Best Home Warranties of 2018

Don’t leave your home (and bank account) exposed to unexpected, costly home repairs. Save money and stress with one of SafeWise’s top home warranties of 2018. Find the warranty coverage that’s right for your budget and needs, whether you’re a new homebuyer or you’ve been in your home for years.
Most Flexible Pricing
american home shield logo

American Home Shield

  • Flexible plans and pricing
  • No home inspection required
Best Nationwide Coverage
old republic home protection logo

Old Republic Home Protection

  • Easy claim process
  • Coverage from date of closing
Best for Your Budget
first american logo

First American Home Warranty

  • 24/7 claims hotline
  • Good customer service

Unexpected home repairs can quickly drain your bank account. But a home warranty can protect you from costly appliance and systems repairs. Protect your home today with one of SafeWise’s best home warranty plans of 2018. Read our reviews to find out how home warranties rank on cost, contract, and customer service.

Compare the Best Home Warranties

Premium Costs Service Fee/Deductible Contract Length Waiting Period Learn More
American Home Shield $36.99–$54.99/month $75–$125 1 or 2 years 30 days Visit Site
Old Republic Home Protection $280–$585/year Varies by state 1 year Varies Visit Site
First American $288–$468/year $75 1 year 30 days Visit Site
Choice Home Warranty $370–$450/year $60 1, 3, or 5 years 30 days Visit Site
Fidelity National $295–$555/year $65 1 year At closing Visit Site
Sears $49.99–$69.99/month $75–$100 1 year 30 days Visit Site
Landmark $34–$55/month $60 1 year At closing or 30 days Visit Site
Home Warranty of America $41–$53/month $75 or $100 13 months 30 days Visit Site
HMS* Home Warranty $380—$495/yr. Varies 1 year At closing Visit Site
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty $305–$600/year $75–$100 1 year At closing or 30 days Visit Site

Best Home Warranties Reviews: Our Top Picks

American Home Shield

Most flexible pricing
american home shield logo

American Home Shield works with homeowners to put together the right coverage at a price that works for their budget. This flexibility—combined with a good track record and strong  reputation—make American Home Shield our top pick overall and our favorite pick for flexible pricing. On the downside, customers find coverage and service technician restrictions frustrating.

We Like

  • Flexible warranty plans and pricing
  • No home inspection required
  • Strong customer reviews
  • Knowledgeable customer service reps
  • Quick response time

We Don’t Like

  • Coverage restrictions
  • 30-day waiting period
  • Can’t choose your own service tech

Old Republic Home Protection

Best nationwide coverage
old republic home protection logo

Old Republic Home Protection is available in twenty-three states and the District of Columbia, which is some of the broadest nationwide service we found. Old Republic home warranties also cover some things most home warranties don’t, like refrigerators. But the company has a lot of fine print to sift through, so make sure you read the terms thoroughly before signing up—especially if you hope to make a claim due to things like wind, flooding, or lightning.

We Like

  • Covers pre-existing conditions for new home buyers
  • Covers multiple HVAC units
  • Covers all kitchen appliances
  • Accepts claims by phone or online

We Don’t Like

  • Imposes low coverage limits for some repairs
  • Requires prior authorization for all service
  • Excludes damage due to extreme weather and other acts of nature

First American

Best for your budget
first american logo

This is one of the most affordable options for a home warranty, with plans starting at $288 per year, which works out to just $24 per month. First American received the 2017 Editor’s Choice Award from HomeWarrantyReviews.com, and it’s been providing home warranties for more than thirty years. One thing we’d like to see the company change is its policy of charging service fees to homeowners even when no work is performed.

We Like

  • Award-winning reputation
  • Dependable repair techs
  • Helpful claims reps

We Don’t Like

  • Delayed repairs due to rescheduling
  • Some features of older homes are not covered
  • Service fee required even if no repairs are done

Choice Home Warranty

Low service fees
choice home warranty logo

All home warranties come with service fees, but Choice Home Warranty offers one of the lowest service fees of all the companies we looked at. Many home warranty providers charge a variable fee that can get as high at $125 per service call. Choice sets a flat fee of just $60 per service call. This company also boasts a lot of good customer reviews, but we discovered that in the past Choice gave an incentive for positive reviews. This practice is disappointing, and it hurts the company’s overall reputation.

We Like

  • First month free
  • Multiple plans to choose from
  • Appliance and home coverage regardless of age
  • No home inspection required

We Don’t Like

  • Requires upgrade to cover AC, fridge, washer, and dryer
  • Excludes preexisting conditions
  • Offers incentive for positive customer reviews
  • Has a limited service area from approved providers

Fidelity National

Best service guarantee
fidelity national logo

Fidelity National stands behind its local service techs with a guarantee that ensures the problem is solved. If you encounter any post-service issues within the first thirty days for labor, or ninety days for parts, the company will send out another technician or contractor and you won’t incur any extra service fees. Unfortunately, Fidelity National is only available in thirteen states. So depending on where you live, you may not be able to enjoy this guarantee.

We Like

  • All work guaranteed, without extra service fees
  • Real-time monitoring of service calls
  • Coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions
  • Potential coverage for repairs due to improper maintenance

We Don’t Like

  • Availability in only thirteen states
  • 48-hour response time on holidays and weekends
  • No coverage for refrigerators

Sears

Best for high coverage limits

Sears covers up to $10,000 per claim and up to $50,000 per year. Those are the highest limits among any of the home warranty plans we looked at. This is good news for homeowners who encounter high-priced problems like plumbing or electrical issues. But Sears only joined the home warranty game in 2014, so the company is still working out the kinks as evidenced by poor customer service reviews.

We Like

  • 180-day guarantee on work performed
  • Three plans to choose from
  • One cooling system and one heating system check per year included
  • No product age limit requirements

We Don’t Like

  • New to the home warranty game (started in 2014)
  • Poor customer service reviews
  • Slow response time

Landmark

Best online portal

If you’d rather submit a claim online than wait on hold for a customer service rep, then Landmark Home Warranty might be the right company for you. Not only does this company make it easy to find information about plans and pricing online, but customers can check on their coverage, request a repair, or renew their plan using the homeowner’s dashboard. Our biggest complaint about Landmark is that it’s only available in six western states.

We Like

  • No-fault coverage
  • Online homeowner dashboard
  • Fast response time

We Don’t Like

  • Availability in only six states
  • No appliance-only plan
  • Customer reports of high numbers of claim denials

Home Warranty of America

Best appliance and system replacement program

Home Warranty of America stands out with its GreenPlus plan that covers eco-friendly upgrades. To add this option, you’ll pay about $6 more per month, but it will help you pay to replace covered systems or appliances with products approved by Energy Star. On the other hand, this company could improve its service in regard to response time. Home Warranty of America’s policy allows  up to 48 hours before it passes a service request on to an authorized service provider.

We Like

  • Service-fee rate options
  • Coverage for fridge and washer/dryer
  • Coverage limits up to $5,000 per item and $15,000 per covered year

We Don’t Like

  • Slow processing time on requests for service
  • Required upgrade to cover air conditioner

HMS Home Warranty

Best for help with emergency housing

HMS Home Warranty has generous coverage terms for approved appliances and systems, and it has higher annual coverage limits than most other home warranty companies. This company stands out as the only one we found that helps homeowners with emergency housing costs and home insurance deductible reimbursement. On the downside, the only repairs covered are those due to normal wear and tear, meaning acts of nature or poor maintenance will disqualify a claim. We also learned that HMS Home Warranty is becoming Cinch Home Services, so don’t get confused if you see new branding.

We Like

  • No age or square-footage limitations
  • Reimbursement for home insurance deductible
  • Emergency housing reimbursement
  • Discount for multi-year contract

We Don’t Like

  • Only covers repairs needed due to wear and tear
  • May charge extra for some repairs
  • Won’t pay for any repair covered by other insurance, manufacturer’s warranty, etc.

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

Robust service tech network

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has nearly 10,000 contractors and service technicians in its preapproved network. All service techs that work with 2-10 are licensed and bonded, and the company prides itself on using providers that put customers first. But 2-10 is a stickler when it comes to preexisting conditions. That means that even if the home is new to you, if there was already a problem from former owners, there’s a good chance it won’t be covered.

We Like

  • Appliance replacement offer program
  • Seasonal tune-up upgrade available
  • Online homeowner portal
  • Coverage effective at closing

We Don’t Like

  • Preexisting exclusions
  • Slow response time
  • Limited in-network tech availability
  • Limited online info about contracts and pricing

Things to Consider When Buying a Home Warranty

Are you planning to replace major systems or appliances within the next year?

When it comes to replacing an appliance or upgrading a home system like the HVAC system, home warranty companies reserve the right to decide whether a repair or a replacement is warranted. If you want to upgrade or replace a major system or appliance that is in working order, it’s unlikely that it would be covered by a home warranty. In this case, you might be better off putting your money toward the upgrade or replacement costs, instead of into a home warranty that isn’t applicable to your immediate plans.

Do you know about any preexisting conditions in your home’s appliances or systems?

Some home warranties exclude coverage for preexisting problems. That means if you bought a home that came with a faulty water heater, that repair may not be covered by a home warranty. Some warranties specify that only unknown preexisting problems are covered, and others won’t cover any. If you’re unsure about preexisting conditions around your home, it can help to get a home inspection before buying a home warranty. In any case, we recommend that you fully review the terms and conditions and understand what your home warranty company’s policy is in regard to preexisting conditions.

Is preventive maintenance included?

Most home warranties don’t have provisions to help defray out-of-pocket expenses for annual tuneups and other preventive maintenance. But a warranty may require you to keep up on preventive maintenance in order to qualify for repairs. Again, it’s important to fully read your contract and ask questions before committing to a home warranty.

Home Warranty FAQs

What’s the difference between a home warranty and home insurance?

Home warranties act as a supplement to homeowners insurance—covering costs that home insurance policies usually don’t. Home warranties cover home systems and appliances, while home insurance covers the structure. In most cases, you’ll never use the two together, but some home warranties will help out with paying your homeowners insurance deductible.

What is a home warranty service fee?

This is the fee that the home warranty company charges you each time it sends out a technician in response to a service request. This fee is required in addition to your annual or monthly premium, and it is usually the only amount you’ll pay for a repair. Some service contracts have set fees and others have variable fees depending on your service plan or where you live. You should be able to find out your fee by consulting your home warranty contract.

What do home warranties typically cover?

Home warranties cover appliances and home systems, like the plumbing or heating system. Not all companies cover all systems and appliances, so it pays to do research before deciding which home warranty is right for you. Common things that may not be covered include the air conditioning system, refrigerators, stand-alone microwaves, and freezers. If you have a pool or hot tub, you might need to buy additional coverage that will add to your monthly or annual premium. Other items that are excluded could also be covered if you purchase additional coverage.

Are home warranties only for people buying a new home?

No. Home warranties are available to first-time homebuyers, other new homeowners, and existing homeowners. It’s common to think that they’re only for homebuyers because home warranties might be part of a purchase agreement or a gift from a real estate agent. But homeowners can get the peace of mind that comes with a home warranty whether they’ve been in their home ten days or ten years.

Are home warranties transferable if you sell your house?

Because home warranties are often part of real estate transactions, it’s easy to transfer ownership of the warranty. Just make sure that all premiums and other contract requirements are in order. Because most companies offer a one-year warranty, the new owner of the home warranty would only have coverage for the remainder of the current contract term.

Our Approach

To find the best home warranties of 2018, we conducted independent research and evaluated home warranty contracts, premium costs, covered and excluded items, and customer reviews. We took customer feedback, expert reviews, and company reputation into consideration as well. Learn more about how we evaluate products and services on our Rankings and Reviews page.

Written by Rebecca Edwards

Rebecca has honed her safety and security skills as both a single mom and a college director. Being responsible for the well-being of others helped her learn how to minimize risk and create safe environments. Learn more

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