To help make it easier for you to choose the right warranty, we reviewed the best home warranty companies to find out how they compare. We looked at factors such as plan options, optional add-ons, service fees, accreditations, and ratings.
Keep reading to learn more about home protection plans to help you choose the right coverage for you and your home.
In This Article:
- #1 Best Overall: American Home Shield
- #2 Best for Aging Homes: Choice Home Warranty
- #3 Most Customizable Plan Options: America’s 1st Choice Home Club
- #4 Most Comprehensive Claim Coverage: First American
- #5 Best For Value Shoppers: Select Home Warranty
- What Is A Home Warranty And Why Is It Important?
- Frequently Asked Questions
Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions. The reviews are always independent. For transparency, we may be compensated if you purchase through a link.
#1 Best Overall: American Home Shield
Our top choice overall is American Home Shield, a company that has been in business since 1971. Their home warranty plans are available in 49 states (all except Alaska) and take effect 30 days after purchase. American Home Shield is BBB Accredited, receiving a rating of B.
To make it easy to file and follow-up on a claim, customers can track their claim through the American Home Shield website. Once the claim has been filed, you can track claims through their website to more easily receive status updates. When filing a claim, you are assigned a contractor to address your repairs. If you choose to instead work with an outside contractor, they must first be approved by American Home Shield.
Something else that makes American Home Shield unique is the “Build Your Own Plan,” which allows the homeowner to choose up to 21 systems and applications, plus optional coverages, to include in a customized warranty plan.
The company offers 3 different plan options, plus the Build Your Own Plan:
|Systems Plan||Appliances Plan||Combo Plan|
|Built-in microwave ovens||✔||✔|
|Garage door openers||✔||✔|
|Free-standing ice makers||✔||✔|
|Built-in food centers||✔||✔|
|Instant hot/cold water dispensers||✔||✔|
The Build Your Own Plan includes your choice of up to 21 systems and appliances, plus optional coverage of pool and/or in-ground spa equipment, well pump, and septic system plumbing & septic sewage ejector pump.
These optional add-ons are also available to you:
- Pool and/or in-ground spa equipment
- Well pump
- Septic system plumbing and septic sewage ejector pump
- Extended warranties for electronics
Though the pricing of the plan can vary depending on the plan you choose, the average cost of a home warranty from American Home Shield is around $20–$65 per month. All plans come with a recall period of 60 days for both labor and service recalls.
Plans can be individualized to set service call fees at $75, $100, or $125. By choosing a higher service fee, you may pay less on your premium, while a lower service fee can increase your monthly premium.
Why We Recommend American Home Shield
We picked American Home Shield as the best overall coverage because it has a cap of up to $3,000 per item for most appliances and systems.
#2 Best for Aging Homes: Choice Home Warranty
Upon completing our research, we rated Choice Home Warranty as the best for aging homes. Unlike others, this provider doesn’t deny coverage based on the age of systems or appliances. And even though the company has only been in business since 2008, it already provides warranties in 48 out of 50 states (excluding California and Oklahoma). As with most home warranties, service begins 30 days after the plan purchase.
Choice Home Warranty is currently not BBB Accredited, receiving a rating from customers of B-. Despite this, it has received countless positive reviews on Trustpilot and Consumer Affairs.
The company offers 2 different plan options with a choice of add-ons:
|Basic Plan||Total Plan|
|Oven, stove, and cooktop||✔||✔|
|Exhaust and ceiling fans||✔||✔|
|Garage door opener||✔||✔|
|Clothes washer and dryer||✔|
The following optional add-ons are also available from Choice Home Warranty:
- Second refrigerators
- Well pumps
- Sump pumps
- Central vacuums
- Pools / Spas
- Limited roof leaks
- Stand-alone freezers
- Septic tank plumbing
- Septic Systems
The average homeowner pays anywhere from $29 and $42 per month, depending on factors such as the coverage and your location. Be aware that the cost of your plan can depend on the size of your home—if it is larger than 5,000 square feet, you could end up paying more.
Service call fees generally range from $60-$85, with a 90-day guarantee on parts and a 30-day guarantee on labor.
Choice Home Warranty does have some caps on specific coverages, so make sure to look over the User Agreement.
Why We Recommend Choice Home Warranty
We recommend Choice Home Warranty because they offer inclusive warranties at low prices, while ranking as one of the best warranty companies in terms of customer satisfaction.
#3 Most Customizable Plan Options: America’s 1st Choice Home Club
We have found that the most customizable plans are provided by America’s 1st Choice Home Club. The company has been in business since 2009 and provides services in all 50 states. Its policies begin 30 days after purchase.
The company is BBB Accredited and has received a rating of B. America’s 1st Choice Home Club stands out as the company has received significantly fewer BBB complaints than any of the other top warranty providers, a tribute to their quality.
The company offers 4 different plan options:
|System Plan||Silver Plan||Gold Plan||Platinum Plan|
|Air conditioning/ cooler||✔||✔||✔|
|Garage door opener||✔||✔||✔|
You can also choose from the following optional add-ons:
- Sump pump
- Septic system
- Hot water dispenser
- Pool and spa
- Standalone freezer
- Tankless water heater
Additional coverage is available to add for any plan for sump pump, septic system, hot water dispenser, pool & spa, standalone freezer, and tankless water heater.
Pricing for plan options will depend on the type of plan and service fee amount you choose, but an annual premium can start as low as $32 per month. Certain discounts are available, depending on the length of the contract or if you choose to pay the amount upfront instead of in installments. AFC’s service fee options include $75, $100, and $125.
Why We Recommend America’s 1st Choice Home Club
Not only does America’s 1st Choice Home Club offer the most customizable plan options, it also has some of the most liberal policies in regards to choosing your own repair contractor. As long as a contractor is licensed, bonded and insured, no prior approval is needed for them to proceed on repairs.
#4 Most Comprehensive Claim Coverage: First American
The most comprehensive claim coverage is provided by First American Home Warranty, though it is only available in 35 states. This company has been around since 1984 and like most others, begins its policies 30 days after purchase.
The company is BBB Accredited and has received a rating of B+. While we ranked it third in regards to customer complaints, First American Home Warranty actively tries to address all complaints, especially those listed on the BBB site.
The company offers 2 different plan options:
|Garage door opener||✔|
|Central vacuum system||✔|
You also have the option for several add-ons:
- Central air conditioning (electric)
- Additional fridge
- Pool/spa equipment
- Well pump
- First Class upgrade
The First Class Upgrade includes: Limited code update, building permits, haul away, cranes or other lifting equipment, deluxe A/C coverage, and additional protection.
On average, the Basic Plan costs $28 per month, while the Premier Plan costs around $45 per month, making yearly plans $336 and $540, respectively. The company charges service fees of $75-$100 with unlimited service requests and has a recall period of 30 days.
Why We Recommend First American
Not only does First American have comprehensive claim coverage, but they make it easy for customers to file and track their claims.
#5 Best for Value Shoppers: Select Home Warranty
If you are looking for the best value, we recommend Select Home Warranty. This company is the youngest on our list, having been established in 2012, and is already available in 49 states (all except for Alaska). Its policies also take effect 30 days after purchase.
The company is not BBB accredited and has received a rating of B. To make it easier for customers, Select Home Warranty has a network of local professionals who perform all repairs and replacements. They also make it easy for clients to submit their claims online.
The company offers 3 different plan options:
|Bronze Care Plan||Gold Care Plan||Platinum Care Plan|
|Microwave oven (built-in)||✔||✔|
|Garage door opener||✔|
You can also add-on coverage for the following items:
- Pool and spa
- Central vacuum
- Sump and well pumps
- Roof leaks
- Standalone freezer
- Lawn watering system
- Septic tank and system
- Lighting and plumbing fixtures
- Refrigerator ice maker
The Platinum Care Plan averages $500 a year, while both the Bronze and Gold Plan average $430, meaning that the average customer pays $36-$42 per month. Service fees are $75.
Why We Recommend Select Home Warranty
We recommend Select Home Warranty because it is one of the cheapest home warranties, while still giving you the most for your money. The company even offers discounts, especially for those who choose to purchase coverage for multiple years.
What Is A Home Warranty And Why Is It Important?
A home warranty is a residential service contract that covers the cost of the maintenance, repairs, or replacements of most systems and appliances in your home for a set period, usually one year. It is different than homeowners insurance, which can cover the loss of your home and belongings due to fire or certain other natural disasters.
A home warranty helps to grant you peace of mind, knowing that your systems and appliances are covered not just in case of an emergency, but also from daily wear and tear.
Policies are set up so that you can make monthly or yearly payments towards your premium. If something breaks and you need to have someone come take a look, you will be charged a service fee for the visit. Most companies offer unlimited visits, though some companies may have a cap. Your insurance company will cover the cost of the repairs, but some companies have a cap of how much they are willing to pay, so make sure to read your contract carefully.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are home warranties worth the cost?
Like most warranties, the cost of a home warranty comes down to a small cost now or the possibility of a large cost later. While insuring your systems and applications can cost a few hundred dollars each year, the insurance would protect you from paying even larger sums out of pocket for possible repairs. That being said, you would also risk paying for the warranty and then not needing it if none of your appliances break.
In essence, home warranty coverage is worth the cost if you desire the peace of mind of not having to worry about the costs of home appliances and systems breaking down.
Do home warranties cover old HVAC?
It depends on a lot of different variables, the biggest one being who your home warranty provider is and what plan you have with them. Generally only the more expensive plans will include HVAC Systems, as they are very expensive to replace.
Also make sure you look over the fine print of your contract, because some home warranty companies will not cover items that have not been properly maintained. The question of what constitutes proper maintenance has caused many disagreements between home warranty companies and warranty holders filing a claim. So even if your plan covers HVACs, make sure to follow the recommended protocol of renewing filters and other maintenance.
How much does a home warranty cost?
There is no single answer to this question, as the cost of a home warranty depends on several factors. These include the level of coverage you choose, taking into account the initial cost, any additional coverage, service fees, and possible other expenses. Aspects such as the type, age, and size of the house can also affect the cost. An average annual cost can range from $350 to $600 or more, depending on what the plan covers, whether only major appliances or also larger systems such as HVAC, plumbing, and electrical are covered.