What You Need to Know About Homeowners Warranties


If you own a home, you may wonder what a home warranty covers. Whether you’ve recently bought a home that already has coverage, or you’re thinking of purchasing a plan, here’s what a warranty will cover. 

Home Warranties: What Are They? 

Most Americans know about homeowners insurance, which covers the home and its contents from damage due to fire, theft, liability claims, and weather. However, learning about homeowners warranties will also help protect your investment. Warranties work a little differently from homeowners insurance. For instance, if your washer leaks, an insurance policy will cover the water damage but not the appliance repair. On the other hand, a home warranty will cover the repairs but not the damage to the home. 

A homeowners warranty is a contract that covers the cost to repair or replace certain systems and appliances. In return for a yearly or monthly fee, you’ll only pay a service charge anytime there’s an issue with a home appliance, the HVAC system, or other components. With the right home warranty plan, you can save quite a bit on system and appliance replacement and repair services. 

What Do Home Warranties Cover? 

Home warranty plans provide discounted replacement and repair services for covered household systems and appliances. Generally, homeowners don’t have to get inspections or offer maintenance records to buy these plans, and the age of the home doesn’t matter. That’s one of the reasons these plans are so popular among those who buy existing homes. 

Warranties on new homes usually have time limits, such as a year for paint and walls, two years for plumbing, electrical, and HVAC systems, and ten years for structural problems. Home warranty providers such as 2-10 offer plans that cover systems or appliances, as well as hybrid plans, which cover both. Depending on the plan chosen, an appliance-only warranty may cover:  

  • Attic fans 
  • Garbage disposals 
  • Ranges and ovens 
  • Dishwashers 
  • Washing machines 
  • Garage door openers 

Appliance replacement can get expensive, but when major household systems fail, it can cause significant financial hardship. Thankfully, home warranties cover systems, such as: 

  • Fire and burglar alarms 
  • Plumbing 
  • Electrical wiring 
  • Toilets 
  • Water heaters 
  • Doorbells 
  • Ceiling fans 
  • Ductwork 

Some items, such as attic fans and doorbells, may be covered under an appliance plan or a system plan. Be sure to read your plan documentation carefully to see what’s covered. 

What Isn’t Covered? 

While homeowners warranties cover most household systems and appliances, it’s important to note plan exclusions. These can include: 

  • Flooring, paint, walls, foundations 
  • Solar power systems 
  • Commercial equipment and systems 
  • Problems previously uncovered by a home inspector 
  • Pre-existing conditions 
  • Everyday wear and tear 

If you get a plan with the purchase of a new home, the coverage will likely start right away. However, if you sign up for a plan and already own a home, there’s a 15- to 30-day waiting period before coverage starts. 

Protect Your Investment With a Homeowners Warranty 

For most people, a house is the biggest investment of a lifetime. A homeowners warranty is a great way to protect that investment—especially when it’s combined with a good insurance policy. Together, a homeowners insurance policy and a home warranty can offer greater peace of mind and help protect buyers from what would otherwise be life-altering financial losses. With a plan from 2-10, any homeowner can make the most of their investment. 

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