Best Home Warranty in Wisconsin

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Home warranty companies don’t exactly have a great reputation when it comes to transparency. Customers often complain about denied coverage and expensive service visits. But after hours of research, I came out pleasantly surprised at just how straightforward the home warranty industry actually is. Every company I researched in Wisconsin lists detailed pricing and policies. You just need to be aware of exactly what your home warranty covers, and what it doesn’t.

I set out to find the best home warranty company in Wisconsin. To do that, I put the five biggest home warranty companies in the state through four rounds of testing that each included an evaluation of 12 different metrics (including service fees, pricing, contracts, and transparency). After all was said and done, American Home Shield wound up being the consistently cheapest home warranty provider in Wisconsin.

The Best Wisconsin Home Warranty Companies

Home Warranty Company Best for…
American Home Shield The Cheapest Basic Coverage and The Cheapest Premium Coverage
Universal Home Protection The Quote Process
America’s First Choice Home Club The Claims Process

Round One: Quotes

While all of the companies I researched made the quote process easy, Universal Home Protection was the best. If you’ve ever applied for quotes for home insurance, you might be wary of the home warranty quote process. After all, home insurance quotes require the answers to dozens of specific questions that most new home buyers don’t know the answers to. But home warranty shopping is much easier. Most companies list all of their pricing directly on their websites, so you know you’re getting the exact same deal as everyone else. There are no invasive questions or waiting on hold. You’ll be able to compare different levels of service and pick the plan for you in just a few minutes.

Universal Home Protection locked in my top spot due to its incredibly simple pricing structure and easy-to-find plan comparison graphics. There’s no need to enter your address or contact information before accessing a quote, and every question you have can probably be answered on their user-friendly website.

I was particularly fond of Universal Home Protection’s user interface and pricing structure, but all of the companies I researched had upfront pricing that was relatively simple to access. So while Universal Home Protection won out the quote category, you won’t have difficulty obtaining a quote from my other picks, either.

The margins were thin, but here are the companies in order of how easy it was to get a quote online:

  • Universal Home Protection
  • American Home Shield
  • Home Warranty of America
  • The Home Service Club
  • America’s First Choice Home Club

Round Two: Claims

America’s First Choice Home Club gets the top spot for its low claims service fee, which comes standard with all packages. (Think of it like a deductible — it’s the fee you pay when you file a claim and have a technician sent out for repairs.) At only $60, America’s First Choice Home Club’s fee was less than half the cost of American Home Shield and The Home Service Club.

You can usually pay more upfront to lock in a lower claims fee, but here’s what comes standard for all the companies I researched:

Home Warranty Company Baseline Service Fee
America’s First Choice Home Club $60
Universal Home Protection $75
Home Warranty of America $100
American Home Shield $125
The Home Service Club $125

Round Three: The Cheapest Basic Coverage

When it comes to basic home warranty coverage, I found American Home Shield to be the cheapest. However, a special promotion and a low service claim fee might make America’s First Choice Home Club the least expensive option for you. To test prices, I sought coverage for a 2200 square foot home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. I looked for a package that included coverage for a heater, HVAC system, and washer/dryer.

Home Warranty Company My Basic Quote
American Home Shield $384
The Home Service Club $419
America’s First Choice Home Club $450
Universal Home Protection $450
Home Warranty of America $500

Each company structures pricing a little differently, so finding the lowest price isn’t as clear cut as it seemed. For some companies, the appliances and systems I needed coverage for came standard with the cheapest available plan. Others didn’t include washer/dryer coverage, so I had to choose an upgraded plan to get a comparable quote. Ultimately, American Home Shield came out the cheapest due to a clever pricing structure. Alongside its typical coverage levels, it offers a build-your-own plan. For $32 per month, you can choose coverage for your choice of ten items. Of course, some big ticket options (like a pool or a septic system) aren’t included, but if you’re looking for basic coverage on a small selection of items, this plan is a great deal.

America’s First Choice Home Club offered me a 10 percent discount if I booked over the phone within eight minutes of requesting an online quote. That brings its annual cost from $450 down to $405, which is only $21 more than American Home Shield ($384). And keep this in mind — if you ever need to schedule a service visit with your home warranty company, you’ll be subject to a fee. This varied across the board, from $60-$125. American Home Shield charges $125 for a service visit, while America’s First Choice Home Club charges just $60. That means if you make even one service call per year, America’s First Choice Home Club comes out ahead. So while American Home Shield is technically cheapest for basic coverage, this category could easily be considered an even draw.

Within the five companies I researched, there wasn’t a whole lot of price variation for basic coverage. My lowest quote, American Home Shield, worked out to $384 per year, while my highest, Home Warranty of America, was $462. (That’s adjusted for a 12-month period. Its standard quote covered 13 months at $500.) That’s a difference of only $78. Since many homebuyers or sellers only purchase a home warranty for one year, that difference isn’t substantial. So if you’re more comfortable with one company over another, don’t let the small increase in cost deter you.

Round Four: The Cheapest Premium Coverage

Since many folks are looking for more than just the basics, I also applied for coverage for a premium home. Once again, American Home Shield came through with the lowest quote.

I looked for coverage on a 6,100 square foot home in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, and made sure the following systems and appliances were covered: washer/dryer, hot water heater, oven, AC, refrigerator, septic tank + lines, garbage disposal, wine cooler, microwave, cooktop, well pump, pool + pump, and roof. I also said that all of our appliances were high-end, which typically adds a bit to your annual bill.

Home Warranty Company My Basic Quote
American Home Shield $731
America’s First Choice Home Club $840 (no option for a pool or roof)
Universal Home Protection $1,025
Home Warranty of America $1,045
The Home Service Club $1,270

Here’s where I saw a lot more pricing variation. My lowest quote (from American Home Shield) was only $731. That’s a great deal for what I needed covered. While America’s First Choice Home Club came in at a competitive $840, it didn’t give me an option for pool or roof coverage, which rendered its quote obsolete. The rest of my quotes were over $1,000 per year, with The Home Service Club screeching in at $1,270.

These quotes were further apart for one simple reason: Every company charges differently for add-ons. For instance, Home Warranty of America only charges $50 for roof coverage, while The Home Service Club charges $179. Since your needs will be different from ours, I recommend getting several quotes from our recommended providers. My most expensive could end up being your cheapest, depending on exactly what you need covered.

Do I need a home warranty in Wisconsin?

There’s no requirement to buy a home warranty if you’re selling your home in Wisconsin. It may be required for new construction, but that type of warranty is obtained by the builder, not the seller. So why do so many sellers purchase a home warranty? Because it offers home buyers valuable peace of mind, which can lead to increased purchase price and a faster turnaround. And many buyers will stipulate that their offer is contingent on a home warranty.

The Fine Print

It’s important to read your specific coverage contract in its entirety, else you might get stuck with an unwanted expenditure. Here are some of the things that stuck out to me after combing through service agreements from all my top picks:

  • Your home warranty company will only pay up to a certain dollar amount per item and per year.
  • If something malfunctions before your contract begins, it isn’t covered.
  • Your warranty may auto-renew. If you want to stop coverage, call your provider well in advance.
  • Even if you specifically purchase coverage for an item, there may be exclusions depending on the malfunction. For example, your microwave may be covered, but the microwave clock may not be.
  • If your warranty pays to replace an appliance, it won’t pay for carpentry required if the appliance is a different size. For example, if a replacement dishwasher is an extra three inches wide, you’re on your own when it comes to altering the surrounding cabinets to make room.
  • If you’re purchasing a home warranty for a multi-unit building, each unit needs its own warranty.

The Bottom Line

Wisconsin has plenty of reputable home warranty companies to choose from, and upfront pricing and claims information makes it easy to decide which one is right for you. The companies I researched were all competitively priced, and there were a lot of close calls. In the end, I named Universal Home Protection the best for obtaining a quote, America’s First Choice Home Club for filing a claim, American Home Shield/ America’s First Choice Home Club for the lowest price on basic coverage, and American Home Shield for the cheapest premium coverage. Your results will depend on exactly what type of coverage you need, so dive in and start comparing.

The Best Wisconsin Home Warranty Companies

  • American Home Shield
  • Universal Home Protection
  • America’s First Choice Home Club