Home warranties have been around for years. However, until recently, home warranties were a well kept secret. Today, home warranties are much more common and are steadily rising in popularity. Although now, many people just don’t know much about home warranties including what ‘standard coverage’ is for a home warranty and what they can expect for coverage from a home warranty.

A home warranty is exactly like the warranty you have on your appliances for the most part. It works similarly, some things are covered and some things are not. When you buy a new dishwasher, you check out the warranty before you purchase it to see what is covered by the warranty and what isn’t. You wouldn’t purchase a dishwasher without a decent warranty – so why would you purchase a home without one?

A home warranty can be purchased by either the buyer or the seller of a property. For the seller, a home warranty is used as a sales feature that will help secure a higher price for the home. For the buyer, a home warranty is used as a safety net for older homes so that any major repairs are covered.

For the most part, you can expect some standard coverage from your home warranty. Be forewarned though – it’s important to read all the details of the home warranty before you sign up for it.

Most home warranties will cover:

The air conditioning system

Central heating unit

Duct work

Electrical systems

Ceiling fans

Plumbing systems

Water heater


Built in dishwasher

Built in microwave

The oven or range

Garbage disposal unit

A built in trash compactor

The washer and dryer

This is based on ‘standard coverage’ for an average sized home, less than 5,000 square feet. However, when you are choosing a home warranty, it is important to discuss all the intricacies of the policy with the agent before you sign up. You need to know if anything is left out of the main list above and why. Quite often, you will find that the garbage disposal or trash compactor isn’t covered with the warranty.

Home warranties vary in price from state to state and from company to company. However, you have to weight the cost of the home warranty to that of any repairs that may need to be done after you’ve moved into your home. If the seller is offering a warranty, it’s usually a good deal. If the seller of the home you are purchasing isn’t offering a home warranty, then you may want to purchase one.

It can be quite costly to replace major appliances and in many cases, having a home warranty means that you don’t have to worry about those upfront costs. Let’s look at some examples of costs to replace major appliances in your home.

A furnace will cost between $1,250 and $3,500 to replace, plus any other work on the ducts and heating system that needs to be done at the same time. Air conditioning units run from $700 to $3,275 for replacement, and once again that number could be higher if there is any other work on the air conditioning system in your home that needs to be completed. An oven or a range costs anywhere from $700 to $2,000 to replace, and although you can install one on your own, or have the delivery guy install it for you, there may be electrical work that needs to be done when your stove or range breaks down. Refrigerators can start as low as $300 but rise up above $2,000, depending on the type of fridge you want. Built in dishwashers can run from $200 to $1,000, washer and dryer sets, from $200 to $2,000 each piece. A water heater can run you anywhere from $375 to $525, as well as any other work that needs to be done on the plumbing and water system in your home. One broken water pipe replacement and fix can cost $100 to $600, not to mention the damage that it can do to your home and your belongings.

When you compare those costs to that of a home warranty, you can easily see that a home warranty may be a great idea when you are purchasing an older home, especially one that you don’t really know that much about yet. Always be sure to look into all the nuances of your home warranty before signing on the dotted line so you can be sure you are getting what you are paying for.