Home warranty companies have been providing repair and replacement services for home appliances and systems to consumers since the 1970s. While homebuilders are required to provide a warranty for newly built homes in many states, owners of existing homes can purchase a home warranty to cover items such as heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems and appliances in their homes. Many home sellers and real estate agents buy a home warranty as a buyers' incentive. Warranties can provide peace of mind for homeowners, but they must understand the limits of their coverage so they’re not surprised by service fees and other out-of-pocket costs.

Top 15 Most Reviewed Home Warranties, Service Plans

American Home Shield has been an industry leader since its inception and offers home warranty service contracts. Founded in 1971, they serve over 1.5 million customers.
Choice Home Warranty offers comprehensive home warranty service plans to customers across the United States. They provide solutions for a small service fee and provide a team of representatives to each customer.
First American has been a home warranty industry leader for over 30 years and has a large network of contractors to help customers address their home repair needs.
Total Protect has been in business since 1980 and has built a network of over 40,000 service providers across the country and have a very high customer satisfaction rate.
Select Home Warranty provides home warranty service plans that cover home repairs. They have a wide range of options to choose from and offer customizable plans.
HMS National has helped millions of homeowners in the 30 years they've been in business. They are a member of the Cross Country Group, which specializes in service and customer support.
Landmark provides coverage for a wide variety of repairs to the home and household appliances. They currently service customers in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has helped serve over 5.5 million homes. They partner with home builders across the nation in order to make sure their customers get quick, easy repairs on their houses.
Secure Home Warranty offers multiple warranty programs to fit your specific needs. The company will work with customers to cover only what is necessary and they have no requirements for home inspection.
Delta Home Protect offers a one-year service agreement through four different home warranty plans. These four plans include a combo plan, a services plan, an appliance plan and a systems plan.
The Home Service Club services customers in 48 states and their core focus is home warranty plans. They have a dedicated staff and local service providers and guarantee their service work.
American Home Guard offers plans to cover all major systems, major appliances, or a combination of both. Optional coverage available, and claims hotline is available 24/7 by phone or online.
365 Home Warranty offers home protection coverage nationwide on basic systems and appliances. 365 has three plans to choose from based on your coverage needs, and only employs top of the line contractors.
Total Homeshield Home Protection is a national industry leader. They provide three types of service plans to fit your needs and wants. THS technicians are licenced and insured to make sure your home is taken care of.
Old Republic offers customers comprehensive protection on a variety of home repairs. They were founded in 1974 in California and are the third largest nationwide home warranty company.

Michele LernerMortgage & 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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What features matter most?

What’s covered?

The most important thing for you to understand about a home warranty is what's covered and what's not. Some consumers think the warranty automatically covers all appliances and systems and that those items will be replaced by the warranty company if they cannot be repaired, but there are limits to every policy.

  • Read the plan: Before you purchase a home warranty policy or rely on one, read the details so you understand whether all of your appliances and systems are covered or not. For example, your heating system could be covered but not your air conditioning.
  • Limits: Every home warranty company limits their coverage for specific systems and appliances to a maximum of $500, $1000 or $1500, which may not pay in full for a replacement if one is needed.
  • Pay for extra coverage: If you want to have your garage door opener, central vacuum system or septic system covered by a home warranty, you may have to pay for enhanced or optional coverage.

Can coverage be denied?

If you have a home warranty you may think all repair costs for covered appliances and systems will be paid, but there are many circumstances under which the home warranty company can deny payment.

  • Improper installation or maintenance: Home warranties only cover working appliances and systems, so if there’s evidence that your sump pump was installed wrong or your water heater was never maintained, the repair payment could be denied.
  • Unusual wear and tear: Items that are normally covered by a home warranty policy, such as a whirlpool tub, may not be covered if your tub shows signs of being improperly used.
  • Code violations: If the components of your heating or electrical systems don’t meet local building codes, the warranty company won’t necessarily repair them.

Service providers

One of the benefits of a home warranty is that the company will choose and send a service provider to your home, which relieves you of the burden of finding someone. The disadvantage of this system, though, is that you typically cannot be reimbursed for work you do yourself or for hiring your own contractor.

  • Are service providers licensed?: Check out the fine print of the home warranty to find out whether the company requires contractors to be licensed, bonded and insured.
  • Can you use your own providers?: Most home warranty companies require the use of their providers to make sure the work is done appropriately and for the right fee.
  • How will the company handle a complaint?: If you’re unhappy with the service you receive, find out if the company will send out a different contractor with or without charging another service fee.

Cost of warranty

The cost of a home warranty, typically paid for annually in a lump sum, varies according to your location, your property and the level of coverage you choose.

  • Annual cost: Average costs range from $350 to $500 annually and are customized according to your state and the type of home you live in, such as a townhouse, condominium, single-family home or duplex.
  • Level of coverage: Your warranty cost will depend on what you choose to cover, such as just your appliances or just your systems, and whether you opt to cover both.
  • Fees: Service fees vary according to the company and the plan you choose, but average $75 to $100 per service call. Find out if you’re charged a fee for repeat visits for the same issue.

Fees

To decide if you want a warranty, estimate the cost of repairing or replacing your appliances and systems and compare that to the annual cost of a home warranty and the service fees. Keep in mind that your home warranty covers multiple appliances and systems so if you had several problems in one year it could be extremely valuable.

  • Plumbing repair: A plumbing repair could cost an average of $75 to $650; if you need a replacement for a plumbing system it could cost between $200 and $2000 or more.
  • Water heater: A water heater can cost $125 to $300 or more to repair; a replacement water heater could cost $500 to $1500 or more.
  • Central air conditioning: You may need an enhanced home warranty to cover your air conditioning, but the average repair cost ranges from $70 to $1000; if you need to replace your system it could cost $1500 to $6500.

Warranty company reputation

You should base your choice of a home warranty company on its reputation for honoring contracts, for quick response time to claims and for their reliable service providers. Real estate agents are often a good source of information about reliable companies.

  • License: 32 states require home warranty companies to be licensed, while the rest do not, so you should check out your state’s regulations.
  • Reviews & complaints: Check out reviews on the company’s reputation for reliable service, how often they replace appliances or systems and their cost and look for complaints.
  • Claims process: Find out how long it will typically take to get service if you make a claim. The best companies allow you to make a claim 24 hours a day.

Types of home warranties

Homeowner Warranty

Available to homeowners who are not listing their home for sale or who purchased their home more than 90 days before applying for the warranty. Sometimes these warranties are not in effect until 30 days after they’re purchased.

Seller Home Warranty

A home warranty purchased by a home seller during the time the property is listed. The warranty becomes effective as soon as it’s paid for and covers the property during the listing and a home warranty placed on the home by a prospective home seller at any time during a listing. This plan can be transferred to the buyer at the closing.

Buyer Conversion Warranty

A home warranty that has been transferred to the buyer that is immediately effective on the day of the closing.

Buyer Direct warranty

A home warranty purchased by the buyer or by the buyer’s real estate agent that becomes effective on the day of the closing. The buyer can purchase this type of warranty within 90 days after a closing.

Renewal Warranty Contract

A home warranty policy that has been renewed. Most home warranties are effective for one year and are renewable.

Who's it for?

First-time homebuyers

First-time buyers are often anxious about the challenge of taking care of a home and many have limited funds for emergencies. Instead of worrying about how to pay for a $6,000 heat pump replacement or how to find a reliable contractor, first-time buyers can spend a few hundred dollars on a home warranty for protection.

Home sellers

Sellers or their real estate agents often purchase a home warranty that covers the house while it’s listed and then covers the buyers for their first year of ownership to relieve them of concern about repair costs. A home warranty can be an extra incentive for potential buyers and makes it easier on the owners if something breaks down when they’re selling the property.

Owners of older homes

Home warranties are available to homeowners at any time, not just when a real estate transaction takes place, so you may want to purchase one to reduce potential repair expenses. If your home and your appliances are 10 to 15 years old, a warranty can save you money on repairs and contribute to replacement costs.

Real estate agents

Real estate agents, whether they’re representing buyers or sellers, sometimes choose to purchase a home warranty as a courtesy for their clients. If you’re a listing agent you can get some peace of mind that your client will easily be able to fix any issues that crop up while the home is on the market. If you represent buyers, a warranty can help you clinch the sale by relieving any anxiety about repair bills.

What do the experts have to say?

  • The Home Service Club

    The Home Service Club (HSC) offers home warranty plans in 48 states and prides itself on offering innovative services such as allowing consumers to monitor a repair status by logging into their own online account.

    • Trade service fees: HSC guarantees their service work for 30 days for labor and 90 days for parts, so if a problem isn’t resolved the first time you won’t have to pay another service fee.
    • Fee payment options: Consumers can choose a home warranty plan with a service fee of $65, $95 or $125; the higher the fee, the lower the annual premium for the warranty.
    • High limits for covered items: HSC limits up to $2500 for heating and air conditioning systems, higher than most home warranty companies.
    • Limited hours for service calls: Unlike most home warranty companies, HSC only accepts phone calls from 9 to 5 weekdays; you can make an online request at any time but won’t be able to reach a person unless you call during business hours.
    • Cancellation fee: If you cancel more than 30 days after you start the policy and have had a service call, the company will charge you a $45 fee.
    • Best for First-time buyers, owners of older homes and real estate agents.
  • Select Home Warranty

    Headquartered in New Jersey, Select Home Warranty offers three simple home warranty plans to fit every homeowner’s needs and budget. The company has a network of more than 10,000 local contractors available to provide fast, quality service to their customers.

    • Accessibility: Customers can call or email for service 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Non-emergency calls are scheduled within a maximum of two business days when service is requested on a weekday, or four business days if the call is made on a weekend or holiday.
    • Low service fee: While service fees vary slightly according to your plan, they’re usually as low as $60.
    • High HVAC coverage limits: Select Home Warranty’s $2,000 coverage limit on HVAC systems is one of the highest in the industry.
    • Optional coverage add-ons: Add on additional coverage for areas that need it, including your pool, second refrigerator, sump pump, ice maker, spa and more.
    • Multiple year coverage discount: Customers who opt for multiple year coverage are eligible for a discount. Contact a representative to find out how much you can save.
    • Best for Select Home Warranty is best for homeowners, buyers, sellers and real estate agents.
  • Choice Home Warranty

    Choice Home Warranty, based in New Jersey, offers two levels of warranty coverage. The company provides a dedicated team of 2 or 3 individuals to handle your service request.

    • Personalized attention: Consumers can talk to the same team of support staff about their service request instead of dealing with an impersonal call center.
    • Low service fee: Service fees are as low as $60 per call.
    • Accessibility: Consumers can call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; non-emergency service requests are filled within 2 days during the week or 4 days on weekends and holidays.
    • Limited coverage: The company limits their coverage to $1000 for professional series appliances such as a GE Profile or Jenn-Air and to a maximum of $1500 per covered item.
    • Cancellation fee: This company charges a $50 cancellation fee even if you cancel your policy within the first 30 days of the contract.
    • Best for First-time buyers.
  • American Home Shield

    The nation's largest and oldest home warranty company, American Home Shield was founded in 1971 and has provided warranty coverage to 1.4 million customers in 48 states across the U.S. AHS is part of the ServiceMaster family of companies.

    • High coverage limits: AHS covers up to $3000 in repair or replacement costs for many covered appliances and the company will spend up to $250 to obtain needed permits or to correct code violations.
    • Choice of plans: Customers can choose to cover just their systems or appliances or save money with a combination policy; completely customized warranty programs are also available.
    • Accessibility: Customers can call for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week; service requests are typically filled within 48 hours.
    • Service fees: Consumers can choose between policies with a $75, $100 or $125 service fee.
    • Cancellation fee: While consumers can get a full refund during the first 30 days of their warranty if they haven’t made any claims, after that they may be charged as much as a full month’s premium depending on state rules.
    • Best for Home sellers, first-time homebuyers, owners of older homes and real estate agents.
  • First American Home Buyers Protection

    First American Home Buyers Protection, founded in 1984, has been in business for 30 years. The company is part of the First American family of businesses which have a long history of financial stability since 1889.

    • Extensive coverage: The basic policy offered by First American Home Buyers Protection includes a full list of systems and appliances, many of which are typically only covered with an enhanced home warranty policy.
    • High coverage limits: First American Home Buyers Protection has high limits for most repairs and replacements, up to $1500 for heating and air conditioning systems and $2500 for a kitchen refrigerator. The company pays up to $250 for fixing code violations and obtaining permits.
    • Accessibility: Service requests can be made 24 hours per day, 7 days per week by phone and online; service requests are generally filled within 48 hours.
    • Additional fee for home sellers: Home sellers are charged an extra fee to have their heating and air conditioning systems covered while their home is listed for sale.
    • Cancellation fee: Customers who cancel will be charged a $50 fee unless they live in a state where regulations allow free cancellation within the first 30 days.
    • Best for First-time homebuyers, real estate agents and owners of older homes.
  • Landmark Home Warranty

    Landmark Home Warranty, headquartered in Riverton, Utah, has been in business since 2004. The regional company currently serves customers in Arizona, Idaho, Oregon, Texas and Utah and will begin operating in Nevada in the third quarter of 2014. Landmark plans to become a nationwide company in the future.

    • Live customer support: Customers can reach one of the company’s 100 staff members Monday – Saturday from 8-6; at all other times a live dispatcher can be reached by phone.
    • Quick response time: Customers are guaranteed to have an independent contractor contact them within four business hours and, if the call requires emergency service, a contractor will call within one hour.
    • Low service fee: Customers pay a relatively low service fee of $60 per visit; however, that fee is also charged for pre-season HVAC check-ups and will be charged more than once if different types of contractors are required.
    • Delayed coverage: Coverage begins immediately if the warranty is purchased as part of a real estate transaction, but there’s a delay of 30 days for homeowners.
    • Cancellation fee: Customers who choose to cancel their coverage must pay a $40 administrative fee, but they will receive a prorated return of their premium payment.
    • Best for First-time homebuyers and homebuyers.
  • TotalProtect Home Warranty

    Total Protect Home Warranty, headquartered in Sunrise, Fla., is part of the Cross Country Home Services, Inc. family of home-related companies that has been in business since 1980.

    • Guarantee of work: Unlike most home warranty companies, Total Protect Home Warranty provides an 180-day guarantee on all service work provided under their warranty policy, so consumers have six months to follow-up on service calls if the results were unsatisfactory.
    • Service provider rating system: Total Protect Home Warranty has 40,000 screened service providers around the country. In addition, consumers are surveyed after every service call and their comments are included in the company’s “Dynamic Vendor Rating System.”
    • Low fees: Total Protect’s deductible is just $60 per service call on all but the enhanced coverage plan and only one deductible is charged even if more than one service line is required for a particular problem. The company offers five levels of coverage, with the lowest priced at just $19.95 per month or $239.40 per year. Their cancellation fee is just $25 for customers who have had claims and $0 for those without claims who cancel within 30 days.
    • Low limits for total claims: The total limit for claims on the least costly policy is $10,000 and the limit per appliance on that policy is $1,500; higher limits apply on other policies.
    • High fee for enhanced coverage: The enhanced coverage is more comprehensive than other policies, but the premiums are $49.95 per month or $599.40 per year and the deductible is $85.
    • Best for First-time buyers, home sellers, owners of older homes and real estate agents.
  • HMS Home Warranty

    HMS Home Warranty, a member of The Cross Country Group which specializes in service businesses, has been providing home warranties for more than 35 years to homeowners, homebuyers, home sellers and real estate professionals in the 48 contiguous states and the District of Columbia.

    • Network of service providers: HMS has a network of more than 40,000 licensed and insured service professionals throughout its coverage area.
    • Round-the-clock access: Home warranty customers can make a claim 24 hours a day, 7 days a week by calling a toll-free number and using an automated service, talking to a customer representative or going online.
    • Instant coverage for sellers: Home sellers who sign up for the warranty receive immediate coverage, pay at the closing table in most states and have 180 days of coverage with an optional extension as long as the home still has a listing agreement with a real estate agent.
    • Preventive maintenance benefit: Homeowners who don’t make a claim during their first year can receive a preventive maintenance service on their air conditioning and/or heating system during the 10 through 12 months of their contract, valued up to $100.
    • New appliance discounts: Homeowners can take advantage of the company’s deep discounts on new appliances even if their current appliances are in good working order.
    • Benefits for all consumers: All types of consumers will benefit from this company. First-time buyers and owners of older homes can upgrade for additional coverage of up to $1000 that can be used twice per contract year. Sellers will benefit from the instant coverage and delayed payment for the warranty. Real estate agents have access to “Marketopia” for personalized sales and marketing support.
    • Best for First-time homebuyers, home sellers, owners of older homes and real estate agents.
  • 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

    2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been in business for more than 35 years, and is the only company that provides a 10 year insurance-backed structural warranty for new construction and a Home Warranty Service Agreement protecting the home’s major systems and appliances. Based in Denver, the company has protected more than 5.5 million homes.

    • Low service fee: 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty charges a low service fee, ranging from $60 to $100.
    • Accessibility: Customers can call for service 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and also request service through a log-in on the 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty website.
    • Online quotes available: 2-10 now offers a new ‘Get a Quote’ feature on their website where, within a few easy steps, builders, real estate professionals and homeowners can get a quote.
    • Best for Builders, real estate professionals and homeowners.
  • 365 Home Warranty

    365 Home Warranty has three plans homeowners can choose from depending on what they need covered. Their basic plan covers most home appliances, while the standard plan covers appliances and additional systems such as duct work, heating, cooling, electrical, hot water heater, plumbing and whirlpool bathtubs. The premium plan includes everything in the standard plan with the addition of roadside assistance. Additional coverages including, but not limited to, in-ground pool and/or spa, lawn sprinkler system, wine refrigerator or TV protection can be added on to any plan during checkout.

    • Free quotes: Customers can simply call or go online to get a free quote.
    • Discounts and rewards: Customers who go 12 months without needing service are eligible for exclusive discounts, and the referral program rewards customers when someone they refer activates a plan.
    • Transferable warranty: There is no extra cost to transfer your 365 warranty from the house you are selling to the new homebuyers.
    • No restrictions on the age of appliances: Appliances of any age are eligible to be covered under a 365 warranty as long as they are in good working condition on your plan’s effective date.
    • Open to everyone, not just new homebuyers: You don’t need to be in the middle of a real estate transaction to enjoy the protection of a 365 warranty. Homeowners can purchase coverage at any time.
    • Best for First-time homebuyers, home sellers and homeowners with older homes.
  • American Home Guard

    American Home Guard is a home warranty company that offers three levels of protection for homeowners, depending on their needs. They sell plans to homeowners, home sellers and realtors. With a national network of service providers, American Home Guard is capable of having a technician sent to your home fast so your problem is solved in less than 24 hours. Their services include warranties for major home appliances, major home systems and a combination of both major appliances and major systems.

    • Versatile: With three levels of protection available, you won’t pay for warranties you don’t need. In addition to providing warranties for home systems and/or appliances, you can add-on protection for your pool, sump pump, lawn sprinkler system and more.
    • Discounts available: American Home Guard has several discount options for active and veteran military, seniors and government employees.
    • Transferrable warranty: Home sellers can easily transfer their warranty to homebuyers, which can make your house more marketable. Transferred warranties are valid for one full year of coverage beginning on the date of closing.
    • Fast claims processing: When you need something fixed, call American Home Guard anytime, day or night. They will send out a technician to assess the situation and provide a solution, whether that is repairing or replacing the appliance or system, all for one low flat-fee service charge.
    • Free, easy quote: Fill out a short form online to get your free quote on an American Home Guard warranty plan. Best of all, your plan comes with a 30-day money back guarantee, so you can sign up risk-free for the first 30 days.
    • Best for American Home Guard is best for homeowners, home sellers and realtors.
  • Secure Home Warranty

    Secure Home Warranty offers homeowners a variety of warranty programs to help provide assistance and peace of mind in case of unexpected home issues. This company also works with rental property owners and those individuals in the stages of buying and selling.

    • Diverse warranty plans: Warranty buyers can take advantage of different warranty plans so they aren't paying too much or are under-protected.
    • Extensive coverage: Anything from appliances to mechanical systems are eligible for coverage.
    • 30-day guarantee: Secure Home Warranty offers a 30-day money back guarantee that allows buyers to test the product without any risk.
    • Nationwide network: With a nationwide network of trusted professionals, owners never have to wait long for help to be on the way.
    • 24-hour assistance: Secure Home Warranty is available to assist its customers any time of day or night.
    • Service professional support: This company provides Realtors and contractors the opportunity to position themselves as authorities by recommending Secure Home Warranty as a convenient and trusted home owner resource.
    • Best for Homeowners, home sellers, owners of multiple properties and real estate agents.
  • Total Homeshield Home Protection

    Total Homeshield provides extended warranty plans for homeowners, realtors and home sellers. They have two plans, with optional add-ons. Total Homeshield Home Protection has a wide, national network of quality service contractors for home and appliance repair so your appliance can be repaired or replaced quickly and without hassle.

    • No limit on age, make or model: The appliances covered under your chosen Total Homeshield warranty plan are eligible for repair or replacement, no matter how old they are or what make or model they are.
    • Free month: Try one of Total Homeshield’s single payment home warranty plans for a month, for free, to see how you can benefit from it.
    • All hours claims service: Total Homeshield has 24/7 claims service, so you can file a claim in the middle of the day or the middle of the night.
    • Servicing guidelines: See for yourself what requirements every Total Homeshield service contractor must meet in order to apply. The servicing guidelines are available on the website, and they include proof of licensing, insurance minimums and the expectation that each contractor will make a service appointment no more than four hours after receiving a work order.
    • Transferable: Every Total Homeshield warranty is transferable to a new homeowner, which can add value to your home when you are selling it and give new homebuyers peace of mind.
    • Best for Total Homeshield Home Protection is best for homeowners, homebuyers and realtors.
  • HomeServe USA

    HomeServeUSA provides home repair service plans to help homeowners with domestic emergencies, whether they are plumbing, heating, cooling or electrical in nature. The plans are the equivalent of car roadside assistance, and aim to give consumers peace of mind and save them money.

    • Best for First-time buyers, owners of older homes and those who want to cover more specialized problems.
  • America's 1st Choice Home Club

    America's 1st Choice Home Club offers policyholders peace of mind with complete home protection options. With repairs often costing them upwards of $3,000 depending on the type of failure, homeowners can feel the financial pinch. AFC Home Club handles covered repairs directly, saving homeowners hundreds and thousands of dollars.

    • Best for Homeowners, home sellers, builders and property developers.
  • Old Republic Home Protection

    Old Republic Home Protection has been in business for more than 40 years. Founded in 1974 as Dependable Home Warranty, which provided services only in California, the company joined Old Republic International in 1982 and has been expanding the number of states it serves annually.

    • Best for Home sellers, first-time homebuyers and real estate agents.

16 – 24 Most Reviewed Home Warranties, Service Plans

Home Warranty of America has been in business since 1996. They offer service plans at low prices and provide 24-hour a day customer service.
Nationwide provides basic coverage for their customers and also offers discounts of customized plans that can help reduce the cost of insurance.
Home Security America offers more than 30 years of home warranty expertise. The company is dedicated to service excellence and prides themselves on their friendly customer service representatives.
Assurant Solutions has helped people protect their finances through offering extended warranty and other protection plan solutions for products like cars, cell phones, appliances, computers and more.
Allied Home Warranty was founded in 2004 and offers a wide variety of plans for homeowners, home buyers, new constructions and realtors. They have customizable plans and a large customer service team.
American Home Guardian provides cost effective home warranty plans for homeowners and partners with many real estate professionals, contractors and suppliers.
America's 1st Choice Home Club provides extended home protection plans to protect home owners against the unforeseen expenses of home repairs. With three plans to fit your budget, and a 24/7 claims center, we have you covered.
HomeServeUSA is a private provider of home repair service plans that help protect homeowners financially in case of occurrences such as burst water pipes and electrical emergencies. The company's repair hotline is staffed 24/7.
Out of Business