The truth about Home Warranty Protection with specialist: Jessica Wood | #KeriTV Episode #15

 

KERI: Hey guys! It’s Keri TV. Today we have a special guest. I’m sharing one of my preferred

vendors with you guys.

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KERI: This is Jessica Wood.

JESSICA: Hi.

KERI: Jessica, tell us who you are and what you do.

JESSICA: My name’s Jessica Wood. I’m a local representative with Old Republic home

protection.

KERI: Hm, protection.

JESSICA: I help people get their warranty.

KERI: Home warranties, okay. When people are buying a home, usually a seller provides a

home warranty. It’s kind of like, here’s a present for you. If anything happens after we sell it,

you won’t be really mad at us because we have a home warranty. That’s kind of my take on it.

My take is a little non-traditional. Can you tell us what a home warranty is?

JESSICA: Certainty. A home warranty is often compared to homeowner’s insurance, but it’s

actually pretty different. A home warranty covers normal wear and tear in the home of major

systems and appliances like plumbing, electrical, built-in kitchen appliances, water heater, and

air conditioner. Basically it’s a limited service contract. It’s a one-year term that’s renewable.

Typically, in this market, the sellers will pay for it for the buyers.

KERI: Typically.

JESSICA: If there’s an issue that occurs after close of escrow for that year, they give us a call. If

it’s a water heater issue or a microwave issue or the stove, we can send a technician and get it

addressed.

KERI: What’s great about it is a lot of times, when you have an issue with a home warranty and

you call the company that you’re working with, you can’t get ahold of anybody, you get a

warranty. What I like to do, after we close, is let them know who Jessica is. What’s your

follow-up plan with that?

JESSICA: Definity. A lot of byers are confused about home warranties. They don’t understand

it. What is it, what does it cover, how does it work, who do I call? I’m happy to be the point of

contact for buyers. I introduce them to myself, to Old Republic, and their home warranty and

what’s covered and what’s not. I give them the service number they need to call if they want to

place a claim. If they’re freaking it, it’s a weekend or an evening and they just want me to be

their point of contact, they can reach out to me.

 

KERI: That’s very nice of you.

JESSICA: Yeah.

KERI: Call her at night. Weekends.

JESSICA: Anytime! Just kidding. Please don’t. It happens, actually.

KERI: Let’s be respectful.

JESSICA: Careful what you wish for.

KERI: Alright. It is helpful because Jessica will step in and help them if they’re having issues

getting ahold of somebody and nobody’s answering them. A lot of times, you’ll end up on hold

for a long time with these companies. Having Jessica there, she’ll walk you through the process

and be your best point of contact, and then push you off to the service providers. It’s a headache

saver. Yeah. Stressful headache saver.

JESSICA: Yeah. Thank you.

KERI: Getting a little bit more into the home warranty side of it. A lot of people will be, okay, if

I move in and the roof needs to be replaced, I’m going to use my home warranty. Obviously,

you can’t do that. Tell us some of the ins and outs of what home warranty does cover.

JESSICA: Okay.

KERI: Maybe the trade calls you get the most, that you have the most success with.

JESSICA: Okay, sure. The home warranty’s used the most for plumbing, actually.

KERI: Oh, plumbing. I didn’t know that.

JESSICA: Yeah. Since you touched on roof coverage, the roof coverage that you get with the

home warranty company is limited. It’s going to cover for new leaks over the main dwelling,

excluding the garage.

KERI: Garage.

JESSICA: Up to a thousand or fifteen hundred dollars, depending on the policy you’ve chosen.

You’re definitely not going to get a new roof from a home warranty plan.

KERI: Yeah.

 

JESSICA: The things that we can’t help with… actually, we do replace appliances. If they’re

beyond repair and an appliance needs to be replaced and it’s failed from normal wear and tear,

we do replace appliances, water heaters, and air conditioners.

KERI: Water heaters, air conditioners, and dishwashers. That’s pretty good guys. A whole new

appliance for a trade call.

JESSICA: Right. Sometimes we’ll get a call, oh my gosh, we were out of town, a pipe broke,

flooded my house, and ruined my floors and my cabinets. That’s going to be more like

homeowner’s insurance.

KERI: For sure.

JESSICA: That’s not a home warranty kind of item.

KERI: Yeah. That’s why you have homeowner’s insurance, of course. Does that mean that the

home warranty would still cover the appliance and then the insurance would take care of the

floors?

JESSICA: We could address the actual pipe break.

KERI: Pipe break.

JESSICA: We could address the pipe break or the leak, whatever caused the issue is typically

covered by the home warranty, but the secondary damage is covered by the home warranty.

KERI: Okay.

JESSICA: We don’t cover mold. We don’t cover natural disasters. Again, that’s homeowners

insurance.

KERI: That makes sense.

JESSICA: Just normal wear and tear of your major systems and appliances. The policies are

affordable. We’re talking an average of five hundred dollars, give or take, depending on what

kind of coverage you want.

KERI: That’s a good question. The policies are, give or take, five hundred dollars. That will

change depending on what kind of coverage. We always check the box First Class Coverage. Is

that what it’s called?

JESSICA: Upgraded platinum protection.

KERI: That one includes, what?

 

JESSICA: What’s nice about our platinum protection is it covers a thousand dollars towards

modifications on a covered repair, which most warranties don’t cover.

KERI: That’s nice.

JESSICA: That comes in really handy if we need to go in and do a water heater change out or an

HPC change out. More often than not, there needs to be modifications to get the new appliances

to fit properly, to do code upgrades, and things like that.

KERI: I was thinking in terms of a pool, a spa, adding on those things with a premium plus

upgrade.

JESSICA: Right.

KERI: That could be five hundred plus. We usually right-in four to five hundred on condos, and

seven-fifty to maybe a thousand on a house, which is more than you need, but we always like to

be proactive.

JESSICA: Better safe than sorry. Yeah.

KERI: Yes, exactly. What are some of the things that people really push to get fixed that you

don’t cover that is a good warning for people not to try to use their home warranty for?

JESSICA: Pre-existing conditions.

KERI: Oo, pre-exiting conditions. My favorite.

JESSICA: Home warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions.

KERI: If you buy something and it’s already broken and you call your home warranty and go no,

it just happened, they’re most likely going to know that you’re not accurate. Does that happen,

though?

JESSICA: It happens all the time.

KERI: But does it happen that somebody moves in and something does really break?

JESSICA: I have seen that happen. Two days after close of escrow, the water heater broke. It

checked out fine during the inspection. It was fine for those first two days.

KERI: Mh-hmm.

JESSICA: And then it broke.

KERI: It can happen.

 

JESSICA: Everything needs to be in proper working order at least once after close of escrow.

KERI: Right.

JESSICA: It has to work at least once. I mean, come on guys. We’re not here to cover pre-

existing conditions.

KERI: Of course.

JESSICA: People still try.

KERI: Yeah. Speaking of pre-existing conditions, what is super cool is seller’s protection. Not

a buyer’s protection, but seller’s protection. Tell us about what that is.

JESSICA: Yeah. Seller’s protection is not nearly as popular as the buyer’s policy, but there’s

absolutely value in it. The seller’s coverage is a short-term policy during the listing and escrow

period.

KERI: Okay. Term policy.

JESSICA: It’s a per-day price. Again, it wouldn’t cover pre-existing, but you take out the policy

when you take out a listing. When your listing goes live, you order seller’s coverage.

KERI: Smart.

JESSICA: It covers the water heater, built-in kitchen appliances, plumbing and electrical. If

something breaks during escrow or your listing period, give us a call. We can fix it.

KERI: That’s awesome.

JESSICA: You only pay when escrow closes.

KERI: You don’t even have to pay for it upfront.

JESSICA: Exactly.

KERI: What is that daily cost, usually?

JESSICA: We’re talking a dollar twenty a day.

KERI: Okay. That’s what I thought it was. A dollar a day.

JESSICA: Yeah. About a dollar a day.

KERI: I remember we used this in Playa del Ray on a condo one time and the water heater was

broken. We took out seller’s coverage. The water heater got fixed in escrow. The seller didn’t

 

really have to pay the buyer didn’t have to pay, we just pay the seller’s coverage and the trade

fee. They moved in with a water heater. That was awesome.

JESSICA: Nice. Yeah.

KERI: Something else that’s really interesting to note, when you’re doing an inspection and

request for repairs, a lot of times buyers will push to have things covered under the home

warranty fixed. Listing agents will always push back and say, that’s part of the home warranty.

You’re not going to get that covered. That’s good to know. I should put that in front of every

inspection. By the way, if this comes up, seller won’t fix it. I don’t want to be a nay-sayer. That

is pretty common.

JESSICA: Yeah.

KERI: It’s because they’re buying a home warranty for you and they’ll fix it if something does

happen. Buyer’s often want credits for things that are old, but not broken. That’s a really tough

one to negotiate. That’s where the home warranty comes into play.

JESSICA: Right. We don’t discriminate based on age. We’re okay with older appliances. They

just have to be installed properly and working when escrow happens.

KERI: Right. Exactly.

JESSICA: That’s for all home warranty companies across the board.

KERI: Of course. Do you have to make sure that the home warranty is purchased before you

close escrow?

JESSICA: That’s actually the most common. It’s typically ordered during a real estate

transaction.

KERI: Okay.

JESSICA: A lot of people don’t realize you can get a home warranty at any time.

KERI: Oh. A year after?

JESSICA: You can get a home warranty a year after. It wouldn’t be effective immediately.

There would be a thirty day wait.

KERI: Okay. Perfect.

JESSICA: Yeah, right. Before the coverage is effective. Before the policy begins. A lot of

people don’t realize you can get a home warranty at any time.

KERI: Okay.

 

JESSICA: It is most common during the real estate transaction.

KERI: That makes sense. If anyone out there that didn’t just close escrow, own a home and you

don’t have a home warranty, there you go. There are various vendors for home warranties, and

of course, as real estate agents, we get approached with all sorts of vendors. What makes you

different and Old Republic different. Why choose you?

JESSICA: Oh, okay. We’ve been serving the real estate industry for forty-five years. I’ve been

with Old Republic for six years.

KERI: Wow.

JESSICA: I’ve been told I’m really hands-on with my clients. The relationship is important to

me. I’m not just here to sell a policy and disappear. I want to make sure my real estate clients

are happy and your clients are happy, so those are coming in naturally.

KERI: Referral based industry.

JESSICA: Our motto is people helping people, and I really believe we stand by that.

KERI: I love that.

JESSICA: Yeah!

KERI: I can attest to that from us working together.

JESSICA: Thank you.

KERI: You have really stood by me and my clients. You bring us cookies.

JESSICA: [laugh]

KERI: Our goals are to make the industry better. I love featuring people on my episodes that

also try to make the industry better.

JESSICA: It takes a village.

KERI: It does.

JESSICA: [laugh]

KERI: See you next week.

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