What’s Not Covered by a Home Warranty
While a home warranty covers many of your home’s systems and appliances, it is equally important to understand what is not covered by a home warranty.
What is covered by a home warranty?
A home warranty is extensive in its coverage of your home’s primary appliances and systems. The main components of your HVAC, ovens and refrigerators are covered. The plans will help protect you financially from breakdowns resulting from their standard wear and tear. The entire systems, however, are generally not covered.
Here’s a list of common issues that are not covered by your home warranty:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Improperly maintained systems or appliances
- Secondary damages when a system or appliance breaks
- Walls, windows and doors
- Leaking roofs
- Sprinkler systems
- Home modifications to accommodate replacements
Improperly maintained systems or appliances
Regular maintenance of your systems and appliances is required for them to last and work efficiently. Home warranty companies will usually require that you have regularly scheduled maintenance done to avoid or at least limit these issues.
Secondary damages when a system or appliance breaks
Often, when an appliance or, say, a plumbing system breaks down, other household items may be damaged. For instance, if your dishwasher breaks and causes flooding, water damage may occur in the house. Your home warranty may help cover the repair or replacement of the dishwasher if it’s part of your coverage plan, but it won’t cover say, damaged rugs or carpeting. These are called secondary damages. This is why it’s smart to have a homeowners insurance policy in addition to home insurance, which covers things like water damage. The upside? Not to mention, you’ll get new carpeting out of the deal.
Walls, Windows and Doors
As part of your home’s structure, these items would often be covered under a homeowners insurance policy and not a home warranty. Coverage of structural items under a home insurance policy will typically depend on the coverage you get and the age of your home, but a builder’s warranty or homeowner’s insurance will often cover them.
Leaky roofs are not usually covered under home warranty plans. Typically, this would be classified as a structural problem, not an issue with your home systems.
Outdoor plumbing systems like sprinklers, faucets or valves are usually not covered under a home warranty.
Home modifications to accommodate replacements
For covered items, home warranty companies will typically attempt to find replacement appliances and systems that can be installed without requiring modification, but sometimes it just isn’t an option. Appropriate replacements of similar size or adjustments to building codes sometimes require modifications for installation to be completed. Also, different power requirements that lead to modifications of the electrical system may not be covered.
Other issues that may not be covered by a home warranty:
- Items covered by the manufacturer’s warranty
- Damage covered by homeowner’s insurance (fires, natural disasters)
- Owner neglect
- Items not properly installed
- Damage caused by termites and other pests
- Cosmetic defects (dents or scratches to an appliance)
Things home warranties may cover
A home warranty plan will usually cover your most important systems and appliances and optional coverage is typically offered for items like roof leakage, chronic pipe leaks, pool/spa and well pumps and your water softener.