Q: Recently a pipe burst in my home, which severely damaged my furniture and belongings. My home insurance paid for the cleaning, but not the pipe repair, and said I should consider a home guarantee. Would a home guarantee have covered the cost of repairing the pipe?
ONE: In all likelihood, the house guarantee also includes repairs to pipes and other plumbing installations. You discovered the frustration many people experience with home insurance – these policies cover the cost of repairing and replacing items damaged by sudden events like a burst pipe, but not repairing the cause of the problem. This is because home contents insurance is actually insurance to preserve the value of the structure of your home. So the job of home insurance is to repair damage. How does a home guarantee differ? What is a home guarantee and what does a home guarantee cover?
As a rule, a home contents guarantee covers the costs of repairs to indoor installations.
House guarantees are service plans in which an annual premium is charged for service, repair and, if necessary, replacement of the systems and devices listed in the policy. Warranties come in a variety of configurations: some cover only the most important home systems such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing, while others cover kitchen and laundry appliances. Combo warranties cover both systems and equipment, and you can add other items such as basement fridges and spas for an additional charge. When a Covered Item or system needs repair or maintenance, call the warranty company and pay a service fee specified in your contract and a service representative will repair or replace the item if repair is impossible or impractical.
Plumbing is considered a whole house service, so warranties that include systems cover the cost of interior pipe repairs and plumbing. This can include leaks or breaks in the lines, as well as repairing or replacing taps and valves, built-in motors and pumps, and basket strainers. The warranty also covers the removal of blockages and interruptions in the tub, shower and toilet.
Small plumbing problems – slow drains, slow drips or leaks, and rusting or stuck valves – are often repairs that homeowners put off simply because they cannot predict what a plumber’s bill will be when everything is open. With no guarantee, a plumber charges their own “door entry” fee and then charges by the hour for labor, parts, materials, and disposal, which can build up fairly quickly. Since most of the plumbing is hidden behind the wall, there is also the mysterious factor; If the plumber finds that the problem is deeper or more complex than expected, the cost can increase exponentially.
The problem is, if you put off the repair, small problems can quickly become big problems, the major leak you discover when the kitchen ceiling collapses under the weight of the water and damp plaster. If you’re wondering, “Are the home warranties worth it?” This scenario should help answer your question: With a home warranty, the service fee is likely to be between $ 75 and $ 125. The plumber’s bill will be much higher.
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However, a home warranty does not cover the cost of repairing damage caused by leaking piping.
Since a home guarantee is not a plumbing insurance but a service contract, it is not designed to cover damage caused by plumbing failures. The purpose of the warranty is to restore the Covered System to full functionality or to replace it. This means your soaked carpet, damaged tiles, soaked wall panels, and collapsed ceilings (not to mention personal property destroyed by the huge puddle or mold) are not the responsibility of the warranty company and are excluded from your policy.
Damaged property and construction elements are a matter of your household insurance, which is why household insurance and household guarantee are the perfect match to protect you completely from the financial burdens of a system failure. What does the house guarantee do? It repairs the source of the damage. What does a household insurance cover? It is worth getting your home back to the state it was in before the failure. Together, these two services will restore your home after a deductible and service fee.
If the damage is due to wear and tear, the repairs are usually covered by the home warranty.
The term “warranty” often refers to the manufacturer’s guarantee that their product will be free from defects for a period of time, and if the product fails or has a manufacturing defect, the manufacturer will replace the item. However, these guarantees expressly exclude failures that can be attributed to age or normal wear and tear. This is where a home guarantee differs – it is specifically designed to cover damage caused by wear and tear or age, such as: B. Corrosion that weakens a pipe, internal blockages from worn seals and similar problems.
Plumbing failures caused by natural disasters or homeowner neglect are usually not covered by a home warranty.
On the other hand, guarantees are not intended to cover damage caused by external violence. If your pipes are damaged by a hail, a collapsed roof, or a tree falling against the house during a storm – or really a catastrophe covered by home insurance – the home warranty will not cover the repair as the leak or breakage an episode of . is an external force. With that, the repair is firmly the responsibility of your homeowner policy.
Outdoor plumbing systems like lawn sprinklers are usually not covered by a standard home warranty plan.
Usually the house guarantee ends at the limits of the house. This means that sprinkler systems along with spas and swimming pools are not covered by the home warranty unless the company holding your warranty offers specific product coverage for additional systems. Some companies allow you to purchase this additional coverage, which can be worthwhile if you have a lot of outdoor plumbing equipment.
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Sewage treatment plants, although connected to the plumbing system, are not covered by a house guarantee.
Most people don’t think their septic system is separate from their plumbing; it’s just another component that sometimes needs servicing. And it is certainly linked to your plumbing system, but it works separately and requires a special technician to evaluate and repair it. For this reason, sewage treatment plants are usually not covered by a house guarantee. Again, some companies offer separate service contracts for septic systems as additional coverage for an additional charge, or you may be able to conclude a service contract similar to a house guarantee with a septic maintenance company.
Some home warranty companies offer a range of accessory covers for septic tanks and outdoor plumbing systems. These increase the annual premium and may incur a different service fee than the amount that you have contractually agreed for the rest of your home. As with any contract, it’s important to read the fine print. Most people who are dissatisfied with the home guarantee are dissatisfied because they missed a detail in their contract that surprised them in the heat of the moment.
Read your home warranty policy carefully to see when and how your plumbing system is covered.
Every policy is different and so it is very, very important to read the contract carefully before buying a home guarantee. The contract contains important information such as the duration of the policy (how long your insurance cover is valid), the premium you have to pay and the amount of the service fee.
Your policy also explains the coverage limits. Most Covered Events have a maximum dollar amount that the guarantee will cover and / or a limit on the number of visits that an event can make. In addition, most policies have a total annual maximum. Your policy will tell you what this is and how to check the remaining balance.
The contract also specifies exactly what is covered and what is not. In contrast to home contents insurance, which covers a wide range of damage, unless specifically excluded, house guarantees only cover exactly what is listed in the policy. So if a refrigerator is listed, your main refrigerator is covered – but the garage replacement is not. If hot tubs, spas, and pools are not listed, they are not covered. What about laundry equipment? If it’s listed, it’s covered – otherwise, not.
Do house guarantees cover roofs? Some do, but only the top tier warranty package includes a roof cover as standard. Other programs offer roofing as additional coverage for an additional fee, but even then coverage is limited by the type of roofing material, the type and location of leaks. It is especially important to read the contract carefully when looking for roofing as the cover is extremely limited – much more so than other elements of roofing.
What is the house guarantee best suited for? A well-maintained home with aging systems or equipment is a prime candidate for a home warranty because the cost of repairing or replacing these items easily exceeds the cost of the policy. New homeowners who are low on cash after their big purchase benefit from the financial backing of a home guarantee for the first year or two of their home, for which the new homeowners have a better emergency fund set up. Home sellers can also have peace of mind with the protection of a home guarantee: the guarantee offers financial protection if a system or device fails while the house is on the market and attracts buyers. When the question “Should I get a home warranty?” Crossed your mind, there is a chance that something in your home will need to be repaired or replaced in the near future and it would be worth your time researching a home warranty.