Best Home Warranty Companies for 2020

This year’s ongoing stay-at-home orders have led to an increase in usage for home appliances and thus an accelerated expiration date. You may find home appliances or systems in your home will need repair or replacement earlier than usual. And with how 2020 is going so far, the odds are not in your favor. A home warranty can help cover that expense and ease the burden on your budget. We vetted some of the best home warranty providers using our in-house rating system, SimpleScore, on variety of plans, coverage options, service fee and ease of use.

Lending Partner
Trade Service Fee
Average Monthly Cost
Premade Plans
Add-on Coverage
  • America’s 1st Choice
    Trade Service Fee:
    $75–$125
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $30–$40
    Premade Plans:
    4
    Add-on Coverage:
    12
  • First American
    Trade Service Fee:
    $75
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $32–$43
    Premade Plans:
    2
    Add-on Coverage:
    5
  • Choice Home Warranty
    Trade Service Fee:
    $85
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $40–$50
    Premade Plans:
    2
    Add-on Coverage:
    10
  • Cinch Home Services
    Trade Service Fee:
    $100-$150
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $20–$40
    Premade Plans:
    3
    Add-on Coverage:
    6
  • American Home Shield
    Trade Service Fee:
    $75–$125
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $30–$50
    Premade Plans:
    3
    Add-on Coverage:
    6
  • Global Home Protection
    Trade Service Fee:
    $75–$100
    Average Monthly Cost:
    $28–$48
    Premade Plans:
    5
    Add-on Coverage:
    8

In this article

    The 8 best home warranty companies of 2020

    Best for service guarantees – America’s 1st Choice

    America’s First Choice Home Club certainly offers plenty of choices when it comes to your home warranty, except for when it comes to filing a claim — you’ll have to file by phone.

    Trade Service Fee
    $75–$125
    Average Monthly Cost
    $30–$40
    Add-on Coverage
    12
    SimpleScore
    4.2 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore America’s 1st Choice 4.2
    Average Monthly Cost 5
    # of Extra Coverage 5
    Support Channels 3
    Trade Service Fees 3
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 5

    America’s First Choice Home Club allows you to choose from double the usual number of plans. It has six different options, ranging from $30 to $45 per month. Once you have a plan, there is limited online account management and you’ll need to call when filing a claim. You can choose your own technician to service that claim and America’s First Choice Home Club offers the longest service guarantee — it lasts for the lifetime of the warranty plan (up to three years.) If the repair isn’t done right the first time and you experience the same problem again, you won’t have to foot the bill.

    Outside of your warranty, America’s First Choice Home Club offers a few extra perks to its customers with partnered brands like ADT, MoneyTips and Emergency Alert Network. Warranty plans include access to free credit monitoring, family emergency services and discounts on home security, household supplies, entertainment, restaurants and more.

    America’s 1st Choice Disclosure
    • Choice of Technician
    • Longest Work Guarantee
    • In-House Service
    • Club Benefits
    • Proven Coverage
    • Convenience

    Best for appliance coverage – First American

    First American is a lot like Ron Swanson — it tells it to you straight and gives you a fair offer.

    Trade Service Fee
    $75
    Average Monthly Cost
    $32–$43
    Add-on Coverage
    5
    SimpleScore
    3.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore First American 3.6
    Average Monthly Cost 4
    # of Extra Coverage 3
    Support Channels 3
    Trade Service Fees 5
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 3

    First American has made it super easy to understand your warranty and what’s covered. Even before you have an official contract you can determine what components and circumstances are covered under each plan. When comparing plans for an online quote, you can click on each covered appliance, like a dishwasher, and a pop up will clearly detail the covered parts and if the repair has a coverage limit. For example, with the dishwasher, all parts are covered except for cosmetic features like racks, baskets, knobs and dials and the coverage limit is $3,500.

    It has two plans to choose between — basic appliances (around $32 per month) and the Premier Plan (about $43 per month), which adds home systems like central vacuum, ductwork, electrical, heating and plumbing. The basic plan is pretty all encompassing and affordable if you only need a warranty for your appliance. There is a $3 fee for paying monthly, so you’ll save $36 by paying in full. And all of First American’s plans have a flat service rate of $75.

    First American Disclosure
    • Flexible payment options
    • If we can’t repair it, we’ll replace it
    • Network of prescreened, qualified technicians
    • Request service 24 hours a day, 365 days a year
    • Experience and stability you can trust

    Most unique additional coverage – Global Home Protection

    Global Home Protection is the Portland of warranty providers — it’s offerings are a little weird.

    Trade Service Fee
    $75–$100
    Average Monthly Cost
    $28–$48
    Add-on Coverage
    8
    SimpleScore
    4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Global Home Protection 4
    Average Monthly Cost 4
    # of Extra Coverage 4
    Support Channels 3
    Trade Service Fees 4
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 5

    Global Home Protection has five plans to choose from — including a discounted $65 (annual price) “Seller” plan for people who want a home warranty for a house they’re trying to sell. Its regular plans range from $28 to $48 per month. The starting “Three Star” plan covers home systems, the “Four Star” plan adds common appliances, the “Five Star” plan adds some additional items like garage door opener and termite treatment, and the “Stellar” plan includes everything possible the company offers (most notably, coverage of unknown pre-existing conditions.)

    You’ll find some pretty unique expanded coverage options with Global Home Protection. Some of the options that we didn’t find with other providers include: termite treatment, removal of existing units, permits, code violations, regulatory risk, plumbing stoppages, slab leak repairs and a pre-season HVAC tune up.

    Global Home Protection Disclosure
    • Around the Clock Coverage.
    • Comprehensive Protection.
    • Top Tier Professionals.
    • Low Budget Plans.

    Best for quick claims processing – Choice Home Warranty

    With an extensive list of exclusions and super-speedy claims processing — Choice Home Warranty will waste no time in getting to your claim (and probably denying it).

    Trade Service Fee
    $85
    Average Monthly Cost
    $40–$50
    Add-on Coverage
    10
    SimpleScore
    3.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Choice Home Warranty 3.6
    Average Monthly Cost 3
    # of Extra Coverage 4
    Support Channels 4
    Trade Service Fees 4
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 3

    You can choose between two warranty plans with Choice Home Warranty — but they’re oddly split. Home warranty plans are usually divided between systems and appliances, or common coverage needs and more expansive options. But with Choice Home Warranty, the “upgraded” plan only adds coverage for your washer, dryer, fridge and air conditioning. Those few additions are typically pretty key and it will make little sense for most people to opt for the basic plan.

    Choice home warranty isn’t exactly upfront about its service. We had to scour the user agreement to find the service call fee as it’s not offered up when you’re getting a quote or purchasing a policy online. And when examining that user agreement, we noticed a lot more exclusions for its coverage than other warranty providers. For example, with a clothes dryer all components and parts are included except: noise, venting, lint screens, knobs and dials, doors, door seals, hinges, gass, leveling and balancing, and damage to clothing. That’s a lot more exclusions on your dryer than with other providers. We imagine getting a claim approved could be a pretty complicated process depending on how the technician they send diagnoses your appliance. On the plus side, about 80% of Choice Home Warranty claims are processed in only four hours or less.

    Choice Home Warranty Disclosure
    • We’re Here for you 24/7
    • We’ve Handled more than 3,000,000 Service Requests
    • We have a Nationwide Network of more than 15,000 Contractors
    • We’ve Covered more than 1,000,000 Homes Across the USA
    • We have Thousands of 5 Star Ratings from our Customers

    Best digital account management – Cinch Home Services

    Cinch Home Services is one of the only warranty providers living in 2020 — it has Alexa on speed dial.

    Trade Service Fee
    $100-$150
    Average Monthly Cost
    $20–$40
    Add-on Coverage
    6
    SimpleScore
    3.4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Cinch Home Services 3.4
    Average Monthly Cost 5
    # of Extra Coverage 3
    Support Channels 4
    Trade Service Fees 1
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 4

    If you prefer more advanced interfaces and tech options, Cinch Home Services has an impressive digital dashboard and you can enable Amazon Alexa to open a claim for you or manage the account. Cinch Home Services also has long-term guarantees on its workmanship — a full 180 days. Repairs for pre-existing defects are covered too.

    Cinch Home Services offers an appliance plan, a systems plan and a combo warranty that covers both systems and appliances. The cheapest appliance plan starts at just $20 a month in most states and covers larger appliances like refrigerators and dryers. The combo plan, which provides the most protection, costs $40 a month or more depending on which add-ons you choose and the service fee you select.

    Cinch Home Services Disclosure
    • Coverage for components and parts like knobs, doors and drawers
    • Easy-to-read plan documents so you know exactly what’s covered
    • A $25 credit to use toward filters for your A/C or fridge
    • A free water sensor to help detect leaks in your home
    • A digital dashboard you can use to request service 24/7 from anywhere

    Best for customized plans – American Home Shield

    American Home Shield captures the fun of fro-yo with build-your-own warranty options.

    Trade Service Fee
    $75–$125
    Average Monthly Cost
    $30–$50
    Add-on Coverage
    6
    SimpleScore
    3.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore American Home Shield 3.6
    Average Monthly Cost 4
    # of Extra Coverage 3
    Support Channels 4
    Trade Service Fees 3
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 4

    American Home Shield is a respected home warranty company that’s been around since 1970. It offers a few types of plans, including an appliance plan, a systems plan and a combination warranty that covers both appliances and home systems like air conditioning and plumbing. If you don’t see a plan you like within your budget, American Home Shield gives you the option to customize your own warranty. You can choose over 10 different home systems and appliances to create the perfect plan for your home.

    Premiums for standard and customized plans vary depending on which state you live in, but they generally range from $30 to $50 per month. When picking your policy, you can also choose your service call fee (either $75, $100 or $125). A lower service call fee will mean a higher monthly payment and vice versa.

    American Home Shield Disclosure
    • Over 45 years of helping homeowners.
    • We pay more in home warranty claims.
    • Your new go-to when things go wrong.

    Best for no service fees – Complete Protection

    Complete Protection is the valedictorian of warranty providers. With no service fee, coverage limits, choice of technician and affordable plans, it’s very well-rounded and tends to succeed.

    Trade Service Fee
    $0
    Average Monthly Cost
    $45–$75
    Add-on Coverage
    N/A
    SimpleScore
    4 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Complete Protection 4
    Average Monthly Cost 2
    # of Extra Coverage 5
    Support Channels 3
    Trade Service Fees 5
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 5

    Complete Protection is one of the most affordable home warranty options we found. On its website, Complete Protection claims, “We pay 100% of approved repair costs; service call, parts and labor.” That means your warranty won’t have coverage limits on a specific appliance or system and you won’t be charged a service fee each time a technician is called. And its monthly payments aren’t compensating that bargain — its plans are in line with other warranty providers at $45 to $75 per month.

    Complete Protection also allows you to use your own contractor, offers a free preventative maintenance check and covers appliances with unknown pre-existing conditions. You’re more likely to use a warranty knowing you can ensure a quality repair and won’t be denied coverage for something that isn’t your fault.

    Best for immediate coverage – Home Warranty of America

    If you feel a bout of bad luck coming on, a warranty from Home Warranty of America can provide immediate coverage for your home appliances.

    Trade Service Fee
    $60–$100
    Average Monthly Cost
    $40–$50
    Add-on Coverage
    N/A
    SimpleScore
    3.6 / 5.0
    close
    SimpleScore Home Warranty of America 3.6
    Average Monthly Cost 4
    # of Extra Coverage 3
    Support Channels 4
    Trade Service Fees 3
    Number of Pre-Made Plans 4

    Most home warranties don’t take effect for a whole month after you sign up, during which the universe most certainly would throw an appliance repair your way. If you’re worried about the gap between purchase and coverage, you may prefer to use Home Warranty of America, a company that offers immediate protection. Your home will be covered as soon as you sign up, which provides immense peace of mind.

    This company offers two different plans: the Premier and Premier Plus. The Premier plan starts around $40 and insures most of the basics like your furnace, duct work, plumbing system, washer, dryer and more. The Premier Plus plan starts at about $50 per month and includes more comprehensive coverage for some of the appliances on the Premier plan as well as additional coverage for your air conditioner, toilet, plumbing fixtures, burglary systems and more. You can choose a trade service fee between $60 and $100 for both plans. As with some of the other providers, choosing the higher service fee will lower your monthly premium.

    The best home warranties at a glance

     Plan OptionsAverage Monthly CostTrade service feeSimpleScore
    America’s First Choice Home Club
    • Platinum
    • Gold
    • Silver
    • System
    $30–$40$75–$1254.2
    First American
    • Basic plan
    • Premier plan
    $32–$43$753.6
    Global Home Protection
    • Seller Plan
    • New Construction
    • Stellar Plan
    • 3 Star Plan
    • 4 Star Plan
    • 5 Star Plan
    $28–$48$75–$1004
    Choice Home Warranty
    • Total Plan
    • Basic Plan
    $40–$50$853.6
    Cinch Home Services
    • Appliances
    • Built-in systems
    • Complete home
    $20–$40$100–$1503.4
    American Home Shield
    • Appliance plan
    • Systems plan
    • Combo plan
    $30–$50$75–$1253.6
    Complete Protection
    • Essential
    • Advanced
    • Comprehensive
    • Ultimate
    $45–$75None4
    Home Warranty of America
    • Premier
    • Premier Plus
    $40–$50$60–$1003.8

    What is a home warranty?

    A home warranty is an annual service contract that provides coverage for home appliances like dishwashers and refrigerators in case they break. Many home warranties also cover home systems such as air conditioning, plumbing and water heating — which can be expensive to repair and replace. Home warranties will cover these home systems when their manufacturer warranty expires. If something happens to a covered appliance or system, you can file a claim and the warranty company will send a technician to handle the repair or replacement.

    The warranty isn’t all-encompassing and there may be situations where you have to pay for repairs on your own. If the appliance hasn’t been properly installed or maintained, you may not be covered by the warranty.

    [Read: What Is a Home Warranty?]

    How do home warranties work?

    Home warranties will step in to cover repairs or replacements after a manufacturer’s warranty expires. One home warranty will cover most of your home — you won’t need an individual policy per appliance. It’s typically a one-year contract that you can renew each year.

    If one of your appliances or systems stops working, you can file a claim with your warranty company. The company will set up an appointment with one of its approved service technicians to check out the appliance. You’ll also need to pay a flat service call fee for any assessment or repairs that they send a technician for. The fee will be in your contract, can range from $50 to $125 per service call and is paid directly to the technician.

    If you sell your home, you can include the home warranty in the contract and transfer it to the new owner.

    What’s covered by a home warranty?

    As a general rule of thumb, anything that is a result of general wear and tear is often covered by your warranty. Home appliances will also need to be in good condition when you purchase the warranty for them to qualify for repair.

    Typically covered by a home warranty:

    • Refrigerator
    • Stove or cooktop
    • Oven
    • Dishwasher
    • Built-in microwave
    • Clothes washer
    • Clothes dryer
    • Garage door opener
    • Garbage disposal
    • Ceiling fan
    • Water heater
    • Plumbing
    • Electrical system
    • Ductwork
    • Air conditioning system
    • Heating system

    You can add additional coverage for systems or appliances that aren’t as standard. Many home warranty companies offer extended coverage for an outdoor pool, spa, pumps, second refrigerator, guest unit, well pump or septic system.

    [Read: Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance]

    What’s not covered by a home warranty?

    There are some circumstances when a home warranty claim will be denied. Anything that had existing damage before the start of your warranty will not be covered. That also applies to anything that was installed incorrectly. Appliances that are poorly maintained or have failed before often aren’t covered by home warranties. You may also need to foot the bill for repairs if you accidentally damage one of your appliances. Typically, home warranty companies only cover damage that occurs due to normal wear and tear — so any unfortunate accidents that happen with your appliances, like your kid stepping on the dishwasher door, will still be on you to pay for.

    The cost of a home warranty

    A home warranty can cost anywhere between $350 and $1,200 a year. A lot of factors will influence the exact price you’re quoted — the warranty company, the contract you choose, any extended coverage added on, the details of your home and the state you live in.

    When comparing warranty costs, you’ll also want to consider the service fee. Detailed in the contract, the fee is charged for each service visit for an appliance or system that needs repair. The service fee can range from $50 to $125.

    Your home warranty will also have a coverage limit per item — similar to an insurance deductible — on some appliances. If a repair or replacement costs more than the contract limit, you’ll have to cover the remaining costs. The limit will depend on the appliances your contract covers, but usually limits start at $500. For example, a system like your gas furnaces may not have a warranty limit and the company will cover whatever it costs to replace. But a more specialty system like a radiant heater may have a $1,500 limit for repair coverage.

    Home warranty vs homeowners insurance, explained

    How to choose the best home warranty for you

    Take your time choosing a home warranty and understanding exactly what you’re signing up for by walking through a few steps.

    1. Shop around. Compare quotes from several warranty companies before signing a contract to find the best deal and coverage for your home.
    2. Review the warranty closely. Make sure to understand any loopholes or stipulations that your contract has and know what is covered and under what circumstances. Home warranties have a reputation for being misleading — for some appliances, only specific components may be covered under specific circumstances. For example, a warranty might cover your fridge but not the icemaker inside, or your stove may not be covered if it stops working in self-cleaning mode.
    3. Check the service fee. Each service call that a technician responds to will cost you a fee specified in the contract. The fee is paid in addition to the cost of the warranty. Be sure to calculate into your total estimates when comparing policy options.
    4. Research the claims process. Map out what it would be like to have a warranty with each company. Can you easily file a claim? Are there intuitive online options for monitoring your warranty or checking the status of a claim? Do they have a good customer service reputation? What’s the turnaround time for an emergency repair?
    5. Review the partnered contractors. It’s a good idea to research the people who will handle your repair. Check to see if the warranty company requires a specific contractor or if you can request your own. Will the repair companies they work with provide quality service? Ask what happens if the repair isn’t sufficient.

    [Related: Do You Need a Home Warranty?]

    Home warranty FAQs

    A home warranty isn’t for everyone. You’ll need to weigh the cost of the warranty with the likelihood that your appliance will need a costly repair.

    It might be a good idea if you’ve purchased an older home with older systems. The perfect conditions for a home warranty are appliances that are a few years old, well maintained and have no existing warranty. It’s pretty common for appliances to need some repair after a few years of wear and tear.

    Most home warranties do not cover mold or damage from mold. It’s considered poor maintenance because mold is usually the result of poor ventilation or water leakage. Check with your homeowners insurance policy, as many consider mold or mold removal a “covered perils.”

    A home warranty can be reassuring for a buyer if you’re selling an older home with appliances that have had experienced years of wear and tear. First-time home buyers may feel overwhelmed by the potential repairs a home will need and a warranty can offer more confidence. Talk it over with your real estate agent before committing to anything.

    We welcome your feedback on this article and would love to hear about your experience with the home warranties we recommend. Contact us at inquiries@thesimpledollar.com with comments or questions.

    Methodology

    SimpleScore

    The SimpleScore is a proprietary scoring metric we use to objectively compare products and services at The Simple Dollar.

    For every review, our editorial team:

    • Identifies five measurable aspects to compare across each brand
    • Determines the rating criteria for each aspect score
    • Averages the five aspect scores to produce a single SimpleScore

    Here’s a breakdown of the five aspect scores and their rating criteria for our review of the best home warranty companies of 2020.

    Why do some brands have different SimpleScores on different pages?

    To ensure the SimpleScore is as helpful and accurate as possible, we developed unique criteria for every category we compare at The Simple Dollar. Since most brands offer a variety of financial solutions, their products and services will score differently depending on what we’re scoring on a given page.

    However, it’s also possible for brands to have multiple SimpleScores. For example, when we apply our methodology to Chase’s stock trading product, it scores a 3.6 out of 5. On the other hand, when we compare Chase checking accounts, it scores a 4.4 out of 5. this is because we each criterion for every category is different to account for different industry standards and product offerings.

    Questions about our methodology?

    Email Hayley Armstrong at hayley@thesimpledollar.com.

    Average monthly cost

    Many home warranty companies advertise a range of monthly costs for their home warranty plans. We took the average of these costs and assigned SimpleScore aspects based on the amount.

    Add-on coverages

    Home warranty usually just covers kitchen appliances and HVAC systems. However, homes have so much more than that. We gave higher scores to home warranty companies that offer a variety of add-ons to home warranty coverages, such as pool, washer/dryer, guest houses and more.

    Customer support

    When it’s time to file a home warranty claim or homeowners have questions, how can they contact support? The SimpleScore rewards home warranty companies with more channels of customer support.

    Trade service fee

    Much like a deductible, a trade service fee is the fee homeowners pay for each service call. The lower the service fee, the higher the score that the brand gets. If the trade service fee was a range or differed among plans, we took an average of the fees advertised.

    Number of pre-made plans

    Sometimes it’s just easier to pick a package and get your home warranty coverage started. That’s why we awarded companies with more premade plans higher scores.

    Danika Miller

    Personal Finance Reporter

    Danika Miller is a writer at The Simple Dollar. Her work can be found on Reviews.com, Freshome.com, Her Campus, and Jeopardy Magazine. She holds a bachelor’s degree in creative and technical writing from Western Washington University.

    Reviewed by

    • Courtney Mihocik
      Courtney Mihocik
      Editor

      Courtney Mihocik is an editor at The Simple Dollar who specializes in insurance, personal finance, and loans. Previously, she wrote and edited for Interest.com, PersonalLoans.org, Ballantyne Magazine, Thread Magazine, The Post, ACRN, The New Political, Columbus Alive and the Institute for International Journalism.