Are home warranties a good idea? See what one company did to avoid paying a claim

Tampa man says they gave him 3 different denials

Consumer experts advise against purchasing a home warranty, but that hasn't stopped millions of Americans from investing in one.

A Tampa man’s story shows just how far one company went to deny a claim.

Service contracts promise to cover appliances and other items that break down in your home. 

John Nigra purchased one for peace of mind last year. Now he says he’ll never do it again.

John Nigra discovered the leak in his pool heater last December. Section six of Nigra’s home warranty covers the pool's heating system.

But Nigra says Select Home Warranty denied the claim after sending a tech out to examine the part. The company said they did not cover rust, but Nigra pointed out the tech found no rust. Then Nigra told us the warranty company denied the claim over leaking. We checked the contract and there is nothing that excludes leaking in writing. Then Nigra says Select Home Warranty told him  they do not cover pool heating elements, yet his contract states otherwise.

We contacted the company with questions. They did not respond to our request for a comment but Select Home Warranty did mail Nigra a check for $150 the amount allowed for the part.

In this case, the warranty itself cost about $550.

Many consumer experts advise banking that money for repairs saying it will go much farther that way than if you spend it on the warranty.