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Home warranty vs. manufacturer warranty: know the difference

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If you've recently purchased a new home that came complete with new appliances, you probably feel confident that you won't have to worry about appliance repairs for a long time. However, minor and major appliance malfunctions can happen even after an appliance's first use.

When your new dishwasher is leaking, or your shiny refrigerator is not keeping its cool, you might have a factory-defective unit on your hands. The good news is that you may have a manufacturer warranty for your respective appliances. However, a home warranty may offer you more coverage and options that make it preferable over the manufacturer's solution. 

So, what's the difference between a home warranty and a manufacturer's warranty? Below we'll share their distinct qualities and talk about the coverage and benefits each presents to homebuyers.

 

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that offers additional coverage for your home appliance and system breakdowns. 

A home warranty contract differs from a manufacturer's warranty in several ways. For one, a home warranty is a one-stop resource that takes care of all your needs — from scheduling your service to getting an in-home repair or replacement unit. With a manufacturer warranty, you have to contact the individual brand’s service center to take care of the issue. With a home warranty, the original purchaser makes no difference. The date you purchased the covered appliances is irrelevant. You’re covered as long as you have the warranty. 

A complete home warranty will typically cover home repairs and the replacement of all major household appliances and home systems, like your HVAC system or indoor plumbing. 

What does a home warranty usually include? 

Home warranties are typically offered as a one-year service contract. Coverage varies by the service provider, but the best home warranty companies will cover the most costly components of your in-home systems and appliances. 

When considering a home warranty company, read the fine print to see if more expensive fixes are included, like the ductwork for an HVAC system — which is often not covered in a home insurance policy. Check for details like coverage for your refrigerator’s ice machine or water dispenser. Home warranties are not likely to cover superficial cosmetic damage to appliances, like a scuff on your stainless-steel dishwasher. 

To better understand what a good home warranty provider should include, let's look at the Cinch Home Services home warranty options. Cinch offers three different home warranty plans. These include appliances, built-in systems, and complete home packages with coverage for both appliances and built-in systems. 

A Cinch home warranty will cover repair or replacement caused by normal wear and tear, making it more inclusive than traditional home insurance. Here's a breakdown of what each Cinch warranty offering covers: 

Cinch Appliances Warranty

Kitchen appliances

  • Cooktops
  • Dishwashers
  • Food centers (built-in)
  • Freestanding ice makers
  • Microwaves (built-in)
  • Range exhaust hoods
  • Ranges
  • Refrigerators
  • Trash compactors (built-in)
  • Wall ovens  

Laundry appliances

  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers

Other inclusions

  • 24/7 service request line
  • Air-conditioner or water-filter credit
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Thousands of pre-screened professionals
  • Unknown pre-existing conditions

    

Cinch Built-in Systems Warranty

Heating and cooling systems

  • Central air electric split and mini splits
  • Cooling and heating geothermal units
  • Cooling and heating package units
  • Electric baseboards
  • Floor furnaces
  • Forced air units (gas, electric oil) 
  • Heating mini splits
  • Heat pumps
  • Water or steam circulating heaters
  • Wall-mounted air conditioners and heaters

    

    Electrical systems

  • Attic, exhaust and vent fans (built-in)
  • Battery-operated and hardwired smoke detectors
  • Ceiling fans
  • Central vacuums
  • Direct current wiring and light fixtures
  • Doorbells
  • Garage door openers

Plumbing systems

  • Drain and sewer stoppages
  • Garbage disposals
  • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
  • Permanently installed sump pumps
  • Plumbing valves, lines and other components
  • Standard and tankless water heaters
  • Toilets
  • Whirlpool/jetted tub motors, pumps and air switch assemblies (built-in) 

    

Other inclusions

  • 24/7 service request line
  • Air-conditioner or water-filter credit
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Thousands of pre-screened professionals
  • Unknown pre-existing conditions

Cinch Complete Home Warranty

 Laundry and kitchen appliances

  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Cooktops
  • Dishwashers
  • Food centers (built-in)
  • Freestanding ice makers
  • Microwaves (built-in)
  • Range exhaust hoods
  • Ranges
  • Refrigerators
  • Trash compactors
  • Wall ovens

    Heating and cooling systems

  • Central air electric split and mini splits
  • Cooling and heating geothermal units
  • Cooling and heating package units
  • Electric baseboards
  • Floor furnaces
  • Forced air units (gas, electric oil) 
  • Heating mini splits
  • Heat pumps
  • Water or steam circulating heaters
  • Wall-mounted air conditioners and heaters

Electrical systems

  • Attic, exhaust and vent fans (built-in)
  • Battery-operated and hardwired smoke detectors
  • Ceiling fans
  • Central vacuums
  • Direct current wiring and light fixtures
  • Doorbells
  • Garage door openers 

Plumbing systems

  • Drain and sewer stoppages
  • Garbage disposals
  • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
  • Permanently installed sump pumps
  • Plumbing valves, lines and other components
  • Standard and tankless water heaters
  • Toilets
  • Whirlpool/jetted tub motors, pumps and air switch assemblies (built-in) 

Other inclusions

  • 24/7 Service request line
  • Air conditioner or water filter credit
  • Rust and corrosion
  • Thousands of pre-screened professionals
  • Unknown pre-existing conditions

Cinch home warranties cover normal wear and tear for the majority of home appliances and systems. It should be noted that home warranty coverage may vary from state to state. To find out more about coverage where you live, sign up for a quote online or call and speak to a representative during regular business hours. 

How is a home warranty different from homeowners insurance?

A home warranty is not the same as homeowners insurance, although it does complement your homeowners policy. Home warranties add additional coverage that insurance won’t cover, like mechanical breakdowns from normal wear and tear. 

For example, if your home floods due to a leaky pipe, the insurance company may cover some of the water damage — but it will not replace or repair your failing plumbing system. A home warranty, alternatively, will often cover valves, lines and other components. 

Most homeowners insurance covers damage or loss caused by "known perils" as you'd see in a natural disaster, such as a fire, hail storm or wind. However, if your dog digs a hole in your new flooring, you will likely be on your own to repair it. 

Homeowners insurance will also typically provide some liability coverage for incidents that happen to guests on your property. It will cover the structure of the home itself, personal belongings, and possibly the cost of lodging if your home is unlivable due to damage from known perils.

If you used a mortgage lender to buy your home, it would likely require you to have a homeowners insurance policy. It may even specify the amount or type of coverage you must have. Home insurance can be pretty expensive, so combining a low-cost policy with a low-cost home warranty plan may be more cost-effective than a higher-priced insurance provider. 

Home warranties fill in the gaps left by homeowners insurance policies, offering protection for the things that providers commonly exclude. And as mentioned, home warranties cover normal wear and tear on your appliances and systems, whereas homeowners insurance will not pay to replace systems worn out due to age. Depending on your homeowners insurance policy, you may also have to pay a deductible for service or replacement. By contrast, a home warranty will have a minimal service fee and cover the rest of the costs at no charge. 

Pros and cons of home warranties 

What are the pros and cons of choosing a home warranty? Here are a few things to consider when deciding on a home warranty plan for your new home: 

Home warranty pros

  • Home warranties cover many gaps left by traditional home insurance policies.
  • They offer fixed costs and lower out-of-pocket costs when repairs are needed.
  • They make it easier to find qualified service technicians.
  • With home warranties, you have one contact for all covered items, no matter the manufacturer.
  • Your home warranty may be transferable when selling your home, offering the new owner peace of mind.
  • They may offer discounts on new appliances or filters for air-conditioning units.
  • They can help mitigate price increases due to inflation. 

Home warranty cons

  • New appliances may still be under a factory warranty.
  • Your home warranty company may not work with your current repair person.
  • The plan may exclude things like ductwork or A/C wall units.

What does a manufacturer warranty cover?

A manufacturer warranty is limited-time coverage that comes with appliances or home systems when you purchase them as new. A manufacturer warranty will typically cover the parts and labor for repair service or offer a replacement for products that have issues due to manufacturing errors. However, they will not cover any problems that don’t qualify as a manufacturer defect. 

Manufacturer warranties have specific time limits, commonly covering parts and labor for a year from the date of purchase. The warranty may start at the installation date for an appliance or home system. When buying a newly constructed home, you may find much of your warranty was wasted while the house was waiting to sell. You may find yourself dealing with an appliance or system no one thoroughly tested before you moved in, leaving you scrambling to find warranty information from the builder before it expires.

What can void a manufacturer warranty? 

Manufacturers can sometimes hide frustrating terms and exclusions in the fine print of their warranty policies. Below are some examples that may void a manufacturer's warranty:

  • The warranty period is expired.
  • The manufacturer determines the product was not used properly.
  • The manufacturer determines the product was not correctly installed or maintained.
  • A specific part of the product is not covered under the warranty.
  • The product has been altered in a way that affects the operation.

Sometimes, a manufacturer warranty can become void even just by the way you clean a product. For example, using white vinegar to clean your dishwasher may void its warranty because the acidity can damage the gaskets. Cleaning your cooktop with glass cleaner or steel wool is typically not approved and may void the warranty for your stove. 

Pros and cons of manufacturer warranties

Manufacturer warranties are typically offered at no cost, including parts and labor for repair. However, some issues with manufacturer warranties make them less useful than you’d hope. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of manufacturer warranties:  

Manufacturer warranty pros

  • A manufacturer warranty is typically free and included with new purchases.
  • It covers labor and parts for any manufacturer defects.
  • It will provide certified technicians to handle your repairs.

Manufacturer warranty cons

  • When you’re purchasing a new home, you may find your appliances’ warranties have almost run out or are expired. 
  • The manufacturer may determine that a factory defect did not cause an issue.
  • Some manufacturers have poor service.
  • The manufacturer may refer you back to the reseller or may not cover products sold by specific retailers.
  • The warranty may not be transferable from the original owner.

 

Home warranty vs. manufacturer warranty: key differences

Some of the key differences between a manufacturer warranty and a home warranty are as follows:

  • A home warranty will cover all appliances and systems in your plan.
  • A manufacturer warranty will be individually applied to each appliance or system.
  • A home warranty will cover normal wear and tear.
  • The manufacturer will only cover factory defects for a limited time.
  • A home warranty is often transferable to new owners.
  • Manufacturer warranties are often only available to the original buyer.
  • Home warranties are renewable.
  • Manufacturer warranties expire, and extended warranties sold individually add up quickly.
  • Home warranties will have a small service call fee, though parts and labor are free.
  • Manufacturer warranty repairs do not typically have a fee.
  • Home warranties may cover pre-existing issues.
  • Manufacturer warranties do not cover problems reported outside the initial warranty period.
  • Home warranty companies typically offer 24/7 support for filing an issue.
  • Manufacturers usually only offer service during regular business hours.

 

Discover the leading Cinch home warranty plan options

Modern homes are full of appliances and systems that make life easier and more comfortable. But no appliance lasts forever, and it’s a good idea to protect your assets by considering the benefits of home warranty plans.

A home warranty plan will help ensure you don’t have shocking repair costs. Invest in your peace of mind with a Cinch home warranty plan for your appliances, built-in systems or even your entire home. Visit Cinch Home Services and start protecting your home today.

Learn the difference between a home warranty and a manufacturer warranty for appliances and home systems.