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.
Summary of the Best Home Warranty Companies in California
|Superlative||Monthly Cost||Service Fee||BBB Rating|
|Liberty Home Guard||Best Customer Ratings||$49–$60||$65–$125||B+|
|American Home Shield||Best for Comprehensive Coverage||$19–$90||$100–$125||B|
|Select Home Warranty||Best Value||$44–$48||$60–$75||B-|
|First American Home Warranty||Best Appliance Coverage||$47–$87||$75–$125||B|
|Cinch Home Services||Best Additional Perks||$47–$67||$100–$150||B|
|Liberty Home Guard|
|Superlative||Best Customer Ratings|
|American Home Shield|
|Superlative||Best for Comprehensive Coverage|
|Select Home Warranty|
|First American Home Warranty|
|Superlative||Best Appliance Coverage|
|Cinch Home Services|
|Superlative||Best Additional Perks|
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: Best Customer Ratings
- American Home Shield: Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Select Home Warranty: Best Value
- First American Home Warranty: Best Appliance Coverage
- Cinch Home Services: Best Additional Perks
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. Additionally, you can speak to a customer service representative through a built-in live chat feature on its website. 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 Appliance Guard and Systems Guard plans into one comprehensive package.
The table below highlights LHG’s covered items in each plan:
|Coverage||Appliance Guard||Systems Guard||Total Home Guard|
|Built-in microwave ovens||✓||–||✓|
|Ceiling and exhaust fans||✓||–||✓|
|Refrigerator with ice maker and display||✓||–||✓|
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. It increases its coverage cap to $6,000 per covered item and it includes roof-leak protection coverage.
The table below highlights American Home Shield’s coverage options:
|Built-in exhaust/vent/attic fans||✓||✓||✓|
|Built-in microwave ovens||–||✓||✓|
|Doorbells and chimes||✓||✓||✓|
|Faucets and valves||✓||✓||✓|
|Instant hot/cold water dispensers||–||✓||✓|
|Interior electrical lines||✓||✓||✓|
|Interior plumbing lines||✓||✓||✓|
|Main breaker and fuse panel box||✓||✓||✓|
|Whirlpool tub motor and components||✓||✓||✓|
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 $100 to $125. If you choose a lower service fee, you will pay more on your premium, while a higher service fee can decrease your monthly premium.
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
✔ Provides generous HVAC coverage
✘ 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.
The table below displays each covered item offered in Select’s plans:
|Coverage||Bronze Care||Gold Care||Platinum Care|
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 $44.48 per month, and Platinum Care costs $47.75 per month. Your service fee will be $75 per filed claim.
Learn more: Select Home Warranty Review
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty is another attractive and reputable option for California homeowners. Offering three plans, First American stands out for its affordability, comprehensive coverage, and value. First American also covers working systems and appliances regardless of age and provides discounts for select new appliance purchases.
Pros and Cons
✔ Increases appliance coverage caps in Premium Plan
✔ Provides unlimited coverage cap for heating, plumbing, and electrical systems
✔ Includes First American Advantage add-on, which covers miscellaneous fees
✘ Excludes clothes washer and dryer coverage in Starter Plan
✘ Offers air conditioning coverage as an add-on in Starter Plan
Plans and Pricing
First American offers three coverage options for homeowners. The Starter Plan and Essential Plan cover a mix of essential home systems and appliances. First American includes a $3,500 coverage cap for appliances and an unlimited cap for systems, excluding water heaters. The Premium Plan covers everything listed in the Starter Plan and Essential Plan, adds additional coverage for garage-door systems, and increases its appliance limit to $7,000 per covered appliance.
The table below highlights First American’s coverage options in each plan:
|Coverage||Starter Plan||Essential Plan||Premium Plan|
|Central vacuum system||–||✓||✓|
|Instant hot water dispenser||–||–||✓|
First American Home Warranty customers can also add coverage for the following items: additional refrigeration, central air conditioning, HVAC tune-ups, limited roof-leak coverage, pool and spa equipment, septic system and pumping coverage, water softeners, and well pumps.
The First American Advantage 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
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 refrigerator filter credit, 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.
The table below outlines Cinch Home Services’ covered systems and appliances:
|Coverage||Appliances||Built-in Systems||Complete Home|
|Air conditioner or water filter credit||✓||✓||✓|
|Air conditioning including ductwork||–||✓||✓|
|Food center (built-in)||✓||–||✓|
|Freestanding ice maker||✓||–||✓|
|Heating system including ductwork||–||✓||✓|
|Homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement||–||–||✓|
|Instant hot/cold water dispenser||–||✓||✓|
|Range exhaust hood||✓||–||✓|
|Trash compactor (built-in)||✓||–||✓|
|Whirlpool/jetted tub (built-in)||–||✓||✓|
Some optional add-on items for Cinch include spas, pools, septic tanks, and well pumps.
In general, expect to pay between $34 and $65 per month for a plan. For a lower service fee, your monthly premiums will be higher. If you select a higher deductible, your monthly premiums will be lower.
Learn more: Cinch Home Services Review
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 Liberty Home Guard due to its extensive add-on options list. Additionally, American Home Shield offers comprehensive coverage for systems and appliances and Select Home Warranty provides 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 backs up our home warranty ratings and recommendations with a detailed rating methodology to objectively score each provider. We conduct research by speaking with company representatives, requesting quotes, analyzing sample contracts from each company, and conducting focus groups and consumer surveys. We then score each provider against our review standards for coverage, value, trustworthiness and transparency, availability, and customer service to arrive at a final score out of 100.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.