered breakdown. Some final tips when choosing a home warranty:

– Confirm the warranty is transferable to future buyers if you sell your home. This is a huge selling point.

– Look for warranties with unlimited claims, high coverage limits, and low service fees per repair visit. This gives you the most protection.

– Choose a reputable provider with positive reviews and an A rating or higher from the Better Business Bureau. This indicates reliability.

– Consider optional add-on coverage like pools, well pumps, and other systems specific to your home.

With a quality home warranty in place, you can enjoy true peace of mind knowing you have a safety net against expensive home system and appliance repairs. Focus your coverage on what matters most, and let the warranty provide financial backup when the unexpected occurs.

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