Does a home warranty cover structural issues?

Check structural issue coverage to avoid costly surprises later

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Structural damage can be detrimental to the integrity of your home and cause unexpected expenses for parts and repairs. However, your home warranty may be able to help. Many home warranty companies offer structural coverage with their highest plans or as an add-on.

Key insights

Some home warranties offer plans that provide coverage for structural components.

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A builders warranty has more specified coverage for structural components.

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Home warranty companies have limitations and exclusions that can get your claim denied.

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What structural issue services does a home warranty cover?

Some home warranty companies offer coverage for your home’s structural components in their highest plan package or as an add-on. These home warranties usually cover issues and defects to the main structural elements of your home, such as the roof and floors.

Here are some structural items included in many home warranty plans:

  • Roofs
  • Floors
  • Structural walls
  • Masonry
  • Support structures
  • Framing

Potential exclusions to structural issues home warranty coverage

Even if your home warranty plan covers structural issues and defects, there still are some reasons your claim could be denied. Here are some things not covered in your contract that can lead to home warranty coverage denial:

  • Windows
  • Doors
  • Walls
  • Pet, pest or animal damage
  • Cosmetic damage
  • Acts of god
  • Damage due to neglect or abuse

Coverage caps

Most home warranty companies have coverage caps on structural components, meaning the company will pay up to a certain amount, and then you are responsible for the remaining expenses. Many companies have a set limit of combined costs per coverage term.

For example, your home warranty may have a coverage cap of $3,000 per coverage term. This means the total claim costs can not exceed $3,000, or you must pay the excess fees. So, if your structural issues cost $5,000 to repair, you must pay $2,000 out of pocket.

Or, if you need a roof repair and a door repair, sometimes these two items will be under the same cap. So, if your roof repair costs $2,000 and the door repair costs $500, but the cap is $1,500, you’ll need to pay an extra $1,000.

What to do if your home warranty doesn’t cover structural issues

If you find out your home warranty doesn’t cover structural issues, there are some things you can do. You can switch to a higher plan that covers it, or you can see if the home warranty company offers an add-on that does. This can make your home warranty costs higher, but it can be worth it.

You could also try your homebuilders warranty. Builders warranties have a structural warranty that covers defects from construction. These warranties provide extensive coverage on the cost of repair work for defective work or materials. Depending on the company, these structural warranties usually last around ten years after construction.

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    What does a home typically warranty cover?

    Home warranties usually cover large appliances, built-in microwaves, water heaters and systems like HVACs, plumbing, ductwork, pool heaters and well pumps. Some plans also cover additional items like pest control, septic systems, central vacuums, sump pumps and more.

    What is a structural warranty?

    A structural warranty is a contract covering load-bearing elements of the home, such as roof framing, walls, beams and columns, and floor framing.

    What is the difference between a structural warranty and a home warranty?

    Home warranties typically cover a wide range of systems and appliances, while a structural warranty covers load-bearing parts of the home.

    What is considered structural in a home warranty?

    Steel components, columns, foundations, horizontal structural wood and reinforced concrete or steel beams that support transfer loads are all deemed structural in a home warranty.

    Bottom line

    In the long run, a home warranty, structural warranty or builders warranty can save you thousands of dollars in repair costs. These warranties provide coverage on your home's most important structural components and ensure it is structurally sound and safe for years to come.

    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. Quality Builders Warranty, “What is a Structural Warranty?” Accessed March 29, 2024.
    2. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty, “Home Builder Structural Warranty.” Accessed March 29, 2024.
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