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Whether you’ve lived in California for generations or moved in search of sandy beaches and striking vistas, you’ve worked hard to make your home a paradise. A home warranty can help you keep it that way by connecting you with licensed contractors in your area when an inevitable breakdown occurs due to normal wear and tear.
Our team has spent countless hours researching the home warranty industry by getting sample quotes, reading customer reviews, dissecting service contracts, and speaking with experts to identify the best home warranty companies in California. Keep reading to learn about the top providers in the state.
California’s Top 6 Home Warranty Companies
- American Home Shield : Best for Comprehensive Coverage
- Liberty Home Guard : Best Add-on Variety
- Select Home Warranty : Best for Cost-Effective Plans
- First American Home Warranty : Best for Home Systems Coverage
- The Home Service Club : Best for Essential Coverage
- HomeServe : Best for Specific Needs
Note: All pricing information used in this article was gathered from a simulated quote process with each provider. We used a single-family home smaller than 5,000 square feet in Santa Rosa, California.
Compare California’s Top Home Warranty Companies
|Star Rating||Monthly Cost||Service Fee||BBB Rating||Link|
|American Home Shield||$65–$76||$100–$125||B||VISIT SITE|
|Liberty Home Guard||$49-$60||$65–$125||A+||VISIT SITE|
|Select Home Warranty||$44–$48||$65–$75||B-||VISIT SITE|
|First American Home Warranty||$59–$77||$75–$125||B||VISIT SITE|
|American Home Shield|
|Liberty Home Guard|
|Select Home Warranty|
We recommend requesting quotes from several home warranty companies, and this list is a great place to start your search. Every homeowner has individual priorities and needs, so it’s important to consider the specific coverage you want before signing up.
We recommend American Home Shield for those who want rust, corrosion, or sediment damage coverage. Liberty Home Guard is another top pick due to its extensive add-on coverage options. Select Home Warranty is a good choice if you only need heating and cooling system coverage.
How Are Home Warranties Regulated in California?
All home warranty providers must obtain a license from California’s Department of Insurance (DOI) before lawfully promoting and selling service contracts. California takes regulating the home warranty industry very seriously compared to other states.
Before a license is approved, the company must submit a letter to the Insurance Commissioner and go through an approval process. According to the DOI, “the process is necessarily quite detailed and time-consuming.”
Home warranty providers undergo a 20-step process that includes disclosing conflict of interest procedures, functional staff organization, financial reporting, operating plans, and several other aspects of the business.
For this reason, many nationally known home warranty companies don’t operate in California. The state issued cease and desist orders to several providers for failing to meet the state’s stringent requirements.
How to Choose a Home Warranty in California
Due to the regulations mentioned above, choosing a home warranty in California is a little easier for consumers living in this state. That said, it’s still important to research before picking a home warranty plan. Below are some helpful tips to consider while shopping for California home warranty plans.
- Take inventory of your home systems and appliances. Before shopping for a policy, it’s a good idea to figure out what elements of your home are most important to you and set coverage for those as priorities. For some homeowners, air conditioning may be a top priority, while others may be most focused on their kitchen appliances. Many home warranty companies offer optional add-on coverage for items such as well pumps, septic systems, and more.
- Request as many quotes as possible. After determining your priorities, it’s important to see what coverage is available to you. Requesting quotes will allow you to see your plan options, view the number of items covered, and compare prices.
- Read sample contracts. Reading each provider’s service agreement is a good idea to avoid misunderstandings and denied claims. You can typically find a sample contract on the provider’s website. While it’s vital to read all sections of the agreement, it’s especially important that you understand the exclusions and coverage limits for your plan.
Frequently Asked Questions
What’s the difference between a home warranty and homeowners insurance?
A home warranty plan covers items in your home that fail due to normal wear and tear. However, a homeowners insurance policy covers items in your home damaged by theft, fire, or storms. It also covers structural damage to your home caused by covered perils. A home warranty does not. Therefore, having both policies in place could save you significant repairs because they provide complementary coverage.
Is a California home warranty worth it?
A home warranty is worth it for anyone who wants to streamline their home maintenance experiences. With these home protection plans, you pay a monthly fee for convenience and peace of mind.Our survey of 1,000 homeowners showed that more than 70% previously hired a contractor to repair a system or appliance in their home instead of completing the repair themselves. Home warranty providers can help you find a contractor for your home’s needs. When a covered appliance or system malfunctions, simply request service and pay the service call fee.
Do home warranties have coverage caps in California?
Every provider’s service contract will outline its coverage caps. A coverage cap is the total amount the provider is willing to pay for a covered item or plan term. Some providers stipulate a coverage cap on a specific item, such as Select Home Warranty’s $400 limit on roof-leak coverage. Other providers place coverage caps on multiple items, such as American Home Shield’s separate coverage limits for built-in systems and appliances.
What is considered normal wear and tear?
Wear and tear describes the deterioration that occurs to systems and appliances due to regular use over time. A home warranty will not cover improperly maintained or installed and tampered appliances or systems.
Do home warranties cover old appliances?
Many home warranty providers cover old appliances, but the depreciated value of the appliance may factor into the prorated amount of coverage you receive. For example, a 15-year-old dishwasher may not be eligible for the same replacement value as a two-year-old dishwasher.
How We Chose the Top Home Warranty Companies
Our team reviewed and researched dozens of home warranty providers, thoroughly analyzed sample agreements, and identified customer pain points based on our analysis of customer reviews and interviews with industry experts. Our in-depth methodology outlines our review process to provide transparent information about the companies we review.
We determined that the following factors are the most important when comparing home warranty companies: available plans, plan coverage, price range, industry reputation, customer support, and additional features. Our research supported that plan coverage, customer service, and industry reputation should carry the most weight. While important, the other factors should not have as much influence when choosing a home warranty provider.