Home warranties: Are they worth the money or a waste of your hard earned dollars?

Watch out for the fine print
Posted at 4:05 PM, Aug 09, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-09 18:36:34-04

It's hot in Kim Walker's house even though she set the thermostat to 65. The problem turned out to be the duct work. The really bad news: Walker's home warranty company refuses to cover it.

Home warranty companies claim they'll repair or replace appliances and cover other major household repairs when something goes wrong. Policies can run anywhere from several hundred to nearly a thousand dollars a year.

But we found customers have filed thousands of complaints with the Better Business Bureau against some of the biggest home warranty companies around.

Walker's policy covers ductwork but the fine print excludes "damage by people, pests, or pets." According the home warranty company, the problems here were caused by animals.

Jim and Polly Lankford ran into push back and delays with their warranty after their AC compressor crashed, sending the temperature in their home into the 90s.

It took eight days of back and forth for the company to approve the repair. The wait and the heat sent the Lankfords to a hotel.

The Lankfords now say if they'd known it would be like this, they never would have purchased the home warranty.

Here’s what to do before buying a warranty:

  • Do your homework/check reviews
  • Read the fine print in the contract
  • Save the money/build a repair fund