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7 Best Home Warranty Companies of 2020

A home warranty provides coverage for major home systems and appliances and prevents you from paying expensive repair and replacement costs. If you’re unsure which home warranty is best for you, read our comprehensive guide detailing our top home warranty picks for 2020 and tips for buying the best home warranty.

Jamestown Home, Season 40 Anthony Tieuli

The Top Home Warranty Companies of 2020

  1. American Home Shield
  2. Choice Home Warranty
  3. Amazon Home Warranty
  4. Select Home Warranty
  5. AFC Home Club
  6. First American Home Warranty
  7. Liberty Home Guard

The best home warranty plan will cover expensive repair and replacement costs when a major system or appliance, such as an air conditioning or refrigerator, breaks down due to normal wear and tear. Because there are a variety of home warranty providers to choose from, this guide will allow you to compare different home warranty companies and help you find the right home protection plan.

Compare the Best Home Warranty Companies of 2020

American Home Shield: Best Overall

  • Provides four plans, optional add-ons, and the ability to customize coverage
  • Efficient claims process
  • Generous coverage caps on certain systems and appliances

We chose American Home Shield as the best overall home warranty company because of its customizable plan options, nationwide coverage, simple claims process, generous coverage caps, flexible service fees ($75–$125), and nearly 50 years of experience in the home warranty industry.

Get a free quote from American Home Shield:

Why We Chose American Home Shield

American Home Shield (AHS) is the best home warranty company available. A veteran in the home warranty industry, AHS has been in operation for almost 50 years, making it one of the most trusted home warranties on the market. AHS has four plans, including a Build-Your-Own plan where customers can customize their coverage, and allows customers to choose the service fee—$75, $100, or $125—they want to pay (note: a higher service fee will likely come with a lower monthly premium and vice versa).

While there are more than 45 active home warranty companies, almost one in two customers buys an American Home Shield policy—AHS is far and away the most popular provider available. Read more: American Home Shield review.

Our Score Breakdown for American Home Shield

Choice Home Warranty: Best Service

  • Guaranteed response time within 48 hours
  • Doesn’t deny coverage based on the age of your home or the age of systems and appliances
  • Customers can cancel for free within 30 days

Get a free quote from Choice Home Warranty:

Why We Chose Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) offers two plans—Basic and Total—that provide comprehensive coverage for both appliances and systems. CHW doesn’t restrict coverage based on the age of your home or its appliances, as long as you’ve properly maintained them, and it offers a generous 90-day repair guarantee. Read our full Choice Home Warranty review for more details.

Our Score Breakdown for Choice Home Warranty

Amazon Home Warranty: Best Add-Ons

  • Has a network of more than 10,000 licensed and insured technicians
  • Provides a free month of coverage for customers who sign up today
  • Offers generous coverage caps on major systems and appliances

Get a free quote from Amazon Home Warranty:

Why We Chose Amazon Home Warranty

Amazon Home Warranty has one of the most robust contractor networks in the home warranty industry and covers major systems and appliances regardless of their age. Not to mention, Amazon Home Warranty provides an extensive list of add-ons and offers customers one month free of coverage when signing up for a home warranty plan. Read more: Amazon Home Warranty review.

Our Score Breakdown for Amazon Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty: Lowest Deductible

  • Provides optional septic system coverage and free roof leak coverage
  • Gives customers two free months of coverage when they sign up
  • Offers discounts on multi-year coverage plans

Get a free quote from Select Home Warranty:

Why We Chose Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty is a great option for people looking for an affordable home warranty. This company offers plan premiums at around $36–$38 a month, whereas the median cost in the industry is $50 per month. Select Home Warranty also provides two free months of coverage to customers who sign up for a plan along with free roof leak coverage, which isn’t typically offered by companies. Read more: Select Home Warranty review.

Our Score Breakdown for Select Home Warranty

America’s First Choice Home Club: Best for Customization

  • Customers can choose their own technician to perform repairs or replacements
  • Has an in-house service team
  • Provides four coverage plans

Get a free quote from America’s First Choice Home Club:

Why We Chose America’s First Choice Home Club

America’s First Choice Home Club (AFC Home Club) is one of the best home warranty providers for customizable coverage and comprehensive plans. It allows customers to choose their own service technician and has the longest work guarantee in the industry (guaranteeing parts and labor for as long as you’re a member). Additionally, they offer benefits like emergency alert network services, free credit monitoring, and discounts on maintenance-related supplies.

AFC Home Club also provides twice as many plans as most home warranty companies do, allowing customers to choose from four plan options instead of two. Read more: AFC Home Club review.

Our Score Breakdown for AFC Home Club

First American Home Warranty: Best Value

  • Provides 24/7 customer service
  • No coverage cap on heating, cooling, or ductwork
  • Covers systems if they were improperly installed, modified, or maintained

Get a free quote from First American Home Warranty:

Why We Chose First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty (FAHW) offers two easy-to-understand plans with solid coverage and flexible payment options for customers. What makes First American Home Warranty a stand-out is its optional First Class Upgrade, which protects systems and appliances that were improperly maintained, modified or installed—a rarity in the home warranty business. Read more: First American Home Warranty review.

Our Score Breakdown for First American Home Warranty

Liberty Home Guard: Most Trustworthy

  • Has an A rating from the BBB
  • Offers a 60-day workmanship guarantee
  • Has a low service call fee of $60

Get a free quote from Liberty Home Guard:

Why We Chose Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard has only been in the home warranty industry for a few years, but it provides a variety of plans at affordable prices and offers 24/7 customer service. Not to mention, Liberty Home Guard offers 20 add-ons—which is more than what most companies typically offer—and provides coverage regardless of the age of your systems and appliances. Read our full Liberty Home Guard review for more details.

Our Score Breakdown for Liberty Home Guard

7 Best Home Warranty Companies in 2020

Home Warranty Company Best For Monthly Cost
Home Warranty Company Best For Monthly Cost
American Home Shield Overall $50–$60
Choice Home Warranty Service $36–$44
Amazon Home Warranty Add-Ons $29–$46
Select Home Warranty Low Deductible $36–$38
AFC Home Club Customization $43–$60
First American Home Warranty Value $36–$38
Liberty Home Guard Trustworthiness $40–$60

How to Find the Best Home Warranty

Before purchasing a home warranty, you want to make sure you’re considering all the necessary factors to get the best plan for you and your home. Here are just a few questions you should keep in mind during the home warranty buying process.

1. What type of home warranty plan do I need?

Most home warranty companies offer three different levels of coverage: systems plans, appliance plans, and combination plans. Systems plans cover major home systems such as your air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing system, while appliance plans protect important items like your refrigerator, dishwasher, and oven. Combo plans protect both systems and appliances.

In addition to these plans, home warranty companies will generally offer coverage for optional add-ons, such as a swimming pool or spa, second refrigerator, well pump, septic system, and roof leaks.

2. How much can I afford to spend every month?

On average, a home warranty costs $25–$50 every month, or $300–$600 a year. You may be able to bring that cost down slightly if you enroll in a multi-year plan upfront or if you get quotes from multiple companies and ask for price matching.

Additionally, customers will have to pay a service call fee, a one-time fee that is paid every time a contractor comes to your home to assess the broken item and make a repair or replacement. Service fees typically range between $75–$125, but there are some companies, like Choice Home Warranty, that have service fees as low as $60.

While a home warranty does have its costs, know that a lower monthly premium may be more affordable than unexpectedly paying for a $400 air conditioning repair or a complete system replacement, which could cost thousands of dollars.

Note: We consistently see that home warranty companies adjust their pricing depending on the size of your home and where you live, so use our general cost estimates as a guide, but confirm them with each provider based on your actual address and square footage. The price of your home warranty will depend on where you live, the type of plan you choose, how many add-ons you include on your plan, and the home warranty company you select.

We recommend getting at least three quotes, then asking your favorite company to match the best offer you received—in doing so, you may save one to two months off your overall payment.

3. How does the claims process work?

When you file a claim with your home warranty company, they should get a technician out to you within 48 hours. While this is a guarantee for most companies, some don’t promise work within this timeframe and will instead send a technician within 72 hours—and sometimes even later.

Companies like American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty guarantee a technician will come to assess your covered item within 48 hours of you making a service request. We recommend going with one of these companies so you’re not stuck at home with a broken system or appliance.

Get a free AHS quote customized to your zip code.

4. Are there limitations in the service contract?

Before you buy a home warranty, it’s a good idea to read the company’s sample contract. In this contract, you’ll be able to see if there are any coverage caps (these are coverage limits placed on certain items that tell you how much the company will pay before you have to pay any dollar amount out of pocket). You’ll also find information about a company’s item replacement policy and if a home inspection is required before home warranty coverage begins.

Are Home Warranties Worth It?

Not only do home warranties protect you in the event that a major item breaks down due to normal wear and tear, they also save you hundreds of dollars on home repairs or replacements. Additionally, home warranties offer peace of mind that if something were to break, a trusted expert will be at your door within a few days to fix the problem.

Jamestown Home, Season 40 Anthony Tieuli

Comparison of Top Home Warranty Companies

Though we would recommend any of the seven best home warranty companies in this article, here are our top three suggestions. As mentioned above, American Home Shield is the best home warranty company available, with Choice Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty following close behind. We encourage you to get quotes from all three providers to help you compare coverage, negotiate a price that works for you, and secure the best home warranty for you and your home.

Our Conclusion

The home warranties listed in this article are some of the best home warranties in the industry. Excellent customer service, comprehensive coverage, and affordable pricing are all qualities that these companies exhibit. Though we recommend American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty, and First American Home Warranty as top picks, we think any of the seven companies in this article merit attention.

This Old House plans to publish detailed reviews of these—and other prominent home warranty companies—in the next month, so keep checking this review as we roll out new details!

Jamestown Home, Season 40 Anthony Tieuli

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Warranties

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is an annual service contract that protects systems and appliances in the home when they break down or malfunction due to normal wear and tear.

What’s the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?

A home warranty is different from homeowners insurance in that it covers damage on systems and appliances only, whereas homeowners insurance covers structural damage on your home due to theft, natural disasters, or fire.

How long do home warranties last?

Home warranties typically last for a year, but some companies allow customers to enroll in three- or five-year plans for a more affordable price.

What does a home warranty cover?

A home warranty typically covers both systems and appliances, however, some companies split their coverage options into systems plans, appliance plans, and combination plans. The most common systems and appliances covered under a home warranty include air conditioning, heating, electrical, plumbing, ductwork, refrigerators, water heaters, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, clothes washers, clothes dryers, and garbage disposals.

How much does a home warranty cost?

A home warranty costs around $300–$600 per year and comes with service fee deductibles that range between $65–$125.

How does a home warranty work?

When a home system or appliance breaks down due to normal wear and tear, you can call your home warranty company to file a claim or submit a service request online. Your company will send a trusted technician to your home within 48 hours or allow you to choose an approved contractor of your choice. In your home, the contractor will assess the issue and recommend a repair or replacement. Before they leave, you’ll pay the service fee set by your company.

Is a home warranty necessary?

A home warranty isn’t mandatory to have, but we recommend getting coverage as an extra layer of protection on your important home systems and appliances. For example, if you have completely new appliances that are all under manufacturer’s warranties, you may not need a home warranty. However, when those manufacturer’s warranties run out, having home warranty coverage could protect you if one of your systems or appliances breaks down.

How can I cancel my home warranty?

Typically, you can cancel your policy and receive a full refund within the first 30 days of coverage. After the first 30 days, you may still be able to cancel, but you’ll likely receive a prorated amount based on how much of your contract you have remaining. Check your policy to figure out what the cancellation process looks like.

Our Rating Methodology: How We Chose The Best Home Warranty Companies

The This Old House Reviews team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers. This means earning your trust through transparency and having the data to back up our ratings and recommendations. With that in mind, we spent time creating an objective rating system to score each home warranty company. Here’s what that review process looks like:

  • We call every home warranty provider, talking to sales agents and company representatives. We get quotes, ask questions, and fully understand the protection plan offerings.
  • We test the customer service, including factors such as wait times, friendliness, and problem-solving ability.
  • We analyze the sample contracts from each brand we review. This allows us to break down the industry jargon and see what is and isn’t covered so we can give readers straightforward information.
  • We update all of this information on a continuous basis, storing it in a proprietary database that allows us to compare dozens of home warranty companies against each other.

With all of that data, we created a rating system to score each home warranty company. Our rating system is a weighted, 100-point scale on the following factors:

  • Plan options (25): Every home and every family needs the right home warranty plan for them. Providers with more options and more flexibility were rated higher than those without.
  • Coverage specifics (5): What does each plan and each provider cover? The more covered by the provider in their basic plans, the higher the score.
  • Pricing (25): Both the monthly fee and the service fee play an important role in the selection process.
  • Trustworthiness (25): There are a number of home warranty companies that aren’t reputable and don’t follow through on their agreements. We gauged trustworthiness based on customer feedback from the BBB.
  • State availability (5): Where you live plays a role in the options you have for a home warranty. Companies scored higher if they covered more states than their competitors.
  • Customer service (10): This factor is based on our own research from calling providers, as well as their guarantees for responding to claims.
  • Additional benefits (5): Some home warranty companies offer special promotions or will cover items in their plans that are usually considered optional coverage for most companies. Home warranty companies that offer these types of benefits were scored higher than competitors that didn’t.

In summary, the This Old House Review Team reviewed 45 companies to select this list of the seven best home warranty providers. To keep our ratings and data current, we have a full-time researcher who collects (and regularly updates) more than 100 specific data points from each company to help us compare them on key factors such as coverage, cost, service, and dependability.

Compare the Best Home Warranty Companies of 2020

Provider Best For Monthly Cost Service Fee BBB Rating Years in Business States Covered
Provider Best For Monthly Cost Service Fee BBB Rating Years in Business States Covered
American Home Shield Overall $50–$60 $75–$125 B 49 years 49 states (Not including AK)
Choice Home Warranty Service $36–$44 $60–85 B- 11 years 47 states (Not including CA, OK, WI)
Amazon Home Warranty Best Add-Ons $29–$46 $75 B 10 years 45 states (Not including CA, IA, MO, OK, WA)
Select Home Warranty Lowest Deductible $36–$38 $60–$75 C 8 years 46 states (Not including NV, NY, WA, WI)
America’s First Choice Home Club Customization $43–$60 $75–$125 B 10 years 47 states (Not including CA, HI, NV)
First American Home Warranty Value $36–$38 $75 B+ 35 years 35 states (Not including AL, CT, DE, HI, IL, LA, ME, MA, MN, NH, NJ, NY, ND, RI, VT, WI)
Liberty Home Guard Trustworthiness $40–$60 $60 A 2 years 41 states (Not including CA, HI, IA, IL, IN, OR, WA, WY, WI)

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