Many homeowners may panic about the sudden, unexpected expenses they’ll incur if a household appliance suddenly stops working, especially if they don’t have the savings to cover such an expense. A home appliance insurance policy, also known as a home warranty, can provide peace of mind by helping you prepare for the repair and replacement costs and the hassle of locating a contractor when your major appliances and home systems break down.
We at the Guides Home Team have examined dozens of the top home warranty companies in the industry, taking into account their coverage options for your home’s most valuable appliances, such as dishwashers, refrigerators and laundry machines. We’ve also considered factors such as customer service, overall trustworthiness, number of items covered and cost.
What Is Home Appliance Insurance?
Home appliance insurance is another name for a home protection plan or a home appliance warranty. Customers pay a monthly or annual fee in exchange for discounted repairs, diagnostics and replacements for their home’s essential components, such as HVAC units and laundry appliances. Many home warranty companies will offer multiple coverage tiers so you can select the best coverage for your budget and household needs, including appliance-only coverage.
Our survey of 1,000 homeowners found that nearly 50% had to pay $700 or more to replace a single home appliance. If that figure alarms you, home appliance insurance can help alleviate the expense of appliance replacement and repairs.
Top 5 Best Home Appliance Insurance Companies
Review these top options for your home appliance insurance needs:
*Note: All cost figures in this article are for single-family homes under 5,000 square feet in Raleigh, N.C. Exact plan prices may vary slightly by location.
American Home Shield
Availability: 49 (all but Alaska)
Year founded: 1971
Why We Chose AHS
American Home Shield (AHS) received 4.60 out of 5 stars in our rating system. Notably, it received high scores for its number of plan options, high coverage caps, flexible service call fees and excellent combination coverage for major systems and home appliances. AHS received our Editors’ Choice designation because it offers higher coverage caps, more covered items and a strong industry reputation with several decades of nationwide service.
Pros and Cons
Check out our pros and cons for American Home Shield coverage:
+ Pairs appliance coverage with a coverage cap of up to $6,000 per appliance ($3,000 with ShieldGold)
+ Includes coverage for rust, sediment and corrosion damage
+ Covers pro-series appliances within standard plans
– Charges more for monthly plans compared to other providers
– Provides limited add-on coverage
Coverage and Cost
AHS offers three plans — two of which cover appliances. You can select a $75, $100 or $125 service call fee during the quote process, adjusting your monthly fee to your liking. You can review the prices of those three plans below:
- ShieldSilver ($29.99–$49.99 per month)
- ShieldGold ($49.99–$69.99 per month)
- ShieldPlatinum ($79.99–$99.99 per month)
Below is a coverage breakdown of American Home Shield’s two appliance plans alongside its systems plan. It’s worth noting that American Home Shield does not offer an appliance-exclusive plan. ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum both cover appliances.
Get a quote: To get a personalized quote from American Home Shield, use this simple online tool or call 844-529-9298.
To learn more: American Home Shield review
Liberty Home Guard
Availability: 48 (all but Washington and Wisconsin)
Year founded: 2017
Why We Picked Liberty Home Guard
Liberty Home Guard (LHG) is a relatively new home warranty company. Still, it brings compelling benefits, including over 35 add-on coverage options and a basic plan covering nine appliances. Liberty Home Guard earned 4.54 out of 5 stars in our rating system. During our review process, LHG stood out for its excellent reputation with customers, a large suite of add-on options, live chat customer service and an extensive variety of items covered.
Pros and Cons
Here are a few key pros and cons of Liberty Home Guard coverage:
+ Provides a $2,000 coverage cap per covered appliance, system and add-on
+ Includes a 60-day workmanship guarantee for completed repairs
+ Offers discounts to customers purchasing select new appliances
– Provides pro-series appliance coverage as an add-on only
– Doesn’t lower its monthly premiums with a higher service call fee
Coverage and Cost
Liberty Home Guard offers three plans. Its Appliance Guard and Total Home Guard include major appliance coverage. Its Systems Guard covers major systems, such as air conditioning and heating systems. Liberty Home Guard will assign a service call fee to your account based on your plan, add-ons and the location of your home. A representative told our team that it would always fall between $65 and $125. You can also opt for a yearly payment plan and receive two months free. You can compare monthly prices below:
- Appliance Guard ($49.99 per month)
- Systems Guard ($54.99 per month)
- Total Home Guard ($59.99 per month)
Below you’ll find a comparison of LHG’s three coverage plans, Customers can choose to cover additional appliances such as a water softener, stand-alone freezer and 28 other add-on options.
Get a quote: To request a free and customized quote from Liberty Home Guard, fill out this quick form or call 866-452-9107.
To learn more: Liberty Home Guard review
Select Home Warranty
Availability: 47 (all but Nevada, Washington and Wisconsin)
Year founded: 2012
Why We Picked Select
Select Home Warranty is a great option for cost-conscious homeowners because of its reasonable monthly pricing, free roof-leak coverage with every plan (a rarity in the industry) and same-day claim response time. It earned 4.54 out of 5 stars in our rating system. It scored highest for having at least 3 plan options, affordable combination plans and a strong reputation with consumers.
Pros and Cons
Below are Select Home Warranty’s key pros and cons:
+ Provides two free months of coverage when signing up for an annual premium
+ Covers second refrigerators and stand-alone freezers
+ Offers budget-friendly plans
– Caps appliance coverage at $500 for appliances
– Excludes coverage for unknown preexisting conditions
Coverage and Cost
Select offers three plan tiers. Its Bronze Care plan is appliance-exclusive, its Gold Care is systems-exclusive, and the Platinum Care plan covers both household appliances and major home systems. Select charges a $75 service call fee each time you file a claim. You can compare Select’s monthly prices below:
- Bronze Care ($44.42 per month)
- Gold Care: ($44.42 per month)
- Platinum Care ($47.75 per month)
You can compare the coverage of Select’s plans in the table below.
Get a quote: To request a free quote from Select Home Warranty, use this simple online tool or call 888-370-3956. Select Home Warranty is offering $100 off and two months free to MarketWatch readers.
To learn more: Select Home Warranty review
America’s 1st Choice Home Club
Availability: 49 (all but Hawaii)
Year founded: 2009
Why We Picked AFC Home Club
America’s 1st Choice (AFC) Home Club stands out for its four tiers of home warranty plans, three of which cover appliances. Customers can also elect additional coverage for a double oven, hot water dispenser, ice maker or built-in microwave. We awarded this provider 4.54 out of 5 stars due to its impressive plan variety, long workmanship guarantee and the significant number of appliances covered.
One of the biggest benefits of AFC Home Club is its workmanship guarantee. AFC Home Club customers can choose a one-year or three-year plan. If an appliance breaks again, AFC Home Club will send out another technician to complete the necessary repairs free of charge at any time during your contract.
Pros and Cons
Check out our pros and cons for AFC Home Club coverage:
+ Covers up to $1,000 in repairs for high-end appliances
+ Grants a generous $3,000 coverage cap for standard appliances
+ Allows you to choose your own contractor
– Requires a claim to be filed as soon as you detect the breakdown
– Prorates older covered items based on depreciated amount
Coverage and Cost
AFC Home Club offers four plans total, three plans with appliance coverage. Similar to AHS, AFC Home Club offers a flexible service call fee, which allows you to adjust your monthly prices. You can compare the prices of each plan below:
- Silver Plan ($38.00–$42.83 per month)
- Systems Plan ($45.25–$50.08 per month)
- Gold Plan ($52.50–$57.33 per month)
- Platinum Plan ($57.33–$62.17 per month)
Compare the coverage of the Silver Plan, the Systems Plan, the Gold Plan and the Platinum Plan in the table below. The Silver Plan is an affordable option for homeowners seeking to cover their appliances exclusively.
Get a quote: To request your free quote from AFC Home Club calling 877-755-1115 or fill out this online form.
To learn more: AFC Home Club review
First American Home Warranty
State availability: 35 (excluding Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin)
Year founded: 1984
Why we Picked First American
First American Home Warranty is our pick for add-on coverage thanks to its First Class Upgrade add-on, which covers home items that were improperly maintained or installed. Its $3,500 per-item coverage cap for appliances solidifies First American as a reliable choice.
Pros and Cons
+ Doesn’t have an annual coverage limit on A/C, heating or ductwork
+ Offers up to $1,000 in roof-leak coverage
+ Flat-rate service fee for all repairs
– Doesn’t allow for customization of plans or pricing
– Policyholders cannot choose their own technician
Cost and Coverage
First American offers two plans: the Basic Plan and the Premier Plan. If you are strictly looking for coverage for your home’s appliances, look no further than the Basic Plan. If you need your entire home protected, the Premier Plan is a better fit as it includes home systems. The First Class Upgrade covers miscellaneous fees and appliance parts, which many providers do not cover.
- Basic Plan ($37.00)
- Premier Plan ($49.50)
You can review the coverage options First American provides in the table below.
What Does Home Appliance Insurance Cover?
Home appliance insurance covers the cost to diagnose, repair or replace a major appliance when it malfunctions due to normal wear and tear. Our analysis of customer reviews of the 10 most popular home warranty companies revealed that many customers don’t understand what their plans will and will not cover. It’s important to have a good sense of this before agreeing to any contract.
A home warranty covers repair costs and replacements that are outside the scope of homeowners insurance. While homeowners insurance will protect your home in the event of burglary, vandalism or a natural disaster, it doesn’t keep you protected from the cost associated with the routine wear and tear of your home’s built-in systems and appliances.
The most commonly covered appliances by a home warranty include, but are not limited to, these options:
- Garbage disposal
- Oven, range, stove or cooktop
- Washer and dryer
Each home warranty policy will have its own coverage limits — the maximum amount the home warranty company will pay to repair or replace an item — per system or per appliance. Some companies will have only an annual coverage limit.
How Much Does Home Appliance Insurance Cost?
As with any insurance policy, customers must pay monthly to keep their coverage active and valid. The cost of home appliance insurance can vary depending on several factors, including the size of your home, the plan you select, the add-on options you purchase and the cost of living in your area.
According to our research of 39 providers, customers pay an average of $38.73–$63.16 monthly fees, plus a service call fee to your technician when they arrive to make repairs. Some companies may also charge a one-time enrollment fee to begin your policy.
The chart below is a breakdown of the average costs of home appliance insurance by home warranty provider.
* Plan costs are based on a single-family home under 5,000 sq. ft. in Raleigh, NC. The pricing is for the most basic plan that covers laundry and kitchen appliances.
Home Appliance Repair and Replacement Costs
Replacing or repairing home appliances can range significantly depending on several factors, including the following: the appliance age, condition and brand; labor and parts costs; the homeowner’s location; and the scope of the damage. Typically, repairs are more affordable than replacements, but sometimes the damage may be greater than the appliance’s value.
According to our analysis, the cost to repair appliances can range from $50 to $800, depending on the item. Water heaters and air conditioning units are the most expensive.
On the other hand, replacements of appliances can cost upwards of $10,000. Appliance replacement costs range from $150 on the low end to $10,000 for more luxury appliances such as top-of-the-line refrigerators and air conditioning systems.
How Does Home Appliance Insurance Work?
When a covered item malfunctions, you can file a claim with your home warranty provider and expect a reply within 24 hours to five days, depending on your location and the urgency of the breakdown. When we listened to service calls made to five of the top home warranty companies, we learned that customer service representatives will typically ask for the make and model of your covered item when you call to file your claim. You should also be prepared to explain the nature of the malfunction — for example, you should say that your washing machine won’t drain water, not simply state that it’s not working.
When your claim is approved, your provider will pair you with a local, licensed and insured service contractor with experience repairing appliances. The technician will diagnose the problem and typically perform minor repairs and parts replacements during this visit. More extensive repairs and replacements may require an additional appointment, which may incur an additional service call fee.
Most home warranty companies have a 30-day waiting period from enrollment before new customers file their first claim.
What’s the Difference Between a Home Warranty and a Manufacturer’s Warranty?
Manufacturers’ warranties will cover defects in your appliance, which can be helpful for models that are known to break or require service. Generally, the manufacturer’s warranties are valid within one year of the purchase of your appliance, but the warranty is valid only for that one appliance. The cost of paying for multiple manufacturers’ warranties can add up quickly.
Home warranty plans will cover any appliance or system outlined in your package for the entire plan length, regardless of when you purchased the appliance or system. They are designed to provide financial protection from inevitable breakdowns due to wear and tear. Home warranties are renewable year after year, while manufacturer’s warranties have finite expiration dates.
Is Home Appliance Insurance Worth It?
Home warranties are worth it for homeowners who want to avoid undue financial burden or save the time required to find and vet contractors. While a home warranty may not be right for you if you have the savings to cover unexpected breakdowns, it can be beneficial if you don’t have the budget to cover expensive repairs. By paying a small monthly fee to keep your policy active, you can take advantage of membership perks, such as discounts on new appliances, specialized technicians experienced with your appliances and significant savings on necessary home repairs.
4 Things You Should Consider Before You Purchase an Appliance Warranty
- Claims process: Most companies stipulate that you file your claim as soon as you notice a malfunction or risk having your claim denied. Some major companies offer a 24/7 call center to take claims over the phone, while others have online customer portals where customers can file claims, track progress and view their accounts in one place.
- Coverage: Every home warranty plan is different. It’s important to consider the items you use the most in your home, the cost of repair and replacement as well any caveats in service agreements. Some companies may not cover all appliances.
- Monthly costs: You’ll want to ensure your monthly payments fit your budget. You can lower your monthly costs by choosing a higher service fee if you don’t expect to make frequent claims. Some companies will lock in your rates as long as you remain a customer.
- Reputation: The worst home warranty companies have reputations for not holding up contractual agreements. The best home warranty companies include the most trustworthy companies in the industry.
The Bottom Line
We at the Guides Home Team recommend American Home Shield since it offers as much as $6,000 in coverage for appliances, whereas Liberty Home Guard allows you to customize your package with a massive suite of add-ons. Select Home Warranty allows you to cover your appliances and built-in systems for less than $50 a month.
Because all providers vary in their policies, coverage caps and response time, it’s important to request a quote from at least three options and to read their sample agreements carefully for clarity.
How To Read Home Warranty Fine Print
All reputable home warranty companies provide consumers access to their sample contracts. You can review this contract to understand the extent of coverage included in each plan. Here is a list of sections found in a home warranty service contract you should be aware of to avoid claim pitfalls:
- Coverage caps
- Contract term and fees
- Coverage exclusions
Each provider offers a different coverage cap for its covered items. Some providers include an annual coverage cap covering claims up to the maximum amount, while others pair a coverage limit to each covered item. Note that you are responsible for paying the difference remaining from any repair that costs more than the set coverage limit.
Contract Term and Fees
Most home warranty providers include a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins. That means your home systems and appliances won’t be covered until the 30 days pass. The typical length of a home warranty service contract is 12 months. Some providers give you the choice of monthly or annual premiums.
There are fees associated with a service contract outside the monthly premium. Your provider will charge you a service call fee when you file a service request. Additionally, it won’t send a technician if any past-due charges are present. You contract should outline all applicable premiums and fees.
Generally, there are certain items and instances a home warranty won’t cover. For example, your provider may include coverage for plumbing system stoppages, but it won’t cover stoppages caused by root overgrowth. We recommend contacting your provider if you have any questions regarding coverage exclusions.
Methodology: Our System for Ranking the Best Home Warranty Companies
Our team created a comprehensive rating system to rank providers based on objective factors. We researched each company by speaking with company representatives, reading sample contracts, and analyzing and comparing consumer reviews. We deepened our research by gaining homeowner insights through surveys and focus groups.
After collecting data, we scored each provider in the following categories: plan options, cost, trustworthiness, customer service, state availability, additional benefits and coverage specifics.
Jesus Sanchez Garcia is a writer specializing in home warranties and related insurance products. He holds a particular interest in research and understanding his readers, and he has facilitated focus groups to gain deeper insight into homeowners’ needs. Jesus has a bachelor’s degree in business administration and marketing. In his spare time, Jesus can be found cheering on Arsenal or spending time with his cat, Nevi.
Rebekah Young is an editor with a decade of experience in educational content and editing. Before joining the Guides Home Team to focus on home services content, she guided content strategy and edited in the insurance, venture capital, financial and health care fields. Rebekah has a bachelor’s degree in communication and English.