What do you do when a home warranty company rejects your claim - KMOV.com

What do you do when a home warranty company rejects your claim

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A home warranty from American Home Shield. Credit: KMOV A home warranty from American Home Shield. Credit: KMOV
BALLWIN, Mo. (KMOV.com) -

Everyone knows home repairs can cost a small fortune and that's why so many people purchase home warranties to protect themselves.

That’s exactly what Lori McCarthy did when she purchased her Ballwin home. She knew the air conditioning unit was 27-years-old so she purchased a home warranty through American Home Shield. She paid $56.32 a month for her home warranty. So when the unit stopped working last summer, she called American Home Shield. But she told News 4 the contractor who came out of work on the unit did not fix the problem.

Instead, the contractor sent by the home warranty company added refrigerant and rejected her request to replace the entire system. That would cost McCarthy around $5,000.

According to American Home Shield, "their contracts cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear on more than 21 appliances and home system components."

In McCarthy’s case, they sent two separate contractors out to examine the unit and independently determined the failure wasn't due to normal wear and tear.

When her claim was denied she called her homeowner's insurance. They sent out an inspector and cited wear and tear due to the age of the machine as the issue, a different verdict than the inspectors from the home warranty.

So News 4 called Terry Silverstein at Academy Air for a third party opinion.

Silverstein saw some damage to the outside unit, including damage from lawn equipment. That was the damage cited by American Home Shield as a reason for the denial, claiming it exposed the evaporative coil to high pressure which caused the coil to leak.

But Silverstein said while that damage “reduces the efficiency and capacity. That's got nothing to do with the cause of the issue inside.” He went inside for a closer look and says the issues inside where caused by normal wear and tear.

Silverstein says the average air conditioner lasts 12 to 18 years, 20 if it's really well maintained. McCarthy’s is 27-years-old.

Silverstein says if you are denied like this from a home warranty or insurance company it is helpful to get multiple opinions to help bolster your case.

You can also file a complaint with the Missouri Department of Insurance.

That’s a step Lori McCarthy took today.

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