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The cost of home repairs can add up quickly. Repairing an appliance can cost between $107 and $246.[1] When you add on a service fee, the cost can rise even more. If you want to protect your wallet from unexpected home appliance and system failures, a home warranty might come in handy.

Quick Facts

  • A home warranty acts as a contract to help you cover common repair costs at a discount.

  • Home warranties cover appliances and HVAC systems, among other machines, rather than your home.

  • Home warranties can be worth it if you have a lot of appliances or older systems in your home.

What is a home warranty?

A home warranty is a service agreement between a homeowner and a company that helps cover the repair or replacement costs of specified appliances and home systems.[2]

The specifics of home warranty service contracts can vary. However, many home warranties include coverage for a home’s HVAC system, water heater, plumbing, electrical system, kitchen appliances, garbage disposal, and garage door opener.

If something goes wrong with a covered system, you’ll call the home warranty company. The home warranty company will send an approved service provider to your home. Typically, you just need to pay an up-front fee, similar to a deductible, for the service or repair.[2]

Why you might need a home warranty

A home warranty isn’t the right fit for all homeowners. But it’s often a good option for homeowners who want an extra layer of protection for their appliances or want help coordinating service contractors for their homes.

Here are a few instances when a home warranty might come in handy:

  • Broken HVAC: If your HVAC breaks, the replacement costs could run between $5,000 and $12,500.[3] With a home warranty, you might only have to cover a portion of the replacement costs.

  • Broken water heater: A broken water heater can put a stop to comfortable showers. The replacement cost averages $839 to $1,631.[4] Your budget might appreciate when a home warranty helps cover those replacement costs.

If you’re concerned about your ability to cover a necessary repair or replacement, a home warranty might provide the peace of mind you’re looking for.

The best home warranty companies

When choosing the right home warranty company, it’s helpful to start with some of the top options in the industry. Below, you’ll find a closer look at the top-rated home warranty companies in the industry:

Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard earned top marks on various customer rating platforms:

  • Consumer Affairs: 3.9 out of 5 stars

  • Better Business Bureau: 4.59 out of 5 stars

  • Trustpilot: 3.4 out of 5 stars

The company offers three plans at different price points. Below are some of the most popular plans:

  • Appliance Guard: The Appliance Guard plan includes coverage for most of the appliances in your home. These include the washer, dryer, refrigerator, built-in microwave, dishwasher, garbage disposal, range, ceiling fan, and garage door openers.

  • Systems Guard: The Systems Guard offers protection for major home systems, like your HVAC, ductwork, plumbing, water heaters, and electrical equipment.

  • Total Home Guard: The Total Home Guard plan includes the coverage provided by both the Appliance Guard and Systems Guard plans.

These plans are available everywhere except Washington and Wisconsin. After you sign up, you need to wait 30 to 60 days before filing your first claim. Liberty Home Guard offers straightforward home warranties with reasonably good reviews. But you’ll need to enter your own home details to nail down a quote.

Of course, there are some Liberty Home Guard pros and cons to consider:


  • Easy-to-understand plans

  • Prices start at less than $1 per day


  • Not available in every state

  • Must wait 30 to 60 days to file a claim

American Residential Warranty

American Residential Warranty earned relatively high marks on various customer rating platforms:

  • Consumer Affairs: 4.2 out of 5 stars

  • Better Business Bureau: 2.39 out of 5 stars

  • Trustpilot: 4.4 out of 5 stars

The company offers various plans at different price points. Below are some of the most popular plans:

  • Ultimate Electronics Protection: At $24.99 per month, many of your household electronics are covered. A few include laptops, gaming consoles, printers, tablets, and more.

  • Kitchen Plus: At $39.99 per month, many kitchen appliances are covered. A few include the refrigerator, range, oven, cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, exhaust fans, garbage disposal, and water heater.

  • Platinum Premier: At $64.99 per month, you’ll get covered for the Kitchen Plus package and HVAC, plumbing systems, garage door opener, humidifier, ductwork, ceiling fans, and refrigerator ice maker.

American Residential Warranty offers relatively affordable coverage compared to some competitors. The simple coverage might be just what you’re looking for, especially if you’re concerned about household electronics. When you request a repair, you pay a trade service fee. These plans are available in all 50 states. The advantages and disadvantages of American Residential Warranty include:


  • Extensive selection of coverage options

  • Ample add-on options

  • Month-to-month service plans


  • A trade service fee is required for every repair

  • 30-day waiting period

Check Out: 10 Best Home Insurance Companies

The Home Service Club

The Home Service Club earned high marks on various customer rating platforms:

  • Consumer Affairs: 4 out of 5 stars

  • Better Business Bureau: 3.53 out of 5 stars

  • Trustpilot: 2.6 out of 5 stars

Even with the relatively low Trustpilot score, the company earned more than 380 five-star reviews on the site. The company offers two main plan choices:

  • Standard coverage: Standard coverage includes refrigerators, ovens, cooktops, dishwashers, washing machines, dryers, freestanding ice makers, built-in microwaves, trash compactors, food centers, HVAC systems, water heaters, ceiling fans, and more.

  • Comprehensive coverage: Comprehensive coverage includes everything in the standard plan, plus coverage for plumbing stoppages, ductwork, gas leaks, pest control, whirlpool tub, alarm wiring, telephone wiring, smoke detectors, exhaust fans, sump pumps, doorbells, and more.

The Home Service Club doesn’t offer too many add-ons. But you might find the coverage you’re looking for in the comprehensive plan. The price point for its plans varies based on the size and location of your home. When you make a claim, you pay a trade service call fee, which ranges from $65 to $125. Of course, there are some pros and cons to consider, including:


  • Available across the country

  • Coverage not denied based on the age of items

  • 24/7 customer service


  • High trade service fees compared to the competition

  • Mediocre Trustpilot reviews

Cinch Home Services

Cinch Home Services earned above-average ratings on two out of three customer rating platforms:

  • Consumer Affairs: 4 out of 5 stars

  • Better Business Bureau: 1.13 out of 5 stars

  • Trustpilot: 3.1 out of 5 stars

The company offers three plans at different price points. Below are some of the most popular plans:

  • Home Appliances Warranty: The Home Appliances Warranty starts at $27.99 per month. As the name suggests, it covers household appliances like washers, dryers, cooktops, dishwashers, and more.

  • Built-In Systems Warranty: The Built-In System Warranty starts at $32.99 per month. It covers home systems like your HVAC, attic fans, ceiling fans, doorbells, electrical systems, plumbing systems, and more.

  • Complete Home Warranty: The Complete Home Warranty includes both home appliances and home systems. The more comprehensive plan starts at $39.99 per month.

The exact cost will vary based on your home and location. Here are some pros and cons of Cinch Home Services:


  • Lower starting price points than competitors

  • Robust coverage options


  • Relatively high service fee of at least $79

  • Low Better Business Bureau customer ratings

America’s First Choice Home Club

America’s First Choice Home Club earned above-average marks on various customer rating platforms:

  • Consumer Affairs: 3.9 out of 5 stars

  • Better Business Bureau: 3.14 out of 5 stars

  • Trustpilot: 2.3 out of 5 stars

The company offers four plans at different price points:

  • Systems plan: The Systems plan includes protection for your air conditioner, heating system, water heater, electrical system, plumbing system, and ductwork.

  • Silver plan: The Silver plan includes your washer, dryer, kitchen refrigerator, oven, range, dishwasher, garbage disposal, and garage door opener.

  • Gold plan: The Gold plan includes everything covered by the Systems and Silver plans.

  • Platinum plan: The Platinum plan includes everything in the Gold plan. Plus, it covers plumbing stoppages, fans, ice makers, and more.

These plans are available everywhere except Hawaii. If you want to add on more coverage, you can. Add-ons are available for electronics, sump pump, septic system, central vacuum, pool, and more. While the reviews are somewhat average, the ability to choose your own technician can give you a bit more control over the process.

When you make a service call, you’ll pay between $75 and $125 per call. Here are the advantages and disadvantages of America’s First Choice Home Club:


  • Choose your own service call fee

  • 24/7 access to service team

  • Option to choose your own technician


  • Not available in Hawaii

  • $75 cancellation fee

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How does a home warranty plan work?

When you sign up for a home warranty, the contract will include details about what’s covered. If you run into an issue with an appliance or system, the first step is to check whether it’s covered under the plan.

If the home warranty covers a malfunctioning appliance or system, you can file a claim with the home warranty company. Once you make a claim, the home warranty company will work with you to have an approved provider make the repairs. But depending on the details of the contract, you might be required to pay a service fee as a part of the claims process.[5]

Read More: Homeowners Insurance Companies with the Cheapest Rates

What do home warranties cover?

Every home warranty is slightly different. In general, home warranties cover the following systems and appliances:

  • HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning)

  • Water heater

  • Plumbing (with limitations)

  • Electrical system

  • Kitchen appliances

  • Garage door opener[5]

When shopping for a home warranty, confirm that the contract covers everything you want included. Many companies offer add-on coverage for specific systems.

What does a home warranty exclude from coverage?

Many home repairs are excluded from coverage. Many home warranties exclude the following issues from coverage:

  • Structural defects

  • Well pumps

  • Septic tanks

  • Roofs

  • Chimney repairs

  • Windows[2]

Before signing up for a home warranty, it’s critical to check out what’s not covered. In many cases, a home warranty won’t cover as much as you expect.

How much does a home warranty cost?

The cost of a home warranty varies dramatically based on what’s covered. But even a relatively basic home warranty can cost around $500 or more per year.[2]

Beyond the monthly cost, you may have to pay a service call fee when you file a claim. Depending on your contract, you could pay $75 or more for each service call. Generally, a higher service call fee relates to a lower monthly premium.

How to choose the right home warranty company

If you plan to buy a home warranty, choosing the right company can make a world of difference.

People with home warranties often complain of inadequate customer service and a limited number of covered repairs. Shoppers who do their research ahead of time can avoid working with companies with bad reputations.

Take the time to read customer reviews online and compare warranty options to lock in the best value. “Check the company’s customer service record to ensure [it] provides good customer service — this is often forgotten but can make or break your experience,” says Luke Babich, CEO of Clever Real Estate.

As you narrow down your options, Babich says, “Don’t be afraid to ask the company about coverage and services in detail. You don’t want to skip over anything that may be important down the line, and it’s better to have too much information than not enough.”

You’ll also need to evaluate the price point of any home warranty before buying. At the very least, make sure that the value of the contract is comparable to what you pay monthly.

See Also: Home Warranty vs. Home Insurance: How Do They Differ?

Home warranty companies FAQs

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions about home warranty companies and contracts.

  • A home warranty can offer an affordable way to cover home system repairs. However, homeowners can only tap into the value of a home warranty if something breaks. The ages and likelihoods of breakdown of your home systems will come into play when determining if a home warranty is worth it.

  • First, you should look at what the home warranty actually covers. Take a close look at any specific limits and exclusions. Additionally, you should look for a price that fits your budget and a company that treats its customers right.

  • The best home warranty varies based on your situation. But American Residential Warranty, The Home Service Club, and Liberty Home Guard each offer worthwhile options.

  • The length of the home warranty varies based on the specific contract. Many home warranties only offer coverage for one year.[2]

  • Some home warranty companies evaluate pre-existing conditions based on a visual home inspection. For some appliances, a mechanical test is required to rule out any pre-existing conditions.

  • Typically, a state agency regulates home warranty companies. If you run into issues, you might need to involve a neutral third party to resolve the issue.[5]

  • The home warranty companies with the worst customer reviews include Secure Home Warranty, Service American Home Warranty, and American Home Guard.

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  1. Angi. "How Much Do Appliance Repairs Cost?." Accessed February 1, 2023
  2. Office of the Attorney General for the District of Columbia. "Consumer Alert: Home Warranties." Accessed February 1, 2023
  3. Angi. "How Much Does a New Heating and Cooling System Cost?." Accessed February 1, 2023
  4. Angi. "How Much Does Water Heater Installation Cost?." Accessed February 1, 2023
  5. Federal Trade Commission. "Warranties for New Homes." Accessed February 1, 2023
Sarah Sharkey
Sarah SharkeyInsurance Writer

Sarah Sharkey is a personal finance writer who enjoys helping people make savvy financial decisions. She covered insurance and personal finance topics. You can find her work on Business Insider, Money Under 30, Rocket Mortgage, Bankrate, and more. Connect with her on LinkedIn.