Buying a home is a big investment, and maintaining it can be expensive — especially when it comes to repairing or replacing major appliances and home systems. That’s where a home warranty comes in. These policies provide affordable coverage for mechanical failures of major home systems and appliances. While your standard homeowners insurance covers loss from theft and disasters, it doesn’t cover costly equipment failure.
A home warranty gives homeowners peace of mind when it comes to the high cost of repairing or replacing a home system or appliance. To explore home warranty options, the reviews team has created an in-depth HMS Home Warranty review, including a detailed look at the company and the ultimate recommendation, American Home Shield.
In this article:
- What to Know About HMS Home Warranty Plans
- Cost Breakdowns
- How to Get a Quote
- How to Make a Claim
- Preferred Provider: American Home Shield
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.
Through the research, the team has named American Home Shield the Best Overall home warranty provider.
HMS Home Warranty offers home warranty plans that cover most of the major systems and appliances in your home. Uniquely, they also cater to real estate professionals, and provide a portal for them to manage multiple home warranties on behalf of their buyers and sellers.
HMS Home Warranty has been in business for 30 years and claims that the longevity of its business has provided the company the time and knowledge to create innovative and reliable products for customers.
It has one of the largest networks of licensed and insured contractors and professionals at over 40,000. HMS Home Warranty’s 180-day workmanship guarantee is far more generous than its competitors’ in contrast to the standard range of 30 to 90 days.
What to Know About HMS Home Warranty Plans
For sellers and buyers looking to purchase coverage, HMS Home Warranty offers a base plan. Buyers also have the option to purchase the Premier Plan.
|Base Plan||Base Plan||Premier Plan|
|Central Heating – Unlimited Units||✓||✓||✓|
|Central A/C – Unlimited Units||✓||✓||✓|
|Plumbing Stoppages (up to 125’)||✓||✓||✓|
|Hot Water Heater||✓||✓||✓|
|Attic Exhaust/Whole House Fan||✓||✓||✓|
|Central Vacuum System||✓||✓||✓|
|Door Bell Chimes||✓||✓||✓|
|Refrigerator and Built-in Ice Maker||✓||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||✓||✓||✓|
|Microwave Oven, Built-in||✓||✓||✓|
|Trash Compactor, Built-in||✓||✓||✓|
|Appliance Buyline Program||✓||✓||✓|
|Emergency Lodging Reimbursement||✓||✓|
|Premier Upgrade Package (PUP)||✓|
No matter what type of warranty holder you are, you’re also eligible for deep discounts and financing on appliances for remodeling or upgrades just by being an HMS Home Warranty customer. In addition, buyers receive up to $50 per year on locksmith service calls.
Premier Upgrade Package Specifics
For an additional fee, sellers and buyers can buy extra coverage for items excluded from the base plan.
The Premier Upgrade Package provides coverage for additional costs, which includes fees required for permits mandated by the local or federal government. It also includes coverage for the replacement of things like heating or air systems. With this package, you are limited to up to $1,000 per claim, at two claims per year.
For example, here are additional systems you can add with the Premier Upgrade Package:
- Additional sump pumps
- Outside gas line
- Additional water heaters
- Additional refrigerators
- Sewer line (outside)
- Water line (outside)
- Outside gas/sewer/water line combo
- Combo pool/spa
- Septic tank/pumping
- Water softener
- Well pump system with booster pump
Like most warranty plans, your items aren’t covered if they’re not in proper working condition when you purchase your warranty plan.
Here’s a full list of when your items won’t be eligible for coverage under your HMS Home Warranty:
- Incompatible or mismatched items
- Items outside the perimeter or below the foundation of the home (unless specifically stated, like a swimming pool)
- Improper installation or defects caused by manufacturer design
- Misuse, neglect, missing parts or improper installation
- Acts of God, terrorism or natural disasters
- Animal and pest damage
- Power surges or lightning-related failures
- Mold, mildew or wet and dry rot
- Vandalism or intentional acts of destruction
- Upgrades or modifications for any reason
- Removal or disposal of equipment, hazardous or toxic material (asbestos or Freon damage)
- Commercial grade equipment
- Fees associated with gaining access for diagnosis, repair or replacement
- Energy management systems or devices
- Inaccessible ductwork and underground ductwork
- Ductwork damaged by pests, animals and moisture
- Registers, grills, dampers or insulation
- Fees associated with gaining access to a covered item
- Delays caused by material shortages or circumstances beyond our control
- Charges associated with the transportation of service professional or materials related to the claim
- Consequential damage, additional living expenses
- Food spoilage, loss of income or other property damage
- Items covered by other homeowners insurance, warranty or guarantee (like your manufacturer’s warranty)
- Items that have been modified or adjusted in ways that prevent inspection or diagnosis (like a self attempted repair)
- Improperly installed or repaired items, items damaged during remodeling
- Routine maintenance
- Damages or delays resulting from the service provider
Cost Breakdowns for HMS Home Warranty
HMS Home Warranty offers different pricing plans for seller and buyer coverage. Both are broken down by deductible, which is chosen by the homeowner. The buyer plans include pricing for existing homeowners, where there is no real estate transaction.
Seller coverage begins at the date of enrollment, and converts to buyer coverage once the house is sold. Here’s the breakdown for seller coverage:
|Seller Deductible 1||Seller Deductible 2|
|Condo or Townhome||$569||$469|
|Air / Heat Coverage (Optional)||$50||$50|
Buyer coverage is inherited from the seller at the point of purchase. Here’s the breakdown of buyer coverage:
|Buyer Base Plan Deductible 1||Buyer Base Plan Deductible 2|
|Condo or Townhome||$569||$469|
|Existing Homeowner (No Real Estate Transaction)||$599||$499|
|New Home Construction (Year 2-4)||$699||$599|
|Buyer Premier Plan Deductible 1||Buyer Premier Plan Deductible 1|
|Condo or Townhome||$668||$568|
|Existing Homeowner (No Real Estate Transaction)||$698||$598|
|New Home Construction (Year 2-4)||$798||$698|
Under both the seller and buyer plans, homeowners are provided an option to purchase coverage of additional systems and components. Multiples of each item are available for purchase. Here’s the cost breakdown:
|Each Additional Sump Pump||$60|
|Each Additional Water Heater||$50|
|Each Additional Refrigerator||$25|
Buyers, including existing homeowners not buying a home, are provided an additional set of coverage options. Multiples of each item can be purchased. Here’s the breakdown:
|Outside Gas Line||$60|
|Outside Sewer Line||$60|
|Outside Water Line||$60|
|Outside Gas/Sewer/Water Line (Combo)||$120|
|Sell Pump System with Booster Pump||$150|
Taxes and fees are required for the states of New York and New Jersey. In New York, you’ll have to call HMS Home Warranty for a quote. In New Jersey, you’ll pay a 6.625% sales tax.
Additionally, HMS Home Warranty provides a breakdown of the average replacement and repair costs.
|Item||Average Replacement||Average Repair|
|Range / Oven||$1,000||$250|
|Washer or Dryer||$675||$257|
How to Get a Quote from HMS Home Warranty
You can visit the website to download a brochure, where you’ll be given a breakdown of pricing, coverage options and a sample service contract.
In order to get a quote, you’ll need to email the company, call 800-843-4663 or fax 800-546-2777.
How to Make a Claim With HMS Home Warranty
HMS Home Warranty customer service is available 24/7, 365 days a year for you to submit a claim. When filing a claim, you can submit on their website here.
Your claim will be reviewed by HMS Home Warranty, which will decide on one of the following:
- Your claim is not covered in your agreement
- Your claim is covered in your agreement and the item needs to be repaired
- Or, your claim is covered in your agreement and the item needs to be replaced
If your item needs to be repaired, you will be assigned a service provider and schedule a home inspection. During your service request, this technician will provide HMS Home Warranty with further information before repair, and HMS Warranty will decide how to move forward.
In some cases, the service provider will be able to make the repair then. In others, they will have to return at a later date.
HMS Home Warranty considers the following when deciding whether or not an item should be repaired or replaced:
- Will repairs cost more than 50% of the cost of a new appliance or system of like kind? In this case, the company may recommend replacement.
- Is the item nearing the end of its lifetime expectancy? If so, the company may recommend a replacement.
- Is the item irreparable? If so, the company may replace your item with a newer version with the same primary functions and capacity as the older item.
You won’t be able to upgrade your item if it needs to be replaced. However, you will have the option to use claims credit, which can be utilized alongside the discounts offered by HMS Home Warranty on certain appliances.
There is no limit to the number of claims you can submit, but your warranty will have an individual cap, which is in your contract.
Each time a service provider comes to your house, you’ll pay a deductible. You may incur additional costs if they have to come back more than one time, or if there are complications beyond the basic repair. This is the example HMS Home Warranty provides:
“For example, if you need to reroute plumbing for a replacement water heater, the reroute would be considered an extra cost. We do have optional coverage to cover these types of costs. Please see your contract for this coverage, actual terms and conditions as benefits may vary by state. If you have any questions, please contact our Customer Care Center.”
Reviews of HMS Home Warranty
HMS Home Warranty is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and holds a B+ rating from the organization. All BBB ratings are as of February 2020.
Individual reviews of HMS Home Warranty are not available, but headquarter reviews for Cinch Home Services, which owns several home warranty companies, are. Reviews are mixed, and Cinch Home Services responds to both positive and negative reviews.
“I would rate my experience as Excellent because they do what they say. They replaced my heating & air system, my ceiling fan and my microwave, regardless of the age. They are the best.”— Virginia A., 5 stars, BBB
“Lol – you people respond faster to a negative review on BBB than you do to actual paying customers’ legitimate requests for service. You have my information, YOU contact me to resolve this issue… Proof of where this company’s true priorities are. I got a nearly instant response to this complaint, yet I’ve been waiting 2+ months to get my AC fixed through their warranty process. This company is a joke.”— Christopher M., 1 star, BBB
Assessment of HMS Home Warranty
HMS Home Warranty provides coverage of all the basic home appliances and systems covered in any home warranty contract. There are pros and cons of working with the provider:
- Transparent pricing
- 24/7, 365 days a year customer service availability
- Transparency in the claims process
- Cater to real estate professionals more than to homeowners
The reviews team has evaluated many home warranty providers and has ultimately selected American Home Shield as the Best Overall home warranty provider based on coverage options, pricing and plan structure.
Preferred Provider: American Home Shield
American Home Shield is the Best Overall home warranty provider because it offers both comprehensive and customizable plans, has been in business since 1971 and is available in all states but Alaska. The company claims that customer service requests are answered within 24 hours 98% of the time.
Here’s how American Home Shield stacks up against HMS Home Warranty:
|American Home Shield||HMS Home Warranty|
|Sample Contract Provided||Yes||Yes|
|Number of Plans||3||2|
|Average Lowest Cost per Year||$500||$700|
|# of States Covered||49||Not Provided|
|Excluded States||Alaska||Not Provided|
|Waiting Period||30 Days||Not Provided|
|Years in Business||50||30|
Frequently Asked Questions
What does HMS home warranty cover?
Between its Basic and Premier plans, HMS Home Warranty covers major household appliances and systems, with the option to protect add-ons.
What is the best home warranty company?
We recommend American Home Shield as the Best Overall home warranty provider due to its long-standing reputation, nationwide availability, comprehensive and customizable plans and customers’ ability to choose their own service fee.
Are home warranties worth It?
Over the course of the lifetime of your home’s appliances and systems, home warranties can save you hundreds to thousands of dollars for unexpected repairs and replacements.
Home warranties cover damage due to everyday wear and tear, which is guaranteed to happen with your most-used appliances.
Home warranties also give peace of mind, allowing you to be worry-free.
Home Warranty Rating Methodology
To help you find the best home warranty, our reviews team researched numerous home warranty companies, analyzing their coverage plans, pricing and customer service, among other factors:
- Coverage: Home warranty companies that provide extensive coverage and protect important systems and appliances, including your air conditioning, refrigerator and heating, scored higher than companies with minimal coverage.
- Plan variety: A provider with more coverage plans allows for more flexibility among customers. In general, most home warranty companies provide an appliances-only plan, systems-only plan and combination plan.
- Pricing: We scored providers based on their monthly plan prices and service call fees compared to the industry average pricing. Companies with more affordable coverage received more points than companies with more expensive plans.
- State availability: Where you live will determine what companies are available in your area. Home warranty companies that covered more states received more points than companies with a limited state availability.
- Trustworthiness: There are some home warranty companies that are scams and don’t follow through on their service agreements. We rated companies based on their years of experience, ratings on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and customer reviews.
To keep our data current, our team regularly updates the data points for each company to ensure their coverage offerings, pricing and availability are accurate.