The Best Home Warranties for Condos of 2022

A home warranty can help pay for repairs when appliances break down. A little research goes a long way when searching for the best home warranty for a condo.

By Jeff Keleher | Published Sep 12, 2022 1:51 PM

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The Best Home Warranties for Condos Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Part of the appeal of owning a condo is knowing that the condo association often collectively shares the responsibility for keeping the building in good condition. Depending on how routine maintenance is handled, each unit owner may help out to tackle routine tasks around the building, such as lawn care, snow removal, and cleaning common areas. In some cases, a condo association may hire a third party to handle building maintenance, so condo owners can wash their hands of those maintenance jobs altogether.

But condo owners are still responsible for maintaining their own units, and the price to fix or replace dishwashers, dryers, refrigerators, or air conditioning units can be steep. The cost to repair a refrigerator, for instance, can run as high as $1,000. Appliances and home systems have a finite lifespan, and they will eventually break down and require repair or replacement. Paying for these costs out of pocket can be difficult to budget for since malfunctions can happen seemingly without warning; a dishwasher can be running fine one day, for example, and then start leaking water into the unit below the next.

Condo owners can prepare themselves for the eventuality of appliance breakdown by purchasing a home warranty for their condo. In some ways, a home warranty can act as home repair insurance for a condo, paying to fix or replace broken appliances and systems up to the policy limits. Home warranties provide coverage for any number of appliances—stoves, ovens, and water heaters, to name a few—as well as the unit’s core heating and cooling systems. Some home warranty companies may also offer extended plans to include coverage that wouldn’t typically be included—repairing electronics such as laptops and tablets, for instance.

A home warranty can provide peace of mind for condo owners who worry about paying out of pocket to repair broken appliances and keep everything in their unit in good working order. The cost of a home warranty may be worth it to make inevitable repairs and replacements more affordable down the line. Homeowners looking for a condo home warranty may require different coverage terms than someone who owns a single-family house, though, so it can be a good idea to research available options to find the best home warranty for a condo owner. Although there are several viable condo warranties to consider, condo owners may want to consider what terms and conditions they absolutely need so they can decide on the best fit for their home.

  1. BEST OVERALL: American Home Shield
  2. RUNNER-UP: Select Home Warranty
  3. BEST FOR LOW SERVICE FEES: Liberty Home Guard
  4. BEST REPAIR GUARANTEE: Cinch Home Services
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Home Warranty of America
The Best Home Warranties for Condos Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Home Warranties for Condos

The best home warranty for a condo can vary depending on the homeowner’s specific requirements—what coverage they need and what they can afford with their budget. In general, though, condo owners considering a home warranty may want to focus on availability first and foremost before weighing factors such as coverage terms, cost of coverage, and the overall customer experience.

Service Area

When setting out to find the top home warranty companies—for condos or any other type of home—it may be wise to start by identifying the providers that offer coverage in a homeowner’s particular area. Home warranty companies tend to have fairly large service areas, but not all providers have a nationwide footprint. In fact, many have certain gaps in their coverage, which can make availability a concern for some condo owners. As such, a good first step in this process is to eliminate potential candidates that do not provide home warranties within a condo owner’s state or municipality.

Policies and Plans

Home warranty companies typically offer a few different plans for customers to choose from, ranging from basic coverage for appliances to more extensive coverage that can include added perks and benefits. While comprehensive coverage may seem appealing, it’s worth keeping in mind that not all coverage will apply to condos. For instance, premium plans often cover roof leaks to some extent. Although someone living on the top floor of a condo building may find such coverage useful, it wouldn’t make sense for a condo owner on a lower floor to pay more money for a whole-home warranty plan with that particular coverage. With that in mind, it’s important to consider condo-specific coverage terms when reviewing the different policies offered by home warranty companies.

Average Monthly Rate

Because home warranty companies have different sets of policies—each with its own price point—reviewing rates isn’t always an apples-to-apples comparison. As such, it can be helpful to look at average monthly rates to get a sense of the affordability of each provider. Monthly rates can be a bit misleading, as home warranty plans are typically priced out as annual or multiyear plans. Condo owners may need to pay for their entire plan up front, regardless of the policy’s stated monthly rate. Although some home warranty companies do allow customers to schedule payments month to month, that won’t always be the case.

Service Fee

Every home warranty requires customers to pay a service fee whenever they file a claim and have a technician come out to repair an appliance or system. This is an expense that policyholders will pay entirely out of pocket, so it’s a good factor to weigh when considering the total cost of a home warranty. Service fees vary across home warranty companies, and each provider will often set a range of technician fees depending on the policy purchased and the coverage terms selected. Multiyear policies frequently offer lower service fees compared with single-year plans, for instance. It’s worth keeping those factors in mind when looking at service fee ranges so homeowners can properly anticipate how much they will pay if they need to schedule repair work with a technician.

Workmanship Guarantee

Condo owners may expect any repair work to restore their appliances to their original working condition, but like-new home warranty coverage isn’t typically available. Technicians will fix any issues impacting performance and get appliances running consistently again, but they may not be able to undo the effects of wear and tear and aging. That being said, home warranties frequently come with workmanship guarantees, providing some assurances regarding any work done to service the policyholder’s appliances or systems. They guarantee the quality of repair work for a certain period of time—sometimes as little as a month, but possibly significantly longer in other cases.

Checking workmanship guarantees when vetting the best home warranty companies can be a good idea, especially if condo owners are concerned about paying for additional repairs. Scheduling follow-up work outside of the guarantee period would require policyholders to pay a second technician fee. With a longer workmanship guarantee, condo owners can enjoy more peace of mind knowing that they can schedule another technician visit at no additional cost if their appliance breaks down within that stated time frame.

Discounts

Some home warranty companies offer discounts to eligible customers that can help them lower the cost of their policy. For instance, condo owners who elect to purchase a warranty that runs for multiple years may receive a discounted rate in return. In addition to discounted rates, a home warranty provider may give policyholders free coverage for a certain period of time—a month or two, for instance—which can lower the total cost of their plan. Condo owners may want to take a look at any available discounts they may qualify for and consider how discounted rates or free coverage periods may impact the total cost of coverage.

Claims Process

When it comes time to file a claim on a malfunctioning appliance or home system, condo owners want to know that this process will move as smoothly as possible. In many cases, home warranty companies allow policyholders to file a claim and schedule service entirely online. Some customers may prefer to speak to a representative, in which case they might want to consider home warranty companies that let customers file claims over the phone. From our research, online claims processes are more common, though, so condo owners may find their options to be more limited if they absolutely need to speak to an agent directly when filing a claim.

Our Top Picks

When reviewing the best home warranties for condos, homeowners may want to look for warranty companies with large service areas, competitive rates, and low service fees. It may also be helpful to consider the process for filing claims on covered appliances as well as any guarantees relating to the quality of repair work.

Best Overall

Photo: ahs.com

Why It Made the Cut: American Home Shield’s home warranty services provide ample coverage for condo owners, as well as around-the-clock customer service, free home-maintenance guides, and a money-back guarantee, among other perks.

American Home Shield is a leading home warranty company, offering extensive coverage to condo owners. The company’s ShieldPlatinum plan offers the most comprehensive coverage, including improperly installed appliances and previous work completed without a valid permit. ShieldPlatinum policyholders can also schedule a free HVAC tune-up once a year to keep their home systems running properly. Customers who opt for this plan may appreciate the extra value that such extended services can add to their home warranty.

Although American Home Shield’s workmanship guarantee is somewhat short for a home warranty—customers have 30 days to file a follow-up claim—the company does offer a 30-day money-back guarantee for new customers. In addition, customer service representatives can be reached at any time over the phone to address any issues or concerns policyholders may be experiencing. American Home Shield also provides free home-maintenance guides that customers can reference to help extend the life of their appliances and systems. If the time comes to replace broken-down equipment, customers can use American Home Shield’s appliance discount program to purchase a new brand-name appliance at a lower price.

Specs

  • Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Average monthly rate: $59.99
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone

Pros

  • Extensive coverage options
  • Free HVAC tune-up possible
  • Generous appliance discount program
  • 24/7 customer support
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
  • Free home-maintenance resources

Cons

  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Runner-Up

The Best Home Warranties for Condos Option: Select Home Warranty
Photo: selecthomewarranty.com

Why It Made the Cut: Select Home Warranty offers optimal availability with its nationwide coverage, as well as competitive discounts to eligible customers who sign up for multiple years of service.

Because Select Home Warranty operates in every state, plus Washington, D.C., condo owners in every part of the country can purchase coverage. There are no coverage gaps to speak of at all, which is somewhat uncommon for a home warranty company. While the average monthly rate may be relatively high at $62, customers’ costs will depend on the exact terms they select, and some homeowners may pay less than the average rate. Customers can also reduce their warranty costs by taking advantage of Select Home Warranty’s multiyear policy discount, which gives a lower rate to policyholders who sign up for more than 1 year of coverage.

It’s worth noting that the company’s 30-day workmanship guarantee is on the shorter side for home warranties. On the other hand, new customers will receive 2 months of free coverage when they sign up for a plan, providing additional protection at no additional cost.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Average monthly rate: $62
  • Service fee: $75 to $100
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, email

Pros

  • Nationwide availability
  • 2 months of free coverage
  • Multiyear policy discount

Cons

  • Somewhat high $62 average monthly rate
  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Best for Low Service Fees

The Best Home Warranties for Condos Option: Liberty Home Guard
Photo: libertyhomeguard.com

Why It Made the Cut: Condo owners who purchase a home warranty from Liberty Home Guard may benefit from the company’s low service-fee options, extensive coverage add-ons, and month-to-month payment terms.

Liberty Home Guard can be a good option for condo owners who want to take advantage of more extensive home warranty coverage. The company offers a number of add-on terms beyond appliance and home system repair that could come in handy. Customers can expand their coverage to pay for pest control services and carpet cleaning, among other maintenance services that would not typically be included in a home warranty.

New customers may want to prepare themselves for the possibility that their initial waiting period could run as long as 60 days, although some policies will go into effect sooner than that. Once coverage begins, policyholders may have an easier time footing the bill for their home warranty since payments can be made month to month, even with multiyear policies. Depending on the plan and policy terms, customers may be eligible for service fees as low as $60, which can help reduce out-of-pocket costs. In addition, Liberty Home Guard’s home warranties will cover appliances no matter how old they are, so condo owners can feel confident that claims filed won’t be denied based on an appliance’s age.

Specs

  • Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Average monthly rate: $60
  • Service fee: $60 to $125
  • Workmanship guarantee: 60 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone

Pros

  • Low $60 minimum service fee
  • Wide variety of service add-ons available
  • Flexible payment scheduling options
  • No age limit on covered appliances

Cons

  • Potentially long 60-day waiting period

Best Repair Guarantee

The Best Home Warranties for Condos Option: Cinch Home Services
Photo: cinchhomeservices.com

Why It Made the Cut: Cinch Home Services offers a low monthly rate, on average, along with an extremely long workmanship guarantee, making it a good option for homeowners who want to feel confident about the quality of the repair work they receive.

Cinch Home Services stands out among the top home warranty companies with its low monthly rate. With rates averaging $32.99 a month, the company can help eligible policyholders reduce the cost of their home warranty. It should be noted that service fees for a home warranty with Cinch Home Services can be somewhat high—they can range anywhere from $100 to $150. That being said, the company stands by the quality of the repair work, extending 180-day workmanship guarantees. With such a lengthy guarantee, policyholders won’t need to pay out of pocket for additional repairs if covered appliances break down again within 6 months of being serviced.

Customers won’t know how exactly long their waiting period is before coverage begins until they have purchased a policy with Cinch. Those policies can offer some additional perks, depending on the plan selected, though. For instance, Cinch’s Complete Home Plan includes a $500 reimbursement on homeowners insurance deductibles, so condo owners can get some money back if they need to file a separate insurance claim while their warranty is active.

Specs

  • Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Average monthly rate: $32.99
  • Service fee: $100 to $150
  • Workmanship guarantee: 180 days
  • Claims process: Online

Pros

  • Low $32.99 average monthly rate
  • 180-day workmanship guarantee
  • Homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement offered

Cons

  • Relatively high $100 to $150 service fee
  • Unclear waiting period before start of coverage

Also Consider

The Best Home Warranties for Condos Option: Home Warranty of America
Photo: hwahomewarranty.com

Why It Made the Cut: Home Warranty of America has a nationwide footprint and a money-back guarantee, making it a solid choice for many condo owners looking for a home warranty to cover their appliances.

Home Warranty of America is available to condo owners around the country. The company operates in all 50 states and Washington, D.C., so homeowners can buy a policy no matter where their building is located. Condo owners who are on the fence about buying a home warranty may find some peace of mind with the company’s money-back guarantee. Home Warranty of America offers a full refund to new customers who decide to cancel their policy during the first 30 days of coverage.

Condo owners may find that information about the length of the company’s workmanship guarantee can be a bit unclear. Home Warranty of America’s site does not readily list this information, and our research found conflicting details regarding the workmanship guarantee. On the other hand, customers may find the wealth of online resources hosted on the company’s site to be very helpful. There are dozens of free home-maintenance guides that can help condo owners keep their appliances and systems in good working order.

Specs

  • Service area: 50 states and Washington, D.C.
  • Average monthly rate: $53
  • Service fee: $75 and up
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online

Pros

  • Nationwide availability
  • 30-day money back guarantee
  • Free home maintenance resources

Cons

  • Conflicting details about workmanship guarantee

Our Verdict

We’ve selected American Home Shield as Best Overall due to its numerous coverage options, responsive customer support, and potential discounts on brand-name appliances. Select Home Warranty gets the nod for Runner-Up on account of its nationwide availability, free coverage terms, and the option to purchase a longer warranty term in exchange for a lower rate.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranties for Condos

Condo owners may have different needs and priorities compared to someone who owns a single-family home when it comes to home warranties. As such, we focused on home warranty companies that offer coverage for condo units and downplayed coverage terms that wouldn’t apply to someone living in a condo. Service area was a top consideration during our research, since a home warranty company’s operational footprint directly impacts availability. We also looked at cost factors from various angles: Average monthly rates, service or technician fees, and potential discounts were all taken into consideration. Because workmanship quality is so important to condo owners who schedule repairs for their covered appliances and home systems, the length and availability of repair guarantees also factored into our home warranty reviews, research, and selections.

Before You Choose One of the Best Home Warranties for Condos

Unlike homeowners insurance, home warranties are not required to finance the purchase of a condo unit. After weighing the pros and cons of home warranty coverage, some condo owners may decide they would rather not pay the added expense to protect their appliances and systems. Additionally, condo owners may want to check the status of any manufacturers’ warranties that could still be in effect. If a condo unit is part of a new construction or has just been renovated, the appliances and systems may still be covered under their original manufacturer’s warranty. A home warranty may still be worthwhile in those circumstances, however, as manufacturers’ warranties eventually expire—not to mention, condo owners can unwittingly void their manufacturer’s warranty.

Another point to consider is that home warranty companies may limit coverage to newer installations or equipment that has been properly maintained. Previous owners may not have been particularly diligent about scheduling regular inspections or tackling routine maintenance jobs like replacing dirty air filters on a furnace or HVAC system. Condo owners may not have much—if any—insight into the previous owners’ maintenance habits, so there’s the possibility that a claim could be denied through no fault of the current owner.

Cost of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranties for Condos

Although home warranty costs are usually presented as a monthly rate, condo owners may want to keep in mind that providers often require customers to pay for their entire policy up front. That can mean making a large initial payment, especially on multiyear policies. Home warranty costs are also dependent on the specific plan and policy terms selected. Premium plans with more coverage options will cost more than a company’s most affordable—and most limited—plan. With condos, in particular, it may be a good idea to look at the extra coverage terms included in premium plans and decide if they apply to these types of residences. Certain policy terms may be offered with single-family houses in mind—roof leak coverage, for instance—and may not be particularly relevant to a condo owner. As such, condo owners could very well decide that it’s not worth the extra cost to pay for a more expensive policy.

The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranties for Condos

Appliances can break down at seemingly the worst times, putting additional strain on a condo owner’s finances. It can be difficult to budget for unexpected repairs or an entire replacement. Home warranties can lessen the financial burden of replacing or fixing a broken appliance or malfunctioning home system by reducing the cost of hiring a technician or purchasing a brand-new piece of equipment. The best home warranties for condos offer several additional benefits that may appeal to condo owners:

  • Various policy options and add-on terms to expand coverage as necessary.
  • Workmanship guarantees in the event that condo owners need to schedule additional repairs on a covered appliance.
  • Potential discounts and free coverage periods to help lower the cost of a home warranty for condo units.

FAQs

Home warranties can seem confusing at first—especially in comparison with homeowners insurance or manufacturers’ warranties. In particular, condo owners may not be sure what exactly a home warranty covers and why this type of policy may be beneficial when they already have insurance or other warranties in place. It can be important to address some of the most common questions about home warranties to build a solid foundation of understanding so shoppers can make the right choice when searching for the best home warranty for condo owners.

Q. What is a home warranty policy?

A home warranty policy covers certain appliances and home systems in the event that they are defective or break down and require repair or replacement. Rather than pay these costs out of pocket, policyholders can have their home warranty company foot the bill provided certain conditions are met.

Q. What is a home warranty plan for condos?

Home warranties for condos focus on the appliances and systems that are typically found in a condo unit. They may exclude additional policy terms that wouldn’t impact a condo owner, such as coverage for a swimming pool or hot tub.

Q. Who needs a home warranty for a condo?

Condo owners may need a home warranty if they have aging appliances and home systems, lack the handyman skills to fix broken appliances on their own, or would be unable to shoulder the financial strain of paying for unexpected repairs or replacements.

Q. Home insurance vs. home warranty: What’s the difference?

Some homeowners may refer to their warranty plans as home warranty insurance, but home warranties and home insurance offer two different types of coverage. Although homeowners insurance can cover appliances and systems, this coverage is often limited to damage caused by covered events. Appliances that break down due to age or wear and tear are not typically covered by homeowners insurance. That’s where a home warranty can help, since it can pay to fix or replace equipment that has reached the end of its useful lifespan.

Q. Who regulates home warranty companies?

Home warranty companies are often regulated at the state level, with different government bodies overseeing the home warranty industry in their particular state. The National Home Service Contract Association (NHSCA) is a self-regulatory nonprofit organization that requires members to adhere to certain ethical principles and guidelines—but membership with the NHSCA is entirely optional.

Q. How much does a home warranty for a condo cost?

Home warranty costs can range from $264 to $1,425 per year, depending on the specific terms and plans selected. While condo owners may be able to find a cheap home warranty plan, the average cost for a home warranty for a condo is around $600 per year.

Q. Is a condo warranty a different policy than a home warranty?

At its most fundamental level, a condo warranty functions the same as any other home warranty. In fact, companies may extend the exact same terms and conditions to both condo units and single-family homes. Condo owners will likely find that there is a lot of overlap between the two in regard to home warranty coverage, as warranties for either a condo or house will include appliances such as ovens and water heaters as well as home systems such as central air conditioning and furnaces.

Q. Can homeowners buy a home warranty after closing on a condo?

Home warranties are available for purchase at any time, which means condo owners can buy a home warranty after closing. They may want to take into account waiting periods before their new policy will go into effect, though.

Q. Do home warranties cover condo-building roofs?

Home warranties for condos can cover roofs in certain cases, but they would only apply to issues affecting the covered unit. Condo associations may have their own coverage, and it’s possible that the cost to maintain and repair condo building roofs will be shared by all owners.

Q. Can condo owners void a home warranty?

Depending on the terms of their policy, condo owners may void their home warranty in certain scenarios.