Homeowners Warranty providers

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  #1  
Old 08-07-04, 02:36 PM
livelychati
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Exclamation Homeowners Warranty providers

Hello everyone,

My homeowners warranty expires in a couple of weeks. I was planning to call them to renew, but they beat me to it and called. I was really happy, untill I heard that their price went from $325 a year, to $489!!! I nearly fell of my chair when I heard that. This insurance policy came with my condo when I bought it a year ago, so I had no previous experience, nor did I do any research.

Well, I did research now! Found a huge number of providers, but it all boils down to a few itop ones. The best, by far, from price to coverage, appears to be Home Warranty of America. Pleasant on the phone, informative, no hesitation when answering, most coverage of ALL companies - they cover EVERY appliance in the standard contract ... and all of it for $405 a year!

It alsmost seems too good to be true, especially when compared to some of the insurers out there. My concern: they are not members of Better Busines Bureau, and I was not able to check them out through BBB.

Does anyone have experience with this company? Any "horror" story or complaint about HWA? I'd like to know before I make the final decision and purchase their coverage.

Thanks for your input in advance!

Jelena
 
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  #2  
Old 08-08-04, 06:05 PM
ReefBum
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In my experiance with home warranty companies the best I have found so far is called American Home Sheild
Their prices rage in differant amounts depending on what items you want to have covered.
I beleive their price to be a bit higher than some others but their service can't be beat. I have had them for 8 years with no complaints thus far.
 
  #3  
Old 08-13-04, 03:58 PM
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Location: USA
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Keep in mind that home warranty companies are actually insurance companies. Meaning they take your money up front (legally a "premium") and try like hell not to give any of it back. They will do everything (and I mean everything) within their power to avoid servicing your complaint. That is the only way they can make a profit and stay in business.

The way they do this is through the minimum service charge ($30-$50) which in most cases covers most of the cost of the call; using their own specialist (got a favorite plumber? fuhgetaboutit); and loopholes (central air compressor? sorry, that's outside the exterior wall, not covered except for an additional hefty premium).

If you buy a house with a new water heater, new oven, etc., the manufacturer warranty, even the EXTENDED warrany, is a far better deal than these companies can offer.

But real estate brokers push these warranties (paid for by the seller) as a selling point to make your home with that creaky old furnace more appealing to buyers.

But based on my experience hassling with two separate companies in the past four years, I think they're a waste of money, and I don't plan on renewing my coverage when it expires. I can give more specifics if you're interested.
 

Last edited by razz; 08-13-04 at 08:49 PM.
  #4  
Old 08-16-04, 05:53 PM
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Location: welland ontario
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I tend to agree with the last poster. Think about how often you have called for service. Then take the $400 and put in an emergency account. In 3 years you will have $1200. You could call a lot of service techs for that amount of money.
 

Last edited by joed; 12-21-06 at 12:44 PM.
  #5  
Old 08-19-04, 03:26 PM
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Posts: 44
The value of the warranty depends upon the likelihood that you will use it and the items it covers. The base coverage is mostly useless, IMHO. The "extra coverage" adds some value, but it's a gamble.

When we bought our house, we knew that our A/C units would probably fail in the near future because (a) we live in the desert, and (b) the units are 12 years old. Our bet turned out to be right. We just had the compressor on the A/C replaced ($1,500.00) and two other service calls on the other A/C unit. Our out-of-pocket expense was $90 on services worth $2,000.00. The home warranty was a good deal for us (especially because the seller paid for it), but that's simply the luck of the draw.

We asked the A/C guy what he thought about home warranties when he replaced the compressor. His opinion was that if it covers A/C, electrical and plumbing for $400-ish, it's probably worth it. In a new house you plan to occupy for five to seven years stocked with new appliances, a warranty probably won't do you much good. Besides, the builder's warranty will cover part of that period.
 
  #6  
Old 09-01-04, 06:05 PM
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Location: USA
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Home warranty

I agree with azatty. I am not a warranty person. Most things tend to work or last many years past warranty periods. And, they know that so that they never have to pay off because they know this and that they collect your premium. On older residential properties with warranties, it may be worthwhile to pursue a warranty.

It's like a new car that comes with a warranty; of course, no problems, but you can extend the warranty for a fee. No problem. But after that first extension period, maybe problems. But, if you put the cost of the warranty into a savings account you have saved money and can cover cost of repairs. The only warranty I ever bought was a Sears riding lawn mower. I don't know diddly squat as a female how to repair a lawn mower, but Sears was always on target when I had a previous life with 2 acres to mow.
 
  #7  
Old 12-21-06, 10:45 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2006
Posts: 1
We have HWA and they are not in business for their clients

Hi,

We have HWA from the previous owner. We also got an offer for a sharp renewal increase in our premium (close to double) and we didn't renew. We have two months left with them and so far the experience with them has been only waste of time and nerves. For all the repairs they use subcontractors that may or may not be in a position to deal with HWA volume of customers. One of the subcontractors had to order a spare part and he argued in front of us with the HWA rep how much to charge for the part price. The range agrument was from $17.50 to $185! When the part arrived, the subcontracting company had a waiting time to schedule an appointment.

In both repair cases we did not see any effort for efficinecy or customer satisfaction. Personally, I am convinced that that idea for a business is not worth the money. One always has to take days off to accomodate for the repair and some time if all actual expenses are considered it's cheaper to buy new appliances. If I have to pay them the $500+ they asked me for a year I am better off putting the money in a savings account for emergency.
 
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