- Price/Fee: $74.99/mo.
- Coverage: Major appliances, including refrigerator, dishwasher, washer and dryer, oven and cooktop, built-in microwave, free-standing ice maker, garage door opener, and trash compactor.
- Price/Fee: $74.99/mo.
- Coverage: Major systems, including heating with ductwork, electrical, water heater, garbage disposal, air conditioning, ceiling fans, and doorbells.
- Price/Fee: $84.99/mo.
- Coverage: All systems and appliances are covered in the first two plans.
- Price/Fee: Varies depending on systems and appliances chosen
- Coverage: Choose your own options from a list of 21 systems and appliances.
How we chose the best home warranty companies
Reviews.com scores products, services, and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the best home warranty companies, our editorial team compared customer satisfaction ratings and experience, cost, time in business, and coverage to determine the best providers and calculate our very own Reviews.com score. These scores were created with our readers in mind and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which home warranty company is best for you.
Guide to Home Warranties
Types of home warranties
A regular homeowners warranty is the right choice for most people. It’s a great choice if you are currently in a home that you own (or have mortgaged) and are not in the process of moving in the near future. You’ll pay for your warranty either by month or annually, and it will cover either your home systems, such as electrical and plumbing, your major appliances, including fridges and dishwashers, or some combination of both of these options.
Home warranties are not meant to substitute for your homeowners insurance, which covers you from damage caused by weather conditions, theft, or other named perils. A home warranty’s purpose is to help you pay for repairs when normal wear and tear takes a toll on your home.
A homebuyer’s warranty is similar in scope to a regular homeowners warranty, but tweaked slightly to make it a great choice for anyone who is purchasing a home, and doesn’t want to be saddled with repairs before the boxes are unpacked. The homebuyer’s warranty may be paid by the buyer as part of the closing costs, or by the seller or realtor.
Seller’s home warranty
A seller’s home warranty is also similar in coverage to the homeowners warranty, but gives you the security of knowing that last-minute repairs or requests by the homebuyer will not cost you out-of-pocket. It may also be a perk that is intended to increase the desirability of your property for potential homebuyers.
Other Home Warranties
Home warranties for rental properties: if you own a rental property, a home warranty that is specifically designed for landlords may help you when there are major repairs to be made on your property. They are especially useful if your property is older and more likely to require a claim.
How to choose a home warranty?
It can be overwhelming to figure out where to start with choosing your home warranty. There are many companies that offer these services, and offerings can look very different from one company to the next.
The important thing to know is what you really need in a home warranty. Consider what appliances you want coverage for, and don’t forget that some appliances may come with their own warranty, meaning you don’t need to buy additional coverage for them. Just because a company offers coverage for a certain item doesn’t necessarily mean you need it.
- Step 1: Decide what type of coverage you need. Before you start looking at specific companies, decide how much and what type of coverage you need.
- Step 2: Research and compare different companies. Once you have an idea of what coverage you need, start shopping around for companies that offer that coverage.
- Step 3: Get quotes from your top contenders. Once you decide what companies you like, get quotes from a few so you can compare.
- Step 4: Purchase your home warranty policy. After getting quotes from your top choices, sign up for the one that offers the best value.
How Does Home Warranty Work?
A home warranty lowers your out-of-pocket costs when a covered appliance or system in your home breaks down. You typically file a claim with your warranty provider, and they’ll cover the cost to either repair or replace the item, minus any deductible or service fee you’re responsible for. A contractor will generally first try to repair an item. If they can’t repair it, then the warranty company will cover the cost of purchasing a comparable product.
Coverage varies from one home warranty to the next. When you sign up, your provider gives you the choice of different plans, each of which cover specific systems and appliances. Assume that if your home warranty contract doesn’t explicitly list a certain item, it doesn’t provide coverage.
FAQs About Home Warranty
A home warranty is an optional contract you can purchase that pays for repairs to your appliances and home systems when normal wear and tear causes something to go wrong with them.
The home warranties we compared cost anywhere from $24 to $85 per month.
There’s no one best company for everyone. All ten of our top home warranty choices offer comprehensive coverage options as reasonable rates. You’ll want to match your needs with a company’s offerings to see which one is the best fit for you.
They can be, especially if you own an older house or appliances, or you’re not interested in tackling fix-it jobs yourself. In those cases, a home warranty can save you money.
Generally, they cover systems (electrical, plumbing, HVAC, and more) and/or appliances (refrigerators, dishwashers, dryers). Some companies include coverage for things like doorbells and garage door openers, or offer add-ons such as septic system or sump pump coverage.
Generally, you call a toll-free line or fill in a form on the company’s website. If the claim is approved, they will assign a service technician to come to your house to assess and make the repair at your convenience. You will, in most cases, pay a single service charge of anywhere from $50-$125, and the rest will be covered by the company. If your item isn’t fixable, your warranty company should offer to replace it, or give you the cash so that you can replace it.
Your first step is to contact the company, as soon as you notice the problem. They will determine whether to send out a technician again or, in the case of an appliance, whether they will pay for you to replace the damaged item.
Usually the company will choose the cheaper option. If the technician assigned to make a repair reports back to the company that an item cannot be fixed, they may determine that replacement is their best option. They will either purchase a similar item for you, or give you cash to purchase your own.
Home warranties are sometimes part of the closing costs for the buyer, but they are just as likely to be paid by the seller or the real estate agent, or not be offered at all.
Yes, although some companies may charge a fee if you cancel in between contract renewal periods.
Home warranties often don’t cover:
- Cosmetic defects on your appliances
- Improper installation, misuse, or neglect
- Secondary damage when a system or appliance breaks
- Pre Existing conditions (though some companies do cover these)
Be sure to check your warranty’s fine print to learn what is and is not covered.