Choice Home Warranty is currently under fire from the Arizona Attorney General's office. In October, the office filed a consumer fraud lawsuit against the company, claiming that Choice has collected millions in premiums from Arizona citizens without delivering the services promised. Practices like contract exclusions, payment caps, delayed service response, and claim denials based on subjective things like preexisting conditions are among the reasons for the suit.
We strongly urge consumers to read all the fine print before purchasing a home warranty policy. If you think you've been a victim of consumer fraud, you can file a complaint with the Arizona Attorney General's office.
The Choice Home Warranty Company helps homeowners plan for unexpected household repairs with appliance service contracts. The company has some unique options that set it apart from other home warranty companies, but its service is far from perfect.
When you sign a contract with Choice Home Warranty, you’re essentially signing up for an extended limited warranty on your home’s appliances. You can pay for a one-year warranty up front or you can choose to pay in monthly installments.
Within its warranty plans, if a covered appliance breaks down—like a water heater, for example—you’ll file a claim with Choice Home Warranty, and the company will have a local service professional call you to set up an appointment. You’ll pay a flat service fee to the service professional at the time of service, and if the repair is covered under your contract, you’ll pay nothing else for the needed repairs or replacement. Keep in mind, though, that pre-existing conditions aren’t covered under warranty.
Choice Home Warranty Pricing and Plans
Around $33 a month or $370 a year
Around $40 a month or $450 a year
Garage door opener
Ceiling and exhaust fans
Garage door opener
Ceiling and exhaust fans
Clothes washer and dryer
How Choice Home Warranty Stacks Up
Choice Home Warranty has more negative customer reviews than competitors like American Home Shield and First American, and it offers fewer ways to customize your plan compared to other home warranty companies. CHW’s monthly rates are about the same as its competitors, but as you’ll notice in our American Home Shield review, CHW does have lower service fees in comparison.
Price and Contract
Choice Home Warranty’s lower service fees are appealing, but the service contract language and picky coverage may not make the savings worth it.
No Inspection Choice Home Warranty does not require a home inspection before you can get coverage for your home’s systems and appliances.
Low Service Fee While many home warranty companies have a service call fee of $100 or more, Choice’s fee is just $60.
Additional Coverage CHW offers unique add-on coverage options, including well pumps, septic systems, and roofs.
We Don’t Like
Sole Discretion CHW can refuse to fix or replace a faulty appliance at its sole discretion. For example, if the service professional tells you your air conditioning wasn’t maintained properly or that it had a pre-existing condition that caused it to fail, Choice won’t pay for a repair.
Contract Loopholes A close study of the CHW contract reveals quite a few appliance components and potential repair issues that the warranty doesn’t cover, like water heater tanks, seals on refrigerator doors, and refrigerator leaks.
Cash Option Choice may offer you cash in lieu of repair or replacement if an item can’t easily be replaced. But the cash offer probably won’t be enough for you to actually purchase a new appliance since CHW will only give you the amount it would cost them to purchase the item from manufacturers at discounted rates.
Unnecessary Coverage Choice Home Warranty offers just two service plans covering specific appliances, and signing up for either one might have you paying for coverage for items that your home doesn’t even have, like a whirlpool bathtub or a built-in microwave.
Unfortunately, there’s not much to say about Choice Home Warranty’s customer service that’s positive.
24/7 Claims Hotline You can call to arrange a service call anytime, day or night, year round.
Work Guarantee CHW offers a thirty-day guarantee on labor and a ninety-day guarantee on parts.
We Don’t Like
Not BBB Accredited Choice Home Warranty isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau, and it has a C+ rating on the BBB website. The website also says that Choice ran into some trouble with the BBB Code of Advertising when the company failed to disclose that it was paying customers for positive reviews.
Legal Troubles The Better Business Bureau website also reveals that in June 2015 Choice Home Warranty paid out a $780,000 court settlement to customers for failing to provide promised services and that the company was under court-mandated compliance monitoring for two years to ensure it was fulfilling contractual obligations to its customers.
Pushy Sales Tactics No pricing is available online, so to get a quote, you’ll have to use CHW’s free quote tool. But if you do, be prepared for an instant phone call from Choice Home Warranty as soon as you submit the form and plenty more calls after that. We noticed that the company also uses different phone numbers and names on caller ID to disguise its identity.
Q: What are preexisting conditions? A: A preexisting condition is any problem or defect an appliance has before home warranty coverage begins.
Q: Is air conditioning covered? A: Air conditioning is only offered under the Total Plan, but it does not include window units.
Q: How long does it take for an item to get fixed after I submit a claim? A: CHW will have a service professional contact you to schedule an appointment within two to four days after you submit your claim. After that, it depends on how soon you have your appointment and how long it takes the service technician to repair or replace your item.
Q: What’s the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty? A: While homeowners insurance covers accidental damages to your home like fire or flooding, a home warranty only covers home system and appliance breakdowns or repairs that came as a result of wear and tear.
The Bottom Line
It’s not often that we warn consumers away from a company, but Choice Home Warranty’s bad track record with customers is cause for concern. Its legal issues and overwhelmingly negative reviews lead us to say, “buyer beware.” If you’re shopping for a home warranty, we encourage you to check out more reputable companies, like American Home Shield, Total Protect, or Sears, or to consider starting your own savings plan for household repairs.
Low service fees
How We Evaluated Choice Home Warranty
To evaluate Choice Home Warranty, we studied the CHW website and contracts, read customer reviews of the company, and dug deeper into some of the claims against the company using information on sites like Better Business Bureau. We also contacted CHW ourselves to learn more about plans, pricing, and customer service. To find out more about our evaluation process, check out our methodology.
Written by Kasey Tross
Kasey is a trained Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) member and a freelance writer with expertise in emergency preparedness and security. As the mother of four kids, including two teens, Kasey knows the safety concerns parents face as they raise tech-savvy kids in a connected world, and she loves to research the latest security options for her own family and for SafeWise readers. Learn more