History of National Home Protection
National Home Protection writes home warranty policies, which cover normal wear-and-tear damage to your appliances and systems. National Home Protection is owned by Trilegiant, a Connecticut-based company, which was spun off from Cendant Membership Services, a marketing company that closed up shop in 2001. Thus, National Home Protection is a relative newcomer to the home warranty industry.
Types of Coverage from National Home Protection
National Home Protection offers four types of coverage: basic (B), kitchen and laundry (KL), deluxe system (DS) and major systems. The major-systems plan includes the following, with parentheses indicating whether these items are also covered in other plans:
- Plumbing system and stoppage (DS)
- Air conditioning
- Electrical system (DS)
- Water heater (B, DS)
- Heating system (B, DS)
- Oven and stove (KL, DS)
- Built-in microwave (KL, DS)
- Ceiling fans (B, DS)
- Garage door opener (B, DS)
- Ducts (B, DS)
- Washer-dryer (KL)
- Refrigerator (KL)
- Garbage disposal (KL, DS)
- Dishwasher (KL, DS)
- Cooktop (KL, DS)
There is optional additional coverage for pools, spas, sump pumps, well pumps and a handful of other devices.
If any covered device breaks down as a result of normal wear and tear, National Home Protection will send out local service contractors to make the necessary diagnoses and repairs. In the vast majority of accepted claims, National Home Protection will underwrite repairs rather than pay for a replacement appliance.
National Home Protection Costs and Fees
National Home Protection offers an online system that can offer quotes for each of the four offered plans, on the basis of variables such as the square footage of your house and your address, but the premium is not where most of the cost lies. A closer examination of National Home Protection's contract reveals that the appliance owner "will pay $60.00 for each trade service call, or the actual cost, whichever is less. Additional charges may apply to certain repairs and replacements." There are also extra overtime fees for "non-emergency service outside of normal business hours." National Home Protection reserves the right to decide what constitutes an emergency. Finally, the contractor will charge you the service deductible even if National Home Protection denies your claim.
These practices are not unique in the home warranty industry. Nonetheless, several consumers have complained about the company to the Better Business Bureau, which makes the following statement on its website: "Complaints received by the BBB against National Home Protection indicate that consumers are unsatisfied with the home warranty service they paid for and are unable to obtain a refund even when they do not receive any services from the company. Consumers claim that National Home Protection requires years of maintenance records for appliances, the lack of which make their claims invalid. Consumers also report that they are unable to receive satisfactory service even for valid claims with proper documentation. The firm has disputed a vast majority of the complaints filed against it, using the terms of its contract as defense."
National Home Protection's telephone number is 1-800-608-6045. The company can also be contacted via a quote form on its website.Photo: © Big Stock Photo
At the time of writing, Elizabeth Weintraub, DRE # 00697006, is a Broker-Associate at Lyon Real Estate in Sacramento, California.