American Home Shield Informative - How to Beat Home Warranty Companies at Their Own Game - Part II
(The following information and advice applies to American Home Shield. Whether or not the advice applies to any other home warranty company is unknown.)
I recently observed a trial in which AHS was being sued for denying a claim. After the trial, I had an opportunity to talk with the attorney who had represented AHS. The attorney advised me that AHS always settles the lawsuits or pays the claims when sued. Regarding class action lawsuits, whether the person remains part of the class or opts out is not relevant to the outcome of the case; AHS does not use a pending class action as a defense to settling the case. What this means is that if you sue AHS, you will get your money back. The only losers are the aggrieved homeowners who do not sue.
Although I had long suspected that AHS made little or no effort to contest lawsuits filed against the company, my advice to anyone who has a claim denied is not to waste time trying to make AHS either repair or replace an appliance. Have the appliance repaired or replaced at your own expense and then sue for reimbursement. This same advice applies to what you consider to be an emergency situation or an unreasonable delay by either AHS or the service contractor in repairing or replacing an appliance or approving a claim.
You are also likely to be more satisfied with the service contractor and the appliance you have selected as a replacement than the below builder’s grade of appliance provided by AHS. You will be able to hire the repair company of your choice and choose the color, make, and model of the new appliance. In the few instances I have read about when AHS has replaced appliances such as A/C units, furnaces, refrigerators, and stoves, the replacement item has always been substandard. In one instance, the A/C unit AHS used to replace the old unit was so noisy that the homeowner could not hear the TV over the noise.
When a claim is denied, if the homeowner sues, the homeowner wins. If the homeowner does not sue, AHS wins. I am encouraging everyone reading this who has had a claim denied to sue AHS for reimbursement. I also suggest anyone who sues AHS to attach copies of your receipts to the complaint because that is what AHS will want to see before making an offer to settle. Also, sue only for your out-of-pocket expenses; do not expect to be compensated for loss of time from work or for punitive damages. Do not let AHS win; beat them at their own game. LegalCohen@aol.com