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Home warranties are tricky to navigate, and finding the best home warranty companies can seem a daunting task, but having a home warranty is vital if you want to avoid major unexpected expenses.
Since it began over 13 years ago, Choice Home Warranty has stayed true to their mission of protecting homeowners, buyers, and sellers. They are the best when it comes to home repairs.
Home repairs can cost a pretty penny, and breakdowns always seem to happen at the worst time. Without a doubt, if your A/C is on the older side, it will pick the middle of a heatwave to bite the dust, and the repair cost could be massive.
Unexpected expenses are hard to prepare for, and that's why purchasing a home warranty is a wise decision for many. With the right policy, you can keep repair costs affordable without overspending on coverage you don't need.
The Best Home Warranty Companies for 2023
Comparison of the Best Home Warranties
American Home Shield is among the best home warranty companies in the USA. It provides comprehensive home coverage at affordable plans.
Choice Home Warranty is a reputable company that provides comprehensive coverage to homeowners.
First Premier offers different home warranty plans for repairs and replacements. It’s an excellent option for homeowners looking to protect their appliances and systems at affordable rates.
Select Home Warranty
Shield your wallet from home repair expenses with a Select Home Warranty protection plan. Home Warranty Awards "2019 Editor's Choice” winner".
A home warranty plan is an annual service contract where warranty provider covers the repairing or replacement of broken appliances and system.
Detailed Reviews of Home Warranty Companies
The best home warranty company will cover the home systems and appliances that you regularly use without costing too much in annual or monthly premiums. They'll also keep service fees and exclusions to a minimum.
Finding all of this in one company is a tall order, but our top five picks are close to perfect in all of those areas.
1. American Home Shield - Best Overall
American Home Shield is our top pick for home warranties. The company has been in business for over fifty years, and they pay out more service requests than any other home warranty company.
With several plans to choose from and tons of add-on coverage available, you can get the precise coverage you need for your home and lifestyle. Plus, American Home Shield offers a 30-day workmanship guarantee.
If a repair doesn't stick, they'll send a technician back for free.
2. Choice Home Warranty - Best for Repairs
Since 2008, Choice Home Warranty has offered top-notch customer service and guaranteed home repairs at an exceptionally affordable rate. Their comprehensive coverage comes with a 90-day guarantee on all home repairs. They also boast 24/7 customer service and reasonably low service fees.
They don't allow much in the way of customization. Unfortunately, there are only two plans from which to choose. However, the plans are straightforward and provide the coverage most homeowners want, making Choice Home Warranty our top choice for repair coverage.
3. First Premier Home Warranty - Best for Home Systems
First Premier Home Warranty provides excellent coverage and top-notch technicians, especially when repairing home systems.
Unlike many home warranty companies that only cover appliances at the lowest level, First Premier offers home system coverage in their base-level plan. They'll take care of repairs on your electrical and plumbing systems for a very affordable rate.
They also do an excellent job of screening repair technicians. It's a strict vetting process which means the service providers you encounter will be the best of the best. And, if you have a local technician you like best, you can ask to have them approved.
First Premier hasn't been in business long, but if they keep it up, they'll be an industry leader soon.
4. Select Home Warranty - Best for Appliances
Select Home Warranty offers the best coverage for appliances because they don't limit the number of repairs. So if you have an aging dishwasher, stove, oven, or dryer, you might want to consider their coverage.
The company offers three different warranty plans for homeowners. The most basic plan or Bronze Plan only covers appliances and is very affordable.
Plus, Select Home Warranty offers significant discounts at different points throughout the year. Check them out around Labor or Memorial Day for possible deals.
4. ServicePlus - Best Protection Plans
ServicePlus makes home warranty plans simple with two options for coverage and plenty of chances for add-ons. Their protection plans cover many items that other plans leave out, including sump pumps, ductwork, and trash compactors.
Unfortunately, their coverage caps are low at $200-$500 per claim, and they have several component-based exclusions. For example, though they cover air conditioners, they don't cover filters, condenser casings, or humidifiers within your A/C.
What is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty is a service contract that you can purchase to protect yourself from significant expenses if an appliance or system within your home breaks down. It's not homeowners insurance and doesn't cover things like theft or damage from fires or storms.
However, for a monthly or annual fee, a home warranty will cover you if your dishwasher breaks or if your A/C suddenly malfunctions. It can also protect you if there's a problem with your electrical or plumbing systems, as well as many other things.
You'll have to pay a service fee when you need to use your warranty, but it's an amount you'll choose in advance as part of your plan. Because you know the amount you'll pay if something breaks in advance, you can plan for it.
Home warranties don't usually require a home inspection or maintenance records, and it doesn't matter if your home is new. So, almost every homeowner can purchase a home warranty and possibly save money in the long term.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
When you go to purchase a home warranty, you'll have several plans to choose from. You'll want to select the one that works best for you based on the monthly or annual fees, the service fee structure, as well as what the plan promises to cover.
Once you choose, you'll pay the first month's fee or pay for the year upfront. Your plan's coverage will usually kick in between fifteen and thirty days. If you're purchasing a new home and buying a home warranty simultaneously, coverage usually kicks in during the closing process.
Should you need to use your coverage, the process looks something like this:
- You'll submit a claim for your broken appliance or home system either online or by phone.
- The warranty company will choose a service provider capable of making the repair. In some cases, warranty companies will let you choose a provider, but that's not the norm. Most companies require you to use a service provider of their choice.
- The service provider will call you to set up an appointment.
- At the set appointment time, a technician will come out to diagnose the problem. They'll connect with your warranty company to ensure your warranty covers the repair.
- Assuming the repair is within your warranty's framework, they'll make the fix, and you'll pay the service fee. Sometimes you pay the service fee to the technician directly, and sometimes you'll send it to your warranty company. Either way, the warranty company will take care of the rest of the cost.
If the repair isn't covered, you'll probably still need to pay the service fee. Then, you'll also have to cover the price of the repair yourself. So, no matter what policy you pick, make sure you read the fine print and only file claims on appliances or systems that have coverage.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
Most warranty companies have three types of plans that cover different things:
- Appliance plans (washers and dryers, refrigerators, dishwashers)
- Systems plans (a/c systems, plumbing, electrical, and heating)
- Combination plans (both appliances and systems)
You can also add-on coverage for things your warranty doesn't cover as is. If you have a pool, an extensive sprinkler system, a well, or a septic tank, you might want to purchase add-on coverage for it.
Purchasing a home warranty is a good idea for most of us. Unexpected expenses to repair needed appliances or home systems can be tough to stomach, but a home warranty can help.
With the right home warranty, you can set aside the exact amount for repairs you may need, allowing you to budget and save money long term. Using our list and tips to pick the best home warranty company ensures your peace of mind, even if your A/C breaks in the middle of July.
American Home Shield
American Home Shield is home warranty company based in Memphis, Tennessee. It administers home service contracts on major home systems and appliances.
Home Warranty FAQ's
Shopping for a home warranty may leave you with some additional questions. Let's see if we can answer them.
A home warranty doesn't cover everything in your home, and it's crucial to know where your coverage stops.
For one thing, a home warranty won't take the place of home insurance. It won't cover foundational damage, structural issues, or damage from a natural disaster. It also won't protect you from liability if someone gets hurt on your property.
Your home warranty may not cover appliances and systems under certain situations either. If your device or system:
- wasn't installed correctly
- wasn't maintained correctly
- was used improperly
- doesn't meet building codes
- had a pre-existing issue when you purchased the warranty
Your home warranty may not cover the cost of the repair.
Home warranties may also exclude coverage on certain component parts. For example, they might cover your roof, but not skylights. Or, they might cover your A/C but not its condenser cage.
Beyond that, there are typically limits on warranty plans. Your warranty may cover up to a certain amount on each appliance and impose an annual claim limit. Be sure to read the fine print on your warranty coverage, so you know what to expect.
Home warranty costs vary based on the size and location of your home, but you can usually expect to spend $350 - $1,100 or more per year. On top of that, there will be a service fee and service fee structure to consider.
Service fees range from around $55 - $150, depending on your plan. Lower service fees usually mean the warranty's yearly fee is higher. So, you'll want to weigh those factors when selecting your warranty.
Service fee structures can also vary. With some warranty plans, you'll have to pay up to three service fees per incident, depending on the number of different service areas the repair falls into.
Home warranties may or may not be worth purchasing. It depends on your experience with home repairs and how adverse you are to surprise expenses.
If you can handle a significant expense due to an appliance breaking, or if you have experience making technical repairs, you may not see much value in a home warranty.
However, most of us can barely hang a shelf without some help. And, few of us have bank accounts so healthy that they can handle significant expenses.
For many, if their A/C breaks or their dishwasher takes a dive, they're stuck living without it until they can save up enough to purchase something new or pay for repairs.Experts say that homeowners should plan on spending 1-4% of the purchase price of their home on yearly maintenance. A home warranty, which will cover much of those expenses, usually costs far less. That means that for most of us, a home warranty is worth it.
No, home warranties are not effective immediately. Usually, they take 15-30 days to go into effect. However, if you're purchasing a new home and buying a home warranty simultaneously, the warranty will typically go into effect at the end of the closing process.