The United Services Automobile Association (USAA) offers multiple financial products, including auto insurance, homeowners insurance, and mortgage loans, for retired and active military personnel and their eligible family members. USAA members receive discounts ranging from 15% to 20% on auto, home, and renters insurance and are guaranteed life insurance once retired from the military.
In this USAA home warranty review, the This Old House Reviews Team will go over what USAA covers and doesn’t cover in terms of home protection and explain our reasons for choosing American Home Shield as the best overall provider of comprehensive home protection coverage.
Does USAA Offer a Home Warranty?
Although USAA offered home warranties for a brief time, the insurance company now only offers homeowners insurance and a variety of financial services to help members attain their future financial goals.
USAA Homeowners Insurance Coverage
According to the USAA website, a USAA homeowners insurance policy covers the following events:
- Most weather-related events
- Identity theft
USAA also covers the following structures and situations:
- Dwelling coverage—Covers repair or rebuilding of your home if damaged by a covered event
- Personal belongings—Covers accidental injury or damage to others’ property
- Home sharing coverage—Covers guests in your home, including those renting a room in your home or the entire home
- Personal liability—Covers accidental injury or damage to the property of others
- Loss of use—Covers any increase in living expenses if your home is uninhabitable after a covered event
- Other structures—Covers other detached structures on your property, such as storage sheds, driveways, fences, and detached garages
What Else Does USAA Offer?
In terms of financial products and services, there is little that USAA doesn’t offer. USAA offers the following programs and products designed to help members plan and secure a strong financial future:
- Umbrella insurance
- Auto insurance
- Renters insurance
- Mutual funds
- Optional earthquake coverage
If you’re looking for a home warranty to cover your home’s major systems and appliances, consider a top-rated company like American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty, or First American Home Warranty.
Read more: 7 Best Home Warranty Companies of 2021
Frequently Asked Questions about Home Warranties
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty is an annual service contract that covers the cost to repair or replace major appliances and home systems as they break down from normal wear and tear. A home warranty plan can be automatically renewed every year for as long as you own your home.
What’s the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty?
Homeowners insurance covers the cost of damages to your home due to events like natural disasters, theft, or fire, while a home warranty protects specific appliances and systems as they experience normal wear and tear. Homeowners insurance is required and a home warranty is optional.
What’s the difference between a home warranty and manufacturer’s warranty?
A manufacturer’s warranty kicks in when you buy a home appliance or system and typically covers the item for one year. It usually covers manufacturer defects instead of breakdowns caused by normal wear and tear. A home warranty, on the other hand, can cover major home items for multiple years and protects systems and appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear.
How much does a home warranty cost?
A home warranty costs anywhere between $300–$600 per year. Service fees, or deductibles, range between $75–$125 per service call.
What happens if a technician can’t repair my appliance or system?
If your covered item can’t be repaired for less than it costs to replace it, your home warranty will cover the cost of replacement, up to the coverage cap for the serviced item.
What does a home warranty cover?
Depending on the home warranty provider, a home warranty service contract covers major appliances like your refrigerator and dishwasher or home systems such as your electrical or plumbing. In some cases, you may be required to have a home inspection prior to finalizing a home warranty contract to validate coverage for the items in your plan.
What are the benefits of a home warranty?
There are two main benefits of having a home warranty:
- Budget protection—Home repairs can be expensive enough to put you and your family at financial risk. A home warranty plan covers surprise repairs or replacements, leaving your emergency fund safe.
- Convenience—Your home warranty provider will connect you with a licensed contractor in your area when an appliance or system breaks, eliminating the hassle of finding a trustworthy repair service provider on your own.
Are home warranties cost-effective?
When you consider the average home repair and replacement costs, a yearly premium for a home warranty, including service fees, is extremely cost-effective. Below are the average costs to repair or replace certain items in your home:
- Installing a new furnace: $3,880–$8,000
- Repairing a furnace: $288
- Installing a hot water heater: $1,000
- Hiring an electrician: $325
- Replacing a garbage disposal: $80–$720
- Installing new plumbing pipes: $559– $2,443
Compare those costs to a home warranty that costs around $300–$600 per year, or $25–$50 per month.
Our Preferred Home Warranty Provider: American Home Shield
If you’re looking for comprehensive coverage for your major home systems and appliances, consider investing in a home warranty with American Home Shield. AHS is a home warranty veteran and provides some of the most extensive protection in the industry.
American Home Shield provides three home warranty plans: the ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldPlatinum™ Plan. ShieldSilver covers major home systems like your air conditioning, electrical, and plumbing. ShieldGold covers essential items like your refrigerator, washer, and dryer alongside major systems. ShieldPlatinum provides coverage for 23 systems and appliances with additional benefits like free roof leak coverage.
American Home Shield plans cost between $40–$58 and has service fees that range between $75–$125, which is in line with the industry standard. AHS also lets customers choose their own service fee—a higher service fee means a lower monthly premium and vice versa.
In addition to their comprehensive coverage and affordable pricing, AHS also offers the following benefits:
- Provides generous coverage caps on systems and appliances
- Has a 24/7 customer service team
- Doesn’t require a home inspection for coverage to kick in
- Services 49 states, excluding Alaska
- Has been in business for almost 50 years
- Is an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB)
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