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The 8 Best Home Warranty Companies


Jul 04, 2020 by Aly J. Yale

Home insurance is one way to safeguard your investment property -- at least at the larger level. But insurance won't cover things like that broken dishwasher your tenant just called in or that HVAC issue that needs fixing ASAP.

For these, you'll want a home warranty, a type of service contract that can help cover repairs on your home's major components, including things like the plumbing, hot water heater, electrical system, and appliances.

Fortunately, home warranty companies run the gamut, and there are dozens of options to choose from. Need help picking the right one for your investment property? Here are the eight best home warranty companies, according to our experts.

The best home warranty companies for investors

For investors, it's more important that a home warranty service covers the home's major systems rather than individual appliances. (After all, you may not even provide appliances for your tenants.) Quick service is also important, as your renters will likely want HVAC, plumbing, and other serious issues fixed ASAP -- not weeks down the road.

With that in mind, we looked at some of the top providers and ranked them below.

Cinch

Formerly HMS National Home Warranty, Cinch offers three unique plans: appliances-only, built-in systems, and "complete home," which combines the two former options. Unlike most other warranty companies, Cinch also includes sump pump systems in some of its plans. (Most require an extra fee for this coverage.)

Another perk? There's also a deductible reimbursement included in the most comprehensive plan. If you have to pay a deductible on your home insurance policy, Cinch will reimburse you up to $500. Finally, Cinch also offers what it calls the "Premier Upgrade Package," which can cover things like permits and code upgrades -- a nice perk for fix-and-flip investors.

Though Cinch's monthly costs are right on par with others on this list, they also come with higher service fees ranging from $100 up to $150. Another downside? Though duplexes are eligible for Cinch coverage, properties with more than two units are not.

  • Cost: $34.99 to $49.99 per month.
  • Service fee: $100 to $150.
  • Contract length: 1 year.
  • Request process: Request service online 24/7.
  • Ratings: 4.2 stars on Consumer Affairs, A- on Better Business Bureau, 3.5 stars on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: $25 credit for air filters, included water-leak detector.

America's 1st Choice Home Club

America's 1st Choice (A1) offers a systems plan, a home appliance plan, and a few combined plans. A1 is unique from other options in that it lets you choose your repair tech, and workmanship is guaranteed for the life of your plan. As a part of the "home club," you also get various extras -- like credit monitoring, discounts on ADT (NYSE: ADT) security devices and services, and discounts on various appliances and home items.

The biggest drawback is that plumbing stoppages aren't covered unless you opt for the most expensive plan (the platinum plan).

  • Cost: $31.25 to $71.25 per month.
  • Service fee: $0 to $125.
  • Contract length: 1 to 3 years.
  • Request process: Request service online or via phone 24/7.
  • Ratings: 3.9 stars on Consumer Affairs, B on Better Business Bureau, not listed on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: Choose your own contractor, free credit monitoring, family emergency services, discounts on security devices, appliances, and more, workmanship guaranteed for the life of your plan.

Select Home Warranty

Select offers three plans: bronze, gold, and platinum. The gold plan covers basic systems like HVAC, plumbing, electrical, and your water heater and clocks in at $36 per month. Platinum is best if you're looking to have plumbing covered, as well as appliances like your garbage disposal, stove, and more.

Another perk? Select has discounts in place if you choose a multiyear plan. You can also cover condos and multi-unit properties with Select as well.

  • Cost: $36 to $42 per month.
  • Service fee: $60 to $75.
  • Contract length: Standard is 1 year, but multiyear plans are available.
  • Request process: Request service online 24/7.
  • Ratings: 4+ stars on Consumer Affairs, B- on Better Business Bureau, 3.3 stars on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: Discounts for multiyear plans, can cover condos and multi-unit properties.

First American Home Warranty

First American only has two plans: basic and premier. The basic plan offers major appliance coverage, and while the premier plan includes a lot more, you'll still need to pay extra if you want your HVAC covered ($9 per month). This can be a major drawback if your property's in a particularly hot or cold area.

With that said, First American has some of the best ratings out there. On TrustPilot, customers have given the company 4.1 stars out of 5. If you really want comprehensive coverage, you can also opt for First Am's "First Class Upgrade," which covers details like washer and dryer knobs, faucets, showerheads, toilets, garage door systems, and more.

  • Cost: $32 to $45.50 per month.
  • Service fee: $75.
  • Contract length: 1 year.
  • Request process: Online or via phone 24/7.
  • Ratings: 3.4 stars on Consumer Affairs, B+ on Better Business Bureau, 4.1 stars on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: First-class upgrade option, four-hour dispatch time on service calls.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

2-10 has three unique warranty plans to choose from: major appliances, HVAC + water heater, and the "everything together" plan. The latter is extremely comprehensive, offering coverage on things like lighting fixtures, switches, outlets, doorbells, and fans as well as the systems and appliances covered on other plans.

For both of the non-comprehensive plans, costs are in the low $30s per month, making it one of the more affordable options on this list. 2-10's plans can also be used on multifamily properties and condos.

  • Cost: $33.25 to $45.75 per month.
  • Service fee: $85 to $125.
  • Contract length: 1 year.
  • Request process: Request service online 24/7.
  • Ratings: 3.7 stars on Consumer Affairs, A on Better Business Bureau, not listed on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: $100 appliance replacement reimbursements.

Amazon Home Warranty

With Amazon Home Warranty, you can get a systems-only plan, an appliance-only plan, or a combination plan. The systems-only plan covers your HVAC, plumbing (including stoppages), electrical components, hot water heater, and ductwork. Your garage door opener and any jetted bathtubs are also included in this one.

If you're looking for even more coverage for your property beyond the combo plan, Amazon may be your best bet. The company offers a variety of optional coverage add-ons that aren't available with other providers -- things like roof leak, sprinkler system, and water softener coverage.

  • Cost: $42 to $52 per month.
  • Service fee: $75.
  • Contract length: 1 year.
  • Request process: Request service online 24/7.
  • Ratings: 3 stars on Consumer Affairs, B+ on Better Business Bureau, not listed on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: 90-day parts guarantee and 30-day workmanship guarantee.

Just a quick note here: Amazon Home Warranty is not associated with Amazon.com (AMZN). Though Amazon.com has recently gotten into home services, warranties aren't part of the company's offerings currently.

Choice Home Warranty

With Choice Home Warranty, you can choose from either the basic plan, which covers things like your heat, electrical, and plumbing systems as well as your major appliances like the oven, dishwasher, and microwave, or the total plan. The total plan includes the HVAC system and other appliances, including your clothes washer and/or dryer. Unfortunately, there is no systems-only plan, so if you're looking for an option with no appliance coverage, you'll need to look elsewhere.

Choice's monthly costs sit around the same price range as other providers. If you opt for an annual plan, though, you can get one month free -- saving you a little bit of cash. The total plan, for example, clocks in at $570 for 13 months, coming to about $47.50 per month, rather than the $50 per month typically charged.

  • Cost: $41 to $50 per month.
  • Service fee: $85.
  • Contract length: 12 to 13 months.
  • Request process: Request service online or via phone 24/7.
  • Ratings: 3.7 stars on Consumer Affairs, B- on Better Business Bureau, 3.9 stars on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: First month free on annual plans.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield (AHS) is a good choice because it offers a home system-only plan, which covers your air conditioning and heating system, ductwork, electrical system, smoke detectors, plumbing, and garbage disposal. There's also an appliance-only plan, a combo plan, and a build-your-own plan option.

The major downside here is that reviews are extremely mixed. Though Consumer Affairs shows 4+ stars for AHS, over on TrustPilot, the average is a mere 1.2 stars.

  • Cost: $39.99 to $49.99 per month.
  • Service fee: $75 to $125.
  • Contract length: 1 year.
  • Request process: Request service online 24/7.
  • Ratings: 4+ stars on Consumer Affairs, B on Better Business Bureau, 1.2 stars on TrustPilot.
  • Other perks: 30-day workmanship guarantee, $50 discount if you use AHS to cover more than one home, discounted air filters.

Home warranty FAQ

How does a home warranty work?

If you have an issue with a covered appliance or system, you'll contact your home warranty company to put in a service request. They'll then dispatch a network technician to address the issue, and you'll pay an upfront service-call fee when they arrive.

Can I still get coverage if my house or its systems/appliances are old?

Most companies do not have any age requirements when it comes to home warranty coverage. They will typically cover any system or device, with no home inspection required.

Can I use my own contractor or repair service?

The majority of home warranties require you to use an in-network service provider. These are typically arranged by the warranty company, though the provider will reach out to you directly to set up a convenient appointment.

In very few cases, you may be able to choose your own contractor. (America's 1st is the only one on this list that allows it.) If your warranty provider does not allow outside contractors and you choose to use one anyway, you'll likely need to cover the entire appointment -- and all parts and labor -- out of pocket.

Do I have to buy a home warranty?

Home warranties aren't required, but they can help offset the costs of repairs and maintenance on your investment or rental properties. Most plans don't take into account age or condition, so if the home or its systems are particularly old, a warranty can be an even smarter investment.

The bottom line

Homeowners insurance is a good start, but if you really want to protect your investment, a home warranty is a smart way to do it. It can also reduce your responsibilities as a landlord or property manager, and who wouldn't want that?

Are you considering getting a home warranty plan for your investment property? Make sure you shop around. As you can see from above, price and coverage vary widely from one home warranty provider to the next, so comparing several options is critical if you want the best deal.

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Aly Yale has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.

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