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American Home Shield vs Total Protect

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AMERICAN HOME SHIELD

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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TOTAL PROTECT

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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Best Home Warranty

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

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.

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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