To find the best home warranty in Florida, I researched the three most reputable providers in the state: American Home Shield, Home Warranty of America, and America’s First Choice Home Club. I scored each company on 12 different categories, gathered some quotes, and tabulated the results to find the best deal in the state.
In the end, America’s First Choice Home Club won my top pick for both affordable pricing and the claims process. American Home Shield took home the prize for easiest quote process, and Home Warranty of America went home empty handed.
The Best Wisconsin Home Warranty Companies
|Home Warranty Company||Best For…|
|America’s First Choice Home Club||The Cheapest Coverage and The Claims Process|
|American Home Shield||The Quote Process|
In order to compare different levels of coverage, I got quotes for two different home profiles. The first profile was for a new homebuyer of a 2,200 square foot home, with coverage for a washer/dryer, HVAC, and heater. My priority was making sure that these three specifics were covered, but all basic packages include quite a bit more than just those systems.
The next profile I used was for a prospective buyer of a 6,100 square foot home, with coverage for a washer/dryer, water heater, oven, AC, refrigerator, septic tank (and septic lines), garbage disposal, wine cooler, microwave, cooktop, well pump, and pool. I also said that all appliances were upgraded and energy efficient.
Originally, I had hoped to include roof repair in the premium profile, but only one provider (Home Warranty of America) offered that option, so I removed it in the name of fair comparison.
America’s First Choice Home Club offered rates of $450 for basic coverage and $750 for premium coverage. But after applying for a quote online, I was offered a 10% discount if I called “in the next eight minutes.” (After a little experimentation, it appears that eight minutes is actually quite indefinite.) So after applying the discount, my quotes dropped down to $405 and $675, respectively. American Home Shield came in second place, at $432 for basic coverage and $779 for premium coverage. Home Warranty of America brought up the rear with $475 and $1,105 respectively.
|Home Warranty Company||Basic Coverage Quote||Premium Coverage Quote|
|America’s First Choice Home Club||$405 ($450 without the 10% discount)||$675 ($750 without the 10% discount)|
|American Home Shield||$432||$779|
|Home Warranty of America||$475||$1,105|
*At first glance, it looked like American Home Shield might be the cheapest option for a basic home warranty in Florida, but after factoring in a discount, America’s First Choice Home Club offered the better deal for both premium and basic coverage.
I was given no indication that the discount has a shelf life. But if you aren’t able to secure it like I was, American Home Shield is your most affordable option for basic coverage; not to mention that AHS is the longest-standing home warranty company in the nation (often credited for creating the industry) and also won The Simple Dollar’s top national recommendation.
Is America’s First Choice Home Club worth the savings?
Cheap home warranties often come with high claims fees, but fortunately, that’s not the case here. America’s First Choice Home Club also offered the lowest standard claims fee, at just $60. That’s the amount you pay every time you schedule a service visit. American Home Shield came in at $125, and Home Warranty of America was $75. You can usually lower that fee, but it comes with a higher upfront payment. So not only will you owe the least amount upfront with America’s First Choice Home Club, you’ll also have the lowest payments when it comes time to service the systems covered under your warranty.
Pricing for basic coverage is pretty straightforward, but for premium coverage, pricing completely depends on the specific items in your home. So if the set of things you want covered looks a lot different than mine, make sure to shop around and compare prices. It’s very possible that our most expensive quote could end up being your cheapest. It just depends on their pricing for add-ons.
Home Insurance vs. Home Warranties
Home warranties are a notorious source of disappointment for homebuyers. Complaints of service claim fees and numerous exemptions are common. But if you take the time to read your home warranty contract, it outlines exactly what to expect, and what is and is not covered. So most of that disappointment probably stems from ignoring the fine print. Don’t make this mistake.
A home warranty isn’t the same as home insurance. Home insurance protects your property from accidents beyond your control, like natural disasters and burglaries. A home warranty covers specific systems and appliances in your home when they malfunction from damage or normal wear and tear. So if a storm knocks a tree through your bay windows, call your home insurance company. If your dishwasher starts leaking sudsy water all over your kitchen, call your home warranty provider.
Do I need both?
If you own your home, you absolutely need home insurance. You never know when disaster might strike, and the cost of massive home damage can be astronomical. Plus, if you have a mortgage, you’re probably required to maintain a home insurance policy.
A home warranty is good to have, but not mandatory. You should consider the cost of repairing or replacing items in your home that would be under warranty. If you think you’d prefer to buy a new, top of the line, energy efficient dishwasher when your old one inevitably malfunctions, then it’s probably not a good idea to include it in your home warranty. Afterall, a warranty will only replace something that cannot be fixed, and it won’t cover an upgraded model. But if you can’t afford several thousand dollars in one lump sum to fix your home’s HVAC system, then it might be smart to have it warrantied.
Something to keep in mind is that many of your newer appliances may already be covered under manufacturer’s warranties. Check to make sure you’re not paying for the same thing twice.
Also make sure to review the appliances and systems in your home, and assess how much it would cost to repair or replace them. If you can shoulder the burden of that cost upfront, you might find that it’s better to put what you would pay for a home warranty into an emergency fund, should something break.
The Bottom Line
America’s First Choice Home Club and American Home Shield are the best home warranty companies in Florida, thanks to competitive pricing and an incredibly easy quote processes. If you can score the 10% signup discount, America’s First Choice Home Club is probably going to be the most affordable option. But if you can’t, American Home Shield, the nation’s home warranty leader, will save you at least $20 on basic coverage.