Searching for home warranty protection can be incredibly challenging. There are almost 200 warranty companies in the US, and each one brings something different to the table. How are you supposed to compare your options and find a plan that covers your appliances and systems, while also working for your budget and your lifestyle?
We met with one of these companies recently at a home and garden show and the concept is intriguing. Fidelity could be the right choice for your needs but I'll let you guys make that decision on your own after checking their website. With 10 plans, significant coverage within the US, and a better reputation than many other home warranty companies, it’s certainly worth your time to consider them.
Who Is Fidelity National?
According to Fidelity National’s own website, the firm has been around for 40 years, having gotten its start in northern California back in 1974. A full 21 years later, Fidelity National Financial purchased the small home warranty provider and two years later, Fidelity National Home Warranty was born.
Today, Fidelity is active in 17 states and employs over 850 people. It also has some pretty impressive accolades to its name. For instance, its parent company makes the Fortune 500 List every year as one of the country’s best employers. It has also been listed in the Forbes Platinum 400 List and is actively traded on the stock market. Fidelity itself is rated with an A+ by the Better Business Bureau, as well.
What Coverage Does Fidelity Offer?
When it comes to coverage for your home, Fidelity National offers broad coverage for most of your appliances and systems. It also covers newly constructed homes, which is a rarity within the industry. While you’ll need to choose the right plan from the company’s range of options, you’ll find that it stands out for other reasons, including:
- Plans are available to cover damage/breakage due to improper installation, repairs, or modifications, which is not widely available with other firms.
- The company offers two specific plans just for new construction homes.
- Coverage is available for most major systems and most common appliances in your home.
In short, you can find coverage for just about anything you might need, from kitchen appliances to things like swimming pool equipment. However, you’ll need to compare the range of plans offered to make an informed decision.
What Plans Does Fidelity National Offer?
This Fidelity review mentions the highest variety of plans on the market, and with 10 total plans available, it seems that the company really does come through. Note that on average, most warranty companies only offer between two and five plans. What do the options from Fidelity look like? Actually, you’ll find that all 10 plans fall into three categories – Gold, Silver, or Platinum. Each of these can be customized to a different degree, including the things that are covered, the deductible you pay, and other factors.
Fidelity National offers a wide range of standard covered items on all plans, which include the following:
· Plumbing system
· Trash compactor
· Garage door opener
· Sump pump
· Water heater
· Heating and ductwork
· Telephone system
· Electrical system
· Plumbing stoppages
· Telephone system
· Central vacuum system
· Ceiling fans
· Smoke detectors
· Built-in microwave
· Hot water dispenser
· Recirculating hot water pump
In addition to those standard items, you’ll also find optional coverage for the following items:
· Air conditioner
· Septic leaks (limited)
· Washer and dryer
· Pool/spa equipment
· Roof leaks
Of course, those optional items vary depending on the plan you choose. Higher-value plans automatically include more systems and appliances than lower-tier plans, offering you greater peace of mind but costing a bit more initially.
How Does Fidelity Compare in the Industry?
When comparing your options, it’s important to benchmark each home warranty company against others on the market. How does Fidelity stack up? They have their strong points, but also some weaknesses that may make you want to look elsewhere. Here’s a quick look at the company’s overall performance and ratings:
- The company gets very high marks for plans and coverage. You won’t find another home warranty company offering the same number of plans or level of coverage anywhere.
- The company also gets high marks for trustworthiness. Customers report that sales reps are professional, don’t pressure them to upgrade, and regularly give them the whole story when questions are asked.
- Fidelity gets decent marks when it comes to contract complexity, transparency, and ease of understanding.
- If you’re happy with your coverage, your contract will automatically renew every year, which lets you “set it and forget it”.
- There is emergency service available.
- If a repair fails, the company will reservice the appliance/system.
- It’ll cost you $50 to cancel your plan, although that’s pretty standard in the industry.
- Reimbursement is slow for the industry – within 30 days of filing your claim – which can be pretty frustrating.
- The company is only active in 17 of the 50 states.
- Many customers have reported specific problems when dealing with Fidelity National, including:
- Communication problems
- Repair delays
- Unexpected fees/costs
- Unprofessional contractors
Is Fidelity National Worth Your Time and Money?
In the end, Fidelity National may be worth your time and money. The company certainly ranks well for the number of plans available and the coverage offered. It also gets high marks for being trustworthy and for having clear, easy to understand terms and conditions. Don’t forget that the company offers things that most others do not, such as reimbursement for damage sustained from improper installation, modification or repair, and they have two plans just for new homes. Both of those are rare or unheard of with other warranty providers.
However, many customers do complain about unexpected costs and communication delays. In addition, they only operate in 17 states, which may put them outside your area anyway. Perhaps the best advice is this: if you think that Fidelity might be a worthwhile option, contact the company to get a free quote and find out how much coverage will cost with your choice of the 10 available plans on offer.