Homeowners Policy vs. Home Warranty: What’s the Difference?


“They just don’t make ‘em like they used to,” or, at least, that’s how the saying goes. When it comes to appliances around your home, breakdowns can happen. Consumer Reports estimates that 25% of all refrigerators will break down within the first five years, and 30% of all dishwashers and washing machines will do the same. Nothing is exempt from potentially breaking down, so what are your options if a major system in your home isn’t working correctly?

Your first instinct might be to turn to your homeowners policy, but if you’ve recently bought an appliance, you’ve probably also been offered a warranty. You might be wondering about the difference and which option could provide you with the coverage you need to help protect you from surprise repair bills.

Does my homeowners policy already cover my appliance?

It depends. Homeowners insurance usually covers damage from a fire, natural disasters like storms, or vandalism. If a tree falls on your home, causing damage that renders one of your appliances unusable, then your insurance will probably replace it. If you find your refrigerator isn’t running and there’s no damage from a peril covered by your policy, your homeowners policy isn’t going to pay the repair bill.

To protect yourself from surprise repair bills, if an important system in your home stops working, you’ll want a home warranty. This is why it’s great to have homeowners insurance and home warranty coverage that work together but don’t overlap, so you’re not paying for more than you need. Talk to your Westwood agent to find the policies and options that work best for you.

What does a home warranty do?

When unexpected and expensive breakdowns of major appliances occur, a home warranty can cover repair costs and get your home back to normal. Coverage can vary based on the plan and options you choose, but generally, a home warranty covers major systems in your home, like HVAC, plumbing, and electrical. It includes appliances vital to your home, such as refrigerators, dishwashers, washing machines, and ovens.

Planning ahead with affordable coverage often means saving big because repair and replacement costs can be hundreds or thousands of dollars. What’s more, these costs are usually unexpected, which can make them even more of a burden on your wallet. A home warranty can generally be purchased from prearranged packages, but you can also select a personalized plan that suits your individual needs.

Do I call my homeowners insurance or my home warranty company if something breaks down in my home?

Typically, you should call your Westwood agent if the system is damaged due to a disaster or loss that has affected the whole home or a major part, such as a flood or fire. If your air conditioner isn’t working, it’s probably time to call your home warranty provider.

Once you call, the process is fairly simple. If a covered system or appliance breaks down, a contractor is sent to diagnose the problem and report back to the warranter, who will clear the service to be fulfilled under the terms of the service agreement. A service agreement protects a home’s critical systems and appliances as specified in the plan you select. The repair or replacement will be covered when an eligible failure occurs, even due to normal wear and tear.

Homeowners insurance and a home warranty work together to protect your home

A home warranty can cover important appliances and systems, while your homeowners insurance protects you from covered perils like natural disasters and fire. With both, you can protect your home (and everything in it) in a covered loss. At Westwood, we can help you find a warranty provider and great options for your insurance. Talk to Westwood today.

Please Note: This article is for general informational and educational purposes only. It does not represent any specific insurance policy and does not modify any provisions, limitations, or exclusions of any current policy.