Note: This isn’t meant to attack any individual home warranty company, we’re just referencing all the events our customers have had to go through… It may not be like this with every home warranty company across the country, but in Maryland, you have to be real careful with what company you use for your home warranty.
As with any industry, contractors that first start out learning the trade get told time and time again how you’re supposed to back up the services you have to work with. So lets say your warranty is with “Southern Maryland Home Warranty” company. You’re hvac unit breaks, and you call us. When we arrive, we’re taught to act as if the warranty company is on your side and want the best for you. However, when you’ve seen as many horror stories in SOMD with regard to home warranty companies, it’s hard to stay quiet about it.
Their Goal: To Make You Feel Like You’re in Good Hands
You’ll usually get a taste of your first home owner warranty when you first buy a home. Usually you’ll get a 1-year home owner warranty when you purchase the home. From there you’ll probably renew the warranty each year assuming you’re going to be protected when something goes wrong.
Multiple times per week we get calls from home owners in the Southern Maryland area that are panicking because the contractor their home warranty company requires isn’t available for another week. And this is where things get tricky.
The Reality of The Fine Print
Home warranty companies aren’t on your (the home owners) side. They’re definitely not on our side and they’re not in business to spend money. At the end of the day they’re an insurance company looking to protect their interests and reduce all the claims they can.
The fine print tends to be bundled up in a lot of text, so without reading the entire document you’re likely missing out on what your warranty won’t cover.
1.) Lower level of professionalism and quality from service companies – If there are two hvac companies in your area (maybe Waldorf, or Lexington Park), your warranty company knows which businesses are cheaper. You’re going to pay the same deductible, while the warranty company pays the cheaper company to fix the issue. Because of the cost difference that the warranty company is saving on, you’re either going to get the less experienced technician, or a company that doesn’t perform as well as others.
2.) You’re going to spend a lot of time on the phone – You know your warranty company makes more money the less claims they have to fix, right? So they’re going to make you jump through hoops to get through to them. The more hoops you jump (time on the phone), the less likely you are to make it to the warranty rep that’s going to help you. Because you’re more likely to hang up the phone and “do it later.” The warranty companies could give you an easier way to reach them, so why don’t they? If 10 / 100 people give up calling them, they’re going to save thousands… That’s the sad truth.
3.) Chances are you’re going to pay more than your deductible – This is one of the worst effects of the fine print, because it goes over this information in the most covert way they can. A few common examples we run into are how they don’t cover code upgrades, rust, equipment not properly maintained (cleaning, changing filters, etc.).
4.) Agent Commissions/Bonuses – Most homeowners learn retroactively that the agents selling them their home makes commission when they sell home warranties. If you think about it, the company would never offer home warranties, if they weren’t making money doing it. The more customers they don’t help, the more money they’re making…
5.) Pre-Existing Conditions – You’d think they were offering human healthcare, the way they talk about pre-existing conditions… Before you get a home warranty make sure the previous homeowners pay to have their utilities inspected to the point they can state, “your new home doesn’t have pre-existing conditions.” This way the home warranty company can’t say, how do we know your hvac unit wasn’t like that before?
We realize so many home owners are just learning about their home warranties once something actually goes wrong, but we are here to help. If you have a question about your hvac unit, or how your home warranty relates to your hvac unit, give us a call and we’re happy to look at it for you.
We offer a $55 inspection which will go over your entire unit! And remember we’re on your side (the home owners in Southern Maryland), not the home warranty company’s side…