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      January 28, 2020

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American Home Shield vs Sears Home Warranty

Best Home Warranties

To help you find the Best Home Warranty Companies, TopConsumerReviews.com provides you with an in-depth comparison of American Home Shield and Sears Home Warranty.

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Who has the best Home Warranty? Whether you're a homeowner, landlord, or home seller hoping to sweeten the deal for prospective buyers, a home warranty can make a significant difference. From appliances like washers and dryers to home systems such as HVAC and electrical, home warranty policies protect you in the event of a malfunction or needed repair.

Given that the average costs of even a minor fix can easily run into the hundreds or thousands of dollars, it's easy to understand why many people purchase home warranties every month. The coverage purchased typically explains what is and is not covered, so you know exactly what you're getting. Also, most plans have some kind of deductible or service fee once a technician has been dispatched for your repair or claim.

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2020

Home Warranty Reviews

4.5 stars
American Home Shield

AMERICAN HOME SHIELD

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BBB Rating:

B

American Home Shield is the largest home warranty provider in the nation, and for nearly 30 years, they've been the featured partner of ServiceMaster. ServiceMaster brings a network of home service industries together, including high-profile brands like Merry Maids, Terminix, and Furniture Medic. American Home Shield's influence and high position in the industry can't be ignored

On the other hand, we can't ignore the fact that in recent years their reputation has taken a hit. American Home Shield's rating with the BBB dropped from an A+ to a B. The reason? American Home Shield has more than 10,000 complaints registered on the BBB site alone.

The home warranty coverage offered by American Home Shield has remained consistent:

  • Appliances Plan
  • Systems Plan
  • Combo Plan
  • Build-Your-Own

These include what you would generally expect from coverage; American Home Shield is one of the only home warranty providers on the market that does have that customizable option; you can choose 10 or more items/systems for coverage, which allows you to only pay for the protection you actually need. That's another plus for this company.

You'll have to enter your address and email in order to get a pricing quote. The first residence we tried to cover kept giving us an error; we had to try a different address to get the quote system to work. For that residence, we were given pricing ranging from $34.99 to $44.99 per month with a $100 Trade Service Call Fee. The base price for the Build Your Own was $39.99, with any coverage over 10 items/systems resulting in an extra cost, which varied depending on the items included. American Home Shield also provides options for upgrades, like well pump or pool/spa coverage, and you can modify your pricing by choosing a service call fee of $75 or $125 which raises or lowers your monthly fees accordingly.

At the bottom of that quote page, you'll also find the sample contract. This will provide important information about what is covered for each item/system and what is specifically excluded.

Another plus for American Home Shield is their 24/7 availability if you need to schedule a repair and make a claim. Also, American Home Shield will ask you to rate your technician; many problems with home warranties come when less-than-expert repair people are sent to service a claim, and American Home Shield wants to make sure that their network of more than 13,000 contractors is doing a good job.

Despite American Home Shield's challenges lately with respect to customer complaints, their commitment to quality and their long-standing position and reputation within the home warranty industry are worth keeping in mind. For this reason, we still think American Home Shield is a strong choice for your home warranty needs.

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2.5 stars
Sears Home Warranty

SEARS HOME WARRANTY

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BBB Rating:

B+

Sears is a well-established brand across a variety of products and services. At the time of our review, however, there was a lot of talk about whether they may be facing bankruptcy. So, if you're looking at purchasing a home warranty plan through Sears, you should keep that in the back of your mind; there's no way to know how they would honor contracts if they go out of business.

For the time being, though, here's what you need to know about the home warranty plans offered by Sears. First, they offer three main plans: Systems, Appliance, and Whole House. Each plan covers what you would expect from the name, with Whole House representing the total combination of the first two plans. We like that all plans have a 180-day service guarantee on any repairs performed, and that there's no product age limit for covered items. You may have to provide evidence of routine maintenance on older appliances and systems, but this is standard for most home warranty plans.

Sears has generous coverage limits: $10,000 per claim and $50.000 per year across all 3 plans. Deductibles range from $75 to $100 per service.

On the other hand, we don't love that Sears doesn't give customers a price without entering their information for a free quote, and that you can only see a sample contract once you've done so. The most reputable home warranty companies make that information available without any requirements. When we entered our information, the pricing for our state was $49.99/month for the Appliance plan, $59.99 for the Systems package, and $69.99/month for the Whole House warranty. All three plans came with a "first month free' offer. Your pricing may be different, depending on your state and whether you need service now.

The biggest downside is that we found numerous complaints about Sears' service of warranty issues. Although many of them related to warranty coverage of individual products - such as a washer or lawn mower purchased at Sears - there were several that specifically discussed problems with the home warranty plan. You'll want to make sure you understand all of the fine print in your contract, because some of the complaints referred to a hefty buy-out fee for trying to cancel before the plan expires. There were also customers whose contracts renewed automatically without their permission, and the only way out was to pay the fee (or just wait another year until it expired and then cancel it directly).

Because of these complaints and the fact that Sears is experiencing financial troubles, we can only give their home warranty plans a middle-of-the-pack ranking.

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Continued from above

You should be aware that home warranties are one of the most complained-about services available today. Why? The main reason is that customers don't pay attention to the fine print. When considering a home warranty policy, be sure to take a look at a sample contract. Like all warranty and insurance companies, they're hoping that you don't need to make a claim - and so many of the cosmetic, non-essential inner workings and components may be excluded from coverage.

However, if you take the time to educate yourself on the home warranty you're purchasing, there should be no unpleasant surprises, and your covered systems will be repaired in a timely fashion by a licensed, reputable technician.

As you decide which company earns your business for a home warranty plan, here are several criteria to consider:

  • Coverage. What is included, and what is specifically excluded? Do the plans offered cover the systems and appliances you most want to protect?
  • Premiums and Fees. What will you pay for your coverage? Will you pay monthly, quarterly, or yearly? What are the fees you pay for service calls? Do you have a deductible?
  • Reputation. What is the company's rating with the Better Business Bureau, if they have one? What do current and previous clients have to say about the home warranty, both during the purchasing process and especially during the claims/repairs experience?

TopConsumerReviews.com has reviewed and ranked the best home warranty companies available today. We hope this research helps you find the best home warranty policy for your home or rental property!

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