Home Warranty Companies (CA)

As a Broker and Investor I have had the opportunity to work with MOST of the home warranty companies in the Southern California area. Without adding my .02 (yet) I would like to hear your good/bad experiences with HW companies as agents, investors, homeowners, buyers, sellers..... Thanks!
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December 17 2008 - Los Angeles
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We have had good luck with Old Republic.  We have a local rep that we can call if one of our owners has an issue.  Reading the fine print is always a good idea.  We have had issues in the past with home warranty companies not paying for HVAC repair because they said they unit was not maintained properly or is dirty; usually the previous owner.  This is very frustrating.   We usually offer Buyers who work with us a FREE Home Warranty for their first year if the Seller isn't offering one.  But, after that I don't know if they are worth it.  Some people believe in them and some don't.  Consume Reports says never buy the warranties on products so I don't know if the same applies to home warranties.
  We are cautiously optimistic about the market in 2009.  Interest rates should be historically low and hopefully Buyers will have more confidence in the market -  all around.
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December 18 2008
Profile picture for wyldbrry
I'm actually looking to buy a HW for a rental property. So personally, I'd love to hear your 2 cents on which one is best. :)
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December 29 2008
I bought RAM for my rental properties in the Palm Springs desert area and was not happy with them at all. Further, I had old republic for my property in Nevada and was not happy with them either. Both RAM and OR were okay when it came to small issues such as minor plumbing - however when it comes to major items such as HVAC, mainline plumbing stoppage or H20 Heaters etc. the same items they state you need the HW for they are going to fight you all the way to a "buy out" . In addition to that on my 9 unit rental property they capped the amoint of times they would come out on a partcular problem within a year (3x).

Before you make your choice, ask the representatives to let you know where their vendors are located. This was another problem I had with my Palm Springs properties, many of the vendors were located out of the area (Riverside) and it took extra time for them to get out to the desert or only came on certain days. This was not workable when I had HVAC problems in the midst of the summer.

I could not endorse any home warranty company at this point. Not one! Yet, in a lawsuit happy culture the home warranty companies are a necessary evil for agents and brokers as they add a layer of protection after the escrow closes.

The home warranty company that you pick should have plenty of vendor choices for your area and a strong list of covered items and if you have an area of concern such as a pool or HVAC system - make sure the additional coverage is strong.

Let me know if you have any more questions.
-Molly
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January 01 2009
After a few bad experiences with RAM, we've switched to American Home Shield.  Better response, and 24/7 availability; RAM only does the 9-5 M-F thing, which is not workable when you live in the desert and the AC goes out on Friday evening.  I have used Fidelity for some of my buyers, and they are happy with their services.
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January 14 2009
I am a CA Realtor and would NOT recommend BPG (Buyers Protection Group) because their service and coverage are the worst among other Home Warranty I worked with for my clients. They let you wait 30 minutes on each phone call and they don't work after hours and weekend. Their contractors are far away from your areas and wait a next 2 days to come. In the past, I recommended other Home Warranty such as Fidelity, AHS and First American. This is the 1st time I worked with BPG after some seminars with them, I decided to try them  first on my own home before recommending it to my clients, then I am very frustated and disappointed of their services. I got roof leaks recently after Southern California winter rains. I called them and they sent a contractor out from Hemet which was 2 hour drive to my home in Orange County, then the guy showed up and demanded the $60 check for the service call right away without checking my roof. He refused to do anything and left. Then I demanded BPG to get another roofing contractor the next day. This guy came and said "my roof's vent pipes are NOT sealed and should be covered by home warranty". But BPG denied the coverage because they said the contractor said "it is improperly sealed". I will not recommend my clients to go with BPG and will cancel the current home warranty.
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December 31 2010

Dug deep for this one, huh? LOL!! Anyhow, since we are on the subject, I would really suggest that you do your research on what experiences agents/people in your given area have received.

There is one unnamed company that left my client with backed-up sewage through-out their lower section of the home. They simply refused to send out emergency service.

After my client received this call from the HW Company, I followed it up with a call and I was told the same thing. So I rephrased my question, I have an office meeting in 20-minutes with 130 agents and I would like to know what you to tell them in regards to what your going to do about this. Same response, I let the office know and have not used their services since and knocked multiple HW's from them out of offers due to potential liability exposure.

Should anyone ask me about them, I will give a detailed description of my client's experience and let them decide on how to proceed.

This policy was purchased through the seller, using the seller's/listing agent.

With that said, I swore to never allow the opposing agent order the Home Warranty Policy...

I would suggest shopping around to see what experience others have had. Just because one section of a region gets good service doesn't mean another section will receive the same treatment. I have seen one HW company I use to use all the time start slacking because they started to relax and just expected they would get all your policy request, I dropped them from my recommendation because my name is or the line. You burn my client, you burn me and you burned yourself and it won't happen twice.

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December 31 2010
I've had really good experiences with Fidelity. The rep is always available and they were up front about all the details of the warranty; what was included and what wasn't and how much extra anything would cost.
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January 05 2011
Hi.
I am very happy with First American Home Buyers Protection.
Also used them for a rental. Available service is all spelld out in the contract, they respond promptly.
Affiliated with Prudential.

Anna Hershey/ Prudential 92037
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January 05 2011
I have had good experience with AHS, but they have hiked the price. Started looking around and thanks for your feedback.

According to this review site, Complete appliance seem to be the top rated company. Any feedback on this company?

http://www.homewarrantyreviews.com/California-home-warranty-companies

Leonne
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May 08 2012
Agents and actual homeowners will have entirely different experiences when it comes to home warranty's. As noted earlier in this thread the Agent is the marketing tool for the warranty companie. Agents routinely receive service far above what the normal homeowner will experience.
Since I'm working on the other side so to speak, I hear quite a different story, rarely do I hear positive comments regarding any home warranty policy. Most common complaint... Additional charges to the client above the normal deductable, ie; Replacement water heater will end up costing as much as a standard plumber without a policy as they add on for new flex connectors, over flow pan, earthquake straps, TRP valve, etc.. If you ever have a chance to meet and speak with an ex-subcontractor who worked for any of these warranty companies you'll understand what's really going on within the "Home Warranty Industry" and its not a pretty picture.
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May 09 2012
I  had American Home Shield on my personal residence and had to fight them (and threaten to bring my attorney in) on numerous claims.  when the A/C went out, their response was; "It will just break again, so we won't fix it."  No kidding.  they get NO referral from me!
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September 04 2012
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I have recently purchased a home and had Old republic home warranty. Old rep doesnt expect to pay for services and tries to find all kinds of reasons to decline the services. At this time of year (90+ degrees_ they leave the customer without AC.
 A rip off.
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May 03 2013
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DO NOT PURCHASE FROM SENSIBLE HOME WARRANTY. I have never been able to get one of their
contractors to call me, I think perhaps they don't pay their contractors on time. I cannot get Sensible to reimburse me for repairs they okayed. I have not been able to speak with their billing or AP departments. They do not return phone calls, emails, or fax requests. Customer service will transfer the call I sit on hold then someone hangs up the phone.

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April 30
 
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