Best Home Warranty Companies in California

By: Debbie Wolfe

If you’re looking for a home warranty in California, keep reading to learn about the best home warranty companies in the state, common home maintenance issues faced by California homeowners, and important home warranty buying tips.

California’s best home warranty companies

  • Easy to receive an online quote
  • Is the only home warranty company that lets customers choose their own service contractor
  • Several customizable plan options to choose from

  • Oldest and most respected home warranty company
  • Has low monthly premiums and deductibles
  • Offers a wide variety of plans and optional add-on coverage

  • Available in all 50 states
  • Quick repair time
  • Excellent customer service

  • 24/7 service calls
  • Covers improperly installed and maintained items
  • Recommended by and for realtors

  • Free 30-day trial period
  • Additional coverage options for roof leaks and septic systems
  • Offers 3 home warranty plans

California is the third largest state in the U.S. and holds the largest population. It’s located on the western coast and is bordered by the Pacific Ocean. It shares its border with Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona and shares an international border with Mexico. The state is home to Hollywood, giant Sequoias, and bustling cities. Here are a few other facts about the Golden State:

  • Known mostly for its warm Mediterranean climate, California actually has a range of climates due to its large surface area. There are moist temperate rainforests in the north, arid deserts in the middle of the state, and snowy alpines in the mountains.
  • Though Sacramento is the state’s capital, Los Angeles is by far the largest populated area in California, with almost 10 million residents.
  • The state bird is the California quail and the state tree is the California redwood (giant Sequoias are a variety of redwood).
  • The annual precipitation rate is around 21.44 inches.

The average California home costs $440,000—that’s more than two times the average national home price in the U.S. Since homeownership is a major investment in California, a home warranty can help protect your investment and give you peace of mind if a major system or appliance breaks down.

Top home maintenance problems in California

A home in California needs regular maintenance in order to avoid costly repairs in the long run. Additionally, a well-maintained home will make your home easier to sell when the time comes. In general, the weather in California is temperate and pleasant for most of the year: summers are hot, winters are mild, and humidity is low.

However, depending on what region of California you live in, the climate can be drastically different from the rest of the state and will impact the maintenance tasks of your home. If you live in the part of the state where the weather is hot for most of the year, it’s crucial that the home warranty plan you select covers air conditioner systems.

If you live near the coast, the added humidity can cause damage to the electrical systems and appliances. And if you live in the mountainous areas where you get a fair amount of snow in the winter, a home warranty plan that covers roofs and heating systems are beneficial. 

Nonetheless, homeowners should consider tackling seasonal maintenance tasks to keep their home and appliances up to par. Some routine maintenance tasks include:

Monthly

  • Clean or replace your filters—Change filters in your HVAC system and clean range hood filters. 
  • Check water softener—Perform a visual check to ensure there are proper levels of salt in the brine tank.

Semi-annually

  • Do a deep clean—Clean appliances, windows, lighting, and every crevice and corner of your house. 
  • Inspect the water heater—Test the pressure relief valve on the water heater to prevent corrosion and help it run efficiently.
  • Check smoke/carbon dioxide detectors—Make it a habit to change batteries every time you set the clocks for daylight savings time.
  • Vacuum refrigerator coils—This will reduce your power consumption and keep your appliance running efficiently.

Spring 

  • HVAC inspection—Schedule a professional inspection of air conditioning systems before summer weather arrives.
  • Inspect gutters and drainage—Keeping gutters clear will prevent water damage to your home.
  • Check windows and screens—Clean window with a homemade window cleaner and inspect screens for damage.

Summer 

  • Inspect heating air ducts and furnace—It’s best to check heating systems before cold weather arrives.
  • Check and clean the clothes dryer vent—Keeping your exhaust clear of blockages will help your dryer run more efficiently.
  • Keep weeds in check—Remove weeds and vines around your outdoor A/C unit and from the house’s foundation.

Fall 

  • Winterize A/C systems—If you have window units, remove them and store them for the season.  Cover central air units with a tarp and secure with bungee cords.
  • Flush and store hoses—Drain the water from the hoses and cover outdoor spigots. 

Winter 

  • Clean shower heads—Remove shower heads and clean mineral deposits to keep water pressure strong.
  • Inspection the foundation—Look for cracks and seal them with caulk or silicone. 

Who needs a home warranty in California?

A home warranty helps protect your major systems and appliances and prevents you from paying unexpected expenses out-of-pocket. Though similar to homeowners insurance, a home warranty covers different items. Homeowners insurance policies cover natural disasters, fires, property crimes, water damage, and theft. Home warranties are like an extended service contract for appliances and systems and protect them in the event of a breakdown.

Regardless of what type of home you have—single-family house, townhome, condo, or mobile home—if you have important systems and appliances, such as a gas water heater, air conditioner, and plumbing, you can absolutely benefit from a warranty.

Home warranties are especially great for:

  • First-time homebuyers—Warranties will help put new homeowners at ease. Companies like American Home Shield offer basic coverage and customizable packages that can fit any budget.
  • Seasoned homeowners—Buying a home warranty is a smart choice for homeowners who have older appliances. First American Home Warranty’s Premier Plan covers air conditioning, heating, plumbing, and electrical systems, as well as kitchen appliances and other items.
  • Real estate agents and sellers—A home with a warranty may make it sell faster, therefore making home warranties an excellent incentive to sellers.

What’s typically covered under a California home warranty?

Home warranty coverage varies depending on where you live and the company and coverage level you choose. In general, home warranties will cover the following systems and appliances:

Common Coverage

  • Air conditioning
  • Dishwashers
  • Refrigerators
  • Washers
  • Dryers
  • Doorbells
  • Furnace/heating
  • Water heater
  • Ductwork
  • Garbage disposals
  • Plumbing stoppages
  • Ceiling fans
  • Electrical systems
  • Range and oven

Some items that aren’t usually covered under a home warranty include:

  • Outdoor sprinklers
  • Faucet repairs
  • Ice makers
  • Spa or pools

Several home warranty companies, such as American Home Shield, offer customizable warranty plans—you can choose from four different comprehensive plans and add on coverage for additional items. This is a good option if you want specific appliances or home systems covered.

How much does a home warranty cost in California?

The average cost of a home warranty in California is around $320 per year, which is inline with the national average. Extended coverage averages an additional $100–$500 per year and will ultimately depend on the amount (and types) of items added. Deductibles average between $75–$100 per year.

How does a home warranty work?

Although coverage varies by company, most home warranty plans operate in a similar manner. Here’s what you can expect when you need to contact your home warranty company:

  1. If a home system or appliance breaks or stops working, call your home warranty company.
  2. The home warranty company will contact an approved repair provider or let you choose your own technician.
  3. The repair provider will then call you to schedule an appointment.
  4. The provider will perform the repair or determine if a new appliance is needed.
  5. The home warranty company then pays for the repair or replacement and you’ll pay a service fee to the technician.

Why is a home warranty necessary?

Homes that have home warranties typically sell 10% faster than those without one. Real estate agents will tell you that home warranties will make your property more attractive to prospective home buyers.

Even if you aren’t selling a home, warranties are helpful for those who lack an emergency fund for major repairs on systems and appliances that have broken down. They’re also great for homeowners who aren’t handy or don’t want to deal with finding a contractor on their own.

Depending on where you live in the state (in the mountains, near the coast, or in the drier, desert regions) you will need extra coverage to keep air conditioners, heating systems, roofs and other systems running smooth. A home warranty will help offset the cost for some of the repairs needed for these systems.

California home warranty buyer’s guide

There are several factors to consider before you purchase a home warranty in California. One important factor is the age of your house. Older homes typically don’t come with a home warranty unless the previous owner is passing theirs along as part of the sale. Here are a few other factors to consider:

  • Age of home appliances—New appliances may not need a new warranty because they’re usually covered under a manufacturer’s warranty for at least a year. However, once the manufacturer’s warranty expires, purchasing additional appliance coverage makes sense. 
  • Climate and location—Most of California is temperate and warm, but on the coast and northern regions of the state, the climate is vastly different. When choosing a home warranty in California, consider the climate of the region—this will affect the normal wear and tear of your home systems and appliances.
  • Laws and permits—Regulations that affect home warranties vary by state. In California, for example, all home warranty companies are regulated by the California Department of Insurance. Check to see if there are specific regulations and permits required by the city or county you live in.
  • Reviews and complaints—Check the Better Business Bureau (BBB) website for customer reviews and complaints of the home warranty company you’re thinking about working with. You may also want to talk to friends and family members who have home warranties and ask which company they recommend.

California home warranty reviews

One of the best ways to choose a home warranty is by reading third-party customer reviews and understanding consumer experiences. Here are some recent reviews for the best home warranty companies in California:

The Home Service Club

“I called in my policy with the Home Service Club and the woman I spoke to was very understanding. My AC stopped working on a hot day and she was quite sympathetic. A gentleman specializing in ACs arrived and determined that a faulty thermostat was that problem, which he promptly replaced.” — Ashley Molina

First American Home Warranty

“First American has been good for me. Lost a water heater and AC within a week. FA provides great service themselves and their contractors were top notch. The warranty is well worth the money.” — D Davies

America Home Shield

“American Home Shield does an amazing job. They always send good people who know what they are doing and get the job fixed as soon as possible.” — Pamela V.

Frequently asked questions

Do I need a home inspection before I buy a policy?

Every home warranty company has different requirements. Some won’t require a home inspection, while others will. In general, it’s always a good idea to get a home inspection before purchasing a policy to understand the condition of major systems and appliances.

Can you get home warranty anytime?

Yes, you can purchase a home warranty anytime during your homeownership; it doesn’t matter if you’ve lived in the house for a few months or several years.

Do home warranties cover pre-existing conditions?

In general, home warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions. However, coverage will depend on the home warranty plan you have, so read the terms and conditions before signing your contract.

Which California home warranty company is the best?

If you’re ready to purchase a home warranty in California, these are the top three home warranty companies you should consider:

  • The Home Service Club—This provider features two main warranty plans: standard and comprehensive. Not only do they provide comprehensive coverage, they’re known for their excellent customer service and efficiency. 
    • The standard plan covers many of the primary systems and major appliances in your home including electrical systems, your water heater, refrigerator, dishwasher, and more.
    • The comprehensive plan covers everything in the standard coverage plan, plus coverage for many of the primary systems and major appliances in your home.
  • American Home Shield—This home warranty offers a variety of comprehensive plans that fit within a wide range of budgets. 
    • They feature a contractor network of 15,000 licensed professionals.
    • The average deductible for a contract is $85.15.
    • Your new policy takes effect within 30 Days.
  • First American Home Warranty—This company is a veteran in the home warranty industry and won the medal for Best Value for the Money category in 2019.
    • First American offers two main plans: basic and premier. The basic plan covers major appliances while the premier plan adds in coverage for home systems such as plumbing, electrical, and heating.
    • They offer additional coverage for specific items, like a pool or spa equipment, well pumps, and central air conditioning. 
    • They provide a “First-Class Upgrade” with coverage for accompanying accessories and parts, like knobs and interior lighting on microwaves or faucets attached to plumbing.

Our conclusion

Along with home insurance, adding a home warranty is the best home protection combo plan to give you peace of mind. Consider the age of the house, which home systems and appliances you want to be covered, and the climate in your part of California.

California has several top notch companies to choose from such as The Home Service Club, American Home Shield, and First American Home Warranty. With their flexibility in coverage, excellent customer service, and professional network service providers, you can rest assured knowing that you have the best home warranty and protection for your home.

Still not sure which California home warranty is right for you?

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