Home Warranty Inc Review | 2021
Homeowners across America purchase contracts from home warranty companies to alleviate some of the financial burden caused by expenses of home repairs. Optional insurance is a peace of mind guarantee that helps cover the exorbitant costs toward the repair or replacement of appliances and home systems.
In this article, our team of unbiased researchers will provide you with all you should know about the company, Home Warranty Inc. Before purchasing a home warranty, it's essential to understand the plan's terms and conditions, pricing, and claims processing. Once you know all of the costs associated with this type of protection, it's easier to make an informed decision and choose the best home warranty for you.
While Home Warranty Inc is a reputable company, we suggest American Home Shield as the Best Overall provider. The company provides coverage for 49 states (excluding Alaska) with affordable pricing, transparent terms, and exceptional customer service.
What is Home Warranty Inc?
Home Warranty Inc began servicing the Midwestern region of the United States in 1999. Today, the company offers home warranties in 32 states while operating out of its corporate office in Iowa. The group is accredited by the Better Business Bureau and boasts an A+ rating.
While Home Warranty Inc provides coverage for those in real estate transactions, it also invites long-term homeowners to purchase a policy. They offer 24/7 live calls during core business hours to streamline claims processing and answer questions from potential customers.
Home Warranty Inc Plans
When debating if you will benefit from purchasing a home warranty, it's essential to understand what is covered. With Home Warranty Inc, customers can choose between three packages.
Home Protection Plan
The Home Protection Plan is the most comprehensive package offered by Home Warranty Inc. Its extensive coverage protects the appliances and home systems that are most relied on in the average home.
- Central vacuum
- Interior plumbing
- Garbage disposal
- Range, oven, and cooktop stove
- Built-in, or over-the-range microwave
- Kitchen refrigerator
- Trash compactor
- Air exchanger
- Interior electrical wiring
- Water heater
- Heating unit
- Sump pump
- Washer and dryer
- Cooling unit
- Garage door opener
As a Home Warranty Inc policyholder, you can also include additional add-ons to the base package for further coverage.
- Well pump
- Pool or spa
- Jetted bathtub
- Plumbing stoppages
- Ice maker
- Water softener
- Septic system pumping
- Septic tank and pump
While the add-ons will raise the cost of a contract's premium, they provide additional peace of mind that home repairs for these systems are covered under warranty.
Supplemental Home Protection Plan
Home Warranty Inc also offers a lower-tier supplemental protection plan. It includes the same appliances and home systems featured in its comprehensive package, except:
- Interior plumbing
- Interior electrical wiring
- Sump pump
The supplemental plan also limits the number of available add-ons, but policyholders may choose to include:
- Well pump
- Pool or spa
- Jetted bathtub
- Ice maker
- Water softener
Appliance Protection Plan
The third and final plan offered by Home Warranty Inc is considered an a la carte service. Policyholders can handpick which appliances are covered under warranty and pay a monthly fee for each. The company recommends the Appliance Protection Plan for property managers, service companies, and used appliance dealers rather than homeowners.
What is Covered Under the Warranty?
While coverage from Home Warranty Inc provides sufficient peace of mind for homeowners, you should know there are specific limitations regarding what's protected. The company's terms and conditions are transparent about coverage caps for repairs and exclusions included within its contract.
Furnace (Limed to $1,000 per contract)
- Covered: main heating components, blower fan motors, heat exchangers
- Excluded: circulation components, fuel storage tanks, flues and vents
Air Conditioner (Limited to $1,000 per contract)
- Covered: compressors, capacitors, internal system controls, evaporator coils
- Excluded: expansion tanks, circulation components, condensation drain pump
Water Heater (Limited to $500 per contract)
- Covered: exhaust blower assembly, heating elements, gas control valves
- Excluded: holding tanks, flues and vents, insulation blanket
Per Home Warranty Inc terms, the coverage cap for regular appliances is $400, although refrigerators are an exception that is covered up to $600.
Home Warranty Inc Cost
The costs associated with purchasing a home warranty are always a significant consideration to analyze before choosing a provider. Our team requested a free quote for property in Chicago, IL, to provide the most accurate pricing for a Home Warranty Inc contract.
- Home Protection Plan: $550 (annual cost), $75 (service fee)
- Supplemental Home Protection Plan: $300 (annual cost), $75 (service fee)
The Appliance Protection Plan is unique in that policyholders can handpick their coverage. During our trial quote, we discovered that costs to protect appliances and systems could range between $5–$14 per month. When comparing the contract expenses with other home warranty companies, the prices are in line with the industry average, which is between $325–$804 per year.
When acquiring this policy, customers are required to list the brand name for the appliances they want to cover. It's important to note that under the Appliance Protection Plan, there are no service fees required. The entire expense of repair or replacement is covered by Home Warranty Inc if the issue is covered per its terms and conditions.
The Cost of Extras
To add further coverage to your warranty, customers can include optional add-ons to their policy. Of course, the extended protection will cost more based on the appliances and home systems. Here are the annual prices we found during the quote process.
- $30 (each): water softener, ice maker
- $60: jetted bathtub
- $75 (each): septic tank & plumbing system, plumbing stoppages
- $85: well pump
- $200 (each): spa, pool
When considering if an additional warranty is necessary, consider the average cost of home repairs for these vital systems:
Home Warranty Inc Service Fees
A staple among home warranty companies is a service fee that is paid when a technician arrives to address an issue. Throughout the industry, this expense typically averages between $75–$125. The fee for Home Warranty Inc is $75, making it a reasonable charge for its customers.
Home Warranty Inc Cancellation Fee
Another fee that policyholders will face occurs when a contract is canceled early. According to the Home Warranty Inc terms and conditions, 10% of the cost of the warranty will be charged as an administration fee.
Home Warranty Inc Quote Process
When reviewing how to obtain a Home Warranty Inc contract, our team found that rather than applying for a quote, coverage is simply purchased through online forms. Potential policyholders are required to identify themselves as a current homeowner or as someone in a real estate transaction.
After deciding between the available plans, customers next select additional add-ons they desire. You may then select the length of coverage, but keep in mind the contract fees are due before the warranty coverage goes into effect. Customers must then provide the company with information about themselves before submitting the form for review.
It's important to note that standard coverage from Home Warranty Inc is in effect for 14 months per contract. Twelve months is the common contract term for most home warranty companies.
Home Warranty Inc Claim Process
When making a claim with Home Warranty Inc, policyholders are asked to fill out a form on their website. The form requires necessary information about the customer and appliance or home system that needs repair.
- Phone number
- Email address
Appliances and Home Systems Information
- The type of appliance or mechanical system
- A brief description of the failure
- The specific date when the issue was first noticed
The online process is straightforward and simple, but a 24/7 customer service team is also available at 877-977-4949.
If a request for service isn't immediately acknowledged, Home Warranty Inc says customers should expect a callback within four hours during regular business hours. However, during the weekends or holidays, acceptance may be delayed up to 48 hours.
While the company's website advertises a "choose your own technician" process, its terms and conditions say the group has "sole discretion to choose service personnel." Unauthorized home repair services will not be reimbursed without Home Warranty Inc approval.
Our Verdict on Home Warranty Inc
After researching Home Warranty Inc, our team discovered a few advantages regarding the service but noticed several concerning issues. While the group offers affordable pricing, it's essential to look further into the advantages and disadvantages offered by home warranty companies before making a decision.
The positive aspects we discovered about Home Warranty Inc include the pricing for both contracts and service fees fall in line with the average costs throughout the industry. We also recommend finding a provider that offers 24/7 claims processing as appliances and systems can fail without notice.
Unfortunately, there are numerous drawbacks to buying a contract from Home Warranty Inc. We found numerous complaints from real customers who felt its terms and conditions are confusing after claims are denied. There are also multiple reports that the group's network of service experts are insufficient in specific areas; this can cause severe delays when waiting on remediation of your issue. The company's coverage range is also limited considering it only offers warranties in 30 states throughout the country.
While Home Warranty Inc may be a reputable company with over 20 years in the warranty industry, we feel homeowners can benefit with coverage from a different provider.
Best Overall Provider: American Home Shield
American Home Shield is a comprehensive warranty provider with affordable costs, exceptional coverage, and a dedicated customer service team. Its reliability and attention to issues raised by policyholders shows the commitment the company has to protect its reputation and the systems and appliances homeowners rely on most.
AHS Home Warranty has proven to hold the top spot according to our research team due to these highly valuable perks as a home warranty provider:
- Three plan options. Customers can choose between the ShieldSilver™ for just systems, or the ShieldGold™ and ShieldPlatinum™ plans for a combination of 23 items.
- Choose your service fee. Based on the monthly premium you select, you can adjust the amount you'll pay at the time of service.
- Fast service request response: AHS assigns professionals to a customer's service request within the first 24 hours 98% of the time.
- Strong reputation:
- Founded the home warranty industry and is the oldest home warranty company
- 2019 America's Best Midsize Employers Award by Forbes
- 2014–2015 Women's Choice Award
- 2014 Home Warranty Awards "Best in Service" Award
Best Basic Plan: Choice Home Warranty
We rate Choice Home Warranty as the Best Basic Plan in the home warranty industry.
Choice Home Warranty offers two primary tiers of coverage. The Choice Basic Plan covers multiple major appliances and home systems. The Total Plan covers everything in the Basic plan, plus some additional systems and appliances.
One of the biggest selling points for Choice Home Warranty is their simple, down-to-earth pricing for all the home protection you need and more. The quote process is quick and easy to navigate, and you can have a quote within two minutes through their basic online form. Our team got a sample quote directly from Choice Home Warranty for an address in Georgia, zip code 30097, and we received the following:
- Basic Plan: $41.69 (monthly premium), $85 (service fee)
- Total Plan: $50 (monthly premium), $85 (service fee)
Best Home Warranty Companies
Choosing a home warranty company is a major decision because your peace of mind depends on it. Our research team recommends American Home Shield as Best Overall and Choice Home Warranty as Best Basic Plan.
As always, we recommend that you request quotes from multiple providers and read all of the fine print first before making a decision.
Home Warranty Rating Methodology
The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens strives to provide unbiased and objective reviews to readers by compiling relevant information on home warranty companies and rating the providers on a variety of factors.
Here's what our review process looks like:
- We examine each provider's website to determine plan details, coverage, customer service offerings, and other benefits. We also speak with company representatives to get more insight on plan details.
- We read sample contracts from each home warranty company to analyze and compare coverage details, limits, and exclusions.
- We read at least 100 third-party customer reviews for each home warranty company to determine the real-life benefits and drawbacks of each provider.
- We gather cost information for a variety of home warranty plans in different states by completing online quote forms and speaking with sales representatives to simulate the quote process.
- We revisit each company's offerings on a seasonal basis, ensuring that we include the most up-to-date information in our reviews.
We also created a 100-point rating system to score companies based on objective factors, such as plan options, coverage, and customer service:
What we consider
The number and type of plan options offered to customers
The types of items included in a policy
How much each plan costs and the service fee options
How the company is perceived through Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings and a company's years in business
The customer service team's availability, what guarantees are offered, and what customer communication channels are provided (online customer portals, quote forms, etc.)
Factors that make the customer experience more seamless, such as allowing customers to choose their own contractor
Overall, the Home Service Research Team has reviewed over 70 home warranty companies to select the top-rated providers in the industry.