Published: December 4, 2018
The Best Home Warranty Companies of 2018
When Compared, Which Home Warranty Company Comes Out on Top?
Life is busy, and homeownership is never without a to-do list. But, when it comes to home warranties, comparing your options is the best option.
Some things you might be wondering:
Should I focus on cost, coverage, or how many contractors are within a home warranty company’s network?
What’s important to measure a home warranty company by? Does it matter whether or not a company has a 24/7 claims department, or an online ticketing system? Do customer service ratings matter?
We picked up the phone and did the work for you – not only to answer these important questions, and others like it, but also to find out who the best home warranty provider of 2018 is.
Read on for the results!
5th Place: Total Home Protection
Award Mentions: “The home warranty company that celebrates ‘Bring Your Own Technician to Work Day.’”
On the Total Home Protection website, home warranty plans are advertised for as low as $1.00 per day. That comes out to $365.00 per year. Not bad. Not bad at all.
When we called in, a friendly voice greeted us on the other end. Let’s call him Joe. Joe assured, like many of the representatives we spoke with did, that the state we were calling about was covered well by the home warranties they provide. For their home warranty, Total Home Protection, which is Consumer Affairs Accredited, includes an interesting feature. Total Home Protection’s network of contractors includes any licensed technician, which means you’re allowed to bring in your own licensed technician if you know someone. This service attribute seems to be Total Home Protection’s claim to fame. Joe told me this kept service fees at a more affordable rate, which came in right around $45.00.
For home warranties, homeowners pay up front for the year. Our rate was $599.00, but with an early Black Friday special (these calls were made in early and mid-November) Joe offered a rate of $423.00. He said he’d also throw in two months for free.
When you sign up with a Total Home Protection Warranty Plan, you stick with the same rep. If we signed up, Joe would be “my guy.” The personal connection matters. If anything broke at home, we'd just call Joe, who told us he sits a 30-second walk from the claims department where we'd call in.
If anything breaks, Joe encouraged to call in a claim, so Total Home Protection could gather as much information as possible and respond quickly. Joe also shared his extension in case we had any more questions.
4th Place: Select Home Warranty
Award Mentions: “Best on-hold music, and even though the math isn’t right they mean well and work fast. Plus! They offer a warranty for your warranty.”
Can you judge a home warranty company by the music they play while you wait in the phone queue? If so, Select Home Warranty wins points. The music was not tinny, full of static, or fast to make blood pressure rise, as we found to be the case in most other calls we made. (Go on and give them a call if you’re curious – you’ll see what we mean.)
Coverage through Select Home Warranty is available in 48 out of the 50 states. (We never got around to discussing which two states are excluded.) Turns out, Select Home Warranty won a Best of Service Award from HomeWarrantyReviews.com, too. The Platinum Plan is the total package, covering systems and major appliances like A/C, heating, electrical, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, all of the kitchen, and all of the major appliances in the kitchen like the fridge, the stove, cooktop, ceiling fan, and the garbage disposal. The Platinum Plan also includes coverage for the garage door opener. If anything breaks or fails, you submit a claim. And it’s easy – you can submit home warranty claims online.
The individual service fee for their network of “thousands” of contractors is $60.00. With so many contractors, the turnaround time is promising. Select Home Warranty pledges their turnaround time is on average 7.5 hours. If your appliances are older or discontinued, Select Home Warranty will give you the latest version. So, that’s a win!
The spokesman at Select Home Warranty warned us against signing up with a home warranty company that doesn’t have licensed and bonded contractors. Select Home Warranty only works with licensed and bonded contractors. Their Backup Protection Guarantee for 90 days is another asset to lean on. Their guarantee ensures that if any issues arise after a re-installation, they’ll replace the item and you won’t have to pay another service fee. If you like extra coverage – like a warranty on your home warranty – Select Home Warranty is a good option.
Our home warranty estimate through Select Home Warranty was $599.00. There was a lingering Veteran’s Day offer for a $150.00 discount, which brought the total to “$499.00.” The math wasn’t right, but we didn’t correct him. He also added on a pre-Thanksgiving discount of 10 percent and two months for free, but only if we signed up that day.
With Select Home Warranty Plans, you also keep in touch with one single rep. The one point of contact is nice. You won’t be waiting in line for the next available agent if your dishwasher is seeping gallons of water onto your kitchen floor. You have an extension to dial. You work with someone who knows your name.
We should also mention: Special add-ons like pools and sprinklers come with prices from $39.99 to $99.95.
3rd Place: The Home Service Club
Award Mentions: “The best and most respectful home warranty club to belong to.”
Join the “club.” By logging onto the Home Service Club’s website, you can see the accolades from HomeWarrantyReviews.com. 2015 Best in Service Award. 2016 Best in Service Award. 2018 Editor’s Choice Award. We were eager to put them to the test.
Right off the bat, the warranty salesman was kind. He was honest too. When we asked how many contractors were within their network he said, “Great question. I have no idea.” He did let us in on a little secret though. The reason Home Service Club receives such high customer ratings is that Home Service Club pays their technicians more. This quality care for service technicians pays off. Quality in pay translates to quality in work, translating to happier home warranty customers. More customer-service focused initiatives from Home Service Club include a mobile-friendly website, so customers don’t have to find a laptop to log a claim – they can file one right from their phone. If a customer does call in a claim, there is never a wait. Home Service Club will take your number and call you back if they’re busy – but they always answer the phone. We like that.
Side note to readers:
A research assistant to Compare Home Warranty Quotes supplied her personal information as she called around to these home warranty companies. After the fact, she received numerous calls back from these companies. Phone calls, emails, text messages. And, they can do that.
But, the Home Service Club has a “do not call” option if you submit your information on the site. We found this to be a nice feature, especially after living through the research phase of pricing out and testing home warranty companies.
The Home Service Club Warranty offers Standard Coverage or Comprehensive Coverage. You can opt for coverage that includes additional benefits – coverage we had not seen before – like, pest control, doorbells, jetted bathtubs, and even utility lines. Their website and pricing page are phenomenally transparent.
On the phone, our Standard home warranty plan came out to be $35.95 per month ($431.00 per year). The Comprehensive plan option was $50.95 per month (or, $611.00 per year). Service fees are a $125.00 deductible. If it’s a broken seal on your sink, which would be less than $125.00 to fix, you pay the $60.00 or $70.00 to fix it. If it’s something a bit more expensive like the compressor on your fridge, you pay $125.00 and Home Service Club would cover the rest. On their website, they mention a ‘trade service call fee payment option,’ “so you can choose the right plan and trade service call fees to fit your home and budget.” These range from $65.00 to $125.00.
“You have all the right questions,” said the Home Service Club representative before we hung up, which made us feel like we were already a part of the club.
2nd Place: First American Home Warranty
Award Mentions: “Almost first – the best non-pushy second place winner!”
Speaking to a real person is a treat, and it didn’t take long to connect with someone at First American Home Warranty. First American offers three plans. Their basic plan, which is the least expensive, for a single-family home without a separate guest house, came out to be $425.00 with a $75.00 service fee. An upgraded comprehensive plan, also known as the Eagle Premiere Plan, and adds on coverage for the washer, dryer, and the kitchen refrigerator, goes for $600.00 per year.
We asked how many contractors are in their network. Before we could even finish the question, the woman said, “Hundreds upon hundreds!” She was smiling through the phone, distinctly proud of their network.
One thing was made certain: If home items, appliances, and systems are in “good, safe working order on the day of close” these items would be covered. A read-through of the contract explains the same. First American Home Warranty won’t cover anything that doesn’t pass inspection. Once your First American Home Warranty contract is paid in full, you can file claims online. Nowadays, it’d be a pain to have to call in every claim, especially if something broke in the middle of the night. If you are buying a home, coverage will start on the day of close.
There’s no limit on the number of claims you can file with a First American Home Warranty Plan. But, you can only include three vendors on a claim. We did get on the topic of swimming pools. What about pool coverage? Pool coverage is an add-on of $180.00 (once your pool passes inspection), but your payout depends on which type of pool you have. If your home pool is a saltwater pool, the most First American Home Warranty would ever pay out is $1,500.00.
The sincerity of the operator wins First American Home Warranty kudos. She was kind and thrilled we were prospecting the idea of buying a home. “Congratulations! Is it your first home?” When we told her we were gathering information to make the best home warranty decision, she said, “Shop around and let us know if we can be the ones to help you out.” After all the calls we made, this spoke volumes.
1st Place: American Home Shield
Award Mentions: “The best of the best, and MVP of home warranties and the companies providing them.”
Are you one of the people who scrolled all the way to the end to see the numero uno of home warranty companies?
Well then, we're pleased to share with you that the winner is...(drumroll) American Home Shield.
More than 1.7 million customers have home warranty coverage through American Home Shield. And one thing is for certain. Numbers don’t lie.
You will most likely not have to make a call to see what kind of coverage they can offer you: You can get the information you need straight from their website. In fact, we found their website to be one of the most comprehensive we came across. What struck us the most were the details in so many categories American Home Shield excelled in. An American Home Shield Warranty offers clear contract terms and puts customers at the forefront of their business model. Their website is modern, easy-to-use, and useful. There’s even a chat feature to utilize if you have any lingering questions.
By being a home warranty customer with American Home Shield, you can score $25.00 in Amazon referral gift cards, home warranty savings if you have additional properties, and exclusive and substantial American Home Shield discounts for name brand and Energy Star-certified appliances to outfit your home. Name brand appliances and equipment offers not only the latest in technology and style for your home, but these discounts alone could offset the cost of your home warranty plan and increase the value of your home if you’re ever looking to sell.
When we asked American Home Shield why they were the best of the best, here’s what the woman told us: “We started the home warranty business ourselves almost 50 years ago. So, we have the ability to offer coverage that other companies can’t. We cover for things like lack of maintenance and rust and corrosion. Even improper installations and previous repairs. We cover installation costs ourselves and we cover the disposal fee of broken items. Things like this are usually overlooked in the fine print. People assume it’ll be there. But it’s not. We’re also backed by the ServiceMaster brand.”
Consumer Affairs Accredited and the multiple winner of the Top-Rated category from HomeWarrantyReviews.com from 2015 to present, American Home Shield is a clear winner in comprehensive coverage, customer service, and company attributes.