Best Home Warranty Companies
Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor
Updated on 04/22/2018
A home warranty is a service contract that helps homeowners cover costly, unexpected repairs on home systems and appliances that break down due to normal wear and tear.
Many home sellers and real estate agents buy a home warranty as a buyer’s incentive. 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. Home warranties can provide peace of mind for homeowners. Home warranty companies have been providing repair and replacement services to consumers since the 1970s.
Compare Reviews for Top Home Warranty Companies
|American Home Shield|
Read 25352 Reviews
American Home Shield offers plans to cover all major systems and/or major appliances. Consumers can design their own plan and add coverage to extra items, like pools and spas. The claims department is available 24/7.
|Choice Home Warranty|
Read 12379 Reviews
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.
|Select Home Warranty|
Read 2961 Reviews
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.
|First American Home Warranty|
Read 4312 Reviews
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.
|Home Warranty of America|
Read 1557 Reviews
Home Warranty of America, Inc. has been in business for over 20 years and sells home warranties for homeowners, home sellers and real estate professionals. They offer multiple coverage options.
|American Residential Warranty|
Read 559 Reviews
American Residential Warranties offers warranty plans that cover a wide variety of home appliances and systems. Consumers can choose a plan that fits their needs and are not locked in to a contract.
|Total Home Protection|
Read 339 Reviews
Total Home Protection provides three service plans, as well as extra optional coverages, to fit consumers’ needs. All THP technicians are pre-screened, licensed and insured. Claims professionals are available 24/7.
|HMS Home Warranty|
Read 1856 Reviews
HMS National has helped millions of homeowners in the 30 years they've been in business. They are a member of the Cross Country Home Services, which specializes in service and customer support.
|TotalProtect Home Warranty|
Read 2540 Reviews
TotalProtect Home Warranty has been in business since 1980 and has built a network of over 40,000 service providers across the country. The company guarantees all work performed as part of a service plan for 180 days.
|America's 1st Choice Home Club|
Read 481 Reviews
America's 1st Choice Home Club provides extended home protection plans to protect homeowners against unforeseen home repairs costs. The company offers three plans to fit consumers’ needs and has a 24/7 claims center.
|2-10 Home Buyers Warranty|
Read 1666 Reviews
Since 1980 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has offered home warranties and service contracts to over 5.5 million homes. The company partners with homebuilders, service contractors and real estate agents to offer homebuyers coverage.
|OneGuard Home Warranties|
Read 225 Reviews
For almost 30 years, OneGuard has utilized a large network of contractors to offer a variety of hassle-free home repair & maintenance services at affordable prices in Arizona, Nevada and Texas.
|Landmark Home Warranty|
Read 1376 Reviews
Landmark provides coverage for a wide variety of home and household appliance repairs. They currently serve customers in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah, and the company plans to expand nationwide.
|Cross Country Home Services|
Read 121 Reviews
Based in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, Cross Country Home Services is a home warranty and real estate services provider. The company partners with TotalProtect to offer services from over 40,000 providers across the United States.
|Secure Home Warranty|
Read 477 Reviews
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.
|Old Republic Home Protection|
Read 629 Reviews
Old Republic Home Protection offers customers comprehensive protection on a variety of home repairs. It was founded in 1974 in California and now offers home warranty and service plans to consumers nationwide.
|The Home Service Club|
Read 157 Reviews
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|
Read 205 Reviews
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.
|Home Security America|
Read 175 Reviews
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 Service Protection Advantage||Read 210 Reviews|
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.
Common questions about home warranty service contracts
What does a home warranty cover?
What's covered by your home warranty will vary based on your location and the level of coverage you choose. All home warranty plans are different, but most providers offer coverage for heating and electrical systems, plumbing stoppage, water heaters, ductwork, refrigerators, dishwashers and even ceiling fans. You can add additional coverage to your plan for items like pools and spas, well pumps, septic pumps and stand-alone freezers. Here are some tips for choosing a home warranty plan that fits your needs and budget:
- Read the plan: Before purchasing a home warranty policy or relying on one, read the details so you understand which appliances and systems are covered. For example, a basic plan might cover your heating system but not your air conditioning unit. On the other hand, you don't want to pay for coverage you won't use. If you've recently updated your appliances, you may want to opt for a systems-only plan. Some providers, like American Home Shield, allow you to build your own plan–which might make sense for some homeowners.
- Check for coverage limits: Every home warranty company limits their coverage for specific systems and appliances to a maximum of $500, $1000 or $1500, which may not fully pay for a replacement if one is needed. Ask about the limits before purchasing a warranty.
- Opt for extra coverage when necessary: 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. Before choosing a home warranty provider, make sure they offer coverage for any special or unusual home items you want to protect.
How much does a home warranty cost?
The average cost of a home warranty service contract ranges between $350 to $600 per year. The cost will vary depending on your state and the level of coverage you choose. To decide if a home warranty is worth it, first estimate the cost of repairing or replacing your appliances and systems, then compare that to the annual cost of a home warranty plus the service fees.
- Trade service call fees: A trade service call fee is the amount due to the contractor when they visit your home. Service fees vary according to the home warranty provider and plan you choose, but average $60 to $100 per service call. Find out if you’re charged a fee for repeat visits for the same problem.
- Available discounts: Some home warranty companies, like Select Home Warranty, offer discounts for customers who opt for multiple year coverage. If you plan on renewing your home warranty, talk to your provider about any discounts that might be available when you sign up.
Are home warranties worth it?
When appliances like your refrigerator, water heater or air conditioning unit break down from normal wear and tear, homeowner’s insurance probably won’t cover repair or replacement. If your appliance is old enough to have passed its manufacturer warranty, you’ll be covering repair or replacement out of pocket. You can avoid this scenario by purchasing a home warranty before the problem occurs.
- It depends on the age of your home: If you’re in a brand new home, a manufacturer’s warranty on your new appliances will cover you for a year or longer. And if you have both a home warranty and a manufacturer’s warranty at the same time, the manufacturer’s warranty will pay for the repairs, not the home warranty. But if you’re in an older home, with older appliances, those appliances might soon fail. A 15-year-old refrigerator is probably on its way out, and unless you’ve got the cash to pay for a new one, a home warranty might be a wise investment.
- It depends on which items you want to cover: Home warranty companies set their own rules about which appliances they will and won’t cover, as well as how much money they’ll supply for repairs or replacements. A new AC unit might cost $4,000, but a home warranty company might only cover $2,000 of that. Most home warranty companies offer a variety of coverage plans, so shop around and find coverage based on the appliances you’re most concerned about.
What's the difference between a home warranty vs. home insurance?
Homeowner’s insurance is vital for the protection of your house; in fact, homeowners insurance is required by most lenders if you take out a mortgage loan to finance your home. A home insurance policy only protects your house from damage or loss caused by specific events like theft, fire, natural disasters or vandalism. So, if your fridge is destroyed in a fire, homeowners insurance will replace it; if it finally breaks down after years of use, your home insurance won’t cover it. A home warranty is a service contract that can supplement your insurance, depending on what you need.
Can I choose my home warranty service provider?
Most home warranty companies require the use of their service providers to make sure the work is completed appropriately and for a reasonable fee. Many homeowners appreciate this perk because it relieves them of the burden of finding someone qualified.
Don't expect to be reimbursed for work you do yourself or for expenses incurred if you hire your own contractor. Make sure you’re comfortable with the contractors the company will employ by asking yourself the following questions:
- Are the service providers licensed?: Read the fine print of the home warranty to find out whether the company requires contractors to be licensed, bonded and insured. Also ask how the company screens potential contractors and how they’ll communicate with you about the service providers who will be in your home.
- 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 and whether or not you’ll be charged an additional service fee. Check to see if the warranty company evaluates customer satisfaction with their service providers.
Why are some home warranty claims denied?
A home warranty may not pay repair costs for all covered appliances and systems. Be aware of the 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 incorrectly or your water heater was not properly 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 and permits: If the components of your heating or electrical systems don’t meet local building codes, the warranty company won’t necessarily repair them. Most companies will not complete work if a permit is needed, and only a few warranty companies pay permit fees.
Types of home warranties
Homeowners who are not listing their home for sale or who purchased their home more than 90 days before applying for the warranty can purchase a Homeowner Warranty. Sometimes these warranties do not go into effect for 30 days.
Seller Home Warranty
Those selling their home can purchase a Seller Home Warranty during the time the property is listed for sale. The warranty becomes effective as soon as it’s paid for and covers the property during the listing. This plan can be transferred to the buyer at the closing.
Buyer Conversion Warranty
Buyer Conversion Warranties are warranties purchased by the seller and transferred to the buyer immediately on the day of the closing. These can help motivate a buyer to purchase one home over another.
Buyer Direct Warranty
A Buyer Direct Home Warranty is a 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 up to 90 days after a closing.
Renewal Warranty Contract
Most home warranties are effective for one year and are renewable. A Renewal Warranty Contract is a home warranty policy that has been renewed.
Who should buy a home warranty?
First-time buyers often feel anxious about the challenges of owning 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 homebuyers can spend a few hundred dollars on a home warranty for protection.
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. A home warranty can be an extra incentive for potential buyers and makes it easier on the owners if something breaks 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.
Rental property owners
Those who own homes that they rent to tenants for a profit can greatly benefit from the security of a home warranty. They can budget the warranty price into their overall expenses and adjust their rental fees to cover the cost. They’ll then be protected against unexpected costs when major systems or appliances malfunction. Only select companies offer warranties for rental properties.
All expert grades are based on the following criteria: customer reviews, what's covered under a standard policy, the limits of the coverage, service fees and how often they're charged, accessibility for service calls, how fast coverage starts and whether consumers must pay a cancellation fee if they choose to discontinue the policy.Are you an expert?
Information in this guide is general in nature and is intended for informational purposes only; it is not legal, health, investment or tax advice. ConsumerAffairs.com makes no representation as to the accuracy of the information provided and assumes no liability for any damages or loss arising from its use.
Compare Reviews for Top Home Warranty Companies
Read 24 Reviews
HomeServe USA, established in 2003, is a private provider of home repair service plans that protect homeowners financially in case of unexpected home repair costs. The company's repair hotline is staffed 24/7.
|365 Home Warranty|
Read 30 Reviews
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.
|Allied Home Warranty||Read 21 Reviews|
Allied Home Warranty was founded in 2004 and offers a wide variety of plans for homeowners, homebuyers, builders and realtors. They have customizable plans and a large customer service team.
|American Home Guardian|
Read 16 Reviews
American Home Guardian provides cost effective home warranty plans for homeowners and partners with many real estate professionals, contractors and suppliers.
|Fidelity National Home Warranty||Read 7 Reviews|
Fidelity National Home Warranties help cover and insure your home appliances and systems. Warranty rates vary across states, and you have multiple coverage options. Coverage begins 30 days after you purchase your warranty.
|Nationwide Home Warranty||Read 149 Reviews|
Nationwide Home Warranty provides basic coverage for their customers and also offers discounts on customized plans that can help reduce the cost of insurance.
|American General Warranty|
Read 9 Reviews
|Out of Business|
A leader in the home warranty industry, American General Warranty offers consumers customizable warranties for the coverage they need. American General Warranty offers 24/7 customer request support.
|Delta Home Protect|
Read 190 Reviews
|Out of Business|
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.