Experts agree that a shockingly large number of Americans have no savings to weather an unexpected expense.
Bankrate’s Financial Security Index shows nearly 30 percent of adults have no emergency savings, while only 25 percent have a “rainy day” fund. Most don’t have enough money to cover the recommended three months of expenses, showing the lowest savings in the poll’s nine years.
A GOBankingRates survey found similar numbers – only 35 percent have a few hundred dollars in savings, while a nearly equal amount, 34 percent, have nothing set aside. Overall, the survey found 69 percent had less than $1,000 in savings. Meanwhile, CNN reported that nearly six-in-ten people don’t have enough savings for an unexpected bill of $500, although almost half had a major expense in the past year.
The Survey Says
Among those unexpected emergencies are unexpected car repairs, loss of income or home repairs. The HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Winter 2019 survey found that more than half of Americans have had a home repair in the previous twelve months. Many homeowners are turning to total home warranties to reduce the financial shock of unexpected home repairs, expecting the warranty program to have a dependable approved contractor network.
Choosing a Plan
It’s a crowded field, with more than 70 companies, so how does a homeowner find a warranty offering good coverage at an affordable price? Many companies are all show and no substance, something homeowners don’t find out until they have an emergency and learn their warranty contracts are overly restrictive, the company doesn’t have a healthy approved contractor network, or worse, both.
Some companies limit consumers’ claims for up to the first four months, require service records for home systems, limit benefits based on age or brand of an appliance or charge enrollment and cancellation fees.
“It’s one thing to open a website and call center and say, ‘I sell whole home warranty,’” Bill Graham, HomeServe CMO, said. “It’s altogether another thing to manage a contractor network, with monthly scorecards and mobile dispatch technology, and automated cost-authorization for repairs.”
An Approved Contractor Network
As HomeServe enters the total home warranty space, it brings more than a decade and a half of experience managing a country-wide network of plumbers, electricians and HVAC technicians and an award-winning call center.
HomeServe operates a purpose-built, more than 400-seat call center in Chattanooga, Tennessee, with customer service agents available 24/7/365. Advanced call center technologies, data and speech analytics, service metrics, workforce management and agent training mean a better customer service experience.
HomeServe already is a leading provider of utility-sponsoredhome repair plans that provide homeowners with a one-call solution.HomeServe network contractors and their employees must pass drug and background tests and maintain an A rating with the Better Business Bureau. Contractors must be properly licensed and insured, and the network has an overall 98 percent post-service satisfaction score. The nation-wide network ensures homeowners have access to local contractors.
“It’s so important to have local contractors,” Sylvester Criscone, VP of Contractor Support, said. “They know their communities, know who to get in touch with for a water or gas leak, what permits are required and where to get them and what the local codes are.”
HomeServe offers the Appliances Plan for appliances such as dishwashers, washers and dryers, microwaves and ranges; a Home Systems Plan including heating, cooling, plumbing and electrical; and a Combo Plan encompassing everything from the Appliances and Systems plans. Residents can choose different packages and price points to meet their individual needs.
In addition, homeowners won’t have to worry about deliberately restrictive contracts – there are no restrictions on system or appliance age, brand or manufacturer and no home inspection or maintenance records requirements. Monthly fees don’t increase for older homes, and all repairs are guaranteed for a full year.
Utilities are looking for opportunities to connect more deeply with consumers. HomeServe helps to improve engagement for our utility partners through the integration of complementary home repair programs with utility initiatives such as energy efficiency and safety, offering consumers greater access and choice. Partnership allows the utility to leverage HomeServe’s marketing and communications expertise to educate their residents through a variety of channels. For more information, contact us.