Home Warranty Inc., also known as Home Warranty of the Midwest, opened its doors in 1999 with the goal of filling the gaps left by homeowners insurance. It’s headquartered in Iowa and provides coverage across 30 states. Its plans help fund expensive repair and replacement costs of critical systems and appliances.
In this comprehensive Home Warranty Inc. review, the This Old House Reviews Team assesses the company’s quality through several key performance indicators such as available plans, costs, coverage caps, claim filing process, customer reviews, and the company’s overall reputation. Keep reading to determine if Home Warranty Inc. is the best home warranty for you.
Our Take on Home Warranty Inc.
After our review of Home Warranty Inc., we gave it a rating of 8.7 out of 10. Even though it only covers 30 states nationwide, it has 21+ years of experience, flexible plan options, and “A+” rating from the BBB.
Pros and Cons of Home Warranty Inc.
|Doesn’t limit coverage based on the square footage of your home||Not available in 20 states|
|Coverage starts upon payment||Doesn’t run any promotions|
|Allows you to pick your own contractor|
If any of the cons listed above are deal breakers, consider getting a quote from one of our recommended home warranty companies:
Home Warranty Inc. Plans and Coverage
Home Warranty Inc. offers a total of three coverage levels: the Home Protection Plan, Appliance Protection Plan, and Supplemental Home Protection Plan. Two distinctive features of Home Warranty Inc. are that, in some of its plans, policyholders have the flexibility to choose their own technician and they also have the option to take the approved repair cost and put it towards a new appliance.
- Home Protection Plan: Home Warranty Inc. considers this its most popular plan. It has no limitations on square footage, which means you don’t have to pay extra even if your house is above 5,000 square feet. This package provides coverage for 20 home systems and appliances and is perfect for homeowners who want to cover the repair expenses of a healthy mix of systems and appliances.
- Appliance Protection Plan: This plan is based on a la carte model, which means you can pick and choose which appliances you want to be covered. Home Warranty Inc. will pay for the entire repair cost of the appliance. If the appliance is not repairable, or if the estimated repair cost falls above its replacement value, you will be offered a replacement allowance equivalent to 100% of the money paid in the premium for that covered item. The Appliance Protection Plan is best suited for homeowners who have several well-maintained, but old, appliances in need of an upgrade.
- Supplemental Home Protection Plan: This is an additional coverage plan that offers protection for 14 systems and appliances not included in the other plans. The Supplemental Home Protection Plan is best suited for long-term homeowners who want their home warranty to complement their standard home insurance policy.
Coverage Breakdown By Plan
|Coverage||Home Protection Plan||Appliance Protection Plan||Supplemental Home Protection Plan|
|Air-to-Air Heat Pump||✔️|
|Annual Furnace Inspection||✔️|
|Interior Electrical Wiring||✔️|
|Garage Door Openers||✔️||✔️|
|Built-In or Over-The-Range Microwave||✔️||✔️||✔️|
|Stand Alone Freezer||✔️|
|Unknown Pre-Existing Conditions||✔️|
Home Warranty Inc. offers optional coverage for the Home Protection Plan and Supplemental Home Protection Plan. The prices of these items will vary and some of them may only be available for purchase under one plan.
|Additional Items||Home Protection Plan||Supplemental Home Protection Plan||Price|
|Pool/Spa with Shared Equipment||✔️||✔️||$200|
|*Enhanced HVAC Plus||✔️||$100|
|Septic System Pumping/Septic Tank and Pump||✔️||$75|
|*Buyer Premium Upgrade||✔️||$50|
|Extra Heat Pump||✔️||✔️||$120/each|
|Extra Heating Unit||✔️||✔️||$60/each|
|Extra Cooling Unit||✔️||✔️||$60/each|
|Extra Water Heater||✔️||✔️||$50/each|
*Enhanced HVAC Plus: The coverage cap for heating, ventilation, and cooling systems is capped at $2,500, but by purchasing Enhanced HVAC Plus, you can extend the cap by an additional $2,500. You can also receive coverage on damage due to poor routine maintenance, haul-away services, disposal fees, and labor concession for items under manufacturer warranty.
**Buyer Premium Upgrade: With this feature, customers can unlock coverage for several typically excluded items and services, such as haul-away services, disposal, code violations and permits, expansion tanks, toilet replacements, system failures arising from poor maintenance, rust, corrosion, sediment, bathroom exhaust fans, dish racks, rotisseries, rollers, window air conditioning units, and handles and knobs of appliances.
***Pre-existing Conditions: Home Warranty Inc. provides coverage for systems and appliances with unknown pre-existing conditions at no extra cost if you submit a satisfactory inspection report performed by a qualified home inspector to the company. Items that are found to have pre-existing damage during the mechanical and visual inspection will need to be repaired, and the proof of repair will need to be submitted to Home Warranty Inc. to be considered eligible for coverage.
Exclusions are a critical part of home warranty plans. As a general rule of thumb, when a home warranty says they cover a particular appliance or system, like a refrigerator, they may not cover all parts of that item. Before purchasing a home warranty, read through your sample contract to see what components are precluded within each covered item.
Here’s an overview of coverage exclusions for Home Warranty Inc.
- Water Heater: When it comes to your water heater, Home Warranty Inc. will repair the main unit, exhaust blower assembly, water heater elements, gas control valve, and thermostats. It won’t provide coverage for solar water heaters and components or cover thermal expansion or holding tanks, noises, odors, or the color and purity of water.
- Kitchen Refrigerator: Most components of your refrigerator are covered except for ice makers, ice crushers, beverage dispensers, and associated parts. Also excluded from coverage are your refrigerator’s interior thermal shells and liners.
- Built-In or Over-the-Range Microwave: Home Warranty Inc. covers major components and parts on your microwave, except portable convection; infrared, high-speed, or countertop units; interior linings; glass; shelves; or meat probe assemblies.
- Annual Furnace Inspections: To receive an annual inspection for your furnace, you must be signed up for a plan that includes coverage on this item. Furnace coverage is available under the Appliance Protection Plan. Additionally, you’re only permitted one inspection per agreement and no refund will be provided if you don’t schedule an inspection within the contract period.
Finally, Home Warranty Inc. only covers repairs resulting from ordinary wear and tear. Familiarize yourself with the following coverage restriction guidelines. Home Warranty Inc. will not cover:
- Damage from toxic materials or asbestos
- Any item located outside the confines of the home, except for air conditioning, heating units, pool, spa equipment, or well pumps
- Systems and appliances used for commercial or business use
- Systems and appliances under the manufacturer’s warranty
- Defects from a failure to conduct routine maintenance
- Repair or replacement of an item whose defect is caused by mildew, mold, fungus, or corrosion
Pricing of Home Warranty Inc.
Home Warranty Inc.’s Home Protection Plan starts at $550 per year, which can increase depending on whether or not you choose to include additional items.
Appliance Protection Plan Pricing
|Air-to-Air Heat Pump||$14|
|Annual Furnace Inspection||$5|
|Stand Alone Freezer||$5|
Under the Appliance Protection Plan, you can get coverage for furnaces and air conditioners for $7 each per month, and coverage for an air-to-air heat pump is available for $14 per month. Every home appliance and annual Inspection can be covered for $5 each per month.
Supplemental Home Protection Plan Pricing
The Supplemental Home Protection Plan costs $300. You can add on coverage for more items, but this will push your monthly premium higher.
Home Warranty Inc. charges a $75 service fee per call. This amount goes straight to the contractor assigned to service your claim. Home Warranty Inc. has a 30-day repair warranty, which means if the equipment fails again after repairs have been performed within 30 days, you can request another home warranty service without paying an additional service fee.
There is a limit to how much Home Warranty Inc. will pay for each covered item. This limit is reset at the end of each contract term. In some cases, the payout cap might change based on your plan. For example, a jetted spa is capped at $1,000 under the Home Protection Plan, while it has a $500 cap under Supplemental Home Protection Plan.
|Home Systems and Appliances||Home Protection Plan||Appliance Protection Plan||Supplemental Home Protection Plan|
|All Heating and Air Claims||$2,500|
|All Water Heater Claims||$1,000||$500||$1,000|
|Enhanced HVAC Plus||Unlocks an additional $2,500 Coverage to HVAC units available in the base plan|
|Buyer Premium Upgrade||$1,000|
|Pool or Spa||$1,000||$500|
|Septic System Pumping/Septic Tank and Pump||$500|
|Furnace or Air- to-Air Heat Pump||$1,000|
|Replacement Account||$400 for appliances (except refrigerator) $600 for refrigerator $1,000 for furnaces, air-to-air heat pumps, or air conditioners|
Home Warranty Inc. Reviews
Home Warranty Inc. is accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), where it holds a A+ rating. As with any top home warranty company, there will be a mix of positive and negative customer reviews.
Here are a few Home Warranty Inc. customer testimonials from the BBB:
“We have been using Home Warranty [Inc.] for 7 years. Saved us tons of money. They are responsive, fair, and they don’t hassle you—they cover what they say they will.” — Shannon G. on April 26, 2019
“Choose another company if you can. They make a blanket statement listing covered items. However, unless you want to actually have your appliances fully covered read closely. They get you with the extra buyer options for more and more money just to fully cover an appliance. Choose another place!” — Colleen H. on April 26, 2019
The This Old House Reviews Team gives Home Warranty Inc. 8.7/10. Home Warranty Inc. has plenty of outstanding features that make it a strong home warranty solution for those in midwestern states. The company has three different coverage plans and an option to purchase additional coverage.
Its Appliance Protection Plan gives customers the flexibility to build their own plan and with the Home Protection Plan, homeowners have the option to use the approved repair cost to fund a new appliance. This is invaluable for homeowners who have an old appliance that’s in working condition but malfunctions so frequently that it’s better to be replaced than repaired.
Another strong feature of Home Warranty Inc. is that you don’t have to wait 30 days for your coverage to begin if you purchase an annual plan. You can start filing claims right after the first payment. Additionally, Home Warranty Inc. has very generous coverage caps. If you purchase the Enhanced HVAC Plus Upgrade, you can get a total of $5,000 in coverage.
All that said, Home Warranty Inc. does have its drawbacks. It’s only available in 30 U.S. states, which means it’s inaccessible for many homeowners. Additionally, the terms and conditions associated with each plan may be tricky to understand without talking to a customer representative first. We recommend reading the fine print carefully, so you don’t end up paying for any hidden fees.
Preferred Provider: American Home Shield
The This Old House Reviews Team recommends American Home Shield for its industry experience, plan options, and comprehensive coverage. AHS has three plans: ShieldSilver™ which covers major household systems, ShieldGold™ that covers essential home systems with major kitchen and laundry appliances, and ShieldPlatinum™ that covers a mix of systems and appliances with extra perks such as roof leak coverage and coverage boosts.
Additionally, American Home Shield has a fast and easy claims process, claiming to respond to service requests within 24 hours, 98% of the time.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
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