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When choosing a home warranty company, you need to do one thing: READ THE FINE PRINT. That’s “read the fine print” in case that was a bit too fine ;-).
Many customers find themselves frustrated with a company for not paying claims for appliance repairs or the replacement of systems. If the company refuses to pay for it, then there is most likely a written exclusion in your contract. So before committing to a home warranty provider, promise you’ll read every word of the contract.
Our experts have gone the distance to find out which home warranty company provides the most reliable service and the least deceptive contract. We’ve reviewed over a dozen providers and counting! You’ll find out what’s covered, the average cost of repairs, pricing plans, one-on-one comparisons, real user feedback, and more.
A home warranty (also called home appliance insurance or appliance insurance) gives you financial protection against broken systems and/or appliances. Home warranty insurance is designed to provide coverage for appliances and systems that break due to normal wear and tear, whereas homeowners insurance would pay for them if they’re damaged by fire, tornado, etc.
Homeowners insurance gives you financial protection against disasters (i.e., fires, tornadoes, etc.). It provides coverage for the house itself (the structure) as well as for the contents (appliances, electronics, clothes, etc.). However, not all disasters are covered.
For example, you must purchase separate policies if you’re seeking earthquake and/or flood coverage. If there’s a disaster due to poor maintenance on the homeowner’s end, it won’t be covered.
Home insurance also covers damage caused by pets who reside there because they’re technically your property from an insurance perspective. If a disaster like a fire occurs, the home itself and the items inside it are insured as well as any injuries to people within the home for which you are legally responsible.
Let’s look at an example to provide more clarity around these types of products. If you move into a new home and the dishwasher stops working 6 months later, your homeowners insurance policy won’t pay for it to be repaired or replaced. However, a home warranty may cover that repair/replacement if you’ve opted to gain this coverage. In most cases, you pay an initial deductible, and the rest of the cost is covered by the home warranty company.
Items covered will vary depending on the company and plan you choose. Common items include:
- Plumbing system
- Electrical system
- Other appliances and systems
Fortunately, with many options available, you can choose the right fit for you and your home.
What’s Not Typically Covered In A Home Warranty?
- Fire damage
- Flood damage
- Other things typically covered by homeowners insurance policies
Here’s a table of average repair and replacement costs across the nation for some common household items. A home warranty plan could help you to avoid these types of unexpected expenses.
|Household Item||Equipment Cost||Repair Cost||Total Replacement Cost|
|Heating and Ductwork||$2,900||$390||$3,290|
|Main Electrical Panel||$700||$210||$910|
Wondering if it’s more cost-effective to replace or repair an appliance? Use this graphic to see what you could be paying and how that compares to the cost of having a home warranty policy.
A home warranty works like most other insurance plans. You pay a monthly fee for coverage, and if an appliance or system breaks that you have covered, you only have to pay the deductible (or in this case, service call fee) and the rest is paid by the home warranty company.
What’s the catch? The company you choose for your home warranty has the option to either fix the broken appliance/system or buy a new one. Unfortunately, some companies choose to fix the appliance/system over and over instead of just replacing it with a new one. This can be very time consuming and headache-inducing for you, the homeowner, who just wants a house with working pieces and parts.
The monthly premium is based on your location, home criteria, personal information, etc. This cost typically ranges from around $30 to $60 per month depending on the level of home warranty plan you choose. Sometimes companies give discounts on the first year of service, so it may be even less.
You pay the monthly premium every month to keep your home warranty in service. You can also sometimes get a discount if you’re willing to pay an annual premium upfront for the entire year instead of monthly installments so be sure to ask if this is an option.
The other primary cost is the service call fee or deductible. This is what you pay when a service professional comes to your home and inspects your appliance/system to determine if it needs repair or replacement. The service fee will generally be one set fee; the higher the service call fee or deductible, the lower the price you should expect to pay for your monthly premium.
Service call fees average in the $60-$125 range but can be more or less. You only pay the service call fee when you file a claim, and a repair person visits your home to consider for repair or replacement. At that time, you pay the service call fee, and the rest of the repair/replacement is covered — whichever they deem necessary.
Each company is different, and there could be other fees associated with your home warranty plan. Please read your contract carefully.
You might hear stories about a home warranty provider “fixing” your appliance or system and a couple of weeks later it’s broken again. Our reviews will help you find a provider who will fix it right the first time, so it lasts.
Keep In Mind…
These companies are difficult to rank because the reviews are less than outstanding for most national and regional companies. But that may also be because everyone wants what’s broken fixed asap and effectively the first time, and it’s not always so black and white when it comes to appliance repairs.
Read our reviews, ask your neighbors for recommendations, and rest assured that should something break, you’ll have a solution that’s better than dealing with it (and paying for it) on your own.
American Home Shield is a well-known home warranty company, and we like that you can customize your plan to best serve which appliances you want covered to fit your budget.
While viewing its BBB page, we noticed it has more than 11,000 complaints. However, we’re also keeping in mind that this company is widely used and has a larger customer base than the majority of the companies reviewed in this article.
A large portion of these complaints object to the company’s failure to cover the cost of the full appliance or system. This isn’t an uncommon practice in the home warranty field, and companies often repair an appliance or system over and over instead of replacing it. American Home Shield has responded and resolved the majority of these complaints.
With more than 45 years in business and 1.8 million homeowners covered, there’s a reason people choose American Home Shield for their home warranty. There are multiple plans to choose from, and your appliances and systems will be included regardless of their age, make and model.
Plans & Pricing
American Home Shield offers three service call fee levels. Some things you’ll want to remember are that you don’t pay for the actual repair or replacement cost for the covered items; your contract will cover that.
AHS offers 4 different home warranty plans to help protect your wallet. As with most of these companies, pricing is not available on the website in a generic format so you must input your information for a quote.
Both the Systems Plan and Appliances Plan cover the repair or replacement of the following items:
|Systems Plan||Appliance Plan|
|Air Conditioning w/ Ductwork||Refrigerators|
|Heating w/ Ductwork||Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops|
|Ceiling Fans||Built-In Microwave Ovens|
|Plumbing (Including Stoppages)||Trash Compactors|
|Water Heaters||Free-Standing Ice Makers|
|Garbage Disposals||Garage Door Openers|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers||Built-In Food Centers|
The Combo Plan includes everything in the Appliances and Systems Plans (a total of 21 items). On average, you’ll save $14/month with this plan instead of purchasing the Appliances and Systems Plans separately. American Home Shield also offers a Build Your Own Plan.
- Electronic Extended Warranty
- Pools & Spas
- Well Pump
- Septic Pump
- Guest Unit
America’s 1st Choice (AFC) Home Club’s website is well laid out and simple to digest. This company is also very clear about its offerings. With most companies, you have to dig through pages of their website, place calls and request quotes to get the information you need.
AFC Home Club, however, has all of their information right on their website. All you have to pay is a $75, $100 or $125 service call fee per claim. This brings us to ask, are they too good to be true?
Plans & Pricing
America’s 1st Choice offers 4 plans and several add-on options.
|Air Conditioning/Cooler||Clothes Dryer||Everything in System Plan||Everything in Gold Plan||Sump Pump|
|Heating Systems||Clothes Washer||Everything in Silver Plan||Plumbing Stoppages||Septic System|
|Water Heater||Kitchen Refrigerator||Built-In Microwave||Hot Water Dispenser|
|Electrical System||Oven||Ice Maker||Pool & Spa|
|Plumbing System||Range||Stand Alone Freezer|
|Ductwork||Stove/Cooktop||Tankless Water Heater|
|Garbage Disposal||Well Pump|
|Garage Door Opener|
The Home Service Club (HSC) has a 30-day work guarantee for labor and 90 days for parts. This can give homeowners extra peace of mind knowing that the work HSC does on their system or appliance is guaranteed for that period.
HSC is one of the few companies that offers coverage nationally and not just in a select few states. Reviewers state that it’s good about repairing or replacing items in a more timely fashion than other companies we’ve reviewed.
Plans & Pricing
HSC has 3 options for service call fee payments. These work like deductibles. This fee is the amount you’ll pay out of pocket for a service call (other deductibles may apply as well, so again, please read your contract). Choosing a higher call fee payment will lead to a lower monthly warranty cost. The actual monthly price of your plan will depend on your location and other factors.
Home Service Club offers two coverage plans, Standard and Comprehensive.
|Standard Coverage||Comprehensive Coverage|
|Ovens, Ranges, Cooktops|
|Microwave Oven Built-In|
|Food Centers Built-In|
|Garage Door Opener|
|Hot Water Pump|
|Hot/Cold Water Dispenser|
|Refrigerators Built-In Units with Dual Compressors||Optional||Optional|
|Sewage Ejector Pump||Optional||Optional|
|Utility Line Coverage Package*||Optional||Optional|
*Utility Line coverage includes:
- Outside water line
- Outside gas line
- Outside electric line
- Outside sewer line
- Grinder pump
- Sprinkler system
So, you’ll need to pick a service call fee amount (the lower the service fee, the higher the monthly fee) and pick a plan (Standard vs Comprehensive) to get started. The least expensive option will always be the most expensive service fee and Standard coverage.
Here’s 10 more home warranty companies our readers have requested we look into. Don’t see yours? Let us know in the comments.
- 2-10 Home Buyers
- Fidelity National
- Home Warranty of America (HWA)
- Old Republic
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty states, “It says we are in the business of promises kept… and promises kept make our customers happy.” Unfortunately, customers don’t feel like they’re getting the service they’ve promised according to reviews we’ve read online.
Plumbing, Electrical Panel and Wiring, Refrigerator, Oven, Dishwasher, Furnace, Air Conditioner/Freon Split System, Hot Water Heater, Roof, Built-In Microwave, Disposal, Trash Compactor, Clothes Washer & Clothes Dryer
Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is the least reputable home warranty company we’ve found in our research.
They have a government write-up on the BBB website stating that they “alleged that CHW induced consumers to buy the so-called “home warranties” – which were actually service contracts – by stating they offered “comprehensive” coverage. The Division alleged that CHW then used deceptive tactics to deny consumers’ claims, such as denying claims if the consumers were unable to submit multiple years’ worth of maintenance records. As a result, consumers who paid hundreds of dollars for CHW’s “warranties” were required to pay out-of-pocket for air conditioning, refrigerator, or other repairs that were purportedly covered.”
This is a big claim to throw at a company, and in our eyes, Choice Home Warranty must have done some pretty awful things to their customers to deserve this type of accusation. Ask your neighbors as service can vary by location, but you may want to consider other home warranty companies.
Choice Home Warranty also operates under the name InHome Warranty.
Cinch Home Services has gone by many names in the past, most recently TotalProtect. We aren’t fans of their frequent rebranding because it can make it difficult to get a true picture of their reputation. We have concerns that this might make it easy for them to hide negative reviews by changing the company name.
However, it does have some things going for it. It’s the only home warranty company that offers a 180-day service quality guarantee. It also covers a variety of appliances and systems.
Cinch Home Services is one product offered by Cross Country Home Services, Inc. (CCHS). Another well-known product in the CCHS family of brands is HMS Home Warranty.
Plans & Pricing
All plans come with a $100, $125 or $150 deductible. Cinch Home Services offers three coverage plans: Appliances, Built-In Systems and Complete Home. Complete Home includes everything in the Appliances and Built-In Systems plans as well as a homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement.
|Clothes Dryer||Air Conditioning Including Ductwork|
|Clothes Washer||Attic Fans|
|Food Centers (Built-in)||Doorbells|
|Freestanding Ice Makers||Electrical System|
|Microwaves (Built-in)||Garage Door Openers|
|Range Exhaust Hood||Heating System Including Ductwork|
|Refrigerators||Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispenser|
|Trash Compactor (Built-in)||Plumbing System|
|Wall Oven||Smoke Detectors|
|Whirlpool/Jetted Tup (Built-in)|
Fidelity National Home Warranty can be a hit or a miss for customers. Some have been loyal customers for years filing many claims and being happy with their services, while others haven’t been so lucky. Depending on what your coverage needs are, Fidelity National Home Warranty may be a good fit for you and your home.
Plans & Pricing
Fidelity National Home Warranty doesn’t clearly spell out any plans they have. Below is a list of the standard coverage they offer; however, it may vary by state: plumbing system and stoppages, toilets, sump pump (permanently installed), bathroom whirlpool motor pump, recirculating hot water pump, water heater, heating and ductwork, electrical system, telephone system, central vacuum system, garage door opener, ceiling fans, attic and exhaust fans, smoke detectors, doorbells, dishwasher, range/oven/cooktops, built-in microwave, instant hot water dispenser and trash compactor.
The add-ons are an extra cost:
- Kitchen Refrigerator
- Clothes Washer
- Clothes Dryer
- Air Conditioning
- Pool and Spa Equipment
- Limited Septic and Roof Leak Repair
HSA Home Warranty is a hit or miss. Customers either have great service from HSA or horrible service. If you’re interested in HSA, we suggest calling and asking to speak with customers in your area. Seeing how they perform with customers near you will help you decide if they’re a good fit for you.
Plans & Pricing
Pricing and coverage vary based on location. Go to HSA’s site to see what they cover for your zip code.
Home Warranty of America (HWA) is one of the largest sellers of home warranty services. HWA has received awards for its services, and what we like best about them is that they are very transparent about their offerings.
Plans & Pricing
Service Fees are $75 each or the actual cost of replacement/repair, whichever is less. (This fee can vary by state.)
Although plans vary by state, HWA typically offers two different plans, which we have in the table below. Coverage for the plan may vary depending on where you live, but here are the basics.
|Premier||Premier Plus||Optional Add Ons|
|Heating||Air Conditioning||Stand Alone Ice Maker|
|Ductwork||Increases Toilet Replacement up to $500||Freezer|
|Plumbing||Plumbing – Fixtures, faucets, shower heads, stopages/clogs||Pool/Spa|
|Stoppages/Clogs||Everything in the Premier plan||Well Pump|
|Toilet||Septic Tank Pumping|
|Permanent Sump Pump||Septic System|
|Water Heater||Roof Leak Repair|
|Instant Hot Water Dispenser|
|Whirlpool Bath Tub|
|Door Bells, Burglar & Fire Alarm Systems|
|Garage Door System|
|Kitchen Refrigerator w/ Ice Maker|
Landmark Home Warranty has plans to expand nationwide, but for now, they’re only available in six states. If you live in one of the six states Landmark offers coverage in, we recommend giving them a serious look. We found many positive reviews online for them, and if they were nationwide, we’d consider them for our top three. Perhaps in the future, you’ll see them toward the top of our article.
BBB Government Action
There is a government action posted on their BBB page, which is never a good thing (involving business’ marketplace conduct). Arizona Attorney General v Landmark Home Warranty, LLC.
Plans & Pricing
Below is an overview of the plans available. To see specifics, we recommend visiting Landmark’s website directly via the link above.
|Home Systems Plan: ~$35/month||Total Protection Plan: ~$55/month||Plan Add-Ons|
|Air Conditioning System||Everything from Home Systems Plan||Booster & Well Pump|
|Heating||Built-In Microwave||Built-In Microwave|
|Electrical System||Central Vacuum||Dishwasher|
|No Fault Coverage||Dishwasher||Exterior Pipe Leak Repair|
|Plumbing System||Garbage Disposal||Freestanding Ice Maker|
|Air Conditioning Tune-Up||Kitchen Refrigerator||Freezer (Stand Alone)|
|Pest Control||Oven/Range/Cooktop||Garage Door Opener|
|Re-Key Service||Washer/Dryer||Garbage Disposal|
|Subterranean Termite Treatment||Garage Door Opener||Grinder Pumps|
|Pool & Hot Tub|
|Roof Leak Repair|
|Wet Bar Refrigerator|
Old Republic Home Warranty claims to be the third-largest home warranty provider in the nation. We haven’t read the best customer service reviews and think they may need to focus more on their customers. After being in business for 40 years, we feel they should have a better reputation than what they have.
Here’s a list of some of the basics that Old Republic Home Protection covers. Based on your location, more items are covered, but you’ll have to go to their website directly and choose your state to see what they offer.
- Kitchen Refrigerator
- Enhanced Drain Line Stoppage Coverage
- Garage Door Opener
- Polybutylene Pipes
OneGuard Home Warranty is relatively small compared to the other companies listed in this article. Since OneGuard is a smaller company, it has fewer customers. This should mean that they can spend more time with those customers to make sure that they have a good experience. However, according to our research, their customer service reviews aren’t any better than the competition.
OneGuard Home Warranty claims to cover all major home systems and appliances in addition to the following:
- A/C & Heating System Tune-Ups
- Sprinkler System
- Termite & Pest Control
- Weed Control
You can learn more about what OneGuard Home Warranty covers by going to their website and getting a quote.
Select Home Warranty can get your appliance or system fixed quickly. However, getting in touch with them in the first place can be a difficult task. They don’t have the best reputation when it comes to responding to customers’ phone calls.
Plans & Pricing
Select Home Warranty offers three different packages to cover your home appliances and systems. Service fees are usually $60 but can vary based on your state. The Gold Care package includes everything in the Bronze Care option. The Platinum Care package includes everything from the Bronze and Gold Care packages.
|Bronze Care||Gold Care||Platinum Care||Optional Add-Ons|
|Clothes Washer||Central Vacuum|
|Garbage Disposal||Well Pump|
|Refrigerator||Stand Alone Freezer|
|Stove/Oven||Lawn Sprinkler System|
|Microwave Oven (Built In)||Septic System|
|Cooktop||Ice Maker (In Refrigerator)|
|Dishwasher||Plumbing Fixtures/Lighting Fixtures|
|Clothes Dryer||Additional AC Unit|
|Heating System||Second Refrigerator|
|Plumbing System||Limited Roof Leak|
|Electrical System||Additional Water Heater|
|Water Heater||Sump Pump|
|Garage Door Opener|
Below is an alphabetical listing of home warranty companies and their availability by state. You can click on those we’ve reviewed for more details.
- 2-10 Home Buyers – Available in all 50 states
- Advanced – Available in all 50 states
- Allied – Available in all 50 states
- America’s 1st Choice (Runner-Up) – Available in 48 states (not AK or HI)
- American Home Guardian – Available in AZ, NV, ID, UT, and TX
- American Home Shield (AHS) (Winner) – Available in 49 states (not AK)
- American Residential – Available in all 50 states
- Assurant Solutions – Available in FL, KY, GA, OR, PA, SD, and TX
- Choice (InHome) – Call for availability
- Cinch Home Services – Available in 48 states (not AK or HI)
- Delta Home Protect – Available in all 50 states
- Federal Home Assurance – Available in 48 states (not CA or FL)
- Fidelity National – Available in CA, AZ, NV, TX, CO, WA, and OR
- First American Home Buyers – Available in 35 states
- Home Service Club (Third Place) – Available in 49 states (not CA)
- Home Warranty Of America – Available in all 50 states
- HomeServe USA – Available in all 50 states
- HSA – Enter your zip code for availability
- Landmark – Available in AZ, ID, NV, OR, TX, and UT
- Nationwide – Available in all 50 states
- Old Republic – Available in 23 states
- OneGuard – Available in AZ, TX, and NV
- Secure – Available in all 50 states
- Select – Call for availability
Any companies we missed? Let us know in the comments.
We believe that when a major (and expensive) appliance breaks down, any homeowner will be glad they have a home warranty in place. Does this mean it’s the right fit for everyone? Of course not; but for a small monthly fee, it may offer the peace of mind you want. Learn more in this video from Angie’s List.
Check out these individual comparison articles, so you can see how some of the most popular home warranty companies stand up side by side.
Of utmost importance is to remember that your home has specific appliances and systems that you want to be sure are covered. So, when you’re talking to representatives from each company, be sure to ask about your specific needs.
The more questions you ask, the better off you are and the fewer surprises you’ll have later down the road. Look at multiple companies, ask for quotes and most importantly, read the fine print!
Having a home warranty won’t get you a discount. But having a home security system will! Our experts have reviewed the top home security companies an go over features, pricing, pros, cons, and real user feedback.
Tagged With: Comparison, Home Warranty