Home warranties cover appliances, providing you with some financial assistance in the event these appliances and systems break down. You’ll still need home insurance if you want to protect your house from fire, natural disasters, and the like, but when it comes to what’s inside your house, a home warranty can potentially save you a lot of money.
The Top 5 Home Warranty Companies When You're Thinking of Changing Plans
- The first month of any plan is free
- A new contractor “work order dispatch system” pledges faster service to customers
- High reported levels of satisfaction with customer service
- They have a call center which is open 24/7
- Commercial grade equipment or systems in your home are not covered
- There are certain exclusions to be aware of, including issues caused by rust or power surges
If you’re thinking about changing home warranty providers, Choice Home Warranty can set you up with your first month for free. This top-rated service also charges some of the most affordable rates, at only $33.33 per month for the basic plan, and $40 for the total plan. For a year the plans only cost $370 and $450, respectively.
The plans don’t cover commercial grade equipment, so if you have some more professional stuff set up in your house, it might remain exposed. The entry level “Basic” plan is affordable, but it probably makes better sense to pay $40 per month for the “Total” plan, which adds A/C, refrigerator, washing machine and dryer coverage as well. You can also contact the company to add coverage of your pool, spa, roof and freezer, and other parts of your house, for an added fee.
And with all that, Choice Home Warranty has also earned a reputation for stellar customer service, which can really help out if something goes wrong at your home and you need some assistance.
- 2 months free when you sign up
- A new contractor “work order dispatch system” pledges faster service to customers
- Call center is open 24/7
- Previously repaired items are not covered
- For the first 3 months your coverage may be limited by the company
If you’re thinking of changing home warranty providers because you'd like more options, Select Home Warranty lets you select from 3 different levels of coverage.
There are 3 coverage levels with Select—Gold, Bronze, and Platinum. Even with the entry level ‘Bronze’ plan you’ll have coverage for your washer and dryer, garbage disposal, refrigerator, oven, microwave, cooktop, and dishwasher. With the next 2 plans, you’ll also receive coverage for more extensive systems like your plumbing, and ductwork as well. The Platinum Plan only adds in coverage of plumbing stoppage, ceiling fans, and the garage door opener, so it might not be worth the extra cost to most customers.
The company is also known for having transparent service conditions as well as reliable customer service.
- One month free when you sign up
- 24/7 support
- No fee to transfer a home warranty
- Website doesn’t have comprehensive information
- No huge gain in upgrading to Platinum plan
For a homeowner looking to try out a new warranty provider, Total Home Protection has you covered, offering a free month and $50 off when you sign up. The company will also allow you to transfer a home warranty for free.
Total Home Warranty also provides you with a helpful customer service live chat for any questions you may have.
The plans are affordable and can suit a wide range of budgets. Like with Select Home Warranty though, there isn’t a huge difference between the intermediate and most expansive plans.
Unlike some competitors though, Total Home Protection provides a page on its website where you can read information about individual contractors.
4. American Home Shield
- No home inspection required beforehand for new customers
- Very wide range of systems covered
- Low premiums
- Extended wait times have been reported
There are 4 different service plans to choose from when you decide to switch your plan to American Home Shield, including an appliance plan, a system plan, a build your own plan, and a combo plan. Simply put, the company offers more options than most when it comes to getting you the plan with the coverage that’s right for you.
The system uses a network of more than 11,000 independent contractors to provide service, and you can file a service request 24/7. It will also allow you to order warranties for properties that you are selling, so that you can use the warranty as a selling point with prospective buyers.
Also, with more than 45 years in business, there is no shortage of customer reviews to consult.
5. Liberty Home Guard
- Customize your plan to cover just appliances or systems
- Dedicated customer service
- Plans for as little as $1 per day
- Limited information on website
If you’re thinking of changing your home warranty provider, with Liberty Home Guard you can set yourself up with plans for as little as $1/day. Also, you can specify for yourself whether or not you want a plan that just covers appliances or one that includes the systems of your house as well.
You also won’t need to have a home inspection if you’re thinking of changing your home warranty provider to Liberty Home Guard.
With Liberty Home Guard you’ll have at your disposal a dedicated customer service department that answers the phones 24/7.
What's the Difference Between Home Warranty and Homeowner's Insurance?
If you’re asking yourself “what’s the difference between a home warranty and home insurance?” you are by no means alone. Home insurance covers damage to your home caused by natural disasters, fire, theft, and the like, while home warranties cover the systems in your house, such as your A/C, refrigerator, and other major appliances and systems. Think of it almost like an extended warranty for these items. You pay a monthly fee, and if things break down the company can cover the cost of repairing or replacing the item in question.
What Types of Things Can I Cover with a Home Warranty?
A home warranty isn’t going to do you any good if your house has taken some serious hail damage or if a fire gutted your garage. On the other hand, it can be a great help if you have some major systems and appliances that are starting to breakdown. Each plan is different, but here are some things that home warranty plans can cover:
- Heating, ventilation and AC systems
- Water heater
- Plumbing and electrical systems
Major kitchen appliances such as dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, built-in microwave, garbage disposal or trash compactor. (Home warranties typically exclude small consumer appliances like coffee makers and toasters.)
Ok, I’m Listening, but Is a Home Warranty Plan a Good Idea?
If things go wrong with the major systems in your house—like the A/C, the water heater, or the electrical systems—then the monthly cost of a home warranty plan might seem like small change. Prices vary, but typically monthly plans are between $30-$50, while annual plans range from $300-$600. At the time of service, you may be required to pay the contractor a $60 fee as well.
Your best course of action when considering a home warranty plan is to look at which household systems it covers, and if those are ones that are worth it for you to cover. You should also look at online reviews from customers who have used the service, to see if it has a good record for handling customer service requests on time.
And while it might not be a parameter you can put a dollar sign on, knowing that your major household systems and appliances are covered can provide you with some much-needed peace of mind.
What Do I Do If I Need to Use My Home Warranty?
Filing a claim with a home warranty company is simple. Here’s what it will look like with the majority of companies:
- If something has broken down, file a claim with the company through the details provided by the company (this can usually be done by phone or email).
- The claim is received by the company, which will then dispatch a technician in your area to arrange a suitable time to provide service.
- At the time of the visit, you will have to be on hand to provide the technician with a small service fee.
There are a number of reasons that you may be denied compensation for your claim however, including that the damage occured prior to the purchasing of the warranty, that the damage was caused by rough handling or neglect, it was installed improperly, or that the damage was caused by animals.
Changing Home Warranty Provider? It’s Your Move Now
Changing your Home Warranty provider can be a way to take advantage of special introductory deals and discounts that can save you a significant amount of money. Also, switching providers can be your way to find the company that’s right for you, and gives you the coverage for your appliances and systems that you need—at the price that works for you.