Complete Guide to Home Warranties

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair and replacement of certain appliances and home systems. Unlike homeowners’ insurance, which covers damage from unexpected events like theft or natural disasters, a home warranty focuses on the inevitable wear and tear of household items. Coverage typically includes appliances, heating, and air conditioning systems, though specifics vary by provider.

Differences Between a Home Warranty and Homeowners’ Insurance

Homeowners’ Insurance
Homeowners’ insurance protects against unexpected events, such as fire, theft, or storm damage. It does not cover breakdowns due to wear and tear, which is where a home warranty comes in.

Home Warranty
A home warranty covers the failure of home systems and appliances due to regular use. It is not insurance but a service contract between the homeowner and the warranty provider. For example, if your washing machine breaks down, your home warranty would cover the repair or replacement, unlike your homeowners’ insurance.

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

When a covered item breaks down, you contact your home warranty provider. They will arrange for a qualified contractor to assess the issue. If the repair or replacement is covered, the home warranty company pays for the service, minus any service fee you are responsible for. Service fees typically range from $50 to $100 per visit.

Cost of a Home Warranty

Home warranties usually cost between $300 and $600 per year, with an average cost of around $400 for basic coverage. Additional coverage for items like pools or guest houses may increase the price. Payments are generally made upfront, though some companies offer installment plans.

For landlords, a home warranty can be a hassle-free way to manage property maintenance, though they should be aware that not all repairs may be covered. Proper maintenance is crucial, as neglect can lead to denied claims.

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

Coverage varies by provider, but typically includes major systems and appliances such as:

Air conditioning systems
Plumbing systems
Furnaces and heating systems
Electrical systems
Major appliances like ovens and dishwashers
Water heaters
Garbage disposals
Some indoor plumbing issues
Ceiling fans

What Is Not Covered?
Exclusions commonly found in home warranties include:

Most faucet repairs
Outdoor items
Pools and spas (unless added for an extra fee)
Separate structures like guest houses
Pre-existing conditions known before the purchase of the property
Always review your home warranty contract to understand what is and isn’t covered.

Choosing the Right Home Warranty

Steps to Take
Evaluate Coverage Options: Assess the items in your home and what coverage you need.
Read Sample Contracts: Understand the fine print, including coverage limitations and exclusions.
Compare Pricing: Look for payment options that fit your budget, whether upfront or in installments.
Check Customer Service: Reliable customer service is crucial for prompt repairs.
Gather Quotes: Obtain at least three quotes from different providers to compare pricing and coverage.


What is the purpose of a home warranty?
A home warranty provides protection for appliances and systems within the home against wear and tear.

What are the benefits of having a home warranty?
It offers peace of mind by covering major repairs, reducing the financial burden of unexpected breakdowns.

What is a home warranty final notice?
These are often scams claiming you need to renew your home warranty. They are typically not legitimate.

What is a home warranty letter?
These letters inform new homeowners about warranty options, often sourced from public records.

What is a dollar limit on a home warranty?
This refers to the maximum amount a home warranty will pay for covered repairs or replacements per term. Limits vary by plan and provider.


A home warranty can be a valuable investment for many homeowners, providing financial protection and peace of mind against the breakdown of essential home systems and appliances. Evaluate your specific needs and options to determine if a home warranty is right for you.

Kyle Alfriend has been investing in real estate for over 35 years, and has assisted over 3,000 clients in buying, selling, or investing in real estate. 

For more tips on buying, selling, or investing, or for a personal consultation, contact Kyle Alfriend, (614) 395-1776, or  Or go to our website,

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