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Best home warranty for plumbing

Pick a warranty that covers the parts you need

American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty
plumber looking at pipes under sink

Plumbing issues can be stressful for homeowners. A problem with a plumbing system can happen quickly, before you even realize anything is wrong. A leak can cost you hundreds of gallons of water and hike up your monthly bills, not to mention the residual damage it can add to the home itself, like mold or rot.

While you can usually deal with plumbing problems quickly, they can be pretty expensive. A home warranty with plumbing system coverage can help pay for these repairs.

Our top 4 home warranty picks for plumbing

Methodology: To select our top picks, the ConsumerAffairs Research Team started with all 24 companies on our home warranties guide, then eliminated all companies with a star rating below 3.5, leaving 16 companies. To narrow it down further, we analyzed 5-star reviews submitted by verified customers over the past year (Nov. 15, 2020, through Nov. 15, 2021) that mention “plumbing,” “toilet,” and similar phrases.

We used this review data to ultimately select the top four home warranty companies for plumbing coverage. To make our final rankings, we scored companies based on their percentage of 5-star reviews and the difference between the number of 5-star and 1-star reviews.

Our pick overall for plumbing coverageAmerican Home ShieldAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Number of plans: 3
  • Average monthly cost: $29.99 a month to $69.99 a month
  • Service fee range: $75, $100 or $125

American Home Shield has served homeowners across the U.S. for 50 years. It offers a few different plan options to suit homeowners’ needs. AHS has a network of 17,000 licensed contractors, and you can request service online or over the phone. It also has add-on coverage options and a 30-day workmanship guarantee.

All three of American Home Shield’s plans offer coverage for plumbing systems, which is in part why it’s our top pick for plumbing coverage. Based on reviews from customers on ConsumerAffairs at the time of publishing, the company has an overall rating of 4.3 stars.

Coverage: American Home Shield offers three coverage plans: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold and ShiedPlatinum. ShieldSilver offers coverage for 14 major home systems, including plumbing. ShieldGold covers these 14 systems plus nine appliances. The ShieldPlatinum plan covers everything included in the other two plans, plus roof leak repair, permits, code violations and unlimited air conditioning refrigerant.

The company doesn’t require maintenance records for coverage and covers breakdowns due to lack of maintenance and undetectable preexisting conditions, which isn’t common among home warranty companies.

Cost: As of publishing, American Home Shield’s plans run from $29.99 a month to $69.99 a month, or $360 to $840 yearly. A combo (systems and appliances coverage) plan is typically about $60 a month, based on a quote for a house of under 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas. Service call fees with American Home Shield are either $75, $100 or $125.

Our pick for service timeChoice Home WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Number of plans: 2
  • Average monthly cost: $46.83 per month to $54.75 per month
  • Service fee range: $85

Choice Home Warranty offers home warranty plans in all states except Washington and California. It has a 24/7 online account center that lets you request service at any time. It also offers a relatively low service call fee, and its technician network has more than 15,000 contractors.

Choice Home Warranty tends to customers’ service needs promptly, according to many reviewers. According to the user agreement on its website, it initiates a service request within four hours after you make a claim.

Coverage: Choice Home Warranty offers two plan options: the Basic Plan and the Total Plan. The Basic Plan covers most major home systems, including plumbing, but doesn’t offer coverage for your air conditioning system, refrigerator, clothes washer or dryer. The Total Plan offers coverage for everything the Basic Plan does, plus those items mentioned above.

The company also offers optional coverage for pools and spas, well pumps, sump pumps, septic systems, septic tank pumping and more.

Cost: Based on a quote for a house of less than 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas, you can expect to pay from $46.83 per month to $54.75 per month, or $532 to $627 annually, for a Choice Home Warranty contract as of publishing. The service call fee is $85.

Our pick for affordable coverageFirst American Home WarrantyAUTHORIZED PARTNER
  • Number of plans: 2
  • Average monthly cost: $38 per month to $48.50 per month
  • Service fee range: $85

First American Home Warranty, in business since 1984, serves over 590,000 customers in 36 U.S. states. Homeowners can make a service request 24/7 online or by phone. It’s our pick for affordable coverage due to the low monthly fees and the fixed service fee.

Coverage: First American Home Warranty has two plans: the Basic Plan and the Premier Plan. The Basic Plan covers most major appliances but not systems, including plumbing. The Premier Plan covers major appliances and systems, including plumbing and plumbing stoppages.

With the optional First Class Upgrade, you can get additional coverage for faucets, limited code upgrades, and improper installation, modification and repair. Other add-on options let you add coverage for well pumps and pool and spa equipment.

Cost: As of publishing, based on a quote for a house of less than 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas, a typical home warranty from First American costs from $38 per month to $48.50 per month, or $420 to $546 per year, with a service call fee of $85.

Our pick for nationwide coverageHome Warranty of America
  • Number of plans: 2
  • Average monthly cost: $43 per month to $55.31 per month
  • Service fee range: $75 or $100

Home Warranty of America offers home warranty plans to homeowners in all 50 states and Washington, D.C. You can request service 24/7 through the website or by calling the customer service team. HWA has been in business since 1996.

Coverage: Home Warranty of America has two coverage options: Premier Plan and Premier Plus Plan. Plumbing coverage is included in both plans. The Premier plan offers coverage for nine systems and appliances. Premier Plus covers additional home appliances and systems, including air conditioning. It also covers plumbing fixtures, faucets and showerheads.

You can add on coverage for other household appliances and systems, including your pool and spa, well pump, septic tank pumping, second refrigerator, stand-alone freezer and more.

Cost: As of publishing, A typical Home Warranty of America plan costs from $43 per month to $55.31 per month, according to a quote for a house of less than 5,000 square feet in Austin, Texas. You can expect to pay about $516 to $664 if you pay annually, with a service fee of $75 or $100.

Home warranty plumbing coverage

Home warranties generally cover plumbing system issues caused by normal wear and tear. Plumbing elements usually covered by these warranties include gas, drain, water and vent lines; shower and tub valves; built-in bathtub pumps; clearing of sink, shower, tub and toilet stoppages; and clearing of drain and sewer stoppages.

It’s important to read through the plumbing exclusions in a home warranty provider’s contract. Most companies don’t cover stoppages due to damaged, broken or collapsed drains, vents or lines outside the main foundation of the home; a tub, sink or shower itself; septic tanks; saunas; shower enclosures, toilet lids or seats; or water filtration systems.

You may be able to purchase optional coverage for specific excluded items.

FAQ

A home warranty with plumbing coverage will generally cover the cost of replacing covered items that can’t be repaired. However, companies have exclusions and coverage limits, so it’s essential to read the terms of the contract before signing up.
This varies from company to company. Many companies don’t cover preexisting conditions whether they are known or unknown. Some companies, such as American Home Shield, offer coverage for items with undetectable preexisting conditions.
Most home warranty companies have a 30-day waiting period. There may be exceptions (e.g., if you are switching providers and haven’t had a lapse in coverage).
The worst home warranty companies have several things in common, including frequent claim denials, bad customer service, long repair times and hidden fees or exclusions not clearly stated in their contracts.

Bottom line: Is a home warranty worth it for plumbing coverage?

If you know it wouldn’t be easy for you to cover the cost of major plumbing repairs and other issues out of pocket, a home warranty could be worth it. When you make a claim, all you pay is a trade service call fee and the warranty company covers the rest. A home warranty also makes it easy to find a qualified contractor.

However, home warranties aren’t for everybody. If you live in a newer home with appliances and systems still covered by the manufacturer, a home warranty probably won’t be helpful. Keep in mind also that many plans don’t provide coverage if you’re not properly maintaining appliances and systems.

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