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      July 20, 2019

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First American Home Warranty vs Total Protect

Best Home Warranties

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

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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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Best Reviews

2019

Home Warranty Reviews

3.5 stars
First American Home Warranty

FIRST AMERICAN HOME WARRANTY Visit Site

BBB Rating:

B

Established in 1984, First American Home Warranty has more than 500,000 customers and offers around-the-clock service on their home warranty contracts.

In order to find out if First American can cover your property, you'll need to enter your zip code. You'll be taken to a page that shows you what is covered for your area. But, in order to get pricing, you'll have to enter your full information: name, address, zip code, and so forth. For our residence, we were given these two options:

  • Basic Plan: service call fee of $75, priced at $28/month (or a one-time yearly payment of $300, a savings of $21). Includes coverage of appliances: disposal, dishwasher, range, cooktop, microwave, trash compactor, refrigerator, washer/dryer
  • Premier Plan: service call fee of $75, priced at $44/month (or one-time yearly payment of $492, a savings of $21). Includes coverage of appliances and major systems, such as plumbing, electrical, heating/ductwork, garage door opener, and central vacuum system.

Both plans offer upgrades to cover pool/spa equipment, well pumps, central air (electric), as well as a "First Class Upgrade" that covers more components within the various appliances and systems.

When you look at the quote page, you'll notice plus signs (+) next to each listed component. We weren't thrilled to read that "company shows examples of components ‘not covered' to assist your understanding of this Contract, and examples are not exhaustive". In other words, could there be things that are actually not covered, but they're not listed on the quote page? That's not reassuring, to have to download the sample contract just to look up every possible exclusion.

And reassurance may be exactly what you want, because most of the complaints we found regarding First American center around excluded coverage items. Customers described systems that needed repair, and the most common replacement items were actually not covered. We also read a number of reviews that complained about less-than-competent technicians contracted by First American, who wound up causing more damages than they fixed.

But, compared with some of the home warranty companies we surveyed, it does look like First American makes the effort to address such complaints. Both with their "B" rating with the Better Business Bureau and their responses to negative reviews, this company does show respect for the customer.

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3 stars
Total Protect

TOTAL PROTECT Visit Site

BBB Rating:

None

Total Protect has been providing home warranty coverage to their customers for almost 30 years. Their website is easy to navigate and offers helpful information about home warranties in general.

In order to see pricing, you'll have to enter your email address, zip code, and phone number. We'd prefer to have pricing listed directly, instead of being required to give our contact information first. For our home, we were given the following monthly options:

  • Deductibles of $75, $100, or $125
  • Appliance Plan: priced from $22.95 to $44.95, depending on the deductible chosen. Coverage includes refrigerator with built-in ice maker, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktop, washer/dryer, microwave, trash compactor, and range exhaust hood.
  • Systems Plan: priced from $34.95 to $47.95, depending on the deductible chosen. Coverage includes HVAC (2 units), water heater, electrical system, ceiling fans, toilets, ductwork, plumbing lines, interior gas lines, sump pump, garage door opener, garbage disposal, central vacuum, attic fan, and doorbell/chime.
  • Combo Plan: priced from $43.95 to $65.96, depending on the deductible chosen. This includes everything in the Appliance and Systems Plans, along with a homeowners' insurance deductible reimbursement of up to $500 every 12 months.

On the page listing your plans and options, you can also click to see a sample contract. This is where you'll be able to determine the components that are specifically excluded from your coverage.

We were confused as we tried to research Total Protect's reputation in the industry. Previously, they maintained an "A+ with the Better Business Bureau. But, at the time of our latest review, the company had no rating; even when we looked up Total Protect's parent company, Cross Country Home Services, their status was listed as "this business profile is being updated" by the BBB. This could be related to yet another change in company ownership; the BBB link for CCHS redirected to Homesure of America, leaving us wondering what was happening for Total Protect.

And, when we looked at the ratings summary on Total Protect's site, we found that their customers are evenly split between five-star and one-star ratings (over 200 of each, plus a scattering of 2-, 3-, and 4-star reviews). When it comes to choosing a home warranty, especially from a company whose status is currently in question, the last thing you want is to see that their customers have a love-hate relationship with the plans and the service received.

For now, we feel it appropriate to downgrade Total Protect's ranking from an earlier 4-star rating to a 3-star rating; we give them points for a previously-strong reputation, but recommend caution as their BBB status is being updated.

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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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