1. Best overall: Choice Home Warranty
- 2 plans available + optional add-ons
- After hours customer service
- 90-day repair guarantee
- $29–$42 per month
Why we chose Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty offers the best home warranty coverage (even with its most basic plan) at competitive pricing.
Choice Home Warranty offers two plans—a Basic Plan and a Total Plan—both of which include appliances (like a clothes washer and dryer) and systems (such as plumbing and electrical).
Customers also have the option to customize add-ons. You can get home warranty coverage for your well pump or a second refrigerator. Note: freon is fully covered by Choice Home Warranty. Most companies charge $10 per pound.
Choice Home Warranty does not deny coverage based on the age of your home or covered items as long as you’ve taken good care of them, making it a good choice for older homes.
Monthly plans start at $29 with a service fee of $60–$75. The waiting period is 30 days between sign up and when coverage begins.
Choice Home Warranty reviews
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives Choice Home Warranty a B- rating based on 1,400 customer reviews. Here’s one Choice Home Warranty review featured on its website from Jaya M. on December 18, 2018:
Our claim to repair our clothes dryer was processed quickly and an experienced brand certified technician was sent to diagnose the problem. The technician knew right away what the problem was. He came back the following day with the part and fixed the dryer. Very good service! We are completely satisfied with this claim and the time it took to repair.
2. Best appliance coverage: American Home Shield
- 4 plans + optional add-ons
- Option to build your own plan
- BBB accredited
- Generous coverage caps
- $20–$65 per month
Why we chose American Home Shield
An American Home Shield warranty covers the cost to repair, replace, remove, and dispose of appliances that break from normal wear and tear—AHS has the best appliance insurance by far.
American Home Shield offers four plans: Appliance Plan, Systems Plan, Combo Plan, and a Build Your Own Plan. Customers also have the option to add on extra coverage for items like a pool, spa, or guest house up to 750 square feet.
Longest home warranty company in the business
American Home Shield founded the home warranty industry 48 years ago. If you’re looking for one of the best home warranty companies with some real experience, American Home Shield is a good choice.
American Home Shield cost
Costs vary by location but the quotes House Method received were between $20 and $65 per month. Service fees range between $75 and $125, which is higher than average. Coverage begins after 30 days of signing up and lasts 12 months.
Note: The cost to remove and dispose of broken appliances is covered by American Home Shield whereas most companies will charge customers an extra removal fee.
American Home Shield reviews
The BBB gives American Home Shield a B rating based on 2,929 customer reviews. This rating recently improved after the company responded to negative reviews. Here’s what Lauren V. D. said about AHS on December 17, 2018:
Our American Home Shield techs are always patient, thorough, and take the time to explain our heating system to us so that we understand the issues and know how to correct them if [and] when they occur again. They are always timely, courteous, and professional!
3. Best value: Select Home Warranty
- 3 plans + optional add-ons
- Free roof leak coverage
- Optional septic system coverage
- Responsive customer service
- $36–$42 per month
Why we chose Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty offers coverage for items most home warranty companies don’t, including roof leak protection.
Select Home Warranty offers three plans with unique add-ons. Bronze Care covers appliances, Gold Care covers systems, and Platinum Care covers both appliances and systems. You’ll also have the option to add protection for items that most home warranty companies don’t cover. Unique add-ons include roof leak protection and septic system coverage.
Home warranty promotions
Select Home Warranty costs $36 to $42 per month with a service fee of $75. Your 12-month contract begins 30 days after registering. Popular promotions include two months free and $100 off when you sign up for an annual plan.
Select Home Warranty reviews
The BBB has given Select Home Warranty a B rating. This is largely due to the home warranty company answering 2,261 customer complaints in the past three years, proving its responsiveness.
Customer reviews tout Select’s network of knowledgeable sales reps and reliable service contractors. Here’s one Select Home Warranty review from the BBB’s website on May 21, 2016:
Strong customer advocate in a stressful situation with a bad water heater. Jermel (claims manager) was highly attentive with a very strong service mindset. I could not have asked for a more knowledgeable advisor to solve the problem.
Home warranty costs
Home warranty premiums cost $25–$67 for each month of coverage. However, you can usually get a better deal if you invest in an annual premium. You might even be able to lock in a price by enrolling in a three- to five-year plan whereas one-year home warranty renewals are subject to a price increase year after year.
Home warranty costs depend on where you live and the level of coverage you choose plus any optional add-ons. The price will not vary due to the age or size of the home unless it’s brand new or larger than 5,000 square feet.
Your home warranty will have a set deductible—also known as a service fee—and it will likely have coverage caps, as mentioned above. Most warranty companies charge a non-negotiable, non-refundable service fee of $75–$125 each time a claim is approved.
Read your contract to find out if you’ll be charged a service fee for repeat visits if the problem is not resolved during the first appointment. Some providers, like Choice Home Warranty, will charge customers only once—the service fee or the cost of repair/replacement, whichever is less.
Note: The prices above are based on quotes given to the House Method team, but pricing and promotions always vary by location.
Types of home warranty plans
Most home warranty providers offer three levels of coverage. Some split their plans by the number of items covered (basic plans, combo plans, and à la carte options) while others divide coverage by the type of item (appliance plans versus system plans).
It’s important to shop around and choose the best home warranty plan that covers the most items you have in your home. Compare what common home warranty plans offer below.
Basic home warranty plans
This includes the major systems and/or appliances that you use every day. The following items are typically covered under a basic plan:
- Heating, air conditioning, and ductwork
- Electrical systems, including garage door openers
- Plumbing system, stoppages, and water heater
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Built-in microwave
This is the best home warranty plan for homeowners who want coverage for only the core components to keep their homes up and running.
Upgraded coverage (also called “combination plans”) that includes everything under a basic plan plus additional items. These plans may include coverage for the following:
- Alarm wiring
- Built-in food centers
- Central vacuum
- Smoke detectors
- Sump pump
- Trash compactor
- Water dispenser
- Whirlpool bathtubs
This is the best home warranty plan for homeowners who want total home protection for all of their appliances and systems.
The best home warranty providers have an à la carte menu, allowing you to customize your coverage and build your own plan. Popular add-ons include:
- Additional appliances, like a second refrigerator or two water heaters
- Limited roof leak
- Pool and spa equipment
- Stand-alone freezer
- Water softener
- Well pump
This is the best home warranty plan for homeowners who have additional appliances or special features that aren’t standard in all houses.
Frequently Asked Questions
- What is a home warranty?
- A home warranty—also known as home appliance insurance or home repair insurance—is a service agreement that helps protect your home and budget from unexpected repairs to systems and appliances.
- What does a home warranty cover?
- Home warranties cover major home systems and appliances. The majority of home warranty complaints are due to a customer’s misunderstanding of their coverage, which is frustrating for all parties involved. Deciphering and comprehending service agreements is tricky. Consider excessive jargon and countless exclusions as red flags and look elsewhere.
- Does the age or brand of the home or its systems and appliances matter?
- The answer should be no.
- Does a home warranty cover systems or appliances or both?
- Your home warranty will typically cover the repair or replacement costs of specific appliances (refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes dryer, etc.) or systems (plumbing, electrical systems, etc.) in a house for a preset period of time, usually 12 months. Reflect on the items that you’d like to protect and choose a plan that covers the majority of your list. If the home warranty website or sample contract is unclear, ask the sales rep if your top priority items are covered. If they aren’t, ask if you can add them on to your plan for an extra fee.
- What's not covered under a home warranty?
- Don’t forget to read the fine print beneath covered systems and appliances. We’ve found several situations in which there’s a plan that covers a refrigerator, but not an ice maker. Others will cover your exhaust fan, but won’t cut into the ceiling to replace it.
- How much do home warranties cost?
- Home warranties cost $25–$67 per month, but we recommend narrowing your search to providers with premiums that cost $50 or less.
- What's the cancellation policy for home warranties?
- You can usually cancel at any time and receive a refund of the amount you don’t use. Ask the company about cancellation policies and fees. We’ve seen fees range from $50 to $75.
- How does the claims process work for a home warranty?
- Household items break unexpectedly and often at the worst times. If a customer service line is not available 24/7, ask whether you can submit a claim online. Also, follow up about the average turnaround time for claims. The best home warranties approve claims within 24 to 48 hours, but other companies will make customers wait up to four days on weekends and holidays.