9 things a home warranty does not cover

9 things a home warranty does not cover

A home warranty is a service contract that offers financial cover for the wear and tear of a home’s appliances and systems. So, if something breaks down, the homeowner does not have to bear the cost of repairs. Rather, the warranty company will cover the expenses. But it is important to note that a home warranty does not cover all repairs. When signing the contract, one must take note of the exclusions.

Cosmetic repairs
Cosmetic repairs are made solely for aesthetics or to improve the home’s appearance. A home warranty does not cover such repairs. It only covers the cost of damages caused by normal wear and tear. For instance, if an oven breaks down or stops working during regular use, homeowners can expect the home warranty to cover the expenses. The contract will not cover the price of fixing scratches or dents on the oven because it counts as cosmetic repairs.

Outdoor elements
Another big thing a home warranty excludes is the cost of repairing fixtures outside the house. Examples are pools, spas, and septic systems. The contract may also leave out outdoor plumbing systems and their parts, like sprinklers, faucets, and valves. While most home warranty companies do not cover these things in their standard package, some offer add-ons that include outdoor elements. For instance, with some providers, one can cover their outdoor kitchen and pool by paying an extra fee. One must read the terms and conditions carefully when signing up for such add-ons and choose the right ones.

Windows and doors
Home warranties primarily cover systems and appliances requiring complex repair work, such as refrigerators and HVACs. But they leave out structural components of the house, such as windows and doors. This exclusion applies regardless of whether the windows and doors have suffered damage due to natural wear and tear or another reason. Those who want coverage for structural components can buy homeowner’s insurance.

Smart home systems
Smart home systems have become popular because they increase convenience. These devices integrate all the major electrical appliances of a house and allow one to control them from anywhere with voice commands or smartphone apps. A few common examples of smart home systems include thermostats, smart lighting systems, and doorbell cameras. Homeowners need to remember that a home warranty does not cover the repairs of these systems. A notable reason is that repairing smart home systems is too expensive. The price can easily exceed the annual premium amount of a home warranty contract.

Damage caused by pests
Pests like termites, rats, and rodents can destroy electrical systems and appliances in a house. Unfortunately, home warranty contracts do not cover problems caused by pests. While some policies offer coverage for removing pests, they do not pay for the damages they cause. For instance, if homeowners find mice living in their electrical equipment or control boards, the contract will pay to clear the equipment of the mice but not to repair it.

Acts of nature
Acts of nature, such as floods, hurricanes, and earthquakes, pose severe threats to a house and its appliances. But sadly, again, home warranties do not cover damages due to these factors. A home warranty’s main focus is to pay for repairing appliances and systems when they break down due to natural wear and tear, not natural disasters. In such situations, one may have to bear the expenses themselves.

Appliances covered by manufacturer’s warranty
If one purchases a new appliance for their house, it will be under the manufacturer’s warranty for a certain period. Homeowners must note that until the appliance is covered under the manufacturer’s warranty, their home warranty contract will not cover its repairs. That’s why one should check the manufacturer’s warranty before buying a plan.

Pre-existing conditions
It is crucial to note that if an appliance or a system gets damaged due to a pre-existing condition, the home warranty will not cover its repairs. A pre-existing condition refers to any fault the system or appliance had before the homeowner signed the warranty contract. When signing the contract, the home warranty company inspects all the systems and appliances to spot any pre-existing conditions. That’s why it is necessary to get prior damages or malfunctions repaired before the inspection or before the warranty coverage begins.

Improper installations
When one purchases new appliances or gets a new system installed, they must follow certain guidelines. For example, when fixing a new HVAC system, individuals need to follow building codes to ensure the safety of everyone living in the building. Likewise, all appliances and systems come with instructions from the manufacturer. If any system or appliance breaks down and has not been installed as per the guidelines, the home warranty company will not cover its costs. To avoid this issue, homeowners should install their new systems and appliances with the help of professionals who ensure all installation guidelines are followed.

Since a home warranty has many terms and conditions, one must read the contract carefully before signing on the dotted line. Overlooking the exclusions can cause one to pay for repairs out of their own pocket, leading to disappointment.