Published: September 10, 2019
The Ins and Outs of Ratings, Rankings, and Home Reviews of Home Warranty Companies
These days, whether it’s finding a new restaurant or a reputable home warranty company, consumers are totally reliant on online reviews. Research suggests that 90 percent of consumers read online reviews before they make a decision and 88 percent trust online reviews as much as they would a personal recommendation. For all the weight online reviews hold, homeowners looking for a reputable home warranty company should still include a wider range of criteria. Home warranty company reviews are an important aspect, but they shouldn’t be the only factor when making a decision.
In Addition to Home Reviews, Here’s What Else You Should Consider
You’ve got to do a little digging on your own.
A home warranty is a personal choice and the right coverage should match your needs. Instead of relying on online reviews based on someone else’s experience, pick up the phone and ask questions. We suggest comparing one home warranty against at least two others to see which home warranty company comes out on top. (We did that at the end of last year, here’s what we found: The Best Home Warranty Companies of 2018.)
Consider factors and questions like these as you decide which coverage is best:
- Claims processing: What’s the service fee? Is it reasonable? How long will it take for a service technician to arrive and notify you if you need further repairs?
- Coverage options: Is there coverage where you live? Is there an adequate network of contractors who service your zip code? (To run a zip code search of home warranty coverage, enter your zip code here.)
- Customer experience: Is there 24/7 customer support? What are the communication options—email, live chat, do they have social media accounts?
- Contract and pricing: Does this home warranty contract match your needs? Is it customizable? How much will it cost?
- Reputation: Is this home warranty company a member of The National Home Service Contract Association? Are there positive reviews on Better Business Bureau?)
Home warranty company reviews aren’t unbiased ratings.
You may think you’re gathering a “sense” of a home warranty company by sifting through online reviews, but reviews aren’t ratings. They’re personal anecdotes reviewers took the time to share when things went right (and wrong). Which brings us to our next point...
Find a reputable source for home warranty company reviews.
Since reviews are only a portion of a company’s reputation, look for unbiased home warranty ratings and rankings before you buy. For example, HomeWarrantyReviews.com offers a weighted and unbiased system. Their rating is a value between 0 and 5 assigned to a home warranty company based on the aggregate star ratings they get. A ranking is how the website places a company in a specific order based on certain criteria.
If consumers find themselves on websites that show home warranty companies ranked, they should investigate how those companies received their ranking. There’s a conflict of interest when websites claim to be based on ratings, but feature companies who pay monthly fees. If there’s not a clear description of what ratings mean, reach out to learn more.
Read the home warranty contract’s fine print.
Home warranty company reviews aren’t the be-all and end-all. In fact, one common problem with the home warranty industry is how difficult it is for consumers to understand the contracts. Hundreds of home warranty company “reviews” (ahem, complaints) are from frustrated customers who misunderstood their coverage. A home warranty isn’t a type of insurance and providers aren’t obligated to cover everything. Read the fine print of the actual terms and conditions carefully so you know what’s covered and what’s not.
A home warranty isn’t a one-size-fits-all. Just because a home warranty worked for one family doesn’t necessarily mean it will work for yours. Some home warranty companies do not offer nationwide service, for instance. Others may have a limited network of contractors. What kind of coverage are you looking for? In the end, if you’re buying a home warranty, you want to be sure the coverage will be worth it. Home warranty company reviews don’t reveal the necessary details you need to make the most educated choice.
To check the available home warranty companies in your area, enter your zip code to compare home warranty quotes. And, be sure to review what other consumers are saying about home warranties before you buy.