Sears Home Warranty Review
The Sears Home Warranty is a solid option for homeowners with lots of appliances and systems or an older home. With a few exceptions, Sears places a generous $10,000 liability cap on each claim — an impressive amount given that many other home warranty providers would only pay out $500 max for a repair or replacement. Sears also offers a long 180-day workmanship guarantee and offers broad coverage of major appliances and systems, such as central air and heat, plumbing, electrical, washers, dryers, ovens, and refrigerators. Sears services homeowners in all 50 states, as well as Puerto Rico.
While the future of retail Sears is up in the air – the company, long plagued by challenges in the marketplace, filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018 in an effort to restructure and replan – Sears Home Warranty seems unaffected. Coverage and customer service for Sears Home Warranty wasn’t impacted by this measure because, according to a statement posted on the Sears website at the time, the home warranties are underwritten by an independent company, Cross Country Home Services. Thus, the state of Sears retail isn’t entirely correlated to its home warranty service.
“A Sears Home Warranty is a single protection plan that covers multiple appliances and systems in your home, regardless of their age, brand or where they were purchased.”
Is it true?
Yes. Sears covers all the major appliances and systems, such as central air and heat, plumbing, washers, dryers, refrigerators, and ovens — the majority of which is covered under a $10,000 cap per claim.
Homeowners who want a lot of appliances and systems covered; homeowners living in older homes
Homeowners on a budget
|Price||$49.99 – $69.99/mo.|
|Customer service hours||24/7|
|Plans offered||Appliance Plan Systems Plan Whole House Plan|
|Workmanship guarantee||180 days|
|Standout features||$10,000 cap per claim Comprehensive coverage 180-day workmanship guarantee|
$10,000 cap per claim
For the majority of appliances and systems, Sears will cover each claim for up to $10,000. Many other home warranty companies will tailor the liability cap for each item depending on the estimated repair or replacement cost, but Sears offers the flat $10,000 per claim, with an annual cap of $50,000. This is a great deal, especially if you’re living in an older home with items that you know will need repairs soon. The notable exceptions to this policy include pools and commercial or “ultra-premium” kitchen appliances, which have a $1,000 limit.
Sears offers three plans: the Appliance Plan ($49.99/month), the Systems Plan ($59.99/month), and the Whole House Plan ($69.99/month). While they’re all a little on the pricier side, they offer broad coverage of the most important things you’d need covered in your home. For example, the Whole House Plan covers refrigerators, washers, dryers, ovens, ranges, cooktops, and built-in trash compactors, as well as central A/C and heat, plumbing, ceiling fans, electrical systems, and garage door openers.
The company will also cover unknown pre-existing conditions and throw in other benefits for being under the Sears umbrella, like discounted oil changes at Sears Auto Centers (another survivor of retail Sears’ issues, although there will be fewer locations).
180-day workmanship guarantee
In the event of a faulty repair or replacement, Sears will waive the service fee for another technician to come out for up to 180 days. Compared to many other competitors that offer 30-day recall periods, this is a generous policy that prioritizes you as the consumer. Our only other pick that exceeds this guarantee is AFC Home Club, which we awarded “Best Workmanship Guarantee” for covering your appliances and systems for the life of your contract.
It’s no secret that Sears has been undergoing huge challenges in the marketplace for the last couple of decades. Because Sears Home Services is underwritten by an independent company (Cross Country Home Services), your home warranty coverage and customer service is still covered even as Sears filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy in October 2018 to restructure the company. Its retail future is still unclear, but for now, the home services wing of the business seems to be safe.
Low liability cap on pools and some premium appliances
The $10,000 claims cap doesn’t cover everything. Most home warranty companies place a limit on some appliances and systems, so this is par for the course. The exceptions to Sears generous cap include pools ($1,000 limit), commercial or “ultra-premium” kitchen appliances ($1,000 limit), systems that have been converted from coal-to-oil, coal-to-gas, or oil-to-gas ($1,500 limit), septic tanks ($500 limit to pump and $1,000 limit to replace), and hot water or steam heating systems, such as radiators ($1,500 limit).
|Sears Home Warranty||American Home Shield||Choice Home Warranty||The Home Service Club|
|Service fee||$75, $100, or $125||$75, $100, or $125||$85||$65 or $95|
|Workmanship guarantee||180 days||60 days||90 days parts, 30 days labor||90 days parts, 30 days labor|
|View plans||View plans||View plans||View plans|
Sears Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield
Sears and American Home Shield are similar in that they provide coverage to all 50 states and charge identical service fees. However, AHS, which we named “Best Overall” in our Best Workmanship Guarantee, offers Build Your Own plans where you can customize which appliances and systems you want covered — a move that can bring down the cost of your plan significantly compared to Sears’ premium plans. On the flip side, though, Sears does offer higher liability caps ($10,000 per claim vs. $3,000) and has a longer workmanship guarantee (180 days vs. 60 days).
Sears Home Warranty vs. Choice Home Warranty
Sears offers higher liability caps than Choice Home Warranty. For example, if something goes wrong with your plumbing system, Choice would pay for up to $500 in repairs, while Sears would cover it for up to $10,000. Sears also has a longer workmanship guarantee of 180 days, compared to Choice’s policy of 90 days for parts and 30 days for labor.
Sears Home Warranty vs. The Home Service Club
The Home Service Club offers flexible coverage plans: the “Standard Coverage” will cover 18 of the most common appliances and systems, which can be extended with “Comprehensive Coverage” to 15 more categories. Sears only offers separate plans for Appliances and Systems, with the Whole House Plan clocking in at $69.99 per month. If you’re a new homeowner with fewer appliances and systems, you may be paying for too much coverage with a Sears plan.
Sears Home Warranty FAQ
Does Sears Home Warranty require a home inspection?
No. Activation of your Sears home warranty contract does not require a home inspection. You can sign up for a plan online or through the phone. From there, your plan will activate 30 days after registration.
Does Sears Home Warranty have a recall period for repairs?
Yes. Sears has a recall period, or “workmanship guarantee,” of 180 days. This means that the company will cover any faulty repairs or replacements for up to 180 days by waiving the service fee for a technician to fix the issue. With the exception of AFC Home Club, which offers a guarantee for the entire life of your contract, most other home warranty companies have guarantees of 30 or 60 days.
Is Sears going out of business?
While we can’t predict the future of Sears retail, we do know that Sears Home Services and its home warranty business was unaffected by the Chapter 11 bankruptcy filed on October 2018 (company restructure). Sears Home Services is underwritten by Cross Country Home Services, an independent underwriting company, so it’s largely separate from the retail side, which has been closing stores over the past 20 years.