Here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating we are often asked if home warranty plans are a good deal. Invariably, our answer is generally no, but not for the reasons you may think. If there is an instance where it might be appropriate, is if you are on an extremely tight budget and a sudden major bill for replacing something like an AC unit would just tip you over the edge.
One of the problems with home warranties is they come with an excessive amount of small print that is basically designed to exclude as many possible instances where they might be liable for the cost of any repair or replacement. When you think about it, if home warranty plans really saved everyone a heap of money, then the company offering the policy would go bust as they make their money from policy payments that never involve a claim.
When it comes to the small print, you also have to be careful. We have heard of instances where a claim for a replacement HVAC has been denied because it had not been maintained properly – by the previous owners of the property, not the policyholder.
We also hear many complaints where policyholders are still charged a call-out fee, which can often be the major portion of the overall fee for a quick breakdown fix. The idea of a home warranty is to enable you to budget for everything, but call-out charges can throw that right out of kilter.
Finally, you get no say in what parts or units are used when something is repaired or replaced. Very few policies have a “like-for-like” replacement policy and, if they do, that usually requires a policy premium.
Here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating we feel that the premiums you pay for a home warranty would be better spent on regular servicing and check-ups as, most often, it is a lack of maintenance that leads to costly problems. So, if you are wondering about a home warranty policy, why not give us a call and we can give you an idea of the likely costs of providing you with a comprehensive service policy instead, allowing you to compare the two.