HSA Home Warranty Review [The Sacramento Bee]

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hsa-home-warranty-review-[the-sacramento-bee]
hsa-home-warranty-review-[the-sacramento-bee]

HSA Home Warranty Overview

HSA Home Warranty coverage

HSA Home Warranty plans and prices

What do customers say about their HSA warranty

HSA Home Warranty FAQ

How we evaluated HSA Home Warranty

Summary of the HSA Home Warranty

HSA Home Warranty Overview

Established in 1984, HSA Home Warranty is one of the oldest home warranty companies in America. In 2014 it was acquired by Frontdoor, Inc., the owner of American Home Shield. In 2021, HSA says, it paid out over $44 million in warranty claims and fielded 232,000 service calls — that’s one every two minutes. Our in-depth HSA Home Warranty review is below. To see how the company compares with other home warranty companies, check out our best home warranty picks.

Pros

Plan pricing information is online

Simple pricing structure

Home inspection not required

Online customer portal

Cons

Must work with a realtor

Only available in 27 states

High number of exclusions

Only for buyers and sellers

HSA Home Warranty coverage

An HSA home warranty allows for the repair or replacement of home appliances when they break. HSA Home Warranty coverage varies by state and plan. It also offers additional coverage for items not mentioned in their plans for an additional fee.

The company only offers home warranties to individuals buying or selling a home, rather than to established homeowners. The transaction is typically handled by the realtors representing the buyer or seller. Currently, an HSA home warranty can only be bought in 27 states.

What HSA Home Warranty offers

Now that you know a little about the company, what exactly does HSA Home Warranty cover? A warranty’s standard plan typically includes central heating and air conditioning systems, kitchen appliances, plumbing, electrical systems and roof leaks. HSA also offers a lot of optional extras, such as coverage for roof leaks and freezers. However, some may feel these should be included in the standard plans. As is the norm in the home warranty industry, coverage lasts for 12 months and can be set to auto-renew.

What HSA Home Warranty doesn’t offer

An HSA home warranty does not cover non-mechanical items. This restriction includes not repairing or replacing windows, walls and doors. Nor does HSA cover such everyday maintenance tasks as replacing the filter in a furnace. And if a system is not maintained, HSA is not responsible for its repair.

Like most warranty providers, HSA also excludes improper installation and pre-existing conditions from its standard coverage, but these may be included in the 7-star package. You should refer to your contract specifically or call the customer service center to find out exactly what’s covered and what isn’t.

Unlike some other home warranty companies, HSA Home Warranty doesn’t offer you the option of picking your own service technician to do repairs. Nor does HSA offer other “bonus benefits” such as home security discounts or discounted insurance for vehicles. These perks are not standard in the industry but are offered by a few home warranty companies.

HSA Home Warranty plans and prices

Without using the online quote service to generate a tailor-made quote for you, there’s no way to find exactly how much HSA Home Warranty costs. As for prices, HSA Home Warranty plans start at $560 a year for both the buyer and seller plans. The exact price depends on your location and other individual factors.

The buyer 7-star upgrade offers supplementary coverage for an additional $149 per year. If you sell your house while the warranty is in effect, any remaining coverage will be transferred to the buyer at closing. The buyer will then be covered for the remainder of the contract.

Unlike many other home warranty companies, HSA does not require a home inspection before you purchase a home warranty. However, the website says that covered items must be in good working condition and properly installed at the time of application for your appliance/system to qualify for their coverage.

Should you wish to cancel your plan, HSA Home Warranty makes the process relatively easy. If the contract is canceled within 30 days of coverage, the company will refund the entire contract fee minus any services and claims made. If the contract is canceled after the first 30 days, you’ll receive a partial refund of the contract fee for the rest of the term, minus an administrative fee and any service costs. If you want to speak to a customer service representative regarding cancellation or making a claim, you can call HSA Home Warranty customer service.

Buyer plans

The standard buyer plan includes everyday wear and tear to major home systems such as central heating, septic tanks and electrical systems. Owners of the buyer plan can use their warranty to pay for smart home installation and setup services. They can also get HVAC tune-ups at a discounted rate of $75. These are done in the spring and fall to prepare for the extreme temperatures in the season to come. The prior two options, however, are only available in certain states. Also, they are executed through a third party, which might make the quality of the work unpredictable.

The buyer plan includes coverage for some appliances, including:

Alarms

Dishwashers

Microwaves

Refrigerators

Ovens

There’s also the option of a 7-star upgrade to further enhance basic buyer plan coverage. The upgrade includes the following:

$250 toward repair code violations

Coverage against improper installation/repair of systems/appliances

Removal and disposal of equipment

HVAC: registers, filters, heat lamps and smoke alarms

Swimming pool coverage

Seller plans

The seller’s plan includes repairing and replacement, as needed, of a home’s major appliances and covered systems. However, this plan has a listing period of six months from the date of purchase. Also, coverage for central heating systems, roof leaks and an HVAC system must be bought as an add-on.

If you’re selling a home, a home warranty with HSA can be a selling perk. Having a plan ready for the prospective buyer may help you stand out from the crowd and incentivize the buyer to choose your home over the rest. Also, assuming HSA responds quickly to a claim, the coverage may also help you cover the cost of any damage you incur during the home’s listing period, when any unaddressed problem could mar viewings.

Real estate plans

Unlike many other home warranty companies, HSA also offers plans for real estate agents. These plans help the agent focus on what’s important to them — selling a home that’s in optimal condition.

These plans allow estate agents to:

Have their client stand out when the homeowner has multiple offers

Mitigate risk for the client

Minimize inspection and disputes after the sale

Real estate agents can also take advantage of the home warranty HSA partner program. It is designed to allow real estate professionals the coverage their clients have, but for their own homes and with a $50 discount. The estate agent can renew the contract at a discount at the end of the first year.

Optional coverage

In addition to the coverage in the plans above, buyers may add optional coverage for items at an extra fee. These items (with annual costs) include:

Water softener: $40

Roof leaks: $45

Hot tub: $150

Freezer: $30

Swimming pool: $150

What do customers say about their HSA warranty

HSA Home Warranty reviews online tend to be critical of the company. On Consumers Advocate, many customers complain about the lack of reliable customer service from HSA, and the company’s reluctance to pay repair costs. Some also said their service contractor lacked the knowledge to repair their home appliance correctly.

On Trustpilot, most customers mention as negatives of the company’s warranties the lack of effective customer service and, again, HSA’s reluctance to pay claims. Limited availability of service repair people was also another big complaint.

Yelp customers were equally critical of the company. Many said they wouldn’t recommend the company to anyone. Again, insufficient knowledge by the repair contractor was among the complaints.

Judging by the online reviews, it seems HSA home warranty customers are not all satisfied with the service they receive from the company. The main issues cited were the company’s unwillingness to pay claims and the lack of knowledge of repair contractors.

An HSA Home Warranty class action lawsuit against parent company American Home Shield was created in 2019. Echoing the themes of the online reviews, the lawsuit asserts that repair contractors sent by HSA were insufficiently skilled or knowledgeable. As a result, the suit asserts, appliances were too often replaced, and by less expensive alternatives that sometimes had different features from the original unit.

Of course, these are only online reviews, which tend to be more negative than positive for any company. However, they show that the HSA Home Warranty’s service is not always what its customers hope or expect.

HSA Home Warranty FAQ

Are there coverage limits?

Yes. To start, like most warranty companies, HSA does not provide coverage against system/appliance abuse, acts of God or damage caused by power shortages or failure, fungus, lightning, sediment or water. HSA will pay a maximum of $5,000 per system and up to $25,000 for repair or replacement costs. However, limits may be lower or reimbursement excluded, depending on the system or appliance. What if an obstruction, such as furniture, must be moved in order to get to the system or appliance? HSA will pay any costs incurred in clearing the obstruction. It may not, however, cover all costs involved in any repairs that are required after the obstruction is cleared. For example, it may not cover restoring plasterwork damaged in order to access covered equipment like ductwork or a plumbing system.

How do I submit a claim?

An HSA Home Warranty claim can be submitted by phone or online, 24/7.

To do so:

Visit the HSA website or call the HSA Home Warranty customer service number: 1-800-367-1448.

A service contractor will then be sent to your home to repair the appliance or system.

Pay the HSA service call fee to the contractor.

Are there service fees?

Yes, the service fee is generally paid when the work to repair the appliance/system is completed. The average service fee cost is usually around $100, but the exact amount depends on your state. Additional service fees are not required if multiple visits are necessary for the same repair.

How we evaluated HSA Home Warranty

We evaluated the HSA Home warranty by undertaking in-depth and unbiased research. Information was obtained from a range of sources. Customer review websites were used to record the customers’ opinions regarding the company. The company website was used to obtain information about their coverage and warranties. Other independent reviewers were consulted to obtain additional information.

Summary of the HSA Home Warranty

HSA caters to people seeking coverage while buying or selling a home. It offers good term limits but charges middling to high service fees compared to the industry average. And most customers seem to think the service offered by the company’s repair contractors is at best mediocre. Indeed, the company’s track record is poor enough to have spurred a class action lawsuit.Ad it lacks certain bonus benefits (such as auto insurance and home security discounts, to name just two) that come with home warranty plans from some other companies.

But since HSA plans are aimed at sellers and realtors, their biggest value may be as perceived perks by would-by buyers. Even so, HSA is hardly the only warranty company that offers plans not aimed at homeowners. Sellers and real estate agents who want an extended warranty for a home they’re selling should shop around and research other companies before deciding on the best home warranty company for their needs

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