How to Get a Home Warranty without Getting Scr*wed

Home warranties are considered a necessity for homeowners today. The costs of purchasing a home are exorbitant enough without having to worry about the replacement and repair costs of home systems and appliances. For many homeowners, it’s always a challenge to pick the right home warranty service, save money in the process, and not get taken for a ride. Brand name and reputation are key elements in the selection process. The credibility of a home warranty company is sacrosanct. Companies don’t get high ratings unless they perform to client expectations.

Service America, a leading provider of home warranty services has been dominating the field for years. It was established in Florida in 1973, and is run by David J. Crawford, the current CEO and president. Based in Fort Lauderdale Florida, Service America is owned and operated by Second Service America Enterprise Inc. and First Colliers International Group Inc.  The company has received an extraordinary A- rating from the Better Business Bureau, and more importantly, a 4.35/5-star rating from clients. This speaks volumes about the professionalism, responsiveness, coverage options, and trust it has within the community.

Why Are Home Warranty Plans Important?

A home warranty offers peace of mind against the malfunctioning or breakdown of home systems and appliances. In today’s times, our homes are populated with expensive appliances ranging from garbage disposal units to high-tech microwaves, fancy ovens, space-age dishwashers, refrigerators, boilers, HVAC units, swimming pool motors and the like. The wide range of systems and appliances in our homes come at a hefty cost. Consider the following average costs for replacing standard appliances in a typical US home:

  • Bottom-mounted freezers can cost anywhere from $800 – $1,200 and installation of the appliance can cost $185 on average.
  • A basic range (stove) can cost anywhere from $350-$2,500 depending on your selection.
  • Dishwashers can cost anywhere from $250-$1,000 depending on the quality of the dishwasher you have selected.
  • Microwaves are another expense item that need to be factored into the equation, and they can cost anywhere from $80 for a basic microwave to $500 or more.
  • Single ovens or double ovens can cost anywhere from $700-$3,500. The high cost items are the stainless-steel ranges.

Most home systems and appliances come with a one-year warranty. This limited coverage warranty will cover basic damage, electrical faults, or mechanical faults that may occur within the first year of purchase. After that, you’re on your own. Occasional repair work is a necessity for home systems and appliances, since there are many moving components. You’ll want to choose your home warranty plan carefully, since the arena is peppered with many bad actors. Consider that the cost of repairing, or servicing home systems can range from $85 on the low end to $350 +. The more expensive your items are, the higher the costs of repairing them.

Why Should You Choose a Reputable Home Warranty Company?

Home warranty companies are only as good as the services they offer their clients. And this must be carefully studied before you make any decisions. Consider the case of American Home Shield (AHS). This reputable home warranty company has been dominating the scene for 40 years. What many homeowners don’t realize is that this company has been subject to multiple class action lawsuits over the years. In fact, AHS once settled numerous times, although the company did not expressly admit any illegal behaviour.

Of course, these were related to violations of the RESPA ACT. This is otherwise known as the Real Estate Settlement Procedures Act. There were accusations that AHS was giving kickbacks to realtors. This they said was not in violation of the RESPA Act, although this eroded confidence in the company’s credibility. As evidence of ‘wrongdoing’ AHS settled in a $26 million lawsuit. For these and other reasons, it’s important to be fully apprised of the credibility of the home warranty provider you’re using.