Do home warranties require inspection?

A home inspection can prevent problems in the long run

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Home warranties work a lot like insurance for your home’s systems and appliances. If something goes wrong, you pay a deductible, and the home warranty company fixes the problem. Homeowners insurance often requires a home inspection before you can get a policy, but do home warranties? Here’s what you need to know.

Key insights

Most home warranties do not require home inspections.

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You may want to get a home inspection to protect yourself when filing a home warranty claim.

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Home inspections don’t cover every item that may be included in your home warranty.

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Do I need an inspection for my home warranty?

Home warranty companies typically do not require a home inspection before you purchase a plan. Even though most don’t require an inspection, some do, so be sure to ask before signing up. An inspection may make a home warranty cost more than you are willing to pay.

If you just bought your home and an inspection was done at the time of purchase, you’re probably covered if the home warranty company you choose needs proof of inspection.

Why getting an inspection for a home warranty may be a good idea

While most home warranty companies don’t require an inspection, it may be a good idea to get one anyway. Home warranty companies often exclude preexisting conditions from coverage and have a waiting period (commonly 30 days) from the time of purchase before coverage begins. This is to prevent claims on issues already present before you purchased the home warranty.

So, if you get a home inspection before you get your home warranty, you have proof that everything was in good condition before you purchased a plan. And, if the inspection does find problems, you can get them fixed before you get a home warranty. This means that the home warranty won’t be able to deny your claim for a preexisting condition.

Of course, a few home warranty companies don’t require an inspection and cover preexisting conditions. In this case, you may not have to worry about any of this. Just be sure to check the contact for anything that may cause your home warranty company to deny your claim.

What an inspection won’t protect you from

Normal home inspections cover a wide range of areas in your home that are also covered by home warranties, like:

  • Roof damage
  • Water leaks
  • Electrical problems
  • HVAC problems
  • Termites
  • Septic problems

Unfortunately, that’s not everything you’ll need inspected. Your home warranty will probably include appliances, and unfortunately, most home inspections don’t.

In this case, a maintenance record comes in handy. Keep all the receipts and documentation that a repair technician gives you when you get an appliance repaired. You can use the documentation to prove that a technician fixed your appliances and they were in good condition before you purchased your home warranty plan.

It’s important to note that an inspection or repair documentation may not always protect you from a preexisting condition claim denial. There’s always a chance that the home warranty company will assert that the report was inaccurate.

Quick and easy. Find a home warranty partner now.


    Does American Home Shield require inspection?

    No, American Home Shield does not require a home inspection.

    How much does a home warranty inspection cost?

    Home inspections typically cost between $200 and $500.

    What is typically included in a home warranty?

    Home warranties cover appliances and systems that break down from normal wear and tear. Some items covered in a normal home warranty plan include:

    • Refrigerators
    • Ovens, cooktops and stoves
    • Built-in microwave ovens
    • HVAC
    • Dishwashers
    • Washers and dryers
    • Garbage disposals
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical

    Bottom line

    While most home warranties don’t require a home inspection, it may be a good idea if you can afford one. It will protect you from claim denials due to preexisting conditions and alert you to any problems your home may have.

    Article sources

    ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:

    1. Porch, “Do Home Warranties Require Inspection?” Accessed April 23, 2024.
    2. American Home Shield, “What is the Waiting Period for an American Home Shield Home Warranty?” Accessed April 23, 2024.
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