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Cinch Home Services

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3 User Reviews

Cinch Home Services is a home warranty veteran, though its name might not sound familiar. Since its start in 1978, it has been known by many brand names, including Cross Country Home Services, TotalProtect, and HMS Home Warranty. Recently, in 2019, all these brands were brought together under the new brand name, Cinch. Since the switch, Cinch has won several Stevie Awards for Customer Service and has been recognized in several national, regional, and local publications.

Cinch is a big company with 900+ employees. It responds to more than one million service requests per year and services nearly that many customers. 
Cinch offers three home warranty plans to people in the contiguous 48 states. Prices and plans may vary depending on your location. Its warranties provide unique coverage and several perks compared to competitors. 

Cinch claims can be submitted by phone, web portal, and connected devices. Service technicians are selected from the company's nationwide network of vetted technicians, which you have the option to review through your account. Your service call fee ($100-$150 per trade) is paid online when you schedule your appointments. 

It seems like Cinch is not only rebranding but reimagining what a home warranty company can be and filling in gaps that other companies take for granted, with special add-on policies meant to make homeowners' lives easier. It has partnerships with companies like porch.com and Notion Smart Home Monitoring, and support.com to provide more to its customers, all through one account.

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The Good

  • Affordable, Distinctive Coverage
  • Unique Policyholder Perks
  • Robust Customer Portal Access
  • Interesting Ancillary Services
  • Access a Huge Network of Vetted Pros
  • Outstanding Workmanship Guarantee

Affordable, Distinctive Coverage

Cinch Home Warranty products are available to purchase online through real estate agents, insurance agents, financial services professionals, and utility company partners. Plans and pricing depend on several factors, including where you live and where you purchase your policy. 

Low Monthly Home Warranty Pricing

Consumers can choose between three plans: appliances, built-in home systems, or a combined plan, which Cinch calls Complete Home. All are reasonably affordable, with plans ranging in price from approximately $28 to $40 per month, though the exact price depends on your location. When it comes to low-cost monthly home warranty policies, these prices are at par with or below most of our top 10 ranked home warranty providers. 

Commonly Neglected Items Covered

It's common for home warranty companies to limit what they will cover, and Cinch is no exception. However, it is a bit more liberal in a few specific areas that most other companies categorically deny coverage for, including items like smoke detectors, water sensors, doorbells, drawers, doors, and knobs. 

Two of Each Appliance Covered

Each policy covers two of most standard appliances. Most home warranty competitors require an additional policy per unit. Still, a few will offer to cover two of each appliance in one policy, under one dollar limit. 

Unknown Pre-Existing Conditions Covered

It's standard in the industry to exclude pre-existing conditions. A company doesn't want to cover a customer who has a broken dishwasher and then orders a home warranty policy so that it can be serviced for cheaper. All covered items must be in normal working order before your effective date. 

This benefits people who have recently purchased a home or are moving back into a home after some time. 

Most home warranty companies exclude coverage for things that were damaged due to a pre-existing condition, whether you knew about it or not. 
It's nice that this policy is a little more forgiving in this respect, helping out people who would normally be declined coverage through other carriers. If you have a mechanical breakdown due to a pre-existing condition, you would typically have to pay out of pocket to fix the whole thing — but, with Cinch, you wouldn't. 

The breadth of coverage will be most interesting to people who aren't sure whether professional upkeep has been done on their homes. 

Unique Policyholder Perks

Additional perks for all plan holders include a $25 filter credit and a free water sensor and a $500 homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement. Other policyholder perks include the following:

Appliance Discount Program

You can save a significant amount of money by using Cinch’s discount appliance-buying service. If you want to upgrade or replace your appliance, the program offers discounted prices on some of the most well-known brand names. 

Emergency Response Policy

Most home warranty companies make an effort to get someone to contact you within 24 hours. Few have emergency policies that match Cinch's, which promises "reasonable efforts" to respond within two hours with a local contractor within two hours after you submit the request, but only "during normal business hours." Outside of regular business hours, it can take 24 hours for a response. While most policies just leave it to the provider's discretion (which Cinch also does), this company's policy mentions that expedited consideration will be given for covered mechanical failures that affect the habitability of the dwelling. 

Robust Customer Portal Access

At a time when 70 percent of consumers expect a company to have a self-service app, the home warranty industry is undoubtedly behind expectations. It's normal for customers to keep track of policy numbers and submit requests over the phone. In its latest form, Cinch Home Services emphasizes "digital-forward strategies, platforms, and initiatives" that many home warranty companies are much slower to adopt. 

The Cinch customer portal is mobile-friendly and secure. Most importantly, it lets customers solve many common issues on their own. Account-holders can access plan details and documents, request service, update personal information and billing details, as well as schedule repair appointments (when available). 

Not only can you submit a service request online with Cinch — Alexa can do it for you. Customers can even schedule service appointments for their home by activating the Cinch Amazon Alexa Skill. 

Customers who want to avoid the hassle of minimizing the effort and time it takes to get a repair appointment scheduled when something in their home breaks will best appreciate these helpful tools. 

Interesting Ancillary Services 

Most home warranty companies offer optional policies to add more customizable to your warranty. Cinch has a few notable add-on services in addition to optional pool, spa, septic tank/pumping, and well pump policies. 

Premiere Upgrade Package

The Premier Upgrade package will cover up to $1,000 per claim for permits and additional costs to get things up to code. Most companies either include permits coverage or put strict limits on it. Cinch offers the option. Customers worried most about in-house systems that may not be up to current building codes would likely benefit most from this optional upgrade. Those with newer homes and appliances, or have recently upgraded their home systems or appliances don't have to pay for a more expensive policy that won't benefit them. 

Cinch Smart Support

A newer addition to Cinch's product lineup is Cinch Smart Support, which provides plans that offer an innovative take on home support services. This program is a tech support service to help with a connected or smart home device, including wi-fi troubleshooting. 

Sixty million Americans own at least one smart device. This is an incredible benefit for people that love the benefits smart home products provide but are frustrated when the wi-fi goes out. This optional service is a monthly subscription about $20.00 for this 24/7 US-based tech support through support.com. 
It includes a $1,000 reimbursement to repair or replace covered electronics, with no deductible. 

Availability depends on your state. 

Access a Huge Network of Vetted Pros

To be fair, most home warranty companies provide access to an extensive service pro network. Cinch's network will be a perk for anyone who has had a horrible month's long experience with a local handyman referred by a friend.

Before Cinch accepts a technician, their license and liability insurance are verified. On top of that, Cinch continuously monitors techs and scores them based on customer feedback. 

Not only do Cinch home warranty customers benefit from this, but the new Cinch On-Demand Platform lets you make same-day appointments, revise and change appointments, check on their arrival status, and rate your tech's service after the job has been completed. This was launched in 2020 and should be available across the country by 2021. 

Outstanding Workmanship Guarantee

Most companies offer a 90-day workmanship guarantee. Some offer 60 days for parts and 30 days for labor. Few offer more than 100. 

Cinch's 180-day workmanship guarantee is one of the best in the industry. Suppose the same issue happens again within 180 days. It reduces the risk of paying your service call fee ($100 to $150) for someone to fix the same thing. They have to come back and fix it; you don't pay.

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The Bad

  • No Preferred Contractor Policy
  • 48 State Coverage Area
  • Expensive Service Call Fees
  • Suboptimal Policy Dollar Limits

No Preferred Contractor Policy

Cinch provides a contractor referral. Customers who want to choose a local contractor that they already have a relationship with may want to avoid Cinch. No reimbursements are provided for unauthorized repairs.

48 State Coverage Area

Cinch offers its services to residents of the contiguous United States. However, its services are not available to those living in Alaska or Hawaii. 

Expensive Service Call Fees 

When you submit a claim, Cinch refers tradespeople to perform services at your home. For each claim, and each different type of technician needed (plumber, HVAC specialist, General Contractor, etc.), you will be charged a service call fee ranging between $100 and $150. 

Our research shows service call rates ranging from about $40 to $150, on the majority of standard plans. Cinch's call rates are firmly in the top 30 percent, no matter which rate option you choose. 

This is in contrast to its low monthly rates: Meaning, you pay less upfront but pay more when your A/C or your fridge dies, etc. This is best for people who want to have peace of mind or who expect few big issues in the next year (due to normal mechanical failure).

Cinch is not a good fit for people with old homes, though well-kept, with appliances and home systems reaching the end of their life expectancy. 

Suboptimal Policy Dollar Limits

All home warranty policies have limits. That's totally normal. It's fairly common for providers to list the maximum payout amount your policy offers, commonly per item, per category, or for the whole shebang. 

Cinch covers many appliances, only up to $2,000 max. While this isn't the lowest appliance max in the industry, they go much higher, including First American Home Warranty ($3,500), American Home Shield ($3,000), and 2-10 HBW more than double. ($25,000). However, if you are looking to replace, Cinch has a great appliance discount program. 

Most, but not all, home warranty companies limit the maximum payout that a policy is worth. All three of Cinch's plans max out at $10,000 per 12-month contract. Any repair needs after that will have to be paid for out of pocket by the policyholder. 

Not everyone maxes out a home warranty policy, but those most at risk may want to look for a company with a higher aggregate payout limit or an uncapped aggregate limit. This will likely be people with many aging systems and appliances. 

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The Bottom Line

Cinch is no stranger to the ins and outs of the home warranty realm. Since its rebranding, the company has made great strides to provide a more convenient, hassle-free experience for its policyholders. 

Cinch is a good fit for people who prefer submitting a request over the phone instead of calling. In most cases, you will even be able to schedule an appointment. This process works well for people who like to take charge, but don't know local connections to call. 

Cinch is a good home warranty choice for younger homeowners with homes built within the last few years and are new to the responsibility of having to fix something.

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Regina Seattle, WA

Wish I could put zero stars. This is what Sears Home Warranty has changed into. When my credit card expired, I tried to get into the system to change to a more current card. It didn't show I owed anything so I let it slide until they sent a paper copy of the letter asking me to renew by mail or by logging onto the sears site. I went there, it directed me to the Cinch site without warning me it would be a different company. It still shows I am current on payments but then would not allow me to file a claim as I am "behind" on payments. No one to answer the customer service line. When I clicked on "chat" to get help, I got a message that "something went horribly wrong." Yes, yes it did. Sears should not have sold out to Cinch. No recommendation for this company.

7 months ago

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Tina Gig Harbor, WA

It used to be Sears, and they were much easier to work with. Cinch could not find a tech to come out for the AC unit so they told me that I should get my own and they would reimburse. It took a month, someone came out, did the diagnostics and now they say they won't cover it. Nor will they remburse the diagnostic. Two months later and the AC is not fixed. Its August now. Here is a copy of what was sent to me in an email: I would like to take this opportunity to apologize for any delay in service and for any inconvenience you have experienced. Currently, a pre-qualified network service provider is not available in your area. We can allow you the option to contact a local service company of your choice to expedite your service request. Please have the service technician come to your home and diagnose the failure. If the out of network service provider is unwilling to accept third party billing, we ask that you pay the service call fee in full, and we will reimburse you for the amount in excess of your deductible. As a reminder the non-refundable deductible associated with your claim is $100. This amount is due regardless of whether the claim is subsequently approved or denied. The tech called and called, pushed prompts and could not reach out to a live person to get the approval to proceed, so they did not. Don/'t believe they will have a supervisor reach out to you either. That's their answer when they want to get you off the phone from a complaint. Look for another company.!

8 months ago

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Amanda Brilhart Beltsville, MD

Okay, for starters I had 3 different companies (none spoke english) come out to my house to look at my AC unit. I took off 6 days of work, twice no one showed up, and after all that, they still denied my claim. They are money sucking pieces of crap. Any chance they can deny something they will. They use the bottom feeder companies that have one employee that most likely is in their first year of apprenticeship to look at your issue. Then, they say "oh a supervisor will call you soon" and what do you know? NO SUPERVISOR CALLS.

10 months ago

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