The 7 Best Home Warranty Companies 2020

Learn how to protect yourself against costly home repairs

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A home warranty plan, also known as a home service contract helps cover unexpected breakdowns and repairs due to normal wear and tear on various systems in your home or with appliances. If you are thinking of getting a home warranty plan there are over 70 providers, so it's hard to know which one to choose.

If you are like many Americans running a household while trying to balance a budget, a $400 unexpected expense could put you in a difficult situation. Having a home warranty can help manage unexpected costs. We’ve reviewed the top home warranty companies to help you figure out which one is the best choice and what to look for when buying a home warranty for your home.

The 7 Best Home Warranty Companies 2020

Best Overall Home Warranty Plan: American Home Shield

American Home Shield

American Home Shield

American Home Shield founded the Home Warranty industry in 1971 and makes our top pick for best overall because of the generous limit on appliances, well-rounded coverage offerings, and reliability. They are the largest Home Warranty provider in the U.S. with over 40% of the home warranty market share. 

American Home Shield offers 5 plans: “Appliances Plan”, “Systems Plan”, “Combo Plan”, “Build Your Own” and an “Electronics Plan.” 

You can view a sample contract here.

What We Like
  • A network of over 15,000 contractors 

  • Second opinion option

  • Covers costs to dismantle and remove defective equipment

  • High appliance limit up to $3,000

  • Covers insufficient maintenance, rust, corrosion or sediment, and mismatched items

What to Look Out For
  • Exclusions for audio, video, computer, intercom, alarm, security wiring, circuit overload

  • Exclusions for damage by roots to plumbing

  • Exclusions for damage by sediment, rust, and corrosion if it occurred prior to the contract term

  • Limits to Look Into: Up to $3,000 per appliance/No max limit
  • Pricing: Varies by state and fee option
  • Member National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA): Yes
  • BBB Rating: B
  • Year Founded: 1971
  • Service Fee Options: $75 to $125
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: Possibly with approval

Best for Families & Response Time: Cinch Home Services

Cinch Home Warranty

Cinch Home Warranty

Cinch has been in business since 1978, has an A- Better Business Bureau Rating, and has been nominated for customer service awards. They are a member of the NHSCA.

Their contract is straightforward and simple to read and features a number of perks to make the busy homeowner’s life easy. We didn’t see this simplicity in any of the other company contracts such as having no limits on appliance brands.

Cinch offers three plan options: “Appliances”, “Built-in Systems” and “Complete Home” 

What We Like
  • 24/7 call support, but you can always use the Cinch Amazon Alexa skill to get some help

  • Fastest response: two to 24 hours 

  • No exclusions or limits based on the brand of appliances 

  • A deductible reimbursement clause for home insurance claims

What to Look Out For
  • No coverage for removal of the defective equipment

  • Inability to choose your own contractor; however, they stand behind their nationwide network of providers with a 180-day recall period

  • No roof leak coverage

  • Limits to Look Into: Appliances $2,000, $350 to $500 on others. $10,000 cap per year.
  • Pricing: Varies by state and fee option
  • Member NHSCA: Yes
  • BBB Rating: A-
  • Year Founded: 1978
  • Service Fee Options: $100/$125/$150
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: No
Tip

Home Warranties usually exclude coverage for items that are already covered on a manufacturer’s warranty, or things like weather damage or roof leaks, which may be covered on your home insurance.

Best Home Warranty for Flexibility: America’s Preferred Home Warranty

America’s Preferred Home Warranty

America’s Preferred Home Warranty

Choosing which home warranty will give you the most flexibility depends a lot on what kind of flexibility you need. America’s Preferred Home Warranty has been in business 20 years and they have a Better Business Bureau rating of A+, they offer some interesting add-on’s to their plans to cover things a lot of other companies may exclude.  

America’s Preferred Home Warranty has 2 plan options: “Standard Coverage” and “Preferred Upgrade”.

What We Like
  • Choose your own contractor (but don’t forget to call them for approval first)

  • A nice selection of add-ons such as an electrical package to cover your fire and burglar alarm, optional roof leak, code violation, or coverage for costs to have a crane install roof central air components

  • Additional living expense allowance ($75 per night) in the case of furnace failure in freezing temperatures, if service can not be initiated immediately

  • They dispose of your old appliances 

What to Look Out For
  • The contract lists many different sub-limits for various appliances or home systems. You get $2,500 for the heating system, which is great, but then there are sub-limits depending on the type of heating system you have, for example, $1,500 for steam or hot water heating systems 

  • There may be clauses limiting coverage on “beyond life expectancy appliances”

  • They do not cover pre-existing conditions

  • Limits to Look Into: Various sub-limits and a $25,000 maximum per year
  • Pricing: $465-$549
  • Member NHSCA: Yes
  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Year Founded: 2000
  • Service Fee Options: $50/$100/$125
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: Yes

Best Home Warranty for Plan Selection and Value: America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club

America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club

America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club

America’s First Choice (AFC) Home Club was our top pick for home warranty plan selection and value. AFC Home Club has a Better Business Bureau rating of B and has been in business 10 years. 

AFC Home Club offers four plan options: Platinum, Gold, Silver, and System, with customizable coverage and club benefits.

AFC Home Club offers value-added perks that can protect you and also save you money. For example, here are some of their Club Benefits:  

  • Free credit monitoring and identity protection alerts
  • Discounted rates for home security and alarm services
  • Savings at thousands of restaurants, retailers and online partners like Amazon. 
What We Like
  • $2,000 limit per item per term (subject to exclusions or high-end limitations)

  • Right to a second opinion

  • The ability to choose your own contractor if they meet the AFC criteria (licensed, bonded and insured)

  • Longest work guarantee in the industry: for “the life of the plan”

  • Includes coverage for systems like the Electrical System, which is not always covered elsewhere 

What to Look Out For
  • Premium appliances or high-end brand names have limited coverage to $1,000. For example, “Samsung” and “GE Monogram” among others

  • Requires the make, model, the serial number prior to service. Maintenance certificates may be required before a system is eligible for a claim (i.e. HVAC)

  • Waiting Period: For repairs on days 31-61 maximum payout is $150

  • Exclusion for malfunction due to rust or corrosion of all systems and appliances

  • Items 5 years or older use a “guide for a prorated amount based on age,” requiring a reimbursement to the value they determined with their guide based on age. 

  • You may be charged for disposal of old appliances

  • Limits to Look Into: $2,000 on major appliances, other sub-limits $250 to $1,000 on others
  • Pricing: $350 to $600
  • Member NHSCA: No
  • BBB Rating: B
  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Service Fee Options: $75 to $125
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: Yes if they meet certain criteria

Best Budget-Friendly: American Residential Warranty

American Residential Warranty

American Residential Warranty

American Residential Warranty has been in business for 10 years and has an A+ rating at the Better Business Bureau. They offer the lowest service fee at $55. We like the budget-friendly approach that American Residential Warranty uses and the reliability in their ratings. 

American Residential Warranty offers six plan options:

  • Heating & Cooling, Kitchen Plus, Platinum, Platinum Premier, 3-in-1 Bundle, and the 4-in-1 Bundle. 
What We Like
  • A low service fee of $55

  • They do not exclude coverage for certain brands 

  • They cover rust or corrosion after the first 60 days

  • Option to choose your own contractor (with their prior permission)

What to Look Out For
  • There are numerous limits in the policy. For example, $500 per appliance, $1,000 for central air. The maximum limit is $5,000 per year

  • Limits on the age of the system or appliance 

  • Maintenance requirements

  • The service standard is 48 hours (or 24 hours in an emergency)

  • Limits to Look Into: $500 per appliance/$1,000 central air or heat/$5,000 annual (lower limits on appliances over 10 years old)
  • Pricing: $350 to $700
  • Member NHSCA: No
  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Service Fee Options: $55
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: Yes with permission

Best Regional: OneGuard Home Warranty

OneGuard Home Warranty

OneGuard Home Warranty

The number one thing you will hear when looking at these plans is that a home warranty is not a home maintenance plan and this is true. However, OneGuard Home Warranty gives you a nice mix of a home warranty options to add coverages into your plan that goes above and beyond the industry standards. OneGuard has been in business since 1990 and they have an A+ Better Business Bureau Rating. 

OneGuard has three plan options: Appliance Guard, SystemGuard and HomeGuard.

What We Like
  • Home maintenance options: window washing, carpet cleaning, tune-ups for heating and AC, lawn care, weed kill treatment, and termite treatment

  • Unknown pre-existing condition add-ons, compliance to code coverage

  • Shortest waiting period compared to other home warranty plans: 10 days  

What We Don't Like
  • Proof of maintenance, inspection reports or proof of prior repairs may be required

  • Items purchased after contract date may be excluded if not registered with them

  • Coverage is only available in Arizona, Texas, and Nevada 

  • Limits to Look Into: Various Sub-limits, $5,000 appliances
  • Pricing: $360 to $672
  • Member NHSCA: Yes
  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Year Founded: 1980
  • Service Fee Options: $69
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: No

Best for Simplicity and Clarity: Amazon Home Warranty

Amazon Home Warranty

Amazon Home Warranty

Amazon has a Better Business Bureau 4.5 star rating from 400 reviews. They have clear warranty contract wording that is easy to understand and a simple $1,500 limit per claim with no annual cap. Amazon allows for second opinions and they have a good service recall guarantee: 90 days for parts and 30 days for labor. They use a nationwide network of over 40,000 contractors. 

Amazon has three plan options: System Plan, Combo Plan and Appliance Plan.

What We Like
  • Add-ons for sprinkler systems, second fridges, humidifiers, roof leak and others

  • Option for a second opinion

  • No exclusion for older appliances

  • Waiting period can be waived if switching from another company

What to Look Out For
  • No coverage for access to plumbing through foundation or slab

  • Premium appliances are limited to $1,000

  • No disposal of old appliances and parts

  • No coverage for pre-existing conditions, or damage caused by rust and corrosion

  • Limits to Look Into: $1,500 per claim
  • Pricing: $349 to $549
  • Member NHSCA: No
  • BBB Rating: A+
  • Year Founded: 2010
  • Service Fee Options: $75
  • Choose Your Own Contractor: No

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

On average, the cost of the home warranty contracts we reviewed ranged between $300 to $700 per year, with some tipping over $1,000, but it varies by zip code in many cases. Companies may also have different rates depending on the size of your home, particularly for homes over 5,000 square feet.

Various home warranty companies offer specials on the websites. With many of the home warranty companies we reviewed, we signed up for a quote and later received discount offers by email. 

Tips for Finding the Best Home Warranty Company

  1. Choose plans that match your needs, including taking into consideration age, maintenance history (or not), and any brand names or higher-end items.
  2. Do the math on the maximum amount that the home warranty pays out based on the limits and exclusions, and weigh this against the cost you will pay for your plan. Don’t forget to include the service fee!
  3. Ask about caps and limits, as well as exclusions. And always read the contract before you commit to the plan.

In the end, a home warranty is a good way to prepare for the costs of unexpected breakdowns when you are on a budget. Knowing what to expect in advance will give you the peace of mind to know that if something goes wrong, the home warranty will have your back.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Companies

We checked the warranty contract wordings, reviews, ratings, complaints, websites, different plan offerings, membership standings with the NHSCA, pricing and service level agreements from over 20 companies. We chose the most flexible policies with the lowest average pricing.

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