Before you splash out on home warranty, do some research and scrutinize the terms of the agreement carefully to make sure you know exactly what you are and are not covered for. In this guide, we answer two of the most commonly asked questions by homeowners: Does a typical home warranty covers water leaks? What about maintenance costs?
Does a home warranty cover water leaks?
Plumbing issues can be particularly unpleasant for homeowners to deal with. Not only can they occur with absolutely no notice and be expensive to fix, water leaks can also lead to residual issues such as mold, floorboard rot and drywall damage, all of which can cause long-term damage to your home.
You may expect all of these issues to be covered by your home warranty, but that’s not always the case. Typically, home warranties provide cover for plumbing when a fault results from normal wear and tear. All home warranties are different, but generally speaking, you will be covered for:
- Leaks and breaks in the water, gas, drain, or vent lines
- Issues with showerheads, valves, and faucets
- Faulty built-in bathtub pumps, air switches, and whirlpool motors
- Blocked sinks, bathtubs, showers, and toilets
If a water leak is the result of a neglected plumbing system rather than normal wear and tear, your home warranty is unlikely to cover the cost of the repair. In this instance, you will have to check your homeowner’s insurance to see if it provides any cover. If not, you’ll have to pay for the repair yourself.
Although a home warranty will usually cover the cost of repairing a leak that results from normal wear and tear, it will not cover the cost of repairing the water damage caused by the leak. However, if used properly, a home warranty will help you avoid water damage altogether. If you notice a plumbing fault in your home, you should call your warranty provider immediately. You’ll have to pay the small service fee to have the issue repaired, but by doing so at the first sign of a problem, you’ll be able to prevent any water damage from occurring.
Do home warranties cover maintenance costs?
A home warranty is an annual service contract that pays for the replacement or repair of major household appliances such as washers and refrigerators and home systems, like your plumbing or your HVAC system. A key condition of every home warranty is that those appliances and systems must be on a regular maintenance schedule. If they’re not, then the repair will not be covered as part of your home warranty. The key question is, who pays for this maintenance?
In the majority of cases, it will fall on you, the homeowner, to pay for the servicing and maintenance of your key household appliances and systems. However, some home warranties offer optional add-ons that may include extras such as pre-season HVAC maintenance. Without an optional add-on of this kind, your home warranty will only cover you for the repair and replacement of home appliances and systems, and not their maintenance.