When Does a Home Warranty Pay For Repairs?

Many people acquire one-year home warranties when they buy houses or condo units. Others choose to supplement their homeowners insurance by purchasing this type of coverage. It fixes or replaces most major appliances and household systems if they fail. However, every guarantee or insurance policy has fine print. Home warranty providers won't repair this equipment in some circumstances. Fortunately, homeowners can maximize the benefits by performing routine maintenance and buying extra coverage when necessary.

What it Covers

The typical home warranty protects all of the major systems in a house. This equipment includes the boiler or furnace, the hot water heater and any central air conditioner. Additionally, these service agreements cover most electrical wiring and plumbing components. Basic home warranties pay for kitchen appliance repairs as well. This coverage normally pertains to the stove, a single refrigerator, a dishwasher and any built-in microwave oven.

What's Not Covered

Most warranty companies don't fix equipment when severe weather or natural disasters damage it. They also expect customers to thoroughly maintain household systems and appliances. For example, a provider might deny requests for air conditioner repair when homeowners consistently fail to replace or clean their filters. Home warranties usually exclude small appliances, such as toaster ovens, coffee makers and humidifiers. Likewise, they won't replace shower heads or other inexpensive fixtures.

What it May Cover

Coverage varies depending on the specific warranty provider that a homeowner chooses. Some companies pay for repairs to central vacuum cleaners, built-in fans or garage door openers. Furthermore, a warranty may only cover certain systems if the homeowner buys additional protection. These items include laundry machines, septic tanks, water pumps, swimming pools and roofing materials. It also costs extra to guarantee more than one refrigerator. This pricing strategy keeps rates low for customers who don't own several major appliances.

Basically, home warranties fix valuable household equipment when it fails under normal conditions. Homeowners frequently avoid spending hundreds of dollars on complex repairs, and they can customize the coverage to suit specific needs. However, warranty companies don't fix siding, windows or most structural components. A warranty can't replace homeowners insurance, but it funds many repairs that insurers refuse to cover.

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