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How Long Home Warranties Last and When They Are Activated

How long does a home warranty last? How long does it take to activate your home warranty contract?  What is the cancellation period? Whether you’ve just purchased a home warranty or you’re still in search of one and studying the home warranty market, it’s a good idea to learn about the timelines and deadlines associated with home warranty policies.

Before you decide on a home warranty, the most important thing is to carefully read the fine print. That means reading the entire contract and understanding every detail. This will save you a lot of hassle in the long run. Otherwise, you risk joining the ranks of the many frustrated customers who thought they were buying one thing and ended up getting something totally different.

We’re first going to overview exactly how a home warranty works, focusing in particular on the timelines and deadlines. These include such important issues as the time it takes for a home warranty plan to become effective, how many days you have to cancel the policy with a full or partial refund, how much time you have to submit a claim, and more.

Knowing all the timelines and deadlines for your home warranty provider will save you time and money as well as help you get the most out of your home warranty.

 

Air conditioner
Covered by Systems Plan, Combo Plan (up to $1,500.00)
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Heating system
Covered by Systems Plan, Combo Plan (up to $1,500.00)
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Refrigerator
Covered by Appliances Plan, Combo Plan (up to $3,000.00)
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Water dispenser
Covered by Systems Plan, Combo Plan
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Trash compactor
Covered by Appliances Plan, Combo Plan (up to $3,000.00)
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Cooktop exhaust fan
Not covered
Plumbing
Covered by Systems Plan, Combo Plan
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Septic
Covered as optional
Get coverage with American Home Shield
Sump pump
Not covered
Roof leaks
Not covered

+19 more items


  • Coverage begins after
    Unknown
  • Cancellation deadline
    30 days
  • Free reservice (parts)
    60 days
  • Premium
    $420 - $720
  • Deductible
    $75 - $125
  • Limits
    $1,500 - $3,000
Air conditioner
Covered by Platinum Care plan, Gold Care plan (up to $2,000.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Heating system
Covered by Platinum Care plan, Gold Care plan (up to $2,000.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Refrigerator
Covered by Platinum Care plan, Bronze Care plan (up to $500.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Water dispenser
Not covered
Trash compactor
Not covered
Cooktop exhaust fan
Not covered
Plumbing
Covered by Platinum Care plan, Gold Care plan (up to $500.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Septic
Covered as optional (up to $400.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Sump pump
Covered as optional (up to $400.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty
Roof leaks
Covered as optional (up to $400.00)
Get coverage with Select Home Warranty

+17 more items


  • Coverage begins after
    30 days
  • Cancellation deadline
    30 days
  • Free reservice (parts)
    Unknown
  • Premium
    $429 - $696
  • Deductible
    $60
  • Limits
    $500 - $2,000
Air conditioner
Covered by Systems Guard plan, Total Home Guard plan (up to $1,600.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Heating system
Covered by Systems Guard plan, Total Home Guard plan (up to $1,600.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Refrigerator
Covered by Appliance Guard plan, Total Home Guard plan (up to $1,600.00)
Covered as optional
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Water dispenser
Not covered
Trash compactor
Covered as optional
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Cooktop exhaust fan
Covered by Appliance Guard plan, Total Home Guard plan (up to $1,600.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Plumbing
Covered by Systems Guard plan, Total Home Guard plan (up to $1,600.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Septic
Covered as optional (up to $500.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Sump pump
Covered as optional (up to $150.00)
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard
Roof leaks
Covered as optional
Get coverage with Liberty Home Guard

+29 more items


  • Coverage begins after
    30 days
  • Cancellation deadline
    30 days
  • Free reservice (parts)
    60 days
  • Premium
    $400 - $720
  • Deductible
    $75
  • Limits
    $500 - $1,600
Air conditioner
Covered as optional
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Heating system
Covered by Premier Plan
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Refrigerator
Covered by Basic Plan, Premier Plan (up to $3,500.00)
Covered as optional (up to $1,000.00)
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Water dispenser
Covered by Basic Plan, Premier Plan
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Trash compactor
Covered by Basic Plan, Premier Plan (up to $3,500.00)
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Cooktop exhaust fan
Covered by Basic Plan, Premier Plan
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Plumbing
Covered by Premier Plan (up to $500.00)
Get coverage with First American Home Warranty
Septic
Not covered
Sump pump
Not covered
Roof leaks
Not covered

+18 more items


  • Coverage begins after
    30 days
  • Cancellation deadline
    30 days
  • Free reservice (parts)
    30 days
  • Premium
    $348 - $546
  • Deductible
    $75
  • Limits
    $500 - $3,500

Timelines and deadlines in home warranty contracts

Coverage becomes effective30 days
Cancellation with a refund available30 days
Emergency service available79% companies
Time to cancel automatic renewal30 days
Max time to submit claim1 day
Repair timeframe2 days
Repair timeframe weekends and holidays32 days
24/779% companies
Business hours for service calls15% companies
Free reservice period (parts)60 days
Free reservice period (labor)30 days

How long does it take for a home warranty to become effective?

Coverage begins after

One of the most important things you need to know about your home warranty is how long it takes to activate it. There is typically a waiting period between when you sign the policy and when it becomes effective. This is there to ensure that any systems or appliances that have stopped working did so due to normal wear and tear or old age. The waiting period will depend on the company. Each home warranty company will have its specific waiting period. Usually, it ranges anywhere from 1 to 30 days. A total of 54% of companies, including such industry leaders as 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty or Amazon Home Warranty, have a waiting period of 30 days, making this the most common length of time. This means that if, for example, your refrigerator breaks down just 2 weeks after the policy purchase, you will have to repair it on your own. Just 17% of home warranty companies have their coverage begin sooner. Only 4% of the companies will begin service in 15 days, another 4% do so in 10 days. Finally, there are a few home warranty companies with no waiting period – coverage begins after only 1 day. Not all customers will be so lucky, as only 9% of home warranty companies in the industry have this generous policy.

How much time do you have to cancel a home warranty?

Cancellation deadline for refund

It is crucial to know how much time do you have to cancel a home warranty. Pay extra attention to the cancellation policy to know whether your home warranty company will refund your money if you want to cancel. In the event that you decide to cancel your contract, you only have a certain amount of time to do so and still get a refund. More than half of the companies give their clients 30 days for making such a decision. Only 1 company offers 60 days to end the agreement, while some of them are much less generous – you might only have 20 days, 10 days, or even 3 days to cancel.

In short, if you ever change your mind or are dissatisfied with the services, you can cancel your home warranty but you cannot always expect a full refund. If you cancel before the deadline and your company never provided any services, you can get your money back. After the deadline, a cancellation fee will be charged.

How long does it take to get an emergency service with a home warranty?

Emergency service

Do you know how long it takes to get an emergency service with your home warranty company? If you have a system or appliance breakdown that needs to be addressed as soon as possible, most home warranty companies will make their best efforts to have a contractor out to your home ASAP. To get help, simply contact customer service and report the problem. Normally, customer support works 24/7/365.

Almost 80% of warranties include the option of emergency repairs. Only 7.5% of the companies do not offer such a service, and 1.5% will provide emergency service only for an extra fee.

How much time do you have to submit a claim with your home warranty?

Max time to submit claim

Another time frame that a home warranty contract describes is the maximum time allotted to submit a claim if a system or appliance breaks down. About two-fifths of the home warranty providers expect their clients to notify them of a home system or appliance breakdown within 1 day. Only 4.5% will give you 3 days, and Select Home Warranty is among them. Only 1.5% will give you 14 days, and another 1.5% will give you 30 days to submit a claim.

How long does it take to get a repair?

Repair timeframe (business days)

One of the questions that every homeowner asks a home warranty representative is how long it takes to get a repair. If your furnace suddenly breaks down in the middle of the winter, you probably won’t want to wait too long to get it fixed. The longer you have to wait for repairs, the more inconvenient it is. Once a non-emergency service request is submitted, 40% of companies will send authorized contractors within 2 business days, and 7.5% of companies will send someone within 1 day. But beware: on the other side of the spectrum, some companies (1.5% to be exact) will only send a repairman within 30 days.

Repair timeframe (weekends and holydays)

If a breakdown occurs over the weekend or on a holiday, the waiting period usually increases. A total of 9% of companies promise to repair malfunctioning appliances or broken systems within 14 days, 6% – within 3 days, and only 4.5% of them are ready to help you within 24 hours. However, there are home warranty providers who only guarantee repairs within 30 days, but only 1.5% will have you wait this long.

As you can see, the corresponding graph indicates that many home warranty companies, about 80%, don’t provide information on this point. This can be explained by the fact that many companies work every day without differentiating between weekdays and weekends. It is likely that many of these companies simply use the same time frame as during a weekday, but you should clarify this point directly with a company representative before signing the policy.

How long is the reservice period?

Free reservice period (labor)

In case one of your home systems or appliances was recently fixed but something is wrong with it again, many home warranty companies offer a free reservice period. The free reservice period is the length of time after the original repair in which the home warranty company guarantees reservice if that original repair fails. If you experience an issue regarding your completed repair within this window of time, you won’t have to pay a second time – a contractor will come out and make the repair again. That way, you won’t have to pay two times for the same repair.

More than 48% of companies provide a 30-day workmanship guarantee on repairs made. Another 9% of home warranty companies provide a 60-day guarantee, 5.5% give 90 days, 4.5% give 180 days and another 4.5% give as much as 365 days.

Free reservice period (parts)

This policy is very similar to the previous section about the free reservice period, but the difference is that this is for parts rather than labor. Sometimes the free reservice period for parts and labor may differ. For example, there might be a company with a 30-day free reservice policy for labor, but a 90-day free reservice guarantee for parts. If an appliance is fixed but then a part breaks again after 60 days, then the repairman’s labor will cost money (since 60 days is outside of the 30 day labor guarantee) but the part will be provided for free (since 60 days is still inside the 90-day parts guarantee).

Almost 30% of the companies provide a 30 days-guarantee for parts. A total of 10% of the home warranty providers give 60 days, 23.5% give 90 days, about 5% give 180 days, and 7.5% will give the longest period, 365 days.

How long does a home warranty last?

Time to cancel automatic renewal

Most home warranty contracts are one year in length and renewable every year. Usually, a company renews a home warranty plan at the end of the term automatically. If your home warranty provider doesn’t offer an automatic policy renewal, pay attention to the expiration date of your warranty and renew it on time if you want to continue to use their services. If you want to cancel the automatic policy renewal, it’s important to cancel within the specified time period before the contract’s expiration. About 39% of companies allow you to cancel the automatic renewal within 30 days before the end of the contract, and 4.5% let you cancel within 60 days. But be careful: one company only gives 3 days, and another company gives just 1 day. On rare occasions, companies like  Whirlpool Warranty limit the coverage to a maximum of 10 years.

Final Words

By now, you should have a good idea of how long a home warranty insurance lasts and its timelines and deadlines. Always remember the most important rule of home warranties: read every word of the contract before signing. Carefully study all these terms so as not to face problems in the future. If you learn exactly what your home warranty does and does not cover, as well as all of their timelines and deadlines, you can feel secure knowing that your home is protected and you won’t have any unpleasant surprises to deal with.