fresh food in refridgerator

You might be surprised by some of the more unusual items a home warranty can cover. For example, if your refrigerator stops working, you may be able to claim the cost of replacing the resulting spoiled food.


Ceiling fan on the fritz? Don’t hunt down DIY repair tips until you’ve checked your home warranty coverage.

Whether you sign up for one yourself or get one when you buy your new home, a home warranty typically covers problems with the big systems in your home (think electrical, plumbing, and HVAC). Major appliances are also typically included.

But you might be surprised by some of the more unusual items a home warranty can cover. Of course, not all policies are the same, but if you’ve got a home warranty and these things break, you’ll know whom to call before you go the DIY route.

1. Ice makers

Let’s have a show of hands for those of us who have had a built-in ice maker stop working. Since the ice maker is part of the refrigerator, it’s pretty standard fare in most home warranty policies. The next time you need a random cube for your bloody mary, don’t fret — you’re covered.

2. Spoiled food

Likewise, if your refrigerator stops working, you may be able to claim the cost to replace the resulting spoiled food. The really fun part is going to the grocery store and making a detailed price list! This coverage comes in handy if it’s days before the Fourth of July and you have three racks of ribs chilling in your now-defunct refrigerator.

3. Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are important fixtures in our houses — and they are also sometimes deemed worthy of warranty coverage (assuming they were correctly installed). So whether the light won’t turn on or the fan blades are no longer churning, call your home warranty company. If all the fans in the house are of similar age, it might be worth having the technician inspect all of them — especially if you’ve had to pay a service fee. Get your money’s worth!

4. Permit fees and code violations

It’s the accumulation of ancillary fees that can make a home repair project expensive. Specifically, city permitting fees add up quickly and can take a chunk out of your budget. Did your service technician uncover a code violation when trying to repair/replace an item? In some cases, that’s covered by a home warranty policy as well.

5. Garage door opener

We usually think of the garage as outside of the house and therefore not covered in a home warranty policy. When it comes to home warranties, this is one that could go either way. (Note: If the garage isn’t included standard, it could be added with an extra fee — just ask.)

And the garage door opener, that seemingly simple motor that makes our coming home and pulling our car into the garage so convenient, can be surprisingly pricey to replace.

If you choose to invest in a home warranty policy or if it came with the new home you just purchased, familiarize yourself with your specific coverage. You may be pleasantly surprised by the number of items covered. And that just might help keep some cash in your pocket.