Cheapest Home Warranty Companies—2022 Guide

·21 min read
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Whether your air conditioning goes out during the summer or your refrigerator shuts down unexpectedly, having a system or appliance malfunction can cause discomfort in your home. Plus, the repairs needed to fix a system or appliance can be costly and difficult to schedule. A home warranty can help you get your items fixed quickly and prevent you from paying excessive out-of-pocket costs.

The cheapest home warranty companies consistently offer inexpensive plans for both systems and appliances at prices typically under the industry average of $39–$64 per month. Not only are these providers affordable, they also performed well when compared with dozens of other players we analyzed in the industry, placing them among some of the best home warranty companies for their plan options, coverage, and reputation.

Note: All sample quotes in this article are for an 1,800-square-foot single-family home in Nashville, Tennessee. Exact prices can vary depending on your location and the size of your home, so we recommend getting quotes from at least three providers to compare plan rates in your area.

Top 5 Cheapest Home Warranty Providers

RELATED: A Home Warranty Is Different From Homeowners Insurance—Here's What It Covers

Compare Cheap Home Warranty Companies

*These prices are from home warranty quotes for an 1,800-square-foot single-family home in Nashville, Tennessee.

**Better Business Bureau (BBB) information is accurate as of October 19, 2021.

Best in the Industry: American Home Shield

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Our top home warranty recommendation is American Home Shield (AHS) for its more than 50 years of experience, comprehensive coverage, and customizable plan prices. The company's ShieldSilver plan provides systems coverage for as low as $30 per month when you select the $125 service call fee option; in particular, this is a solid option for homeowners who are confident they will not need to file claims often for system breakdowns.

However, American Home Shield may not be the best choice for you if you're looking for an extensive list of additional coverage options to help fine-tune your home warranty coverage. The company offers only five add-ons, which is fewer than what's offered by the other providers in this review.

Get a free quote from American Home Shield and receive $50 off your plan by using this online quote tool or calling 844-529-9298.

Pros and Cons of American Home Shield

Plans and Costs

American Home Shield's cheapest home warranty plan option, the ShieldSilver plan, covers systems only. The other two plans cover a combination of systems and appliances for $10–$30 more per month.

Below are American Home Shield's plan options, sample prices, and what they cover:

  • ShieldSilver ($30 per month): This plan covers 14 major systems, including electrical lines, plumbing lines, a water heater, built-in exhaust fans, ceiling fans, a whirlpool tub, air conditioning, heating, toilets, faucets, garage door openers, doorbells, a fuse box, and ductwork. Each of these covered systems has an unlimited coverage cap, meaning you'll never have to pay out of pocket for a covered repair or replacement beyond the service call fee.

  • ShieldGold ($40 per month): This plan covers all 14 systems in the ShieldSilver plan plus nine kitchen and laundry appliances, including your dishwasher, clothes washer, clothes dryer, oven, refrigerator, cooktop, garbage disposal, instant hot or cold water dispenser, and built-in microwave. These appliances have a $3,000 per-item coverage limit, which is higher than the coverage limit provided by other major providers, like AFC Home Club and Select Home Warranty.

  • ShieldPlatinum ($60 per month): This plan covers all 23 appliances and systems in the ShieldGold plan plus roof-leak repair coverage, unlimited air conditioning refrigerant coverage, a free HVAC tune-up, and $1,000 for code violations, modifications, and permits. The appliances in this plan come with a $6,000 per-item coverage limit, which is the highest of all the providers in this review.

To customize your plan pricing, you can choose between a $75, $100, or $125 service call fee with your American Home Shield plan. The plan prices above are based on the $125 service fee. Choosing a lower fee can raise your monthly rates, while selecting a higher service call fee can lower them.

Read American Home Shield's sample contract for more information about what's included in its plans.

Optional Coverage

Below are the add-ons available with each American Home Shield plan:

  • Systems: Septic pump and well pump

  • Other: Pool or spa, guest unit (up to 750 square feet), and the Electronics Protection Plan, which covers repairs and replacements for items like TVs, tablets, and laptops

The ShieldPlatinum plan comes with roof-leak repair coverage, but you can add this coverage to your ShieldSilver or ShieldGold plan for an extra $10 per month.

Most Practical Coverage: Choice Home Warranty

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Choice Home Warranty is another top home warranty company that provides basic coverage for your most important systems and appliances. Some companies force you to choose between covering only home systems or only appliances in their cheapest plans, but Choice Home Warranty offers an affordable combo plan. Its low-cost Basic Plan covers a combination of 14 systems and appliances, such as your heating, plumbing, and dishwasher, for $47 per month.

While Choice does offer basic system and appliance coverage, it may not be the best option for homeowners who want more plan options to choose from, since it offers only two core plans.

Get a free quote from Choice Home Warranty by filling out this simple online form or calling 929-400-6165. Real Simple readers get access to a $50 discount and one month of free coverage.

Pros and Cons of Choice Home Warranty

The Arizona Attorney General's Office filed a class-action consumer fraud lawsuit in October 2019 against Choice Home Warranty, alleging that the company failed to live up to promises listed in its home warranty agreements by paying only a fraction of covered repair or replacement costs and denying claims in bad faith. The company shared this comment with our team when we reached out about the legal matter:

While we cannot comment on the specifics of pending litigation, Choice Home Warranty remains committed to offering customers fast and simple solutions by providing protection against high repair or replacement costs for properly maintained systems and appliances. As of October 2021, we have approved about 90% of the 1.1 million claims filed this calendar year, and we continue to focus on providing best-in-class service to each customer through a knowledgeable, dedicated team and excellent technicians.

While it's important for consumers to be aware of the litigation, our analysis of the provider's third-party customer reviews on sites like Trustpilot and Best Company shows that many customers have positive experiences with the company. We also found Choice's service agreement to be clear and straightforward in explaining coverage and exclusions. With any provider you consider, we recommend reviewing the sample contract before signing up for a policy to ensure it includes the coverage you need.

While Choice may not be for you if you're searching for a company with a wide range of plan options or flexible service fees, we still recommend it to homeowners looking for a practical plan with affordable coverage on both systems and appliances.

Plans and Costs

Choice Home Warranty offers two plans that cover both systems and appliances. They each come with a $3,000 per-item coverage limit on all covered systems and appliances, which is higher than many other companies, such as Select Home Warranty and AFC Home Club.

Compare Choice Home Warranty's plans and sample prices below:

  • Basic Plan ($47 per month or $532 per year*): This plan covers 14 systems and appliances, including your heating, garbage disposal, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, ductwork, electrical system, ceiling and exhaust fans, water heater, dishwasher, whirlpool bathtub, cooktop, oven, built-in microwave, and garage door opener.

  • Total Plan ($55 per month or $627 per year*): This plan covers a total of 18 systems and appliances and includes everything in the Basic Plan in addition to a refrigerator, clothes washer, clothes dryer, and air conditioning.

*Annual or up-front pricing includes a 5 percent discount.

Unlike American Home Shield, you can't customize your plan prices based on different service call fees. Each Choice plan stipulates an $85 service call fee, which is slightly higher than the industry average of around $77.

Review Choice Home Warranty's sample contract for more information about what's included in each plan.

Optional Coverage

Choice offers nine optional coverage items that can be added to either plan:

  • Appliances: Second refrigerator and a stand-alone freezer

  • Systems: Central vacuum, well pump, septic system, sump pump, and septic tank pumping

Other: Pool or spa and limited roof-leak coverage

Best Appliance Coverage: First American Home Warranty

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For those looking for a cheap home appliance insurance plan, we recommend First American Home Warranty. Its Basic Plan covers eight home appliances, such as your refrigerator and dishwasher; costs only $37 per month; and includes a $3,500 per-item coverage limit, which is higher than most other providers. First American also offers a First Class Upgrade for only $9 per month, which provides additional coverage for items like appliance knobs and dials, building code or permit costs, and haul-away fees.

If you want a plan that covers your air conditioner without an additional monthly cost, you may want to consider another provider since First American doesn't include air conditioning coverage in either of its two home warranty plans.

First American Home Warranty offers $100 off its plans when customers use the promotional code "PROTECT" when requesting a quote on First American's website or calling 800-891-9778.

Pros and Cons of First American Home Warranty

Plans and Costs

First American customers can choose appliance-only coverage or coverage for a combination of systems and appliances with either the Basic Plan or the Premier Plan. Neither plan includes air conditioning coverage, so you'll have to add it to your plan for $9 more per month if you require this coverage.

Here are the prices for each plan and what items they cover:

  • Basic Plan ($37 per month): This plan covers nine appliances, including your refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, cooktop, oven or range, trash compactor, garbage disposal, clothes washer, and clothes dryer. These appliances each have a $3,500 per-item coverage limit, which is higher than what most companies offer.

  • Premier Plan ($50 per month): This plan covers all appliances in the Basic Plan and eight systems, including your heating, ductwork, electrical, plumbing, plumbing stoppages, water heater, garage door opener, and central vacuum system. Systems in this plan have unlimited coverage caps, meaning you won't reach an annual maximum that the provider agrees to pay per unit.

Both First American Home Warranty plans come with an $85 service call fee, which is higher than the industry average of around $77.

Review First American Home Warranty's sample contract for more information about what's included in its plans.

Optional Coverage

To customize your First American Home Warranty plan, you can add the following additional coverage options:

  • Appliances: Additional refrigerator

  • Systems: Central air conditioning, well pump, septic tank system and pumping, and HVAC tune-up

Other: Pool and spa equipment and the First Class Upgrade, which covers building permits, code violations, haul-away fees, appliance knobs and dials, and other items not typically covered by a home warranty

Best Promotions: Select Home Warranty

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Select Home Warranty is a popular home warranty provider for its affordable plan prices. Its cheapest plans are available at a monthly price of $41, and its most comprehensive plan is less than $50 per month and comes with a $75 service call fee. We recommend Select to those who want to take advantage of ongoing deals, since it offers roof-leak coverage as a free add-on with any plan, a discount for annual billing, and two free months of coverage.

However, Select may not be the best choice for those who want to get the most out of their HVAC systems coverage without worrying about coverage limits, since its Gold Care and Platinum Care plans include a $2,000 coverage limit for those units, which is lower than what's offered by other providers in this review.

Get $125 off your plan and free roof-leak coverage by getting a custom quote on the Select Home Warranty website or calling 888-370-3956.

Pros and Cons of Select Home Warranty

Plans and Costs

Select provides three coverage plans: Bronze Care, Gold Care, and Platinum Care. The Bronze Care plan covers appliances, such as your washer and dryer; the Gold Care plan covers important systems, such as your HVAC and plumbing; and the Platinum Care plan covers a combination of systems and appliances. Note: The HVAC equipment in all plans has a coverage limit of $2,000 per item, and appliances, plumbing, and electrical systems are all capped at $500 per item, which is lower than many competitors.

Here's more information about Select Home Warranty's plans and prices:

  • Bronze Care ($41 per month or $430 per year*): This plan covers eight common home appliances, including your clothes washer, clothes dryer, garbage disposal, oven, built-in microwave, cooktop, dishwasher, and refrigerator.

  • Gold Care ($41 per month or $430 per year*): This plan covers six major home systems, including your air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, ductwork, and water heater.

  • Platinum Care ($47 per month or $500 per year*): This is Select's most comprehensive plan and covers everything in the Gold Care and Bronze Care plans plus a garage door opener, ceiling fans, and plumbing stoppages.

*Annual or up-front pricing includes a discount of approximately 11–12 percent.

Each Select Home Warranty plan comes with a $75 service call fee, which is lower than First American and Choice Home Warranty's service call fees.

Review Select Home Warranty's sample contract for more information about what's included in each plan.

Optional Coverage

Select offers eight additional coverage options that range from an extra $3 to $8 per month, in addition to free roof leak coverage that can be added to any plan. Here are the available add-ons offered by Select:

  • Appliances: Stand-alone freezer

  • Systems: Central vacuum, lawn sprinkler system, septic system, sump pump, and well pump

Other: Pool, spa, and free roof leak coverage

Best Workmanship Guarantee: AFC Home Club

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AFC Home Club keeps plan costs low by offering flexible three-year plans at a discount and by allowing customers to choose a higher service fee for a cheaper monthly payment. The provider stands out for guaranteeing each repair for the lifetime of your contract; with this workmanship guarantee, you'll need to only pay one service fee for a repair, even if the contractor has to return for additional fixes. Unlike most other home warranty providers, AFC Home Club also waives its 30-day waiting period on coverage for plans purchased as part of the sale of a home as long as a valid home inspection report is provided.

However, AFC Home Club does limit coverage for some high-end appliance brands, such as Samsung and LG, to $1,000, rather than its typical per-item appliance limit of $2,000, so it may not be best for homeowners who purchased appliances from those manufacturers. Read AFC Home Club's sample contract for a full list of coverage details and exclusions.

Get a free quote from AFC Home Club by filling out this quick form or calling 877-755-1115.

Pros and Cons of AFC Home Club

Plans and Costs

Unlike most other providers, AFC Home Club offers four plan options, and homeowners can sign up for a one- or three-year contract for additional pricing customization options.

Below are the sample prices and coverage for each AFC Home Club plan:

  • Systems Plan ($41 per month or $431 per year*): This plan covers six systems, including your water heater, plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, heating, and ductwork. It doesn't come with specified per-item coverage caps for HVAC units.

  • Silver Plan ($34 per month or $345 per year*): This plan covers nine home appliances, including your refrigerator, oven, cooktop, stove, clothes washer, clothes dryer, dishwasher, garage door opener, and garbage disposal. These appliances have a $2,000 per-item coverage limit, which is lower than the limits offered by American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty, and First American Home Warranty.

  • Gold Plan ($48 per month or $518 per year*): This plan covers the 15 items included in the Systems and Silver Plans.

  • Platinum Plan ($53 per month or $575 per year*): This is the most comprehensive AFC Home Club plan and includes everything in the Gold Plan in addition to faucets, plumbing stoppages, an ice maker, and a built-in microwave.

*Annual or up-front pricing comes with a 9–14 percent discount depending on the plan.

Note: When we pulled quotes from AFC Home Club, we noticed that ductwork was not listed in the Systems Plan provided through the online quote tool. We spoke to two company representatives who told us that this was a clerical error and confirmed that ductwork is included in the Systems Plan, which is consistent with the company's plans information page on its website.

Similar to American Home Shield, AFC Home Club offers customizable pricing to provide the cheapest home warranty plans to homeowners. The prices above reflect the $125 service call fee option, but you can choose the $100 or $75 service fee to lower your out-of-pocket costs when you need to schedule a repair.

Review AFC Home Club's sample contract for more information about what's included in a plan.

Optional Coverage

You can add AFC Home Club's 11 optional coverage items to any of its four plans. Here are the options available to customers:

  • Appliances: Tankless water heater, stand-alone freezer, double oven, ice maker, hot water dispenser, and built-in microwave

  • Systems: Central vacuum, sump pump, septic system, and well pump

  • Other: In-ground pool

Our Recommendation

"You really do need to compare companies because they really do offer different amounts of coverage. You have to research and dig into each company [with] respect to what your needs are for your particular home," said Realtor Dianne Robinson who is based in Anderson, South Carolina. Before deciding on an affordable home warranty company, consider your coverage needs.

For example, if you're looking for a company that has decades of experience and provides comprehensive coverage with a few add-ons, you might lean toward American Home Shield. If you need a simple plan with practical coverage for both systems and appliances at an affordable rate, Choice Home Warranty's Basic Plan might be a good option.

Our recommendation to homeowners is to get free quotes from at least three different companies, since pricing and coverage will vary by your ZIP code and home's size.

Best in the Industry

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Most Practical Coverage

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Best Appliance Coverage

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Best Promotions

realsimple BUY IT

Best Workmanship Guarantee

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How Home Warranty Plans Work

To learn more about the real-life benefits of a home warranty, we surveyed 1,000 homeowners nationwide. Of the respondents, around 25 percent said that home repairs make up their biggest expenses as a homeowner other than their mortgage. One of the best ways to help mitigate unexpected repair costs is with a home warranty.

A home warranty, also known as a home protection plan, is an annual service contract between you and a company in which the company agrees to cover certain systems and appliances in your home when they break down due to normal wear and tear, while you agree to pay a monthly or annual rate. Nearly all home warranty providers offer monthly or annual pricing options, and most start coverage 30 days after you sign a contract.

Home Warranty Prices

Home warranty plans are priced based on your ZIP code and the size of your home, so it's best to request custom quotes from a few providers to compare rates in your area. The cost of a home warranty will also depend on the type of coverage you buy. For example, a plan that covers only systems will be less expensive than a plan that covers both systems and appliances.

Additionally, some companies, such as American Home Shield and AFC Home Club, provide customers with the option to customize their monthly rates by choosing one of multiple service call fee options. We analyzed pricing information from sample quotes for 39 companies and determined that the providers in this review consistently offer the cheapest plans on the market with systems- or appliance-only plans near or below the average of $39 per month and combination plans near or below the average of $64 per month.

Choosing a Home Warranty Company

We listened to customer service and sales calls from several top home warranty companies to gain insight into what customers are most concerned about when choosing a home warranty plan. In addition to price, consider the following factors before purchasing a home warranty:

  • Plan type: Determining which type of plan you need can help narrow your search for the best provider. If you need coverage for only appliances, consider a company like First American Home Warranty or Select Home Warranty for their inexpensive appliance-only plans. If you want a comprehensive combo plan that covers both systems and appliances, consider choosing a company like American Home Shield or AFC Home Club.

  • Coverage limits: These are the total amounts that your provider will pay for each item during your home warranty agreement. For example, if your appliance coverage limit is $2,000 per item and you need a $3,000 dishwasher replacement, you'd be expected to pay the $1,000 difference during the claim. Although some companies may offer cheaper monthly rates, their coverage limits could be lower and leave you with additional out-of-pocket costs when your items break. We analyzed the sample contracts from each provider in this review to show you their specific coverage limits, but we recommend reading each contract yourself before purchasing a plan to ensure you get the coverage you need.

  • Workmanship guarantee: Most home warranty companies in this review guarantee repairs for 30 days after the initial service, meaning you won't have to pay another service call fee if a technician has to return during the first 30 days for another fix. AFC Home Club guarantees repairs for the lifetime of your home warranty plan, preventing you from having to pay multiple service call fees for the same issue.

  • Add-ons: If you need extra coverage for miscellaneous home items, such as a pool or well pump, choose a provider that offers a variety of add-ons. Most home warranty companies, including Choice Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty, offer pool and spa coverage as an add-on. Although it didn't make this list of cheap providers, Liberty Home Guard is a top choice for homeowners who want the longest list of optional coverage to choose from, since it offers 30 add-ons.

Methodology for Reviewing Home Warranty Companies

To provide the most valuable recommendations and reviews to our readers, our reviews team spent hundreds of hours researching the home warranty industry and analyzed dozens of providers on key factors, such as coverage, pricing, customer service, and more.

We created a rating system that compares home warranty providers on a number of metrics to help us determine which companies are the best in the industry. Below are six factors we used to determine each provider's overall performance:

  • Available plans

  • Plan coverage

  • Customer support

  • Trustworthiness

  • Affordability

  • Additional features

Additionally, here are some steps we took during our research process to determine which companies are the best in the industry:

  • We called each company or used its online quote tool to simulate the quote process, taking note of the overall experience and offered prices.

  • We read the fine print of each home warranty contract to ensure all coverage is clear and consistent.

  • We assessed each company's reputation by reading more than 100 customer reviews, researching the company's standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and reviewing its years of experience in the industry.

  • We simulated the customer experience on the company's website, over the phone, and via email to ensure the provider offers quality and consistent customer service across multiple channels.

Frequently Asked Questions About Home Warranties

Are home warranties worth the money?

Home warranties can help mitigate unexpected repair and replacement costs when your important systems and appliances go out, giving you peace of mind that your home's items will be back up and running as quickly as possible. Plus, most home warranty companies have a network of trusted technicians to perform a repair or replacement, saving you the time of finding a reputable contractor on your own.

How much do home warranties cost?

Although home warranty prices can vary depending on your location and the size of your home, we pulled quotes from 39 companies and found that the most affordable plans average around $39 per month and the most expensive plans average around $64 per month. We also found that 72 percent of those companies offer service call fees of $65 or higher, while some companies charge service fees as high as $150.

What is the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?

A home warranty covers your home's systems and appliances when they break due to normal wear and tear, while homeowners insurance covers your home's structure and its contents when they're damaged, lost, or ruined from an unexpected event, such as a storm or theft.