Compare Home Warranties

From plan value and customer experience to contractor network and customer base, we research everything you need to compare home warranties and make a decision. Learn how our editors compare the different factors of home warranties below.
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How we Compare Home Warranties

Plan Value - 25%
Customer Experience - 25%
Contracts - 15%
Restrictions - 15%
Contractor Network - 10%
Customer Base - 10%

Plan Value

This is what you get for your money. To determine the value of a given plan we look at the premium and service fee cost in comparison to the breadth of items covered, payout limits (caps) and the cost of additional items.

Most home warranties provide a system plan an appliance plan, and maybe some kind of hybrid plan of the two. Some items universally covered by all home warranty companies include:

Heating

Refrigerator

Electrical

Dishwasher

Plumbing

Washer & Dryer

Water Heater

Ovens

Garbage Disposal

Garage Door Opener

We gave extra points in this area for those companies that allowed you to customize a plan, i.e. pick only the items you want á la carte. Companies with a robust list of add on features also score highly. But the highest would be those who offered standard items that would be additional costs with other plans. These are items like whirlpool, sump pumps, and central vacuum.

Some items that would generally have to be added on to any home warranty provider’s plan include:

Pool/Spa
Septic Tank
Water Softener
Second Refrigerator

This in not a matter of ranking the lowest costs the highest. We look at the relationship between covered items, payout caps, and cost of service fee and deductible. A given company might offer a rock bottom premium, but you can be sure you’re getting a plan that’s not worth the paper it’s printed on. We look for a robust list of covered items at a competitive price. Additional items included. 

Some home warranties offer you the ability to customize your deductible and/or service fee. We rank these entities highly as this gives the customer more control of tailoring the plan to their individual needs and financial situation.

Home Warranties with the Best Plan Value:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardTotal Home Protection
Premium$249-$600$440$370-$450$400$299-$499$288-$480-If you want AC $588$359-$570$349-$499
Service Fee$75-$100-$125$60$60$65-$95-$125$60$65-$75$60$45-60
Items Covered2417183215171437
Per Item CapsYesYes, but only on a few itemsYesYesYesNoYesYes
Yearly CapsNoYesNoYesNoNoNoNo
Lower Cap PeriodNo2 monthsNoNo3 monthsNo3 monthsNo

Customer Experience

If you were to take even the most perfunctory look at home warranty reviews online you’d probably very quickly notice a trend. There doesn’t seem to be much middle ground. You DON’T find many reviews like:

“Home Warranty Company X more or less ok, I’ve had good and bad experiences with them. The contractor they sent was pretty good but I’d have liked it done faster. But the overall experience was fine…I’ll probably keep the company.”

You are a lot more likely to find reviews like:

"DON'T USE THIS COMPANY!!!!!!!!!!" Followed by a 5 page horror story about a broken AC in the dead of summer that never got fixed after 3 months of being jerked around and eventually had to be paid for out of pocket.

Or others that seem, shall we say, suspiciously effusive:

"My experience with Home Warranty Company X could not possibly have been better! The representative was prompt and the contractor was knowledgeable! Everyone concerned was polite and responsive! I will continue to use them into the future for all my home warranty needs and recommend them without hesitation!"

We found the main causes of disgruntlement are:

1-The home warranty company says the item, or component within the item, in question is not covered under their contract.
2-Waiting times for service contractors.

With regard to number 1, we implore customers get a sample contract from a given company and read it thoroughly. Most of these complaints are due to the fact customers are unclear as to what’s covered. You need to go into a home warranty contract with your eyes wide open. Take an inventory of the systems and appliances in your house and make sure they are mentioned in the contract. Also, read carefully what is NOT COVERED for each individual system or appliance and determine if it is relevant to your home.

Because customer reviews are so polarized with home warranties, we drew from as wide a pool as possible in determining how a given company ranks in terms of customer experience. Along with thousands of reviews submitted by our own Consumers Advocate readers, we also factored in customer reviews from other high traffic websites like Yelp, Consumer Affairs, and homewarrantyreviews.com, and considered independent 3rd party reviews from sites like reviews.com, safesmartliving.com and comparisonshopping.com. We also took into consideration each company’s BBB rating. 

Home Warranties with the Best Customer Experience:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardTotal Home Protection
BBB Grade BB B- D+B BNRA-

Contracts

First of all, considering the often restrictive nature of home warranty plans, potential customers should have access to a sample of a company’s contract up front. We prefer home warranty companies that provide an example contract online, either on a webpage or as a pdf. Furthermore we are looking for contracts that are easy to understand and clear that don’t leave much room for interpretation. If you’ve read the contract thoroughly and still cannot honestly determine whether your system or appliance will be covered, or what the payout limit is (if any), then we see that as a red flag.

Many contracts have waiting periods before coverage takes effect. Still others offer more limited coverage in the first month before becoming fully effective. It’s important to know these things about your plan.

Another thing we consider is the home warranty provider’s cancellation policy. Most home warranty contracts are for 1 year. You are generally allowed to cancel within the first 30 days if you’ve not made a claim. After this time period it’s more difficult. Obviously the companies that make it the most painless and least complicated to extract yourself from a contract will look the best in our eyes.

Home Warranties with the Best Contracts:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardHome Guard
Available OnlineYesYesYesYesYesYesYesYes
Ease of UnderstandingStandardDifficultDifficultClearClearDifficultClearClear
Waiting Period15303010303030
Cancellation PolicyStrictStandardStrictStandardStandardStrictStandard

Restrictions

You are not going to find a home warranty company without restrictions on what items and under what circumstances said items are covered. We’d love to be able to recommend a company that honors every claim and fixes or replaces every appliance or system quickly and without hassle. Unfortunately that’s not the reality of the home warranty marketplace.

What we can do is look at all of the major players’ restrictions and point you towards those who are the least…er…restrictive.

We are looking for contracts with clear restrictions that are easy to understand and not subject to interpretation. We are also looking for reasonable stipulations and not excessive and confusing lists. We like companies who will cover pre existing conditions and those who do not require you to produce maintenance records documenting the upkeep of a system or appliance.

Home Warranties with the Best Restrictions:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardTotal Home Protection
ClarityEasy to UnderstandEasy to UnderstandEasy to UnderstandStandardEasy to UnderstandEasy to UnderstandEasy to UnderstandEasy to Understand
Reasons for Denying Claims on Individual ItemsFlexibleStandardStandardExcessiveStandardStandardExcessiveExcessive
Reserve Right to Demand Maintenance Records No YesYesNoYesNoYesNo
Years of Maintenance Records Required N/A1 YearNot specified. Says “CHW has the right to request maintenance records in reviewing its decision.”N/A3 YearsN/A3 YearsN/A

Contractor Network

Most home warranty companies rely on contractors in their network to complete the diagnosis, repairs and replacements in your home. The bigger the contractor network, the more control you’ll have over who completes the work and how quickly the work is completed. When ranking home warranty companies, we look for those who have a clear vetting process in place for their contractors, companies that work exclusively with licensed, insured, and qualified experts.

The number of contractors in network varies greatly based on the company, but it typically ranges anywhere from 10,000 to 40,000+ contractors. If a company does not use only network contractors, this can be a potential red flag because there’s no accountability in place. While shopping around, make sure to address the contractor network specifically to determine that your area has a sufficient number of contractors to cover all your needs, and that they use exclusively certified professionals within the network.

Home Warranties with the Best Contractor Network:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardTotal Home Protection
Network SizeExtensive StandardStandardStandard StandardExtensiveStandardLimited

Customer Base

This criteria looks at the size of the company, it’s history, annual claims payout and revenue, and the number of clients served. We also consider how many states in which a given company is able to do business. Essentially the company’s reputation and share of the market. 

Home Warranties with the Best Customer Base:

American Home ShieldAFC Home ClubChoiceHome Service ClubSelectFirst AmericanAmerican Home GuardTotal Home Protection
States of Operation 505050495050Not Specified50
Years in Business 457 884323Less than a year
Market Share41%less than 1%less than 1%less than 1%less than 1%11%less than 1%less than 1%

Full Home Warranties Comparison

Plan ValueCustomer ExperienceContractsRestrictionsContractor NetworkCustomer Base
American Home Shield Home Warranty9.09.87.59.510.010.0
America's 1st Choice Home Club Warranty9.59.09.58.510.09.0
Choice Home Warranty9.510.08.98.97.09.5
Home Service Club10.010.09.57.08.57.5
Select Home Warranty8.57.58.89.09.08.5
First American Home Warranty8.57.28.59.88.58.0
American Home Guard Home Warranty8.08.08.08.58.08.0
Total Home Protection Home Warranty8.08.07.07.07.06.0
Landmark Home Warranty8.06.05.09.08.09.0
Old Republic Home Warranty7.07.08.07.06.08.0
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty7.08.06.07.06.07.0
Home Warranty of America7.07.06.06.07.07.0
Nations Home Warranty7.06.06.07.06.07.0
Fidelity National Home Warranty6.07.06.07.05.07.0
Super Home Warranty6.57.07.05.07.05.0
National Home Guaranteed Home Warranty6.05.06.07.05.07.0
Home Guard Home Warranty6.06.05.05.05.07.0
OneGuard Home Warranties5.06.04.06.05.07.0
Universal Home Protection Home Warranty5.05.05.06.04.07.0
Certified Warranties Corporation Home Warranty5.04.05.04.05.07.0
365 Home Warranty0.00.00.00.00.00.0
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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Home Warranties
Lee R
Largo, Florida
5/28/2017
Excellent and prompt response and service!

Lee R
Largo, Florida
5/28/2017
Prompt response and service!

Cayenne P
Conyers, Georgia
5/27/2017
Prestige plumbing was expedient on coming out to service our home, very courteous and professional!

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Home Warranties