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First American Home Warranty vs Sears 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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SEARS HOME WARRANTY

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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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 Sears 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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