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Why Was My Home Warranty Claim Denied?

A home protection plan provides peace of mind to homeowners looking for extra coverage on their systems and appliances, though this peace of mind can be disrupted when a warranty claim is denied by your provider. Keep reading to learn what you can do when a claim is denied.

Author Icon By Dana Getz Updated 12/25/2023

Home warranties are designed to protect you from expensive, out-of-pocket costs if a major home system or appliance breaks down. Unfortunately, home warranty owners may feel like they’ve been taken advantage of when their claims are denied.

If your home warranty provider rejects your claim, it’s not a lost cause. Keep reading to learn why a home warranty claim may be denied and steps you can take to ensure you receive coverage.

4 Reasons Why Your Home Warranty Claim May Be Denied

A home warranty is denied for many reasons, including improper installation or inadequate maintenance. To know why your home warranty provider might deny certain claims, read the terms and conditions outlined in your contract to learn exactly which appliances and systems your plan protects, as a claim cannot be filed for an item that isn’t under coverage.

These are four of the most common reasons home warranty claims are denied:

1. Lack of maintenance

Systems and appliances within your home should be serviced on a regular basis, as it’s necessary to keep them in working order to receive coverage. If proper maintenance isn’t performed on an appliance or system covered in your contract, your claim could be denied.

2. 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 broken system or appliance is attributed to poor installation, your home warranty company could have the right to refuse your claim. Additionally, claims on systems and appliances that violate safety codes could be denied.

3. Unusual wear and tear

Warranty coverage is designed to protect you from the expensive costs associated with regular wear and tear on your appliances and systems. If your provider determines that you’ve improperly used your appliance or system, your claim could be denied.

4. Coverage cap exceeded

Most home warranty providers have 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 your company hasn’t reached their coverage limit on the system or appliance in question.

What Do I Do If A Warranty Claim Is Denied?

If your warranty claim gets denied, contact the company directly to request any necessary documentation needed to file an appeal. In the meantime, you’ll likely have to pay for the repairs yourself and can get reimbursed after the appeal process.

6 Steps to Take If Your Home Warranty Claim Is Denied

Although it’s frustrating to have a claim denied, there are steps you can take to refute the denied claim.
Verify your contract’s covered repairs. This information should be detailed in the terms and conditions of your contract.
Contact your home warranty provider and request the necessary documents to go through with an appeal. Make sure that you have your warranty information on hand, as you may need policy information while talking with a representative.
If a service technician came out to assess the issue, request the inspection report. If you can, try to get a third-party inspection of the appliance or system in question. A second opinion can be valuable in overturning the denied claim.
Stay on top of your provider’s appeal process and be prepared to provide any requested information.
If your company is unresponsive to your claim, try filing a customer complaint on the Better Business Bureau or other consumer review website. Many companies want to stay in good standings with these review sites and may be more likely to respond to you.
If all else fails, it may be a good idea to file a complaint in a small claims court or large claims court, depending on the size of your claim.

Remember: To refute a denied claim, you must ensure that your original claim contains items covered under contract.

What to Do If Your Auto Warranty Claim Is Denied

Similar to a home protection plan, an extended vehicle warranty can protect your car if something breaks down after a manufacturer’s warranty expires. While an auto insurance company covers damages from accidents or theft, an extended auto warranty covers internal damages, such as electrical or mechanical breakdowns. Like home warranties, auto repair coverage doesn’t cover all damages and repairs, so it’s possible for a claim to be denied.

If your auto claim is denied, here’s what you should do:

  1. Get the ruling in writing. Talk to the repair shop or adjuster that inspected your car and request that their ruling be written down for future reference.
  2. Discuss the ruling with your provider. Upon further inspection, they may disagree with the adjuster’s finding and deem the damages protected under your service contract.
  3. If your claim is still denied, talk to your provider about the appeals process. Once you’re familiar with the process, send in a written appeal, as they tend to do better than over-the-phone appeals.

If your claim is still denied after taking the appropriate steps and ensuring that the damages are covered under contract, your only recourse is to file a complaint with your state’s attorney general or with the FTC, the nation’s consumer protection agency.

Frequently Asked Questions

How does the claims process work?

When you file a home warranty claim, a service technician should arrive to assess the problem within 48 hours. Some companies guarantee this response time, while others have longer response windows and may address the issue within 72 hours.

Home warranty companies such as American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty guarantee a response time of 48 hours after making a service request. We suggest going with a plan from one of these companies so your damaged appliance or system is repaired in a timely manner.

What is a coverage cap?

A coverage cap, or coverage limit, is how much a home warranty provider is willing to pay for the repair or replacement of a particular appliance or system. Once the coverage limit is reached, your claim will be denied and you will have to pay for the service out-of-pocket.

How do I buy a home warranty?

When looking to purchase a home warranty, determine exactly which appliances and systems you need covered. With this information, you can review providers that offer plans with the coverage you need, allowing you to compare costs and coverage limits.

Once you select a home warranty provider, carefully read over your contract’s terms and conditions so you’re familiar with your coverage and its claims process.

Our Rating Methodology

The This Old House Reviews Team backs up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. 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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