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5 Best Home Warranties for Buyers (2022)

By Jon Jachura

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.

Why Trust House Method

  • 63 companies reviewed
  • 41 key factors analyzed
  • 2583 data points parsed
  • 885 homeowners surveyed
  • 57 service contracts scrutinized

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.

The Best Home Warranty Companies for Buyers in 2022

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.

  1. Choice Home Warranty – Best overall for buyers
  2. Select Home Warranty – Most cost-effective plans
  3. American Home Shield – Best customizable plans
  4. The Home Service Club – Quickest coverage
  5. Liberty Home Guard – Most trustworthy
Best For
Rating
Monthly Cost
Service Fee
Response Time
Payout Limit (per item)
States Covered

Best For

Best Overall

Rating
Monthly Cost

$45-$53.33

Service Fee

$85

Response Time

24-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$3,000

States Covered

49 states

Best For

Most Cost-effective

Rating
Monthly Cost

$57.67-$62.08

Service Fee

$60

Response Time

2-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$250-$3,000

States Covered

46 states

Best For

Most Customizable

Rating
Monthly Cost

$29.27-$74.27

Service Fee

$75-$125

Response Time

24-72 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$6,000

States Covered

49 states

Best For

Quickest Service

Rating
Monthly Cost

$50-$62.90

Service Fee

$60-$90

Response Time

12-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$500-$2,000

States Covered

all states

Best For

Most Trustworthy

Rating
Monthly Cost

$69.99-$79.99

Service Fee

$75

Response Time

24-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$500-$2,000

States Covered

48 states

1. Choice Home Warranty

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

Best Overall

  • 2 plans available + optional add-ons
  • Has over 11 years of industry experience
  • 90-day repair guarantee
  • $46–$55 per month with $85 service fee

Key Highlights

  • Staff available 24/7/365 to help you file a claim and access your benefits
  • Provides an in-network, pre-vetted repair contractor with a fast response time of 48 hours within filing your claim
  • Provides a 60-day workmanship guarantee and a 90-day parts guarantee for all repairs and replacements

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

Choice Home Warranty offers two home warranty policies plus optional add-ons:

  • The Basic Plan ($45 per month / $560 per year): This base plan protects 14 essential home systems and major appliances, such as ceiling fans, ductwork, ovens, toilets, water heaters, kitchen appliances, and more.
  • The Total Plan ($53.33 per month / $660 per year): A more comprehensive plan that covers the repair and replacement of 18 major systems and appliances, including everything in the Basic Plan plus air conditioning systems, clothes dryers, clothes washers, and refrigerators.
  • Optional Add-Ons ($40-$180 per year): Nine extra add-on coverage for central vacuum systems, standalone freezers, sump pumps, well pumps, septic systems, septic tank pumping, pools, spas, and limited roof leaks.
  • Service Fees: $85

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.

2. Select Home Warranty

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).

SHW offers home warranty policies to home buyers in 46 states, excluding NM, NV, WA, and WY. Home buyers find SHW’s plans valuable, especially considering how comprehensive each one is.

Most Cost-effective Plans

  • 3 plans ranging from $52-$58 per month + optional add-ons
  • Provides free roof leak coverage
  • Covers rental properties, mobile homes, manufactured homes, single-family homes, and condos
  • Affordable service fee of $60

Key Highlights

  • No transfer fees from the previous owner to the home buyer
  • 90-day guarantee on all repairs
  • Lower than average service fees

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

Select Home Warranty offers three levels of warranty plans:

  • The Bronze Care Plan ($58 monthly cost / $630 per year): Covers eight household appliances and systems – dishwashers, clothes dryers, clothes washers, refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, built-in microwaves, and garbage disposals.
  • The Silver Care Plan ($57.67 per month / $630 per year): Covers all items in the Bronze plan, plus six additional home systems and appliances – AC units, heating systems, ductwork, water heaters, plumbing systems, and electrical systems.
  • The Gold Care Plan ($62.08 per month / $699.99 per year): Covers all home systems and appliances in the Bronze and Silver Plans with the addition of ceiling fans, garage door openers, and plumbing stoppages.
  • Optional Add-Ons ($39.99-$99.95 per year): Extra coverage for additional refrigerators, stand-alone freezers, ice makers, electrical outlets, light fixtures, electrical switches, central vacuum systems, lawn sprinkler systems, wells, septic systems, spas/pools, sump systems, and roof leaks.
  • Service Fee: $75 to $125, varies by location

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

3. American Home Shield

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.

You can get American Home Shield’s home warranty policies in every U.S. state except for AK and HI.

Best Customizable Plans

  • 3 plans + add-ons and the option to build your own plan
  • Customers can choose the service fee they want to pay
  • Provides generous coverage caps
  • $35–$75 per month

Key Highlights

  • Coverage caps of $3,000 or $6,000 (depending on the plan), which are the highest in the industry
  • Home inspections are not needed for enrollment
  • Accommodating to all homes and budgets with three different plan levels

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

​​American Home Sheild has three plans for different budgets and coverage:

  • SheildSilver ($29.27- $44.27 per month / $347.88 – $527.88 per year): starts at $29.27/month and covers 19 home systems and appliances, including water heaters, garage door openers, sump pumps, smoke alarms, doorbells, ductwork, interior plumbing, attic fans, toilets, and more.
  • ShieldGold ($39.27 – $54.27 per month / $467.88 – $647.88 per year): starts at $39.42/month and covers 21 home appliances and systems, includes almost all items in the Silver plan plus clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers, microwaves, ovens, trash compactors, and refrigerators.
  • ShieldPlatinum ($59.27 – $74.27 per month / $711.88 – $891.88 per year): Covers 27 items, including everything covered in the ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans, plus automatic roof leak coverage. 
  • Optional Add-on Coverage: Extra coverage for pool and spa equipment, septic systems, sump pump overflow, guest house (up to 75 square feet), well pumps, and more.  
  • Service Fee: $75, $100, or $125

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

4. The Home Service Club

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. 

Quickest service

  • Offers 2 plans + optional add-ons for over 10 items
  • Covers items regardless of their age, make, or model
  • Provides high coverage caps on essential systems and appliances
  • Has real estate home warranty plans

Key Highlights

  • Low service fee of just $60, $75, or $95
  • High coverage caps on heating, cooling, and ductwork
  • Claims processing and customers support are available 24/7/365

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

The Home Service Club has two plans available and optional add-ons:

  • Standard Coverage Plan ($50.40 per month / $649.95 per year): Covers 18 home appliances and systems, including free-standing ice makers, ceiling fans, cooktop exhaust fans, dishwashers, garbage disposals, built-in microwave, oven/stove/range, clothes washer, clothes dryer, and more. 
  • Comprehensive Coverage Plan ($62.90 per month / $799.95 per year): Includes everything in the Standard Coverage Plan plus nine additional home appliances/systems – ductwork, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, hot water heater, electrical, central vacuum systems, doorbells, and garage door openers.
  • Optional Add-Ons: Additional coverage for sprinkler systems, additional refrigerators, well pump, water softener, septic system, pool/spa, and more.
  • Service Fee: $75

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.

5. Liberty Home Guard

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 provides home warranty plans for buyers in 48 states, excluding WI, WA, and Washington, D.C. 

Most Trustworthy

  • 3 plans ranging $65-$125 with 25+ optional add-ons
  • Has a 60-day workmanship guarantee on all repairs
  • Customer service available 24 hours a day, seven days a week
  • BBB’s only A+ accredited home warranty provider

Key Highlights

  • Lower than the industry-average service fee of $75
  • Customer service is available 24/7/365 to help you file a claim fast
  • Various a la carte options for additional coverage

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

Liberty Home Guard has three home warranty plans, including an appliance plan, a systems plan, and the two combined into one: 

  • Appliance Guard ($64.99 per month / $649.99 per year): Covers 11 major home appliances, including built-in microwaves, ranges/ovens/cooktops, garbage disposals, garage door openers, clothes washers, clothes dryers, dishwashers, ceiling fans, cooktop exhaust fans, refrigerators, and more. 
  • System Guard ($69.99 per month / $699.99 per year): protects essential home systems like ductwork, heating, air conditioners, plumbing, electrical, toilets, plumbing stoppages, and water heaters. 
  • Total Home Guard ($74.99 per month / $749.99 per year): Combines all home systems and appliances included in the Appliance Guard and System Guard plans. 
  • Optional Add-Ons: Additional coverage offered for items including fixtures, pool/spa, wine refrigerator, TV, PC, central vacuum system, lawn sprinkler system, ejector pump, pest control/removal, locksmith, second refrigerator, water softener, and many more. 
  • Service Fee: $75

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

What is a Home Warranty for Buyers?

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.

Should All Buyers Get a Home Warranty?

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:

  • The age of the home: If you’re buying an older home, it’s more likely that something will break down and need to be repaired.
  • The home’s condition: If you’re buying a fixer-upper or a foreclosure, the appliances and systems may require repair.
  • Your budget: If you’re tight on money, a home warranty can give you peace of mind knowing that you’re covered if something breaks down.
  • Your comfort level: If you’re not comfortable with making repairs or finding a good contractor yourself, a home warranty can give you peace of mind knowing that someone else will take care of it for you.

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 Does a Buyer’s Home Warranty Cover?

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.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

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.

How Does a Home Warranty for Buyers Work?

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.

Get a Home Warranty When You Buy the Home

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.

Something Breaks in After You Move In

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.

You Contact the Warranty Provider & File a Claim

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.

You Get a Repair and Pay a Service Fee

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.

Be Aware of Your Policy Limits and Coverage Caps

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.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Warranties for Buyers

What is the Best Home Warranty for Buyers?

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.

Does a Home Warranty Cover Items Before You Move In?

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.

When Should Buyers Get a Home Warranty?

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.

What is Typically Covered Under a Home Warranty?

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.

What Plans Are Offered Under a Home Warranty?

Typically, home warranty companies offer two types of plans:

  • A basic plan that covers common appliances and systems
  • An upgraded plan that provides a few additional appliances and home systems at a slightly higher price
  • A premium or platinum plan that covers additional items like pools, spas, and septic tanks
  • Add-on plan options that cover individual items

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.

Final Thoughts

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. 

House Method Home Warranty Ranking Methodology

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: 

  • 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.

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