Let's face it, shopping for a home warranty probably ranks somewhere between an annual medical checkup and filing your taxes. And even after you decide, how do you know which are the best home warranty companies to deal with?
While there are better things to do with your time, a good warranty can save you thousands of dollars in home appliances and systems repairs.
If an expensive repair hasn't happened yet, it's only a matter of time. The best home warranty companies will cover most (maybe all) of the repair costs above your trade call fee. Home warranties are available to current homeowners, buyers, sellers, and real estate agents.
Most home warranty companies have similar coverage, at first glance. Perform your due diligence by getting sample quotes from several of these companies and read every word of the contract before you sign to make sure your appliances and systems qualify.
Home warranty plans can protect your wallet when a mechanical breakdown happens for these household items:
- Appliances: Stove, oven, microwave, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer
- Systems: Electrical wiring, heating and cooling systems, indoor plumbing
Below are some of the best home warranty companies. Your annual plan fees will cost between $300 and $700 for most homes. When you need the home warranty company to dispatch a technician, you will pay a trade call fee between $75 and $125 directly to the technician.
Each company offers multiple plans with varying coverage amounts. More costly “deluxe plans” tend to cover more items and may have a lower trade call fee.
American Home Shield
You may also appreciate that American Home Shield has a “build your own plan.” It's possible to choose which appliances and systems you want to protect. Excluding certain items means you might be able to build a plan that's cheaper than their standard offering.
Like most home warranty companies, no home inspections or maintenance records are necessary to obtain coverage. The age of your appliances and systems also do not matter. Coverage begins 30 days after you purchase coverage. If you're buying a home, coverage starts at closing.
Your plan options include:
- Appliances-only plan
- Systems-only plan
- Combo appliances and system plan
- Build Your Own
You can add optional coverage for pools and spas, guest houses smaller than 750 square feet, and well or septic pumps. If you so desire, you can purchase an extended warranty for your electronics.
Depending on what your upfront annual plan fee is, your trade call fee is either $75, $100, or $125 per request. For example, your annual plan fee can be $659.99 for a $75 trade call fee or $479.88 yearly for a $125 trade call fee.
- Available in 49 states
- Customizable coverage plans
- Above-average customer ratings
- Workmanship guarantee is only up to 60 days
- Undetectable pre-existing conditions are not covered
- Not available in Alaska
ConsumerAffairs rating: 4 of 5 stars
Home Service Club
Many people like Home Service Club because they have a 24/7 service center. Their standard plan covers basic home appliances and systems. This entry-level plan includes your heating and cooling system units but not the ductwork.
You will need to choose their comprehensive plan to cover your entire heating and cooling system. This option also covers expenses like plumbing stoppages, sump pump, and exhaust fans.
Your trade call fee is $65, $95, or $125. All workmanship guarantees last 90 days on parts and 30 days for labor. These guarantee periods are average with most home warrant companies.
- 24/7 service center
- Reasonable trade call fees
- 90-day workmanship guarantee on parts
- No customizable coverage plans
ConsumerAffairs rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
Home Warranty of America
Most home warranty companies offer 12-month terms. You get a 13-month term instead with Home Warranty of America. This extra month essentially means you get 30 days of coverage for the price of 12 months. HWA's rates are also competitively priced with others on this list.
All plans cover your appliances and most systems including a permanent sump pump and a whirlpool bathtub. Some home warranty companies don't cover these items in a basic plan.
You will need to upgrade to a “Plus” plan to cover your cooling system, plumbing fixtures, and comprehensive coverage on certain appliances. The Plus plan can cost an extra $9 per month for most homes.
What helps make Home Warranty of America unique is they cover window air conditioning units. Others may only cover traditional central air, mini-splits, and select geothermal units.
Optional coverage is available for septic systems, pool and spa, well pump, and second refrigerators. Another optional feature is replacing your broken appliances with Energy Star-certified ones.
Your trade call fee is either $75 or $100 for most homes. However, some homes may qualify for a trade call fee as low as $50.
- 13-month coverage period
- Most appliances and systems covered in every plan
- Covers some items in basic plan that other companies won't
- Must upgrade to a “Plus” plan to cover cooling system
- Not available in California
ConsumerAffairs rating: 2.9 of 5 stars
For peace of mind, TotalProtect has some of the most generous coverage benefits. First, they include a 180-day workmanship guarantee for parts and labor. Most home warranties only only guarantee parts up to 90 days and labor for 30 days.
TotalProtect also covers unknown pre-existing conditions that wouldn't be found in a home pre-inspection. Most home warranty companies will only cover pre-existing conditions that can be found during a home inspection.
Your plan options include appliances-only, systems-only, and a combo plan covering both. Choosing the combo plan also gives you a $500 homeowner's insurance deductible reimbursement. Usually home warranty plans only cover expenses your homeowner's insurance won't. It's worth looking into this benefit if you go with TotalProtect.
The trade call fee is either $100, $125, or $150. These fees are higher than other warranties. Yet, your annual plan fee will still cost between $335 and $779 similar to other companies. While TotalProtect may charge more upfront for service calls, the extra benefits mean your potential out-of-pocket costs can be less.
- 180-day workmanship guarantee for parts and labor
- Flexible coverage plan options
- Above-average trade call fees
ConsumerAffairs rating: 4 of 5 stars
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty
Colorado homeowners and real estate agents shouldn't overlook Blue Ribbon Home Warranty. Why? You can get a 14-month coverage term. Coverage isn't available for properties outside Colorado.
Blue Ribbon also requires a pre-coverage inspection. Most national home warranties don't require an inspection to issue coverage. Despite this extra hassle, the inspection helps you qualify for a lower trade call fee of $65. Other companies may charge at least $75 for each service call.
Three different coverage plans are available (Silver, Gold, and Platinum). All plans cover incrementally more home appliances and systems. You will need to choose the Gold or Platinum plan to cover your cooling system or clothes washer and dryer.
Additional options include preventative maintenance and supplemental comprehensive repair coverage.
Single-family homeowners will pay between $324 and $768 per year. These sticker prices are similar to other companies. You can get a discount if you purchase a multi-year policy.
- 14-month coverage term
- $65 trade call fee (most charge between $75 and $125)
- All plans cover major appliances and systems
- Requires home pre-inspection
- Need mid-tier plan to cover cooling system, washers, and dryers
- Only available in Colorado
Better Business Bureau rating: A+ (no ConsumerAffairs rating)
HSA Home Warranty
HSA Home Warranty has been providing warranties for over 30 years. Your trade call fee is either $75 or $100. Their basic plan covers more appliances and systems than other entry-level plans. For example, the central heat and air, heat pump, and ductwork are included.
Although you will need to purchase their 7-Star Upgrade plan to cover items including refrigerant recovery or non-ducted window and wall-mounted cooling systems. Upgrading also defrays the cost for crane charges, equipment disposal, and mismatched or improper installations. These can be out-of-pocket expenses with other companies.
Optional coverage includes your septic system, water well pump, and clothes washer and dryer.
- Basic plan covers central heat and air system and ductwork
- 7-Star Upgrade covers many charges other companies offers as an optional add-on
- Not available in every state
Yelp rating: 2.8 of 5 stars (no ConsumerAffairs rating)
Fidelity National Home Warranty
You will need to call Fidelity National Home Warranty to get a quote or view a sample contract. Coverage is available in most states. The warranty period is 12 months.
Your trade call fee is likely to be $75. Faulty labor is covered up to 30 days and replacement parts for 90 days after the repair date. The parts coverage is higher than some companies including American Home Shield.
Optional coverage options are similar to other warranty companies. They include a pool or spa, septic system, well pump, and limited roof leak repair.
- Coverage for most states
- Competitive trade call fees
- Must call to get a quote or see a sample contract
ConsumerAffairs rating: 1 of 5 stars
How to Choose a Home Warranty Company
There are many home warranty companies to choose from. All claim to offer the best coverage and prices. However, the best option for your neighbor or friend may not be the best for you.
Below are a few basic suggestions to help you pick the best option:
- Read the sample policy for coverage limitations. Each company may cover and exclude certain appliances, systems, and events. They may also have varying per-incident and annual coverage limits.
- Compare the fees. When getting a sample quote, compare the monthly cost and trade call fees. Try looking for the best coverage at the lowest price.
- Analyze user reviews. First, take any user review with a grain of salt. Home warranty companies have many negative reviews because they didn't cover the repair costs. Or, they hire a bad contractor who didn't fix the issue. Look for companies with several positive reviews and avoid any company that only has negative reviews.
Choosing the best home warranty company can save you a lot of money save you a lot of money and headaches for the inevitable repair call. Start by getting at least two quotes and closely examining the sample policy. This is the best way to find the right warranty at a competitive price.