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    by Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor

    Read our guide to choose the best home warranty company for you by comparing coverage options, contract lengths, service fees, reviews and complaints. Our research team vetted 23 home warranty providers that are rated by more than 138,280 customers.

    Take a Home Warranty Quiz. Get matched with an Authorized Partner.

      Our 7 top home warranty picks

      A home warranty comes in handy if your air conditioner breaks during the summer or your plumbing backs up in the middle of the night. It helps cover the cost of expensive home repairs, and many companies handle scheduling contractors for you. A warranty also provides a financial safety net if you’re purchasing a new home, and it may make your home more attractive to buyers if you’re selling.

      The best home warranty companies are highly rated by customers. They also provide multiple coverage options, prompt customer service, a reliable network of service providers and easy claims filing. Compare our top picks to find the best home warranty company for you.

      Our top pickAmerican Home ShieldAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: $75, $100 or $125

      American Home Shield is our top home warranty provider pick because it has excellent reviews and some of the most comprehensive coverage on the market. Most plans are available in most states. AHS does not require a pre-inspection, and you can get a plan at any time, regardless of the age of your home’s systems and appliances.

      Several positive reviewers highlight the company’s prompt services. “AHS did exactly what I thought they should. … They get through any issues and solve a problem fairly quickly,” said one verified customer earlier this year. Another reviewer called it a “one-stop plan” for homeowners. Compare plans and coverage to learn more about American Home Shield.

      Plans and pricing

      On average, expect to pay $500 to $800 per year. Depending on your plan, service fees are $75, $100 or $125.

      You can add additional coverage for electronics, pools and spas, septic systems and well pumps to any warranty plan. For the most accurate pricing and availability in your area, it’s best to contact the company directly for a quote.

      • SilverShield: Protects 14 major systems, including heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing
      • ShieldGold: Protects parts of 23 appliances and systems, including kitchen and laundry equipment, heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing
      • ShieldPlatinum: Protects everything covered under ShieldGold, plus roof leaks and more
      Our pick for professional techniciansChoice Home WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 2
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: $85

      Choice Home Warranty is known for its network of professional technicians and customer support. The company works with more than 15,000 contractors across the country, and it claims to have covered more than a million homes and processed more than 4 million service requests.

      One verified customer, who filed two claims in Kentucky, said both repairs were “outstanding, professional and expeditiously accomplished.” The reviewer added that reps were “cordial and meticulous” when they spoke over the phone. You can also file a claim online. Read about coverages and exclusions to learn more about Choice Home Warranty.

      Plans and pricing

      Choice Home Warranty plans start between $30 and $50 per month. All plans come with a flat-rate $85 service fee. Coverage lasts for one year — expect to pay a $50 cancellation fee if you cancel early. However, you can transfer the contract for free.

      • Basic Plan: Protects 14 systems and appliances, including heating, electrical, plumbing (plus dishwasher), microwave (if built-in), garbage disposal, cooktop and oven and range/stove
      • Total Plan: Covers everything in the Basic Plan, plus washer and dryer, refrigerator and air conditioning system
      • Total Plan: Requires an additional fee — you can get coverage for pool and spa equipment, a well pump, central vacuum, limited roof leaks, a stand-alone freezer and septic tank pumping and system
      Our pick for valueSelect Home WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: Typically $60 to $75

      Happy and satisfied customers frequently talk about Select Home Warranty’s value for the coverage it provides. The company offers discounts for those who purchase multiple-year coverage.

      Positive reviews come from both new homeowners and those with older homes. Select Home Warranty has a network of local professionals who perform all repairs and replacements. Customers can submit claims online or by sending a direct email. Plans are available in 46 states (not currently available in Nevada, New York, Washington and Wisconsin). Read reviews to learn more about Select Home Warranty.

      Plans and pricing

      Select offers three different home warranty plans, with the cheapest starting at $36 a month. Each plan is customizable, and the company offers free quotes. Roof coverage is available as an add-on to all its plans. If you cancel before the term is up, expect to pay a $75 cancellation fee.

      • Platinum Care: Select’s most popular warranty plan; protects 17 major items, including ductwork, plumbing stoppages, kitchen appliances, garage door openers, ceiling fans and more
      • Gold Care: Includes air conditioning and cooling, heating, plumbing and electrical systems, water heaters and ductwork
      • Bronze Care: The most basic tier; covers your washer and dryer, garbage disposal, refrigerator, stove and oven, cooktop, built-in microwave and dishwasher
      • Additional coverage: Limited roof leak protection plans are available. More coverage options include plans for plumbing and lighting, pool and spa equipment, well pump, sump pump, central vacuum, stand-alone freezer, lawn sprinkler system and septic system
      Our pick for easy claims processCinch Home ServicesAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: $100 to $150

      “Cinch works with you,” according to one reviewer who recommends Cinch Home Services. “They understand everything that you are going through and they're very willing to help.”

      Another verified customer said that submitting claims “is the easiest thing ever. It was so easy because I don't have to call anybody. I just go online. I submitted a claim on a Sunday night and at 7 AM the following day, I got a call.”

      After you submit a claim, Cinch sends a professional technician to your house to complete repairs. Cinch repairs have a 180-day workmanship guarantee, which is longer than the industry average. Read reviews to learn more about Cinch Home Services.

      Plans and pricing

      Cinch Home Services has three straightforward options: an appliances plan, a systems plan and the Cinch Complete Home Plan, which covers both. Options for deductibles, which are paid at the time of service, are $100, $125 and $150.

      • Appliances: Starts at $27.99 per month; covers standard kitchen appliances, trash compactors, food centers, free-standing ice makers and washers and dryers
      • Built-in Systems: Starts at $32.99 per month; covers air conditioning, plumbing, electrical and heating (including ductwork), ceiling and attic fans, central vacuums, doorbells, garage door openers, garbage disposals, water dispensers, sump pumps, toilets, water heaters, tubs and more
      • Complete Home: Starts at $39.99 per month; covers everything in the appliance and systems plans and comes with a homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement
      Our pick for service guaranteeAmerica's 1st Choice Home ClubAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 4
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: $75, $100 or $125

      Of the companies we analyzed, America's 1st Choice Home Club has the longest home service guarantee period. The company provides lifetime guarantees that back any repair made under a customer's plan, no matter how long ago the repair was.

      America's 1st Choice Home Club is available in 46 states (not available in California, Hawaii, Nevada and South Carolina). Read reviews to learn more about America’s 1st Choice Home Club.

      Plans and pricing

      The company has four plans, including one just for major systems. On the high end, AFC’s comprehensive Platinum Plan costs about $625 a year. Service fees are $75, $100 or $125. You can also choose to make monthly or yearly payments. A $75 fee may apply if you cancel before your term ends.

      • Gold Plan: Covers 14 systems and appliances
      • Silver Plan: Covers eight major appliances, including standard kitchen and laundry items
      • Platinum Plan: Covers 17 systems and appliances, including everything covered by the Gold and Silver plans
      • Systems Plan: Covers six major systems, including electrical and plumbing
      • Additional coverage: Add-on protection for your sump pump, septic system, hot water dispenser, pool or spa, stand-alone freezer and tankless water heater are also available for an additional fee
      Our pick for customer supportAmerican Residential WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Contract length: Quarterly and annual terms
      • Service fee: Varies

      American Residential Warranty has overall positive reviews. What stood out to us was the high frequency of happy customers who say customer service representatives go above and beyond.

      “Working with customer support was easy and they got what I needed to get done,” according to a verified customer in Colorado. Several reviewers indicated that customer service representatives work hard to quickly solve issues when they do arise.

      For example, when a customer in North Carolina had a billing issue last year, their ARW rep “took the time to explain why my credit card had failed and once I [provided] her with the correct information, the problem was resolved.” Compare coverage and exclusions to learn more about American Residential Warranty.

      Plans and pricing

      American Residential Warranty offers three plans that include heating, cooling and electrical systems. Keep in mind that applicable state taxes could apply to overall costs. Plans are available in all 50 states.

      • Heating and Cooling Plan: $39.99 per month; covers heating, cooling and electrical systems, as well as central air conditioning and heating, humidifier and interior electrical systems
      • Platinum Plan: $49.99 per month; covers your major kitchen appliances, garbage disposal, water heater, interior electrical system, whole-home humidifier and central heating and cooling systems
      • Platinum Premier Plan: $59.99 per month; covers everything in the Platinum Plan, plus interior plumbing and electrical systems, ductwork, ceiling fans and garage door openers
      • Additional coverage: Requires an additional fee; adds coverage for your washer and dryer, well pump, water or sewer line, pool or spa and electronics
      Our pick for flexible coverageLiberty Home GuardAUTHORIZED PARTNER
      • Number of plans: 3
      • Contract length: One year
      • Service fee: $69 to $75

      Liberty Home Guard’s standard packages come with a wide selection of add-ons to cover less common items such as pest control, cleaning and re-key services.

      When you submit a claim, the company sends a technician out within 24 hours. “Liberty Home Guard has met and even exceeded my expectations every time I have had to contact them,” according to a recent reviewer in New York. “Customer service has been great, and I have had no disputes over coverage.”

      Plans are available in 45 states (not currently available in California, Illinois, Washington, Wyoming and Wisconsin). Read reviews to learn more about Liberty Home Guard.

      Plans and pricing

      The Total Home Guard plan covers household appliances and home systems. Appliance Guard and Systems Guard plans start around $30 per month. Total Home Guard Plans start around $45.

      • Systems Guard: Covers air conditioning, heating, ductwork, plumbing, electrical and water heaters
      • Appliance Guard: Covers your clothes washer and dryer, kitchen refrigerator, ranges, ovens and cooktops, built-in microwave ovens, dishwashers, ceiling and exhaust fans, garbage disposals and garage door openers
      • Total Home Guard: The most comprehensive plan; covers everything listed in the systems and appliances plans
      • Optional coverage: Includes service plan upgrades for your pool or spa, sump pump, well pump, central vacuum, septic system pumping, lighting fixtures, gutter cleaning, water softener, lawn sprinkler system, swamp cooler, ejector pump, second refrigerator, trash compactor, generator, grinder pump and water dispenser, with limited roof leak and electronics protection available

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        How to choose a home warranty

        To find the best home warranty company for you, look for one that you trust and select a plan that covers the home systems and appliances you consider essential. We suggest the following steps to help you choose the right provider.

        1. Decide on the type of home warranty plan you need

        The majority of home warranty providers offer three primary types of plans: appliances, home systems and combination plans. An appliance plan covers home items like your dishwasher and refrigerator. A home system plan covers a home’s plumbing, electrical and other systems. A combination plan will cover your home appliances and your systems.

        Some companies have add-on options for other home items that don’t typically fall under these three categories, such as outside spas or hot tubs and swimming pools. Most customers opt for a combination plan, but some prefer coverage for appliances or systems only. If most of your home appliances are new and still covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, you may want to opt for a systems-only plan.

        2. Know what you can afford

        Home warranty providers charge a monthly premium for their services — this is generally from $25 to $50 a month. If cost is a significant factor for you, shop around for the best deal and consider choosing less coverage to reduce the price. You can save money if you only get a warranty that covers the items you really care about.

        3. Research providers and read reviews

        Researching home warranty companies is the most critical step when choosing a plan. To get started, compare some popular companies side by side below. For more, learn about the questions to ask a provider before purchasing a plan:

        4. Compare multiple quotes

        Be sure to get quotes from multiple companies — some home warranty companies may offer price-matching. As you research, we recommend comparing:

        • Monthly or yearly cost
        • Service call fee
        • Plan options
        • Number of covered systems and appliances
        • Available add-on coverage
        • Service recall period (the length of time a warranty company guarantees a repair)
        • Any caps, maximum payout limits or exclusions the company sets in its contract terms

        5. Select your contract terms

        The right terms for you vary based on whether you own a home, are buying a home or are planning to sell a home. Optimal coverage also differs based on the type of home that needs protection.

        • Home warranties for rental properties: Landlords benefit greatly from the security of a warranty. You’re protected against unexpected costs when major home systems or appliances malfunction, and you can budget the warranty price into your overall expenses and adjust your rental fees to cover the cost.
        • New construction home warranty: New construction warranties offer extra protection for new properties. These warranties are available in different terms, ranging from a one-year warranty to ensure the overall quality of the construction to 10- or even 20-year warranties for critical items, such as the home’s foundation.
        • Condo home warranty: A condo warranty is similar to a traditional house warranty. One unique issue condo owners encounter is finding coverage for shared home systems. For example, most condo warranties don’t cover an air conditioning system used by two condos.
        • Mobile home warranty: Mobile home warranties are like traditional house warranties, but they focus more on the systems and appliances most common in mobile homes.

        Once you select a provider and are ready to make a purchase, the company will likely have a 30-day waiting period before your service contract goes into effect. Once this period has passed, you can typically use your home warranty as often as needed.

        Home warranty FAQ

        What is a home warranty?
        A home warranty is a service contract. It covers repair and replacement expenses after breakdowns of major home systems such as heating or plumbing and appliances like kitchen refrigerators and water heaters. You can purchase a home warranty plan at any point, whether you are buying, selling or have lived in your house for years.
        How much do home warranties cost?
        Home warranties cost between $25 and $50 a month on average, or around $300 to $600 annually. Depending on the coverage you choose, you may pay a little more or a little less. You might also get a discount if you opt for a multiyear plan. In addition to your premium, you pay a service call fee any time the company sends a service technician to your home to diagnose or make a repair. Service call fees range from $60 to $125 per visit.

        While a home warranty comes with a cost, it is important to note the monthly premium could be much less expensive than paying hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a system or appliance repair or replacement.

        Keep in mind that you will be financially responsible for fixing anything that’s excluded from your extended warranty plan. Providers typically have payout limits or per-item caps, so be sure to read the terms of a contract carefully.

        How does a home warranty work?
        A home warranty covers the cost to repair or replace specific systems and appliances that break down from wear and tear. Providers charge customers a monthly or annual premium in exchange for coverage. When you make a claim, you pay a service call fee for a licensed contractor to come to your home and diagnose the problem. As long as the issue is covered, the company pays for the proper repair or replacement. For more information, read about how home warranties work.
        What does a home warranty cover?
        Your contract may cover major household systems, appliances or both. Home warranties cover most major home systems, including heating, air conditioning, plumbing, ductwork and electrical systems. Contracts typically also cover appliances such as kitchen refrigerators, washers, dryers, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, garbage disposals and water heaters.

        Home warranty policies only cover breakdowns due to normal wear and tear. Proper system and appliance maintenance is typically required to keep coverage. A claim will likely be denied if the problem resulted from a preexisting issue or lack of upkeep. For more information, read about home warranty plans and coverage.

        How long do home warranties last?
        Most home warranty contracts last 12 months. Each year, you have the option to renew coverage. If you decide to buy a new home warranty, be sure to read the contract’s terms and coverage exclusions. Most home warranties take effect after 30 days, with exceptions for contracts purchased as part of a real estate transaction.
        What’s the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?
        There are several differences between home warranties and home insurance. If you have a mortgage, homeowners insurance is likely required. A warranty is not mandatory for homeowners, but it helps pay for expensive home repairs.

        A home warranty is a service contract that covers repairs or replacements of household systems and appliances that break down from routine use. People occasionally refer to a home warranty as “home appliance insurance,” but this is somewhat of a misnomer; even the best home insurance policies won’t pay to repair or replace appliances if the damage is caused by wear and tear — that’s what a warranty is for.

        Homeowners insurance covers structural damage to your home and loss of your property due to lightning, fire, smoke, hail, vandalism, theft and other perils. It also covers the policyholder’s liability in case they are responsible for an injury on the property. Unlike homeowners insurance, a warranty does not cover damages caused by these events; it only covers breakdowns resulting from normal use.

        Does homeowners insurance cover appliances?
        Yes, homeowner insurance usually covers appliances if they are damaged in an event covered by your policy. For example, if a lightning strike causes your dryer to stop working, homeowners insurance typically protects you from a financial loss. On the other hand, it won’t pay for the repair or replacement of your dryer if it stops working because it’s old. For more information, learn about how to find the best home insurance company.
        What do the worst home warranty companies have in common?
        Unfortunately, not all home warranty companies are created equal. After analyzing 1-star reviews from multiple providers, we noticed some commonalities between many of the poorly rated companies:
        • Bad customer service
        • Pattern of denying claims
        • Misleading or aggressive marketing tactics
        • Confusing contracts
        • Hidden fees
        • Delays in service calls
        • Disputes of reimbursements or replacement amounts
        Is a home warranty required at closing?
        No, it isn't typically required to include a home warranty in the sale or purchase of a home. If a warranty is wrapped into the purchase of your home, this will be included in closing costs. However, whether it's a part of the buyer’s or the seller's costs depends on your purchase contract and your local regulations.
        Who regulates home warranty companies?
        Every state has some state-level regulations and requirements that home warranty companies must follow. In some states, the insurance commissioner is the regulating authority, while in other states, the real estate commission or another agency governs home warranty regulations.

        These types of regulating authorities help to protect consumers from fraud and mistreatment by investigating companies and giving residents a way to file complaints when necessary.

        Should I get a home warranty?
        While a home warranty isn’t required by law, it’s often a smart idea to have one. It’s especially helpful in the following situations:
        • You own an older home: Older homes often have older appliances and systems. A warranty offers extra assurance that your vintage charmer stays in working order.
        • You’re buying or selling a home: Buyers, sellers, real estate agents and current homeowners are all eligible to buy a home warranty. In many areas, it’s customary for the seller or real estate agent to package a home warranty in the purchase price as an added benefit to the buyer. This can be particularly attractive for first-time homebuyers or people purchasing older homes that are more likely to need repairs.
        • You don’t have a large savings account: If you don’t have a rainy day fund set aside for unexpected expenses — like when your air conditioner goes out or your dishwasher calls it quits — a home warranty protects you for a relatively affordable monthly premium.
        • You’re not handy: Those who have not owned a home before or are unfamiliar with the maintenance of major systems and home appliances should consider how much a plan covers and how much work they are willing and able to take on themselves. Many industry professionals recommend that new homeowners choose a more comprehensive plan that helps them acclimate to the responsibilities of owning a home.
        Are home warranties worth the money?
        A home warranty plan can pay for itself with one major repair. Even if you don’t end up having a huge problem, the peace of mind that comes with financial protection in case of a household system or appliance breakdown is worth it to many people. It’s a particularly good idea if you have limited credit access or savings to pay for a large repair cost out of pocket.

        Getting a home warranty while your house is for sale is also a smart move. You can quickly fix any issues that come up while your home is on the market and help close the deal by providing a potential buyer a home warranty that transfers into their name after the sale. It’s especially useful to purchase a home warranty when selling an older home.

        Guide sources
        ConsumerAffairs writers primarily rely on government data, industry experts and original research from other reputable publications to inform their work. To learn more about the content on our site, visit our FAQ page.
        1. American Home Shield, “Consumer Home Warranty Sample Contract.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        2. Choice Home Warranty, “Terms of Service Agreement.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        3. Select Home Warranty, “Terms and Conditions/Service Contract Agreement.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        4. Cinch Home Warranty, “Home Service Agreement.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        5. America’s 1st Choice Home Club (AFC), “AFC13SY.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        6. American Residential Warranty, “Agreement.” Accessed April 27, 2021.
        7. Liberty Home Guard, “Home Warranty Agreement.” Accessed April 27, 2021.

        Not sure how to choose?

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          by Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor

          Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”, has been writing about personal finance and real estate for more than two decades. Michele writes for regional, national and international publications in print and online for a variety of audiences including consumers, real estate investors, business owners and real estate professionals.

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