TOH Rating: 8.1/10
Long & Foster Home Warranty, rebranded as Cinch Home Services, is part of the Long & Foster family of real estate and financial services companies. In 2017, HomeService of America—a residential real estate company owned by Berkshire Hathaway—bought Long & Foster for an undisclosed amount.
Long & Foster Home Warranty plans are designed to give homeowners comprehensive repair and replacement coverage when critical home systems and appliances break down from mechanical failure due to normal wear and tear. This home warranty provider supplements regular coverage with several unique features, such as the Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement and discounts on brand name appliances.
The This Old House Reviews Team has created a comprehensive Long & Foster Home Warranty review and analyzed the company’s plans, costs, coverage caps, claims filing process, and customer reviews to help you determine if this is the best home warranty for you and your home.
Pros and Cons of Long & Foster Home Warranty
|Offers a Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement of $1000||Some customer reviews mention delays in service and reimbursement denials|
|Has an industry-leading 180-day repair guarantee|
|Gives discounts on certain brand-name appliances for remodeling projects or upgrades|
|Offers coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions and malfunctions resulting from rust and corrosion|
Long & Foster Home Warranty offers coverage across three tiers, with each tier building upon the offerings of the previous tier. Coverage through the Cinch Home Protection Plan is available only in all states but Alaska and Hawaii.
Because plan coverage may vary depending on your location, we recommend downloading a coverage brochure that’s exclusive to your zip code and requesting a quote to get accurate plan specifics and pricing.
Here’s a general overview of what’s included under each plan.
Long & Foster Home Warranty Plans and Coverage
|Coverage||Base Plan||Base Plan + Premier Upgrade Package||Base Plan + Premier Upgrade Package + Premium Appliances Option|
|Central heating—unlimited units||✓||✓||✓|
|Central air conditioning—unlimited units||✓||✓||✓|
|Plumbing stoppages (up to 125 feet)||✓||✓||✓|
|Hot water heater||✓||✓||✓|
|Attic exhaust/Whole-house fan||✓||✓||✓|
|Central vacuum system||✓||✓||✓|
|Refrigerator and built-in ice maker||✓||✓||✓|
|Garage door opener||✓||✓||✓|
|Built-in microwave oven||✓||✓||✓|
|Outside sewer line||✓||✓||✓|
|Built-in trash compactor||✓||✓||✓|
|Appliance Buyline Program||✓||✓||✓|
|Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement: $1,000||✓||✓|
|Permits mandated by federal or local government||✓||✓|
|Equipment and refrigerant disposal||✓||✓|
|Electrical, plumbing, and duct modifications||✓||✓|
|Required code upgrades||✓||✓|
Tier one is the Base Plan, which provides coverage to systems and appliances such as electrical, plumbing, ceiling fans, clothes washers and dryers, garage door openers, and sump pumps.
Tier two adds the Premium Upgrade Package option to the Base Plan. This upgrade unlocks extra benefits such as equipment disposal, refrigerant reclamation, code upgrades, and permits.
Tier three includes everything under the previous two levels but adds the Premium Appliance Option. With this feature, the Long & Foster Home Warranty plan will match the make and model of certain professional or premium appliances during replacement. This feature only applies when replacing appliances from the following brands: Asko, Bertazzoni, Bosch, Dacor, Delfield, GE Monogram Series, Fisher & Paykel, JENN-AIR, KitchenAid, Miele, Sub-Zero, Thermador, and Viking.
There are two more features that are exclusive available to Long & Foster Home Warranty plans: Appliance Buyline Program and Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement.
- Appliance Buyline Program—With this benefit, customers can receive a discount on several brand name appliances. This can be particularly advantageous if you plan on upgrading your current appliances.
- Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement—Customers can receive up to $1,000 per year in reimbursement when paying a deductible on a home insurance claim. To get your reimbursement, simply send Long & Foster Home Warranty the proof of payment within 45 days, and they will send you a claim form. Only one reimbursement claim is allowed per year.
If you haven’t filed a claim in nine months during your first year, you’ll be eligible to receive one free air conditioning or heating maintenance visit valued at $100.
You can add the following systems or appliances to your Long & Foster plan to make it more robust. Some of these items are duplicates of the ones already available in your standard plan, while others, like the pool and spa, outdoor gas line, and water line, are exclusively available as add-ons. Each add-on comes with an additional cost that will be added to your standard plan price.
|Additional System & Components||Price|
|Premier Upgrade Package||$99.00|
|Each additional sump pump||$60.00|
|Each additional water heater||$50.00|
|Each additional refrigerator||$25.00|
|Outside gas line||$60.00|
|Outside water line||$60.00|
|Combo pool/spa (shared equipment)||$205.00|
|Well pump system w/ booster pump||$150.00|
Some systems and appliances covered by Long & Foster Home Warranty contain exclusionary terms that you should be aware of. Here are some coverage specifics that detail these exclusions.
The mechanical parts of a garbage disposal; shower and tub valves; toilet tanks; bowls; leaks; and breaks of water, gas, drain, waste, and vent lines within the perimeter of your home’s foundation are covered. If any plumbing work causes damage to the wall or ceilings, the company will cover its repair cost up to $1,000. Plumbing encased underground or in the foundation is not covered.
Garage Door Opener
The drive trains, motor, receiver board, relays, switches, and sensors in a single primary unit are covered. Batteries or damage caused by door malfunctions or door assemblies are not covered.
All components and parts responsible for the main mechanical function of the refrigerator, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, oven/range/cooktop, built-in trash compactor, clothes washer, and clothes dryer are covered. Racks, removable mini-tubs, rooftop exhaust units, rotisseries and probes, secondary units, shelves, and springs are not covered.
Always read through a sample contract before committing to a warranty plan to understand your coverage.
Long & Foster Home Warranty Pricing
Pricing differs across the three plan levels and will vary based on the following factors: location, property type, and deductible.
Plans start at $449 or $549, based on the deductible you choose. There are two deductible options available: $100 and $200. By taking the higher deductible, you pay $100 less in annual fees. The Premier Upgrade Package is $99 and the Premium Appliances Option is $299—either can be added to the Base Plan cost of whichever plan you select.
Here’s a quick overview of Long & Foster Home Warranty pricing:
|Plans||Deductible||Base Plan||Base Plan + Premier Upgrade Package||Base Plan + Premier Upgrade Package + Premium Appliances Option|
Long & Foster Home Warranty will cover only the repair and replacement costs of systems and appliances that become inoperable due to normal wear and tear. The items must be in a workable state before the contract coverage begins.
Long & Foster Home Warranty will also cover repairs and replacements if your system or appliance fails due to rust or corrosion, as long as the damage occurs after the contract activates. Additionally, the company will protect covered parts and components that stop working due to an unknown pre-existing condition. These include issues on equipment that visually look fine and pass a basic mechanical test.
Damage resulting from improper installation, incompatible items, mold, mildew, and rot aren’t covered. Additional exclusions comprise ductwork damage caused by pests, animals, or moisture, or fees associated with getting access to a covered item.
Coverage caps are the maximum dollar amount a home warranty company will pay for the repair and replacement costs of specific systems or appliances. This cap is reset every time you renew your contract. Here’s a breakdown of Long & Foster coverage caps.
|System or Appliance||Coverage Cap|
|Improper installations, repairs, or modifications||$250|
|Permits||$250 per occurrence|
|Dishwasher (racks, rollers, baskets)||$50|
|Septic tank system/Septic tank pumping||$500|
|Sewage ejector pump||$500|
|Limited roof leak repair||$1,000|
|Water heater Well pump Heating/Air Conditioning/Evaporative cooler||$1,500 $1,500 $1,500|
|The saltwater control unit, salt cell, and flow sensor for the saltwater chlorinator||$1,500|
|Additional refrigeration coverage||$1,000|
How to Make a Claim with Long & Foster Home Warranty
Long & Foster Home Warranty will connect you with a prescreened independent contractor within two hours if the claim is placed within normal business hours. If you submit your service request after business hours, on the weekends, or during holidays, you can expect to be contacted by a contractor within 24 hours.
Note: Long & Foster will not reimburse you for any repair work done by unauthorized contractors. You must require Long & Foster’s consent to work with contractors outside the company’s private network.
Repairs and Replacements
If your appliance requires more than one repair, you’ll have to pay a service fee every time a technician comes out to repair the same appliance. You’ll pay this amount directly to the independent contractor during the scheduled appointment.
Additionally, Long & Foster Home Warranty may choose to replace a covered item instead of repairing it. The company may also offer you the option to receive repair or replacement credit, or get reimbursed in cash instead of providing a repair or replacement service.
All work performed by authorized contractors comes with a 180-day guarantee. If the item fails for the same reason within that window of time, you will not be charged a repeat trade fee.
Long & Foster Home Warranty Reviews
Long & Foster Home Warranty is a Better Business Bureau (BBB)-accredited company and holds a B+ Rating. As with any good home warranty company, there will be a mix of positive and negative reviews. Some positive customer reviews highlight the company’s excellent customer service and efficient contractors, while negative reviews mention paying out-of-pocket fees when placing service requests for old appliances.
Here are a few Long & Foster Home Warranty reviews from the BBB:
“My refrigerator was leaking and I called to place a claim. The agent was extremely helpful and friendly. She scheduled an appointment with Sears. The technician came out the same day, replaced the ice maker and blew out the clogged lines and repaired the refrigerator. I’m extremely happy with the service and how quickly the repairs were. I would definitely recommend this home warranty to all my friends and family.” — Wendy D., 5 stars, 7/24/2018
“I am very disappointed with this company. We purchased our condo 1.5 years ago. We have had a HMS [Cinch Home Services] warranty since we purchased the unit. They have not covered any claim. We have only been successfully stripped of our deductibles. Absolutely nothing has been covered. We renewed our policy three weeks ago. Our HVAC unit stopped working two days ago. The problem was assessed this morning, once again the needed repairs were not covered. This company should not be trusted.” — Jonathan H., 1 star, 6/8/2017
The This Old House Reviews Team gives Long & Foster a 8.1/10 rating. Long & Foster Home Warranty has features such as their Premium Upgrade Package, Appliance Buyline Program, Claim-no-Claim Preventative Maintenance Check, and Premium Appliances Option that enables homeowners to save on repair, replacement, and remodeling projects.
Additionally, with the Homeowners Insurance Deductible Reimbursement, you can get $1,000 reimbursed for a covered loss if you report your paid claim within 45 days, which isn’t typical of home warranty plans.
Long & Foster Home Warranty also offers a 180-day workmanship guarantee, which is rare in the home warranty industry. Most companies cap their guarantee period to 30 to 90 days. An extended repair guarantee is ideal for instances when your affected systems or appliances are old and prone to multiple malfunctions.
One drawback of the company is its service fee of $100 and its $200 deductible per service call. If the majority of your systems and appliances are old and vulnerable to frequent repairs, the This Old House Reviews Team recommends opting for a coverage plan with a lower service fee, such as American Home Shield.
Preferred Provider: American Home Shield
Whether you’re shopping for your first-ever home warranty plan or looking for a better alternative to your current home protection plan, American Home Shield is an excellent choice. This company has been in business since 1971 and offers flexibility in both plans and pricing.
AHS boasts two plans, ShieldSilver™ and ShieldGold™, that cover major systems or a combination of major systems and appliances. There’s also the ShieldPlatinum™ plan that consolidates the 23 most critical home systems and appliances into one comprehensive plan with extra perks like coverage boosts and roof leak coverage.
Regarding service fees, AHS gives homeowners the choice to pick their service fee from three options: $75, $100, or $125. The higher the service fee, the lower your monthly premium will be and vice versa.
Read more: American Home Shield Review
American Home Shield vs. Long & Foster Home Warranty
|Provider||American Home Shield||Long & Foster Home Warranty|
|Plan options||3 + optional add-ons||3 + optional add-ons|
|Contract length||12 months||12 months|
|Service fee||$75–$125||$100, $200|
|Repair guarantee||30 days||180 days|
|Availability||49 states, except Alaska||Available in only 7 states, plus Washington D.C.|
|Best for||Coverage||Premium Optional Features|
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
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at email@example.com.