If you live in your own house, you will know how difficult it is to deal with repair and maintenance issues. Unless you have a home warranty policy from companies such as American Home Shield (AHS), it will not be a pleasant experience to deal with appliance repair issues. Some repairs are minor and you can fix yourself but when large kitchen appliances or heating or air conditioning units fail, you need to have some kind of protection. Otherwise, you can expect to receive hefty bills from contractors and have a dent in your budget.
There are several companies that offer home warranty protection and American Home Shield is one of those companies that offers protection plans. Typically, the policy costs about 400 to 500 dollars and in addition you will pay service call fee (about 60 dollars) for every incident you report. What you will get is guaranteed repair and replacement services throughout the year. You should be aware that home warranty companies do not let you combine claims. For example, if you have a problem with electrical switch and also with refrigerator, you will pay trade service call fee twice! So, for this reason, it is better to take care of minor repair issues yourself.
If you keep calling the warranty companies for every minor or major issue, they might terminate your policy. They could increase the premium or completely deny coverage. So, it is wise to call them for major issues only.
When you purchase a home warranty, please be aware that not all your claims are covered. Many warranty companies including American home shield require you to properly maintain the appliances and have regular inspection done on heavy machinery such as heaters and A/C units. If you haven't maintained the appliances, the warranty company could deny coverage.
Consumers have had different kind of experience with these companies. The following excerpt will present the case from happy and not-so-happy customers
"I had to use my AHS warranty for the first time last week and was very pleased with the service. My water well was not working at all at 6:30 PMâ€¦which means no water to the homeâ€¦The service rep was polite and caringâ€¦.They had a service company call me first thing in the morningâ€¦He set the appointment and came out on time & fixed the pump and all I paid was the $60.00!! I am VERY PLEASED with American Home Shieldâ€¦.""We had just one complaint about something not getting fixed at all under their warranty. We had the contract for 1 year when we bought the house. Our plumbing contractor was very good and responded in timely manner. Appliance contractor was horrible!! They only had personnel with no knowledge at all, had to come out 4 times for our fridge. One time the same damage as before happened 1 week after the 3 month work order warranty was over and we had to pay the 50$ again!!50$ co pay is anyway rediculous, we had 2 work orders that would have been less than 50$ but got it charged anyway! Cooling heating contractors were a nightmare too! Had them coming out 4 times for one issue with our Evap before they replaced the motor.
Needless to say we did not renew our contract. Although I have to say that 90% of the time the customer service employees from AHS have been very friendly and helpful, but their contractors are bad and like with the Evap you sometimes have to make multiple service orders (every time 50$) before they replace something. â€¦."