Does a home warranty cover appliances?
Your appliances are some of the hardest working machines in your home. As a homeowner, you depend on them every day, and when one breaks down, it can really throw a wrench into your busy schedule and your monthly budget.
One way to protect yourself from the financial burden of major appliance repairs or replacements is by purchasing a home warranty plan. A home warranty plan is a monthly membership that you pay. In return, the warranty company covers the cost of the repair or replacement of your home appliances and systems.
While you have to pay into the warranty program and pay a small service fee at the time of the repair or replacement, these costs give you and your family the peace of mind that the large, expensive appliance repairs or costly home system replacements are covered.
- To help you better understand how a home warranty works, this article explains the following:
- The appliances that a home warranty covers
- The difference between warranty vs. insurance coverage
- The benefits of having your appliances covered by a home warranty
What is usually covered under a home warranty plan?
Home warranty coverage varies based on the state in which you live and the home warranty company you choose as your provider. However, most warranty companies cover the following major appliances:
- Washer and dryer
- Built-in microwave
- Oven and cooktop
- Freestanding ice-maker
- Built-in food center
Some warranty plans also cover additional items that we may not think of as appliances but are used every day and are sometimes more crucial to our home living. Here are a few examples:
- Water heater
- Air conditioner (HVAC)
- Garage door opener
- Garbage disposal
- Trash compactor
Warranty plans can be applied to both old and new appliances and systems. If it’s a new appliance, you’ll want to inquire with the manufacturer about any kind of warranty as a manufacturer’s warranty might already be applied to the item. Though, a home warranty can still be purchased to expand upon what a manufacturer’s warranty may offer in regards to maintenance or replacements, and it can also continue providing coverage even after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
There are certain limitations that exist under a home warranty. You will be limited on how many of each appliance can be included on a single contract as well as the total dollar amount allowed per item in each claim. For example, a home warranty plan with Cinch Home Services covers up to two of each kind of appliance under a single contract and will offer $2,000 per item for a repair or replacement.
What a home warranty will and will not cover for appliances
Generally, a home warranty plan covers the repair costs for what is known as “normal wear and tear.” That means that the mechanical parts, motors, switches and even knobs and handles on your appliances will be covered if they break from typical daily use.
However, the biggest limitation of a home warranty plan will be when there is an overlap with another warranty plan or insurance policy. If damage to your home’s structure occurs, and by proxy, an appliance or home system is damaged in the process, then it is most likely that your homeowners insurance policy will cover the initial damage and any residual damage. A home warranty company will also prefer that you contact the manufacturer if a repair or replacement falls under another type of coverage.
It’s important to pay attention to the differences not only in what is covered but why you need a repair or replacement done. For example, your insurance policy is designed to protect you when major disasters or accidents occur and end up damaging the non-mechanical parts of your home, such as the roof, windows and doors.
In contrast, a warranty plan looks at repairs or replacements resulting from everyday use rather than major incidents. A home warranty does not cover damage to your appliances caused by:
- Misuse or neglect
- Improper installation
- Manufacturers’ defects
- Animals, pets or pests
- Natural disasters, such as fire or flood
- Power failures or power surges
- Water, mold or mildew
If you own a specialty or antique appliance, a warranty company likely won’t offer to replace the appliance with a matching model. Additionally, you may have to shoulder repair costs if they exceed the warranty plan’s limits. Warranty coverage does not apply to a brand name; instead, it supplies a replacement model that has similar features.
How to properly maintain your appliances
Home warranties also do not cover pre-existing conditions or damage that results from failure to keep up with regular maintenance on your appliances. Because of this, it is important to properly maintain your appliances and systems.
To make sure you get the warranty coverage you deserve, keep up with regular appliance maintenance recommendations, and consult each appliance’s manufacturer manual for specific care instructions. Here are some basic tips to start with:
- Refrigerator: Remove the dust and debris that gather on the coils by using a damp cloth and vacuum cleaner.
- Washer and dryer: Don’t overload the wash bin, and clean the lint trap after every load.
- Oven: Periodically check the oven temperature with a good-quality thermometer and follow the manufacturer's instructions to recalibrate the temperature if needed.
- Stovetop: Clean up spills so they don’t clog igniters or cause rusting or staining on burners.
- Dishwasher: Regularly clean the food trap and filter to alleviate clogs.
Keep in mind that limitations and exclusions will be different for each individual warranty plan and each warranty company. Be sure to read the fine print on your warranty contract and consult the customer service team to clear up any confusion.
Why it’s important to have home warranty coverage for appliances
Assessing the value of a home warranty plan is a fairly simple exercise. You can evaluate the cost of a warranty against the potential cost of paying up front to repair or replace your appliances when coverage is not applied.
For example, if your water heater broke, it could cost you over $1,200 to replace or repair it. That cost would come out of your pocket, and as an unexpected expense, it could be challenging to absorb in your monthly budget.
In comparison, a home warranty plan is an affordable service contract that protects you against these kinds of large, unpredictable expenses. The cost of a home warranty plan varies based on coverage details, but it generally includes an annual fee plus a small service fee (or deductible). The average annual cost falls within the $300–$600 range with monthly payments of $25–$50. The service fee goes directly to the repair provider and averages $50–$100 per visit.
You can think of a home warranty plan as a powerful savings plan for when your home appliances and home systems fail.
Why Cinch Home Services?
Unlike many other home warranty companies, Cinch Home Services offers comprehensive coverage for your appliances and built-in systems. Our staff is knowledgeable about what your coverage can do for you, and our technicians are fast. Cinch also covers components and parts, provides $50 in green rewards to purchase green and energy efficient products as well as a $25 credit to use toward filters for your A/C unit or refrigerator.
Before you buy, try to narrow down a home coverage checklist so you have a good idea of the value and types of coverage you need. For financial predictability and peace of mind, a home warranty with Cinch will ensure your appliances and built-in home systems stay intact.