Did you know that your home owner’s insurance might not cover the cost of emergency repairs to your plumbing, heating and cooling, or electrical system? Most homeowner’s insurance policies provide coverage for your personal belongings, your home’s structure in the event of a fire, a hurricane, hail damage, or a lightning strike, and liability protection in case someone is injured on your premises.
If your electrical system goes kaput or your sewer line springs a leak, you need a home warranty plan if you hope to avoid huge out-of-pocket expenses. Take a look at our HomeServe review and see if their coverage plans are what you need for peace of mind.
What Is A Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a contract between the homeowner and insurance agency that covers unexpected repairs or replacements to plumbing, electrical or heating and cooling systems when they malfunction. Sometimes major appliances like refrigerators, sump pumps, and washing machines are included in this coverage plan.
Less expensive home warranty plans provide basic coverage while more costly policies offer more comprehensive coverage. Most home warranty plans are paid annually. Many companies also charge a service fee each time a repairman is dispatched to your home.
The home warranty process is very similar to filing an insurance claim. When a covered system or appliance, requires repair, you must contact the company’s customer service department either online or by phone. The home warranty company chooses a service provider in your area who will contact you to schedule an appointment for a service technician to come to your home.
The technician will assess and repair the problem based on your home warranty coverage plan. The homeowner pays a service call fee to the technician, and the home warranty company pays for the repair.
There is a possibility of a claim being denied by the warranty company. If your appliance or system was not installed properly or you have been neglecting to have regular maintenance done, your application may be denied. If your home system or apparatus is found to have been subject to unusual wear and tear, your policy may not cover repairs.
If your plumbing, electrical, or heating system doesn’t meet local building codes, the warranty company will not do the repairs. If a permit is needed to complete a repair, know that many companies will not pay for permit fees. If there was a pre-existing condition before the warranty purchase, it is typically not covered by the home warranty policy.
HomeServe PLC is a business which specializes in emergency home repairs through home warranty plans. The parent company was founded in the United Kingdom in 1993 by Richard Harpin. The organization now has a presence in France under the name Doméo, in Spain with Reparalia, in Italy through Assistenza Casa and in North America as HomeServe USA.
HomeServe offers coverage and service for sewer, water, heating, electrical, and cooling repair emergencies to its clients. HomeServe USA has been around since 2003. This branch provides service to more than 4 million homeowners both in Canada and the United States through partnering with over 600 local municipalities, utility companies, and contractors. The company has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, although it is not accredited.
The insurance plans offered by HomeServe cover parts and labor for emergency repair service requested through the 24-hours a day seven days a week hotline. All repairs are done by licensed, insured, local technicians and have a one-year warranty except for surge plans which have only a 90-day guarantee. HomeServe has plans that cover plumbing and electrical issues as well as heating and cooling problems.
HomeServe offers packages that cover specific systems in addition to a comprehensive coverage plan. Just purchasing specific coverage means you aren’t paying for an appliance or system that is already under warranty, saving you annual fees in the long run.
How HomeServe Compares
In this HomeServe review, we examined the premium plan of both HomeServe and TotalProtect home warranty companies.
HomeServe Premium Home Protection Plan
HomeServe Premium Home Protection Plan provides coverage for your home’s gas line, interior plumbing and sewage drainage, exterior and interior electrical line, water heater repair and replacement, heating and cooling systems with certain restrictions. The total maximum annual repair coverage is $2,500 per home system or $10,000 in all.
HomeServe USA has a deficient rating at Consumer Affairs. It seems that the quality across the nation is not regulated as well as it should be since HomeServe works with local contractors rather than employing its contractors. There is also a long list of exclusions to the Premium Home Protection Plan which you should read carefully before purchasing.
TotalProtect Combo Plan
The TotalProtect Combo plan combines the appliance and system coverage policies. Coverage includes larger household appliances, electrical system, A/C and heating system, interior gas line, and plumbing. TotalProtect annual fee is slightly less expensive than HomeServe however, TotalProtect charges a $125 deductible.
The first month’s coverage is free. The Combo plan includes a Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement which will pay you up to $500 per year when you pay a deductible on a covered homeowner’s insurance claim. There is also an option to add coverage for spas and pools.
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In our HomeServe review, we found that the idea of a home warranty is exceptionally appealing. We thought that the individual coverage plans HomeServe offers was ideal. The rates for each plan were reasonable and could potentially save the homeowner quite a bit in repair costs. We were not as impressed with the lack of quality control HomeService has over the local technicians that actually do the repairs.