What is a Home Warranty? Is it Necessary?

Published on September 1, 2023 | 4 Minute read



Ortiz Reyes

Content Specialist

When it comes to owning a home, ensuring its safety and longevity is a top priority. But let's face it, unexpected repairs and replacements are an inevitable part of homeownership. This is where home warranties come into the picture. 

A home warranty is a service contract designed to provide homeowners with peace of mind by covering the repair or replacement of major home systems and appliances. It's not the same as homeowners insurance, which primarily covers losses due to theft, disasters, or accidents.

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

1.    Purchase - You buy a home warranty plan from a provider. Plans vary in coverage and cost, so you can choose one that suits your needs. 

2.    Coverage - Home warranties typically cover systems like HVAC, plumbing, electrical and major appliances such as refrigerators, ovens, and washers/dryers.

3.    Service Request - When a covered system or appliance breaks down, you contact the warranty company to request service.

4.    Service Provider - The warranty company assigns a service provider, typically from their network of contractors to assess and repair the issue.

5.    Service Fee - You pay a service fee or deductible for each service call, which typically ranges from $50 to $150.

6.    Repair or Replacement - If the problem can be repaired, the service provider fixes it. The warranty may cover the cost of replacing the system or appliance if it's irreparable.


Is a Home Warranty Necessary?

The necessity of a home warranty depends on your circumstances and preferences. Here are some factors to consider:

  • Age of Home and Systems - A home warranty can be a valuable safety net if you have an older home or aging systems and appliances. It helps cover the costs of unexpected breakdowns, which can be expensive.
  • Financial Peace of Mind - Home warranties can provide peace of mind by budgeting for the inevitable home repairs, especially if you're on a fixed income.
  • Limited DIY Skills - If you're not a DIY enthusiast and lack the skills to tackle home repairs, a home warranty can be a lifeline when things go wrong.
  • Resale Value - Having a home warranty in place can enhance the resale value of your home, making it more attractive to potential buyers.
  • Convenience - Home warranties offer convenience because you don't need to hunt for a reliable contractor when a problem arises. The warranty company arranges everything for you.
  • Coverage Needs - Assess your coverage needs. If you have new appliances with manufacturer warranties or recently replaced major systems, a home warranty might be less necessary.

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Pros and Cons of Home Warranties


  • Financial Protection - Home warranties provide financial protection against unexpected repair or replacement costs.
  • Peace of Mind - They offer peace of mind, knowing that you're prepared for home system or appliance breakdowns.
  • Predictable Costs - You know your service fee, making budgeting for home repairs more predictable.


  • Cost - Home warranties have an upfront cost and service fees, which may outweigh the benefits if you rarely need repairs.
  • Coverage Limitations - Not all repairs or replacements may be covered, and some items may require additional coverage.
  • Service Provider - You may not have control over the service provider assigned, and their quality can vary.
  • Fine Print - Be aware of the fine print, as some warranty companies may deny claims due to specific conditions or pre-existing issues.

The question of whether a home warranty is necessary often finds its answer in the specifics of one's circumstances and preferences. It serves as a financial safety net against the unexpected disruptions that can punctuate the journey of homeownership. 

However, it is a tool that requires careful consideration, as the costs, terms, and conditions vary among providers. As a homeowner, the decision to invest in a home warranty must align with your unique situation, ensuring that the path to your dream home remains smooth, secure, and financially manageable.


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