Truth About Home Repair Warranty Value: A Personal Experience

Home Repair Warranty Plumber Working
Photo Courtesy of Pexels – Anil Karakaya

I have to say not all warranties are worthless because some can work out while others are a total waste of money. We purchased water and sewer line protection and even water heater protection from American Water Resources. We paid for this home repair warranty for years for peace of mind. The water heater protection was recently added just because when bundled somehow the rate was cheaper with it.

We had a blockage in our bathtub and could not unplug it with a plunger. Rather than cause damage with chemicals or trying to do a fix ourselves we determined it was time to call a professional. Since we had the water and sewer line protection with American Water Resources we called them. There was a co-pay of $50 and that was supposed to be all we would pay. We had this happen before and the plumber just ran a snake and cleared the line. The plumber sent by the warranty company made us sign a form immunizing him from liability before and would not do the work without it. That should have clued me into stopping right there.

The plumber ran his snake and broke the drain pipe. He said since we signed the release he wasn’t responsible. He then wanted $1,275 to repair what he broke. He said he could do a partial fix but he said this probably wouldn’t last. He said he would have to chop up my walls as well and he couldn’t fix this until the following week. That wasn’t happening, what else was this guy going to break?

Believe it or not, this plumber left with this unfinished job and water leaking from the tub into my basement, causing a big mess and a lot of clean up. Acting fast I found another plumber in my neighborhood and his team came over and fixed this for around $800 that same afternoon. They worked a good bit of time and the problem was fixed.

I was told by American Water Resources to submit a claim. I submitted it on March 25, and I updated it on April 1 with my cashed check image, and then again on June 3. I never heard from them. Ok, the warranty company said this could take nine weeks. I gave them loads more time. But the worst part was that American Water Resources never sent me any communication denying the claim. They just denied it, on June 27, and never told me!

My home owner’s policy needed renewed and had a rider put on to cover this type of thing. This was a better idea since you want coverage on the really big expense like the replacement of the water or sewer line. Stuff inside your house to repair can be pricey, but a home repair warranty such as this purchased through our local water company was a huge mistake.

American Water Resources told me this plumber said he cleared the clog. The second plumber told us the first plumber left the clog. The first plumber broke the pipe and left us with a dripping pipe in the basement and left waiting for us to agree to his terms for a fix. I told American Water Resources in March about this and told the rep their plumber never fixed anything and left with the still clogged pipe and a broken pipe. I just called yesterday (August 16) to find out what happened to the claim. They told us that the plumber insisted he fixed the pipe. In our letter with the claims reimbursement form explained the pipe was never fixed but broken. The rep in March said they would look into this plumber and stop using him. Then in August the warranty rep told us the plumber said it was fixed and finally informed us that the claim had been denied from June 27 without bothering to tell us. Instead, they received how many extra months of coverage for this useless home repair warranty policy.

This home repair warranty wasn’t worth the paper it was printed on for this so called protection. Therefore, we thought it only made sense to cancel it. I really feel these warranty companies have plumbers that maybe can’t get work outside of the warranty company. The second plumber heard of the first and agreed he was a bad plumber.

Sometimes warranties work and may be worth it. I had a family member who worked at GameStop and at the time their warranty sold on game systems covered the unit as long as it wasn’t abuse and it was a one time fee. My car dealer laughed at these car warranties you see on TV. I actually had warranties from the car dealer and they worked out. I think I will avoid the infomercial warranties!

In the end extended warranties should be like insurance covering expenses that you can’t afford.

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