When you purchase an expensive item like a car, television, or appliance, you expect a manufacturer’s warranty to assure that it works properly. Did you know that you can also get a home warranty plan for a new home? Some builders offer a home warranty (their own or from a third party), but you can also purchase one yourself. You can even have both: a warranty or service contract that you buy may supplement or extend what is offered by your builder. What do home warranties cover?Don’t expect a home warranty to cover every problem for any amount of time. They generally offer limited coverage on work and materials for specific parts of the home (like windows, plumbing, electrical systems, heat, and air conditioning) for a set period of time, which can vary depending upon the system or parts. For example, the warranty coverage for major structural defects may last a lot longer than coverage for drywall and paint.Most builder-provided warranties for new homes do not cover household appliances; small cracks in brick, tile, cement, or drywall; things already covered by manufacturers’ warranties; or expenses you may incur, like staying in a hotel while work is being done.Make sure you are doing everything you need to in order to ensure your warranty is not voided (for instance, not changing the filter regularly may void the furnace’s warranty). As with any contract, it’s important that you read the warranty carefully to understand what is covered and for how long, who’s responsible for finding someone to make the repairs, and how to resolve a dispute if something goes wrong.So, what if something does go wrong?File your claim as specified in the warranty, and keep copies of all correspondence with the company, as well as notes on any conversations.Research the business doing the work. Whether you find the proper repair professional or the warranty company provides one, check them out on bbb.org before letting them work in your home. Some warranty companies automatically go with the cheapest provider, but that’s a good deal for them, not you.Know your rights. If there is an issue over coverage or whether the work has been done improperly, many warranties provide for mediation and arbitration. Sometimes you have to pay a fee for these services; you could even end up going to court. Read your warranty carefully to understand how issues are resolved and what you may end up paying.For more information:Check out your builder, the home warranty company, and all contractors at bbb.org.In the U.S., the FTC has information on Warranties for Newly Built Homes.Builders in British Columbia, Alberta, Ontario, and Quebec are required by law to provide a home warranty plan. Contact Consumers Council of Canada or your provincial housing agency for more information.Check out bbb.org to look up a business, file a complaint, write a customer review, report a scam, read tips, follow us on social media, and more!