Taking out a home warranty (with any company) is a great way to protect against the high cost of any unexpected repair bills. And people have been turning to Home Warranty of America for their home warranties for over 20 years. But when it comes time to get your own home warranty, you want to ensure that you're in safe hands, so we’ve done our homework and what follows is a full review of Home Warranty of America.
We’ll start by going straight into the nitty gritty looking at the different plans on offer. Then we’ll examine the process of putting a claim in, and the process of working with the company’s customer service team. Then we’ll tackle pricing, transparency and the company’s overall reputation. We’ll then before round up with a befitting conclusion (scroll down now if you like).
Available Home Warranty Plans
(In the interest of brevity, we’re going to concentrate on their warranty plans for home owners rather than go into their warranty plans for realtors.)
Home Warranty of America has two main types of home warranty plans for home owners. There’s their standard, more basic warranty plan, which they’ve named Premier, and then they offer another type of home warranty plan which they refer to as Premier Plus.
Each home warranty contract, whichever one you choose, lasts for a total of 12 months. We’ll shortly give you the lowdown as to what’s covered in each plan, and we’ll later examine the pricing.
Premier Plan - the Lowdown on What is and Isn’t Covered
In the interterest of being thorough, we’re going to list everything that’s covered in the Premier Plan. It’s as follows:
- Heating System/Furnace
- Plumbing System
- Stoppages & Clogs
- Garage Door Systems
However, here’s a list of what’s NOT covered in the Premier Plan:
- Built-in Microwave
- Garbage disposal
- Electrical System
- Telephone line coverage
- Burglar and Fire Alarm Systems
- Ceiling Fans & Exhaust Fans
- Re-key Services
So, in short even their Premier Plan is fairly comprehensive and covers quite a lot of potential repair and replacement costs, but it does not offer complete coverage. To some people it may feel like it’s very close to complete coverage, but for those with more appliances and systems in the home it may not be quite so worthwhile.
And to be honest it would be quite a kick in the teeth if you were to have an item breakdown on you that’s not covered in plan, and then have to pay for repair or replacement in full yourself when you’re paying for a home warranty.
Premier Plus Plan - The Lowdown
Their Premier Plus plan on the other hand covers all of the items in the Premier plan, plus several more items besides. This includes such things as air conditioning systems and plumbing fixtures as standard.
Unfortunately we aren’t able to provide you with a list of what is and isn’t covered by the Premier Plus Plan. But for good reason. Rather than just issuing one plan, with preset coverage, you instead apply for a custom tailor made plan, specifically to suit your specific needs. Which is great because why should you have to pay for elements that you may never need.
What we can tell you about the Premier Plus plan however, is that at its fullest it can cover over an additional 30 items that aren’t covered on the more basic Premier plan.
Customer Service and Claims
In the event that you need to file a claim, you can do so by simply filling in an online form, and this form is pretty self explanatory and straightforward to complete.
You can also fill in an online form to ask questions about an ongoing claim, or to ask about payments, or for general questions etcetera.
But that’s by no means the only way for homeowners to get in touch with the company when you need to. There’s no huge list of phone numbers to remember, you just ring the number and select which department you need to speak to.
The customer service agents are available throughout most of the day on weekdays, specifically 7am to 8pm CT, and they’re also available for a decent chunk of time on weekends besides, specifically 8am to 6pm CT on a Saturday and 9am to 5.30pm CT on a Sunday.
We were quite impressed with this availability, because let’s be honest, emergencies don’t always happen between 9am and 5pm on weekdays!
You can also email them or contact them via Facebook or Twitter. Their social media chat however is only responsive between 8am to 5pm CT Mondays through to Fridays.
It’s important to note at this point that Home Warranty of America reserves the right to determine whether any covered item will be repaired or replaced.
And we can easily see how that can become a bone of contention between homeowners and the company, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t argue your case if you would want something to be repaired rather than replaced, especially if you're expected to front a chunk of the cost.
Pricing and Value for Money
As you may expect, the Home Warranty of America’s costs can vary quite considerably based on a number of different factors including the number of appliances or systems you want to cover, and the size of your property.
The average basic home warranty prices range from $350 to $600 per year and home owners can also add extended coverages which can add $100 to $500 to that yearly figure.
It’s also worth noting at this point that each repair has a service fee that usually ranges from $50 to $100 per visit.
As for selecting a plan according to its price, unfortunately Home Warranty of America’s system is not set up that way. Rather than their website offering a set plan that you add to your online basket, you can either call one of their experts (codeword for salesperson) or you can go through their system whereby you answer all their questions about what you want covered and on answering all of the questions you are then given a quote.
If you scroll down on the company website’s landing page you will find a section where the costs of appliance/system repairs and replacements are laid out in a direct comparison between the average costs without a home warranty against the average cost ranges you would pay with their warranty. And there are clear savings to be made, especially when it comes to repairs.
It’s quite hard to judge whether the various plans provide good value for money. This is because the costs can vary quite considerably and it also depends on how new and how good quality your various appliances and systems are in your home. That said it is also quite hard to predict whether an appliance that’s been working well for years will suddenly run into problems. I guess what you’re paying for is peace of mind.
Home Warranty of America’s website has a really handy section on its landing page where they lay out all of the average repair costs of a number of different systems and appliances, alongside the average cost you’d have to pay out with their cover. So in this respect there’s a very good level of transparency.
However, at the risk of repeating myself, rather than being able to select a warranty plan according to its cost, you will have to answer several questions about what kind of coverage you want before you receive a quote. So you will always know the cost of the plan before making a decision. But because of this quote method, we would argue that the costs are not made as transparent as they could be before going through this process. And at least you don’t have to pay for a quote.
The Home Warranty of America honors its contracts with their clients. Which is the main thing. And they don’t ever retort with saying it can't be done, they will always endeavor to find a solution.
Better yet, even if a particular problem is not covered under the contract, they will do their best to provide a referral to a service contractor that actually can help you. So in that respect they go above and beyond what is required.
Basically Home Warranty of America can be trusted and is trusted by homeowners. Their intention is to keep the homeowners’ customer for much longer than the 1 year contract and this certainly comes across in how they perform.
With so much time in the business, more than 20 years in fact, Home Warranty of America has built a solid reputation. And whilst there are occasional unhappy customers to be found (as with any industry or business) the large majority of the company’s customers are very happy with service they receive.
The main takeaway from this review is that you can get a customized warranty plan that’s perfectly tailored for your needs, and having this sort of protection in place can be a somewhat of a godsend when an appliance breaks down.