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Home Warranty
Old 07-23-2015, 09:59 AM   #1
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Home Warranty

I tried bumping the old thread but it was too old.

My boiler (and hot water heater) just took a dump and it looks like I may need a new one - if I didn't have the home warranty I'm guessing I'd be looking at $4K or so. Seems cheap compared to the $680 annual premium. (Last year is was free as part of the closing costs).


My outside A/C condensers also look like they are about to take a dump....
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:07 AM   #2
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I would think it would depend on the age of things covered, and the cost. This article says it's not worth it.

Are home warranties worth the cost? - LA Times

It's insurance, and it would depend on if you can afford the $700, but not the $4,000 then maybe it is the way to go.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:19 AM   #3
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Since we moved to paradise 4 years ago I've had it on two houses, saved me hundreds if not thousands - first house, several repairs to the bosch dishwasher (computer boards), one to fridge, one or two to HVAC (breakers/wiring). Appliances were 15 yers old hvac was original (1970).


Current house built in 82, toilet leak, breakers/wiring, and now this. House also has one new and one old furnace and two old condensers. Appliances are about 7 years old but very high end - dakor 48" range, high dollar fridge, dishwasher and wine cooler. Can't wait for those things to go out.


Don't believe everything you read. I think they are a nobrainer for older homes.
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:40 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Big_Hitter View Post
I tried bumping the old thread but it was too old.

....
I'm pretty sure you can just click to accept that it is an old thread, and continue. This might be limited for people with very few posts, but you should be past that threshold?

Which thread was it? It might help us to know the history.

At any rate, it's hard to accept that this kind of insurance is a 'no-brainer' - do you really think the insurance companies routinely under-price their product, and they don't know the cost versus home age issues?

I sure wouldn't count on it.

-ERD50
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Old 07-23-2015, 10:47 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by ERD50 View Post
I'm pretty sure you can just click to accept that it is an old thread, and continue. This might be limited for people with very few posts, but you should be past that threshold?

Which thread was it? It might help us to know the history.

At any rate, it's hard to accept that this kind of insurance is a 'no-brainer' - do you really think the insurance companies routinely under-price their product, and they don't know the cost versus home age issues?

I sure wouldn't count on it.

-ERD50
IMO, it's a no brainer for homes with older appliances and HVAC systems; I wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole on a house 10 years old or newer. I'm sure some casualty actuaries occasionally misprice things.

Home Warranties - Worth it?
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Old 07-24-2015, 06:13 AM   #6
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One thing to check... How much is the service call fee? We have a home warranty from the purchase of our home. We have a small problem in our bathroom (maybe I'll start a separate thread about it) but am reticent to file a claim because the online system is insisting I agree to a service call fee without even telling me how much it would be. I've not had time to sit on hold long enough to find out how much it is.
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Old 07-24-2015, 08:26 AM   #7
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While I'm glad it has been worthwhile for you, having had a client in the home warranty business I can tell you that they make a BOATLOAD of money.... their claims cost is way lower than premiums... so more often than not it is not a winning proposition for the purchaser.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:34 AM   #8
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While I'm glad it has been worthwhile for you, having had a client in the home warranty business I can tell you that they make a BOATLOAD of money.... their claims cost is way lower than premiums... so more often than not it is not a winning proposition for the purchaser.
+1 It is like the anecdotes that come out to support auto extended warranties. Bottom line is that the odds must favor the insurance company or they don't have a business model. Or the plural of anecdote is not data.
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:43 AM   #9
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One thing to check... How much is the service call fee?
60 dolla
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:47 AM   #10
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Big Hitter's circumstance looks like a good way to harvest the benefits of this insurance. ~45 yo mechanical equipment is ripe for replacement, and the new pc board appliances, well...

How's your roof, BH?
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:48 AM   #11
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I've had home warranties on 2 houses, two different warranty companies. I've tried to make claims 3 times now and have never received a single cent. The first time they claimed the repair wasn't covered, even though it seemed to me it should be based on the paperwork. The second time the repair didn't meet a high enough threshold, which I found out after the fact was $300 for a warranty costing me $480. That also wasn't in my paperwork.

The third repair was never completed - a microwave burned out and they only offered me $300 via check for a 7-year old microwave costing $1200 new + install. My paperwork specifically stated I had replacement cost reimbursement, but they said their paperwork said something different. Flat out refused to send me a copy of their paperwork or accept a copy of mine. Rarely answered their phone and when they did, refused to let me speak to a manager. Every time I was told to call back at a certain time, I was told the person I was trying to reach wasn't available because they kept changing which time zone I was supposed to be using. At one point I worked them up to $600 and decided to cut my losses. Agreed to accept $600, told them to mail the check. Two months later I still hadn't received the check and they said they hadn't sent it because nobody had confirmed my address. I tried to confirm my address then but was told only one person could do so, and they were on vacation. Another two weeks - no check. Finally confirmed my address two weeks after that. Another week goes by and I call checking for status - they haven't mailed the check yet and don't plan to for another "4-6 weeks." Then they estimated mail would take 2-4 weeks. Eventually they stopped answering the phone at all and their website disappeared.

Seven months of hell to try to get my money. Never again.


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Old 07-24-2015, 09:52 AM   #12
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Nearly ashamed to admit this - but I have a Home Warranty also. Premium is $680 / year. I've used it twice in 2 years. Dishwasher panel (would have cost $225) and clogged HVAC drain ($125). The service call was $75 each. I'm definitely losing money at this point but its an older home with 15 year old appliances and a 15 year old HVAC so I'm "betting" on coming out ahead. Like most best, I'll probably lose
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Old 07-24-2015, 09:53 AM   #13
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I've had home warranties on 2 houses, two different warranty companies. I've tried to make claims 3 times now and have never received a single cent. The first time they claimed the repair wasn't covered, even though it seemed to me it should be based on the paperwork. The second time the repair didn't meet a high enough threshold, which I found out after the fact was $300 for a warranty costing me $480. That also wasn't in my paperwork.

The third repair was never completed - a microwave burned out and they only offered me $300 via check for a 7-year old microwave costing $1200 new + install. My paperwork specifically stated I had replacement cost reimbursement, but they said their paperwork said something different. Flat out refused to send me a copy of their paperwork or accept a copy of mine. Rarely answered their phone and when they did, refused to let me speak to a manager. Every time I was told to call back at a certain time, I was told the person I was trying to reach wasn't available because they kept changing which time zone I was supposed to be using. At one point I worked them up to $600 and decided to cut my losses. Agreed to accept $600, told them to mail the check. Two months later I still hadn't received the check and they said they hadn't sent it because nobody had confirmed my address. I tried to confirm my address then but was told only one person could do so, and they were on vacation. Another two weeks - no check. Finally confirmed my address two weeks after that. Another week goes by and I call checking for status - they haven't mailed the check yet and don't plan to for another "4-6 weeks." Then they estimated mail would take 2-4 weeks. Eventually they stopped answering the phone at all and their website disappeared.

Seven months of hell to try to get my money. Never again.
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Old 07-24-2015, 10:16 AM   #14
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Big Hitter's circumstance looks like a good way to harvest the benefits of this insurance. ~45 yo mechanical equipment is ripe for replacement, and the new pc board appliances, well...

How's your roof, BH?
7 years old but I don't think the roof is covered, just inside stuff.
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:15 AM   #15
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The service call was $75 each.
And you pay that even if the answer is, "That's not covered," and you decided to go with another repair/replacement option. Right?
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Old 07-24-2015, 11:19 AM   #16
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you only pay the sc once the tech shows up and begins work - if it isn't covered you don't have to pay - when you call it in they tell you if it's covered or not
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Old 07-25-2015, 11:46 AM   #17
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And you pay that even if the answer is, "That's not covered," and you decided to go with another repair/replacement option. Right?
I would guess the answer to that is yes, but I have a detailed list of what is covered. As to deciding to go with a different repair/replace option, yes I would still pay the $75 service fee and I think that's fair. It would be MY decision to go with a different option. On replacement, they offer a check for what THEY can replace the item at for an item with the same functions as the one being replaced if you don't like their option. I'm thinking it would cover about 1/3rd the cost of what I'd want to go with. Time will tell if the warrantee is worth it --- as I admitted, I'm gambling
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Old 07-25-2015, 12:04 PM   #18
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We have a service contract, and I think it is a good value, but it isn't a warranty or insurance product. The renewal rate for the next 12 months is $650, and covers all the appliances in the house, plumbing, and two a/c units (compressor not included). There is no service charge, the business performs all the repair. The contract also includes replacement, so when our Bosch dishwasher died last year they cut a check for $550. Not enough to replace but definitely covered the cost of the contract for that year.

I'd say we've had our money's worth just in a/c and refrigerator repair.

The decision to renew grows more difficult each year. The price continues to rise and we have been started to replace appliances. When I first bought they would not take a new customer if the house was over 20 years old, but once in they renew. It's a good business model, employee owned, but i've only seen it in South Florida.

One thing I have noticed is how different the repair is when they do it compared with an independent repair business. The defects are simpler, easier to fix, and much faster that independent repair folks, who always take much longer and find much more serious, and costly, problems.
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Old 07-26-2015, 04:31 PM   #19
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I never did the home warranty thing. My current place has a bunch of 9 year old appliances and HVAC. I just replace things as they break and call them upgrades, with the exception of the HVAC.

I hate giving hard-earned money to someone, only to fight hard to get it back. You almost hope for something to go wrong, then hope that they will resolve it correctly without a big PITA.

I had a friend who fought for months to get his HVAC (central heat & air) fixed properly. The company replaced one part at a time over almost a year on a 15 year old system. While he did save money, he's just delaying the inevitable and I wouldn't be able to tolerance the drama and PITA.

A home warranty may also constrain who you select as a contractor and whether something gets repaired or replaced. For me, it sounds like another layer of complexity and potential BS for marginal savings at best. Actually, sounds too much like w*rk! YMMV
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Old 07-26-2015, 05:11 PM   #20
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A relative had it, found they stated various things were not covered, and of course he had to pay the service fee. He finally quit it.

I've never had one, because I'm a bit handy
- fixed washer with $12 plastic gear,
- fixed dryer with new belt, drum bearing
- fixed furnace with new motor ($110) and adjusted AC condenser drain pan angle.
- installed new bathroom cabinet,sink, taps
- removed toilet, installed new shutoff tap and flange, re-installed same toilet
- installed floating pergo flooring in a bedroom.
- replace corner joint of copper pipe that magically started to leak (actual pipe, not joint).
- installed my new gas stove
- replaced my broken microwave with a new one over the stove.

Even without being handy, I probably would not get it, as the warranty company makes a good profit, so that suggests most stuff does not break down frequently, and they have all sorts of exclusions to argue over.
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