Best Home Warranty Companies

AFC offers home systems coverage with flexible policies and pricing

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A home warranty can help cover the cost of repairs to your appliances and home systems when they break down or wear out. Unlike homeowners insurance policies which don’t typically cover these items, home warranties offer discounts on repairs and replacement costs up to certain limits for the lifetime of your policy.  

The best home warranty companies provide a variety of coverage options, a wide choice of service providers, high coverage limits, transparent coverage details, and make it easy to purchase a policy and file claims.

If you think a home warranty plan may be the right option for you, here are some of the best home warranty companies on the market.

Best Home Warranty Companies of 2021

Best Overall : AFC Home Club (America's 1st Choice)

The Balance's Rating
4.9

Courtesy of AFC Home Club for online quoting (America's 1st Choice)

 Courtesy of AFC Home Club for online quoting (America's 1st Choice)

  • Service Fees: $75/$100/$125
  • Annual Cost: Request a quote
  • No. of States: 50
Why We Picked It

AFC Home Club has been in business since 2009 and has the most liberal policy we could find for choosing your own repair technician with no prior approval necessary. As long as a contractor is licensed, bonded, and insured, you should be able to use the contractor of your choice for repairs.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Good selection of plans and add-ons

  • Choose your own technician

  • Workmanship guaranteed for life of the plan - up to 3 years

Cons
  • No pre-existing condition coverage

  • Need to call for a price quote

Coverage

AFC Home Club offers home warranty coverage in all states. Coverage begins 30 days after purchase and is available through a variety of plans in one- and three-year policies.

AFC Home Club has a B rating with the BBB with an average 3.33 stars with 421 independent customer reviews. AFC allows you to use your own repair service as long as it is licensed, bonded, and insured. AFC also offers a guarantee on parts and labor for the life of your warranty membership, up to three years.

Plan Options

Pricing for plan options depends on the type of plan and service fee amount you choose. You can check pricing plans online or call 1-888-442-2561 to request a quote. AFC offers service fee options including $75, $100, and $125.

  • Platinum Plan: The platinum plan offers the most comprehensive coverage for systems and appliances, covering air conditioning/cooler, heating systems, water heater, electrical system, plumbing system, plumbing stoppages, ductwork, clothes dryer, kitchen refrigerator, ice maker, oven, range, stove/cooktop, dishwasher, garbage disposal, garage door opener, and built-in microwave.
  • Gold Plan: Includes coverage for air conditioning/cooler, heating systems, water heater, electrical system, and ductwork, as well as appliances, including washers and dryers, kitchen refrigerators, ovens, ranges, stoves/cooktops, dishwashers, garbage disposals, and garage door openers.
  • Silver Plan: Covers appliances such as the clothes dryer, clothes washer, kitchen refrigerator, oven, range, stove/cooktop, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and garage door opener.
  • System Plan: Covers systems such as the air conditioning/cooler, heating systems, water heater, electrical system, plumbing system, and ductwork. 

You can add additional coverage to any plan for a sump pump, septic system, hot water dispenser, pool & spa, standalone freezer, or tankless water heater.

Read the full AFC Home Club review

Runner-Up, Best Overall : American Residential Warranty

The Balance's Rating
4.9

American Residential Warranty Logo

 American Residential Warranty Logo

  • Service Fees: Not disclosed
  • Annual Cost: $480 to $1500
  • No. of States: 50
Why We Picked It

We chose American Residential Warranty as the runner-up for best overall because of its clear pricing and the transparency provided in sample contracts. There are a variety of plans to choose from and you can pick your own technician with prior repair approval. American Residential Warranty also has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB).

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Choose your own technician

Cons
  • Claims can’t be filed online

  • Low coverage limits on some appliances

Coverage

American Residential Warranty has been in business since 2008. It has nationwide coverage and offers 12-month plans with several different coverage combinations and bundle options available. Coverage begins 30 days after purchase, as is typical with home warranty plans. 

Plan Options
  • Platinum Premier: $59.99 per month. This is the most comprehensive plan covering central air conditioning, central home heating, humidifier, interior electrical system, refrigerator, refrigerator ice maker, range/oven/cooktop, range hood, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, plumbing system (excluding fixtures), plumbing stoppages, ductwork, garage door opener, water heater, and ceiling fans. You can add coverage for your washer and dryer for $9.99 per month.
  • Platinum: $49.99 per month. Covers central air conditioning, central home heating, humidifier, interior electrical system, refrigerator, range/oven/cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, and water heater. You can add coverage for your washer and dryer for $9.99 per month.
  • Heating & Cooling: $39.99 per month. Covers central air conditioning, central home heating, humidifier, and interior electrical system.
  • Kitchen Plus: $34.99 per month. Covers refrigerator, range/oven/cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, kitchen exhaust fan, and water heater.
  • 4-in-1 Bundle: $124.99 per month. Covers major appliances, electrical, central heating, and cooling, extended coverage on multiple appliances and systems, sewer/water lines coverage (repairs, unblocking lines, excavation costs, re-seeding grass, re-paving driveway), electronics coverage for all new and used electronics.
  • 3-in-1 Bundle: $109.99 per month. Covers major appliances, electrical, central heating & cooling, extended coverage on multiple appliances and system, electronics coverage for new and used electronics.

Read the full American Residential Warranty review

Best Reliable Coverage : First American Home Warranty

The Balance's Rating
4.7

First American Home Warranty

 First American Home Warranty

  • Service Fees: $85
  • Annual Cost: Request a Quote
  • No. of States: 36, plus the District of Columbia
Why We Picked It

First American Home Warranty has been in helping Americans protect their homes and property since 1984. The company is owned by First American Corporation, which is a large financial services company that provides title insurance and settlement services.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • 24/7 claim service

  • Unlimited service requests

Cons
  • Only available in 36 states

  • Limited coverage in basic plan

Coverage

In business since 1984, First American has distinguished itself as a source of reliable coverage for homeowners who want to protect their homes' systems and appliances. The company has a B rating from BBB and a 2.85-star rating with more than 2200 reviews. The company has multiple plans available so it can meet any coverage needs.

If you have to file a claim, you'll be responsible for the $85 service fee. Pricing depends on your specific plan and location.

Plan Options
  • Basic Plan: Garbage disposal, dishwasher, oven range, cooktop, microwave, trash compactor, refrigerator, and washer-dryer.
  • Premier Plan: Everything covered by basic, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, water heater, heating, ductwork, electrical, garage door opener, and central vacuum

Add on coverage is available for:

  • Central air (electric)
  • Additional refrigeration
  • Pool/Spa
  • Well pump
  • First class upgrade
  • Septic tank
  • HVAC tune-up

Read the full First American Home Warranty review

Best Regional Service : OneGuard Home Warranties

The Balance's Rating
2.3

OneGuard Home Warranties

 OneGuard Home Warranties

  • Service Fees: $69 or $75
  • Annual Cost: $379 to $699
  • No. of States: 3
Why We Picked It

We chose OneGuard as the best option for regional coverage because, while the company is a owned by a large national provider, it has an outstanding reputation for providing high-quality coverage for eligible homeowners in the few states that it services. The company has an A rating from the Better Business Bureau averages more than 4 stars out of 5 with more than 400 customer reviews.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Sends technicians within four business hours

  • Low service and monthly fees

  • Some home services included in all plans

Cons
  • Only available in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas

  • Must use pre-approved contractors

Coverage

OneGuard was founded in 1990 and is a regional home warranty provider that's owned by American Home Shield. Home warranties from OneGuard are available for home buyers, sellers, and existing homeowners, but are only available in Arizona, Nevada, and Texas. Nevertheless, the company receives outstanding reviews and numerous accolades for outstanding service. The company offers three different home warranty plans. In Nevada costs range from $379 to $599 a year. In Arizona you will pay $399 to $599 and in Texas you will pay $399 to $699 a year. Customers who file claims pay low services of $69 in Nevada and $75 in Arizona and Texas.

Plan Options
  • Sentinel: Dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, trash compactor, pre-existing conditions, air conditioning, heating, ductwork, plumbing, water heater, electrical, ceiling and exhaust fans, central vac, and garage door opener.
  • Centurion: Everything in Sentinel, HVAC equipment incompatibility, and preferred upgrade coverage.
  • Guardian: Everything in Sentinel and Centurion, washer & dryer, kitchen fridge, and extended mainline plumbing.

Additionally, all three plans coverage a long list of home services that you can see on the website, examples include: weed killing, rekeying your garage door opener, and pest control.

Upgrades for appliances and systems not covered in the base plans are also available.

Best for Service Fee Options : Cinch

The Balance's Rating
3.9

Cinch

 Cinch

  • Service Fees: $100/$125/$150
  • Annual Cost: $336 to $480
  • No. of States: 48
Why We Picked It

We picked Cinch as the best home warranty company for deductible options. Cinch offers three service fee options, while most of the other companies we evaluated only offered one or two.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Coverage included for components and parts

  • 180-day workmanship guarantee

  • Rust and corrosion coverage

Cons
  • $10,000 service limit

  • Not available in Alaska or Hawaii

Coverage

Cinch Home Services (formerly Cross Country Home Services and HMS Home Warranty) has been in business for over 40 years. There are three warranty plan options available, with service fee options of $150, $125, and $100. With the $150 service fee, the basic plan (Appliance Plan) costs $27.99 and other plans vary depending on location and which service fee option you choose.

Coverage is available in all states except Alaska and Hawaii, and like most home warranties, coverage begins 30 days after plan purchase. Cinch has a B+ rating with the BBB and 1.41 out of 5 stars based on more than 900 customer reviews. Cinch home warranty repairs have a 180-day guarantee. 

Plan Options
  • Complete Home: This is the most comprehensive plan from Cinch and it covers both appliances and built-in systems.
  • Appliances: Covers clothes dryers, clothes washers, cooktops, dishwashers, food centers (built-in), freestanding ice makers, microwaves (built-in), ranges, range exhaust hoods, refrigerators, trash compactors (built-in), and wall ovens.
  • Built-in Systems: Covers air conditioning (including ductwork), attic fans, ceiling fans, central vacuums, doorbells, electrical system, garage door openers, garbage disposals, heating system including ductwork, instant hot/cold water dispenser, plumbing system, smoke detectors, sump pump, toilets, water heater, and built-in whirlpool/jetted tubs.

Read the full Cinch Home Services review

Best for Plan Selection : American Home Shield

The Balance's Rating
4.3

American Home Shield

 American Home Shield

  • Service Fees: $75/$100/$125
  • Annual Cost: Request a quote
  • No. of States: 49
Why We Picked It

We picked American Home Shield as the best home warranty company for plan selection because it's the only one we reviewed that allows you to build your own plan based on your individual needs.

Pros & Cons
Pros
  • Combo plan for systems and appliances

  • Coverage in 49 states (Alaska excluded)

  • High limit on appliances

Cons
  • Low annual limits on some applications and systems

  • Prior authorization needed to use out-of-network technicians

Coverage

American Home Shield has been in business since 1971. It offers 12-month customizable home warranty plans in all states except Alaska. Coverage begins 30 days after purchase.

American Home Shield has a B rating with the BBB with an average rating of 2.54 stars out of 5 after over 8,000 reviews. When filing a claim through American Home Shield, you're assigned a contractor, and you must get prior approval before using any outside contractors. The options for services fees are $75, $100, and $125.

Plan Options 
  • ShieldSilver: Protects 14 major systems in the areas of heating & cooling, electrical, and plumbing.
  • ShieldGold: Protects the same 14 major systems of ShieldSilver plus 9 kitchen and laundry appliances.
  • ShieldPlatinum: Everything in ShieldGold plus roof leaks, HVAC tune-ups, code violations & permits, and unlimited A/C refrigerant.

Add-on coverage to customize your plan for appliances and systems not covered is available. Additionally, there are add-on packages for electronics coverage and pool/spa coverage.

Read the full American Home Shield review

Final Verdict

When choosing a home warranty, be sure to look for companies that offer a wide selection of policies for you to choose from based on your needs, transparent terms and pricing, and make it easy to file claims and choose reputable contractors.

We recommend AFC Home Club because it offers four plans with clear coverage details and pricing, flexible service fees, and the ability to choose your own repair tech with no preapproval requirements. 

Compare the Best Home Warranty Companies

Company Name Pricing Service Fee BBB Rating Plan Options Phone Number
AFC Home Club (America's 1st Choice)
Best Overall
Request a Quote $75 to $125 B 4 (888) 442-2561
American Residential Warranty
Best Runner-Up
$480 to $1,500 per year Not disclosed A+ 6 (888) 840-0005
First American Home Warranty
Best Reliable Coverage
Request a Quote $85 B 2 (888) 875-0533
One Guard Home Warranties
Best Regional Service
$379 to $699 per year $69 to $75 A 3 (888) 896-0014
Cinch
Best Service Fee Options
$336 to $480 $100 to $150 B+ 3 (877) 891- 7134
American Home Shield
Best Plan Selection
Request a Quote $75 to $125 B 3 (888) 698-0442

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is a Home Warranty?

To understand home warranties, you first need to know what a home warranty isn't. A home warranty is not homeowners insurance. Rather, it is a contract between a homeowner and a home warranty company to provide repairs and replacement services on major home systems, appliances, and other major components. Warranties cover the cost of many home systems and appliances if they break down.

How Does a Home Warranty Work?

When you buy a home warranty and have a covered system or appliance break down, you can file a claim with your home warranty company to schedule repairs with an approved service provider. You will typically pay a service fee, depending on your warranty plan, and the warranty company covers the rest of the repair costs. There are usually limits on how much warranty companies will cover in repair or replacement costs, which are outlined in your agreement.

Home Insurance vs. Home Warranty: What’s the Difference?

Homeowners insurance pays for damage to your home’s structure and foundation from a covered loss and also offers liability protection if someone gets injured on your property. Home warranty coverage does not protect against any of these but pays for home appliance or home system repairs or replacement if something breaks down during your coverage period.

How Much Does a Home Warranty Cost?

Home warranty plans typically cost anywhere from $300 to $600 yearly, which you may pay in monthly installments of $25 to $50. Individual plans may cost more or less than that, depending on where you live, the items you choose to cover, and your level of coverage. Service fees also vary, typically ranging from $55 to $150 per visit.

When you purchase a home warranty, at a minimum, you’ll have to pay for the cost of the plan. Then, each time you need a repair, you pay the service fee; so the more stuff breaks, the more you pay. But, that service fee may still be far less than what it would cost to pay for the entire repair out of pocket.

For example, the average refrigerator repair cost falls between $100 and $450, according to HomeAdvisor. The same data shows that a washing machine repair can cost between $100 and $350. A $75 service fee isn’t so bad in comparison. At the same time, a higher service fee might not be worth it—and you might not need to use the warranty at all. As with many insurance and warranty products, the peace of mind it provides is a primary factor for purchasing or not purchasing a warranty.

Who Regulates Home Warranty Companies?

Each state has its own regulations to oversee home warranty companies. Some states require all service contract providers to register with the state’s Commissioner of Insurance, while other states do not have clear regulating authorities. Some states offer consumers the ability to file a complaint through their insurance commissioner’s office. 

Should I Get a Home Warranty?

A home warranty can give you peace of mind in knowing that you will have help in paying for expensive home repairs or replacements. If those repairs become necessary, you could save money on service costs. The home warranty company can also provide assistance in locating a contractor to complete home repairs. 

On the other hand, you might end up never needing the service, or it might not save you much (or anything) in the end. It also might not be necessary in all instances. If you are buying a new home, some coverage may already be in place for any system or structural defects. If you buy new appliances, those may also have their own warranties.

Tip: If you bought an appliance with a credit card, check the card benefits. Your card may offer extended warranty coverage for items you purchase with it.

As an alternative to buying a home warranty, you can “self-insure”: Add up what you would pay each month for the warranty, and set up an automatic transfer of that amount to a high-yield savings account. If appliances do break, you can use that money to cover repair or replacement costs. If they don’t, you can use the money for something else. The risk here is that you may not have enough set aside when you need it. 

There’s no way to know for sure if you’ll need the extra coverage, but the peace of mind home warranties offer may be worth the cost.

Methodology

To review the offerings that were available, we developed a home warranty review methodology that accounted for features including coverage area, price, policy types, and service. We also wanted to recommend companies that offered broad coverage throughout the U.S. while keeping pricing in line with industry standards. Finally, we considered companies with easy claims filing, a flexible choice of service technicians, and competitive trade service fees.

Article Sources

  1. Better Business Bureau. "AFC Home Club." Accessed June 15, 2021.

  2. Better Business Bureau. "American Residential Warranty." Accessed June 15, 2021.

  3. Better Business Bureau. "First American Home Warranty Corporation." Accessed June 15, 2021.

  4. Better Business Bureau. "OneGuard Home Warranties." Accessed June 15, 2021.

  5. Better Business Bureau. "Cinch Home Services." Accessed June 15, 2020.

  6. Better Business Bureau. "American Home Shield." Accessed June 15, 2021.

  7. Home Advisor. "Home Much Does Appliance Repair Cost?." Accessed June 16, 2021.