Not to be mistaken with its close relative homeowners insurance, a home warranty protects you from costly repairs or replacing key appliances in your home. To illustrate the point, cast your mind back to the number of times your air conditioner broke down last summer.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty policy (also known as home appliance insurance) offers an additional layer of protection from the cost of potential home repairs and appliance breakdowns. If you’re already a homeowner, you might be well aware of the mounting costs of home system breakdowns and wear and tear of everyday appliances. So what kind of things can a home warranty cover you for? Well, depending on your policy, a home warranty can cover you for:
- Garbage disposals
- Electrical wiring
- Major appliances like refrigerators, washers and dryers.
Before signing on the dotted line, make sure you’ve read through all the different home warranty options and decided on the level of service right for you (no point covering the jacuzzi if you don’t own one).
Home warranty vs Homeowners Insurance
These two easily confused terms are similar in that they both cover unexpected damage in your home. Homeowners insurance covers you for unexpected incidents, for example, if a guest is injured in your home, or if there’s a fire on your property. But Homeowners insurance also covers you from serious incidents that happen to you outside of your property, like if you accidentally crash your bicycle, or if your phone gets stolen.
To offer a practical example: if your dishwasher pipe bursts your homeowners insurance will typically* cover the water damage while your home warranty will probably replace the actual dishwasher. A good way to distinguish the two is to think about it this way: homeowners insurance covers you from the serious stuff and home warranty covers the appliances themselves.
*read your actual homeowners policy to determine what is covered and how.
Is homeowners insurance required?
Yes. Homeowners insurance will usually be required when you buy a home. Often your mortgagee/lender will ask for to approve your insurance policy before finalizing the home-buying process.