The Best Home Warranty Companies in 2021
"Things fall apart," said William Butler Yeats. He was talking in apocalyptic terms, but his observation applies to home ownership, too. Faucets leak. Appliances fail. Electrical outlets short out.
Homeowners insurance protects you from the unexpected: fire, flood, earthquake, theft. But did you remember to expect the expected?
That’s where home warranty companies come in - they protect you against predictable wear and tear as elements of your home age and wear out. It may not have been what Yeats had in mind, but that shouldn’t stop you from choosing the best offer on the market.
4 Best Home Warranty Companies
The first of our top home warranty companies - American Home Shield - is an insurance household name. Established in 1971, AHS spans a network of more than 16,000 licensed contractors across 49 US states. With generous appliance coverage and customizable plans, as well as 24/7 customer support, it offers excellent value for your money.Read Full Review
$75-125Get a Quote
Although it’s fairly new on the home owners warranty insurance market, American First Choice Home Club has made quite the name for itself over the past decade. The company offers four different plans, a warranty on repairs as long as the contract is valid (up to three years), various club benefits for members, and much more.Read Full Review
$75-125Get a Quote
When comparing home warranty companies, reviews online often mention Choice Home Warranty, and with good reason. Only in business since 2008, the company has since developed nearly nationwide coverage, with competitive pricing and a fantastic customer support team, thus winning the hearts of homeowners across the United States. The only major downside is that Choice is, ironically, less flexible than its competitors in many regards.Read Full Review
$85Get a Quote
A respected veteran in the homeowner warranty service industry, First American Home Warranty is often the top choice when looking for home appliance insurance. The company boasts over 35 years of experience, affordable pricing, and around-the-clock customer support. The one downside to this otherwise great offer is the fact that coverage is available in only 35 states.Read Full Review
$75Get a Quote
How We Evaluate Home Warranty Companies - Our Review Methodology
With tons of companies offering a wealth of options at mostly comparable prices, picking the best home warranty is no easy task. Even starting your search seems overwhelming. That’s why we’ve created a system based on several important criteria to help you hone in on the crucial things to look for when picking your home appliance insurance.
The first and most important thing to consider when picking home warranty insurance is what sort of coverage the company provides. Typically, things like garbage disposals, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, refrigerators, oven ranges, and microwaves are covered by basic plans.
Air conditioning, heating, and plumbing tend to be covered either by dedicated system plans or advanced plans.
We also evaluate coverage caps on appliances or systems and bonus features under this category. Be aware that even the best homeowners warranty may have sneaky extras or things that are covered only if you pay for them separately.
The cost of a home warranty is the second most important aspect to consider. A typical plan will cover either appliances or systems, with many companies offering premium or custom plans that extend coverage to both. These plans typically include fixed monthly charges that depend primarily on the value of your insured items.
Paying these fixed subscriptions does not let you off the hook, however. When picking a homeowner warranty service, it’s also vital to take into account the service fees to be paid whenever a claim is made.
Keep in mind that the lower the standard subscription costs, the higher these additional expenses are, usually. Furthermore, while most companies will cover all potential technician visits related to a single claim under one service fee, that’s not always the case.
A fantastic home appliance warranty is worth very little if the company doesn’t provide services in your state. This category simply checks the availability of a company’s services across the US. Although most big industry names provide almost universal coverage, it’s worth knowing about the possible exceptions.
Home warranty ratings depend on several factors. A company’s reputation can effectively be gauged by looking at its Better Business Bureau (BBB) profile or taking the time to read customer and professional reviews online.
It’s also a matter of experience: how long a particular company has been in business, what its track record is like regarding complaints, and customer satisfaction in general. These are all factors that may not necessarily be deal-breakers, but can certainly contribute to peace of mind when choosing a company to insure your home systems and appliances.
The final consideration when picking the best home warranty service for your needs is customer support and the overall quality of a given company’s services. This includes everything from how easy it is to reach the customer support team (which avenues are available, is the service 24/7, etc.) to how quickly issues tend to get resolved (e.g. response times when filing a claim).
This ties in with the previous category as a measure of how much the company values its customers and how hard it works to maintain a good reputation.
On Official Website
- • Nationwide coverage (except Alaska)
- • Build your own plan
- • Generous appliance coverage
American Home Shield is one of the oldest and best-respected companies in this industry. With a history stretching back all the way to 1971 and coverage that includes all states except Alaska, this is a US staple when it comes to home warranty and insurance.
The core distinction between most home warranty plans is that of appliances, systems, or combined coverage. However, AHS offers a fourth option in the form of a custom plan that you can build by choosing specific insurance options. Every plan can also have up to five additional paid features as part of your home owners warranty insurance.
So, what’s included in each plan? The appliances plan covers a refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer, oven, range and cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, trash compactor, garage door opener, free-standing ice maker, and built-in food center.
The systems plan, on the other hand, gives you coverage for air conditioning systems, heating, electrical, plumbing, water heater, garbage disposal, instant hot and cold water dispensers, doorbell, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, and central vacuum. The two plans can be combined into a singular offer, too.
In our experience with searching for the best home warranty company, reviews often focus on the importance of pricing and plan flexibility. As we’ve already mentioned, AHS lets you combine its main two plans into a single - and more expensive - plan or pick and choose between services.
The following add-ons are custom-plan-exclusive: extended warranty for electronic devices, pool and spa, septic pumps, and guest unit coverage.
When a company has practically nationwide coverage, service prices can vary depending on the state you’re in, but AHS’s trade call fee is going to be $75, $100, or $125 per call, according to the plan you choose and regardless of state.
As the best home warranty company with versatile coverage, American Home Shield allows you to build a custom plan with any of the services mentioned above, but you’ll have to get a specialized quote for the pricing. You can also add pool and indoor spa coverage to your plan, as well as a septic pump, well pump, guest unit, and so on.
American Home Shield services are available all across the US, excluding only Alaska.
Despite many rave reviews, the customer ratings are somewhat mixed, with a fair few negative impressions of AHS floating around. While perhaps not one of the top 5 home warranty companies in terms of Better Business Bureau rating, this company has been BBB-accredited since 1997, with a respectable B score.
AHS has 24/7 support through both live chat and phone, and there is an excellent FAQ section on the website as well. Claims are typically handled within 48 hours but can be expedited in case of emergencies, or you can pay an additional fee to get priority service.
Reasons to Apply:
- Nationwide coverage (except Alaska)
- Build your own plan
- Generous appliance coverage
On Official Website
- • Contract-long repair warranty
- • Select your own licensed contractor
- • Club member benefits
A relative newcomer to the industry, AFC Home Club has quickly established itself as one of the best home warranty companies. The company offers plenty of unique features such as free credit monitoring, identity protection alerts, a three-year workmanship guarantee for the length of your subscription, and plenty of other loyalty benefits.
AFC Home Club offers three different packages, ranging from Silver to Platinum, a separate Systems-only package, and optional coverage that costs extra regardless of your chosen plan.
The starting Silver package covers a clothes washer and dryer, refrigerator, oven, range, stove, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and garage door opener. When comparing home warranty companies, it’s more or less identical to other basic plans.
Moving onto the Gold package, HVAC amenities are added, as are plumbing and electrical. The ultimate Platinum package extends coverage to built-in microwave ovens, ice makers, and dishwashers on top of all that.
Exclusive services include coverage for double ovens, tankless water heaters, stand-alone freezers, central vacuums, septic systems, in-ground pools and spas, well and sump pumps, and hot water dispensers. You can also pick add-ons from the higher-tier packages, such as ice maker and built-in microwave oven coverage.
Home warranty company reviews often gloss over the other benefits that AFC offers. Namely, club members can look forward to free credit monitoring and identity protection alerts, discounts on maintenance-related supplies, discounts at participating restaurants, retailers, theme parks, and more.
Pricing is very flexible, with plans ranging in length from one to three years, and billing can be either monthly or yearly. For more specific information, anyone who’s interested can get a free quote tailored to their needs. Service fees are within the standard range of $75 to $125, determined by the plans themselves.
Your homeowner warranty policy can also be bolstered with optional - but potentially costly - coverage. In-ground pools and spas are the most expensive, while tankless water heater insurance is a mid-range option. Double ovens, ice makers, and standalone freezers are on the cheaper end of the spectrum.
AFC Home Club is available in 46 US states. The exceptions are California, Hawaii, Nevada, and South Carolina.
The company has a respectable B rating and scores 3.03 out of 5 based on 296 Better Business Bureau reviews. We don’t need to emphasize that most of the BBB’s home warranty reviews tend to be from disgruntled customers, so for a company to have a positive score at all speaks volumes about user satisfaction.
AFC Home Club’s excellent customer service team can be reached 24/7 by phone or online form. Repairs typically happen within 24 to 48 hours, with technicians getting paid only after the company has confirmed your satisfaction with the results. You can also bring in your own technicians, but they will have to be vetted by the company first.
Reasons to Apply:
- Contract-long repair warranty
- Select your own licensed contractor
- Club member benefits
On Official Website
- • Very affordable pricing
- • Three-month warranty on item repairs
- • Doesn’t require home inspections
Excellent services at bargain prices have turned Choice Home Warranty into one of the top-rated home warranty companies in the US, though it has only been in the industry for a little over a decade. If you’re looking for a home warranty just about anywhere across the continental United States, this company has you covered.
As many Choice Home Warranty reviews point out, the company likes to keep things simple, with fewer choices between plans compared to most of the competition. There are only two options, with add-ons available for both.
The Basic plan includes coverage for heating, electrical, and plumbing systems, plumbing stoppage, water heater, whirlpool bathtub, oven, range, stove, cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, ductwork, garage door opener, and ceiling and exhaust fans.
While quite exhaustive, it’s missing some features common in the best home warranty plans, such as AC, refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer coverage. These are included in the Total plan. Paid extras for both plans include pool and spa coverage, central vacuum, second refrigerator, well pump, limited roof leaks, stand-alone freezer, sump pump, septic tank pumping, and the entire septic system.
You can also purchase add-ons for the AC and plumbing systems separately and you’ll have to get a quote for appliance payout caps.
One of the key advantages of Choice Home Warranty is that this is one of the most affordable home warranty companies on our list. Prices depend on your plan, state, and whether you opt for monthly or yearly payments, but overall charges can be very low. Specific plans and pricing are available exclusively via quote.
The company does have a surcharge for monthly services, but it also offers constant discounts and promotions, bringing down the cost of anything from individual services to the service fee. Speaking of the service fee, it’s fixed at $85 per service call, regardless of the plan or cost of the repairs. This is on par with other top-rated home warranty companies on the market.
Choice Home Warranty operates on a nearly nationwide level, covering 47 states. The only exceptions are California, Oklahoma, and Wisconsin.
The company currently holds a B- rating on the Better Business Bureau, although with fairly bad customer reviews. That said, it fares a lot better on TrustPilot, with a four-star rating from almost 13,000 reviews. It’s worth noting that the BBB doesn’t use reviews when forming the overall score for a business, as most customer reviews of home warranty companies tend to be complaints.
Another excellent feature of Choice Home Warranty is its great customer service. Service calls are handed off to technicians within a few hours at most, while customer support is available 24/7 via email and phone.
Reasons to Apply:
- Very affordable pricing
- Three-month warranty on item repairs
- Doesn’t require home inspections
On Official Website
- • Amazing value for the money
- • High payout caps for kitchen appliances
- • Covers appliances with pre-existing issues
A true American classic, First American Home Warranty has been around since 1984. In the past four decades, the company has made a name for itself as one of the most affordable home warranty companies, offering top-quality homeowner and real estate insurance at competitive prices.
The company offers two plans - simply called Basic and Premier - as well as several optional services that can be purchased for an additional fee. The Basic plan covers your washing machine, dishwasher, refrigerator, clothes dryer, oven, range, and cooktop, as well as your microwave, garbage disposal, and trash compactor.
To protect your plumbing and stoppages, as well as heating, electrical systems, ductwork, water heaters, central vacuum system, and garage door opener, you’ll have to move to the top home warranty Premier plan.
Optional add-ons include insurance for the central air conditioning system, secondary refrigerator, pool and spa equipment, and well pump.
There is also the so-called First Class Upgrade, granting coverage for cosmetic damage to home systems or appliances.
The company also covers expenses for using cranes during installation, local building permits required, replacing appliances up to a certain limit, and expenses related to the removal or hauling away of appliances that need to be replaced.
First American Home Warranty is the best home warranty company for those on a tighter budget.
Optional costs per month include pool and spa coverage, central air conditioning, the First Class Upgrade, a well pump, and additional refrigeration. As is the industry standard, accurate plan pricing is offered via quote. The cost of the plans varies according to your state of residence and the service fee can be anything from $75 to $100 based on your chosen plan.
First American Home Warranty is available in the majority of US states - 35 of them to be exact - but a fair few are excluded: Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin are not covered. This is quite limited compared to other best home warranties.
The company has a solid reputation on the Better Business Bureau. Most BBB customer reviews tend to be negative, so the B rating by BBB itself is what you should pay attention to. Things are even better according to TrustPilot, where First American Home Warranty boasts a four-star rating across 5,000 customer reviews.
First American Home Warranty’s customer support is universally praised as excellent. You can reach the helpful agents 24/7 via email or over the phone; service requests are typically handed off to technicians within a few hours.
Reasons to Apply:
- Amazing value for the money
- High payout caps for kitchen appliances
- Covers appliances with pre-existing issues
Home Warranty - Beginner's Guide
Now that we’ve seen some of the best home warranty companies in 2021, let’s talk a little about the things to be aware of before rushing out to make a purchase. Many people get confused about home warranty plans, often mistaking them for homeowners insurance. Let’s break down what a home warranty is, how it differs from standard homeowner insurance, and what to look for and avoid when getting it.
How Does a Home Warranty Work?
The first thing to realize is that home warranties cover major appliances and home systems such as air conditioning and heating, rather than property damage caused by appliances, natural disasters, human error, etc.
A homeowner warranty program will typically have a regular monthly cost, plus a service fee whenever a claim is made. Some companies might even charge you a fee every time a technician is sent out in the field, but typically there’s just one fee per claim, regardless of how many visits it takes to fix or replace the insured item.
As with any other type of insurance, if the repairs fail, the company will either replace your appliance or pay out an equivalent sum up to the value of your policy so that you can buy a new device yourself.
What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
Home warranty programs typically cover everything related to the insurance of home appliances and systems. There are, broadly speaking, three types of plans: appliance plans for dishwashers, ovens, and refrigerators, systems plans for electrical, heating, ducts, and interior plumbing, and finally combo or custom plans covering both appliances and systems.
It’s crucial to realize that if something is not listed, then it’s most likely not covered. Companies tend to exclude certain items, limit the number of identical items covered (i.e. one refrigerator per policy), or simply make coverage optional (i.e. pool maintenance).
What to Look for When Buying Home Warranties
Before you go out and spend your hard-earned cash on a homeowner warranty plan, it pays to do some thorough research and compare home warranty plans to find the one that best suits your needs.
First off, think about the current state of your appliances and systems: if they have pre-existing conditions, it’s best to go with a company that requires home inspections, so that there aren’t any unpleasant surprises if something breaks down and your claim is denied on the grounds of prior appliance problems.
Consider the price, both in terms of ongoing costs and service fees when a claim is submitted. Don’t forget to look at coverage limits, either. Check out the reputation of the company and its customer reviews online; the best-rated home warranty companies are accredited by organizations such as the National Home Service Contract Association, ensuring that you’re dealing with a trustworthy business.
That depends mostly on the condition of your appliances and systems. If you have newer appliances with active warranties, and the plumbing, AC, and other systems have been regularly maintained, you might not need home warranty coverage. If, on the other hand, you’re moving into an older house with aging appliances, it’s probably a very good idea to consider getting it.
Some do, some don’t. Either way, your claims may be denied if the systems haven’t been installed or maintained properly, do not meet local building codes, or have pre-existing conditions.
Getting a home warranty rarely requires inspection, and some companies openly flaunt this as a selling point. This often works in the favor of the companies themselves, however. Without clear documented proof that HVAC and other systems or appliances have been thoroughly inspected, it’s much easier for a company to deny claims due to prior problems.
Home warranty companies don’t cover pre-existing conditions and actual property damage caused by appliances or systems in your home (you need homeowners insurance for that). They won’t cover hot tubs and pools, or septic and outdoor sprinkler systems, at least not in the standard coverage plans. What definitely won’t be covered is liability for personal injuries or property damage if something does go wrong.
The answer depends on your specific needs. Companies tend to focus their offer on different aspects of home appliance protection plans, so you can work out what’s most important to you. That said, you can’t go wrong with companies such as American Home Shield, AFC Home Club, Choice Home Warranty, or First American Home Warranty.