Up until recently, I’d only ever lived in apartments. So when my husband and I were in the midst of closing on our first house, there were so many different papers to sign and processes to deal with that, inevitably, a handful of things fell through the cracks. (Yep, epic first-time buyer fail!)
In hindsight, I now realize that we should have bought a more comprehensive home warranty plan. The one we purchased wasn't nearly as comprehensive as we would've liked, and it had some very specific limitations when it came to the plumbing system. (Lesson learned.)
To help all you other first-time homebuyers out there, here are aspects of plumbing may or may not be covered in a home warranty plan:
Typical plumbing coverage
Consumer Reports defines home warranties as "service contracts that guarantee to pay the cost of repair or replacement if covered items - such as appliances, plumbing and heating and air conditioning systems - stop working." There you go: Plumbing, as a category, is generally included under the umbrella of a typical home warranty plan. I knew this when we picked out our first home warranty, but I made one crucial and disastrous mistake by not reading the fine print of the plan before signing it.
Every warranty is different, with its own idiosyncrasies and exclusions, as The Balance notes. While plumbing is often included, don’t assume anything. For example, plumbing coverage in a home warranty plan may be an option – but one that costs more money. As an addendum, it may cost between $100 and $200 to ensure that there are plumbing protections included with your home warranty. Not a ton of money, but costlier in the long run. And more expensive than to have paid upfront for a warranty with base plumbing coverage included.
Learn More About Home Warranty Plans Near You
In some plans, there can sometimes be exclusions to the plumbing coverage - that other home warranty plans would count as standard. For example, a sump pump attached to the home. (This was my experience with my first home and unfortunately, was not covered by the plan my husband and I had purchased.)
Find the right balance with TotalHome Warranty
But never fear. There's an easy solution. Plans from TotalHome Warranty from HomeServe. With a Systems Plan, you’ll be covered for interior plumbing leaks affecting the water, gas, waste, drain and vent lines, as well as various valves, toilet mechanisms and other plumbing features built into the house. (Including affixed sump pumps.) Stoppages affecting the lines outside of the house itself are also protected, provided they are up to 125 feet away from the closest access point to the internal plumbing network.
There are a variety of plans offered by TotalHome Warranty. There are Combo Plans which offer HVAC, electrical, vacuum, ductwork and other systems, plus coverage for appliances connected to the water lines such as the washer, dryer and dishwasher.
It's always wise to be prepared for unexpected home repairs. That’s why having a plan in place can help you deal with costs of repair or replacement.