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How To File a Home Warranty Claim (2024 Guide)

Author Image Written by Dana Getz + 1 other Reviewer Icon Reviewed by Jacquelyn Kfoury Updated 06/20/2024

Home warranty plans make home repairs or replacements straightforward, but these can be interrupted by claim denials. To help you navigate the process, we’ve compiled this in-depth guide on how to file a home warranty claim. After analyzing and reviewing the best home warranty companies in the United States, we understand the ins and outs of service contracts and the home warranty claims process. We recommend Liberty Home Guard as our top pick due to its high customer ratings and extensive add-on options.

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How Does a Home Warranty Work?

Before filing a home warranty claim, make sure you understand how a home warranty works compared to a home insurance plan. Home warranties cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear. Any damage or malfunction due to neglect, misuse, or natural disasters is typically not covered. A home insurance policy tends to cover events and issues not covered by a home warranty, such as environmental hazards, theft, and vandalism.

Also, a home warranty is an optional contract that provides further peace of mind and convenience to your daily life. A home insurance policy is mandatory by law for every homeowner.

If your covered HVAC, washer, plumbing, or other major home system or appliance malfunctions, file a claim as soon as possible. Below are the steps you need to take to file a home warranty claim properly:

First, read your service contract carefully to understand your coverage. Home warranties do not cover all repairs or replacements. Home warranty providers add many common exclusions to the contracts. These exclusions include pre-existing conditions, damage caused by improper installation or maintenance, misuse of an appliance or system by using it for purposes other than residential use, cosmetic issues, and internet-based components of an item.

We recommend that you find out a provider’s specific exclusions by asking a representative or looking for coverage limitations in a sample contract. Home warranty companies often set limits on payouts for specific systems and appliances. Once that limit is reached, you must pay the difference out of pocket.

If you know that a broken or malfunctioning item is covered, then you need to request a service visit from a contractor approved by your home warranty provider. This step starts the process of filing a claim. Many home warranty companies feature client portals to place a service request by submitting a form on their websites. You might also directly call the company. The company will then contact a service technician for you. On average, a home warranty provider contacts an approved contract within 48 hours, and then the contractor schedules a service visit with you.

Once the service contractor visits your home, you will pay the agreed service fee in your contract. Depending on the coverage cap of the item, you may have to pay for some uncovered expenses. The service technician will provide an inspection report and repair the covered item at no cost other than the service fee.

If the issue requires an entire replacement, the contractor will schedule a follow-up appointment with you. A replacement is typically deemed appropriate when the cost to repair the system or appliance exceeds the value of the system or appliance itself or if it’s impossible to find parts for the repair.

Why Was My Home Warranty Claim Denied?

Your home warranty claim may get denied for many reasons. To learn why your home warranty provider might deny specific claims, read the terms and conditions outlined in your contract to learn strictly which appliances and systems your plan protects, as well as any limitations or exclusions.

Below are the four of the most common reasons for home warranty claim denials:

  • Lack of maintenance: Systems and appliances within your home must regularly receive service, care, and cleaning. Your claim could be denied if proper maintenance isn’t performed on an appliance or system covered in your contract.
  • Improper installation or safety code violations: Though it’s sometimes out of your control, improper installation can be the cause of a denied claim. If your system or appliance was poorly installed, your home warranty company could have the right to refuse your claim. Claims on broken systems and appliances that violate safety codes could also be denied.
  • Unusual wear and tear: Warranty coverage protects you from regular wear and tear costs. This means damage caused by everyday use of the item in question. If your provider determines that you’ve improperly used your appliance or system, they may deny your claim as this is classified as unusual wear and tear. Using your appliances to run a business (using your washer and dryer for a laundry service, for example) is not considered normal use.
  • Coverage cap exceeded: As stated before, most home warranty companies place coverage caps on certain appliances and systems that limit the amount they pay for a repair or replacement. Before filing a claim, make sure that you haven’t reached the coverage limit on the system or appliance in question.

If you are struggling with the claims process with your current home warranty provider or are interested in getting a home warranty plan, consider the following recommended companies. We suggest you get a free quote from both providers. This way, you can closely compare your options, including coverage caps and exclusions, and negotiate a better deal.

Liberty Home Guard pairs most covered items with a $2,000 limit, which is low compared to other home warranty companies. LHG also doesn’t reveal its service call fee when you request a quote. For a more comprehensive understanding, check out our detailed breakdown of Liberty Home Guard’s services.

Select Home Warranty provides ​​unique offerings and low premiums. Perks include free roof leak coverage, seasonal promotions, and more. Unfortunately, Select does not service Nevada, New Mexico, Washington, and Wyoming.

FAQ About How To File a Home Warranty Claim

Who is the best home warranty company in America?

While you should gather free quotes from several providers, we recommend Liberty Home Guard due to its high customer ratings and extensive add-on options. Select Home Warranty is another great option to explore. ​​

Do home warranties save you money?

Home warranties cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear, so they can save you money and provide peace of mind.

Why do home warranty companies deny claims?

The four of the most common reasons for home warranty claim denials are lack of maintenance, improper installation or safety code violations, unusual wear and tear, and exceeding your coverage cap. 

Our Rating Methodology

We back up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to score each provider objectively. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, requesting quotes, analyzing sample contracts from each company, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for coverage, value, trustworthiness and transparency, availability, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.  

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