Looking for the quickest answer? Our top choice for home warranties is Choice Home Warranty.
If you are considering purchasing a home warranty to help pay for everyday repair expenses around your home, you may be wondering what exactly a home warranty covers. For example, does a home warranty cover flooding? Unfortunately, a home warranty does not cover water damage in your home due to flooding. However, it can cover many of the common causes of water damage, preventing flooding from occurring in the first place.
Let’s look at some of the specifics of home warranties and how they can help prevent water damage in your home.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a written contract between the homeowner and the home warranty provider that covers repairs and replacements of major home systems, appliances or other major components should they break down due to normal wear and tear. Generally, a home warranty will cover:
- Major appliances
- Water heater
- Garbage disposal
- Garage door opener
- Kitchen appliances like the refrigerator, dishwasher, stove and oven
- HVAC systems (heating system and AC unit)
Covering the cost of repairs helps keep your home in good condition, but you must review your coverage details so you know precisely what is covered under your plan.
Home Warranty vs. Homeowners Insurance
Homeowners insurance pays for damage to your home’s structure, any attached buildings or foundation issues caused by a covered peril such as fire, theft or vandalism. Home warranties do not pay for these damages but determine repairs or replacements of faulty home systems or appliances. A home warranty is often included in a real estate transaction because real estate professionals (specifically your real estate agent) know these warranties help protect both buyers and sellers. You can submit a service request easily, and many replacement costs for covered appliances or items are recovered.
At the same time, a home warranty is not the same as homeowners insurance. Moreover, homeowners insurance doesn’t cover flooding.
Is Home Insurance or a Home Warranty Better for Flood Coverage?
Neither a home warranty nor homeowners insurance covers damage to your home caused by a flood weather event. For this type of flood coverage, you will need to purchase a flood insurance policy from an approved agent of the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) to cover direct losses to your home, structure or personal belongings caused by a flood. Sometimes, this can be in conjunction with your regular home insurance provider.
Home insurance does cover water damage that is considered sudden and accidental, such as plumbing pipes that have burst. However, if your sink constantly leaks and eventually causes damage to the flooring in your bathroom, the damage is not covered by homeowners insurance.
Your home warranty supplements your homeowners insurance policy. While it does not pay directly for water damage, it can help you pay for home system malfunctions that indirectly cause water damage, such as an aging HVAC or plumbing system. Most home warranty companies also cover “limited” roof leak coverage, which may be included in the plan’s basic coverage options or added on for an additional fee. Having a home warranty plan along with a comprehensive homeowners insurance plan provides complete protection for your home.
If you think you're more interested in home owners insurance, check out the featured providers below:
Who Needs a Home Warranty?
Most major systems are covered by a builder’s or manufacturer’s warranty when you buy a new home. However, once that protection runs out, you may want to check into home warranty coverage to protect your home systems and appliances from damage caused by normal wear and tear. Repair costs can add up quickly, so a home warranty could end up saving you money in the long run.
Best Home Warranty Providers
You can’t put a price on peace of mind when it comes to protecting your home. But, unfortunately, there are many things that a homeowners policy doesn’t cover, like damage to your appliances and home systems caused by normal wear and tear.
A home warranty can help you pay for expensive repairs or replacements. We’ve compiled a list of some of the very best home warranty companies to help you find the proper protection for your home.
Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty offers 2 home warranty options, the Basic Plan and the Total Plan, with add-on coverages. In addition, the company has 24/7 claims reporting service available by phone or online. The company’s goal is to respond to a claim within the first 24 hours, but always within 48 hours. Nationwide coverage is also available. Notable add-on options for Choice Home Warranty Plans include coverage for sump pumps, pools, spas and central vacuum systems.
American Home Shield
AFC Home Club Warranty (America’s 1st Choice)
AFC Home Club has 4 home warranty plans; Platinum, Gold, Silver and Systems. A popular feature of AFC plans is choosing your own repair service provider without prior approval from the company. Your contractor only has to be licensed, bonded and insured, and you are all set. Warranty members also have access to club membership benefits, including DealCash savings of as much as 50 percent for participating restaurants, clubs and entertainment. AFC sends the repair technician’s information to you, and you schedule your own appointment. Once the repairs are complete, the AFC representative will contact you to determine how satisfied you are with the repairs. Home warranty coverage is available in all states except Hawaii and California.
Cinch Home Services
Cinch Home Services offers 3 home warranty plans, Appliances, Built-in Systems and the Complete Home Plan. Benzinga likes the ability to find a plan that fits most home budgets. For example, if you want only appliances coverage or only systems coverage, you can purchase what you wish to have your home warranty plan cover. For complete home protection, you can buy the Complete Home Plan. In addition, the 180-day workmanship guarantee is among the best in the industry. Plans are available in 47 U.S. states.
Home Warranty, Inc.
Home Warranty Inc. has been in business since 1999 and has an “A+” rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). While the company only offers 2 plans, the Home Protection Plan and the Supplemental Home Protection Plan, it offers a more extended 14-month plan as opposed to the typical 12-month plan offered by most home warranty companies. Home warranties are available in 32 states. A stand-out feature of the plans through Home Warranty, Inc. is the cash-out option that allows you to forgo repairs and receive a cash payment instead. You can use the cash to make repairs if you choose or use it to buy a brand new appliance.
How to Compare Home Warranties
When deciding on the proper home warranty, you should consider several features such as the cost, coverage options, waiting period, home service fees and the warranty company’s customer service record.
How to Buy a Home Warranty
Buying a home warranty is a pretty straightforward process. After you’ve compared home warranties and found the 1 you think is the right fit for your home, you fill out an application, and the company sends you a contract to sign. Read over your agreement carefully to find out what is and isn’t covered. The home warranty contract tells you when your coverage begins after you’ve paid the fee to start your home warranty coverage.
Sometimes, you’ll find a waiting period for coverage on home warranties, ranging from 1 to 30 days. In addition, your home warranty plan may not cover pre-existing damage or conditions.
You may find when buying a new home that a builder’s home warranty plan is included in the purchase price. The builder’s home warranty covers workmanship and home components such as air conditioning, plumbing and electrical systems. The coverage period can vary from 1 to 10 years, depending on the company.
Should I Buy a Home Warranty?
Home systems break all the time, which can take a toll on any home budget. For example, you may have purchased a new refrigerator that you love, and it quits working as soon as the manufacturer’s warranty has expired. Without a home warranty, you are stuck with the cost of repairing or replacing your refrigerator.
Purchasing a home warranty to supplement your homeowners insurance is a way to help you pay for costly home repairs. Only you can make the final decision if a home warranty is right for you. As always, you can come back to Benzinga for helpful insurance information and money tips.
How to Reduce Warranty and Insurance Costs
When you’re looking for a product that will protect against flood damage, you need to determine what you’re looking for and why. Are you a renter? Are you a homeowner? Are you in a flood zone?
Your homeowners policy, as you are aware, covers damage from water pipes and damage inside the home. This means that a home warranty generally will only cover those things—if that.
Your service contract is unique, and you should reach out to a home warranty company to learn more about what they can provide and their limitations. You can choose the most affordable plan that works for your needs. You may also need to seek out additional coverage.
Check Flood Maps
FEMA (Federal Emergency Management Agency) and the Army Corps of Engineers maintain flood zone maps for the entire country. You need to know where your home is, and if you are a home buyer, you ought to know where a prospective home is located.
Remember, you are required to buy a flood policy (which is different from your home warranty) if you’re in particular flood zones (typically starting with A). You can also gauge your flood risk using these maps as they grade your risk based on where the home is located.
Steps to Prepare for Flooding
If you’re preparing for flooding in your area (meaning, you’ve been realistic with yourself and you know it could well occur), you still need a home warranty that will protect the rest of the home from all the little things that can get in the way and sap your resources.
Generally, flood preparation should include:
- Go bag with essentials, medications and important documents
- Any preparation you can do to seal cracks or gaps around the house
- Anything you can do to keep items off the floor, this might even include moving as much as you can upstairs, to the attic or to higher ground
- An emergency plan for the whole family
What About Flood Insurance?
Flood insurance is designed to protect against rising floodwaters and often includes contents coverage for all the personal items you could lose in a flood. Make sure you check the exclusions (just as you would with a home warranty). You should shop around for flood insurance just as you would for a home warranty, contact your current insurance company for assistance, follow government guidelines and talk to your family about an emergency plan.
Find the Best Home Warranty Coverage Today
Remember, home warranty benefits almost never include flood protection. Real estate professionals often provide their clients with home warranties as a sort of “insurance policy” against those money pit blues. At the same time, homeownership requires wisdom, extra flood coverage in certain areas and budget-friendly options. For more information on home insurance or flood protection, visit Benzinga at any time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does a home warranty cover water damage from hurricanes?
No, your home warranty does not cover any type of water damage to your home caused by a hurricane. You need to purchase a flood insurance policy for water damage caused by hurricanes.
Why do I need a home warranty if it doesn’t cover water damage?
While a home warranty doesn’t cover water damage itself, it can prevent water damage by addressing some of the most common causes, such replacing a burst pipe damaged due to normal wear and tear.
Why should I consider flood insurance?
About Janet Hunt, Insurance Agent
Janet has been working in, and writing about, the insurance industry for over 20 years.