When we talk about home warranties, we usually think of homeowners. However, since home warranties protect the budget of those responsible for repairing and replacing major systems and appliances within a home, they’re also useful for landlords.
If you own a rental property, there are a number of reasons why a home warranty might be beneficial for you. In this review, we’ll go over some of these reasons and explore our top home warranty companies for protecting your rental.
American Home Shield
American Home Shield (AHS) has been offering home warranty protection for 50 years. The company offers coverage in every state except Alaska, and it even allows you to customize your service fee.
American Home Shield Rental Property Benefits
AHS covers types of damage that many other companies won’t. In addition to covering wear and tear, American Home Shield also covers damage from rust, corrosion, sediment, and more. Additionally, if your rental is a guest unit on your residential property of less than 750 square feet, you can simply add it to your existing home warranty for an extra fee.
American Home Shield Plans and Prices
AHS offers its ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldPlatinum™ plans. With any of these, you can choose a $75, $100, or $125 service fee. The higher your service fee, the lower your monthly premium. Here are some sample prices from plans with a $75 service fee:
- ShieldSilver: $39.99
- ShieldGold: $49.99
- ShieldPlatinum: $64.99
For a free quote from American Home Shield, call 844-529-9298 or fill out this easy form.
Learn more: American Home Shield Review
Liberty Home Guard
With only three years in the business, Liberty Home Guard is relatively new in the home warranty industry, but the company distinguishes itself with its high Better Business Bureau rating and low service fee.
Liberty Home Guard Rental Property Benefits
As a landlord, you want to put your investment in the hands of a company you can trust, and Liberty Home Guard fits that bill. Liberty Home Guard also has a low service call fee, making it perfect for older rentals that might need more frequent repairs.
Liberty Home Guard Plans and Prices
Like some other companies, Liberty Home Guard’s plans are broken down by systems, appliances, and a combination of both. The service call fee for each plan is $60. Here are some sample prices:
- Appliance Guard: $39.99 per month
- System Guard: $49.99 per month
- Total Guard: $59.99 per month
Fill out this form or call 866-452-9107 to speak to a Liberty Home Guard representative about a home warranty plan in your area.
Learn more: Liberty Home Guard Review
Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty offers comprehensive coverage for rental properties at a competitive price point. All its plans are less than $47 per month. It also includes roof-leak protection up to $400 annually. No other provider on this list includes roof-leak coverage in all its standards plans.
Select Home Warranty Rental Property Benefits
Select Home Warranty offers a 90-day workmanship guarantee, which is three times the length of the industry standard. This workmanship guarantee is particularly advantageous for rental properties because you can have an item reserviced at no additional cost if it breaks again within this window. Select’s policies also come with free roof-leak coverage.
Select Home Warranty Plans and Prices
Select Home Warranty offers three plan options: Bronze Care, Gold Care, and Platinum Care. Bronze Care covers appliances, and Gold Care covers systems. Platinum Care combines the coverage of the two basic plan options into one comprehensive package. You’ll be charged a $75 service call fee each time you file a claim.
- Bronze Care: $40.67 per month
- Gold Care: $40.67 per month
- Platinum Care: $46.08 per month
To request a custom quote, call 888-370-3956 or use Select Home Warranty’s simple form.
Learn more: Select Home Warranty Review
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty offers a lot of coverage for the low price you’ll pay, covering every major system or appliance in one of its plans or as an add-on. The company also has high HVAC coverage limits, which tends to be one of the most expensive repairs.
First American Home Warranty Rental Property Benefits
First American offers a unique First Class Upgrade. This add-on covers systems or appliances that were improperly installed or maintained as well as other maintenance-related costs like permits and refrigerant recapture and disposal. This optional coverage is useful for rentals that were mistreated by past tenants or rentals that you’re renovating.
First American Home Warranty Plans and Prices
First American offers a Basic Plan and Premier Plan. The Basic Plan covers appliances, while the Premier Plan adds coverage for systems. The company also charges the standard service call fee of $75. Here are some sample rates we received from quotes:
- Basic Plan: $25.00
- Premier Plan: $39.50
To learn how much a plan would cost in your area, call First American Home Warranty at 800-891-9778 or fill out this quick form.
Learn more: First American Home Warranty Review
We named American Home Shield as our top provider of rental coverage because of its many years of experience, generous coverage caps, and unique benefits like coverage of rust and corrosion damage. However, we also included three other providers that will protect your rental property, including Liberty Home Guard, which offers an impressive suite of add-ons, and Select Home Warranty, which offers competitively priced plans for landlords on a budget.
We recommend getting custom quotes from several of the providers in this review before making a final purchasing decision.
Why a Rental Property Needs a Home Warranty
A home warranty is a residential service contract that covers systems and appliances that break down from normal wear and tear. If you have a home warranty and a covered item breaks, you contact your provider, who will then send a technician to diagnose and repair the problem. If the problem is covered, you’re only out the cost of a service fee rather than the cost of the entire repair or replacement.
In addition to saving you money, your home warranty provider will also take care of a lot of the repair logistics for you, including finding a licensed, trusted contractor and sometimes even scheduling an appointment directly with the tenant. Most providers don’t put an age limit on the systems or appliances they cover, making home warranties perfect for older rental units. Additionally, the cost of a home warranty is tax deductible as an operating expense of your business. In the end, a home warranty makes your life easier, especially if you’re balancing the cost of your home and several rental properties at once.
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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