I'm a first-time homebuyer, and one of the stipulations of the down payment assistance program I have is that I have to buy a home warranty (which covers appliances, plumbing, roof, etc in case of failure due to normal wear and tear or accidental damage). The house we are buying was foreclosed upon but is in a good neighborhood, built in 1987, and the inspector did not find anything wrong with it.
I don't have a choice in the matter, but for the purpose of this question lets say I do. Is it worth the money to purchase the home warranty?
EDIT (7/31/2013): I decided to update this question with our experience owning a home warranty.
When we decided on a home warranty company, we specifically picked one that a) had been around a while and b) had good thrid-party reviews.
A month ago, our air conditioning went out on a Wednesday. Phoenix in the summer is not fun, and we have small children, so we did end up moving to a hotel and then to my parents' house.
The home warranty company (HWC) had the first contractor out that Friday, and they determined that the A/C needed to be replaced due to a busted compressor. The HWC agreed and sent out for a new unit.
However, the first contractor did not have the equipment (specifically a large truck) to actually pick up the unit, and it took them two days to find a contractor that did have said equipment. That contractor had to make their own inspection, came up with the same conclusion, and (eventually) got our new A/C installed.
It ended up costing approx $1000 US for things like a crane rental and sheet metal, which is annoying but much cheaper than paying for the new unit ourselves.
What struck us is that the HWC didn't attempt to do a fix; they trusted the opinion of both the contractors and immediately had the unit replaced.
All of which is to say, if you want a home warranty, go with a reputable company. The fact that we chose this particular company for the warranty ended up saving us quite a bit of money.