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 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.
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Cinch Home Services offers three home protection plan options with expansive coverage:
The Complete Home plan has the best value and offers expansive coverage for major home appliances and systems, as well as a variety of items that aren't typically covered by other home warranty companies, such as toilets or water sensors.
Here's how the three plans compare:
|Appliance Plan||Built-in Systems Plan||Complete Home Plan|
|Washer and Dryer||✔||✔|
|Range Exhaust Hood||✔||✔|
|Built-in Food Center||✔||✔|
|Freestanding Ice Maker||✔||✔|
|Garage Door Opener||✔||✔|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispenser||✔||✔|
It is also worth noting that 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.
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.
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.
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:
Rust and Corrosion Coverage
While most home warranty companies would likely deny a claim for repairs due to rust and corrosion, Cinch understands that rust happens and won't deny a service request because of it.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 fee ranging between $100 and $150.
Our research shows average industry service fee rates ranging from about $40 to $150. Cinch's service fee 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 may not be a good fit for people with old homes, though well-kept, with appliances and home systems reaching the end of their life expectancy.
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.
Cinch Home Services 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 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. For those who own older homes with old appliances and systems, Cinch may not be your best option because of its high service fees. However, Cinch does offer more expansive coverage than many other home warranty companies.
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