What the Hell is an HMS Warranty?

IMG_6761, originally uploaded by Prince of Petworth.

I see these all over many real estate signs. So what are they? Would they sway one in buying one house over another? I seem to recall a friend of mine saying that they’re not actually that useful. Like there is some sort of high deductible or something. Please educate me.

11 Comment

  • My mom sells these things for a living. They seem mostly like a total ripoff to me, like buying a warranty on something you buy from Best Buy. They don’t really cover everything, and can be pretty pricey. But real estate agents actually get a little bit of money from the company if they convince their clients to buy them.

  • and they only cost $400/year. not a big selling point.

  • I’m pretty sure it’s from a Gilbert & Sullivan opera. About real estate.

  • Its a company.

  • It’s a home warranty that is supposed to cover things like heating/cooling, washer/dryer, etc. Now since the real estate downturn most sellers are coughing up the $400 and providing it at closing.

    I have one, but fortunately I haven’t had to use it so I can’t really tell if its worth it or not.

  • I had one on a different house I bought. Dishwasher broke and it took me about 20 hours on the phone to get the HMS warranty to agree to kick in. Would have been a lot easier just to pay. Yup, they’re a rip off. They make the new home buyer feel more secure about say, a 15 year old hot water heater in the house.

  • Her Majesty’s Ship Warranty …duh

  • This is a second layer of insurance over and above your homeowner’s insurance (and covers items not covered by homeowner’s). It does provide a buyer some confidence in moving forward if a big ticket item is older and might need replacement in the first year of homeownership. The one catch can be pre-existing conditions–the warranty company (HMS is one) will of course question if the issue was there prior to settlement. I have had some clients use these warranties with great success–although a couple of times I have had to call my rep and threaten them in order to get a claim addressed. PoP: great blog–love how you are documenting the architectural beauty in our city!!

  • I have numerous questions, but renewed my HMS warranty in hopes it would cover the 20 year old A/C condenser, as it theoretically does. Would a pre-existing condition deny my coverage, if they knew the A/C condenser was already 19 years old (but working just fine)? Would love to know how these plans really work.

    The HVAC guy told me not to renew it just to cover the A/C, but I was a chicken.

  • I had one but did not renew it and would not want to add one if the property did not already have it. It was useful to cover my AC/Heater for one repair but did take some debate with the company. I wouldn’t buy one but some properties the owner has already purchased it thinking it would set the property apart and help it sell.

  • We have one, and used the bugger 3 times in our first year of homeownership. It saved us a TON of money, actually. First our A/C died the summer of ’06 – in the midst of the 100 degree heatwave we had…we went a week without A/C, but not because of HMS – the A/C people had to order a whole new cooler system for us. With HMS, we saved over $1200 on that project. Then later that year our hot water heater had a problem, and we got a plumber within 24 hours. The third time was an electrical problem we kinda instigated (inadvertently) which technically wasn’t covered, but the electrician said he’d bill it as something that was…which was mighty nice of him…so that didn’t cost us much either. So, yeah, I think it’s useful thing.

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