Top home warranty companies
- Three service call fee options
- Covers multiple appliances of the same type
- 30-day workmanship guarantee
- Up to 21 items covered
- No coverage for stand-alone freezers
- Fee for canceling after 30 days
American Home Shield covers up to 21 home systems and appliances. You can select a plan to cover appliances, systems or both, and you can choose a service call fee of $75, $100 or $125. AHS also offers add-on coverage for pools and spas, guest homes on the property, a septic pump, a well pump and electronics. Plans start around $40 per month at the time of publishing and are available in every state except Alaska. There’s a waiting period of 30 days before coverage starts unless you purchase a plan during a real estate transaction.
- Free roof leak coverage
- Multiyear coverage discount
- Two months free
- Three levels of coverage
- Unavailable in Nevada, New York, Washington and Wisconsin
- May require three-year maintenance history before repairs
Select Home Warranty offers three levels of coverage: Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care. Customers on ConsumerAffairs.com say the plans provide good value for the price. At the time of publishing, the company is discounting all plans by $100, adding free roof coverage and including two free months of coverage. We received a quote for its Platinum Plan, which covers 17 systems and appliances, for $564 for one year for a home in Kansas City. Select Home Warranty plans have a 30-day waiting period.
- Flexible plans
- Covers unknown preexisting conditions
- 180-day workmanship guarantee
- 24/7 customer service
- Limited add-on coverage
- No advertised service call fee amount
Cinch Home Services has an Appliances plan, a Built-in Systems plan and a Complete Home plan. Each plan comes with a 180-day workmanship guarantee, coverage for unknown preexisting conditions, rust and corrosion coverage, discounts on new appliances and a free water sensor to detect leaks. At the time of publishing, plans from Cinch start at $27.99 per month and have multiple deductible options. There is a waiting period before coverage begins, and customers can pay monthly or for a full year upfront.
- High number of plans
- One-year guarantee on repairs
- HomeServe app
- No service call fee
- No coverage for appliances
- Availability varies by location
HomeServe home warranty plans cover heating, cooling, electrical and plumbing systems. You can select from multiple plans for each system or choose a combination plan. Prices at the time of publishing range from several dollars a month to around $60 a month. Check for maximum benefits for each system, a maximum total annual benefit and a separate waiting period for water heater replacement. HomeServe guarantees repairs for one year. Its app gives users access to manuals, warranty information and how-to videos.
OneGuard Home Warranties
- Home maintenance services included
- Many additional coverage options
- 30-day repair guarantee
- Short waiting period
- Only available in Arizona, Nevada and Texas
- No standard protection for undetectable preexisting conditions
OneGuard Home Warranties’ plans, available to residents of Arizona, Nevada and Texas, cover more than just systems and appliances. Whether you choose the ApplianceGuard, SystemGuard or combination HomeGuard plan, the contract includes carpet cleaning, window cleaning, dryer vent cleaning and pest control treatment (with a service fee). More than 15 optional coverages are available.
At the time of publishing, plans cost from $30 to $60 per month and have a $69 trade service fee. On one sample contract for Arizona properties, OneGuard Home Warranties specifies a 10-day waiting period, which is shorter than most companies’ waiting periods. A cancellation fee applies after 30 days.
- Starts at $19 per month
- Company pays 97.5% of claims
- Appliance Replacement Offer program
- Payment options
- Higher service call fees
- No easy plan comparison
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty sells home warranties to homeowners for as little as $19 per month at the time of publishing. It offers a Simply Kitchen plan that covers kitchen appliances, an Essential Home package that covers systems and appliances and a Complete Home plan that provides the company’s most comprehensive coverage. The company states on its site that systems-only and appliance-only plans are available, as are optional coverages for roof leaks, a stand-alone freezer and other items. Customers can pick the service fee they want; service fees range from $85 to $125.
- Four plans
- Ability to choose your own technician
- Lifetime work guarantee
- Free credit monitoring and ID protection alerts
- Unavailable in California, Hawaii, Nevada and South Carolina
- $75 cancellation fee
AFC Home Club sells four home warranty plans: the Systems Plan (systems only), the Silver Plan (appliances only), the Gold Plan (systems and appliances) and the Platinum Plan, which includes everything in the Gold Plan and adds coverage for plumbing stoppages, a built-in microwave and an ice maker. Additional coverages are available.
AFC has several standout features. It lets you choose your own technician if you want to go outside its network as long as they are licensed, bonded and insured. It also guarantees repairs for the lifetime of the plan. We received a quote for comprehensive coverage for $550 per year for a Kansas City home. AFC offers a choice of service fee: $75, $100 or $125. There is a 30-day waiting period. Check the terms for excluded components of covered items and payout limits.
Compare home warranty costs
|Provider||Starting cost*||Service call fee|
|American Home Shield||$40 per month||$75, $100 or $125|
|Select Home Warranty||$41 per month||$60 to $75|
|Cinch Home Services||$27.99 per month||Varies|
|HomeServe||Under $10 per month||$0|
|OneGuard Home Warranties||$30 per month||$69|
|2-10 Home Buyers Warranty||$19 per month||$85 to $125|
|AFC Home Club||$40 per month||$75, $100 or $125|
What to consider when buying a home warranty
The home warranty company and plan you choose should provide the coverage you need at a price you can afford. Consider getting quotes from multiple providers. Here are a few things you should compare as you’re making a decision:
- Coverage options: Most companies offer multiple plans. It’s common to see appliances and systems split into two separate plans and a combination plan covering both. Then there are add-ons, including pool, hot tub and roof leak coverage. Think about which of your systems and appliances are most likely to fail from normal use and which are the most expensive to repair as you sort through the options.
- Pricing: Don’t just look at the prices listed on this page or on the companies’ websites to compare affordability. To get an accurate quote, you need to tell a provider where you live, the size of your home, what type of plan you want and your service call fee preference. Note how long the contract lasts — it’s usually 12 months — and how you make payments. Is there an option to pay monthly? Do you save if you make an upfront payment for the full term?
- Terms, limits and exclusions: It’s critical to read the fine print in the contract before you purchase a home warranty. That’s where you can find out when breakdowns are covered, what components of each covered item are excluded from coverage and the maximum amount the company will pay out for a repair or replacement. You can also verify how long the waiting period is, how much your service call fee is and whether you can cancel or transfer the contract.
- Customer service: A home warranty isn’t useful without good customer service. The claims process should be simple and available 24/7, and the company should have a large network of licensed contractors. Read reviews to find out if customers are satisfied with how prompt the company is when responding to and approving claims. Look for a guarantee to send a technician back at no charge if a repair doesn’t work.
Bottom line: Should you get a home warranty?
Buying a home warranty is a good idea if you worry about the cost of unexpected repairs on your major home appliances and systems. The purchase could pay for itself after just one or two expensive repairs.
These service contracts tend to be most popular among new homeowners, owners of homes with older appliances and systems, and sellers who want to make their property more attractive. If you decide a home warranty is right for you, compare companies’ plans, fine print, prices and customer service. Remember: As with any service contract or insurance, there’s a chance you pay for it and never use it. Millions of home warranty holders, though, have decided the financial security is worth that risk.