How soon can you use a home warranty after purchase? Can you use your home warranty coverage right away or is there a waiting period? Read on to learn more about the waiting period American Home Shield® Home Warranty.
When you buy a home warranty with American Home Shield, there is a 30-day waiting period before you can make service requests and use your home warranty plan. If you bought or received your home warranty as part of a real estate contract, the 30-day waiting period is waived, so you can put in service requests right away. If you are renewing your home warranty plan and have no gap in protection, the 30-day waiting period does not apply.
Find out why American Home Shield service requests have a waiting period for new members and learn what it means for your coverage
Why Does American Home Shield Have a Waiting Period?
Like most home warranty companies, American Home Shield uses a waiting period to make sure the issue you need service for has occurred due to normal wear and tear within the plan period. The 30-day waiting period ensures that homeowners can’t abuse our home warranty plans by purchasing coverage after something has already broken. Think of it as getting into a car accident in an uninsured vehicle, then buying car insurance and applying that coverage to the incident. Our waiting period helps us avoid fraud and keep costs down, so we can continue providing reasonably priced service to our members.
Do I Need Service Records or a Home Inspection to Qualify for Service?
Unlike some home warranty companies, American Home Shield does not require homeowners to produce maintenance records for home systems and appliances in order to qualify for home warranty coverage of those items. If you take a look at our sample contract, you will see that home warranty coverage with American Home Shield specifically includes coverage of items that break down due to insufficient maintenance in the past, as well as breakdowns of items due to rust or corrosion, sediment accumulation, incorrect installation, or mismatching of indoor and outdoor units, either in capacity or efficiency.
We don’t require a home inspection, either, even though that’s a hoop you might have to jump through with many other home warranty companies. Our plans cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear and undetectable defects. As long as a visual inspection of your home system or appliance verifies that it looks intact, doesn’t seem to have any missing parts, and seems to be functioning correctly — for example, it can be turned on and off without causing unusual amounts of smoke, strange noises, or other issues or signs of issues — then your appliance or home system is considered to be in good working order for the purposes of your home warranty coverage, once the waiting period has elapsed.
However, if you want to cover your bases, you are welcome to get a home inspection to verify that your appliances and home systems are in good working order before your coverage begins. That way, if something breaks down and you make a service request once your waiting period has passed, you’ll have proof that the condition was undetectable at the time your coverage began.
Are There Any Exceptions to the 30-Day Waiting Period?
As previously mentioned, there are a couple of exceptions to the 30-day waiting period for your home warranty coverage to begin. Many of our members receive their home warranty plans as part of a real estate transaction, often as a gift from the seller or from their agent. Sometimes, our members choose to buy a plan as part of their real estate transaction, a wise move if neither the seller nor their agent offers them one.
Whether you buy or are given your plan as part of a real estate transaction, you are exempt from the 30-day waiting period and can start using your plan benefits on closing day. This makes buying an American Home Shield home warranty as part of your real estate transaction (or asking for one from the seller) an especially good idea. You can’t always tell what’s wrong with your appliances or home systems by a visual inspection (looking at them) or by a mechanical inspection (turning them on to see if they work). Older homes and appliances often have hidden defects, and the last thing you need is to have to pay out of pocket to have an appliance or home system repaired right after you move in.
If you renew your home warranty plan at the end of the standard 12-month contract, your coverage continues, so you will not need to worry about a 30-day waiting period at the beginning of your renewal contract. Maintaining your coverage over time is the best way to protect your budget from the sudden, unexpected costs of home maintenance. If you’re nearing renewal time, login to your account and renew to avoid a lapse in coverage.
How Do I Request Service under My American Home Shield Contract?
When you have an American Home Shield home warranty, making a service request is easy. You can use MyAccount to request service online, track your history of service requests and follow up with past requests as needed. You can also call our toll-free number to request service over the phone. We take service requests 24/7.
When you file an American Home Shield claim for service, you’ll be assigned a local professional and you can pay your Trade Service Fee up front. All you have to do then is wait for your service professional to arrive, diagnose the problem and fix it.
What Happens if My Service Professional Can’t Fix My Appliance or Home System?
If you make an American Home Shield service request for an appliance or home system and your assigned service professional determines that your appliance or home system can’t be fixed, then it will need to be replaced.
American Home Shield will cover the cost of replacing your covered home system or appliance, up to the coverage cap named in your contract. Often, we’ll cover the entire cost of replacing a home appliance, but some replacements cost more than our home warranty plans will cover. When that happens, we’ll pay up to the coverage limit and you’ll be responsible for covering the rest.
And if you simply want to upgrade your appliances, as a member of American Home Shield you get access to discounts on new, brand name appliances through our Appliance Discount Program.
What if the Breakdown Recurs After My Service Visit?
You had a problem with an appliance, made a service request with American Home Shield, and had your appliance fixed by your assigned service professional. You both thought the problem was fixed, but now your appliance has broken down again, in the exact same way.
We offer our members a 30-day workmanship guarantee on repairs and replacements performed by our third-party service professionals. If your appliance or home system problem recurs within 30 days of your original service, we’ll send the contractor back out for free.
If it’s outside of the 30 days, you’ll need to make a second service request and pay another trade service call fee. You can keep track of your American Home Shield claims history on MyAccount, including requesting follow-up service if your issue isn’t resolved after the first visit.
Don’t Wait Any Longer to Get a Home Warranty
A home warranty with American Home Shield covers up to 21 of your home’s systems and appliances — because home breakdowns might be inevitable, but that doesn’t mean you need to stress about them.