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    Date: Feb 21, 2024

    Understanding Home Insurance vs. Home Warranty

    Home insurance, also known as homeowner’s insurance, is a policy that provides financial protection against damage to your home and its contents. It typically covers risks such as fire, theft, vandalism, and natural disasters like hurricanes or earthquakes, depending on the policy’s terms and your geographical location.

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    What is Home Insurance?

    In general, house insurance protects a house’s structure. Property insurance covers damage caused by unavoidable events like floods, fires, and burglaries. It also protects a homeowner’s investment (the house) from accidents and structural failures through a contract between the homeowner and a third-party insurer.

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    What Does Home Insurance Cover?

    Some policies also include general liability insurance, which covers injuries sustained by others on the property. The lien holder (the bank) will require homeowners insurance for any home purchased with a mortgage.

    According to the (III) Insurance Information Institute, standard homeowners’ insurance policies include four essential coverages.

    Home Structure Coverage

    When a covered peril causes damage or destruction to the home, this policy pays for repairs or reconstruction. Other structures on the property, like tool sheds, garages, decks, and gazebos, are typically covered.

    Personal belongings coverage

    Personal belongings such as clothing, furniture, and sports equipment are covered in the event of destruction or theft. Expensive items may require a special endorsement or floater to ensure adequate coverage.

    Liability Protection

    Liability coverage protects the policyholder, their family members, and their pets if they injure or damage another person’s property. The most common liability claims involve intoxicated guests, falling trees, dog bites, and injuries to domestic workers.

    Additional living expenses

    Hotel stays, meals and other living expenses are covered if one’s home is rendered uninhabitable due to a covered hazard.

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    What Disasters Does Home or House Insurance Cover?

    There are 16 disasters and perils covered by property insurance policies:

    • Fire or lightning
    • Explosion
    • Volcanic eruption
    • Windstorm or hail
    • Weight of ice, sleet, or snow
    • Riot or civil commotion
    • Vehicle damage
    • Aircraft damage
    • Smoke
    • Theft
    • Vandalism or malicious mischief
    • Falling object
    • Overflows or discharges of water or steam from an air-conditioning system, sprinkler system, or household appliance.
    • An air conditioner, steam heater, or automatic fire-protection system that rips apart, cracks, burns, or bulges suddenly and accidentally.
    • A household appliance, plumbing system, HVAC system, or automatic fire-protection sprinkler system freezing.
    • An electrical current generated artificially causes sudden or accidental damage.

    Flood and earthquake damage are not covered by a standard house insurance policy. Buying separate flood or earthquake insurance based on your location might be a good idea.

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    What is a Home Warranty?

    A home warranty covers servicing and replacement of household appliances and systems. If you pay a monthly or annual fee, you can get flat rates on service calls. When an appliance or system covered by the plan fails, a technician from one’s home warranty company diagnoses and repairs the problem for a service call fee. A house warranty in a real estate transaction typically begins when the transaction closes. An existing home warranty could take 15 to 30 days to take effect.

    Coverage Under Home Warranty

    Home warranties apply to both new and pre-owned homes. Most companies provide three types of home warranty plans:

    • Plans for appliances (e.g., clothes washers, dishwashers, and refrigerators)
    • A system plan (e.g., an HVAC, plumbing, or electrical system)
    • Combination Plan (every appliance and system included)

    Most companies allow the insured to add coverage (for an additional fee) for specific items that are not covered by the standard plan. Pools, spas, wells, septic systems, lawn sprinkler systems, and additional appliances (like a second dishwasher or air conditioner) are the most popular “add-ons.”


    The coverage of home buyer insurance and warranties is very different. Because of this, some homeowners opt to have both policies. These people can be fully reimbursed for an incident like a leaking appliance. The warranty protects the appliance, while insurance covers the damage it causes.

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