Being a homeowner in California might be sunshine and coastal breezes—until an essential home system or appliance breaks down due to normal wear and tear. Having a home warranty policy can give you peace of mind that your home’s systems and appliances are financially protected, saving you from a large out-of-pocket expense.

To help you with your research, the This Old House Reviews Team has analyzed the best home warranty providers in the United States and selected the top choices in California based on our review standards.

California’s Top 5 Home Warranty Companies

The best home warranty companies provide comprehensive coverage, affordable plans, and around-the-clock customer service. The highest rated home warranty companies in California include these:


 

Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard (LHG) earns its place on this list for its accessible customer service team. Like other providers, you can reach out by phone at any time to request service, but Liberty Home Guard also makes it possible to speak to a customer service representative through a built-in live chat feature on its website.  In addition, LHG provides more than 30 add-on options for those requiring a fully customized coverage plan. Also, LHG covers two air conditioning and heating units within its standard plan. Most providers offer second-unit coverage only as an add-on.

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers more than 30 additional coverage options for unique items, such as pro-series appliances, saltwater pools, and pest control
✔ Gives access to customer service representatives via an instant messaging pop-up on its website
✔ Extends a 60-day workmanship guarantee, which means if a covered item breaks within 60 days of an approved claim, the provider will send out another technician free of charge

✘ Lacks transparency around your plan’s assigned service call fee during the quote process

Plans and Pricing

Liberty Home Guard offers three plan options: Appliance Guard, Systems Guard, and Total Home Guard. Appliance Guard covers appliances, such as your clothes washer and dryer, and Systems Guard covers items such as your air conditioning, ductwork, and electrical system. Total Home Guard combines the coverage of the two earlier plans into one comprehensive package.

Liberty Home Guard also offers 38 additional coverage options that you can add to each plan: pool and spa, additional spa, lawn sprinkler system, saltwater pool, generator, limited roof leak, rekey services, gutter cleaning, pest control, carpet cleaning, window washing/cleaning, electronics protection, central vacuum, stand-alone freezer, softener, swamp cooler, second refrigerator, trash compactor, in-fridge ice maker, freestanding ice maker, wine cooler/fridge, water dispenser water line, instant hot water dispenser, reverse osmosis water filter system, lighting fixtures, plumbing fixtures, sump pump, well pump, septic system pumping, ejector pump, grinder pump, pro-series refrigerator coverage, pro-series range/oven/cooktop coverage, pro-series dishwasher coverage, pro-series microwave, pro-series washing machines, and pro-series clothes dryer.

Liberty Home Guard plans range from $59.99 to $69.99 per month. Your service call fee will be assigned to your account based on the location of your home, your plan, and any additional coverage items you select. According to a company representative, the fee will always fall between $65 and $125.

To request a personalized quote, fill out Liberty Home Guard’s quick form.

Learn more: Liberty Home Guard Review


 

American Home Shield

American Home Shield (AHS) provides California homeowners plan flexibility via three plans, service call fees, and generous coverage caps per covered system and appliance. AHS also covers rust, corrosion, and sediment damage, plus it doesn’t require a home inspection before granting coverage.

Check out our pros and cons for American Home Shield coverage:

Pros and Cons

Offers unmatched coverage caps per covered item ($3,000 in ShieldSilver and ShieldGold; $6,000 in ShieldPlatinum)
✔ Covers undetectable preexisting conditions and items without maintenance records
✔ Allows customers to choose their own service fee

✘ Charges higher monthly premiums than some competitors
✘ Provides a limited amount of add-on coverage options

Plans and Pricing

The company offers three plan options: ShieldPlatinum, ShieldGold, and ShieldSilver. The ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans include a $3,000 coverage cap per covered item. The ShieldPlatinum plan is the most comprehensive plan offered by AHS, covering 23 essential home systems and including coverage for maintenance services, such as rekey, an HVAC tune-up, and air filter discounts, plus an increased coverage cap of $6,000 per covered item.

American Home Shield also offers five optional add-ons that you can add to each plan: pool and spa, well pump, electronics plan, guest unit under 750 square feet, and septic pump.

American Home Shield plans range from $19 to $90 per month, and its service call fees range from $75 to $125. If you choose a lower service fee, you will pay slightly more on your premium, while a higher service fee can decrease your monthly premium.

To get a free quote from American Home Shield, call 844-529-9298 or fill out AHS’ simple quote form.

Learn more: American Home Shield Review


 

Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty offers some of the most affordable coverage in the home warranty industry. Select includes roof-leak repair coverage in each plan it offers, plus it prices its plans under $55 per month. Select also processes claims filed during regular business hours within 12 hours, making it one of the speediest providers.

Pros and Cons

✔ Includes roof-leak coverage in every plan
✔ Offers a low $75 service call fee
✔ Extends a 90-day repair guarantee

✘ Has low coverage caps that leave the remaining repair costs up to the homeowner
✘ May charge multiple service fees for one visit if that visit is for more than one repair

Plans and Pricing

Select offers three plans: Bronze Care, Gold Care, and Platinum Care. Gold Care covers essential home systems, Bronze Care covers home appliances, and Platinum Care covers both.

You can also choose from this list of optional add-ons: central vacuum, second refrigerator, stand-alone freezer, lawn sprinkler system, septic system coverage, refrigerator ice maker, plumbing fixtures, lighting fixtures, switches and outlets, pool and spa equipment, well pump, and sump pump. Select provides a $3,000 coverage cap for heating and cooling systems. However, it reduces its coverage cap to $500 for all other home systems and major appliances. Therefore, we recommend Select for homeowners who only need basic HVAC systems coverage.

All Select’s plans are less than $55 per month. Bronze Care and Gold Care cost $45.65 per month, and Platinum Care costs $50.25 per month. Your service fee will be $75 per filed claim.

For a free quote, fill out Select Home Warranty’s online form or call 888-370-3956.

Learn more: Select Home Warranty Review


 

First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty is another attractive and reputable option for California homeowners. Offering two plans, First American stands out for its affordability, comprehensive coverage, and value. First American also provides discounts for select new appliance purchases, and it covers working systems and appliances regardless of age.

Pros and Cons

✔ Charges monthly fees below $50
Provides unlimited coverage cap for heating, plumbing, and electrical systems
✔ Offers First Class Upgrade package to increase covered expenses

✘ Charges an $85 service call fee, which is slightly higher than average
✘ Only offers air conditioning coverage as an add-on

Plans and Pricing

First American offers two coverage options for homeowners. The Basic Plan, available for only $36 per month, offers appliance-only coverage. It provides a $3,500 coverage cap per covered appliance. The Premier Plan is available for $48.50 per month, and it covers both appliances and systems. First American includes an unlimited coverage cap for HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Note that First American limits water heaters to $1,500 per incident. First American pairs both plans with its standard $85 service call fee. It’s important to note that air conditioning is not covered by either plan but is available as an add-on.

First American Home Warranty customers can also add coverage for the following items: central air conditioning, second refrigerator, pool/spa equipment, well pump, First Class Upgrade package, septic system and pumping, and HVAC tune-up.

The First Class Upgrade package is really what sets First American Home Warranty apart from other companies featured on this list. It covers several additional expenses:

  • Covers expenses from using cranes to install systems and appliances
  • Pays up to $250 for permits
  • Pays for removal expenses of old appliances that need to be replaced
To request a free and customized quote for your home, call 800-891-9778 or fill out First American Home Warranty’s quick form.

Learn more: First American Home Warranty Review


 

Cinch Home Services

Cinch Home Services earns its spot on this list for its uncommon suite of additional benefits when you enroll in a policy. After more than 40 years of service in the contiguous United States, Cinch Home Services has maintained its reputation for providing reliable coverage to California homeowners. All Cinch’s plans come with an air conditioner or water filter credit and a free water sensor, plus a lengthy 180-day workmanship guarantee on completed repairs.

Pros and Cons

✔ Offers coverage for unknown preexisting conditions
✔ Provides discounts on select new appliances
✔ Extends workmanship guarantee for 180 days

✘ Doesn’t offer many add-on coverage options
✘ Has high service call fees, the lowest of which is $100

Plans and Pricing

Cinch Home Services offers three plans. The Built-in Systems Plan covers systems exclusively, the Appliances Plan covers appliances exclusively, and the Complete Home Plan covers both. Cinch extends an annual $10,000 coverage cap per covered system, appliance or add-on and offers coverage for rust and corrosion damage.

Some optional add-on items for Cinch include spas, pools, septic tanks, and well pumps.

In general, expect to pay between $27 and $52 per month for a plan. For a lower service fee, your monthly premiums will be higher, but if you select a higher deductible, your monthly premiums will be lower.

Reach out for a quote by filling out Cinch Home Services’ quote form or calling 844-979-0899.

Learn more: Cinch Home Services Review


 

Our Conclusion

A home warranty can keep your California home protected from appliance or home system breakdowns caused by everyday use. The This Old House Reviews Team recommends American Home Shield due to its extensive coverage options. Additionally, Liberty Home Guard provides customizable plans via its 38 unique add-on options, and Select Home Warranty is a top pick for those wanting affordable heating and cooling system coverage.

We recommend requesting quotes from multiple providers to compare costs and coverage options, plus reading their service contracts to be aware of coverage exclusions.


 

Frequently Asked Questions


 

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.

To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at reviews@thisoldhousereviews.com.