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5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Pre-Existing Conditions (2022)

Most home warranty companies make it clear that they’ll only cover major appliances and systems that break down due to age-related wear and tear. Yet many homeowners fail to realize that the timing of an issue in their homes may also affect their coverage eligibility.

A pre-existing condition describes any defect in your home that occurs before the start date of your policy, even during the set waiting period. While pre-existing conditions are usually the leading exclusion clause in a home warranty provider’s contract terms, a few companies have loopholes and coverage exceptions for items that failed before you signed up. 

Read on for more information on what qualifies as a pre-existing condition, instances in which pre-existing conditions are eligible for coverage, and our research-backed recommendations for the best home warranty providers for pre-existing conditions.

The Best Home Warranty Companies for Pre-Existing Conditions in 2022

Because pre-existing conditions are rarely covered under home warranty contracts, we zeroed in on reputable providers with potential workarounds for unknown pre-existing conditions, clear-cut coverage details, and lower claim denials.

We’ve nominated the following five carriers as the best home warranty companies for pre-existing conditions:

  1. Choice Home Warranty — Best overall
  2. Select Home Warranty — Most cost-effective plans
  3. American Home Shield — Best customizable plans
  4. The Home Service Club — Quickest service
  5. Liberty Home Guard — Most trustworthy
Name

Description

Our take: Best Overall
Plan options: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $45-$53
Year founded: 2008
State availability: 49 states (excluding WA)

Score
9.7 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Most Cost-Effective
Plan options: 3 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $57-$62
Year founded: 2012
State availability: 46 states (excluding NM, NV, WA, WY)

Score
9.6 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Most Customizable
Plan options: 3 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $30-$75
Year founded: 1971
State availability: 49 states (excluding AK)

Score
9.5 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Quickest Service
Plan options: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $50-$63
Year founded: 2008
State availability: all 50 states

Score
9.4 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Most Trustworthy
Plan options: 3 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $65-$80
Year founded: 2017
State availability: 48 states (excluding WA & WI)

Score
9.3 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Best Workmanship Guarantee
Plan options: 3 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $35-$68
Year founded: 1978
State availability: 48 states (excluding AK & HI)

Score
9.2 / 10
Name

Description

Our take: Best for Immediate Coverage
Plan options: 2 plans + optional add-ons
Monthly premium: $53-$61
Year founded: 2016
State availability: 46 states (excluding CA, NV, NY, WA)

Score
9.1 / 10

1. Choice Home Warranty

With easy-to-understand coverage terms and, therefore, a higher rate of claim approvals than denials than other competing providers, Choice Home Warranty (CHW) offers overall premier home warranty coverage.

As disclosed in their sample policy, neither of CHW’s two standard home warranty plan options will cover known or unknown pre-existing conditions. Choice won’t cover any home appliances or systems that were already broken before your enrollment. But, once those items are repaired or replaced on your own dollar, it may be eligible for maintenance through Choice if the item breaks down again.

Specifically for Arizona residents, pre-existing conditions may be covered so long as Choice was made aware of the issue beforehand or if the home warranty contract was transferred between property owners and the buyer purchased a home with a known yet undisclosed condition. 

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

  • Covers appliances and home systems of any age, make, or model
  • New joiners will receive an additional $50 off plus one month free when they pay annually rather than monthly 
  • All repairs and replacements organized by CHW are insured by a 90-day workmanship guarantee

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

  • The Basic Plan ($45 per month / $560 per year): Covers ceiling/exhaust fans, dishwasher, disposal, ductwork, microwave, oven, plumbing, heating, garage door opener, water heater, etc. This is the most basic coverage for a home warranty plan.
  • The Total Plan ($53.33 per month / $660 per year): Covers air conditioning, heating, electrical systems, plumbing systems/plumbing stoppages, water heater, whirlpool bathtub, refrigerator, oven/range/stove, cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, washer and dryer, ductwork, garage door opener, ceiling/exhaust fans.
  • Optional Add-Ons ($40-$180 per year): CHW has a wide range of optional coverages such as central vacuum, limited roof leak, septic system, tank pumping, sump pump, well pump, pool, spa, stand-alone freezer, and second refrigerator.
  • Service Fee: $85

Fill out this form or call 929-400-6164 to get a free quote from Choice Home Warranty.

Read our full Choice Home Warranty review for more.

2. Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty (SHW) is an ideal provider for any first-time homeowners in search of a full-scale home protection plan that won’t overstep the boundaries of their budget. When you sign up with SHW, you’ll be rewarded with $150 off your total premium and two free months of bonus coverage for a limited time only. 

According to Select’s standard service contract, all covered systems and appliances in your home must be in proper working order when your home warranty benefits become active after the 30-day waiting period. 

Because SHW doesn’t require a home inspection or any previous maintenance records for you to sign-up, in terms of pre-existing conditions, the homeowner gets the benefit of the doubt in a way. However, visible and known defects are explicitly excluded from Select’s coverage terms. 

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

  • It charges one of the lowest service call fees you’ll find industry-wide
  • All customers are entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee, so long as no claims were submitted during that time
  • It has its own nationwide service network of thousands of licensed and pre-screened technicians

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

  • The Bronze Care Plan ($58 per month / $630 per year): Covers clothes washer and dryer, refrigerator, stove/oven, built-in microwave, cooktop, dishwasher, and garbage disposal
  • The Gold Care Plan ($57.67 per month / $630 per year): Covers AC, cooling, heating, plumbing, electrical, water heater, and ductwork.
  • The Platinum Care Plan ($62.08 per month / $699.99 per year): Covers air conditioning, cooling, heating, plumbing, electrical, water heater, ductwork, plumbing stoppages, clothes washer and dryer, garbage disposal, refrigerator, built-in microwave oven, stove/oven, cooktop, dishwasher, garage door opener, and ceiling fan. The platinum care plan is just a few more dollars more per month, yet it includes double the coverage found in the other plan. 
  • Optional Add-Ons ($39.99- $99.95 per year): Select Home Warranty offers free roof leak coverage and a slew of add-ons such as pool, spa, septic, sprinkler, stand-alone freezer, central vacuum, well pump, and sump pump.
  • Service Fee: $60

For a free quote from Select Home Warranty, fill out this online form or call 888-370-3953.

Read our full Select Home Warranty review for more details.

3. American Home Shield

Showcasing over 50 years of experience in the home warranty space, American Home Shield (AHS) is one of the few providers that openly includes undetectable pre-existing conditions in its policy terms.  

In order for a covered item to qualify as a pre-existing condition through AHS, the defect must be undiscoverable by a visual inspection and/or basic mechanical test. A visual inspection would confirm that the appliance or system has no apparent damages or missing components that would’ve caused its failure. Likewise, functional testing would’ve verified that the item was operating correctly with no odd sounds or movements. 

American Home Shield’s coverage for undetectable pre-existing conditions applies to all covered appliances and systems in its three standard plan levels. AHS will cover damage caused by poor maintenance, improper installations, mismatched systems or parts, and malfunctions due to rust, corrosion, or sediment. 

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

  • 24/7/365 live customer service and claims processes
  • Policyholders can choose their service call fee option based on their budget
  • It has a customer base of over 1.8 million homeowners nationwide

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

  • ShieldSilver ($29.27- $44.27 per month / $347.88 – $527.88 per year): Covers 19 systems, including HVAC, attic fans, home security alarms, bath exhaust fans, and more.
  • ShieldGold ($39.27 – $54.27 per month / $467.88 – $647.88 per year): Covers 23 systems and appliances, including trash compactors, doorbells, re-keying, water dispensers, and more
  • ShieldPlatinum ($59.27 – $74.27 per month / $711.88 – $891.88 per year): Combo plan covers 27 systems and appliances, including roof leaks.
  • Optional Add-Ons: Offers add-on coverage for pool/spa, septic pumps, well pumps, roof leaks, and guest house repairs
  • Service Fee: $75, $100, or $125

For a free quote from American Home Shield, fill out this online form or call 888-365-2839.

To learn more about AHS, visit our American Home Shield review.

4. The Home Service Club

The Home Service Club (HSC) offers two exceptional home protection plans for homeowners of any type, particularly those who have recently purchased an older property. Not only will HSC cover appliances and systems of any age, but policyholders will have access to their coverage benefits just ten days after sign-up. 

HSC doesn’t require new customers to undergo a home inspection, but it expects all covered items to be fully operational upon the contract’s start date. Though you’ll need to cover any necessary repair costs out-of-pocket before your home warranty coverage becomes effective, the Home Service Club will cover maintenance if that item breaks down again later. Also, any repairs made by an HSC technician are guaranteed for up to 90 days after the service appointment. 

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

  • Offers specialty real estate home warranty protection for homes currently on the market
  • Policyholders can choose their service call fee option based on their budget.
  • HSC is available to homeowners in all 50 contiguous states

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

  • Standard Coverage Plan ($50 per month / $650 per year): Covers 18 systems and appliances, including electrical, HVAC systems, plumbing, refrigerators, dishwashers, freestanding ice makers, trash compactors, etc.
  • Comprehensive Coverage Plan ($62.90 per month / $800 per year): Covers 33 systems and appliances as well as waste/water/gas line leaks, pest control, telephone and alarm wiring, smoke detectors, plumbing stoppages, and more. 
  • Optional Add-Ons ($3.33 to $16.66 per month): Offers additional coverage for roof leaks, water/sewer/gas/power lines, sewage ejector pumps, sprinkler irrigation, pools/spas, well pumps, water softener, jetted bathtubs, dual-compressor refrigerators, and freestanding freezers
  • Service Fee: $60, $75, or $95 

To get a free quote from The Home Service Club, fill out this online form or call 800-842-9334.

Continue reading about HSC in our complete The Home Service Club review.

5. Liberty Home Guard

Even though Liberty Home Guard (LHG) only made its debut in the home warranty industry five years ago, it has since managed to secure an A rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for its quick claim-to-repair turnaround times and dedication to customer satisfaction. 

Like many other providers, LHG requires all covered appliances and systems to be in working order by the official start date of your home warranty plan. Known pre-existing conditions are not covered under any of Liberty Home Guard’s three standard policies, but unknown issues may be covered upon request. 

Through LHG’s home warranty program for real estate agents, both the seller and prospective homebuyer will be covered by a no-fault coverage warranty so long as the contract is transferred. This guarantees coverage for any pre-existing issues overlooked by the initial home inspection or any other damages that occur before closing. 

Most Trustworthy

  • 3 plans ranging $65-$75 with 20 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

  • New LHG policyholders will receive $200 off their premium plus two free months of coverage and roof leak protection (for a limited time only)
  • Members have exclusive access to discounted brand name appliances and up to 50% retail prices on air filters
  • It offers an impressive spread of over 40 optional coverage riders, with unique services like gutter cleaning and guest home protection

Plans, Cost, and Coverage

  • Appliance Guard  ($70 per month / $700 per year): Covers 12 home appliances, including ceiling fans, cooktop exhausts, garbage disposals, dishwashers, clothes washers/dryers, garage door openers, built-in microwaves, ovens, refrigerators, and ice makers
  • Systems Guard ($74.99 per month / $750 per year): Covers six major home systems, including air conditioning, heating systems, ductwork, plumbing, electrical, and water heaters
  • Total Home Guard ($79.99 per month / $799.99 per year): Combo plan of the two above packages, covering a total of 20 appliances and home systems 
  • Optional Add-Ons ($49.99-$299.99 per year): Offers 41 additional items, including central vacuum, pest control, swamp coolers, generators, carpet cleaning, and much more.
  • Service Fee: $75

To get a free quote from Liberty Home Guard, fill out this online form or call 866-451-2281.

Continue reading about LHG in our Liberty Home Guard review

What is a Home Warranty for Pre-Existing Conditions?

A standard home warranty is an agreement between a homeowner and a service provider that guarantees future repairs or replacements for their home’s essential appliances and systems as they stop working due to normal wear and tear. 

There is no home warranty plan on the market specifically designed to cover pre-existing conditions. A home warranty can only start when your home is in proper working condition, with most providers only taking protective measures from that point forward. Still, that doesn’t mean coverage for pre-existing conditions is obsolete. 

Though some home warranty companies are more lenient than others regarding their stances on pre-existing conditions, only issues that make it through a home inspection undetected are usually approved for coverage. 

Who Needs Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage?

Tracking down the best home warranty for pre-existing conditions is a particularly smart move for anyone in the home buying or selling process. On the seller’s side, having a home warranty in place by the time your home hits the market can increase buyer confidence in your property, therefore adding to the resale value of your home. 

As for buyers, having a home warranty on hand is the ultimate way to protect yourself from any unknown issues that might’ve been glossed over during the home inspection. In real estate negotiations, it’s not uncommon for homebuyers to request that the sellers pay for the first year of the home warranty contract as an extra measure of protection against any appliance or system failures during the first year of homeownership. In return, the sellers are usually met with a final offer from the buyers. 

What Pre-Existing Conditions Will a Home Warranty Cover?

As previously mentioned, claims for pre-existing conditions only ever see a stamp from home warranty providers if they passed a visual inspection and functional test despite having an underlying issue that simply went unnoticed. 

If your home service provider does offer limited coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions, item-specific coverage eligibility will align with the standard inclusions of your contract. So, if your home warranty plan doesn’t include air conditioning systems in its main policy framework, a pre-existing condition affecting your unit naturally won’t be covered. 

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How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

The average cost of a standard home warranty contract usually ranges between $30 to $60 per month or $360 to $720 per year. Still, that price point is subject to change depending on the coverage level you select, required service fees, and any policy rider you add to your home warranty beyond its primary inclusions. 

The service fee is a set deductible you’ll pay each time a technician is dispatched to your home for a service request. This out-of-pocket payment — usually between $60 and $125 — is designed to cover labor costs and travel expenses incurred while completing the home visit. 

What to Look for in a Home Warranty Plan with Unknown Pre-Existing Condition Coverage

Not all home warranty providers require initial home inspections to identify pre-existing conditions, but if a contractor is dispatched to the home and finds that your claim is due to a pre-existing condition, the repair will not be covered. You’ll also still have to pay the service call fee in situations like these, even if your claim was ultimately denied.  

For these reasons and more, it’s crucial to familiarize yourself with the specifics of each home warranty that piques your interest before you sign up so you’re not left underinsured once a breakdown does occur. 

Here are a few other general pointers to keep in mind as you window shop for the right home warranty plan for you:

Identify Your Coverage Wants vs. Needs

As you may have already noticed, every home warranty policy on our list is different in its contract details, coverage options, and overall cost. While such diversity means more options specific to each homeowner’s need, comparing apples to oranges is no easy task.

The best way to start visualizing the ideal policy for you is by walking around your house and making a list of each appliance and system you use daily. What are the things you couldn’t possibly live without? Try finding a home warranty plan with inclusions that match your list the closest.

Nail Down a Personal Budget

Especially for first-time homeowners who are new to the unforeseen expenses of owning and maintaining a house, earmarking a set monthly budget is an excellent way to work a home warranty premium and potential service call fees into your long-term financial plan. 

Pinpoint the highest amount you can afford per month or year, and then stick to that price range as you generate a few quotes. Remember to always consider cost relative to coverage — a suspiciously low premium could be a sign of sparse protection.

Watch Out for State-Specific Exclusions

There are plenty of reputable home warranty providers sprinkled across the country, but not all of them offer coverage in every state. Double-check that your top provider choices offer home warranty services in your state from the start so you don’t waste time studying a policy that isn’t even available in your area.

Frequently Asked Questions About Pre-Existing Conditions

Do home warranty plans cover pre-existing conditions?

Objectively speaking, home warranty plans do not cover pre-existing conditions. Every home warranty policy comes with a 30-day window before the policy goes into effect to protect the home warranty company from any pre-existing issues already present in the home. All in all, pre-existing conditions are typically not resolvable through a home warranty plan, but the right policy can still be used to help finance further issues down the road. 

Do home warranties require home inspections?

Some, but not all, home warranty companies may mandate an inspection from a certified home inspection company to ensure no pre-existing issues in the home.

What if my claim is denied due to a pre-existing condition?

Claim denials can be frustrating. Most home warranty companies offer their policyholders the opportunity to dispute a claim decision through a formal appeal process. When appealing the decision, you’ll likely be asked to expand upon your counter-argument and provide additional supporting documentation, like a home inspection report and a third-party evaluation of the issue. 

Final Thoughts — Is a home warranty for pre-existing conditions worth it?

Although no home warranty companies will cover known pre-existing conditions, it helps to note which companies offer the best coverage for issues that may have gone undetected and all of your future home maintenance needs. 

The most important thing is to sign up for your home warranty coverage as soon as possible before another system or appliance breaks in your home. For homeowners new to the home warranty experience altogether, we recommend Choice Home Warranty as the best home warranty choice for pre-existing conditions. 

With the fair pricing, impressive history in the industry, and excellent coverage that all six of these plans offer, don’t hesitate to get more than one quote. 

House Method Home Warranty Ranking Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. We’ve done the homework for you and have researched over 50 home warranty companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home. 

Our team spent hours on the phone speaking to representatives from each home warranty company to get information right from the source. We also dug into the fine print on each company’s service agreement to ensure no detail was left out.

To make the most of our research, we developed an objective rating system to score each home warranty company based on the following criteria:

  • Plans: Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Prices: How reasonable are the monthly and service fees compared to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors.
  • Coverage: How many items are covered in each plan? We looked at the number of items each company covers. We dig into all service contracts available to get all the details.
  • Customer service: How is the customer experience when calling the providers? Based on our phone calls, we judged each company’s customer service.
  • Trust: What do customers rate the company? We looked into what customers are saying about their experience with the company.
  • Nationwide availability: How many states does the company cover? We found the number of states covered by each company.
  • Unique perks: Does the company offer discounts or cover special items? We looked for perks offered by each company that set them apart from the competition.

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