Imagine it’s the dead middle of a harsh Midwestern winter. The humidity is high and the wind is bone-chilling. For the next three months, temperatures won’t get above freezing. After a long day at work, you come home to discover that your heating system broke. Your pipes burst. Your washing machine and dishwasher are damaged, and your homeowner’s insurance won’t cover any of it.
If you want to protect yourself from issues like these, home warranties cover appliances and systems that your homeowner’s insurance won’t. If you want to protect your home and appliances from disaster, it’s important to educate yourself on the best home warranty companies in the Badger State.
The 4 best home warranty companies in Wisconsin
- Universal Home Protection — Best knowledge
- HSA Home Warranty — Best service provider network
- America’s Preferred Home Warranty, Inc. — Best for customer satisfaction
- American Residential Warranty — Best plan diversity, most transparent
|Basic Plan Cost||Upgrades||Better Business Bureau Rating|
|Universal Home Protection||Basic plan costs $450 a year with a $75 deductible||The Elite plan costs $525 a year also with a $75 deductible
Additional coverage for major kitchen appliances is $75 a year
Pool and spa coverage is $200 a year
|HSA Home Warranty||Basic plans are $455 annual cost with a $100 trade-call fee
$485 annual cost with a $75 trade-call fee
|Buyer 7 Star Upgrade costs $149 annual, while options abound for additional coverage options, such as a hot tub/pool combination for $175||Not Rated|
|America’s Preferred Home Warranty, Inc.||One-year plan options include $50 deductible for a $549 annual cost
$100 deductible for a $499 annual cost
$125 deductible for a $465 annual cost
|The Preferred upgrade costs $125 for the year
Additional coverage options include $185 for pool/spa
$345 for premium pool/spa
|American Residential Warranty||The Kitchen Plus plan is $360
The Heating & Cooling plan costs $480
|The Platinum plan costs $600 annually
The Platinum Premium plan costs $720
The Preferred upgrade costs $125 a year
Pool/spa coverage costs $185 annually
The 4 best home warranty companies in Wisconsin
Universal Home Protection – Best local knowledge
Located in Madison, Universal Home Protection (UHP) started in the 1990s as for-Wisconsinites, by-Wisconsinites home warranty company.
Local realtors complained that they couldn’t find a home warranty company to effectively serve both home buyers and sellers. As they’ve grown, UHP has expanded to cover the greater Chicago area. Despite their expansion, UHP maintains excellent relationships with local contractors and realtors. Moreover, Universal Home Protection earns an A- rating from the Better Business Bureau.
For a basic plan, coverage starts at $450 a year with a $75 deductible. The most popular plan, the Elite, starts at $525 a year also with a $75 deductible. The Elite plans includes coverage for water softeners, stand alone freezers, permanently installed sump pump and wine chillers.
What if you have to add coverage? Not a problem. You can add coverage for your refrigerator, oven, built-in microwave or built-in dishwasher for $75 a year. There’s also a $200 a year pool, spa or combination equipment option.
HSA Home Warranty – Best service provider network
Working with a local home warranty company has its benefits. For one thing, you’re patronizing small businesses and local service providers. In other words, you’re choosing to keep your money in Wisconsin. However, it does have its drawbacks. Most local home warranty companies only continue to cover you if you live in Wisconsin or parts of Illinois in some cases.
HSA Home Warranty offers plans throughout the country. If you move, you can keep your plan and your items covered. You also get to tap into a nationwide service network. Coverage starts with basic plans at $455 with a $100 trade-call fee and at $485 with a $75 trade-call fee. Buyers have the option to do a $149 Buyer 7 Star Upgrade, which includes supplemental coverage for things like smoke alarms, faucets, shower heads and the built-in line for your microwave.
HSA Home Warranty also offers a plethora of à la carte coverage options, such as a hot tub/pool combination for $175, roof leaks for $45 and water well pump coverage for $45.
America’s Preferred Home Warranty, Inc. – Best for customer satisfaction
America’s Preferred Home Warranty earns consistently high customer satisfaction rates, in part because it allows plan holders to choose their own contractors for repairs and restoration.
“What sets America’s Preferred Home Warranty apart from other warranty companies is our customer service and that we allow the homeowner to choose the licensed contractor of their choice to diagnose the failure of the covered system,” Mike Sadler, Vice President of Operations for America’s Preferred Home Warranty, said. “That means the homeowner receives a third-party evaluation on what is the cause of the problem, not a contractor sent on behalf of the warranty company. In addition to that, repairs will be made quicker and on the schedule of the homeowner.”
The company takes service calls at all hours of the day, every day of the year. It also customizes plans according to the type of home plan holders live in. The company also works closely with local realtors, offering them a custom mobile phone app for home warranty plan management. Moreover, America’s Preferred Home Warranty was named Best Regional Home Warranty Company in 2017 and 2018. They’ve also earned an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
American Residential Warranty – Best plan diversity, most transparent
Most home warranty companies have a fixed list of what each plan covers, with some combination of a basic plan, a more advanced plan, upgrades and miscellaneous one-off options. American Residential Warranty offers a remarkable menu of coverage plans for all budgets in addition to the usual list of add-ons.
The Platinum Premium, which is $720 for the year, covers all heating, cooling, and electrical systems, kitchen appliances and less frequently covered items, such as duct work, humidifiers and garage door openers.
The slightly cheaper Platinum plan is $600 and covers all systems and major appliances. There’s also a Kitchen Plus plan for $360, which focuses on kitchen appliances, your water heater and electrical system, and a Heating & Cooling plan for $480 that covers electrical, heating and cooling systems.
American Residential Warranty is unique in that it offers bundled plans, such the Platinum Premium in combination with an electronics protection plan and an extended appliances coverage plan. In addition, the company earns an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau.
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty plan is a service contract for your home’s appliances and systems. For Wisconsin homeowners, the service contract’s annual cost ranges from approximately $450 to roughly $800. Add-on plans with additional coverage options will increase that cost.
Home warranty plans have a deductible for repairs on those appliances and systems. Once your deductible is met, the remainder of your repairs are covered by the plan. It’s important to note that every home warranty company partners with contractors. When you call for service, you will be charged what’s known as a trade-call fee. Those service calls will go toward your deductible.
How should I choose the right home warranty plan?
For home buyers, your real estate agent will likely have existing relationships with certain home warranty company and will help to facilitate the purchase of a plan during the sale process. It’s not uncommon for the best deals to come during this process.
Consumers can request a quote or choose the home warranty company based on the available plans for the items you want to cover. It’s beneficial for homeowners to purchase home warranty plans if their home, systems or appliances are older and have a greater likelihood to require repairs or restoration.
The bottom line
Wisconsin has a limited number of locally based home warranty companies. Most of the reliable options for warranties will come from nationwide companies that have partnered with local realtors and service providers. Before you decide on a coverage plan, weigh the average cost of repairs for your major kitchen appliances, electrical, heating and cooling systems and compare it to the annual cost of home warranty plans and the trade-call fees.