According to statistics from Forbes, homeowners pay $1,050 on average for a home warranty and anywhere from $75 to $125 for house repairs based on the warranty. Given that warranties involve a promise to a customer much like a contract, you may wonder if warranty and contract violations are similar.
While both warranty and contract breaches are violations of legal agreements, they differ in the nature of the promises made.
Breach of warranty
A warranty is a promise or guarantee made by a seller or manufacturer regarding the quality, performance, or condition of a product or service. A breach of warranty means that the service or good did not meet the promises or guarantees.
There are two main types of warranties. An express warranty directly establishes something about the product. Implied warranties do not state the guarantee outright, but you assume their existence based on the transaction. For instance, the implication of any refrigerator is that it keeps food cold even if no warranty directly states it.
Breach of contract
A contract breach can involve many different obligations that your warranty does not cover. For instance, you may receive a product that works fine but the item is not what you had ordered.
Courts determine whether a contract breach is material or not. If the breach significantly differs from the original agreement, you can seek damages or void the contract. An immaterial breach does not let you void the agreement, but you can recover losses. To decide if a breach is material, the court examines factors like how much benefit you received and whether the other party acted negligently.
It is possible you may suffer either a warranty or contract breach or both at once, so reviewing your contract will tell you if you have an entitlement to additional compensation. Still, a warranty breach alone may open the way for repairs, replacement or other restitution.