I've had a home warranty before for my home, and like Mark, I assumed it would cover the replacement cost if something went wrong. Luckily I never had to find out if that was the case. But I never really thought about it either. Working with consumers, I've now heard complaints about home warranties.. and it's not just about tonight's company. One problem I've heard is that the warranty company won't pay for a repair because they say it's the consumer who didn't take care of the maintenance, and that's what caused the problem. There are sometimes clauses where if the company says it's your fault, they don't have to pay.
If you want to read what other homeowners think about certain home warranty companies, check out this website:
If you get a home warranty, just make sure you read all the fine print. Know exactly what you're paying for. Mark would have been better off taking his 36 dollars a month and putting it into an "emergency fund".