Choice Home Warranty Review
November 14, 2019 – In October of 2019, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against Choice, potentially putting its reputation for good customer service at risk. The lawsuit contends that Choice does not deliver on “swift and timely” customer service, instead using payment caps, contract exclusions, and bad-faith refusals to avoid paying for promised coverage. The lawsuit is still ongoing, and we will continue to update this page as details are released. We reached out to Choice but have yet to receive a response.
Founded in 2008, Choice Home Warranty isn’t just the fastest-growing home warranty company in the U.S. — it’s one of the fastest-growing companies, period. For the past seven years, it’s made Inc.com’s annual list of the fastest-growing private companies in America. That explosive growth is due in part to Choice’s investment in technology, which allows it to process claims faster than many of its competitors. When a system or appliance breaks down, no one wants to wait long to get a service appointment scheduled; 80% of Choice claims receive a response within just four hours. That’s why we named Choice one of the best home warranty companies of 2019.
Choice offers two main home warranty plans, along with a few standalone coverage options. The Basic Plan covers 14 of the most common home systems and appliances, including heating, plumbing, dishwasher, microwave, and stove. The Total Plan includes everything the Basic Plan covers, plus four critical additions: air conditioning, refrigerator, washer, and dryer. Finally, standalone coverage options are available for pools and spas, well pumps, sump pumps, central vacuums, roof leaks, septic systems, second refrigerators, and standalone freezers.
“We’re the tech leaders in the home warranty industry,” Victor Mandalawi, President of Choice Home Warranty, told Reviews.com in an email. “We’re a tech company that happens to be in home warranties. Our technology allows us to process claims faster and serve our customers better.” On its website, Choice promises “to always offer our customers fast and simple solutions, along with excellent service technicians.”
Is it true?
Yes. When it comes to speed, Choice processes claims faster than anyone else we’ve come across in the home warranty industry. American Home Shield, for example, promises to respond within 48 hours in its sample contract, but Choice processes 80% of its claims within just four hours. (To be clear, that doesn’t mean 80% of its claims are approved for replacements or repairs, only that they quickly schedule a service visit to help make a determination.) Choice also boasts a reasonable service fee of $85 (other providers can range as high as $125), and it enjoys great customer service ratings from sites like Consumer Affairs.
Comprehensive coverage and lightning-fast responses
|Customer service hours||24/7|
|Plans offered||Basic Plan Total Plan (recommended) Standalone add-ons|
|Workmanship guarantee||90 days parts, 30 days labor|
|Standout features||Responds to 90% of claims in just 4 hours Great customer service ratings Comprehensive coverage Free first month|
Fast, 24/7 claims processing
Homeowners submit a home warranty claim when a system or appliance (that is covered by their contract) breaks down. The home warranty company will then dispatch a service technician to visit your home and determine whether your contract will cover a replacement or repair, based on how and why your system or appliance has malfunctioned or stopped working. Choice Home Warranty offers some of the fastest claims processing in the industry — usually in four hours or less. That doesn’t mean a service technician will arrive within four hours, only that your claim will be processed and your technician visit scheduled. Still, it’s faster than most of Choice’s competitors in the home warranty space.
Upfront pricing and liability caps
As we noted in our methodology when picking the best home warranty companies, we only recommend providers who make sample contracts available online. We love how Choice puts a sample contract right in the main navigation bar of its website (under “user agreement”) instead of burying it on another page. Being upfront about liability caps and service fees bodes well for the company’s transparency and accountability.
Free first month
Choice waives the first month’s contract fee with the purchase of a single payment plan. While that’s common among TV providers and other services, it’s pretty rare for a home warranty company, and will make a nice little dent in your annual cost.
Few customization options
We wish Choice’s home warranty plans were a little more flexible or a la carte, so you could pay for only the systems and appliances you need. The two plans Choice currently offers are comprehensive, but some of the most critical things every homeowner would probably want covered (air conditioning, refrigerator, clothes washer and dryer) are only available with the more expensive plan.
Low plumbing cap
Choice’s liability cap on plumbing repairs is $500 per contract term. That’s not unusual, but it’s considerably lower than American Home Shield’s $1,000 plumbing cap. According to HomeAdvisor.org, in 2019 the average plumbing repair costs between $172 and $451, so Choice’s cap should still cover plenty of homeowners. But if you live in an older house with an outdated plumbing system, the lower cap could leave you high and (perhaps not) dry.
|Choice Home Warranty||American Home Shield||AFC Home Club||The Home Service Club|
|Service fee||$85||$75, $100, or $125||$60||$65 or $95|
|Workmanship guarantee||90 days parts, 30 days labor||60 days||Life of contract||90 days parts, 30 days labor|
|View plans||View plans||View plans||View plans|
Choice Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield
As of 2019, Choice is one of the largest home warranty companies in the United States, though not as large as American Home Shield (AHS). Overall, AHS offers more generous liability caps and more customizable plans, but Choice boasts a cheaper service fee, a longer workmanship guarantee, and slightly higher customer satisfaction ratings.
Choice Home Warranty vs. AFC Home Club
The biggest differentiator between Choice Home Warranty and AFC Home Club is the workmanship guarantee — also known as the recall period — specified in their sample contracts. Choice’s repairs and replacements are guaranteed for 90 days for parts and 30 days for labor, which is pretty standard. But AFC Home Club actually guarantees their work for the life of your contract, which is incredible. Also, AFC Home Club’s $60 service fee is among the lowest in the industry. However, Choice is available in all 50 states, whereas AFC Home Club doesn’t offer warranties in California, South Carolina, or Hawaii.
Choice Home Warranty vs. Home Service Club
At first glance, Choice and The Home Service Club look pretty similar. Both offer the same workmanship guarantee (90 days parts, 30 days labor). One thing we like about Home Service Club is that their lower-cost plan includes air conditioning, refrigerators, washers, and dryers — with Choice, you’ll have to purchase the more expensive “Total Plan” in order to cover those.
Choice Home Warranty FAQ
Does Choice Home Warranty require a home inspection?
No, Choice doesn’t require a home inspection. However, they do recommend one “to make sure all items are in good working order,” because their contracts won’t cover “any known or unknown pre-existing conditions.”
Does Choice Home Warranty have a recall period for repairs?
Yes, Choice offers a “workmanship guarantee” for repairs and replacements — 90 days for parts, 30 days for labor.
The Bottom Line
Choice Home Warranty offers some of the most comprehensive plans in the industry, along with an affordable service fee and a respectable workmanship guarantee. But the feature that makes Choice stand out from the crowd is its lightning-fast claims processing, thanks to Choice’s investments in technology and customer service. If you want everything in your home to be covered by a home warranty plan — and you want a quick response in the event of a claim — Choice is an excellent . . . well . . . choice.