Home Warranty Coverage FAQs

When it comes to home warranties, it’s normal to have plenty of questions. At Choice Home Warranty, we always want to provide our customers with fast, simple solutions — that includes helping you understand your options when it comes to home warranty coverage. Keep reading to get answers for these common home warranty questions.

Ready to get your free quote from Choice Home Warranty? Fill out the form or call (848) 256-4657.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty works like an insurance policy for your appliances and home systems — it is essentially a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of certain systems and appliances when they break down and malfunction.* We’ll get to this later, but it is very different from (and commonly confused with) homeowners insurance. While homeowners insurance covers—among other things—the actual structure of your home and your belongings in the event of a disaster, a home warranty offers coverage for systems and appliances when they incur normal damage from general wear and tear.

Why purchase a home warranty? Do you really need one?

The main appeal of home warranty plans is that they offer homeowners the peace of mind that comes with knowing their major appliances and systems are covered from general wear and tear. The simple fact of the matter is, no appliance or home system is built to last the entire lifespan of a home.

Wear and tear is inevitable, and the result is often extremely costly. Celia Kuperszmid Lehrman, deputy home editor of Consumer Reports, says that home repair costs are only going up as home appliances and systems are getting more and more complicate (and more and more sophisticated).

Appliances have many more electronic parts and circuit boards than in the past, and these parts can be more expensive than mechanical parts.”

While many houses can last for over a century, most appliances and systems have a significantly shorter lifespan. According to This Old House, “Of the major appliances in a home, gas ranges have the longest life expectancy: 15 years. Dryers and refrigerators last about 13 years. Some of the appliances with the shortest lifespan are: compactors (6 years), dishwashers (9 years) and microwave ovens (9 years).”

Often, one home appliance or system repair/replacement costs more than the price of home warranty coverage for the entire year. Because of this, home warranties often pay for themselves after one use.

Who doesn’t need a home warranty?

Of course, some homeowners would prefer to set aside savings to cover emergency appliance and system repairs. Others prefer to diagnose their own problems, purchase new parts and make DIY repairs themselves. Be sure to evaluate the likelihood that you’ll be able to use your warranty.

If you are not the kind of person who wants to pay upfront — even though it could potentially be a significantly lower cost — you may want to simply take your chances and forgo a home warranty. If you are the kind of person who prefers to plan ahead, you may benefit from the extra peace of mind that a home warranty offers.

What does it cover?

As we’ve discussed, home warranties cover major home systems and major home appliances. With Choice Home Warranty, you can also opt into additional coverage for appliances or systems that are not typically covered by home warranty companies but tend to have major repair bills. While many home warranty plans offer similar options, Choice Home Warranty offers some of the most comprehensive warranty coverage in the business.*

Here is a list of appliances and home systems that are covered by the two Choice Home Warranty plans (plus additional, optional coverage):

Basic Plan, Total Plan and Additional Coverage

  • Air Conditioning System
  • Heating System
  • Electrical System
  • Plumbing System
  • Plumbing Stoppage
  • Water Heater
  • Whirlpool Bathtub
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven / Range / Stove
  • Cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-In Microwave
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Clothes Washer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Ductwork
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Ceiling and Exhaust Fans
  • Pool / Spa
  • Well Pump
  • Sump Pump
  • Central Vacuum
  • Limited Roof Leak
  • Septic System
  • Second Refrigerator
  • Stand Alone Freezer
  • Septic Tank Pumping

What should you look for in a home warranty, and which warranty company should you choose?

Comprehensive Coverage

The main thing you should look for in a home warranty is comprehensive coverage. Take stock of your home, make a list of all the major appliances and systems and find a plan that offers coverage where you need it. One of the main benefits of Choice Home Warranty is the fact that we offer two different levels of coverage that end up covering just about any system or appliance you might have. We also have opt-in coverage for less common appliances or systems that may be expensive or difficult to replace or repair.*

If you choose a home warranty plan that offers a fundamental model of coverage plus additional options, you can craft the home warranty plan that works for your specific needs. Many warranty companies force you to go all in (paying for coverage that you may not need) or all out (meaning you’re not covered at all and at risk of getting stuck with potentially devastating repair bills). With Choice Home Warranty, your plan is customizable. This means you get what you need at an affordable cost without paying massive upcharges for extra coverage that you don’t need.

Affordable Plan

The second thing you need to look for is a plan that is affordable. According to an article published in The Balance, “You should budget $1 per square foot per year for maintenance and repair costs. If you own a 2,000-square-foot home, for example, budget $2,000 a year for maintenance and repairs.” This means that, technically, as long as you find a home warranty that is less than $2,000 for a year’s worth of coverage, you’re probably still saving money.

So how much does a Choice Home Warranty cost?

Because Choice Home Warranty is a well-established, major national company, we are able to offer significantly better rates than many of our competitors. In fact, you can get a home warranty with Choice Home Warranty starting as low as $1 a day. Often, if you use your insurance policy even once throughout the year, the home warranty 100% pays for itself.

What is the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?

There are a few main differences between home warranties and homeowners insurance:

  • Homeowners insurance covers you during a disaster. According to the Insurance Information Institute, this means “your homeowners policy pays to repair or rebuild your home if it is damaged or destroyed by fire, hurricane, hail, lightning or other disasters listed in your policy.” It does not cover you in the event of a flood or earthquake.
  • A home warranty plan covers against general, normal wear and tear. Any homeowner will tell you that, while disasters sometimes happen, wear and tear always Because appliances and systems aren’t built to last forever, they will inevitably break down over time. A home warranty plan protects you when routine wear and tear takes its toll and your appliances and systems inevitably fail.
  • Homeowners insurance cover the physical structure of your house, plus your personal belongings in the event of an insured disaster.
  • Home warranties cover systems and appliances when they fail as a result of normal wear and tear. A home warranty will never cover the structure of your house or any of your personal belonging outside of the appliances and systems stated in your contract.
  • Homeowners insurance is required. Well, specifically, it is usually required by lenders before they are willing to give you a mortgage. Technically, if you purchase your home for cash (or have already paid off your loan), homeowners insurance is not legally required. Of course, it is smart to protect yourself from potential disasters.
  • Home warranties are never required. Home warranty plans are always 100% opt-in options. No one can force you to purchase a home warranty plan, but many homeowners do elect to purchase home warranty coverage because it gives them extra peace of mind and protects against the (sometimes significant) costs of repairing and replacing home systems and appliances.

Who should pay for the home warranty, the buyer or the seller?

This is a somewhat contested question. Often, the seller will offer to purchase the home warranty plan before closing.

I am buying a house. Do I need a home warranty?

Definitely. Because the cost of purchasing a home is typically high (you’ll need to cover your down payment, lawyer fees, closing cost, realtor fees, etc.), most home buyers do not have a significant amount of cash laying around immediately after a home purchase. In fact, according to the Federal Trade Commission, “For many people, a home is the most expensive purchase they ever make.” Because many appliances and all systems convey with home purchase, home buyers inherit whatever is currently in the home that they are purchasing. Typically, this means you don’t really know the condition of the appliances or home systems outside of what you may have learned during an inspection.

Purchasing a home warranty protects you from the potentially high costs of repairing or replacing appliances or systems.* This is particularly important during your first year of homeownership, as most home buyers are not in the position to spend large sums of money immediately after closing. Home warranty coverage also gives you the peace of mind that, whatever appliances or systems you’ve newly inherited, you have comprehensive and excellent coverage should something go wrong as a result of routine wear and tear.

I am selling a house. Do I need a home warranty?

Yes. It is actually in the seller’s best interest to purchase a home warranty for several reasons.

  • According to the Professional Warranty Service Corporation, “A study from the Service Contract Industry Council (SCIC) found that homes with systems and appliances warranties sell for an average of $2,300 more and 16% faster than their non-warranted counterparts. Consumer studies have found that a systems and appliance home warranty also reduces the number of days on the market by 16.14%.”
  • Purchasing a home warranty protects you from fielding calls from the buyer after closing to address appliances or systems that fail due to normal wear and tear. If you have to purchase a home warranty, the buyer needs only to contact the warranty company to address any issues that may come up in the first few months.

Homes with systems and appliances warranties sell for an average of $2,300 more and 16% faster than their non-warranted counterparts. ”

What is not covered by a home warranty?

These are some of the items your home warranty does not cover:
  • Appliances that are not located inside your home (or attached or detached garage)
  • Known or unknown pre-existing conditions
  • A home that is also used as a business
  • Cosmetic defects or routine maintenance
  • Hazardous or toxic materials including but not limited to mold, lead paint or asbestos
  • Conditions caused by chemical or sedimentary build up, rust or corrosion, mildew, mold, misuse or abuse, failure to clean or maintain as specified by the equipment manufacturer, missing parts, structural changes
  • Issues caused by fire, freezing, electrical failure or surge, water damage, lightening, mud, earthquake, soil movement, soil settlement, settling of home, storms, accidents, pest damage, acts of God (i.e. floods, hail, wildfires, etc.) or failure due to excessive or inadequate water pressure
  • Repairs related to inadequacy (for example, improper installation, mismatched systems, oversized systems, undersized systems, previous repair or design, manufacturer’s defect or any modification to the system or appliance)

What happens if my appliance or system cannot be repaired?

If your covered appliance or system cannot be repaired, Choice Home Warranty will replace it.*

How long does a home warranty last?

With Choice Home Warranty, your warranty coverage starts exactly 30 days after you have officially been approved for a warranty and the coverage will last exactly one year (365 days).

Choice Home Warranty: The Best Warranty in the Business

Choice Home Warranty offers two of the most comprehensive plans in the business, the Basic Plan and the Total Plan. Once you’ve chosen your plan, be sure to go over the additional coverage options. You can add these to your plan on an opt-in basis, which means you can customize your plan to meet your specific needs.

Coverage Options at Choice Home Warranty

The Total Plan is the most comprehensive option available through Choice Home Warranty. It covers all the basic home appliances and systems, plus several high-price appliances and systems.

In all, the Total Plan through Choice Home Warranty offers coverage for the following systems and appliances:

Total Plan

  • Air Conditioning System
  • Heating System
  • Electrical System
  • Plumbing System
  • Plumbing Stoppage
  • Water Heater
  • Whirlpool Bathtub
  • Refrigerator
  • Oven / Range / Stove
  • Cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-In Microwave
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Clothes Washer
  • Clothes Dryer
  • Ductwork
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Ceiling and Exhaust Fans

The Basic Plan offers basic coverage with Choice Home Warranty and the standard of the most major systems and appliances. If you are interested in a plan that offers no-frills, standard coverage and you are willing to forgo a few large items (a refrigerator or your air conditioning system, for example), the Basic Plan is likely your best option.

The Basic Plan offers coverage for the following systems and appliances.

Basic Plan

  • Heating System
  • Electrical System
  • Plumbing System
  • Plumbing Stoppage
  • Water Heater
  • Whirlpool Bathtub
  • Oven / Range / Stove
  • Cooktop
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-In Microwave
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Ductwork
  • Garage Door Opener
  • Ceiling and Exhaust Fans

With Choice Home Warranty, you can purchase additional coverage on an à la carte basis. This means you choose what you need and add it to your plan for an additional cost. Before you purchase your plan, carefully go over the additional coverage options. Some homeowners — those who are not connected to city water and plumbing, for example — find that additional coverage is absolutely imperative. Well pumps and septic systems, two options included in additional coverage with Choice Home Warranty, are particularly difficult and expensive to repair or replace.* Extra coverage is strongly encouraged.

Choice Home Warranty offers additional coverage for the following appliances and systems:

Additional Coverage

  • Pool / Spa
  • Well Pump
  • Sump Pump
  • Central Vacuum
  • Limited Roof Leak
  • Septic System
  • Second Refrigerator
  • Stand Alone Freezer
  • Septic Tank Pumping

Putting Your Home Warranty to Use

Your coverage begins exactly 30 days after you have been approved for a home warranty plan.

Once your coverage has started, follow these steps when an appliance or system has failed and you need to use your coverage:

  1. Submit your claim to a Choice Home Warranty service representative online. You can also call us seven days a week, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year (including holidays).
  2. The best technician with the earliest availability will be scheduled to come to your home.
  3. If it is determined that your covered repair or replacement is an emergency, your service representative can work with the service professional to expedite the process.*
  4. Once you’ve placed the initial call to your Choice Home Warranty service representative, the service provider will contact you to schedule an appointment during normal business hours.
  5. When your service provider comes to provide the covered repair, you will pay up to a standard service fee directly to the service provider and they will complete the work.

Steps to Take after Purchasing a Home Warranty

Once you’ve examined all of your options and taken stock of your own appliances and systems to determine the coverage that you’ll need, call a Choice Home Warranty specialist at (848) 256-4657.

A highly qualified service representative will walk you through your options and work with you to create a perfectly customized plan to meet all of your needs. Choice Home Warranty will then send you a 100% free quote. After you’ve purchased the perfect warranty for your home, you can relax.

Enjoy the peace of mind that comprehensive coverage offers and enjoy your home!

 

* Click Here to view complete limits of liability and any exclusions. CHW offers service contracts which are not warranties. ** See policy for specifics on response times. *** CHW reserves the right to offer cash back in lieu of repair or replacement in the amount of CHW’s actual cost (which at times may be less than retail) to repair or replace any covered system, component or appliance. **** In the event a claim is denied, and a customer seeks to have Us review that denial, We have the right to request routine maintenance records in reviewing its decision.