7 on Your Side helps couple get reimbursed for new water heater under warranty

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- A home warranty protection plan meant to financially protect homeowners from expensive repairs didn't come through for an Oakland couple so they called 7 On Your Side for help.

The trouble started when a water heater sprung a leak, leaving the Oakland couple without hot water for several days.

Charles Holloway showed the extent of the problem. Water began leaking from the bottom of his hot water heater.

"This was all wet and it goes in because the bedroom is the next wall over," Charles Holloway said.

The water seeped into his bedroom and over a small section of his carpet. Betty Holloway called First Warranty Home Buyer's Protection, which promptly sent out a repair service.

"He looked at the system and he said he wasn't capable of doing the repair and he would contact the company," Holloway said.

She says First American advised her to seek her own repair person and they would get reimbursed. A service person came out and decided to replace the entire water heater, which cost $1,313, but First American denied the claim.

"They said they weren't going to pay it, that we were responsible for it," Betty Holloway said.

The company had sent her an email two days earlier authorizing just $125 in repairs. Holloway admits she didn't pay much attention to it.

"Two of their agents had told us on two separate times that they were going to reimburse us," Holloway said.

Holloway contacted 7 On Your Side and we contacted First American to ask why the authorization had been set so low.

They told us: First American Home Buyers Protection does not comment on the details of claims. Days later, the company contacted the Holloways to say their claim would be paid in full.

"I couldn't believe this. We were going to get our money back," Holloway said.

This was a very unusual case because the Holloways were told to find their own repair service. If that happens to you and the estimated amount of repair is higher than what's authorized, call your warranty company immediately and explain why you need the authorization to be increased.
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