Open dishwasher with clean dishes in the white kitchen

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.

Best Overall

  • 4.9 out of 5 stars
  • Superior cost-to-coverage ratio
  • Emergency servicing available
Most Cost-Effective

  • 4.8 out of 5 stars
  • Lowest service fee
  • Free roof leak coverage
Most Customizable

  • 4.7 out of 5 stars
  • 50+ years in business
  • Pick-your-own service fee

What is a Pre-Existing Condition?

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.

Will a Home Warranty Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?

Some home warranty companies cover pre-existing conditions and others do not. Of those that do, the one stipulation to be aware of is that they’ll only cover a pre-existing condition if it was undetectable. Claims for pre-existing conditions are typically only ever approved so long as any previous home inspection or maintenance records prove that the issue went initially undetected. Your home warranty provider may ask for a covered item’s maintenance history to confirm that a potential pre-existing condition hadn’t been previously flagged.

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

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

Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is our top choice for all-around superior home warranty coverage. We scored CHW with 4.9 out of 5 stars for its clear contract terms and generous annual payout limits of $3,000 per item. Choice Home Warranty doesn’t require an initial home inspection to determine coverage eligibility and welcomes service requests for any covered system or appliance no matter its age, make, or model.

As disclosed in their sample policy, neither of CHW’s two standard home warranty plan options will 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, they’ll likely be eligible for maintenance through Choice Home Warranty if the item breaks down again.

Specifically for residents of Arizona, pre-existing conditions may be covered so long as Choice was made aware of the issue beforehand. Coverage for a pre-existing condition may also be plausible 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

Pros and Cons

✓ Covers appliances and home systems of any age, make, or model

✓ All repairs and replacements organized by CHW are insured by a 90-day workmanship    guarantee

✓ New joiners will receive an additional $50 off plus one month free when they pay annually rather than monthly.

X Charges a $50 cancellation fee (after your first month of coverage)

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.

Select Home Warranty

We found Select Home Warranty (SHW) to offer the most affordable home warranty coverage for pre-existing conditions. As our runner-up, SHW earned itself 4.8 out of 5 stars, namely for its lower-than-average $60 service fee, bundled new joiner discounts,  and 30-day money-back guarantee. According to Select’s sample 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. All repairs made by a Select Home Warranty technician are backed by a 90-day workmanship warranty. So, if a recently fixed system or appliance breaks down again within three months of the service appointment, you won’t be responsible for paying another service fee.

Also, 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. Based on our research, this provider would be an excellent choice for any first-time homeowners in search of a full-scale home protection plan that won’t overstep their budget.

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

Pros and Cons

✓ All customers are entitled to a 30-day money-back guarantee, so long as no claims were submitted during that time

✓ Won’t deny coverage based on the age of included appliances and systems

✓  Charges one of the lowest service call fees available industry-wide

X $75 cancellation fee (after your first month of coverage)

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.

American Home Shield

Across all providers featured in this article, American Home Shield (AHS) offers the most customizable coverage for pre-existing conditions. We rated AHS with 4.7 out of 5 stars as it’s one of the few providers that openly includes undetectable pre-existing conditions in its contract 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

Pros and Cons

✓ Policyholders can choose from three service call fee options based on their budget

✓ Supports a customer base over of 1.8 million homeowners nationwide

✓   Covers older appliances and systems, regardless of their age, even if you have no maintenance records for them

X Workmanship warranty is only 30 days long, compared to 90 days offered by some competitors

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.

The Home Service Club

The Home Service Club (HSC) offers the quickest service for home warranty claims concerning pre-existing conditions. We rated HSC with 4.6 out of 5 stars for its short 24-hour claims response time and unique 10-day waiting period. The Home Service Club is an ideal option for anyone who owns or recently purchased an older property. Appliances and systems of any age will qualify for coverage through HSC so long as they’re in proper working order at 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

Pros and Cons

✓ Offers specialty real estate home warranty protection for homes currently on the market

✓ Plans are available to homeowners in all 50 contiguous states

✓  All included systems and appliances are covered regardless of age, make, or model

X Not accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)

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 Home Service Club review.

Liberty Home Guard

If you’re looking for a solid home protection plan from a provider with a scoff-free reputation, we’d recommend Liberty Home Guard (LHG).  We scored LHG with 4.5 out of 5 stars as the most trustworthy home warranty company to work with when dealing with pre-existing conditions. Though only making its debut in the home warranty industry five years ago, Liberty Home Guard maintains an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) for its incredibly low number of customer complaints per year and quick claim-to-repair turnaround times.

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. Unknown pre-existing conditions are eligible for repair work through LHG upon request. You may be required to provide any previous maintenance records for the affected item with your claim.  Liberty Home Guard doesn’t require an initial home inspection and will never refuse coverage based on the age of any appliance or system.

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-$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

Pros and Cons

✓ New LHG policyholders will receive $200 off their premium plus two free months of coverage and roof leak protection

✓ Members have exclusive access to discounted brand name appliances and up to 50% retail prices on air filters

✓  Plans are available to all homeowners, no matter the age of their appliances and system (state-specific exclusions may apply)

X Charges a $50 cancellation fee (after your first month of coverage)

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.

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.

Who Needs Pre-Existing Conditions Coverage?

Anyone in the process of buying or selling a home should strongly consider tracking down a home warranty policy that covers damage due to unknown pre-existing conditions. 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.

For buyers, a home warranty can serve as an extra line of defense against unknown issues that might’ve been glossed over during the home inspection. During a real estate transaction, it’s not uncommon for homebuyers to request that the sellers pay for one year of home warranty coverage. This guarantees the buyer’s protection against any system or appliance failure that might occur soon after the sale.

What Pre-Existing Conditions Will a Home Warranty Cover?

Claims for pre-existing conditions are typically only ever approved so long as any previous home inspection or maintenance records prove that the issue went initially undetected. Any covered appliances or systems that passed a visual or functional inspection despite having an underlying issue would be deemed eligible for coverage.

Get a Free Quote

from our #1 recommended provider for pre-existing conditions

Visit Site

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

A home warranty typically costs between $30 to $60 per month or $360 to $720 per year. Across the 60+ providers featured on our site, the average cost of coverage was $51.61 per month and $601.86 per year. Still, that price point is subject to change depending on where you live, the coverage level you select, required service fees, and whether or not you opt to purchase any optional coverage riders.

Will a Home Warranty Cover Undetected Pre-Existing Conditions?

Home warranties will only cover undetected pre-existing conditions. A home warranty provider is not liable to finance any obvious issues with an appliance or system in your home that predates the start of your coverage.

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 an issue that predates your coverage, the repair won’t be approved. You’ll also still have to pay the service call fee in situations like these, even if your claim was 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 paying unexpectedly out of pocket once a breakdown does occur.

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

Identify Your Coverage Wants vs. Needs

Every home warranty is different in its contract details, coverage options, and overall cost. And while such variety means more options specific to each homeowner’s needs, comparing apples to oranges can make the browsing process feel more complicated.

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 surprise expenses of owning and maintaining a house, earmarking a set monthly budget is an excellent way to work a home warranty premium and 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 thin 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 considering a plan that isn’t even available in your area.

FAQ Section

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 there are 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 both 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 a 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.

Still, don’t hesitate to get more than one quote. With the fair pricing, impressive history in the industry, and excellent coverage that all six of these companies offer, the best home warranty plan for you will simply depend on your unique coverage goals.

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.

More Home Warranty Resources

Home Warranty

The 5 Best Home Appliance Insurance Companies (2022)

Home appliance insurance, also known as a home warranty, protects you from paying expensive repair and replacement costs on major systems and appliances. Here’s everything you need to know about home appliance insurance.

Exterior of small American house with blue paint and red entrance door. Northwest, USA
Costs and Coverage

5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Rental Properties (2022)

Are you a landlord? Use our guide to find the best home warranty for your rental property that will save you thousands in home repairs and maintenance.

907948
Costs and Coverage

5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Veterans

Looking for a home warranty policy with military discount? Find the best home warranty for veterans by comparing providers, costs, coverages, add-ons and more!

Costs and Coverage

5 Best Home Warranty Companies for HVAC Coverage (2022)

HVAC systems are arguably the home's most important system to keep functioning. Find the best HVAC warranty on the market to protect yours from wear and tear.

Home Warranty

5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Sewer Lines (2022)

When it comes to unexpected home repairs, water and sewer line issues can be some of the most expensive and inconvenient situations you can face.

Home Warranty

5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Pool Coverage (2022)

Owning a pool can be fun, but when issues occur, you could be left footing the bill. Here’s the scoop on pool warranties to see if they’re right for you.

Home Warranty

5 Best Home Warranties for Roof Coverage (2022)

Most roof leaks aren’t covered by home insurance, so a home warranty is a good way to protect yourself from the cost of roof repairs.

Home Warranty

Top 5 Best Home Warranty Companies for Landlords (2022)

Are you a landlord of rental properties? Use our guide to find the best home warranty for the properties you oversee so you can save hundreds in repair costs.

Home Warranty

5 Best Home Warranties for Sellers (2022)

Are you selling a home? Explore our best home warranty companies for sellers to find the perfect provider that will help give your buyers an added bonus!