Updated Jan 31, 2023
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Home warranties provide coverage for repairs and replacements of major home systems and appliances. If you’re buying a home, getting a policy could protect you from unexpected expenses. When something breaks down, you file a claim with your home warranty company, and they send out a repair person.
While your homeowner’s insurance plan covers damages to your home, they often have high deductibles and don’t cover breakdowns from normal wear and tear. This means you’d have to pay for the home repairs out of pocket. In contrast, a home warranty provides coverage with just a small monthly (or yearly) payment. But, it is often difficult for home buyers to find the best warranty company as you prepare for your move.
So, we researched the major home warranty companies to find the top five ones for buyers. We put each company through our thorough vetting process to ensure they have great coverage, customer service, and value for your new home.
Home warranty plans help prevent home buyers from feeling like they bought a lemon after moving. They prevent buyers from having to fork over cash for significant, unexpected repairs for home appliances and systems.
While getting a home warranty policy is helpful, getting the right one for your new home is even more critical. All of the best home warranty companies have great customer service, cost-effective plans, comprehensive policies, and excellent customer reviews.
So to determine which home warranty company is the best for buyers, we put together a list of the top five based on the above criteria.
Why Trust House Method
House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 2000+ critical data points to identify what makes a great home warranty company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 60 home warranty providers for coverage extent, annual cost, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their homes.
Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is our top pick for the best home warranty for buyers because they have robust policies, affordable pricing, and good turnarounds on repairs/replacements when you file a claim. Along with its quick service and reasonable pricing, it has comprehensive coverage and excellent customer service. It has various policies and add-on coverage, making customizing one that fits the budget and needs of your new home simple.
CHW is a common choice for many homebuyers since they’re easy to work with and set up during a home purchase. It has over 15 years in business, and its most appealing feature might be its fixed service fee of just $85 – more cost-effective than most of the competition.
Choice Home Warranty provides its policies to every state besides WA.
Choice Home Warranty offers two home warranty policies plus optional add-ons:
To get your free quote from Choice Home Warranty, call 929-400-6164 or fill out this online form.
Continue reading about its home warranties and more in our full Choice Home Warranty review.
Select Home Warranty (SHW) is another top home warranty company due to offering the most comprehensive home warranties on the market. They make getting and transferring a home warranty policy to buyers easy. Plus, they offer three affordable plans with varying coverage levels. For extra coverage, they have plenty of add-on options to cover every appliance and home system you want.
Select Home Warranty has one of the lowest service fees in the industry. And they have a B rating from the Better Business Bureau plus a positive reputation on Trust Pilot (3.8/5 stars).
Select Home Warranty offers three levels of warranty plans:
Get your free quote from Select Home Warranty by completing this form or calling 888-370-3953.
For additional information about the company and policies, please read our full Select Home Warranty review.
American Home Shield (AHS) is our third home warranty recommendation for buyers.
AHS is one of the most experienced and successful home warranty companies, with over 45 years of experience and over 1.3 million customers. With so much history in the sector, American Home Shield has built a strong reputation for its continuous excellent service.
It has good ratings on Trust Pilot and an excellent A+ rating on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) – the highest rating available. AHS has coverage for all major home systems and appliances, which you can modify for your new home. It also provides a selection of add-ons to its home protection plans, which is great for new homeowners who wish to tailor their coverage.
Its ShieldPlatinum plan is the best choice for you if you want full protection for every home system and appliance. It includes coverage for 27 house systems and appliances in total.
American Home Sheild has three plans for different budgets and coverage:
To get a free quote from American Home Shield for your new home, fill out this form or call 888-365-2839.
To learn more about American Home Sheild’s coverage, plans, etc., read our full review.
The Home Service Club (HSC) is a seasoned company that offers comprehensive home warranties to home buyers throughout the country. It’s one of the best warranty companies for buyers because of low service fees, excellent customer support, and versatile plans.
Plus, it has easy-to-understand sample contracts that are helpful to new home buyers. HSC holds a great 3.8/5.0-star rating on Trust Pilot with nearly 500 reviews.
HSC’s three plans have low service fees, so you won’t be surprised by the expense when you need something repaired or replaced in your home.
One upside of The Home Service Club is that it serves every U.S. state. So no matter where you’re buying a home in the country, you can get one of its affordable plans.
The Home Service Club has two plans available and optional add-ons:
Fill out this form for a free quote from The Home Service Club or call 800-842-9334.
And check out our review of The Home Service Club to learn more about this home warranty provider.
Liberty Home Guard (LHG) is one of the top home warranty companies for buyers. It has three affordable policies that are easily accessible to home buyers when they prepare for closing. Furthermore, it has plenty of optional add-on coverage to help first-time buyers outfit their new homes.
With the optional add-on available in their home warranty plans, LHG appeals to new (and current) homeowners who want to itemize coverage on each appliance and home system. Alternatively, buyers can choose the top-tier Total Home Guard policy to protect all major home appliances and systems.
Libert Home Guard boasts an A rating with the Better Business Bureau along with an excellent Trustpilot average rating of 3.9/5 stars. It has a 60-day guarantee on all repairs and a lower-than-average service fee of $75. Plus, its customer service is available anytime, every day of the year.
Liberty Home Guard has three home warranty plans, including an appliance plan, a systems plan, and the two combined into one:
Get a free quote from Liberty Home Guard by completing this form or calling 866-451-2281.
For more information on the company and its policies, read our Liberty Home Guard home warranty review.
As a home buyer, you’re making one of the most significant investments of your life. While your new home is likely in great condition, things will start to break down over time – it’s just a natural part of owning a home.
So, it can be a significant expense when something like your water heater or air conditioner breaks. This is where a home warranty comes in. A home warranty is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of major home appliances and systems.
If your fridge breaks down or your AC stops working, you can file a claim with your home warranty company, and they will send out a repair person. Home warranties are often confused with home insurance or a manufacturer’s warranty, but they are completely different things.
Home insurance covers damages to your home from events like fires or theft, whereas a home warranty covers the repair or replacement of major appliances and systems. And while your homeowner’s insurance has a high deductible, a home warranty has a monthly (or yearly) fee and a low-cost service fee.
While home warranties are not required, they are often included in the sale of a home. They are not free, but they can save you a lot of money in the long run by covering the cost of repairs for major appliances and systems.
If you’re on the fence about whether or not to get a home warranty, here are a few things to consider:
Most home buyers get a home warranty to sidestep sudden, expensive repair costs and the ease of getting a repair or replacement through filing a claim.
What’s covered in a home warranty varies depending on the provider, plan, and add-ons. Most home warranty service providers have three tiers of coverage: basic, standard, and premium.
The basic plans cover the essentials like your HVAC system, water heater, and electrical system. Standard plans build on that by adding coverage for things like your dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator.
And premium plans cover even more, like your pool, well pump, and septic system. Some home warranty companies also offer add-ons like coverage for washers and dryers, septic systems, and home security systems.
To determine what a particular home warranty covers, read their complete lists of included items and exclusions or a sample contract.
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The cost of a home warranty varies depending on the company, the type of plan you choose, any extra add-ons, and your location. Still, the price ranges from as low as $300 per year to as high as $700.
The best way to get an accurate quote is to contact a few different home warranty companies and get quotes for the coverage you’re interested in. When you compare prices, be sure to also compare the deductibles, service fees, and coverage limits.
If you’re buying a home with a home warranty, the coverage is typically good for one year from the date of closing. So, if you close on your home on June 1st, your home warranty will cover repairs and replacements until June 1st of the following year.
Of course, you to extend or renew your coverage. And if something covered by your home warranty breaks down, you’ll need to contact your home warranty company and file a claim.
Here is how the whole home warranty process works for buyers.
The first step is, of course, getting a home warranty policy. If you’re buying a home with an existing home warranty, the seller will usually pay for the first year of coverage or transfer to you.
That said, you can always negotiate who pays for the home warranty in your purchase agreement. The fee is usually wrapped in the closing costs. You can contact your lender, realtor, real estate agent, or title company for more information on how the transaction works.
And if you’re not buying a home with a home warranty, you can still purchase one on your own after closing. But, some lenders require a home warranty if you’re buying a home with a mortgage.
After you close on your home and move in, something is bound to break. When it does, you’ll first want to check your home warranty policy to see if it’s covered.
Assuming your home warranty covers appliances or systems that broke down, your next step is to contact your home warranty company to file a claim. They will send a contractor to your home to assess the damage and determine if it can be repaired or if you need a replacement.
If the contractor determines that you need a repair or replacement, they will do it for you. In most cases, the home warranty company will pay the contractor directly. Some home warranty companies may require that you pay the contractor up front and then get reimbursed. But most often, you don’t pay anything besides the service call fee.
When selecting a home warranty coverage plan, be aware that there may be limits on how much the home warranty company will pay. For example, you might have a $1,500 coverage cap on your refrigerator, and if the repair costs $2,000, you’ll have to pay the $500 difference.
Ensure you understand your home warranty coverage limits and caps before signing up for a home warranty plan to avoid surprises.
The best home warranty for buyers is the one that meets your needs and budget. All five of the home warranty companies we recommended above are great options. But to find the best one for you, compare quotes from multiple companies, see what items they cover, and read reviews to see what other customers have to say.
No, most home warranties only cover items that break after you move in. So if something breaks before you close on the house, it’s up to the seller to fix it or give you credit at closing.
The best time to get a home warranty is after you’ve bought the house and before you move in. That way, if anything breaks after you move in, it’s covered by the warranty. Your realtor or title company can help arrange a home warranty as part of your closing, so contact them for details.
Most home warranties cover common appliances and home systems, like your HVAC system, water heater, washer and dryer, oven, dishwasher, and more. Some home warranty plans also cover additional items like pools, spas, septic tanks, and guest houses.
However, no two home warranty plans are the same. So, check with the home warranty provider to check the covered systems in a specific policy.
Typically, home warranty companies offer two types of plans:
Some home warranty companies also offer à la carte coverage, which allows you to select which items you want to be covered or add them to an existing plan.
A home warranty can save buyers a lot of money if something breaks after they move in. But keep in mind that all home warranties are different. So, compare quotes from multiple companies, read reviews, and understand your coverage options and limits before signing up for a plan when you buy a new home. Our top recommendation, Choice Home Warranty, is a great start to get a quote and see what you need covered in your home.
Remember that homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty are two different things. Homeowner’s insurance covers damage from fires, storms, and burglaries. On the other hand, a home warranty covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and systems. While you will pay a monthly (or yearly fee) for a policy, it is usually much less than repairing or replacing a major home system, making home warranties worth it.
At House Method, 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:
Other Home Warranty Resources