Old Republic Home Warranty

Old Republic Home Warranty
a Review

Old Republic Home Warranty
Home Warranty

Should I get a Home Warranty?

Are Home Warranty Plans worth the money?  This is much like Extended Car Warranties. There are literally dozens of companies that sell home warranty protection plans to cover the cost of repairs and maintenance of household things that tend to break such as appliances, heaters, air conditioners, washers, dryers, garage door openers, plumbing, pipes, swimming pool equipment and more.  Old Republic is the most often heard name in the business because they have a large network of service.  Product Review Ratings attempts to break the more common ones down. You name it and you can buy a warranty for it, regardless of its age or condition, though the price and cost will vary. There are a number of companies that provide these home warranty plans and though the pricing between them all is pretty much equal, the quality of service is obviously not. When I decided to look into a home warranty protection plan, a co-worker of my recommended his own service plan with Colorado-based Blue Ribbon Home Warranty. It is always nice to have a referral from someone you know, but how would they compare to the nationwide companies like Old Republic Home Warranty or First American Home Warranty? These were the two names that kept coming up in my search results for Home Warranty plans on Google.  Old Republic has been around since 1974 and their name and extensive coverage in the United States is well documented. I quickly learned, that there are numerous other home warranty companies to compare, but a bigger question kept nagging at me:

Is Popular Better?

If so, take a look at Old Republic Home Warranty

Assuming the Old Republic is one of the better warranty companies on the market, would it be worth the investment and fixed monthly or yearly cost to obtain one of their Home Protection plans? How much peace of mind am I buying and how reliable is the service? A little bit of my own recent history is in order:

Size up Your Home Appliances

Before I bought my last house I had never even heard of Old Republic Home Warranty. We bought and moved into a bigger, 17-year old home about 3 years ago. With the home came a few rather pricey, high-tech appliances. At the time we bought this home we were really excited about the fancy Bosch Dishwasher, Jenn-Air Range and extremely unique and expensive Kitchen Aid Refrigerator included in the sale. We thought these nice appliances really added to the value of our purchase. Boy, were we wrong. The home also came with a swimming pool which I was somewhat leery about, but had no genuine idea of what I was really getting into. To make a long story short, in a little less than 3 years, we have spent over $3,500 in maintenance and repair for the home’s appliances – and that doesn’t even include the swimming pool! High tech appliances with digital circuitry break and when they do they are not easy or cheap to fix. I recently had to replace the garage door springs on one of the two doors of my three-car garage; and while I was at it, I had the opener replaced on the larger, out-dated, adjacent larger larger door. In the last three years, the swimming pool required three major repairs: A $700 heat exchanger replacement and a $450 pump replacement. Then, there was the usual things: Hot Water heater required major repairs for a faulty installation and the Air Conditioner required a service call. We also had a pipe burst in our den, which required another $135.00. Our total maintenance and repairs add up to a little less than $5,000 in just three years. So, would a Home Warranty have paid for itself in our case? The answer is a most positive, absolute, ‘YES’.
After discovering the Old Republic Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty, I decided to see what else is available and how they compare.  Old Republic Home Warranty claims to solve all these problems, but there are over a dozen Home Warranty Protection Plans and they are priced very close to each other. Which one? Your basic Home Warranty ranges from about $275.00 to $350.00 a year. In addition to the yearly or monthly premiums, they charge you a $75.00 deposit and $50-$55 deductible for each service call. The basic fee in most cases doesn’t cover your Air Conditioner, Garage Door openers, washer, dryer, gas fireplace and numerous other, less common appliances you may have inside or outside your home. Those can be added at additional costs. Blue Ribbon Warranty, whom covers only the state of  Colorado, charges $150 a year for swimming pools. I can expect to pay about $400-$600 a year to get my home warranted the way I want. (With the Swimming Pool, probably closer to $600)  Even with the $75.00 deposit and $55.00 service call deductibles, I would have saved over $2,000.

Benefits of Home Warranties

Reading over the user reviews online, there is one other huge benefit to a Home Warranty that I did not even consider. You only have one place to call. Whether it’s plumbing, heater, AC or a broken refrigerator or stove, there is only one phone number you need to know. That is indeed a very nice and reassuring benefit, assuming of course, the company is responsive to each and every incident. So, which Home Warranty Company Should I choose? Nationwide Old Republic Home Warranty? First American Home Warranty? Or my local Blue Ribbon Home Warranty of Colorado? When it comes to service, service is everything, so I decided to look at some reviews and user comments of the dozen or so Home Warranty companies that service Colorado and the nation. Here’s what I found:

Best Home Warranty?

Like any Insurance Policy, what good is a Home Warranty if you don’t have 100% confidence that they can deliver the service that you need when you need it? The convenience of having a one-stop shop to call can also be your biggest risk factor. If I have a repair incident and cannot get a quick response from the warranty company, I have no place else to call or go. If I am paying for a service that is not giving me as good or better results than I would get without a warranty company at all then my money is being wasted. I also need to have the confidence and assurance that they are going to fix and pay for my problem. There is really no other way to measure the reliability of a Home Warranty company than to talk to others who have used them. Having done some research and talking to other home owners, there is only one company that would give me this level of confidence. Fortunately, there is a website completely dedicated to reviews and user opinions on Home Warranties: Home Warranty Reviews. Some quick research on reviews and user opinions convinced me that neither Old Republic nor First American Home Warranty would make me confident that my premiums were well spent. Too many buyers complained that the service was either not rendered in a satisfactory amount of time or that they refused to cover a defective appliance or service issue. Out of 170 User Reviews, Old Republic Warranty received an average user rating of just under 3 stars. First American Home Warranty had 152 user reviews and received an average rating of just 2 stars. I realize that user reviews can be negatively biased because people are much more likely to comment when something goes wrong than when something goes right. On the other hand, the high number of negative reviews and comments were simply too much for me to ignore. An insurance plan has to provide 10)% assurance to me that my money in the form of regular premiums is not going to waste.

Blue Ribbon Home Warranty

Fortunately, I was able to find a company with mostly positive reviews and a 4.5 star average rating: Blue Ribbon Home Warranty – the one recommended by my co-worker. I think I will give these guys a call and setup a time for an inspection. There is a $75.00 deposit which is required, but compared to the $5,000 I’ve already spent in the last three years, this seems like a small drop in the bucket. I am inclined to give Blue Ribbon Home Warranty a try this year. If you don’t happen to be fortunate enough to live in Colorado, but are still considering a home warranty plan, I have discovered another one that has very favorable reviews:  Sensible Home Warranty.  Sensible Home Warranty has a four star average rating from over 157 satisfied users. If I bought my home new, I might not even consider it, but for a home that is 10 years or older, a home warranty with the right company is probably worth some strong consideration. So, let’s look at Old Republic Home Warranty and how it compares to the rest:

Before you go with the most popular Home Warranty Protection, make sure you know what people are saying in your neighborhood about Old Republic Home Warranty.

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11 thoughts on “Old Republic Home Warranty

  1. This is directed towards Old Republic.

    Good afternoon. In summary, I have had my AC unit repaired…excuse me bandaged about 7 times in the last year (either not working properly or not working altogether). I would assume after 7 times this means it cannot be repaired…therefore it must be replaced. When the unit fails our home reaches 90 degrees. We have a child and a few animals so this is beyond unacceptable. Not to mention every contractor that comes out tells us something different. I believe it is their incentive to keep your company happy so they bandage the unit/replace a small part and hope that it will continue to work to avoid replacement. I would also assume these are the customers you would hope would not renew a second year. In the end our unit was never replaced even though we had it scheduled to be replaced at one point. Read below for details.

    After 6 failed attempts at repairs we finally got a go to have our outside unit replaced which would be covered by your company (we thought finally!) and that we would have to take care of the inside unit since it has to be replaced by law and it was working properly. Unfortunately, the weekend before our scheduled replacement our AC stopped working altogether including our inside unit. We contacted your company and we were informed that we would have to wait until Monday for an assessment since your company cannot force a contractor to come out on weekends for emergencies and basically we would have to pay out of pocket (I could have sworn that your company would cover the service fee and that we would only pay the contractor overtime as this is what we did once) if they did any repairs.

    When we contacted the contractor and we told him that our inside unit also went out and that we had no AC. He threw a fit and refused to come out Monday since this could possibly mean that we did not have to pay for the inside unit. I found out that contractors sometimes have to pay for parts themselves and then get reimbursed by your company. They don’t seem to like this as it means they have to wait more time for money in their pockets. We also found out by one of your employees that your company has had problems with him in the past yet you still send him out.

    Then, when we got a new contractor his recommendation was different and now all of a sudden our unit is not scheduled to be replaced even though one of your supervisors promised us by phone when we called to complain about the previous contractor (we have this recorded and have all other documents saved and filed for that matter) that the unit would still be replaced since the process was initiated beforehand.

    Since my AC unit is still not working properly and not to mention I am spending an extra $100 a month on our electric bill I am going to have a contractor come out every week if I have to until it is repaired properly or replaced until it surpasses the amount that it would cost your company to replace the unit. Your company even agreed to waive the service fees from now on so basically all we are paying is the $40 a month for the warranty.

    I understand that home warranty companies are in business to make money like any other company but please adhere to your contract. I understand you are a repair company but after 7 times in the last year the unit obviously cannot be repaired and therefore must be replaced as indicated. We have only been in the home in one year so this has nothing to do with improper maintenance on our part. Not to mention after 7 times you would think this unit should be in tip top shape.

    • Barb,

      I can understand your frustrations and feel really feel badly for the troubles you’ve endured with Old Republic Home Warranty. While I don’t currently have a Home Warranty, your experience with Old Republic reminds me of my own frustration with the local appliance company who has to keep coming back to my home to repair my refrigerator. I’ve easily paid them enough for a new refrigerator. This is what prompted me to write the article about Home Warranties. If anyone else has any experience with Home Warranties, particularly Blue Ribbon in Colorado or Old Republic nationwide, please share your experience and thoughts.

      Rob

  2. I bought my home in May 2010.

    I had a problem with the air conditioner that happened in June. In June where I live, it is 200% humidity and over 100 degrees at the worst every day. We thought the unit had been overworked (there had been a house expansion which we weren’t sure the AC size would cover), so we took a look under the hood of it and saw that it actually *was* frozen over. So we let it thaw out, and took a look at what else was going on. Turns out, the blower motor was blown. I called Old Republic, told them SPECIFICALLY what the problem was, and requested a repair. When the repair technician arrived, he stated that because we had taken the top off ourselves, which included moving some groups of wires out of the way (which were color coded and grouped together, just a simple click to disconnect them) to look under the top, my repair would not be covered. These wires had nothing to do with the blower motor, they were in fact on the complete OPPOSITE side of the unit.

    I ended up getting it fixed on my own without their assistance, and lodging a complaint with the regional manager. I played phone tag with him for a while, and then he pawned my case off to someone in San Francisco whom called me once, and never returned my attempts to get back in touch with her.

    I have encountered a problem with my heater. I have worked around it, but decided to call the regional manager again to give them another chance to change my mind, to earn back my respect that they will do what they say they will. I was told that I should *never* investigate any problem with anything that is covered in the home. If something messes up, I should not investigate whether it is something that is covered in my warranty. I should simply call them, pay my $75 co-pay, and have them send a technician to (what I gather is more often than not) say that it is not something that can be covered due to one loophole or another. Frustration does not even *begin* to cover the emotions I feel with this company at this time. And where ever and whenever I can lodge a negative review for them, I will. I didn’t pay for the warranty, it came in the home purchase agreement. But I won’t be renewing with this company.

  3. Kristi,

    Thanks for your comments. That pretty much says it all. A Home Warranty should feel like an insurance policy. What good does it do to pay monthly premiums if you don’t know if the service will pay for itself? This is unfortunate. Can you imagine having fire insurance, car insurance or life insurance, knowing that the odds are substantially less than 100% of getting paid in the event you should have to use it? I think I’ve heard enough bad news about Home Warranties like Old Republic to know better than to take a risk with them. Just one bad incident or experience with a Home Warranty company completely defeats its purpose. Unless it’s a company with unanimously positive reviews like Blue Ribbon Home Warranty, I’d stay away from home warranty companies, altogether.

    Thanks again,

    Rob

  4. STOP WHINING AND GET BACK AT OLD REPUBLIC!

    Yes, I have a complaint, but OLD REPUBLIC doesn’t read these posts and neither does any government agency; i.e. people that can do something about OLD REPUBLIC’s foul business practices.

    ARE YOU READY TO DO SOMETHING! Start taking notes. There is no statute of limitations, do not let them get away with taking our money!

    Here are just some of your options:
    1) Sue them in small claims court
    2) Sue them in court under DTPA (Deceptive Trade Practices Act)
    3) File a complaint with the BBB
    4) File a complaint with your state’s Attorney General’s office
    5) File a complaint with your state’s Department of Insurance
    6) File a complaint with your credit card company; if you paid OLD REPUBLIC with a credit card
    If you really want to do something about OLD REPUBLIC screwing you over, then do something! They are laughing at you for doing nothing more than venting on some random website.
    Any legal paperwork must be sent to OLD REPUBLIC’s “Registered Agent”. This is different in each state, because OLD REPUBLIC is small and only operates out of CA. They pay a firm to represent them in other states; i.e. a Registered Agent. To find out who this is in your state, go to your state’s Comptroller website and do a free corporate search. Here it is for Texas:
    1) Sue them in small claims court
    The purpose of small claims court is to provide an informal, uncomplicated proceeding to resolve small disputes that do not involve enough money to warrant the expense of formal litigation. Most people who appear in small claims court do not have a lawyer but represent themselves. In small claims court, the amount you seek to recover cannot exceed $10,000. Go to your county’s Justice of the Peace website. In Collin County (Texas) details can be found here:
    2) Sue them in court under DTPA (Deceptive Trade Practices Act)
    3) File a complaint with the BBB
    Here is their review on the Better Business Bureau website. http://www.bbb.org/greater-san-francisco/business-reviews/home-warranty-plans/old-republic-home-protection-company-in-san-ramon-ca-15742
    Before filing the complaint, write it out first. You can then use the same complaint for each website.

    4) File a complaint with your state’s Attorney General’s office
    5) File a complaint with your state’s Department of Insurance
    Here are some contacts in OLD REPUBLIC, but unless you start an email campaign, you already know they don’t care –
    Principal: Ms. Gwen Gallagher, President
    Customer Contact: Mr. Gary Vistalli ex 1224, Claims Manager customercare@orhp.com
    Lorna Mello
    Vice President of Sales & Marketing
    Judy Ealand
    Vice President of Central Region
    Dirk Doud
    Regional Vice President

    HQ Address: Two Annabel Lane, Suite 112, San Ramon, CA 94583

    Final note – here is the name and home addresses of OLD REPUBLIC’s President, Treasurer, VP and Directors. Maybe picketing outside their homes will get their attention, you think?

  5. Feel like a scam right of the bet…. was charged $100 for 10 minutes visit by a plumber to affirm I have a pipe leak in the wall which is the reason I requested the service for…but they won’t do a thing till approved by OLD REPUBLIC… Insurance agent called me back to tell me that there is a stipulation in the contract.. if leak is normal wear & tear ok… if ABUSE.. no. In order to determine… plumber will break the wall & slab and report then…. CAN YOU IMAGINE ???? what do you think the outcome will be ??
    On top of that- beware of what you sign when contractor comes in and you pay the destructible… LIEN on your house of not paid in full !! now think twice next time you renew your policy !!

  6. I just bought a home that is 20 y/o. I am big into warranties as I am not mechanical at alllll. The OLD REPUBLIC warranty that the sellers are providing for the first year is a step up from their basic plan. It costs $450 a year. My realtor and her Mom both use this SAME policy. They both have had problems with their homes and ‘after the THIRD visit they replaced’ with new. One was an A/C, the other was a problem with a toilet that had roots growing up in to the base, through the pipes.

    Doron, did you notice the other comments were 2 years ago?!

    Maybe OLD REPUBLIC changed some of their pracices; maybe checking around for more current stats would help out? Just a thought.

  7. Well, Old Republic A\C tech takes a week to fix A\C , in hope I will be tired to wait and call somebody else…. I didnt, so somehow he make it work, not excellent, but.. kinda ok. It makes bzzzz sound and blow air – what else?! Lol.
    Now I have problem with MAIN water supply line, big leak on front yard, no water in the house at all.
    Old Republic at first send plumber, he comes in afternoon, but say, I have to pay $60 for visit, but digging pipe out not covered. Old Republic say, its not covered (we call). Plumber say, to dig pipe out he will charge to me another $75. I say, well, I will dig it out for you. And I did!
    Plumber right there, waiting and watching, how I doing that, and my little son running around and wondering, what mom doing. What a show for whole neighborhood!
    Plumber say, ok, now I have to call Old Republic and ask them, if they will pay to fix the pipe. (“Simple” leak, I mean, just take old coupling out and glue on new one). But thats the end of the day, so no answer from Old Republic.
    Plumber told me, he come back next day. So, 2 days no water AT ALL. Feel it.
    Next day, Od Republic call me, the change theys mind, ALL PLUMBING REPAIRS outside aka “not on the foundation of house” NOT COVERED! Next call the plumber, and will charge me $450 for put little plastic piece (coupling) with glue on that pipe.
    Are you kidding me?!
    I say, thanks, I have no such money. They say, ok, 10% discount – just for ya!
    I say, thanks, for that money I will do it by myself.
    Thats how Old Republic works.
    Ok, I have to go to the Home Depot. Happy holidays!

  8. I was considering a home warranty policy, but I’ve never heard anything good about any of them. If you are paying between $450 – 600/year and have a “major” expense…..let’s say a heat pump….they last about 10-12 yrs…..when I calculated my premium it came to $635/yr…..so if my unit “konks out” after 10 yrs….I’ve spent $6,350 in premiums…..just about the cost of a new heat pump (mine was $7930 for 3.5 ton, 14 sear)….so I would actually have had to shell out an additional $500. This is the biggest expense I’ve ever had in my home in almost 20 years!
    Refrigerators (generally ice cube maker or the defroster stops working)….the most I’ve paid is about $150. I had to replace my water line from the road to the house due to leaks (I live in the middle of 20 acres)….thus it is a long way from the road to the house and the most I paid for a new water line dig out/replacement was $1000. The heat pump and water lines were the most expensive repairs I have had. My septic lines and tanks were cleaned out and lines replaced for $1000….a clean out alone is about $250/tank and I have two tanks. I think I’m going to continue to save $50-75/month for emergency repairs instead of giving my money to a warranty company that likes to have so much fine print that you need to hire an attorney to really determine if it is worth it or not.

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