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First American Home Warranty vs Choice Home Warranty

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FIRST AMERICAN HOME WARRANTY

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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CHOICE HOME WARRANTY

Choice Home Warranty has been in the home warranty coverage industry for about a decade. We appreciate that Choice Home Warranty has improved its track record over the years, going from a D- (or worse) to a C+ with the Better Business Bureau.

But, compared with their competition, Choice still comes up short in a number of ways. The main way to get specific information about their plans - coverage, pricing, and so on - is to call or submit your information for a free quote. We prefer working with businesses that are completely transparent with what they cover and how much it'll cost.

It took some digging, but we were able to find their Coverage lists on the What's Covered page; check the Homeowners or Buyers/Sellers tabs to get there most easily. According to that list, Choice Home Warranty offers two plans: Total and Basic. As with most home warranty companies, you'll have to read the contract to know what's excluded; you'll find that link at the bottom of the coverage page, where you can see their extensive contract.

We also weren't thrilled with the difference we saw between what Choice Home Warranty said about their reputation and what we actually found. For example, their site features a 5-star "excellent" rating with a well-known, third-party rating system, but when we visited the actual third-party site, we found their average to be considerably lower. And, when we looked at customer reviews there, we discovered ample complaints specifically about Choice Home Warranty's pushy sales representatives. Since you can't get a quote or even sign up for a home warranty without working with a representative, brace yourself to be pushed repeatedly to commit to a multi-year service contract - and to possibly get a rude response from the rep if you insist on a one-year plan.

Customers also had issues with the process of getting repairs scheduled and completed. Often, they had to wait a day or longer just to get a vendor assigned to the repair, and then days (or more) to get a technician to their home.

While we're glad that Choice Home Warranty is on its way to a better reputation, they still have some ground to cover to compete with the higher-ranked home warranty companies on the market.

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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 First American Home Warranty and Choice Home Warranty.

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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