If you have shopped for a home warranty recently, you might have noticed the “wait period” that most companies have started enforcing. It might be 15 days, 30 days, or could even be 6 months (I’ve heard of this, but I’ve never seen it myself). But what is a wait period and why does it exist?
A wait period is basically a way for home warranty companies to make sure you don’t have a pre-existing problem when you purchase your plan. Think of it this way – you can’t wreck your car, then go out and buy insurance and expect the wreck to be covered. The wreck happened before you had insurance. So why should you be covered?
Home warranty companies look at it the same way. If your air conditioning is broken, you might think it’s a good idea to go buy a home warranty to cover the problem instead of shelling out $2500 for a repair. By forcing you to wait 15 or more days before your coverage starts, the home warranty companies protect themselves from paying out for pre-existing conditions. Most people won’t wait 2 weeks for their AC to be fixed, right?
A lot of people might think this is unfair, but I have to disagree. Imagine if everybody could buy a home warranty when something breaks, get their problem fixed, then cancel service right away. Sounds great for that customer. But what about everybody else? Home warranty companies would have to raise their rates drastically to cover these “cheaters.” That would ruin it for everyone who relies on a home warranty to help protect their wallet from unexpected breakdowns.
That is why the wait period exists. It may seem unnecessary. But if you aren’t trying to game the system, then it really shouldn’t be a big deal to you.
Did your home warranty come with a wait period? How long was it? Tell us in the comments below.