News: 2009 Press Release
For Release: May 20, 2009
Media Calls Only: 916-492-3566
Commissioner Poizner Warns Consumers About Home Warranty Scams
Nationwide Home Warranties Attempting to Sell Policies Without License
Commissioner Steve Poizner warned consumers that unscrupulous companies are scamming consumers and trying to sell home warranty policies in California without the proper license.
"Consumers rightly expect that legitimate claims will be paid expediently and fully," said Commissioner Poizner. "There are unlicensed home warranty companies in the market scamming honest customers. If there is any doubt at all about a company trying to sell insurance, people should contact the Department of Insurance and make sure the company is licensed before buying a policy."
One example of a company selling home warranties in California without a license is Nationwide Home Warranty. In response to consumer complaints, the Department of Insurance initiated an investigation into Nationwide Home Warranty's sales practices in September 2008. Consumers complained that Nationwide Home Warranty either failed to adequately pay for their home repairs or unjustly denied their claims. The investigation revealed that since approximately July 2007, Nationwide Home Warranty has been selling Home Protection Contracts to California residents without a required license, registration or certificate of authority from the California Department of Insurance.
On March 3, 2009, Nationwide Home Warranty was ordered to stop selling Home Protection Contracts in California. California residents who have purchased a home protection contract from Nationwide Home Warranty after March 3, 2009 are urged to contact CDI at (661) 253-7500.
Consumers can call the California Department of Insurance at (800) 927-HELP or utilize its Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov when considering buying a home protection contract or any type of insurance. The Web site, in particular, provides extensive information about a company's location, former names of the company, agent for service of process, reference information (license status, company type, state of domicile) and lines of insurance the company is authorized to transact and complaint history.
Please visit the Department of Insurance Web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. Non media inquiries should be directed to the Consumer Hotline at 800.927.HELP. Callers from out of state, please dial 213.897.8921. Telecommunications Devices for the Deaf (TDD), please dial 800.482.4833.
If you are a member of the public wishing information, please visit our Consumer Services.