There is an alternative to labor warranties that has some distinct advantages.
For several years I had a homeowner's warranty with American Home Shield (ahswarranty.com), that covered the cost (all parts and labor) to get almost anything with moving parts--and some without--working again. Regardless of manufacturer and age of equipment. There were exclusions for abuse (lack of maintance), accidents (your meth lab blows up your kitchen), and things covered by insurance (hurricane).
Here is the current coverage--
- Garbage Disposals
- Plumbing Stoppages
- Electrical System
- Ceiling Fans
- Built-in Microwaves
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- Water Heater
- Ranges, Ovens, Cooktops
The current cost in Washington, DC is $356 per year. You can add a package of
Central A/C, Refrigerator, Washer/Dryer, Garage Door Opener
for $144 a year.
You can also add pools, spas, for $160 each per year.
You also pay a one-incident fee of $60 when you call in a claim and the tech shows up at your house the first time.
AHS uses ordinary contractors with which AHS has deals, and offers you a choice of several firms when you call in.
I had a refrigerator start spraying water from its control valve for the icemaker and water dispenser. The fee then was $50 for a new valve and labor.
My washer quit filling. $50 to replace some kind of faulty overflow gadget.
My AC A-coil froze over on one side. $50 for a new A-coil and labor.
My furnace blower died. $50 for a new motor.
My AC stopped cooling. $50 to find and fix a leak, and to fill and adjust the system.
My AC compressor froze up. $50 for a new compressor. The AC was 20 years old at that point, and has been trouble-free for five more years.
I believe there are other firms that offer similar services. My experience with AHS was pretty good, things got fixed fast and to my satisfaction, and I feel I got my money's worth after the compressor.
AHS also covers the house wiring and plumbing, things that I usually fix myself because I want them working right away, and because I put most of it in and know right away what the problem is. But this coverage could be a real benefit to many people.
As for other details, if the item to be repaired has a parts warranty still in effect, AHS will try to get reimbursed on its on. If there is a labor warranty, they will check this out and arrange for repairs under the warranty terms. I never had anything fail under warranty for which I used AHS, so my experience here is limited.