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Published: Nov 10, 2022 36 min read
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A home warranty can pay for the repair or replacement of home systems and appliances when they break down as a result of malfunction, or normal wear and tear.

It can be a lifesaver when faced with stressful and expensive home repairs — or add to your frustrations if you find out it excludes the appliances or systems that need repair just when they break down.

Here’s our list of the best home warranty companies for 2022 to help you find the right protection plan for your home.

Our Top Picks for Best Home Warranty Companies

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Best Home Warranty Company Reviews

Pros
  • Covers roof leaks
  • 90-day repair guarantee
  • Discounts for multi-year plans
Cons
  • Unavailable in NY, NV, WA and WI
  • Low coverage caps for many home services
  • Homeowners must provide 3 years of maintenance records to guarantee coverage on some systems
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$75
State Availability
46 states
Response Time
2 days / up to 4 days during weekends
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: Select Home Warranty plans include roof leak coverage and multiple discount promotions throughout the year.

Select Home Warranty offers some notable discounts, including two months of free service if you pay for a full year upfront, and special discounts when you sign up for more than one year. The company also has occasional promotions that knock off between $100 and $200 for new sign-ups.

Select has three plans: Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, which cost between $42 and $55 per month. Bronze Care covers appliances, while Gold Care focuses on systems. The most expensive plan, Platinum Care, combines both for more comprehensive coverage. Service fee is set at $75. In addition, all three plans cover roof leak repairs.

Do note that the company may cap payouts per system or appliance at $150 if you can’t provide three years’ worth of maintenance records. Other than that, HVAC systems are capped at $3,000, and appliances, plumbing and electrical at $500. Extra coverage options are capped at $400 for repair or replacement.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Bronze Care ($45.67/mo*.): Garbage disposal, refrigerator, stove, oven, built-in microwave, cooktop, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, roof coverage.
  • Gold Care ($45.67/mo*.): A/C cooling, heating system, plumbing system, electrical system, water heater, ductwork, roof coverage.
  • Platinum Care ($50.25/mo*.): A/C cooling, heating system, plumbing system, electrical system, water heater, ductwork, washer, garbage disposal, refrigerator, stove, oven, built-in microwave, cooktop, dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, garage door opener, ceiling fan, roof coverage.
  • Add-ons: Central vacuum, lawn sprinkler system, pool, septic system, spa, stand alone freezer, sump pump, well pump.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Largest home warranty service provider in the country
  • Highly customizable service plans
  • Offers coverage for home electronics
Cons
  • Repairs are only guaranteed for 30 days
  • Plans unavailable in Alaska
  • Roof leak coverage unavailable in Hawaii
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$75, $100, $125
State Availability
Nationwide, except Alaska
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: We chose American Home Shield as our best home warranty for HVAC because it offers free HVAC tune-ups with its premium plan and fewer restrictions in coverage than most competitors.

With American Home Shield, clients can choose from three comprehensive plans and customize them by adding coverage for other systems and appliances, including home electronics and entertainment products.

AHS comprehensive plans — ShieldSilver, ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum — together cover more than 23 home appliances and systems. In addition, its premium plan, ShieldPlatinum, covers up to $1,500 for roof leaks repair, HVAC tune-ups, code violations and AC refrigerant.

You can also add coverage for other systems and appliances, such as septic pumps, pools, home electronics, entertainment products and guest units.

Compared to other companies, AHS is more lenient than most when it comes to liability limitations. According to its sample contract, coverage includes:

  • Old items, regardless of age
  • Repairs caused by insufficient maintenance
  • Malfunctions due to rust, corrosion or sediment
  • Improper installations
  • Undetected pre-existing conditions
  • Items without maintenance records
  • Removal of defective items
  • Duplicates of the same item (or appliance)

Monthly payments vary depending on the state and the selected repair service fee, which can be customized from $75, $100, or $125 per service call.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • ShieldSilver ($19.99 - $39.99/mo.*): Air conditioners, heating units, ductwork, built-in exhaust, vents, attic fans, main breaker, fuse panel box, doorbells, chimes, interior electrical lines, ceiling fans, garage door openers, interior plumbing, toilet, faucets, valves, whirlpool tub motor and components, water heaters.
  • ShieldGold ($39.99 - $59.99/mo.*): Everything covered by ShieldSilver, in addition to kitchen refrigerator, range, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, instant hot/cold water dispensers, clothes washer, clothes dryer.
  • ShieldPlatinum ($69.99 - $89.99/mo.*): Everything covered by ShieldGold, in addition to roof leak repairs, free HVAC tune-up, unlimited A/C refrigerant, coverage for code violations and permits.
  • Add-ons: Roof leak repair, electronics protection plan, pool, spa, guest unit, septic pump, well pump.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Over 20 items of additional coverage options
  • 60-day workmanship guarantee on repairs
  • Overwhelmingly positive BBB reviews
Cons
  • Does not service WA and WI
  • Relatively low payout limits
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$60 - $125
State Availability
45 states
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
A-

Why we chose this company: Liberty Home Guard has the most extensive list of add-ons in the market, including rarely covered items such as gutter cleaning.

Liberty Home Guard stands out for its list of possible add-ons. Customers can choose from over 40 items to add to their coverage — the most extensive list of add-ons in the home warranty market.

The list includes items commonly found in other home warranty companies — pools, spas, well pumps, sump pumps, central vacuums — and other, more rarely covered items such as limited roof leaks, replacing locks, gutter cleaning, pest control and electronics protection.

Liberty Home Guard offers three types of plans: one for appliances, one for systems, and one that covers both. Liberty covers popular systems and appliances such as air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, washers, dryers and refrigerators.

Additionally, a realtor portal allows real estate agents to partner with Liberty Home Guard so that you can purchase a home warranty before the closing date. This is particularly useful if you want your protection plan to start immediately after closing your mortgage deal.

Its service fee ranges from $65 to $125, with a payout limit of $1,600 per covered item.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Appliance Guard ($59.99/mo.*): Clothes washer, clothes dryer, kitchen refrigerator, built-in microwave oven, dishwasher, garbage disposals, ranges, ovens, cooktops, ceiling and exhaust fans, garage door opener.
  • Systems Guard ($64.99/mo.*): Air conditioning system, heating, ductwork, plumbing system, electrical system, water heater.
  • Total Home Guard ($69.99/mo.*): All systems and appliances covered by the previous plans.
  • Add-ons: Over 40 options, including generators, septic system pumping, second refrigerator, trash compactor, water filter system, pest control and carpet cleaning.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a single-family home under 5,000 sq. ft. in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Covers improperly installed or maintained systems and appliances
  • Affordable basic plan options with competitive coverage
  • Unlimited service calls
Cons
  • Only two plans available, no systems-only plan
  • Limited list of add-ons
  • Not available in AK, CT, DE, HI, IL, LA, ME, MI, MN, NH, NY, ND, RI, VI, WI
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$50 - $100
State Availability
35 states
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: We chose First American as the home warranty company with the best appliance plan because it offers a comprehensive basic plan that covers more appliances than most home warranty companies, including water dispensers.

With First American Home Warranty’s Basic Plan, you get comprehensive coverage for 10 costly-to-repair appliances for about $33 a month.

Bear in mind that this basic plan offers coverage for appliances only, which includes washers, dryers, refrigerators, garbage disposals and trash compactors. Clients who need coverage for both appliances and systems will have to opt for the company’s Premier Plan.

Both plans cover damages caused by lack of maintenance, rust, corrosion and chemical or sedimentary build-up, which is vital if you’re buying an older home.

For $9 per month, you can upgrade any of its two plans to “First Class”, an optional service that includes coverage for malfunctions due to improper installations, modifications and previous repairs. It also covers expenses associated with building permits, hauling and the use of cranes or lifting equipment.

First American charges a fixed $85 service fee. Additionally, appliances have a payout limit of up to $3,500 for diagnosis, repairs and replacements.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Basic ($36.00/mo.*): Attic and exhaust fan, ceiling fan, clothes washer and dryer, dishwasher, garbage disposal, instant hot water dispenser, kitchen refrigerator, built-in microwave oven, range, cooktop, oven, trash compactor.
  • Premier ($48.50/mo.*): Everything covered by the Basic plan, in addition to central vacuum system, ductwork, electrical system, garage door opener, heating system, plumbing system, plumbing stoppages, water heater, sump pump, toilet tank and bowls.
  • Add-ons: Central air conditioning, additional refrigeration, pool, spa, well pump, septic tank pump, HVAC tune-up.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a single-family home under 5,000 sq. ft. in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • A variety of additional benefits, from discounts to credit monitoring
  • Clients can choose their own technicians
  • Platinum Plan covers microwave ovens, ice makers and plumbing stoppages
Cons
  • One-day period for reporting issues with a system or appliance
  • $75 plan cancellation fee
  • System plan not available in some areas
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$75, $100, $125
State Availability
Nationwide, except HI
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: AFC Home Club lets you choose your own service contractors and offers affordable premiums, including two hybrid plans (that cover both systems and appliances).

AFC Home Club (America’s First Choice) caught our attention for its affordable premiums. AFC’s plans include a systems plan, an appliances plan and two hybrid plans covering both systems and appliances.

As with other home warranty companies, AFC pricing depends on the chosen service fee ($75, $100, $125). Monthly premiums for one year contracts range from $40 for the Silver Plan up to $80 for the most comprehensive Platinum Plan (depending on your location).

However, customers can choose between a one-year contract or a three-year contract term, saving up to 10% per month if they choose the three-year option.

In addition, AFC Home Club has one of the strongest service guarantees in the industry: both parts and labor are guaranteed for the life of the contract. This means that you don’t have to pay if you experience the same problem after a repair.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Silver Plan ($43.00 - 48.50/mo.*): Clothes dryer, clothes washer, kitchen refrigerator, oven, range, cooktop, dishwasher, garbage disposal, garage door opener.
  • Systems ($51.25 - $56.83/mo.*): Air conditioning, heating system, water heater, electrical system, plumbing system, ductwork.
  • Gold Plan ($59.58 - 65.17/mo.*): Clothes dryer, clothes washer, kitchen refrigerator, oven, range, cooktop, dishwasher, garbage disposal, garage door opener, air conditioning, heating system, water heater, electrical system, plumbing system, ductwork.
  • Platinum Plan ($65.17 - $70.67/mo.*): Everything covered by the Gold Plan, plus plumbing stoppages, built-in microwave, ice maker and fans.
  • Add-ons: Sump pump, septic system, central vacuum, in-ground pool and spa, stand alone freezer, roof leak repair, electronics, hot water dispenser.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in New York.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Available in all contiguous U.S.
  • 180-day workmanship guarantee
  • Plans include rust and corrosion coverage
  • Covers unknown pre-existing conditions
Cons
  • Higher deductibles than some competitors, from $100 to $150
  • Additional coverage options only available while getting a quote
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$100, $125, $150
State Availability
48 states, not available in AK, HI
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: Cinch Home Services’ system plan includes coverage for items that other home warranty companies offer as an add-on, such as sump pumps, water dispensers and smoke detectors.

Like other contenders in our list, Cinch Home Services offers three warranty plans: one for appliances, another for systems and a complete home plan, which covers both.

What stands out about Cinch plans is that they include coverage for items that other companies consider add-ons. For instance, Cinch’s appliance plan covers freestanding ice makers and built-in food centers, while its system plan covers sump pumps, doorbells, smoke detectors and tankless water heaters.

In addition, all plans come with a $50 reward for purchasing green or energy efficient products (which Cinch delivers after the first payment), and include a $25 credit for an air conditioner or water filter.

Cinch services are backed with a 180-day workmanship guarantee on work performed. This is considerably longer than the 30- and 90-day guarantee most companies offer (except for AFC Home Club, which offers a service guarantee for the life of the contract).

Other benefits include coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions and for malfunctions caused by rust and corrosion.

It does have one drawback: Cinch has higher service fees than other contenders in our list, with fees starting at $100 to $150.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Appliances ($27.99 - $37.99/mo.*): Refrigerator, ranges, cooktops, range exhaust hoods, clothes dryer, clothes washer, dishwasher, built-in food centers, freestanding ice makers, built-in microwave, wall ovens, trash compactors.
  • Built-in Systems ($32.99 - $44.99/mo.*): Air conditioning, ductwork, attic fans, ceiling fans, central vacuums, doorbells, electrical system, garage door opener, built-in exhaust, lighting fixtures, garbage disposal, heating system, instant cold and hot water dispensers, plumbing system, smoke detectors, sump pump, toilets, faucets and valves, whirlpool or jetted tub, water heater (including tankless water heaters and circulating pumps).
  • Complete Home ($39.99 - $51.99/mo.*): All systems and appliances covered by the previous plans and homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement of up to $500.
  • Add-ons: Pool and spa (including heater), septic tank, well pump.

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Offers up to 65% off in Whirlpool and GE brand appliances
  • Color match for replaced appliances
  • $5 monthly discount with auto-renewal
Cons
  • No coverage for garage doors, washers, dryers or roof leaks (available as add-on)
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$65, $85, $100
State Availability
Nationwide, except AK and HI
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
B

Why we chose this company: 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty’s premium plan covers a wide range of items that most home warranty companies don’t, such as turntable platforms, rotisseries, ceramic cooktops and concrete-encased plumbing.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has nearly 40 years of experience and offers services to all 48 states in the contiguous United States.

2-10 HBW offers three home warranty plans. Its most basic plan, Simply Kitchen, includes coverage for main kitchen appliances only — such as refrigerators, cooktops, microwaves, oven, dishwasher and ranges. The mid-tier plan, Complete Home, covers the same kitchen appliances along with major home systems, including air conditioning, heating systems, plumbing and electrical.

The Pinnacle Home plan, on the other hand, includes coverage for appliances and systems plus a wide range of components, such as:

  • Handles, hinges, clocks, racks, latch assemblies, rotisseries, turntable platforms, glass and ceramic cooktops, self-cleaning mechanisms
  • Filters
  • Haul away and disposal fees
  • Crane cost
  • Attic and bathroom exhausts fans
  • Burglar and fire alarms
  • Concrete encased and concealed wiring or plumbing
  • Refrigerant recovery and recharge
  • Interior and exterior hose bibbs

Unlike other home warranty companies, 2-10 HBW doesn’t include coverage for garage door openers, washers or dryers. However, customers can add these to their plan for an additional cost, alongside coverage for roof leaks, pools, septic systems, well pumps, water softeners, HVAC tune-ups and additional refrigerators.

Customers can also choose to increase appliance and systems coverage limits to $5,000 (as opposed to the standard $2,000) by adding the Luxury package for an additional $6 per month.

All three plans come with 2-10 HBW’s Appliance Discounts Program which gives you discounts of up to 65% off on Whirlpool and GE brands. 2-10 HBW also offers to match your appliance color during replacements and a $100 reimbursement if you decide to replace a broken appliance instead of requesting service.

In addition, 2-10 HBW offers a Service Fee Guarantee. This means that if a request is not eligible for service, 2-10 HBW will refund your service fee. It also means that you don’t have to pay another service fee if the same component fails after a service.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Simply Kitchen ($22/mo.*): Built-in microwave, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktop, refrigerator with ice maker.
  • Complete Home ($51/mo.*): Built-in microwave, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktop, refrigerator with ice maker, heating system, air conditioning, heat pump, thermostats, plumbing system, pipe leaks or breaks, sump pump, water heater, line stoppages, toilet tank, bowl, tank assembly parts, valves, pressure regulators, electrical system, switches, outlets, panels, doorbell.
  • Pinnacle Home ($65/mo.*): Everything covered by Complete Home, plus haul away, disposal fees, filters, attic and bathroom exhaust, washers, dryers, burglar and fire alarms.
  • Add-ons: Washer and dryer, garage door opener, HVAC tune-up

*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in California.

Read full review>>

Pros
  • Lower service fees than most competitors
  • Bundle plan covers electronic devices
Cons
  • Lower coverage caps for appliances
HIGHLIGHTS
Service Fees
$55
State Availability
Nationwide
Response Time
48 hours
BBB Rating
A+

Why we chose this company: American Residential Warranty offers competitive prices on its plans and a pretty low service fee of $55.

American Residential Warranty is available nationwide. It offers four plans and one of the lowest service fees ($55) in the industry.

ARW Kitchen Plus plan covers most common kitchen appliances — like cooktops, ranges, microwave and dishwasher — along with electrical systems and water heaters.

The Platinum Premier combines everything on the Kitchen Plus with extended coverage for common home systems such as garage door openers, plumbing systems, central home heating and air conditioning, and refrigerator with ice maker.

ARW 4-in-1 bundle plan includes electronics protection, which covers anything from laptops, gaming consoles and tablets to printers and plasma TVs. It also covers clothes washers, dryers, sewer and water lines, and ARW Deluxe Advantage add-on — which, among others, covers improper installations, permits and code violations.

ARW coverage limits are on the lower end compared to other home warranty companies — up to $1,000 and $500 for most systems and appliances, respectively. Additionally, according to the sample contract, there is a $5,000 maximum per each 12-month period.

Plans, pricing and appliances covered:

  • Ultimate Electronics Protection ($24.99/mo.*): Laptops, desktops, tablets, LED/LCD TV’s, flat panel, plasma TV, printers, gaming consoles
  • Kitchen Plus ($39.99/mo.*): Range, oven, cooktop, refrigerator, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, water heater, interior electrical system.
  • Platinum Premier ($64.99/mo.*): Range, oven, cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, water heater, interior electrical system, central air conditioning, central home heating, humidifier, plumbing system, plumbing stoppages, ductwork, garage door opener, refrigerator ice maker, ceiling fans.
  • 4-in-1 Bundle (129.99/mo.*): Everything covered by Platinum Premier, plus washer, dryer, water and sewer lines, electronics protection, A/C refrigerant, plumbing faucets and fixtures, toilets and internal mechanisms, garage door springs and tracks.
  • Add-ons: Pool and spa, water and sewer lines, electronics, washer and dryer

*Prices and plan availability may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are valid as of November 2022 for a home in California.

Read full review>>

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Other home warranty companies we considered

We researched a wide array of companies in order to find the best home warranty. The following are companies that didn’t make the final cut.

Choice Home Warranty

Pros
  • Affordable plans
  • Standard service call fee of $85.
Cons
  • Lacks flexibility in its coverage options.
  • The Arizona Attorney General sued CHW for allegedly making false promises to customers.
  • Unavailable in California and Washington.

Choice Home Warranty features two plans that cover most common appliances and systems and charges an $85 service fee, which is fairly standard across the industry. However, the company's coverage caps are somewhat lower than the competition, and it lacks some flexibility on its coverage conditions. In addition, the company was sued in 2019 for allegedly making false promises to customers.

Landmark Home Warranty

Pros
  • Monthly cost ranges from $35 up to $62 with service calls of $70 and $100
  • Plans include coverage for pest control and subterranean termite treatments
  • Roof leak repair available as an add-on
Cons
  • Only available in Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah
  • Not accredited by the BBB

Landmark Home Warranty offers two plans: a systems only plan and a comprehensive plan that covers both systems and appliances. Unlike most home warranty companies, Landmark offers coverage for pest control treatments (including subterranean termites). However services are only available in six states — Arizona, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas and Utah.

ServicePlus Home Warranty

Pros
  • Plans cover a mix of both appliances and systems
  • Platinum plan covers two AC units and two heating systems
  • Standard service call fee of $75
Cons
  • Doesn't offer appliance or system only plans
  • Not accredited by the BBB
  • Must purchase ServicePlus premium plan (Platinum) to get coverage for AC and heating systems

Founded in 2016, ServicePlus Home Warranty is a fairly new home warranty company that offers two different plans. The basic one covers a mix of systems and appliances such as plumbing, electrical and most kitchen appliances; the premium one covers all that plus A/C and heating systems, washers, dryers and refrigerators. Customers can also choose over a dozen add-on options to round out their coverage. An important drawback, however: ServicePlus doesn’t offer an appliance or a systems-only plan, which other competitors in our list do.

Complete Care Home Warranty

Pros
  • Low service fees, ranging from $45 to $60
  • 90-day parts guarantee
  • Covers rental properties
Cons
  • Low coverage limits
  • $50 cancellation fee

Complete Care Home Warranty offers three different plans that cover up to 20 systems and appliances and features fairly inexpensive service fees, ranging from $45 to $60. It offers a 30-days labor and 90-days parts guarantee; however, it does set lower coverage limits than many competitors.

AHW Home Warranty

Pros
  • Standard service call fee of $75 for all plans.
  • Add-on coverage for stand-alone freezers and wine refrigerators available
Cons
  • Plans cover fewer items compared to competitors.
  • Does not service CA, HI, IA, NM, OK or WA
  • The Arizona Attorney General sued AHW for allegedly misrepresenting the quality of its services and making false claims.

Like most major home warranty companies, AHW offers three different plan packages: a systems plan, an appliance plan and combo plan. All plans have a $75 standard service fee. However, the company covers fewer items than many of its competitors.

Old Republic Home Protection

Pros
  • In business for more than 45 years
  • Offers electronics and smart home equipment coverage plan
  • Standard service call fee of $75
Cons
  • Only available in 32 states
  • Covered systems and appliances varies by state
  • Kitchen refrigerator and washer/dryer coverage available for home buyers only
  • Does not offer quotes online

With over 45 years of experience, Old Republic Home Protection services 32 states, including Hawaii. It offers coverage for a wide range of systems and appliances, although covered components vary by state. Some perks include electronics and smart home equipment plans and coverage for pest control treatments in some locations. Do note, however, that Old Republic Home Protection doesn't allow customers to request quotes or apply for a home warranty online.

Best Home Warranty Guide

This guide covers the basics on what a home warranty is, the different types of coverage plans they offer and how to determine whether that monthly premium is actually worth it. It also includes important factors to keep in mind as you're choosing a plan.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a service contract that helps you pay for repairs if and when major household systems or appliances break down.

A home warranty could save you money if your appliances and systems are reaching the end of their usable life. In fact, even if you're selling your home, real estate agents often recommend buying a home warranty for two reasons:

  • It can cover a system or appliance in case it breaks during or after the listing process, and
  • It adds value and attracts homebuyers who worry about unforeseen home repair costs if they buy your house.

Do note that if your home needs a major makeover, and you need to upgrade appliances that aren’t in need of repair yet, a home improvement loan could be a better option. (Make sure to check out our guide to How to Get a Home Improvement Loan and the best home improvement loans lenders to get you started.)

Difference between home warranty and home insurance

The main difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance is what each one covers and under what circumstances.

A home insurance policy will cover expenses if your house or personal property are damaged by perils like fires and theft; a home warranty, on the other hand, covers the cost of repairing or replacing systems and appliances after breakdowns, malfunctions and normal wear and tear.

A home warranty company can also find a qualified service contractor in your area to perform repairs and installations.

Another key difference is that a home warranty is optional, whereas homeowners insurance is required by lenders as part of the mortgage process.

What does a home warranty cover?

Generally, home warranty companies offer coverage for the same array of home systems and appliances. Some companies also offer optional coverage options — also called add-ons or riders — that you can include for an extra fee.

Companies use a wide range of names for their different plans — Gold, Platinum, Bronze, Basic, Premier, etc. — but most plans fall into three basic categories: a systems plan, an appliances plan and a hybrid or combo plan, which covers both.

Most Common Home Systems Covered: Most Common Home Appliances Covered Most Frequently Covered Add-Ons
Heating and air conditioning (HVAC system) Refrigerators Pools and in-ground spas
Plumbing systems Laundry machines (clothes washer, dryers) Septic system / Septic tank pumping system
Electrical systems Ranges, stoves, ovens & cooktops Well pumps
Water heaters Built-in microwave ovens Sump pumps
Ductwork Garbage disposals Ceiling fans
Doorbells Garage door opener Smoke detectors
Central vacuums Dishwashers Standalone freezer or second refrigerator
Ceiling fans and exhausts Trash compactors Lawn sprinkler system

Do home warranties protect brand-new systems and appliances?

If you’ve just installed new appliances or bought a brand new home, your appliances will probably already be protected by a limited manufacturer’s warranty. Since a home warranty won’t cover anything that’s already covered under another type of warranty, you might want to consult with a professional as to whether you need one.

Most homeowners prefer that the manufacturer — Whirlpool, Samsung, GE, etc. — repair their own products if the appliances remain under a manufacturer’s warranty. Generally, you can find the steps for registering your newly bought appliance and the manufacturer’s warranty coverage on the owner’s manual.

What voids a home warranty?

Each home warranty provider has its own set of rules regarding what voids your home warranty for a specific system or appliance. In some cases, this can include:

  • Unauthorized repairs, whether by using an unapproved contractor (licensed or not) or attempting to do the repairs yourself
  • Home improvement projects
  • Failing to keep your home up to building codes
  • Misplacing ownership documentation

The “proper maintenance” gray area

Sometimes home warranty coverage is contingent on the “proper maintenance” of systems and appliances. This means repairs won’t be covered if the malfunction was caused by a failure to follow the manufacturer’s maintenance specifications. However, companies often don’t provide clear guidelines as to what constitutes proper routine maintenance.

Some contracts give concrete examples such as:

  • Changing filters
  • Flushing the water heater
  • Sanitizing your water filter
  • Keeping proper refrigerant levels
  • Cleaning coils

However, coverage will ultimately depend on whether the home warranty’s service technicians decide there was proper maintenance.

TIP: If you buy a home warranty, take pictures and document that maintenance of the appliances is being routinely performed.

How much does a home warranty cost?

A home warranty can cost anywhere from $30 to $80 a month depending on the type of plan you choose. Typically, systems and appliances-only plans are low-priced compared to all-inclusive plans.

The service fee, which is the amount you agree to pay for each repair visit, also plays a key role in home warranty plans pricing. Plans with higher service fees will generally cost less than plans with a lower service fee. However, keep in mind that a higher service fee also means paying more out of pocket when you request a repair.

The most cost-effective home warranty plans strike a balance between price, types of items covered, service fee and payout limits.

Are home warranties worth it?

A home warranty can offer peace of mind by covering unexpected expenses related to systems and appliances malfunctions and normal tear or wear. However, if your major appliances and home systems are brand new and/or covered by manufacturers’ warranties you probably don’t need to purchase a home warranty plan yet. The following list of factors may help you determine whether purchasing a home warranty it’s what you need.

Yes, a Home Warranty is worth it if: A Home Warranty might not be worth it if:
You're purchasing a previously built home, since systems may be approaching the end of their lifespan (usually 5-10 years) You're purchasing a newly built home, since new construction usually comes with a warranty from the builder for systems for up to 10 years
The appliances in your house are currently working, but weren't purchased recently New appliances usually come with a manufacturer's warranty, and some credit cards also offer extended warranties
You don't know mechanics or contractors in your area, or good DIY skills You have established relationships with contractors or maintenance people, or are good at DIY-ing repairs

You’re more likely to be happy with your home warranty plan if you:

  • Evaluate your home’s appliances and determine they're currently working properly (warranties do not pay to fix items that are already broken)
  • Read sample contracts paying special attention to the appliances you already have, and read about how the policies may treat claims on these in particular
  • Find and choose a reputable company

How to choose the best home warranty for you

As you browse home warranty companies and plans, keep the following things in mind before signing on that dotted line.

1. Get different quotes and compare

Get at least three free quotes. If you have questions about pricing and coverage, clear them with a representative.

2. Read sample contracts

Identify the limitations and exclusions in the contract and check payout limits.

When in doubt about budgeting maintenance and replacement costs, remember the 1% rule and the square foot rule — although bear in mind that both are very rough estimates:

  • 1% rule: When you purchase a home, set aside one percent of its total cost for repairs and maintenance.
  • Square foot rule: Budget about $1 a year for every square foot of livable space for the eventual replacement of a roof or major systems.

3. Check differences in state licensing

Research and review home warranty regulations to ensure the company is licensed and legally allowed to do business in your state.

The insurance commissioner or Department of Consumer Protection oversees home warranty companies in many states. Check out this State Licensing Guide to find your local regulator.

4. Analyze liability limitations

Remember, appliances with active manufacturer warranties, malfunction resulting from rust, corrosion, toxic materials, improper installation, or pre-existing conditions (known or unknown) are typically not covered by a home warranty.

Companies are also not liable for repairs of cosmetic defects, routine maintenance, or malfunctions caused by acts of nature such as fire, flood, earthquakes or storms. (The latter are covered by homeowners insurance or flood insurance policies.)

5. Gauge a company's reputation

The best home warranty companies are known for providing great customer service and are more flexible in paying claims. They’re also open to feedback, and encourage their customers to review or rate their technicians.

When evaluating a home warranty company’s reputation, it’s important to do a comprehensive search for their name online. Make sure to read reviews their clients have posted and, especially, be on the lookout for any record of recent legal action taken against the company.

How do I cancel my home warranty?

First, call the home warranty company and make sure to get the name of the sales representative you talk to.

In some cases, you may need to send a written notice of termination, which you should send via registered post or courier if possible, to make tracking easier. If your payments are automated from a credit card or bank account, make sure to cancel with the corresponding institution. Finally, it may be a good idea to request a written confirmation of the cancellation directly from the company.

Do note that most companies charge a cancellation fee that can range from $25 to $75, or 10% penalty of the outstanding fee. This means you may receive a prorated refund. However, companies typically provide a full refund if you cancel within the first 30 days of purchase.

Best Home Warranty Companies FAQ

How much is a home warranty?

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The cost for a home warranty varies from company to company, but it can cost between $30 - $60 per month on average or $360 - $700 per year. Remember the additional service fee of $70 - $110 whenever you need to call a technician for repairs.

What is the best home warranty company?

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The best home warranty companies are transparent about their terms and pricing so you know what to expect. Warranties on repairs and high coverage limits are also important factors that make companies stand out. For example, Select Home Warranty offers a 90-day guarantee on its repairs, while American Home Shield provides free HVAC tune-ups and fewer restrictions than its competitors.

Does home warranty cover plumbing?

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As a general rule, yes. However, most home warranties only cover your plumbing system "as-is" when your contract goes into effect. Some companies may offer add-ons to your contract that cover future upgrades. Ask your current provider for more details.

Do home warranties cover roofs?

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Home warranty companies typically offer roof coverage as an add-on to your contract. However, this only covers damages resulting from normal wear and tear. When your roof starts leaking due to old age, your home warranty will cover the cost of repairs, but only to the roof of your main living area — which excludes patios, decks and some garages.

How soon can you use a home warranty after purchase?

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How soon you can use your home warranty will depend on how recently you purchased your home. If you did not buy your home warranty as part of a mortgage closing, there is usually a 30-day waiting period. Some companies allow you to file a claim if you purchased a warranty within 30 days of your mortgage closing.

Who pays for the home warranty, the buyer or the seller?

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Unlike home insurance, which the buyer must purchase, a home warranty can be purchased by either the buyer or the seller.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Company of 2022

Our methodology focused on four key factors: transparency in services offered, claims processing, cost and quality of customer service.

We considered criteria such as contract terms, the types of malfunctions or failures covered, payout limits, cost-efficiency and service fees.

Services offered. We compared companies’ offerings and coverage caps to find the ones that offered the best value and covered the most systems and appliances.

Claims processing. We preferred companies that offered multiple ways to file a claim and quick response times.

Cost. We requested quotes whenever prices weren’t openly disclosed on companies’ websites using New York and California addresses and assessing the application process.

Customer service. We checked every company’s standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), including their accreditation (or lack thereof), rating and reviews. In our list, we only included companies who, if they were registered with the BBB, had a rating of B or higher.

Note that BBB ratings take into account factors such as number of complaints, time in business, transparent business practices, licensing and any government actions against a business to determine how a particular business is “likely to interact with its customers.” A business can receive a rating from A+ to F.

Summary of Money’s Best Home Warranty Companies of 2022