Can you get a home warranty on an older home?

Coverage for your older home can save you money

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Older homes exude a distinct charm, but they also come with unique maintenance challenges. Whether you're already settled in a historic home or eyeing a vintage property, you may wonder, "Can I get a home warranty on an older home?" The answer is a resounding yes — and getting a home warranty can be a smart move.


Key insights

Home warranties typically cover older homes.

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There may be some exclusions or limitations on older home systems and appliances.

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Known preexisting conditions are rarely covered and may be more common in older homes.

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Benefits of a home warranty for an older home

A home warranty can help alleviate some of the unexpected costs that come with an older home. Not only can it provide confidence to potential buyers during a sale, but it also shields homeowners from unforeseen repair expenses. Here are some key benefits:

  • Fill coverage gaps: Home warranty plans cover repair or replacement costs for appliances and systems affected by wear and tear — things homeowners insurance typically doesn't cover.
  • Save on repair costs: Predictable monthly premiums replace large, unforeseen expenses, and a nominal service fee ($75 to $150) is usually all you'll have to pay for repairs.
  • Access qualified repair service: Home warranty plans connect homeowners with experienced, vetted contractors, ensuring quality workmanship and guaranteeing repairs.
  • Alleviate financial concerns: Older homes inevitably need maintenance, so a warranty plan provides resources to keep the house running smoothly without depleting your savings.

Limits for coverage on older homes

Coverage limits exist for older homes, so you need to pay close attention to maintenance requirements and potential upgrades. Some appliances or systems may require upgrades to comply with coverage criteria, while rare or antique appliances might exceed typical replacement cost limits.

Nearly all home warranties also exclude coverage for known preexisting conditions, so if you know of a problem in advance, the home warranty company won't cover it.

If you're shopping for a home warranty for an older home, do your research. Talk to a representative or review a sample contract for coverage limitations on older homes and appliances. It's also smart to check the maximum coverage limits for your home warranty.

These limits can apply to the warranty term (typically 12 months) or the maximum allowance to repair or replace specific systems and appliances. Once the repair reaches the coverage limit within the contract's time frame, you must pay any extra costs out of pocket.

Home warranties vs. homeowners insurance

Unlike homeowners insurance — which is mandatory — home warranty plans are optional coverage you can purchase anytime. Most home warranty companies will cover your home regardless of its age. However, it's essential to note that coverage limitations and exclusions might apply, especially concerning older systems and appliances.

While homeowners insurance covers damage or loss related to your home's structure or personal belongings, home warranties cover repairs to appliances and home systems like electrical and plumbing.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.

    FAQ

    Are home warranties worth it on older homes?

    Yes. Older homes typically require more maintenance and repairs than newer constructions. However, investing in a home warranty plan helps homeowners afford unexpected costs associated with outdated appliances and systems.

    Does a home warranty cover existing problems?

    No. Home warranties only cover problems that arise after the warranty is in effect. Even then, many plans come with a 30-day waiting period, during which the home warranty company won’t usually cover any issues that arise.

    When you buy a house, does it come with a warranty?

    Sometimes. Many sellers and real estate agents purchase a home warranty to help with negotiations. The home warranty offers extra reassurance and can help finalize a sale for worried buyers — especially when you’re dealing with an older home. For new home buyers, requesting the inclusion of a home warranty in the closing transaction can help work around coverage waiting periods, offering immediate protection.

    Bottom line

    Buying a home warranty for an older home isn't just feasible; it's advantageous. Whether supporting sellers in closing the deal or protecting buyers from unforeseen expenses, these plans offer valuable support in maintaining the unique charm of older properties.

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