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Reasons Your Home Warranty Claim May Be Denied and What to Do

Reasons Your Home Warranty Claim May Be Denied and What to Do

Home appliances and systems will surely break down due to regular use, which is not because they are poorly made.

To avoid a constant breakdown of these appliances and to prolong their life span, it is important to fix any repairs or needed replacements promptly. However, repairs and maintenance are not free and could be expensive, especially for old appliances.

A home warranty makes repairs and maintenance of home appliances and systems affordable for many homeowners.

There are two kinds of home warranties: seller’s home warranty and buyer’s home warranty.

What is a home warranty when selling a house?” you might ask. It is a home warranty purchased by home sellers while awaiting buyers for their property.

This service protects against additional expenses and could also reassure the potential buyer about the state of repair and maintenance of the home appliances and systems.

If a home does not have a seller home warranty, the buyer can also purchase it.

While home warranties are expected to give you peace of mind and help reduce unexpected expenses, they could cause mental stress when your claim is denied.

Whenever an appliance needs repairs or replacement, you will need to file a claim which the company will examine and, if approved, send over a technician. The company can only accept the claim if the request is in accordance with the agreement you signed with them.

Reasons your home warranty claim may be denied

Appliance or system not covered by the warranty

Home warranty plans are expected to cover repairs and maintenance of your appliances and systems. However, the coverage is limited and largely depends on your plan type.

Home warranties do not usually cover structural items like walls, windows, and doors. Typically, they do not cover roof leakages, garage doors repair, hot tubs, or pools.

Likewise, the company may not be responsible for fixing pre-existing issues with your home appliances and systems.

Ensure you read through the home warranty agreement provided by the company before buying a plan.

Lack of proper maintenance or installation

Even though the home warranty provider is responsible for repairs, you are still required to maintain your appliances and systems properly.

If the company discovers the improper usage or maintenance of the appliance resulted in the breakdown, they may deny your filed claim.

Whether performed by a professional or quack, the home warranty company may deny your claim if your appliance or system is not well installed.

Damage caused by pets and other animals

Home warranties only cover issues arising from the normal usage of an appliance or system. If damage is caused by your pet or household pest, the company may not honor the claim.

It is crucial to protect your home appliances and systems against animal damage.

Secondary damage

A home warranty company will only be responsible for primary damages. This means they would only cater for direct repairs and replacements.

For instance, if your refrigerator breaks down and, as a result, the foods inside it get spoilt, the home warranty provider will only cover the repair of the fridge and not the spoiled food.

Repair by an unauthorized technician

You may hire a technician to fix your appliance due to impatience or urgency. But, this may invalidate the contract with the home warranty company.

The provider will not cover any damages during the repair or replacement. It may also make the item ineligible for future coverage.

Coverage gap

Many companies usually have a coverage gap. This is the maximum amount the company will be willing to pay to repair or replace the faulty item.

You are unlikely to enter the coverage gap as it only begins after the company has spent a considerable amount repairing and replacing your covered appliances.

What to do if your home warranty claim is denied

If any of the above reasons made a home warranty provider deny your claim, you will need to cover the repair or replacement out of pocket.

Sometimes, failure to honor a claim is not final, as you can appeal the decision.

Below is a process to appeal the decision:

  • Check the home warranty documents. The company will likely highlight steps to appeal after a claim denial.
  • Contact your home warranty company to request the documents that will be required to file an appeal.
  • Take note of all correspondence you have with the company, including the date, time, and names of people that attend to you.
  • Ask the technician sent over to your place for the inspection report.
  • Get a reputable third party to assess the item and get a second inspection report.
  • Be prepared to provide additional documents that the company might require.
  • If the company becomes unresponsive, file a complaint with Better Business Bureau, companies tend to be more responsive when their reputation is threatened.
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