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Home Warranty 101

Your home is where your heart is – and it is also likely one of your most important investments. A home warranty can help you protect your home and keep home systems and appliances running smoothly.

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty is typically a one-year renewable service contract designed to protect your household budget from unexpected, costly repair or replacement of home systems and appliances. When a covered item breaks, you contact us and we’ll assign a pre-screened service provider to diagnose and repair or replace the item. It’s that easy. 

Why Buy a Home Warranty?

A First American home warranty can help:

  • Protect your budget when covered systems and appliances fail.
  • Repair or replace your covered systems and appliances when they break.
  • Save you the hassle and headache of finding a reputable contractor you can trust.
  • Provide 24/7 online or phone availability to request claims service.

Last year we saved homeowners more than $180* million dollars in covered repairs and replacements. Learn more about what repairs and replacements can cost.

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

We offer plans and options to choose from to best suit your home’s specific requirements. Basic plans typically cover kitchen appliances, water heaters, plumbing, electrical, heating systems, and more. Optional coverage typically includes pool/spa equipment, washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator, air conditioning, well pump, and more.

Home warranty plan coverage varies by region and if the home is involved in a real estate transaction. If you’re a homeowner, it’s easy to get a quote to see what is covered. If you are buying or selling a home, contact your real estate agent to see sample coverage for homebuyers and sellers.

What is the Difference Between a Home Warranty and Homeowners Insurance?

Home insurance is usually required by your mortgage lender and protects the structure of your home against risks, such as damage from severe weather and theft, and secondary damages resulting from some system and appliance failures, Home insurance also protects you personally from liability in the event that someone is accidentally injured on your property. Each time you make a claim on your home insurance you pay a deductible cost, which can be hundreds to thousands of dollars.

Home warranties protect many of the home systems and appliances that you rely on daily. When these systems and appliances inevitably fail over time because of normal wear and tear, a home warranty will pay to repair or replace them. You will pay a service fee each time you make a new service request.

Unlike homeowners insurance that you may never need to use, a home warranty covers items that have a limited life and will break over time. Learn more about the differences between homeowners insurance and a home warranty and how a First American home warranty can help fill some of the gaps left by your homeowner’s insurance.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

If you’re a homeowner, the cost for your home warranty plan will vary depending on the coverage and options you choose to best suit your home. It’s easy to compare plans and get a free quote.

For homebuyers and sellers, we offer specialized home warranty products made just for you. These products are not available to order online, and costs vary by region, so contact your real estate agent for local pricing.  

How Does the Claim Process Work?

When a covered system or item breaks:

  1. Request service. Sign in to place your request online or call 800.992.3400.
  2. Schedule an appointment. A service provider will contact you to schedule a mutually convenient appointment.
  3. Repair or replacement. The service contractor will diagnose the problem and can repair or replace your covered item. Simple repairs are typically made during the first appointment. In some cases, parts may need to be ordered and additional visits may be needed to complete the repair or replacement.

Who Will You Send to My Home to Service My System or Appliance?

We will send a local technician from our network of thousands of independent service providers who are pre-screened and monitored for performance through customer satisfaction surveys.

Are There Any Age Limitations on the Systems and Appliance You'll Cover?

No. We will cover your system or appliance regardless of age, provided it is in safe, working order before the start of your contract.

Will a Home Warranty Cover My System or Appliance If It’s Already Broken?

In most situations we will not repair or replace an item that was broken prior to the start of the home warranty coverage.

Some plans that are purchased when you are buying a home can protect you from unknown pre-existing conditions, if at the time the coverage begins, the defect is not known or could not have been reasonably observed by looking at or operating the system or appliance.

Will You Replace My System or Appliance If It Cannot Be Repaired?

Yes! If a covered system or appliance is beyond repair, we will replace it with a brand-new unit with like functionality.

In some instances, we may offer you cash instead of repair or replacement. The amount will be based on First American’s negotiated rates with its suppliers, which may be less than retail.

We will only repair or replace ice makers, ice crushers, beverage dispensers, and their respective equipment when parts are available.

How Often Can I Request Service?

There is no limit to the number of times you can request service during your contract. Many of our customers request service multiple times each year and save hundreds to thousands of dollars in repair and replacement bills.

How to Get The Most Out Of Your Home Warranty

Home warranties provide valuable protection and peace of mind when covered items break; however they do not cover all system and appliance failures. It is important to read the coverage outlined in your home warranty contract.

Follow these easy steps to get the most out of your home warranty:

  • Verify your coverage. When something in your home fails, check your home warranty contract to be sure it is covered and that you understand any coverage limits.
  • Contact us first. Do not call a service provider before you report the failure to First American. We will dispatch a technician from our network to diagnose the problem and perform the repair or replacement.
  • Perform routine maintenance. Remember that simple things like cleaning or changing filters in your systems and appliances can help extend their efficiency and potentially help them last longer. Check the manufacturer’s guidelines to see what types of maintenance are recommended and how frequently they should be performed. It’s also a good idea to use a home maintenance checklist to help you stay on top of regular maintenance tasks around your house.


*Paid invoices net of service fees in 2018, prior to deductions and/or rebates.