Home Protection Plans


Home Protection Plans (the Plan), more often than not, are purchased by home buyers and/or sellers who may be purchasing or marketing properties more than seven (7) years old. However, in turn-of-the-century/in-city neighborhoods, and in the kind of real estate market that provokes multiple offers, prospective owners can see the value of obtaining home warranty insurance as a major part of a real estate contract.

The Plan is also known as a home warranty, home service contract, or residential service contract. These plans usually cover the breakdown of appliances, and other items depending on which policy is purchased. In some instances a plan will cover replacement of units that become inoperable due to normal wear and usage during the term of the policy.

Note: Home Protection Plans are renewable each and every year!

The "home's systems and appliances" by definition include the home's existing plumbing system, heating system, lighting, electrical wiring, mechanical parts of the garage door opener, and non-designer commercial appliances. As coverage differs from company to company, the new homeowner should read each plan carefully before purchasing any policy.

For those of you who have special needs or concerns, most companies also offer a "premium" coverage plan for an additional charge. The premium coverage plan may ensure the repair and/or replacement of intricate parts of the home system or an upgraded system (air conditioning system/HVAC) or designer-type appliances such as high-end gourmet gas ranges or Sub-Zero refrigerators.


Should a system or appliance fail during the term of the Plan, just call your company to place a claim. Claim service is available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. The home protection company contacts a qualified specialist in your area to render service. There may be a nominal service fee charged to the homeowner at the time of service, generally about $35 per visit.

Exclusions of Limitations

If a qualified specialist identifies a system or appliance during the structural inspection of the property, or lists it in the Seller's Disclosure (NWMLS Form 17, required by the State of Washington) as inoperable, or improperly installed or maintained, the home protection company may decide the system and/or appliance is not covered by the Plan.

Does this mean a structural inspection is required before purchasing your new home? In one word: No. A record of inspection just makes it easier to support your claim to have the system and/or appliance serviced.

What happens if a home's system or appliance is not identified or found to be malfunctioning by a specialist, structural inspector, or individual, but subsequently fails within the first few months of ownership? In most cases, the home protection company will cover the claim under the term "normal wear and usage."

If home buyers elect to waive a structural inspection, what options are there? Can they still acquire a Home Protection Plan? Yes. The Northwest Eddy library contains a Walk-Through Inspection Checklist. Take it with you while searching for your new property. Not all of the items that a structural inspector would check during his inspection are included, but those that are indicate the most common potential problems.

Benefits of a Home Protection Policy

The Plan protects you (sellers and buyers alike) from unforeseen expenses related to the repair or replacement of failed systems and appliances during the listing period, and after the sale or purchase of a property. Sellers can acquire a Home Protection Plan during the listing period and advertise the Plan as an "added value" because it is transferable to the new owner during the period of time specified in the policy. Buyers can purchase a Home Protection Plan at close of escrow or within the first 30 days thereafter.


Home Protection Plans range from $250 to $350+ a year, the "+" representing the additional charge for Premium coverage.

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