A home warranty contract can prevent you from paying hundreds or thousands of dollars on a broken refrigerator or clothes dryer and provide peace of mind that if an important item were to break down, you’d be covered. As long as you keep your home’s appliances and systems well-maintained, there’s no reason that you should have to pay full price for major repairs or replacements.
We’ve looked at the most popular home warranty companies and boiled down their plans and pricing options for easy comparison. Since home warranty costs vary by provider, we recommend getting quotes from a few different companies to help you find the best home warranty for your budget.
Home Warranty Cost Breakdown
A one-year home warranty costs about $300–$600 annually. The standard service call fee is between $75 and $125. A plan with a low monthly cost is ideal if you don’t anticipate filing many claims, while a homeowner with older systems and appliances may select a plan with a lower service fee since they might file claims frequently.
Here is what you need to know about the two main costs associated with home warranties:
- The monthly cost is the amount you pay every month (or year) for the length of the policy, whether you use it or not.
- The service fee is more like a co-pay. Every time you need to submit a claim and call a technician to come diagnose a problem, you pay this fee directly to the technician.
Companies like American Home Shield and America’s First Choice Home Club allow you to customize your premium and service fee payments. If you choose to pay a higher service call fee, your premium will be lower, and vice versa. You can make this decision based on the number of claims you see yourself submitting over the length of the policy.
Costs of the Top 4 Home Warranty Companies
|Provider||Monthly Premium||Service Fee|
|American Home Shield||$39.99–$58.99||$75–$125|
|AFC Home Club||$43.18–$59.09||$75–$125|
|Select Home Warranty||$35.83–$37.50||$60–$75|
|First American Home Warranty||$28.00–$42.50||$75|
Most companies offer multiple plans with varying monthly costs depending on how comprehensive the coverage is. If you want to get more in-depth with the pricing of each home warranty company, here’s a more detailed breakdown of each company’s policies, how much they cost, and what they cover.
1. American Home Shield: Best Overall
American Home Shield plans cost on average between $39.99–$58.99 a month. AHS also offers a sliding scale service call fee ranging between $75–$125. A higher service fee means a lower monthly premium and vice versa.
Not only is American Home Shield the oldest and most established company on our list, it offers the most comprehensive and flexible coverage.
Pros & Cons of American Home Shield
✔ In business since 1971
✔ Personalized service fee/premium costs
✔ Additional benefits like discounts on appliances
✘ No coverage for standalone freezers
✘ Relatively high premiums
|Systems and Appliances||ShieldSilver™||ShieldGold™||ShieldPlatinum™|
|Plumbing and Stoppages||✓||✓||✓|
|Ranges, Ovens, and Cooktops||-||✓||✓|
|Freestanding Ice Maker||-||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||-||✓||✓|
|Built-In Food Centers||-||✓||✓|
|Roof Leak Coverage||-||-||✓|
2. AFC Home Club
AFC Home Club has four comprehensive coverage plans that range between $43–$60 a month. This company’s service call fees also range between $75–$125.
|Coverage||System Plan||Silver Plan||Gold Plan||Platinum Plan|
|Garage Door Opener||–||✓||✓||✓|
3. Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty has one of the cheapest options for a home warranty plan among some of the top providers in the industry. Select also offers a standard $75 service call fee. Although Select Home Warranty doesn’t offer additional coverage options for a fee, it’s the only provider on our list to provide roof coverage, and it comes at no extra cost.
We recommend Select Home Warranty for the budget shopper. This company offers its Platinum Care plan for only $37.50 a month, which works out to a little more than a dollar a day.
Pros & Cons of Select Home Warranty
✔ Free roof coverage
✔ Generally offers lowest premium prices
✔ Least expensive full-coverage plan
✘ Low coverage caps
✘ Doesn’t have a mobile app
✘ Only Platinum Care covers plumbing stoppages
|Coverage||Bronze Care||Gold Care||Platinum Care|
|Garage Door Opener||–||–||✓|
4. First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty offers some of the most affordable coverage compared to other providers, though it leaves out key systems and appliances like electrical and ovens in its most basic plan. Both First American plans come with a service call fee of $75 to $100.
|Coverage||Basic Plan||Premier Plan|
|Attic and Exhaust Fans||✓||✓|
|Instant Hot Water Dispenser||✓||✓|
|Central Vacuum System||–||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||–||✓|
What Is a Home Warranty?
A home warranty, also called a home service contract, is a one-year contract that covers repairs or replacements to major appliances or systems in your home that malfunction due to normal wear and tear. It is separate from home insurance, which covers unexpected damage to a house from natural disasters, fire, or theft, and a manufacturer’s warranty, which covers defects in a particular product.
Essentially, a home warranty covers the damage you expect to happen when you use your heating system or refrigerator for its expected lifespan. Parts wear down over time and eventually break from normal usage, and a home warranty provider will usually cover the cost of the part and the labor to fix it. If the damage on your appliance or system is major or the parts are no longer available, the home warranty will typically cover the cost of a replacement.
What Do Home Warranties Cover?
In general, home warranties cover important home appliances and systems and offer additional coverage for outdoor items or related costs.
The list of covered appliances differs by company, but here are some of the most common:
- Kitchen refrigerator
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Built-in microwave
- Garbage disposal
- Ceiling fan
The following appliances may also be covered, but you may need to seek out a specialty or premium plan:
- Standalone freezer
- Ice maker
- Central vacuum
- Garage door opener
- Smoke detector
- Exhaust/attic fan
- Trash compactor
- Water dispenser
- Whirlpool bathtub
The list of systems covered by home warranties is fairly standard, but pay attention to subtleties in wording, like the difference between plumbing systems and plumbing stoppages. In most cases, important systems, like your HVAC system, plumbing, and electrical will be covered.
- Air conditioning/cooling system
- Heating system
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system
- Plumbing stoppages
- Water heater
There are a few items typically not included with standard home warranties, but if you purchase a service contract, you may be able to add them on with an additional fee.
- Additional refrigerators
- Well pumps
- Sump pumps
- Septic pumps/tanks
- Septic systems
- Guest houses
Some home warranty providers may also offer coverage for miscellaneous costs that can be associated with large-scale repair work. Here are a few of those items that may be covered:
- Building permits
- Lifting equipment
- Refrigerant recapture/disposal
- Haulaway services
- Code upgrades
What’s Not Covered Under a Home Warranty?
Some items in the home don’t fall under a typical home service contract, such as:
- Garage doors/door tracks
- Windows, walls, and doors
- Sprinkler systems
- Window air conditioning units
- Alarm systems/wiring
- Ornamental fountains
More importantly, there are some types of damage that a home warranty won’t cover. You’ll have to pay for damage that doesn’t fall under “normal wear and tear” yourself. Here are some types of damage or malfunction not typically covered by home warranties:
- Damage from accidents or misuse
- Pre-existing conditions (known or unknown)
- Improper installation or modification
- Insufficient maintenance
Note: There are exceptions—for example, First American Home Warranty offers an upgrade that includes coverage for improper installation.
How to Get a Quote for Home Warranties
While we’ve given you some pricing from the most popular home warranty providers, the cost of coverage for your house may differ based on the square footage of your house, which coverage plan you choose, and where you live. Contact the above companies to get an accurate price for the cost of coverage for your home.
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.
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