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Doing it the Right Way in Home Service Contracts

In the home warranty business, there are a lot of companies making big promises they can't keep.

Between gimmicky advertisements and the sheer number of companies offering home warranties, it can be hard to know where to turn and who to trust. Namely, when buying a home service contract, consumers want to know what's covered (and what's not) and how much will it cost. To get there, there's a lot of marketing and one-liners to seep through.

What the Ad Says vs. What to Expect

Peace of Mind

"Peace of mind" is a phrase that gets used a lot. But, not only does it have different meaning to different people, it also cannot be quantified.

The peace of mind that a customer can reasonably expect from a home service contract has to do with the company's intent to honor repair claims, their ability to bear the financial burden of a sudden surge in claims, and the repair contractor network's capacity to handle repair calls. These factors vary from company to company and is not something a consumer would be able to discern from an advertisement or from the first pass at a website.

The only true measure of knowing which company offers any amount of "peace of mind" is by researching how well the home service contract company scores in the three service areas – intent to honor claims, financial ability to honor claims and capacity to handle claim volume – by first thoroughly reading through the home service contract itself, researching the company – Is it ranked on the BBB? Has the company received industry awards? Do they list on home warranty review websites? – and last but certainly not least, reviewing customer reviews.

Never Pay for Repairs Again

Another common marketing tagline advertises to consumers to "stop paying for expensive repairs" or to "never pay for covered repairs again." This notion easily gives the impression that a home warranty will pay for all of the expenses associated with household appliance and system breakdowns. This simply isn't true.

Paying $30 or $40 per month and expecting to have thousands of dollars in repairs covered is not a reasonable expectation, especially when considering the frequency of appliance and system breakdowns. Unlike insurance for unlikely events, flood insurance for example, home service contracts cover highly common events that are practically guaranteed to happen every 5–10 years to every major appliance and system in any given home.

The takeaway: the bigger a promise in an advertisement, the more caution a consumer should exercise before making a purchase.

A Good Place to Start

No company is going to do it all or cover it all, but there are those doing good by being good in the industry; companies that have long been established with outstanding customer reviews and industry acknowledgements to back them.

Here is a feature of a handful of these award-winning home service contract companies and accompanying quotes from their founders and executives:

American Home Shield

www.ahs.com

From Cary McGuckin, Sr. Director of Digital Marketing for American Home Shield:

"American Home Shield founded the home warranty industry in 1971 and now services more than 1.6 million customers in all 50 states. By using data and technology through the ServiceMaster ServSmartsm initiative, the company is enhancing the customer experience and continues to raise the bar for the industry. The company operates five customer service centers, employs approximately 1,800 employees and has a national contractor network made up of over 11,000 independent home service contractors who employ more than 45,000 service technicians."

Industry Awards & Recognition:

  • 2015 and 2016 Top Rated Award by HomeWarrantyReviews.com
  • 2014 Best in Service Award by HomeWarrantyReviews.com
  • 2014 – 2016 Most recommended home warranty provider by Women's Choice Award
  • American Home Shield is a Better Business Bureau Accredited Business
  • AHS is rated 4.6 out of 5 stars for overall customer satisfaction on ConsumerAffairs.com
  • Named the Top Rated Home Warranty Company by ConsumersAdvocate.org

Select Home Warranty

www.selecthomewarranty.com

From Joe Shrem of Select Home Warranty:

"As a homeowner, you never know when an appliance or system will breakdown. And choosing a home warranty company that will be there when you need them can be a mind bending process. At Select, we train our staff to be patient and understanding. We aim to provide quick, friendly service at an affordable rate, (which is why) we have agents standing by 24/7 to help with a broken appliance or system.

We realize that your home is your most important asset, (and) our biggest joy comes from helping a customer in need."

Industry Awards & Recognition: Select Home Warranty has a B rating with the BBB and is Consumer Affairs accredited.

The Home Service Club (HSC)

www.hscwarranty.com

From Dmitriy Krupin, Senior Vice President at The Home Service Club:

"Here at The Home Service Club (HSC), we have developed a culture of commitment to excellence and to continuously improving on our award-winning service. We value and build relationships with all of our customers, service providers, and business partners.

Having initially started out with a goal to take the stress, expenses, and worries of important home system and appliance failures out of people's lives, we find ourselves atop our industry with countless homeowners depending on us every day. We are excited about our upcoming new product line and services and about the future of helping homeowners in America. We are humbled by the amazing feedback and appreciation we receive from our customers and service providers and want to show our utmost sincere gratitude and promise to continue to always be there for them.

With our commitment to excellence, consumer friendly website, continuous improvements and innovations, and award winning service we strive to be a household name among not only new home buyers, home sellers, and real estate professionals, but among all American homeowners."

Industry Awards & Recognition:

  • 2015 and 2016 "Best in Service" awards from Homewarrantyreviews.com
  • Ranked Best Overall Home Warranty on reviews.com
  • 2016 Runner-up for Best Home Warranty on safesmartliving.com
  • Top ranked Home Warranty on comparisonshop.com

Landmark Home Warranty

www.landmarkhw.com

From Alma Jeppson, CEO and Owner of Landmark Home Warranty:

"Here at Landmark Home Warranty, we focus on Delivering Remarkable Service to every single one of our customers. This isn't just a tagline for our employees though. We truly care about each of the homeowners that our company protects and want to help them get the best price and contractor for their repairs. That's why I started a home warranty company.

At Landmark, we often begin our meetings by asking our team to share why they love what they do. The most common answer is that the employees love helping our customers. Delivering Remarkable Service isn't just something we say – it's something we do and live every day."

Industry Awards & Recognitions:

  • Landmark Home Warranty has been named one of the "5000 Fastest Growing Companies" for the past four years by Inc. Magazine
  • Awarded Best Regional Company every year since 2013 by Home Warranty Reviews
  • Ranked the 22nd fastest growing company in Utah in 2016
  • Awarded Utah's Best of State for Home and Appliance Service in 2015 and 2016
  • Alma Jeppson was named the Utah Entrepreneur of the Year in 2014 from The Utah Entrepreneurs' Organization

For more home service contract companies, and to check coverage availability in your area, visit comparehomewarrantyquotes.com.