If your home warranty claim was recently denied and you’re wondering why then its important you read this!
A home warranty is a home protection plan that covers items in the home not normally covered by homeowner’s insurance. It is a home protection contract that usually lasts for one year. Items covered by a home warranty contract include but are not limited to: electrical appliances, furniture, plumbing, and others.
Having a home warranty plan gives you peace of mind that most repairs in the home will be covered by your home warranty provider. The homeowner just needs to put a claim with the warranty company when any of the items covered needs repair.
When this happens, the home warranty company sends an expert to go fix the item up or they send you money for the cost of fixing the item that needs repair.
But in some cases, the claims for repairs could be denied. And there must be a valid reason for that because no company will unfairly deny claims from its customers when they know it will severely damage their reputation.
So, Here Are 7 Reasons Why home Warranty Claims Mostly Get Denied That You Should be Aware of.
1. Lack of Maintenance
This is often the most common reason for claims denial. Most homeowners fail to provide regular maintenance to home appliances or items under warranty. They just feel that since these items are covered, the company will replace or fix them when they go bad.
Consistent maintenance of home appliances or home systems is a major factor to make sure these things stay in good working condition.
If an item gets damaged due to lack of maintenance from the homeowner’s end, the claim could be denied. No home warranty company covers items that got damaged due to a lack of maintenance or complete carelessness.
However, if you are sure that the damage wasn’t due to a lack of maintenance, you can tell the company that you want to invite a different contractor to come to your home and confirm your claim.
2. Pre-Existing Conditions
A home warranty company can deny your claims if they believe that the damage existed before the contract was signed. And when they state this, there is absolutely nothing that can be done about such denial. You will have to cover the expenses yourself.
The best way to avoid this occurrence is to first find out from the company if they cover pre-existing conditions. This is because not all home warranty companies cover pre-existing conditions.
If the company does not, kindly get the service of a home inspector before signing the contract. This way the home inspector’s report stands to tell the status of each item in the house at the time of signing the contract.
3. Installation Problems or Safety Violations
No home warranty company will accept your claim for repair of any appliances when it was as a result of improper installation or you violating the safety use of the appliance.
But, if you feel this may not be the issue, you may have to get another contractor to come and confirm the claim by the home warranty company.
4. Rough Handling
Careless usage and rough handling can make a home warranty company deny a claim. But if the damage is caused by the usual wear and tear, the claim can be accepted.
A home warranty plan only covers damages caused by regular wear and tear on your appliances. If you mistakenly drop off any appliances or your pet climbs onto a home system and it gets damaged, your claim on that could be denied.
5. Items Not Included
Sometimes homeowners don’t read the contracts carefully to fully understand items that are included in the policy. Your claim can be denied if the item that needs attention is not covered in the policy.
Most home warranty companies have a fixed list of appliances and home systems in the home they cover. They don’t cover everything and it important for you to be aware of what exactly you are signing up for.
6. Coverage Exceeded
This is rare but it does happen. Coverage exceeded means that a certain appliance or item has exceeded the amount budgeted for its repair or replacement.
If a particular item has been repaired or replaced before, your claim on it could be denied if the item has exceeded its coverage limit.
7. Missing Components
If a fault arises on your appliances or system due to missing components, your claim can be denied. No matter how big or small the item may be, most home warranty companies will not cover repairs on items with missing components.
What to do When a Home warranty Claim is Denied?
If your claim is denied doesn’t mean the company has taken advantage of you or you have lost. A homeowner has the legal right to dispute a claim that is denied.
So, if a warranty claim is denied by your provider, all you have to do is first check the warranty documents to see if you have gone against any of the policies listed.
If you feel you haven’t, you can kindly contact the home warranty company and let them know about it calmly.
Keep a record of the date, time, the name of the person who attended to you if possible, and the information conveyed to you. Request for the required paperwork to resolve the denial of your warranty claim.
Follow the home warranty company’s appeal process and provide all the requested information.
If the company fails to attend to your appeal, you can proceed and file a customer complaint to the Better Business Bureau or other top review sites. Most companies don’t want their reputation damaged on review sites and they likely respond to your appeal.
If this doesn’t happen, you may need to file a lawsuit against them in a small claims court depending on the size of the claim.
Another option is to switch home warranty providers as there are many that offer different services.
It is always advisable you are sure of your claim before you go to any extent to dispute a denial. Sometimes the company may not be at fault. It could just be a misunderstanding in the policy.
Reviewed Home Warranty Companies:
- Total Home Protection
- Choice Home Warranty
- First Premier Home Warranty
- The Home Service Club
- American Home Sheild
- Cinch Home Warranty