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Don't Worry, the Home Warranty will Cover That

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By : Tim Spargo    99 or more times read
I have the pleasure of working with many professionals on a weekly if not daily basis. Agents that are looking out for their clients' interests and making sure that the buyer knows what they are getting into.

A not-so-pleasant trend that I have noticed during the last few years is the abuse of the Home Warranty, specifically, to "explain away" a defect that I have found. What is a Home Warranty? I'm not an expert, but like many forms or insurance and warranties, it's for warranting the *continued operation* of an item.

What has a home warranty become? Unfortunately, it is being used, in my opinion as a sales tool for an agent.

I often explain to a client that an item has failed or has a specific defect that directly or indirectly affects its function. What happens? I no sooner hear "Don't worry about that, you have a warranty on that item. As long as it works, it's covered." Really? That's not the feedback I've received from customers over the last few years, explaining to me that despite what I said, they were "convinced" that the item(s) would be covered... ultimately failed and coverage was denied. Is that a surprise? I don't think so.

Some advice if you are a home buyer reading this. If you receive an inspection report that mentions defects on systems of a home that are very expensive, and most are, what reasons will you have down-the-road for not having it checked out/estimated/further evaluated? No one will be there to help you... you, your pen and your checkbook will make good company to pay for defects that you didn't have checked out, and unfortunately, if someone wasn't "chirping in your ear" about a home warranty, maybe you would have had it looked at? It will be your own fault if you don't!

I mean really... if any one of us were an insurance company, would you feel obligated to replace a water heater that was leaking in July 2000, when your policy took place/force in September 2000? The client then calls me, upset that not only they didn't listen to me, but that they now have NO NEGOTIATING POWER as they are the owners of the home. No Kidding!!!

Does everyone do this... no. But this statement is made often enough in my presence that it disgusts me. Some of the items are very expensive, say a Heating and AC system that is at the end of its service life, has multiple defects (but still works... for what it's worth) I explain the impact of these defects, the age of the equipment and its expense.. only to hear time and again "Don't worry, it will be covered by your home warranty".

A fortune teller I'm not, but if I had to guess, I'd say that in the near future, these policies and statements made about them will become a regulated item.

But then again...even if there were a PILE OF PAPERWORK telling the buyers what is covered and what is not, the same "types" that would skew the use of a product would tell their clients that "I know the Rep, he'll take care of you".
A little about myself, I performed my first home inspection in Palmdale, CA in 1997 and have been involved in building and remodeling commercial and residential construction for even longer. When it comes to construction and repair, I've done about anything you can think of. I started leaning towards inspections as a career as I really enjoy helping people learn about what they are getting into.

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