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Jennifer Wilbur

Coldwell Banker United - Heights

Jennifer Wilbur's Blog

Provide sellers and buyers with the service and Committee they deserve to purchase there next home. - I just wanted to post some information that you will find useful in todays economy To help 1st time home buyers with the process to Buy ther

What is a home warranty?

March 30th, 2011


What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently occurring breakdowns of home systems and appliances.

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Why do your clients need a home warranty?

For sellers, it can help their home sell faster. Home warranties offer added value to listings by increasing buyer confidence, helping the home stand-out from the rest. For buyers, home warranties help protect their new investment and help them avoid high repair and replacement costs on covered items.

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Why AHS?

Simple - our commitment to customer service. Because our company focuses all resources and efforts on home warranty service, we listen to our customers' wants and needs in order to provide a great customer experience. Have confidence knowing that AHS will be there for your client long after the sale.

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What is the FlexPlan?

The FlexPlan is an innovative home warranty concept offered only by American Home Shield. The FlexPlan allows customers to build custom protection plans from an offering of unique packages and options, covering the repair or replacement of many of the most frequently occurring breakdowns of home systems and appliances.

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How is it different from your current products?

It's different in several ways:

  • In most markets, we offer multiple products; in fact, there are markets where we offer up to four products! The FlexPlan enables us to offer our customers one flexible home warranty option.
  • The contract has been redesigned with the customer in mind and helps set realistic expectations from the very beginning.
  • While we have offered options on our products in the past, the new FlexPlan allows customers to choose coverage for items and services never available before in the home warranty industry, such as Insufficiently Maintained Equipment, Mismatched Systems and Undetectable Pre-existing Conditions.

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How does the FlexPlan work?

The concept of the FlexPlan is based on building a custom plan with unique coverage packages and options. It all starts with the Core Coverage Plan:

  • Core Coverage Plan: The basic coverage every AHS customer will receive is called the Core Coverage Plan. This foundational product provides coverage for the repair or replacement of many frequently occurring breakdowns associated with heating and air conditioning systems, ductwork, plumbing/whirlpool motor & pump, plumbing stoppages, electrical systems, water heaters, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, garbage disposals, ranges/ovens/cooktops, exhaust/vent/attic fans and trash compactors. It also includes innovative new coverages, such as 13 SEER, rust, corrosion or sediment and insufficiently maintained equipment.

Beyond the Core Coverage Plan, homeowners may decide to customize their coverage with one or both of the packages and/or the additional options listed below:

  • ServicePlus Package: One of the custom packages the company has created for customers who wish to add a level of service coverage to the Core Coverage Package is called ServicePlus. Homeowners who choose to add ServicePlus to their Core Coverage Plan will receive coverage for repairs or replacements associated with mismatched systems, undetectable pre-existing conditions, code violations, permits, removal of defective equipment, refrigerant recapture, reclaim & disposal and improper installation/repair/modification.
  • CoveragePlus Package: CoveragePlus is another option AHS customers may choose to enhance the coverage on key items. This product includes coverage on previously uncovered items like garage door openers, doorbells, ceiling fans, telephone wiring, central vacuums, smoke detectors, built-in food centers (a central motor as part of the counter with multiple attachments like blender, food processor, etc.) and instant hot/cold water dispensers. In addition, CoveragePlus extends coverage in Core for covered breakdowns associated with plumbing (faucets, shower heads and toilets), heating and air conditioning (registers, grills, filters, window units and heat lamps), microwaves (interior lining, door glass, clocks and shelves), ranges/ovens/cooktops (rotisseries, racks, handles, knobs and dials) and trash compactors (removable buckets).
  • Additional Options: To put together a warranty specifically tailored to any additional needs, customers may also choose to add one or more of the add-ons AHS offers, like coverage for breakdowns associated with septic system pumping & septic sewage ejector pump, swimming pool or spa equipment, swimming pool and spa (shared equipment), additional spa, kitchen refrigerator with icemaker and water dispenser, second refrigerator with ice maker, washer/dryer, washer/dryer/refrigerator with icemaker and water dispenser, free-standing ice maker, water softener and well pump.

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So, the Core Coverage Plan, ServicePlus Package and CoveragePlus Package aren't separate warranties, but instead work together?

Correct. It's key to understand that ServicePlus and CoveragePlus aren't new kinds of AHS warranties; they are each distinct "bundles" of additional coverage homeowners may wish to add to the Core Coverage Plan. Customers may add one or both of these options to the Core Coverage Plan, as well as any additional options from the list of add-on coverages. On the other hand, a homeowner may choose to purchase the Core Coverage Plan on its own for basic AHS coverage.

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Why did you create the FlexPlan?

The AHS FlexPlan is the result of American Home Shield acting on suggestions and requests from our customers, employees, contractors and the real estate community as a whole. We take this feedback very seriously and have created a new product we hope addresses much of what we've heard.

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When will the FlexPlan be available?

Beginning April 1, 2008, the AHS Home Warranty FlexPlan is available to include on listings and closings in all states except Alaska and Hawaii.

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How long will I be able to order the other products in my market, such as Traditional, Select, Home Protection One and/or Prestige?

Through June 1, 2008, you may choose between the FlexPlan and the other products offered in your market; however, after June 1, 2008, the only product available will be the AHS Home Warranty FlexPlan.

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Will my client receive anything from AHS after the close of sale?

Yes. Approximately two weeks after closing, each homeowner receives a contract package, complete with contact information, peel-off wallet reference cards, specific coverages and exclusions, system and appliance maintenance tips and much more. Additionally, the homeowner will receive periodic customer relationship mailings and e-mails with valuable home and maintenance information. That's why it's so important to include as much client contact information on the application as possible.

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Why do you need my clients' contact information, including e-mail?

There are several reasons, all benefits to you and your clients. One, AHS knows from experience that if we maintain contact with a homeowner throughout their contract period, they are more satisfied with their purchase decision—and that reflects well on you. Two, by keeping contact, we ensure that the homeowner knows how to contact us when they need us most. Three, if the homeowner does have a service issue, AHS is able to follow-up after the problem is resolved.

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Does the process to request service change?

No. It's still just as easy as before to request service. Customers can request service one of two ways. They can call 1-800-776-4663 24/7/365 to reach a highly-trained customer service representative at one of our three U.S. call centers or go to and complete a simple online service request form.

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What is a Trade Service Call Fee?

A Trade Service Call Fee is a small expense to the customer which is due each time a contractor comes to the home to diagnose a problem. The amount of your Trade Service Call Fee can be found on the back of the application. Additionally, the service fee amount may vary depending upon the number of trade service technicians requested for service.

The various service trades are Heating/Air Conditioning, Plumbing, Electrical, and Appliance. For example, one trade equals one service fee whereas two trades equal two service fees, etc. This is not to be mistaken with the number of items each trade service tech will be repairing. So, if a homeowner requests service for a plumber to repair a faulty hot water heater there will be only one service fee due. If the homeowner's request requires the plumber to work on a number of different items (2 water closets and a hot water heater) there will still be only one service fee due. On the other hand, if a homeowner requests service for a plumber and an electrician there will be two services fees due because these are considered two different trades.

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How do you measure your customers' experiences with their service?

After service has been performed, we send a follow-up customer satisfaction survey to all customers with an e-mail address on file. We use the results from those surveys to not only improve our customer service delivery, but to help grade our contractors as well.

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What makes AHS stand out from its competition?

Since founding the industry in 1971, AHS has focused on providing the most innovative products in the industry, like the FlexPlan, as well as offering the best customer service delivery to our customers. Unlike other home warranty companies, which can be an ancillary service of a financial institution, home warranties are our only business. So we're dedicated to delivering the total package of innovative product and quality service to satisfy our customers.

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I'd like to know more about AHS and the Home Warranty FlexPlan available in my area. Where can I go for more information?

For more information or to place an order today, you have 3 sources:

  • Visit
  • Call 1-800-735-4663 and speak with a highly-trained customer service representative in one of our three U.S. call centers
  • Contact your local AHS Account Executive. To find the AHS Account Executive in your area, visit and click the "Find an Account Executive" link

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Disclaimer : The views and opinions expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the Houston Association of REALTORS®
Coldwell Banker United - Heights
1505 Heights Blvd., Houston, TX 77008   Get Directions
Phone: (713) 869-0456
Fax: (713) 869-7570