An appliance extended warranty can help protect you if an important appliance or system breaks down unexpectedly. This type of warranty extends protection on your manufacturer’s warranty, offering you more coverage for the expensive new appliance you just bought.
It helps pay for repairs at a lower price than you’d pay per incident without the warranty. Keep reading to learn more about appliance extended warranties and how they stack up against home appliance insurance. We’ve compared the best home warranties to help you protect your appliances.
Appliance Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty
There are two types of warranties that cover home appliances after the original manufacturer’s warranty expires: extended warranties and home warranties.
- Extended warranties offer home appliance insurance for specific appliances within the home and are purchased before the expiry of the original warranty. The terms and conditions for these warranties typically resemble those in the original manufacturer’s warranty, though they may be purchased from other providers, such as the dealer where you purchased the appliance or from a third party.
- A home warranty is a separate policy that offers bundled coverage for major home systems and appliances. For example, a home warranty policy will typically include coverage for your dishwasher, refrigerator, heating system, and other items. Compared to an appliance extended warranty, a home appliance warranty is more comprehensive and covers expensive repair and replacement costs.
Pros and Cons of Appliance Warranties
In general, the benefits of a home warranty are their convenience (multiple items covered under one contract) and their comprehensive coverage for the many appliances within your home.
One downside of home appliance warranties is the cost, though this can vary considerably based on the coverage you choose, the square footage of your home, and where you live. There are some home warranties that cost as low as $36 a month.
Extended warranties are cheaper, but they don’t provide coverage to home systems. Because these warranties apply to individual appliances, homeowners pay for exactly the coverage they want on the appliances they want covered. These warranties are typically offered through the manufacturer or dealer, meaning the technician who comes to your service call will be intimately familiar with the appliance being serviced.
Both extended warranties and home warranties come with their pros and cons, and homeowners should carefully evaluate their needs before choosing one or the other. With so much variability among warranty providers, reading the terms and conditions within the policy is critical to ensuring homeowners get the level of coverage they’re looking for.
What Do Extended Warranties Cover?
In general, extended warranties cover damage caused by general wear and tear to mechanical and electric components of your home. They don’t cover non-mechanical items such as windows, doors, or the house’s structural components. An appliance extended warranty only applies to specific devices, which means a separate policy must be purchased for each appliance you want covered.
In comparison, home warranties cover many types of appliances within your home system with just one policy. While one appliance extended warranty will cover just one appliance, a home warranty covers some of the following:
- Air conditioner
- Water heater
- Electrical and plumbing systems
- Built-in microwave
- Pool, well pumps, or septic systems
Some home warranties are structured so you can build your own home warranty plan and customize the coverage you want. The warranty provider will work with you to determine which appliances within your home are covered, and you can then decide what items to include in your plan.
How Much Do Appliance Warranties Cost?
Warranty prices will vary depending on several factors, including the type of appliances being covered, the type of coverage you want, your warranty provider, and where you live. In general, a home warranty can range anywhere between $300–600 a year, or $25–$50 a month.
An extended warranty is usually less expensive because they cover only one single appliance. They can cost around $20 for smaller appliances and upward of $120 for larger appliances.
How Do You Buy an Appliance Extended Warranty?
You may be able to purchase an appliance extended warranty from the original appliance manufacturer, the dealer where you purchased the appliance, or a third-party provider. Generally speaking, appliance extended warranties can be purchased from retailers and manufacturers, whereas a home appliance warranty always comes from a third-party home warranty company.
When buying a home warranty, homeowners should read the warranty’s terms and conditions very carefully to ensure they understand the levels of coverage provided, which appliances are covered items, and what types of repair and replacement service are available.
Best Home Warranty Companies for Appliances
While appliance warranties may be useful in select circumstances, we recommend choosing a home warranty policy for more comprehensive coverage. Here are our picks for the best home warranties in the industry.
1. American Home Shield
Our top recommended home warranty provider is American Home Shield. It provides three comprehensive coverage plans, including ShieldPlatinum™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldSilver™, personalized service fees, and generous coverage caps on major appliances and systems. It’s also a veteran in the home warranty industry and has years of experience tending to customer claims.
2. Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty is ideal for those looking for affordable coverage. It has three plans that cost between $36–$38 a month and service fees that cost between $60–$75. Unlike most home warranty companies, Select offers free roof leak coverage and optional septic system coverage to customers. It also provides discounts for customers who enroll in multi-year plans.
Frequently Asked Questions about Appliance Extended Warranties
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers, and we aim to provide transparency in our review standards and research process.
Our research process includes speaking with representatives from more than 40 home warranty providers, requesting quotes, and asking clarifying questions to gain insight into each provider’s benefits and downsides. We also analyze sample contracts from each company to understand specific coverage terms.
To rate companies, we apply the data we have gathered to our review standards. These standards are on a 100-point scoring system, which is detailed below:
- Coverage (35 points): Providers are scored based on breadth and depth of coverage. We focused on key home systems (HVAC, plumbing, and electrical), essential appliances (refrigerator, ovens, and laundry machines), and unique coverage items (such as roof-leak coverage and code violation allowances). Coverage scores are weighted by taking into account coverage caps and other limiting factors, meaning providers with greater range of coverage and higher coverage caps score the highest.
- Value (30 points): A company’s plan value is a reflection of how well it serves the customer in comparison to what the customer pays for the policy. We accounted for monthly costs, service call fees, and cost flexibility (such as customizable service call fees, discounts, and multi-year policies).
- Trustworthiness and Transparency (21 points): Trustworthiness and transparency are a reflection of how well the provider considers the customer’s interests. We scored items such as the length of workmanship guarantees, online availability of a sample contract, policy change flexibility, and ease of cancellation. Additionally, we scored items that reflect industry reputation and customer satisfaction, including analyzing brand reputation across the Better Business Bureau and third-party customer review aggregators.
- Availability and Service (14 points): Quality of customer service is key to customer satisfaction. We dug into each provider’s guaranteed response times, claims processes, service flexibility, emergency availability, and more.
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.
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