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American Home Shield Shares Four Smart Tips for Consumers on National #HomeWarrantyDay

 Today is National Home Warranty Day, and officials with American Home Shield say it's the perfect time to raise awareness among homeowners about home warranties and the coverage they need if and when a major appliance or system breaks down.

Mike Clear, vice president of operations for American Home Shield, the largest home warranty company in the nation and a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), says there are four things all homeowners should do to ensure they are adequately protected against costly unexpected repair costs. 

1. Know the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty. Homeowners insurance generally covers damage due to things like theft, fire, tornadoes or other catastrophic situations. "These are things that might happen," says Clear. "But a home warranty covers things that will almost certainly happen to every homeowner. Appliances break down, heating systems malfunction, and water heaters go out. When they do, a home warranty can help protect your budget, and also ensure you have convenient access to professional service technicians that can take care of the problem." The company has created a brief video to help explain the differences between the two in more detail: https://youtu.be/3OnV8Zjy0b0.

2. Do your homework. Not all plans and providers are equal. Choose a plan that best meets the needs of you and your family. For instance, some allow you to pay less for your annual plan by selecting slightly higher fees for service calls, while others allow you to customize your plan by choosing which items are covered and which aren't. Be sure to choose a provider that is financially solid, with a proven track record, and is available 24/7. Look for a provider that is highly-rated on leading industry review websites like www.homewarrantyreviews.com and www.consumeraffairs.com.

3. Look for a provider with a solid history of paying claims. Over the past ten years, Clear says American Home Shield has paid more than $3 billion servicing its customers' warranty claims, and the company averages slightly over two service requests per year per customer. "We want our customers to use their warranties," he said. "We know that when they do, they're much more likely to renew than someone who hasn't had a chance to experience what our coverage offers: valuable budget protection, convenient access to a network of professional service technicians, and the confidence of knowing that they're being taken care of by the industry leader." 

4. Ask questions. The best time to understand your coverage is before you need to use it. As with any service agreement, homeowners should review their contract thoroughly to be sure they know what to expect with the claims process. For instance, they should understand how much they must pay to the service technicians when they arrive at their home, and be familiar with any limitations, exclusions or non-covered items (such as system upgrades, local code violations, system relocations, etc.). Some companies, like American Home Shield, have sample contracts available online so that consumers who are interested in purchasing a home warranty can check out the details before they buy. Clear says his company also has agents available around the clock to answer questions, and offer a wealth of information online at ahs.com and youtube.com/TheAHSteam.

American Home Shield, which responded to more than 3.4 million service requests last year, was also awarded the 2016 Top Rated Award from HomeWarrantyReviews.com. The award is based on a variety of information, including customer feedback, service request approvals, customer retention rates, and how companies address consumer issues.

About American Home ShieldAmerican Home Shield founded the home warranty industry in 1971 and remains the industry leader. American Home Shield, together with its wholly-owned subsidiaries, services 1.6 million customers in all 50 states. The companies operate four customer service centers, employ approximately 1,800 employees and have a national contractor network made up of over 11,000 independent home service contractors and more than 45,000 service technicians. American Home Shield is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV), one of the world's largest residential and commercial service networks. Go to ahs.com for more information about American Home Shield or follow the company online at facebook.com/team.ahs or twitter.com/AHS_Warranty.

About ServiceMasterServiceMaster Global Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: SERV) is a leading provider of essential residential and commercial services, operating through an extensive service network of more than 8,000 company-owned, franchised and licensed locations. The company's portfolio of well-recognized brands includes American Home Shield (home warranties), AmeriSpec (home inspections), Furniture Medic (furniture repair), Merry Maids (residential cleaning), ServiceMaster Clean (janitorial), ServiceMaster Restore (disaster restoration) and Terminix (termite and pest control). We serve residential and commercial customers through an employee base of approximately 13,000 company associates and a franchise network that independently employs an estimated 33,000 additional people. The company is headquartered in Memphis, Tenn. Go to servicemaster.com for more information about ServiceMaster or follow the company at twitter.com/ServiceMaster or facebook.com/ServiceMaster.

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