A home inspection is just what the name indicates, an inspection of a home…usually a home that is being purchased. The purpose of the inspection is to determine the condition of the various systems and structures of the home. While an inspection performed by a competent inspection company will determine the condition of the major components of the home, no inspection will pick up every minute latent defect. The inspectors ability to find all defects is limited by the access to various parts of the property, lack of information about the property and many other factors. A good inspector will do his or her level best to determine the condition of the home and to report it accurately. The report that is issued is an opinion as to the condition of the home. This opinion is arrived at by the best technical methods available to the home inspection industry. It is still only an opinion.
A warranty is a policy sold to the buyer that warrants that specific items in the home are in sound condition and will remain in sound condition for a specified period of time. Typically, the warranty company never inspects the home. The warranty company uses actuarial tables to determine the expected life of the warranted items and charges the customer a fee for the warranty that will hopefully cover any projected loss and make a profit for the warranty seller. It is essentially an insurance policy.