Home Warranty Companies; Good or Bad
Many people are using Home Warranty Companies these days. When a seller of a home sells to a buyer, it is becoming a common thing for the seller to purchase a home warranty. This seems to help the transaction along very well, because after the buyers home inspection, the home warranty would seem to fill in all the gaps so that there is little that could go wrong for the buyer. Well this is not entirely true, many times the home inspector may skip some of the HVAC tests because of the temperature, or lack of training, or it is even possible that the inspector could miss something. IF the inspector misses something, and the HVAC equipment is bad, the condition may be considered pre-existing, and the home warranty company may NOT cover the repair. This is something important to be aware of. Make sure to read your contracts. Here are some more things with home warranty companies that seems to perplex people that have them. Once a Contractor has been selected by the Home Warranty Company to take care of your issue, realize they are not the Home Warranty Company so on one hand, they are on your side! At the same time, when a contractor is called out, from a warranty company, they also have a responsibility to make sure they take care of the Home Warranty Company’s interests also. So the contractor has to balance the interests of each party. As such, there are many criteria for the service call that are changed, that would be different had the contractor been called by a customer directly. One is that sometimes a contractor may want to recommend to you that a new system be installed, maybe for a benefit to you for energy savings, rebates available, or maybe we see that you are going to have multiple repairs done, and so often that you would have to consider adopting your service Tech because he will be making so many trips. That was a slight exaggeration, however from the perspective of the Home Warranty company, they want to repair the system as economically as possible; and replace only if absolutely necessary. These type of situations we would expect to be obvious, but sometimes people do not think all of the way through, especially with an unforeseen incident. Another commonly misunderstood item seen is concerning leak checks. Part of the procedure used for leak checking for home warranty companies is to add refrigerant charge to the unit if it only needs a little refrigerant, then watch and wait to determine if a leak is severe. A customer can always pay for an electronic leak check, but the home warranties do not normally like to do them until it is determined the leak rate is over somewhere around 2 or 3 pounds a year. A third common misunderstanding happens when a customer gets a new piece of equipment, and then drops their home warranty. If something goes wrong, you may have a parts warranty on the parts, but the labor is not covered by the installing contractor, it is covered by the warranty company until you have not renewed. When a contractor does work through a warranty company, the warranty company is only paying for the raw labor for the job that is done for you, and miscellaneous parts. So, if you do not renew you are on your own with the labor, which could be pricey.
Home Warranties are not for everyone, we have seen them really help some people out that needed them, and we have seen times that Home Warranties kept people from getting the system they probably would have purchased. The most important thing to remember if you have one is, when you let them lapse, you are back on your own.
P.S. Did we mention Read your contracts… 🙂