Home Warranty: The Ultimate Guide and Best companies in 2021

May 7, 2021

Investing in a home warranty is a smart addition since it provides coverage to major home appliances and systems. In the long-term, it saves you from paying expensive replacement and repair costs. With such a large number of home warranty companies available on the market, it can be difficult to pick one. To help you make that decision, we’ve done all the comparing and investigating for you. 

In this complete guide of the best home warranty companies for 2021, we’ll be covering the following topics: 

  • Methods Used to Find the Best Companies for You to Consider
  • What is a Home Warranty?
  • What Does a Home Warranty Cover?
  • How to Choose a Home Warranty Company?
  • Home Warranty vs. Homeowners Insurance
  • Home Warranty Qualifications and Requirements
  • Home Warranty Pricing
  • Is a Home Warranty Worth It?
  • FAQs

After covering all the above factors in our guide, we will compare and review the best home warranty companies you should consider in 2021. 

Product
Rating
Key Features
Website
1
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Coverage for up to 21 areas
  • Electronics plan for smart home appliances
PRICE: $ $39.99 - $60
Get a Deal
2
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • Choice of your own contractor
  • Option to include additional appliances and systems
  • All-inclusive plan available
PRICE: $ $30- $50
Get a Deal
3
OVERALL RATING
3.9
Expert Review
  • A variety of add-ons
  • 10-year experience in the industry
  • Great discounts and offers available
PRICE: $ $349 - $579
Get a Deal
4
OVERALL RATING
3.8
Expert Review
  • Second refrigerator coverage available
  • $1,000 cap on roof leak coverage
PRICE: $ $27 - $55
Get a Deal
5
OVERALL RATING
4.1
Expert Review
  • 7 different warranty plans available
  • A+ BBB rating
  • Coverage for multiple electronics, appliances, and systems
PRICE: $ $24.99 -$124.99
Get a Deal
6
OVERALL RATING
4
Expert Review
  • More than 15,000 contractors available
  • Excellent reviews
  • Easy-to-use online platform
PRICE: $ $45.81 - $55
Get a Deal
7
OVERALL RATING
4.5
Expert Review
  • Low monthly payments for basic plans
  • A- BBB rating
  • Coverage for corrosion and rust as well as pre-existing conditions
PRICE: $ $27.99 - $69.99
Get a Deal
8
OVERALL RATING
4.4
Expert Review
  • Repair services offered within 48 hours
  • Affordable plans
  • 36-year experience in the industry
  • B rating on BBB
PRICE: $ $32 - $45.50
Get a Deal
9
OVERALL RATING
4.2
Expert Review
  • Service work guaranteed for 30 days on labor and 90 days on parts
  • Excellent customer care and speedy replies
PRICE: $ $350 - $445
Get a Deal
10
OVERALL RATING
4.3
Expert Review
  • Free quotes
  • $200 off + 2 months free when signing up
  • Free roof leak coverage
  • 4.65-star rating on BBB
PRICE: $ $39.99 - $59.99
Get a Deal
11
OVERALL RATING
3.9
Expert Review
  • Excellent discounts available
  • Free roof leak coverage upon sign up
PRICE: $ $52 - $55
Get a Deal
12
OVERALL RATING
3.9
Expert Review
  • Comprehensive coverage
  • 180-day workmanship guarantee
  • Product replacement
PRICE: $ $49 - $69
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13
OVERALL RATING
4.1
Expert Review
  • Pest control coverage
  • Subterranean termite treatment
  • Roof coverage available
  • No-fault coverage
PRICE: $ $35 - $55.84
Get a Deal
14
OVERALL RATING
4.4
Expert Review
  • Five different plans available
  • $3,500 cap per appliance
PRICE: $ $405 - $770
Get a Deal

Founded in 1971, AHS offers three different plans, plus an optional add-on for electronic devices. American Home Shield plans include:

  • System Plan
  • Appliances Plan
  • Combo Plan

American Home Shield home warranty covers all the US states, excluding Alaska. The electronic plan is unavailable in California. 

AHS has won the Women’s Choice Award for America’s most recommended home warranty from 2014 – 2020. 

PROS:
  • Pre-existing condition coverage as well as improper installation
  • Three different home warranty plans on 21 major home appliances and systems
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Coverage options on additional appliances
CONS:
  • Limited roof leak coverage

What’s great about AFC Home Club is that they give their clients the option to choose their own contractors and technicians. The company offers 24/7 customer service and four different pricing plans: 

  • System: covers main systems at $39.58 per month
  • Silver: covers home appliances at $37.50 per month
  • Gold: contains selected appliances and systems at $45.83 per month
  • Platinum: includes all appliances and systems at $50 per month

AFC Home Club BBB rating was accredited in February 2015. In 2018, the company made the  Inc. 5000 list. 

PROS:
  • Affordable plans
  • Add-on appliances such as hot water dispensers, sump pumps, pool, septic systems, and stand-alone freezers
  • Yearly fees
  • Availability in all the US states except California, Hawaii, South Carolina, and Nevada
CONS:
  • Some negative AFC Home Club reviews on BBB’s website regarding the services offered by technicians
  • Gold plan doesn’t include ice maker, plumbing stoppages, and microwave

AHW offers its customers three different plans: 

  • Essential Appliances Plan
  • Major Systems Plan
  • Combo Plan

Their cost ranges between $349 – $579 annually. There are some negative Amazon Home Warranty reviews, stating that AHW denies claims without a valid reason. What’s more, some other complaints related to the general problems with the systems and appliances are adhered to in a duly manner. 

PROS:
  • $75 off and one-month free discount
  • $1,500 cap per contract, with a cap of $2,500 on HVAC equipment
CONS:
  • Amazon Home Warranty doesn’t cover pre-existing conditions
  • Available in 42 states in the US. Not available in 8 US states such as Maine, Washington, California, New Mexico, and Minnesota, amongst others

With the starting price of only $19 per month, 2-10 offers its customers affordable warranty plans for all appliances and systems. Let’s look at all of them.

  • Simply Kitchen: covers all main kitchen appliances at $324 per year or $19 per month
  • Essential Home: contains basic systems and appliances at $552 per year or $46 per month
  • Complete Home: includes all major home systems and kitchen appliances at $660 per year or $55 per month

2-10 home buyers warranty reviews on BBB are mostly positive with a B+ rating, accredited since 2005. Complaints against 2-10 are typically on services or contractors not adhering to set appointments. 

PROS:
  • Coverage for second appliances
  • Coverage for roof leakage coverage (limited)
  • Add-on coverage for water softeners, well pumps, wine coolers, pipe leaks, roof leaks, and pools or spas
  • An aggregate limit of $25,000
CONS:
  • 2-10 home buyers warranty is only available in 34 states
  • Cap limits on certain items such as $150 for faucets and $300 for toilets

AR warranty became a part of our best companies list because of affordable and customizable plans. American Residential home warranty plans range from coverage for only heating and cooling appliances, kitchen appliances to all home systems. Deluxe Advantage option contains extra items like internal plumbing mechanisms, garage doors, and A/C coils. Customers can also opt for covering their electronic devices.

PROS:
  • 24/7 customer service
  • Very low service fee
  • Extremely affordable prices
  • 30-day service repairs guarantee
  • Mostly positive American Residential warranty reviews
  • Coverage for improper installation
CONS:
  • Low coverage
  • Poor online system for filing American Residential warranty claims

One of our top home warranty companies is Choice. It has a response time between 4 – 48 hours and a 30-day service repair guarantee. With low monthly plan costs, Choice provides its customers with access to over 15,000 qualified and pre-screened contractors. 

Choice Home Warranty offers two plans: 

  • Basic: covers most essential appliances and systems for $45.81 per month or an annual fee of $495
  • Total: covers all appliances and systems for $55 per month or a 13-month fee of $600
PROS:
  • Additional coverage available for well pumps, central vacuum, duplicate appliances, septic systems, and stand-alone freezers
  • Easy Choice Home warranty login and online-friendly services
CONS:
  • Not available in Washington and California

This warranty company has been in the industry for 40 years. Within its existence, it has provided more than 100,000 Americans with quality and transparent home warranties. 

Cinch Home Services, Inc. warranties are backed with 180-day guarantee. All technicians are pre-screened, with many contractors available in your local area. What’s more, you’ll receive coverage for extra components like doors, drawers, and doorknobs. 

PROS:
  • Digital dashboard available 24/7
  • $2,000 cap for appliances
  • Coverage for pre-existing conditions
  • Coverage for corrosion and rust
  • Home warranty deductible plans available for real estate agents
  • Available in 48 states excluding Hawaii and Alaska
CONS:
  • Different rates depending on the state
  • Expensive service fees

Starting at only $32, First American introduces unlimited service requests and different coverage plans. More than 500,000 Americans trust First American home warranty for their peace of mind. 

First American Home Warranty plans include:

  • Basic Plan: covers home appliances at $32 per month or $384 per year
  • Premier Plan: includes appliances and home systems at $45.50 per month or $510 per year
PROS:
  • Optional coverage available
  • Unlimited service calls and requests
  • Payout caps of $3,500
  • Very affordable monthly and annual plans
CONS:
  • First American Home Warranty coverage isn’t available in all states

Founded in 1974, Fidelity is a part of the Fortune 500 companies. They offer customizable plans with different pricing, depending on the state you live in and the size of your home. Customers have the option to add extras to their annual plans, such as HVAC systems for $60, roof leak repair for $100, or washer and dryer for an approximate $80.

Fidelity Home warranty phone number is 1 (800) 862-6837, and they’re available 24/7. Fidelity is also a member of the NHSCA (National Home Service Contract Association). 

PROS:
  • Service work on parts guaranteed for 90 days
  • Option to add roof leak coverage
  • Affordable annual plans
CONS:
  • Available only in 17 states
  • Many exclusions like garage doors, cables, and doors

If you’re looking for advanced technology that meticulously studies appliance and system breakdowns, you should consider Liberty. This technology helps to ensure the proper repair or replacement methods. All technicians are pre-screened and LHG-certified. 

Liberty Home Guard plans include three options: 

  • System Guard: covers all major home systems at $39.99 per month
  • Appliance Guard: includes all major appliances at $49.99 per month
  • Total Home Guard: covers both appliances and systems at $59.99 per month
PROS:
  • No prior home inspection
  • 60-day repair workmanship guarantee
  • Liberty Home Guard BBB positive reviews with an A+ rating (accredited since January 2019)
  • Excellent discounts and incentives
  • Possibility of add-ons
  • 24/7 customer service
CONS:
  • Lack of option to choose your own service technicians
  • Not available in California, Illinois, Washington, Wisconsin, and Wyoming

Founded in 2012 and based in New Jersey, Select is an affordable home warranty company to consider. There are three plans available: 

  • Bronze: covers appliances
  • Gold: includes systems
  • Platinum: is the combination of Bronze and Gold

The plan prices range from $52 – $55 per month. The Platinum option is an excellent value for money. 

Select home warranty bbb rating is B. Even though the company is nine years old, it has not yet been accredited by the BBB. Out of 2,462 Select home warranty reviews and votes on consumeraffairs.com, it gets a 4.4 rating.

PROS:
  • Additional discounts and incentives offered
  • Washers, dryers, and garbage disposal items included
CONS:
  • Not available in Nevada, Washington, New York, and Wisconsin
  • The highest plan covers only 17 systems and appliances

Sears presents three different plans: 

  • Appliance Plan: covers up to 10 appliances at $49.99 per month
  • System Plan: covers up to 11 systems at $59.99 per month
  • Whole Home Plan: is a combination of the two at $69.99 per month

In addition, Sears offers customers an extensive home repair service. Even if you don’t have a warranty plan with them, you can still benefit from their repairing services. Their qualified technicians have performed more than 7 million repairs. 

Sears home warranty customer service phone number is +1-844-602-5613, and operators are available 24/7. 

PROS:
  • The exclusive benefit such as cooling and heating system preventive maintenance check per year (no extra cost)
  • Additional coverage for the pool, sump pump, well pump, and septic tanks
  • Available in most US states
CONS:
  • Not BBB accredited

Landmark completes our list of home warranty companies. In 2019, it won the Consumer’s Choice Award for the best home warranty company. Landmark also became the Home Advisor’s Top Choice. Furthermore, the company is BBB accredited and has a string of positive Landmark home warranty reviews

There are two plans available:

  • Home System Plan: covers main systems at $35 per month
  • Total Protection Plan: includes all systems and appliances at $55.84 per month

Landmark home warranty is among a few companies that cover subterranean termite treatment and pest control in both their plans. 

PROS:
  • Termite and pest control coverage available
  • Affordable and high-quality plans
  • Service call fees determined by the customer’s preference
  • Roof leak coverage available
CONS:
  • Available only in six states (Utah, Arizona, Texas, Nevada, Idaho, and Texas)

Old Republic is the perfect solution for homeowners and realtors alike. They provide five different warranty plans to fit anyone’s needs.

  • Standard 
  • Ultimate 
  • Ultimate WDR (Washer Dryer Refrigerator) 
  • Platinum 
  • Platinum WDR 

The standard plan covers most home systems and appliances at $405 per year. The Ultimate package contains the same as the Standard plan with additional code upgrades, improper installation, and refrigerant recapture at $510 per year. 

The Platinum plan encompasses everything from the Standard and Ultimate plans with the coverage for HVAC systems, modifications for code upgrades, and plumbing stoppages at $665 per year. 

Both the Platinum and the Ultimate plans are upgradable to washer, dryer, and refrigerator. 

Old Republic home warranty phone number is 1 (800) 972-5985, and their services are available 24/7. The company provides an effortless online experience for filing complaints and contacting customer service.

PROS:
  • Multiple home warranty plans available
  • Pest control coverage available
CONS:
  • Available only in 27 states

Methods Used to Find the Best Companies for You to Consider

To find the best home warranty companies for you to consider, we’ve applied an in-depth and extensive method. Looking at credible home warranty reviews as well as detailed ratings by trusted sources and platforms, we’ve come to our final verdict.  

Our assessment methodology to find the top home warranty companies is based on: 

  • The financial strength of the company
  • Plans available
  • Pricing and affordability
  • Home warranty company ratings 
  • Reviews
  • Additional features and services provided

What is a Home Warranty?

Firstly, what exactly is a home warranty? Upon moving into a new home, homeowners get a home warranty. It’s a plan that provides coverage for home appliances and systems.

It’s an excellent additional option for coverage to take on since homeowner’s insurance doesn’t typically cover home systems and appliances. 

Secondly, who pays for a home warranty: buyer or seller? Well, if you purchased a new home with a one-year warranty policy included, then the seller will cover the first year’s policy costs. In case the homeowner or the buyer decides to extend their home warranty plan, they are responsible for the following payments. Extended home warranties and home warranty plans usually cost an annual fee.

In addition, there is a trade call fee. It’s a fixed service fee charged every time the home warranty company sends a technician to the house. After the home warranty plan expires, the homeowner can switch to a better home warranty company or extend their plan with the current provider. 

What Does a Home Warranty Cover?

Home warranties offer protection against many different defects. Depending on the contract you sign, the list will include specific systems and appliances. So, do home warranties cover water heaters or roofs? Let’s look at the common home appliances and systems covered by most one-year home warranty contracts. 

Systems

  • Electrical components like HVAC systems, plumbing, air conditioning, and water heaters
  • Interior plumbing
  • Ductwork

Appliances

  • Small home appliances like washers, dryers, and microwaves
  • Major home appliances like stoves, water heaters, and refrigerators
  • Other items like doorbells, exhaust fans, and garage door openers
  • Additional coverages like coverage for pool and spa equipment

In general, home warranty plans don’t cover the following: 

  • Structural problems like roof damage, windows, or doors
  • Roof leaks or other water damage
  • Outdoor plumbing like valves, faucets, and sprinklers
  • Septic tanks
  • Major pre-existing conditions for older homes

Again, coverage of particular items completely depends on the company that provides the home warranty. 

How to Choose a Home Warranty Company

Since there are so many credible and high-quality plans available, you should follow a few steps to choose the right company to best suit your needs. Here is a list of the main factors to consider before signing the contract.

Costs

To understand whether you can afford the company’s services, you should study its pricing plans. On average, the monthly home warranty plans range between $28 – $85. Along with the monthly expense, there is an additional service fee charged every time a technician comes to your home. These fees cost between $50 – $125 per call out. 

Always read the fine print when going through different plans and options. Some companies have many hidden fees that might include extra payments on particular types of appliances or systems. 

Define your needs

As a homeowner, you have specific needs. You might need extra assurance when it comes to certain appliances and systems for ease of mind. In this case, it’s important to fully understand all limitations, exclusions, and coverage for items at your home. 

Don’t sign a contract before reading all the fine print first. 

Research and compare

Another great way to find out how to choose a home warranty company is to request numerous quotes and compare plans and pricing. Read credible and thorough guides and reviews, like this one, to get an expert opinion on the best companies in the industry. 

What’s more, you can even consult a home realtor for further recommendations. 

When can you make a claim?

Homeowners can file a claim whenever problems with their home systems and appliances under warranty occur. Most companies do have a 30-day waiting period before you can proceed with your first claim. It means that you can only receive remuneration for repairs or replacement 30 days after signing the contract. 

Check the company’s fine print to confirm the waiting period duration. 

Age and condition of systems and appliances 

We sometimes buy houses that aren’t brand new. Older homes most certainly have extra wear and tear. It can become quite costly to repair and replace old appliances or systems. Therefore you should check the home warranty plan for any information on pre-existing conditions or problems. Most home warranty companies offer a maximum coverage plan. 

As HVAC systems at your home age, you might consider replacing or repairing them. Opting for a home warranty, you can be certain this issue will get resolved soon. To know how to find the best home warranty company for your needs, you should be fully aware of the state of your appliances and systems. It will help you to get an estimate for repairs. Double-check the upper limit that the company offers to make sure it will cover the entire cost. 

A few other points to consider: 

  • How quickly can repairs be done after filing a claim?
  • How does the warranty plan complement and accompany your home insurance plan?
  • Is filing a claim an easy or complex process?
  • Does the company require a routine home inspection before enrolling?
  • What are the exact items covered?
  • If you want to switch plans within the same company, are there additional costs or waiting periods?

Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance. What Is the Difference?

Home insurance and home warranty are two coverages that are typically mistaken for each other. Let’s clarify the differences between a home warranty and insurance

Home insurance is a plan that covers loss and damage caused by external factors such as burglary or natural disasters. Lost goods can be replaced by filing a claim with an insurance company. 

Home warranty plans cover the natural wear and tear of home appliances and systems. 

For example, if someone breaks into your home, your insurance will cover all losses incurred by the burglary. But if your oven experiences a malfunction, a home warranty will be applied to deal with the issue.

Homeowners have to pay a home warranty deductible every time they repair an appliance or a system. Compared to the warranty policy, insurance plans typically have no deductibles. 

Home Warranty Claim Requirements

To submit a successful home warranty claim, it has to fulfill certain requirements. Not all claims are approved by the company. There are a few reasons why home warranty providers might deny the coverage, and here is a list of the most common ones.

  • Lack of regular maintenance 
  • Improper installation of systems and appliances
  • The warranty issue filed before the initial waiting period
  • Violations to safety code
  • Natural damage to the systems and appliances caused by the inappropriate handling or use
  • Exceeded home warranty coverage limit 

So, what do you do when your home warranty denies your claim? You can file an appeal against the company. Keep in mind that you might need some additional documentation to support your request. In the meantime, you will have to take care of all urgent repairs and replacements yourself. In case the appeal is upheld, the company will reimburse all the expenses. 

To avoid the denial of a home warranty claim, make sure you know how long you should wait before you can file a claim. Also, don’t forget to read the fine print on the contract. 

Home Warranty Pricing

The most common home warranty plans are either an only-appliance coverage plan, an only-system coverage plan, or a combination of both. The home warranty cost entirely depends on the company. The number of systems and appliances covered determines the monthly fee.

On average, homeowners can expect to pay between $350 – $600 per year. We’ll go into detail on different home warranty prices a little further down in our guide. 

Is a Home Warranty Worth It

When buying a new home, the chances of getting a home warranty with the purchase are pretty high. It acts as reassurance and a kind of safety precaution against unforeseen system and appliance damage. But is a home warranty worth it

Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of the home warranty.

Pros:

  • Gives peace of mind and reassurance to the customer
  • Takes care of the unpredicted expenses and repairs
  • Provides homeowners with company technicians 
  • Guarantees money saving 
  • Protects against possible complaints after the house sale

Cons:

  • Doesn’t provide a coverage for all the home items 
  • Doesn’t cover poorly maintained or improperly used systems or appliances
  • Different home warranty companies incorporate different sets of terms and conditions with multiple gray areas

Is a home warranty worth it? Yes, it is. Homeowners save a lot of money in the long run when they invest in the home warranty.

FAQs

Are home warranties worth the money?

Yes, if you have an expensive taste in appliances and possess high-quality systems, you will ultimately save much money. Replacing costly appliances can make a huge dent in your budget, but you won’t have to pay for them when covered by a home warranty. 

Is a home warranty required at closing?

Sellers usually include a home warranty at the house sales closing. It’s not required, but they usually apply it to protect themselves against complaints in the future.

Does home warranty require inspection?

It depends on the company contract. Some home warranty companies require a home inspection to check the state and condition of appliances and systems.

What does a $500 home warranty cover?

It covers essential appliances like dryers, washers, refrigerators, ovens, and dishwashers and basic systems like plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical systems. 

How much does a typical home warranty cost?

Homeowners can expect to pay between $350 – $600 per year.

Do home warranties cover pre-existing conditions?

Pre-existing conditions in appliances and systems, especially at older homes, are typically covered by the home warranty companies. When visual or mechanical inspection doesn’t pick up the pre-existing conditions, the coverage sum increases.