Home warranty renewal: what to do when warranty expires
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Every home warranty company has its own special sauce, offering different coverages depending on the plan you pick.
Home warranty plans cover repairs and replacements on your home's systems and appliances. At the end of your warranty term, though, you may be thinking about changing plans, canceling or switching to a different company. Here’s what to expect when your home warranty expires.
- Some companies allow you to put your plan on auto-renew.
- If you switch to a different company, there may be a waiting period of 30 days before your new coverage begins.
- It may be best to cancel your home warranty if you have a new home.
Post-warranty is what happens after your warranty expires. Depending on the company you choose, several things can happen.
When your home warranty expires, your systems and appliances are no longer covered. Check your agreement to find out the cutoff date to see when your warranty is finished.
If you forget to renew your warranty, you may have to wait 30 days before the warranty will cover your systems and appliances again. If you renew your home warranty before it expires, there’s usually no waiting period because you have continuous coverage. To avoid having a lapse in coverage, make sure your policy is set to auto-renew or that you renew before the policy expires.
If your policy expires and you switch to a new home warranty company, you may need to wait 30 days for the new coverage to begin.
» LEARN: What is a home warranty?
What to think about before renewing your home warranty
Before you renew your home warranty, be sure to evaluate how your warranty has helped you over the last year:
- How often did you use the plan?
- Did you save any money by having a warranty plan?
- Did the warranty company offer good service?
- Did the provider deny any claims?
Whether a home warranty is worth it depends on your situation, according to Angel Conlin, chief insurance officer at Kin Insurance. For example, a home warranty can be worth it if:
- You don’t have an emergency fund for home repairs.
- You don’t have a reliable network of contractors.
- You’re not comfortable with DIY maintenance.
- You have old appliances and systems that are likely to break down soon.
If you did find some value in having the plan, also think about if you need that same level of coverage. Perhaps your systems were more prone to repairs than your appliances. In that case, it might be worth it to switch to a systems-only plan. If you didn’t need service that frequently, you might want to consider choosing a higher deductible, which will lower your monthly costs.
» MORE: Is a home warranty worth it?
How much does it cost to renew a home warranty plan?
Typically, you’ll simply pay the same amount you paid to start your home warranty plan. Some companies may offer you a discount if you pay to renew early or if you pay the yearly fee all at once instead of monthly. Home warranty plans typically cost $264 to $1,425 if you pay annually or $36 to $68 a month if you go with a monthly payment.
If your provider allows you to choose the service fee, consider changing this to adjust your monthly payments. If you don’t make many claims, it’s often better to pay the higher service fee and lower the cost of the plan.
When shouldn’t you opt for a home warranty renewal?
You may find that you haven’t had the best experience with your home warranty company or wonder if it’s even worth it. There are a few occasions when a home warranty just doesn’t make sense:
- If you have a brand-new home and don’t foresee your systems or appliances breaking down soon, you may want to skip on a home warranty. Newer appliances and systems should also still be covered under the manufacturer’s warranty.
- If you haven’t saved any money by using your home warranty, consider putting the money you would have spent on a home warranty into a savings account earmarked for repairs. “While you won’t have the luxury of someone else taking care of your problem, you will have cash on hand for emergencies,” Conlin explained.
- If you’ve had a bad experience with your home warranty provider or the company has denied your claims, it might be best to either discontinue the plan or switch to a more reliable home warranty company.
When should I renew my home warranty?
Usually, you’ll get an email or letter from your home warranty company letting you know that your warranty is ending. These notifications usually have your expiration date and instructions on how to renew your home warranty. When you get the notification, start the renewal process right away so you don’t miss your window.
Check your contract or online dashboard to see if your plan is set to auto-renew. If you want to cancel, you’ll need to make sure you do so before the plan renews for another year. Otherwise, you may be stuck with cancellation fees.
Can I switch to a different home warranty provider during renewal?
Yes, but you may need to wait 30 days for the new policy to go into effect, which will leave you without coverage. You may want to consider overlapping the end of your old policy with your new one.
Do I have to renew my home warranty every year?
Yes, if you want to keep your coverage. Some companies will let you sign up for longer policy stretches, and you can also sign up for auto-renewal.
Can I upgrade or modify my coverage during renewal?
Yes, you can switch to a different plan during your renewal period or look into add-on coverage for extra items.
Are there any discounts for renewing early?
Potentially. Check with your home warranty company to see if they offer any discounts or free upgrades.
- Article sources
- ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. Specific sources for this article include:
- Federal Trade Commission, “Warranties for New Homes.” Accessed Aug. 14, 2023.
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