Every homeowner knows that you need home insurance, but not everybody is familiar with home warranty plans. A home warranty plan does the same thing for your big home appliances and systems as your phone warranty plan does for your smartphone; it protects you in case something breaks or stops working properly.
Just like with your home insurance, you’ll have to pay an annual or monthly premium for your home warranty plan. The amount varies, depending on how many items are included in the plan, how old they are, and the size of your home, but the average cost begins at around $400-$450. You’ll also have to pay a service or callout charge every time you call for a repairman, and there could be a deductible to pay as well, depending on your policy.
Home warranty plans cover many different items, from your plumbing system all the way to swimming pools. In general, you can expect a home warranty plan to cover:
- Plumbing systems
- Electrical systems
- Washing machine and dryer
The exact items covered depend on the home warranty plan you buy. For example, some of them include air conditioning units and heating systems as part of the basic plan, while others only cover plumbing and electrical systems.
Most home warranty plans allow you to add on extra coverage for the appliances that aren’t included in their basic plan, like your microwave, refrigerator, or garage door mechanism.
||Most appliances and systems are covered,First month free,No home inspection required
||Low-cost premiums,Affordable callout fees,Fast response times
|AFC Home Club
||Option to use your own out-of-network technician,Exclusive member benefits,Lifetime labor and parts guarantee
||Discount for eco-friendly appliances and systems,First month free,Low callout fees
|American Home Shield
||60 days workmanship guarantee,Option to use out-of-network technicians,Can lower premiums by choosing a higher callout fee
Although both a home warranty and home insurance protect your home, they have different roles to play. A home warranty will cover the cost of repairing or replacing the appliances and systems in your home. It’s there to help you cope with the effects of natural wear and tear on your things, but not for the results of a natural or man-made disaster.
In contrast, you have home insurance to help you cope with a natural disaster or other kind of catastrophe, like a flood, fire, or burglary. Home insurance pays for damage to your home itself, and sometimes also to the appliances and systems within it. It won’t pay for the repairs you need due to normal use.
Home warranty plans generally save homeowners a lot of hassle and time. You don’t want to have to wait to get a broken heating system or blocked toilet repaired, but not all technicians are qualified to fix every type of appliance. With a home warranty plan, you can call a technician to come and repair it immediately, without wasting time searching for one. It’s an especially good idea for elderly or vulnerable people living alone, who struggle to carry out small repairs.
When you own a home, you’re always aware that something could break down or stop working properly at any time. You don’t know when, but you know it’s going to happen at some point. Home warranty plans mean that you’re ready to deal with it whenever it occurs, no matter where you are or what’s going on at the time.
Although you have to pay premiums and callout charges for a home warranty plan, they usually save you money on your appliances and systems in the long run. Without a home warranty plan, you’ll have to pay the usually much higher callout fee for a technician. You’ll need to pay for their labor, parts, and time, and if they can’t fix it, you’ll need to pay for a new one on top of all that. But if you have a home warranty plan, all those costs are covered by your premiums.
Home buyers and sellers benefit from a home warranty plan. It serves as a guarantee to the buyers that anything that breaks down before their move-in date will be replaced or repaired before they arrive. For the sellers, it's an added bonus to help sell your home and saves you from worrying that a broken toilet will ruin your deal at the last minute.
- No home inspection needed
- 20,000+ trained technicians
- First month free
- Some limitations to your coverage
- Relatively high callout fee
Choice is well known as a reliable home warranty company. It won’t charge you for your first month of membership, and you can also transfer your existing home warranty policy with another company for free. Choice has the biggest network of trained technicians – over 25,000 across the country – and a solid 30-day guarantee on labor and 90-day guarantee for parts. You don’t need a home inspection before you buy the policy, and it covers all appliances regardless of their age.
- Low callout fees
- High coverage limits
- No need for a home inspection
- High cancellation fee to terminate your contract
- You have to make a claim quickly to keep your coverage
Select is popular for its fast response times, which are among the best around. You can choose between 2 levels of coverage, depending on your needs, and access high-quality technicians around the clock. There's no need to get a home inspection in order to get a home warranty policy with Select, and coverage limits are among the highest in the country.
- Lifetime guarantee on labor and parts
- Exclusive club member benefits
- High coverage amounts
- $75 charge to cancel your membership
- Multiple plans can be confusing
AFC Club is more than just a home warranty plan; it’s an entire lifestyle club that includes member benefits like discounts on restaurants and retail brands, free identity protection, and free membership to the Emergency Alert Network. AFC Home Club stands out for its lifetime guarantee on labor and parts, which is unique among home warranty companies, and its very generous coverage limits, including no-cap coverage for HVAC systems, which can be very expensive to fix. What’s more, it also allows you to use out-of-network technicians as well as their own highly trained in-network contractors.
Home warranty plans provide peace of mind for homeowners, as well as saving you time, money, and hassle. Choose the best home warranty plan for your needs to get full protection today.