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Information About Home Warranties

6-20-2012

People often ask, what is a home warranty and what does it cover?

This is a great question and home buyers are under the misbelief that if they purchase a home warranty or the Seller purchases' one for them that if anything happens to their home before 2 years then they are covered. This is not a completely accurate picture of what a home warranty is and how it works.

Home warranties are extended warranties on all major appliances and systems of a home such as heating, cooling, wiring and electrical. Theoretically, if something breaks down within the warranty period you simply call your warranty company and assuming it's covered they will route your job to an on call local representative who will arrange and facilitate a contractor to come in and fix the problem.

The advantage for buyers getting one is that it's one less thing to worry about and limits their cost of a major fix should there be a problem. The disadvantage is that like all insurances it may not be necessary and you might have double coverage from the current appliances themselves who already have limited warranties in place. Another disadvantage is that it will still cost you something either through a service call, deductible or both.

The advantage for a seller offering one is that they are standing by their home saying we are offering a very good product and will warranty it for you. The disadvantage is that buyers might think they are doing this because there could be problems with the home.

It's important to read the fine print in a home warranty because they are all very different. One might have a $100 deductible whereas another might charge a $50 service call. Some warranties might cover all the labor but it does not cover the defective part. If you pay $500 for a 2 year extended warranty it's important to know what kind of coverage you are getting.

American Home Shield is a company that sells these home warranties and ones that my buyers and sellers have used previously with mixed results. I quickly cut and pasted some of the coverages you can buy from them.

Combo Plan

This plan provides coverage for many of the primary systems and appliances in your home.

  • Appliances:
  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes Dryers
  • Clothes Washers
  • Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops
  • Built-In Microwave Ovens
  • Free-standing Ice Makers
  • Trash Compactors
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Built-In Food Processors
  • Systems:
  • Air Conditioning, including ductwork
  • Heating, including ductwork
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Water Heaters
  • Garbage Disposals
  • Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
  • Central Vacuums
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Doorbells
  • Ceiling Fans


Systems Plan

Who wants to deal with faulty plumbing or an a/c unit on the fritz. This plan covers the replacement or repair of the components of these key home systems.

  • Air Conditioning, including ductwork
  • Heating, including ductwork
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Water Heaters
  • Garbage Disposals
  • Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
  • Central Vacuums
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Doorbells
  • Ceiling Fans
Optional Add-Ons

Didn't see something specific on the lists above? Don't worry. You can always add coverage for each of the following to your plan (additional cost per item):
  • Pool/Spa
  • Water Softener
  • Well Pump
  • Septic Pumping



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