Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a home warranty industry giant that has provided comprehensive home protection plans to homeowners across the U.S. since 2008. With robust coverage options even at its most basic plan level, high overall customer satisfaction scores, and competitively low average premiums, Choice Home Warranty has earned its spot as a frontrunner among the best home warranty companies on the market.
Because Choice Home Warranty charges less than the national average monthly home warranty cost, prospective customers often wonder if such lower rates could indicate inadequate coverage. We’ve put together this cost-to-coverage analysis to help you better understand if Choice Home Warranty is the right fit for your budget and home protection objectives.
What is Choice Home Warranty and How Does it Work?
Choice Home Warranty is a top-rated home warranty provider that works to cover homeowners for the cost of repairing or replacing their major household appliances and built-in systems in the event of unexpected breakdowns. Based in Edison, New Jersey, CHW currently provides service to more than 1.6 million homes across 49 states (excluding Washington) and the District of Columbia.
Like most home warranty service contracts, Choice Home Warranty instates a 30-day waiting period before your coverage benefits are activated. One month after the purchase date of your policy, your home warranty coverage is in effect for 365 days and can be set to renew on the first day of the next year. Choice even offers multi-year coverage plans for homeowners looking to make a long-term commitment.
It’s important to understand that home warranty coverage only extends to damages caused by natural wear and tear. Choice Home Warranty won’t cover appliance or system failures due to:
- Pre-existing conditions
- Secondary damage (i.e., cabinetry wood rot as a result of a pipe break under your kitchen sink)
- Misuse, neglect, or intentional damage to the item
- Damage caused by improper routine maintenance (rust, corrosion, mold, mildew, etc.)
- Cosmetic or factory defects
- Improper installations, incompatible systems, oversized/undersized systems, etc.
- Damage caused by invasive wildlife, pests, or household pets
- Damage caused by natural disasters or other losses that overlap with home insurance coverage
Once you’ve enrolled in a Choice Home Warranty plan, using your policy benefits to repair or replace a covered item in your home is simple. Here’s a breakdown of how to use your Choice Home Warranty coverage:
- File a claim — To initiate the service request process, you’ll need to notify CHW of the issue by filing a claim. This can be done through your designated online customer portal or over the phone via Choice Home Warranty’s live customer service department, which is available 24/7/365.
- Claims process — It can take Choice Home Warranty anywhere from 24-48 business hours to process your claim and report back with a decision. Choice Home Warranty vouches to begin contacting local contractors in your area within four hours of your claim approval.
- Diagnostic home visit — Before a repair or replacement can be made, Choice will first send out a pre-vetted technician from their internal contract network to assess the issue in person. The technician will provide Choice with a price estimate for the required maintenance.
- Service call fee — At this initial appointment, you’ll be responsible for paying an $85 service fee. This deductible covers the technician for labor costs and any expenses incurred while traveling to your home. You’ll be required to pay this fee each time you file a claim for a new service request. However, if the repair is less than $85, you’ll only need to pay the smaller amount.
- Cash back — In some cases, when an item cannot be repaired and requires a total replacement, CHW may opt to compensate you for the new item in a cash payment instead of the actual replacement of any covered system, appliance, or component. This value may vary based on fluctuations in retail pricing and does not include tax, shipping, or installation costs.
- Repair or replacement — Once Choice Home Warranty approves the price quote it received from the contractor, it’ll then pay for the final repair or replacement. A workmanship guarantee covers all maintenance work approved by Choice for 90 days on parts and 30 days on labor. You won’t be required to pay a repeat service fee for failures within those set timeframes.
Read our in-depth Choice Home Warranty review for further details on this company.
Pros and Cons of Choice Home Warranty
- Has a pre-screened contractor network of over 25,000 licensed and insured technicians
- Supports 24/7/365 customer service
- Doesn’t require an initial home inspection for sign-up eligibility
- Has annual coverage limits of up to $3,000 per item
- Pending civil lawsuit may deter prospective customers
- Doesn’t allow customers to choose their technician
How Much Does Choice Home Warranty Cost?
Choice Home Warranty prices its standard coverage as low as $45 per month for the Basic Plan and $53.33 per month for the Total Plan. From an annual standpoint, that’s $560 or $660 per year.
Choice also has nine elective coverage riders that can be added to your policy as you see fit to protect items that the standard plan won’t cover. The cost of these optional add-ons ranges between $3.33-$15, or an extra $40-$180 per year. Ultimately, the amount you’ll pay per add-on closely aligns with how much it would typically cost to repair the item out-of-pocket. For example, coverage for pools and spas is more expensive than protection for limited roof leaks or second refrigerators.
Remember that you’ll also pay an $85 service fee each time a technician is dispatched to your home for a new service request. Compared to competing providers with service fees ranging from $60 to $150, Choice Home Warranty’s service fee sits at the lower end of the industry average.
Choice rewards new customers with an additional $50 off plus the first month of coverage for free with the purchase of any single-payment home warranty plan.
Factors that Impact Choice Home Warranty Cost
Choice Home Warranty’s pricing framework largely depends on the type of plan you select, the location of your home, and whether or not you tack optional coverage add-ons onto your policy.
Choice Home Warranty has two standard plan options, both offering combined coverage for a mix of major appliances and systems but at different levels. The Basic Plan is Choice’s most cost-effective policy option simply because it has a shorter list of 14 inclusions. For $8.33 more per month or $99.96 more per year, the Total Plan level throws in four additional home systems and appliances for a total of 18 inclusions.
Here’s an overview of the exact appliances and systems that each base plan covers:
|Covered Appliance or System||The Basic Plan||The Total Plan|
|Air Conditioning System||–||✓|
|Cooktop Exhaust Fans||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||✓||✓|
As previously mentioned, Choice Home Warranty has a number of optional coverage riders available to homeowners who wish to take their plan one step further. The more add-ons you tack onto your policy, the more you’ll pay per month.
CHW offers the following optional add-on coverage items:
- Limited roof leak protection
- Septic systems
- Well pumps
- Septic tank pumping
- Sump pumps
- Central vacuum
- Stand-alone freezers
- Second Refrigerators
The geographic location of the property being covered may impact the cost of your home warranty. Choice Home Warranty’s premiums vary slightly by state and region, which is relatively common industry-wide.
Homeowners in states with more competition from other leading home warranty providers, like Florida and California, will have access to more affordable coverage as each provider is fighting to offer the most cost-effective rate. On the other hand, states with fewer service providers present, such as Alaska and New York, have less internal competition and, therefore, slightly higher premiums.
Are Choice Home Warranty Services Worth it?
After using our five-step methodology to determine whether Choice Home Warranty’s coverage framework aligns with its already moderate pricing, our in-house research team deems a Choice Home Warranty policy worth $45 or $53.33 per month.
Given that homeowners nationwide spend an annual average of $1,640 on emergency home repairs at the cost of $1,400 per breakdown, Choice’s $3,000 per-item annual coverage caps offer a generous financial buffer relative to its cost-effective monthly premiums. Homeowners who opt for the Total Plan will pay a flat rate of $660 per year for standard coverage, which is approximately 40% (or less) of what you would pay to cover an emergency appliance or system failure out-of-pocket. In other words, your home warranty plan will essentially pay for itself after just one to two breakdowns in your home.
The true value of a home protection plan through Choice Home Warranty is the peace of mind it imparts by helping homeowners avoid four-figure repair bills while also connecting them with trusted local contractors. Especially for appliances and systems throughout your home that get daily use, everything from minor malfunctions to total breakdowns are inevitable. Many of these items, and their issues, are too complex to be resolved with a DIY approach. But for professional servicing without a home warranty, repairs and replacements can easily cost several thousands of dollars to perform, which roughly 56% of Americans can’t afford upfront.
With a home warranty plan, homeowners no longer have to worry about unexpected breakdowns eating into their savings or spare time. Instead, they’ll need to file a claim for the issue as soon as it happens, pay the $85 service fee, and allow Choice Home Warranty to take care of the rest. Within a matter of hours, Choice Home Warranty will recruit fully insured, pre-screened contractors to repair or replace the broken item, all at no additional cost to you.
Hidden Fees with Choice Home Warranty
Though Choice Home Warranty is upfront about the potential of outlying fees on its main website, and within its sample contract, some of these instances are still sometimes overlooked by homeowners.
Nearly all home appliances and systems included in Choice’s coverage are protected for up to $3,000 in repairs or replacements per item per year. As generous as these coverage limits are, there’s still a chance a major breakdown in your home, especially if you have higher-end appliances, might exceed these caps. If that ends up being the case, you’ll need to be prepared to pay any remaining balance outside of the specified payout limit out-of-pocket. Though this technically isn’t a “hidden” fee, it’s still something that customers often don’t see coming.
Repeat Service Fees
As we’ve covered, Choice Home Warranty charges an $85 service fee each time a new claim is submitted. Homeowners may be charged a repeat service fee if they request another service visit for the same appliance or system.
To help prevent instances like these, Choice offers a workmanship warranty that backs all repairs made by its in-network contractors for 90 days on parts and 30 days on labor.
All subsequent breakdowns that occur during that window of time won’t require you to pay anything further out-of-pocket. However, after the workmanship guarantee expires, you’ll be responsible for paying another service fee plus the cost of any repair work that exceeds the item’s coverage limit.
Should you decide Choice Home Warranty isn’t the right fit for your home, you’ll receive a full refund so long as you cancel within the first 30 days and haven’t yet filed any claims. After that 30-day window, you’ll be charged a $50 cancellation fee and will be refunded on a pro-rata basis.
Home Size Fee
According to Choice Home Warranty’s sample policy, its standard service agreement is only designed to cover occupied homes under 5,000 square feet. Homes larger than 5,000 square feet are still eligible for coverage through Choice, but with an additional fee of $140 more per year, bumping your annual premium from $660 to $800.
Choice also briefly mentions in its contract terms that customers may be charged an additional fee for the disposal of a covered system, appliance, or any of its components. The fee’s extent will depend on the defunct item(s) size.
Tips to Save Money on Choice Home Warranty Cost
- Identify your key coverage needs: To avoid overpaying for a plan that exaggerates your actual coverage needs, we advise taking a walk around your home and making a list of both the items used on a regular basis and any appliances/systems that are five years old and up. You’ll want to base your plan selection around the items you wish to prioritize.
- Be as transparent as possible about the issue: Never try to secure coverage for a failure that doesn’t 100% comply with the coverage terms stated in your contract. Even when a warranty claim is approved, when a technician is dispatched to your home and finds that the issue is, in fact, ineligible for coverage, you’ll still have to pay that $85 service fee.
- Keep up with home maintenance: The best way to keep your home in good working order is to be proactive about routine tune-ups in the first place. Upon sign-up, all Choice Home Warranty customers will be asked if they’d like to opt-in to receive automated home maintenance reminders.
Today’s Homeowner rates Choice Home Warranty with 4.9 out of 5 stars as the best overall home warranty option on the market, specifically for its ability to offer affordable rates without compromising coverage. With over 14 years of industry experience, Choice Home Warranty is a clear contender for any homeowner in search of a home protection plan that effectively substitutes big-ticket household repair bills for a low monthly or annual payment.
Interested in a policy through Choice Home Warranty? To find out if Choice Home Warranty offers the right level of protection for your property, generate a free quote by filling out this online form or by calling 929-400-6164.
FAQs About Choice Home Warranty
What is the monthly surcharge on Choice Home Warranty?
Beyond your monthly premium payment, Choice Home Warranty doesn’t impose any additional surcharges beyond the initially quoted price.
Does Choice Home Warranty cover home electrical appliances?
Yes. Both Choice Home Warranty’s Total and Basic Plans cover home electrical appliances, including everything from smaller kitchen appliances to larger laundry units.
Each base plan also includes general coverage for electric systems, including electrical panels, light switches, outlets, wiring, light fixtures, and more. Damage caused by circuit overloads are not covered.
What is Choice Home Warranty's contact information?
Choice Home Warranty can be contacted online or over the phone at: (929)-400-6164.
Is there a lawsuit against Choice Home Warranty?
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), by which Choice Home Warranty is not accredited, the Arizona Attorney General’s Office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit in 2019 under the premise that Choice was baselessly denying claims with the intention of deceiving its customers. Though the lawsuit has not yet been settled to date, it seems that Choice has made an active effort to disprove the accusations against it as it paid out 90% of 1.1 million claims filed by its customers in 2021.
Today's Homeowner Home Warranty Ranking Methodology
At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader.
To create this rating system, our team spent hours researching over 60 companies, analyzing 2500+ key data points, getting the thoughts and opinions of 1000+ homeowners, and speaking to home warranty company representatives directly. We also dug into the fine print on each company’s service agreement to ensure no detail was left out.
We developed an objective home warranty review and rating methodology to score each home warranty company based on several criteria. We used a five-point scale with a point index ranging from 0.00 to 1.00. The minimum awardable value is 0.0, whereas 1.00 is the maximum. These numeric points are translated into star ratings, using whole star increments between one and five.
Here is a quick breakdown of our five core scoring categories:
- Coverage (0.4): This category evaluates the scope of protection offered by a home warranty provider. We clearly distinguished between limited or broad coverage to help homeowners identify their own home protection needs. We also factor in claim turnaround times, average waiting period lengths, plan types, annual coverage limits, policy exclusions, etc.
- Cost (0.3): This category considers what home warranty companies charge homeowners monthly, annual, and out-of-pocket. We urge homeowners also to consider the cost-to-value ratio of a home warranty plan.
- Transparency and Trustworthiness (0.15): This category evaluates home warranty providers based on pending or past legal action, hidden fees, lack of information readily available on the website, exclusions, and more. We consider how upfront a company is to its potential policyholders, which says a lot about its products and services.
- Customer Support and Satisfaction (.09): This category evaluates the efficacy of a home warranty company’s effort to provide supportive guidance to inquiring customers and how policyholders are satisfied with the assistance they receive.
- Customization (.06): This category evaluates the ability of homeowners to adjust and choose their policy details, such as pricing variation, optional add-ons, and the number of plans available.