We have answers to homebuyers’ and sellers’ top questions about home warranties, how they are different from homeowners insurance, how the repair and replacement process works, and more.
1. What is a home warranty?
A home warranty is typically a one-year service contract that protects many of your home’s systems and appliances. It is designed to protect your budget from unexpected, costly repairs on covered home systems and appliances. Unlike homeowners insurance, which is designed to protect you against losses that could happen, a home warranty helps protects your budget from things that will fail over time.
Learn more about what a home warranty is and why you need one.
2. What does a home warranty cover?
For homebuyers and sellers we have plans and options to choose from to best suit the home’s specific requirements.
Basic plans typically include coverage for kitchen appliances, water heaters, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, electrical, heating system, and more. Optional covered items can range from pool/spa equipment, washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator, air conditioning, well pump, and more. Learn more about what home warranty plans cover.
Plans and optional covered items vary by region and if the home is involved in a real estate transaction. See sample coverage for homebuyers and sellers.
3. What is a service call fee?
This is the fee paid when you request service or pay to the service technician at the time of the appointment. Service fees typically start at $75.
4. Are there other costs besides the service fee when a covered item breaks?
Sometimes. A home warranty covers only items listed in the contract as covered, and excludes all others. For instance, costs could arise from modifications or code upgrades when a system or appliance is replaced. Learn more about what a home warranty doesn’t cover.
5. Who do I contact when a covered item breaks?
When a covered item fails, sign in at fahw.com or call First American at 800.992.3400 to request service. It is important to contact us first, as we do not reimburse for services performed without approval.
6. How does the service process work?
After First American receives your request and we confirm coverage, a prescreened, local service technician will call to arrange a mutually convenient day and time to go to the home and diagnose the failure. Want to learn more? This infographic shows how the service process works.
7. How quickly are claims handled?
After we confirm coverage, the technician typically receives the claim dispatch within four hours, during regular business hours. Normally, the technician will initiate service within 48 hours. Simple repairs are usually made on the first visit. If parts must be ordered, however, an additional visit(s) may be needed to complete the repair or replacement.
8. What is an emergency repair and how are these claims handled?
First American considers it an emergency when the failure of a covered item renders the home uninhabitable. In these circumstances, First American will make all reasonable efforts to expedite emergency service.
9. How is it determined if a failure is covered or not?
In general, coverage is limited to failures caused by normal wear and tear and limited to the terms of the contract. For example, cosmetic defects are not covered. Nor will a home warranty cover misuse or neglect, or when items may be covered under your homeowners insurance policy (for example, from damage due to a fire, extreme weather, and so on).
Learn more about what a home warranty doesn’t cover.
10. How are known pre-existing conditions determined versus unknown pre-existing conditions?
Unknown conditions are covered if, at the time home warranty coverage begins, the defect or malfunction is not known or could not have been reasonably observed by looking at or operating the system or appliance.