Home warranties offer protection and save money on repairs. Knowing when and how to request service is important. These tips shed light on when and how to do it.
The holidays can be exciting, joyous, fun . . . and stressful. If your heating system or clothes washer breaks down in the midst of entertaining family and friends, the holidays can be doubly stressful. Hopefully, you’ve protected your major home systems and appliances with a home warranty so you’ll have a resource to call for help with covered malfunctions. American Home Shield® Home Warranties even offer customizable plans so you can choose the coverage you need. If you do have home warranty coverage this holiday season, do you know when to contact your home warranty company?
First, make sure you understand your coverage. Know what type of coverage package you have purchased, and which home systems or appliances are included. Keep your home warranty agreement or contract handy so that, in the event of a breakdown, you can reference it to make sure that the item is covered before contacting the company to request service. You should also be familiar with any language in the agreement or contract that addresses coverage exclusions so that you’ll know under what conditions a claim may not be eligible. For example, many home warranties cover items that break down over time due to “normal wear and tear” only. Knowing what’s covered and what is not can save you phone calls and frustration.
Here are some examples of when – and when not – to call request service from your home warranty company:
If you have the AHS Systems Plan or the Combo Plan:
- Do call if thermostat quits working or if your heating system is blowing cool air, but don’t call when your heating system needs a filter change.
- Do call if your electrical panel starts blowing fuses or regularly malfunctioning, but don’t call if a strand of holiday lights goes out.
- Do call if your toilet is leaking and you can’t pinpoint the source, but don’t call if your toilet is stopped up and you can easily plunge it.
- Do call if your smoke alarm doesn’t sound when tested, but don’t call if your smoke alarm needs a new battery.
- Do call if your ceiling fan blades won’t rotate at all, but don’t call to rotate the motor and blades on your ceiling fan for seasonal comfort.
If you have the AHS Appliance Plan or the Combo Plans
- Do call if your dishwasher has standing water that won’t drain after you’ve tried some DIY fixes, but don’t call if your toddler or pet stands on your dishwasher door and breaks it.
- Do call if your oven won’t reach pre-set temperatures, but don’t call if your oven light bulb goes out.
- Do call if your refrigerator isn’t properly cooling the contents, but don’t call to change your refrigerator temperature setting.
- Do call if your clothes aren’t drying properly and you’ve already cleaned the lint filter and cleared the exhaust, but don’t call if you lose a sock in your dryer.
- Do call if the garbage disposal motor hums but the unit doesn’t grind when the flywheel is free, but don’t call if your garbage disposal has an odor that can be solved by running ice cubes or citrus peels through.
- Do call if you don’t have any hot water in the house, but don’t call if you need to change the temperature setting on your water heater to the recommended 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
It’s also helpful to know what information you’ll need to supply when you request service. Once you’ve confirmed that you have coverage for the broken item, you’ll contact the home warranty company and may be asked to give your agreement or contract number, street address, or other identifying information. Write down the information you’ll need to supply or store it in your phone so that you’ll have it at your fingertips when you need it.
It’s also important to know how to contact your home warranty for service. With an AHS Home Warranty, you can request service online or via the toll-free number seven days a week.
Be familiar with what to expect after you’ve placed a service request. For example, after AHS receives a covered service request, a service contractor is assigned from the AHS Nationwide Network, and an email confirmation is sent to verify that the request has been received by the contractor, if the customer has an email address on file. Then, the service contractor contacts the customer by phone to schedule an appointment during normal business hours to visit the home and diagnose the covered item.
Knowing when, and how, to request home warranty service can help things run more smoothly should you experience a covered breakdown. If you don’t already know about the benefits of a home warranty, take time out from the busy holiday season to find out more.