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Friday, August 12th
Since 1996, Home Warranty of America (or HWA for short) has been protecting homeowners with warranty coverage. There are no age restrictions on anything they cover, no inspections are required, and items simply need to be functional and working at the time you buy your warranty plan.
2 options for home warranties
There are two warranty plans to choose from with HWA:
Not the most intuitive pricing process
Getting an initial quote here is a little more extensive than most of HWA's rivals. You'll have to enter not only your name and contact information but also the property type and square footage of your home. We also noticed that after we provided those details, the warranty plan names changed to Select and Select Plus, but with the same coverages described above. That's also where we found our options for extra coverage - some of which made sense, like pool/spa combo or septic systems, and some that had no explanation ("Orange Plus" and "SEER/R-410A Modifications" . Alrighty then!).
Pricing is average
Pricing was just average, with a quote of $57.92/month for the Select Plus plan and $46.04/month for Select. At no point did HWA come out and tell us how much we'd pay in service call fees, and we didn't have an option to select different amounts (even though in some places on the site, it said we'd have choices starting at $75). (It's also worth mentioning that the pricing page here looked suspiciously like another home warranty company we evaluated.)
Not a great rating from the BBB
Home Warranty of America has a "C" rating from the Better Business Bureau. There were over 650 complaints filed there in the year prior to this evaluation. The most common complaints were delays in servicing and challenges getting covered problems repaired or replaced instead of having the claim denied.
Still some positive comments from clients
On the other hand, we found more than a few clients who say that working with Home Warranty of America has been consistently good. Claims are addressed quickly, repair people are dispatched, and there's no problem even when multiple claims are filed within a year's time. All we can say here is "your results may vary" .
Nothing impressive with these home warranties
Home Warranty of America doesn't stand out. Their coverage is average, their pricing is average, their customer feedback is average. It's not the most terrible home warranty provider we've ever seen, but this company has a long way to go to earn more of our confidence.
Maybe you're a landlord trying to mitigate your operating expenses. Or you're trying to sell your home in a tough market and want to set prospective buyers' minds at ease. Then again, you could be like the average homeowner who wants some protection against those unexpected expenses like a failing air conditioner or a leaky bathtub.
In all of these situations, a good home warranty is a wise choice that can make the difference between a quick, inexpensive fix and a huge repair bill. How do home warranty plans work? Most providers give you several plans to choose from, ranging from basic coverage of appliances or systems, to premium packages that cover just about every component of your home. There are usually add-on services for an extra fee, like coverage of your electronics, sump pumps, septic systems, pools/spas, and so on.
All home warranties have limits, exclusions, and caps on the amount your policy will pay over the life of the contract: this is one of those times where it's essential to read the fine print and understand what's covered and what's not.
You should also expect a 30-day waiting period before your coverage takes effect. In other words, don't think you can hurriedly throw a warranty plan on your broken fridge and expect it to get fixed - unless you want to wait a whole month. Many home warranty companies use this time as a money-back guarantee period, in case you change your mind or discover something in your policy that you weren't aware of when you signed up. One such "surprise" is often the trade call service fee: what you'll pay per service call, similar to a copay you'd have on a medical insurance plan or a deductible with your car insurance. Be aware that you could have multiple fees for a single repair, if the fix requires different tradespeople to get it taken care of (both a plumber and an electrician).
You've got a lot of companies to consider for your home warranty, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. How can you tell which ones will deliver what they promise? Here are the most useful criteria to guide your decision:
To help protect your home (and your savings), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular home warranty providers. We're sure this information will help you choose the right plan for your property!
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