Chances are, if you're reading this blog, you probably have a home warranty and you might be wondering how it works. Although you can always read through the contract that you were sent when you signed up with Landmark, this is a breakdown of why home warranties do things the way they do "“ specifically with a diagnosis.
- When something breaks, look at your contract first.
When something in your home fails, the first thing you should do is get out your contract to see if it's covered in your home warranty plan. Make sure to read the first page of the contract that discusses the generic parts of your home that Landmark does and does not cover. Then, you can go to the correct section in your contract (heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, appliances, etc.) and look at the parts and systems that are included in coverage and which are excluded. Sometimes, knowing if what has failed is covered in a home warranty is relatively easy. If you have a radiant heat system, for example, and it breaks down, a quick glance to the excluded part of your contract shows that a repair or replacement of the system wouldn't be covered. However, it can also be difficult to know what exact part has caused your system or appliance to fail, or why, so a call to Landmark's customer service department (866-306-2999) is the next step, OR you can open a claim online by going to www.landmarkhw.com/claim.
- Call Landmark to open a service request
While on the phone with one of our customer service agents, they can quickly do a preliminary pre-diagnosis to see if they can see an easy solution that will save you money for a service call fee. If it seems like more information is needed to see what has caused the failure with your system or appliance, the customer service agent will open a service request. This will match you to a qualified contractor who will come to your home for diagnosis.
- Make an Appointment with the Contractor
When you open a service request (either through the phone or online) you are given a contractor's information. Usually, a contractor will call you to set up an appointment, however there are times when you will need to contact them in order set up a time when they can come out to your home. Landmark cannot make an appointment for you and a contractor as we don't have the contractor's schedule.
Why doesn't my home warranty schedule contractors?
Our contractors are independent partners. This means they set their own schedules and may also have other appointments during the day that we don't know about, from customers other than Landmark homeowners. We assign contractors based on three things:
- Trade Specialty (A contractor who has a lot of experience with your particular breakdown in your home.)
- Location (A contractor who is close to you.)
- High Ratings (a contractor who is highly rated and recommended)
Because of this, you should ensure you are contacting the contractor for scheduling. Although you can ask for another assigned contractor from Landmark, all scheduling must be between you and the contractor.
- Contractor Diagnosis
When the contractor arrives at your home to take a look at your system or appliance, you will pay them a service call fee. They will then inspect the problematic system or appliance to see if they can establish the reason it has broken down and what needs to happen in order to fix it.
Before any work can be done on the system or appliance however, they need to call in their diagnosis to Landmark in order to get approval to make the repair or replacement.
To keep our yearly premiums low, Landmark unfortunately cannot pay to cover every part of your home when it fails. Thus, the contractor must report the diagnosis to Landmark before making any repairs. If Landmark gets the diagnosis and the part or cause of failure is covered under the home warranty contract, then the contractor can complete the repair without asking for anything more from the homeowner.
However, if the repair or replacement would not be covered under the home warranty, or only part of the repair is covered, the homeowner may have to pay some out of pocket costs to repair or replace the problematic system or appliance.
- Contractor Repair or Replacement
If the contractor finds that the repair or replacement is approved by Landmark and covered under the home warranty contract, they have permission to make the repair or replacement.
Sometimes a contractor has to leave your home before completing the repair. If this happens to you, please read our article on why a contractor may have to leave your home before making a repair or replacement here.
By now, you've probably realized that the home warranty process for getting a repair or replacement done on your system or appliance is a bit different than just calling a contractor up. The main reason that this is different is to provide cost savings to you! Homeowners buy home warranties so they can save money on expensive repairs and replacements. Landmark partners with contractors and vendors in order to get the best contractors and parts for your home at bargain prices.
If you don't have a home warranty, but are interested in saving money on home repairs through our network of contractors and vendors, please visit us on our plans and pricing page here! You can compare different plans for your personal home by inputting your home's location information.