Home Repair & Maintenance Ideas and Tips

Can a Home Warranty Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Looking into buying a home warranty but have older appliances? Or maybe you've already tried to fix the appliance yourself? Learn if a home warranty still covers your appliance or system with a pre-existing condition.

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If you have older appliances, you might hesitate to spend money on a home warranty. You might think it’s not worth it, because a home warranty won’t cover breakdowns of your aging, perhaps poorly maintained, appliances. And, in many cases, you’d be right. Many home warranty providers won’t cover pre-existing conditions, and some require detailed maintenance records before they’ll agree to repair or replace an appliance.

But not American Home Shield®. Our home warranties cover undetectable, pre-existing conditions — those that could not have been identified by either a mechanical test, like turning the appliance on and off to see if it works, or a visual inspection for missing or damaged parts. We will repair or replace your covered appliances and home systems no matter how old they are, even if you don't have service records.  

What Does It Cover?

American Home Shield home warranties cover components of up to 21 home systems and appliances. Just how much your home warranty covers will depend on which plan you buy. Our Combo Plan offers the most coverage. You’ll get all 21 of the home systems and appliances covered under this plan. This includes coverage for your HVAC, washer and dryer, dishwasher, ceiling fans, garbage disposals, ductwork, central vacuum and more. If you have old appliances and old home systems, the Combo Plan is the best value to give you the coverage you need.

In general, whether you buy a home warranty on a home you already own or receive one as part of a real estate transaction, the coverage will only extend to problems that occur after the plan begins. For American Home Shield warranties bought outside of a real estate transaction, there is a waiting period of 30 days after purchasing a new home warranty before you can request service, and you have to show that the home system or appliance you’re requesting service for has been in good working order for 60 days prior to the service request.

When a Home Warranty Will or Won’t Cover a Pre-Existing Condition

When you get an American Home Shield home warranty as part of a real estate transaction, your plan will cover pre-existing conditions as long as:

  • The home was inspected during the sale process and the appliances were found to be in good working order
  • The home or appliance in question failed due to a fault that couldn’t be detected during a visual examination
  • A mechanical test of the appliance or home system completed 60 days before the start of coverage wouldn’t have detected anything wrong with the appliance. 

A mechanical test usually just requires turning the home system or appliance on and off. 

If you didn’t get a home warranty as part of a real estate transaction, you can still buy one and it will still cover pre-existing conditions as long as they were undetectable using the standards above. Often, pre-existing conditions can cause problems inside an appliance or home system, without creating any issues that would be apparent by looking at or even mechanically testing the system or appliance. These issues are still covered as long as the waiting period for new policies has elapsed.

Do Home Warranties Cover Old Appliances?

Your American Home Shield warranty covers all of the named appliances, regardless of how old they are, whether you got them used or new, or whether or not you have any service records for them. If you have old appliances but newer home systems, try the Appliances Plan, which offers coverage for up to 10 major appliances, including your refrigerator, range, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer and built-in microwave. 

Can a Home Warranty Cover an Old HVAC Unit?

If you have new appliances but older home systems, you can choose the Systems Plan, which covers up to 11 home systems, including air conditioning, ductwork and heating, plumbing, electrical, doorbells, ceiling fans and garbage disposals. So, yes, an American Home Shield Systems or Combo Plan will cover repair or replacement of your old HVAC unit.

What Is Not Covered by a Home Warranty?

Home warranties don’t cover problems that began before the plan commencement date, so don’t wait for something to break down in your home before you buy a home warranty. When you buy an American Home Shield home warranty, you have to wait 30 days from the day the plan starts to request service. 

The home warranty you get as part of a real estate transaction won’t cover any problems with your home systems or appliances that come up on the home inspection, so you’ll need to negotiate with the seller to either repair the issues before closing, or give you a discount on the price of the house so you can pay for the repair yourself. Problems that would have been apparent via mechanical or visual test at the time of the home inspection also aren’t covered.

Your American Home Shield home warranty only covers damage due to normal wear and tear. Damage due to pets, children, or pests isn’t covered. Your home warranty also won’t cover secondary damage to your home that can occur as a result of appliance or home systems failure, such as water damage due to flooding. A home warranty also usually won’t cover the cost of modifying your home in order to update your home systems or appliances during a replacement. 

Do you have a pool, spa, well, septic system, or guest house? American Home Shield offers add-on coverage. You can even get coverage for an unlimited number of eligible electronics, no matter how old they are or how long ago their original warranties expired.

American Home Shield members also enjoy additional benefits. For example, if you need a new appliance, you can use our Appliance Discount Program to get a good price on a brand-name appliance. We offer our members discounted air filters, and we’ll deliver them right to your door. You can also request a pre-season HVAC tune-up for your A/C in the spring and your heating in the fall, so you can prevent unexpected breakdowns of your heating and cooling in the middle of the season, when you need those systems the most.

Is It Too Late to Get a Home Warranty?

No, it’s never too late to get a home warranty! Even long after closing on your home. Sure, if something is already broken in your home, it’s too late to get home warranty coverage for that specific repair if you don’t have it already, but you can still get a home warranty and it will still cover the rest of your home systems and appliances, including any future breakdowns of any covered appliances.

A home warranty can defray many of the costs of maintaining a home and its appliances. If you’ve ever paid to repair or replace an appliance or home system out of pocket, you know it can easily cost several hundred or even a few thousand dollars. 

With American Home Shield home warranty coverage, you can get many of your home systems and appliances repaired or even replaced for nothing more than the cost of a Trade Service Call Fee, which ranges from $75 to $125 — you can choose your fee tier to control your monthly plan costs.

How Much Does It Cost?

American Home Shield provides home warranty plans for every budget. A Combo Plan costs about $600 a year. With flexible pricing, you can choose to pay monthly or annually. You can even choose which day of the month you’d like to pay your plan costs. 

When you request service and a contractor comes to your home to work on your issue, you’ll pay a Trade Service Call fee for the visit. This fee will vary from $75 to $125, depending on the tier you choose when you sign up. The higher your Trade Service Call Fee, the lower your monthly costs. We work with a network of more than 15,000 local contractors across the nation, so when you use American Home Shield, you’re supporting local businesses. And because we have such an extensive network, we’ll always be able to find someone who can handle your issue. If the service contractor we send can’t repair your appliance or home system, we’ll cover the cost of replacement, up to your plan limits.

If you want to buy a home warranty, but you’re afraid your old appliances or home systems won’t be covered, don’t worry. At American Home Shield, we’re committed to empowering our members to protect themselves from the costs of unexpected home repairs. Buy your plan online now, or call to get help from one of our service representatives.

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