Compare Home Warranties

Learn how our experts identify and compare the essential factors of home warranties to find the best option for you. From plan value and customer experience to contractor network and customer base, we research everything you need to know to make a decision.
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Home Warranties...The Basics

 

Home warranties are supposed to cover what your homeowners insurance does not. While your home insurance will take care of damage to your dwelling and it’s contents in the case of an accident, disaster or calamity, it will not cover things that just break down. Theoretically, this is where a home warranty steps in. It is an annual contract with a premium just like your homeowners and a service fee/deductible issued for every claim.

Home warranty companies typically offer 3 plans: appliance, systems, and combo. Appliance plans cover things like your refrigerator and washer & dryer, while systems plans cover elements in your home’s structure like the air conditioning and water heater. Most companies offer coverage of the same basic elements, however some feature more extensive coverage than others. Still others offer items in standard coverage that another company would charge as an additional item.

The way it works:

Your appliance or system stops working, you call your home warranty provider, they send you out a contractor from their network, you pay a service fee, the provider approves the work and the contractor fixes or replaces the appliance or system.

At face value it’s simple, however, as we shall see, the home warranty field is not without controversy. It has an iffy reputation that stems from a disproportionately large amount of customers who have had bad experiences. They mainly report companies not paying claims due to technicalities in contracts, and long wait times for contractors to show up. Add to this the fact that several home warranty companies have been the subject of litigation in the past and have been forced to even pay damages due to deceptive business practices and you’ll get an idea why many view the entire industry with caution.

However, if you deal with a reputable company, and above all do the research to find out what the company covers and doesn’t cover, a home warranty can be an extremely valuable resource, particularly if your systems and appliances are approaching the 10+-year-old mark.

Who needs a home warranty?

A home warranty is a good idea if you don’t have a lot of money in savings for sudden accidents and repairs. With a home warranty you’ll pay a deductible or service fee aside from your yearly premium. You’ll have to deal exclusively with the company’s contractor network. In this way the home warranty company acts as a kind of buffer and will appeal to you if you don’t relish the idea of tracking down and communicating with the right contractors for a particular job. Home warranties are also good if you are not particularly handy, or simply like having the peace of mind that everything in your house is covered in case of an emergency.

A home warranty might not be the best idea if you’ve purchased a home with poorly cared for appliances and systems. It’s entirely possible that you could make a call only to find out your particular appliance or system is excluded because it has a “pre existing condition.” Also, if your house is a brand new construction, and everything in it is new as well, you have to take into account how long it will be before a given item will typically need service. You may be paying hundreds for years for no reason. In these situations it may be ideal to be sure you are properly maintaining your appliances and systems for 10 years and then get the home warranty as that is typically the time things start to break down.

When Can You Expect An Appliance or System to Break Down?

How we rate them

Our staff conducted extensive research of the home warranty marketplace. We consulted with industry leaders, talked with customers, evaluated online reviews, talked with customer service people, and purchased home warranties ourselves. We decided upon 5 criteria by which to judge home warranty providers:

Plan Value
Customer Experience
Contracts
Restrictions
Contractor Network
Customer Base

How we Compare Home Warranties

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

Plan Value Compared

Home Warranties with the Best Plan Value:  Home Service Club Plan ValueAFC Home Club Plan ValueChoice Plan Value

Customer Experience Compared

Contracts Compared

Home Warranties with the Best Contracts:  AFC Home Club ContractsHome Service Club ContractsChoice Contracts

Restrictions Compared

Home Warranties with the Best Restrictions:  First American RestrictionsAmerican Home Shield Restrictions

Contractor Network Compared

Customer Base Compared

Home Warranties with the Best Customer Base:  American Home Shield Customer BaseChoice Customer Base

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 Warranty9.59.09.58.59.09.0
Home Service Club Home Warranty10.010.09.57.08.57.5
TotalProtect Home Warranty9.58.38.58.08.58.5
First American Home Warranty8.57.58.59.88.58.0
Select Home Warranty8.07.28.89.09.08.5
Choice Home Warranty9.56.08.98.97.09.5
American Home Guard Home Warranty8.08.08.08.58.08.0
Secure Home Warranty8.08.07.67.77.08.0
Allied Home Warranty8.06.07.98.78.08.0
Federal Home Assurance Home Warranty8.07.07.07.07.08.0
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
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
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FAQ

What is a home warranty and how is it different from homeowner insurance?

A home warranty is a service contract that will help repair or replace systems (like plumbing, heating, electrical) and appliances (like dishwashers, ovens, garbage disposals) in your home, whereas a homeowners insurance policies cover damage to your home.

Not all home warranties are the same and not all systems and appliances are covered, so make sure you read the policy carefully before you make the purchase. If the coverage you need is not included in the basic warranty, it may be worthwhile to look into an enhanced warranty.

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Latest Reviews

Reviews help other customers make decisions. Share your experience with Home Warranties
J
JOHN DONTRICH
,
12/7/2016
Had absolutely no problems with the very professional young man who arrived on time, explained what needed done, fixed the problem, and departed.

B
Bobbyspradling
12/7/2016
Thanks for getting someone out to me so fast

D
Donna Garner
,
12/6/2016
Fortunately I have only needed to call Choice once. But when I did, they came out quickly and did a professional job with care like it was their own house. I've had two other top warranty companies, but Choice has them beat by far. Donna Garner in Surprise, AZ

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