If you’ve just recently purchased home warranty coverage from Total Home Protection, or really, any other home warranty company, you might be wondering why there’s a 30-Day wait period before you can open a coverage claim.
Is this normal? Do all home warranty companies require this wait? And, if so, why? Well…
The waiting period enforced by home warranty companies is standard. Home warranties work almost the same way as a home warranty policy. However, coverage for covered items only applies if the item has suffered a failure as a result of ‘normal wear and tear.’ And so, the waiting period for home warranty coverage exists to ensure that the agreement is followed dutifully.
We’ve provided a more in-depth explanation of this in the rest of the article below:
Home Warranty Coverage: Why the Wait?
Almost all home warranty companies enforce wait periods of some form — with the industry standard at 30 days (although there are the rare exceptions that enforce only a 15 day wait period.) This is done to make sure that policyholders don’t claim coverage for pre-existing damages (which is a stipulated exception in most home warranty contracts.)
Another way to see it is this: just like how you can’t expect a home insurance company to fix a car that was broken before you insured it, you can’t expect home warranty coverage on items that had already been damaged before they were technically ‘covered.’
It’s just a bit of added protection for the home warranty company and for other customers as well, believe it or not (as their rates will be affected too should everyone be allowed to claim coverage for just any damage).
Are There Wait Period Exceptions?
Some home warranty companies do not enforce the waiting period — but only for specific circumstances. For example, Total Home Protection’s coverage begins 30 days after enrollment and receipt of applicable fees.
But, according to their FAQs, they also reserve the right to waive the 30-day wait period for clients that can provide evidence of no-lapse coverage from another home warranty provider. Meaning, that so long as you can prove that your home was under home warranty coverage before you signed your contract, you will be able to skip the waiting period altogether.
Another way your wait period can be waved is through home inspections. These, as the name implies, will require a home visit from a technician who can verify that all your covered home appliances and systems are in working order, allowing you to prove that later damages were caused by natural wear and tear.
In addition to this, there are home warranty companies like American Home Shield that have clauses in their contract that covers even items that break down ‘due to insufficient maintenance in the past.’ This means that they won’t require you to go through a home inspection to claim coverage, just a verification of the damages incurred on the item itself.
What Happens After the Wait Period is Over?
Your home warranty company will not require any extra action from you after the wait period is over. Unless, of course, one of your covered appliances or home systems incur damages after the 30-day wait. At which point, you are free to file a claim with your home warranty provider so that they can review the damages and deliver on their part of the agreement.
Most home warranty companies, like Total Home Protection, do not enforce limits on the number of claims that you can place after their wait period. So, you can request service at any time. Either through their toll-free number or a form on their official website.
The Bottom Line: Wait Period for Home Warranty Coverage
In the end, so long as you aren’t trying to cheat the system, you don’t have anything to worry about. After the waiting period, your coverage will apply so long as the item is under your plan and the damages incurred are covered under your contract.