To submit a home warranty claim to your home warranty provider, contact their ‘Claims Department’ to talk to a representative that will help you file your case. Note, some of the more modern home warranty companies also accept online claims submissions.
Learn more as we break this process down to its foundations below:
Home Warranty Coverage 101
Before anything else, let’s go over the basics of home warranty coverage; with the assumption that you have, or will soon have, signed a contract with a home warranty provider.
If so, then, you should be able to either:
➔ File for coverage for broken appliances
➔ File for coverage for broken home systems
Most home warranty companies allow for unlimited claims submission, which means that you can place as many claims as you would like per year. However, you should remember that home warranty companies have annual coverage limits that will cap the amount of coverage you get for a specific item for that year (the average cap being $500 – $2,500 per item.)
Knowing this, we can now move on to our breakdown for the standard claims submission process. Exemplifying the home warranty company called Total Home Protection, which is well-known for its excellent customer service and high-quality network of contractors.
The Claims Submission Process
The submission process most home warranty providers use can be broken down into three simple steps that you, as the policyholder, must follow:
- Verify that the item/damage is contractually covered by your warranty
- Request a service visit to verify the damages
- Pay the trade service fee and any uncovered expenses
Each of these steps has been broken down into more detail below.
Step 1. Coverage Verification
The first thing that you need to do is verify what is and is not covered under your coverage plan. This means reviewing your contract and making sure that the appliance or home system that you’re submitting a claim for is covered under your home warranty plan. Such details are different for every plan, so it’s best that you get to know your home warranty contract as well as you possibly can.
As an example of the kind of things you should know about your contract, Total Home Protection states quite plainly that they “cover repair or replacements of covered items, regardless of age, make or model.” However, this is a clause that is not shared by other home warranty providers. Just like how some home warranty providers do not cover items that have “pre-existing conditions” or items that are only “cosmetically damaged” or items that have “existing warranties under a manufacturer.”
You need to understand all of this so that the rest of the claims process can proceed smoothly. Of course, if you are ever uncertain about coverage limits, you can always talk with a representative of a home warranty provider, who should be able to address your concerns.
Step 2. Request a Service Visit
Once you’ve confirmed that the damaged item in your home is covered under your home warranty plan, the next thing you need to do is to request a service visit.
As mentioned in the beginning, most home warranty providers accept claims through phone calls or online submissions. As an example, Total Home Protection has an open line with its policyholders that allows them to open a claim 24/7 either on the phone or through their website.
Note, while placing a claim, you might have to undergo a ‘preliminary diagnosis’ so that the representative can determine whether there is a need for a service visit. To make sure that this call proceeds smoothly, it would be best to have the details of the item’s age, condition, and model so that you can answer any of the questions they might have.
Once the request for a visit has been made and approved, the home warranty provider should then connect you to a professional technician from their network that will be able to repair or replace your damaged covered item.
Step 3. Pay the Service Fee
During your service visit, you will need to pay the technician a small fee. You might, subject to your contract, also need to pay any uncovered expenses (e.g. the cost of components that are excluded from coverage under your home warranty plan.)
This is the final step in getting you the repair or replacements that you might need. As, once the claim has been properly filed, the only thing that you need to do is to wait for your home warranty provider to pay the claim, which, on average, takes around 7-14 days.