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A home warranty is a contract entered into by a homeowner and a warranty provider that covers the cost of repair and replacement to items inside the home. Home warranties can give you the peace of mind you need in the event of an unexpected repair or an emergency. To get the best home warranty, you have to start by checking out some home warranty reviews.
We’ve reviewed some of the top home warranty providers in the business to give you a better sense of your options and how you can choose the right home warranty for you.
Check out our FAQs below for more information on how to read a House Method home warranty review.
Data and ratings accurate as of March 2018
A home warranty is a service agreement that a homeowner signs with a warranty company. Under a home warranty, the company will cover the repair or replacement of specific appliances or systems in a house for a preset period of time, typically 12 months. When something goes wrong in your home—and is covered by the warranty—the warranty company will repair or replace the item by dispatching a local service technician to evaluate and resolve the issue.
Your home warranty will cover only what is explicitly written into the policy for problems resulting from normal wear and tear. Most warranty providers will require the following for fulfill a claim:
Some companies will provide warranties that offer unlimited coverage on certain appliances and systems yet set spending limits on other appliances. Your warranty may offer unlimited coverage for your refrigerator but a maximum spending limit of $1,500 on your heating system. Under this warranty, the provider would repair or replace your refrigerator regardless of cost yet only cover the repair or replacement cost of a new HVAC system up to $1,500. You’d be responsible for the rest of the bill.
Home warranty providers typically offer three coverage levels:
Home warranties typically cost $300–$800 for each year of coverage. Some companies allow purchasers to split the cost of their home warranty into installment payments, though many still require payment in full when the contract is signed. Many home warranties automatically renew each year.
The total price of your home warranty will depend on the type of house and the specific details in the contract. The price will not vary due to the age or size of the home unless it’s brand new or larger than 5,000 square feet. Your home warranty may have a set deductible and may also have service or repair limits. Most warranty companies will also charge a non-negotiable and non-refundable service fee of $75–$125 per technician visit each time a claim is made.
The length of home warranty coverage depends on the type of home warranty.
Homebuilder warranties are sometimes transferable should the original purchaser decides to sell the house—but not always. If you’re considering purchasing a home less than 10 years old, speak to your realtor about whether the property is covered by a home warranty.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers certain core elements of your house—like HVAC, some appliances, plumbing, water heater, ceiling fans, disposals, etc.—if they malfunction due to age or regular wear and tear from normal use. You’ll likely have the option to buy a home warranty when you purchase a house, but a warranty will never be required by your mortgage lender in order to complete the deal.
Homeowners insurance will cover property and structural damage as a result of fire, natural disaster, and some other situations outside your control, but does not typically cover flood or earthquake damage, as separate insurance is required for some property based on risk. Homeowners insurance is required by most mortgage lenders and premium payments are usually bundled with your monthly mortgage payment. Beyond structural and property damage, homeowners insurance will cover:
Homeowners insurance is sold through insurance companies and brokers. If an emergency or theft occurs in your home, you’re responsible for filing a claim. There will be a set deductible, or the amount you’re responsible for paying prior to the insurance company, before they start footing the bill.
Manufacturer’s warranties cover only individual appliances or systems and are issued and administered by the manufacturer of the appliance or system. Here are three common characteristics of manufacturer’s warranties:
Home warranties provide additional peace of mind to home buyers. But sellers may wish to consider purchasing a home warranty prior to listing their property for sale—particularly if listing the property as for sale by owner. Real estate agents in some states are allowed to purchase home warranties for their clients as an added assurance to both buyer and seller throughout the transaction though there are restrictions.
To select the best home warranty—regardless if you are the buyer, seller, or agent—here are the six steps you should take:
The House Method editorial team provides objective ratings on the products and services our readers care about. We want to offer quick, digestible facts about home warranty providers to help you make an informed decision when purchasing a home warranty.
When you come across one of our home warranty reviews, you will be provided with a summary of the home warranty provider, a home warranty comparison chart, and details about pricing, BBB rating, national availability, coverage, and service fees.
Within the summary, we explain the types of warranty plans provided by the company and what is typically included within a plan.
2. Home warranty provider comparison chart
The home warranty comparison chart comprises a House Method home warranty rating, a House Method price rating, specific details about the home warranty (for example, the BBB rating and whether the provider is available nationwide), and a link to the home warranty company’s complete House Method review.
3. House Method home warranty rating
House Method home warranty review ratings are awarded based on a weighted 10-point scale that scores home warranty providers on BBB rating, length of coverage, service fees, national availability, workmanship guarantee, coverage exclusions, and whether warranty holders can choose their own repair technicians.
We score home warranty companies on these items because we believe these are most valuable to the consumer and give a clear and objective review of the overall quality of a home warranty brand.
4. House Method price rating
A House Method price rating is a relative score that compares the price of a brand’s products or services to its peers that we’ve reviewed. The prices of products and services are based on our independent research. Each dollar sign represents an objective tiered amount of money, depending on the category of the product or service being reviewed.
5. BBB rating, national availability, and service fees
In our home warranty reviews, we provide details on BBB rating, national availability, and service fees to give the consumer a more complete review of what each home warranty offers.
BBB ratings represent the BBB’s opinion of how a company is likely to interact with its customers. This rating is based on the business’ complaint history with the BBB, the type of business, the length of time the business has been operating, and the transparency of the business, among other factors. BBB assigns ratings from A+ (highest rating possible) to F (lowest rating possible). In some cases, the BBB will not rate the business due to insufficient information. Lack of BBB rating is not the same as a poor BBB rating, but is simply reflective of too little data.
National availability information is provided to inform the consumer about where he or she can purchase a home warranty plan. Some home warranty providers are available nationwide, while some are available only in certain states.
Service fee information is provided so the consumer knows about additional costs and deductible amounts when services need to be performed.
6. Home warranty coverage
Home warranty coverage information provides details on each home warranty’s coverage length, coverage exclusions, and claims process.
7. Consumers Advocate opinion and customer reviews
We include Consumers Advocate opinions in our reviews because we believe in the power of third-party review and opinion in informing a purchase decision. These are independent editorial reviews that include a score on a scale of 1 to 10, in addition to pros and cons of the business. Customer reviews are also provided to objectively inform the reader about personal experience with the specific home warranty plan and provider.
House Method rating methodology
Because we endeavor to provide the very best home warranty reviews, we based our ratings on information found through our independent research, including information found on the website of the company being reviewed as of the date of most recent review or through contacting the subject company as an anonymous prospective customer. We aim to update our ratings on a systematic and periodic basis and to disclose the date of most recent review on pages where the rating appears. Please see our rating methodology for additional information.
Advanced Home Warranty offers national home warranty coverage at two levels with a number of add-ons available.
America's 1st Choice Home Club allows warranty holders to choose their own repair techs with pre-approval.
American Home Guard offers three levels of coverage with a number of add-ons that are available for each plan.
Unlike most home warranty providers, American Home Shield does provides coverage for appliances that have been improperly installed or repaired.
Blue Ribbon provides home warranties only in the state of Colorado. Its contracts last 14 months and include a workmanship guarantee on repairs for 30 days.
Choice Home Warranty provides coverage in all states except California and Washington. Two coverage levels with a la carte additions are offered.
Unlike most home warranty plans, First American’s First Class upgrade provides warranty coverage for improperly installed or improperly maintained systems and appliances.
Home Warranty of America offers national coverage. And unlike most home warranty providers, Home Warranty of America allows you to choose your own repair technicians with pre-approval.
HomeGuard HomeWarranty offers home warranty coverage only in Arizona and California. They offer two levels of coverage with a number of add ons available.