The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties of 2022

Rental property owners may want to protect their appliances and systems with a home warranty. The best home warranties for rental properties can cover maintenance costs and help keep rental units in good condition.

By Jeff Keleher | Published Sep 13, 2022 11:01 AM

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The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties Options

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Owning rental property can be a great way to generate passive income and establish a successful long-term financial strategy. Maintaining that property, on the other hand, can get pretty expensive, potentially undercutting any financial benefits. Refrigerators, water heaters, air conditioners, furnaces, and other appliances and systems can break down or stop running properly at any time. Repairing or replacing a single appliance can be costly on its own, but footing the bill to fix multiple problems at different properties could be extremely difficult—perhaps even impractical—for some property owners.

That’s where a home warranty for rental properties can help. A rental property home warranty can cover the costs of hiring a technician to fix malfunctioning appliances and systems. If the problem is too severe, the warranty plan could also pay to replace the equipment or appliance entirely. This kind of coverage can be very beneficial for property owners, especially if they own multiple rental units with appliances and systems that vary in age. A good rental property business thrives when owners are able to keep their costs in check, and a home warranty can be a good way to minimize maintenance costs for some of the most expensive appliances on the premises.

Property owners searching for the best home warranty for a rental property will want to take some time to research different providers, assess their strengths, and see which ones can offer the right mix of benefits. Because each property owner will have their own must-haves that they’ll want to prioritize, it’s worth exploring the various options available to find the home warranty company that best fits a property owner’s particular circumstances.

  1. BEST OVERALL: American Home Shield
  2. RUNNER-UP: Liberty Home Guard
  3. BEST WORKMANSHIP GUARANTEE: AFC Home Club
  4. BEST CLAIMS PROCESS: Choice Home Warranty
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Select Home Warranty
The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

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

Even if property owners carry their own homeowners insurance, landlord insurance, or rental property insurance, it may still be worthwhile to get a home warranty for rental property. Insurance is unlikely to pay for repairs to fix issues relating to wear and tear, so having a home warranty can help cover these costs. Because the best home warranty companies can offer different benefits—and may even have notable weaknesses—rental property owners will want to weigh each potential option based on their own unique circumstances and needs.

Service Area

A home warranty company’s service area is one of the most important factors to consider when researching the best home warranties for rental property. Although service areas for home warranty companies tend to be fairly large—many providers service large swaths of the country—coverage gaps may still exist. Because some property owners may have rental units or vacation properties in different locations throughout the country, it can be difficult to find coverage for all of their properties using the same company. Nationwide rental property warranties do exist, though, and property owners who require such extensive coverage and support may want to prioritize a large service area first and foremost.

Policies and Plans

Home warranty policies can cover a lot of ground, and each provider may have a few different coverage tiers to consider. Finding the right plan for a rental property may require prospective customers to review various plans across several home warranty companies. Some warranty plans may offer extended terms that are a particularly good fit for policyholders who own rental property. For instance, some policies cover improperly installed appliances or home systems that violate building codes. When buying a new rental property, owners may feel a greater sense of security knowing that their home warranty will cover necessary repairs under those circumstances. More extensive coverage could be very appealing to policyholders who own multiple properties and want to avoid paying entirely out of pocket to maintain all of their rental property appliances and systems.

Average Monthly Rate

With home warranty companies offering various policies at different price points, it can be helpful to look at the average monthly rate to get a better sense of the affordability of each provider’s coverage. That being said, while the average monthly rate can provide insight into how much a policy might cost, it may not reflect how much a customer will need to pay when a policy is purchased. In many cases, home warranty plans need to be paid for in full, which means a property owner may be required to pay for a year’s worth of coverage—or more, depending on the policy terms—up front. Although somewhat difficult to come by, month-to-month payment options are available in some cases as well, and it may be worth searching out these payment terms if property owners require more financial flexibility with their home warranty.

Service Fee

The annual or monthly rate isn’t the only expense that policyholders will pay on their home warranty. When the time comes to file a claim and schedule an appointment with a technician, customers will be required to pay a service fee. Home warranty companies may have a range of technician fees that can vary depending on the provider’s policy terms; multiyear policies tend to have lower service fees, for instance. Because service fees can impact the total cost of a home warranty, property owners may want to factor in those expenses when considering their options.

Workmanship Guarantee

Appliance repair and maintenance can be a major ongoing cost for rental property owners. Even with a home warranty in place, it’s possible for policyholders to repeatedly pay technician fees to have the same faulty or aging equipment serviced. A workmanship guarantee can provide some reassurance by backing the quality of any repair work for a certain period of time. If the serviced appliance breaks down again during that time frame, the home warranty company will send out another technician without charging an additional service fee.

The length of a workmanship guarantee can vary pretty significantly across home warranty providers—companies may even have separate guarantees to cover the labor and materials. In addition to providing peace of mind, workmanship guarantees can impact the overall cost of home warranty coverage. That’s especially true if property owners schedule multiple maintenance visits on the same appliances or systems.

Discounts

Rental property owners may be able to lower the cost of their home warranty by taking advantage of available discounts. For instance, a provider may give customers a discounted rate when they sign up for a policy running multiple years. Not all companies offer rate discounts, though, and some rental property owners may not be eligible for every discount even when they are available. With that in mind, it can be a good idea to account for potential discount opportunities when assessing the affordability of home warranty policies and determining the overall cost of each option.

Claims Process

When appliances break down in a rental property, tenants will understandably want to schedule repairs as soon as possible. Rental property owners can’t afford to wait around for their warranty company to process their claim and set up a technician appointment. As such, a quick and streamlined claims process can be very important to some property owners. The best home warranty companies often support online claims processes, which can help move the claim forward. Policyholders may also have the option to speak directly with a representative if they want to explain the issue in more detail and receive more hands-on support. As property owners search for the best home warranty for a rental property, it may be worth considering how each company’s claims process works—and if that approach suits their personal preferences.

Choice of Technician

After a claim has been filed, many home warranty providers will select a nearby technician to handle the necessary repairs. This arrangement could be perfectly suitable for the average homeowner, but a rental property owner may be more discerning about the technicians tasked with maintaining their appliances and systems. Landlords and property owners may have a list of preferred contractors and repairmen they work with—in which case they might consider looking for a home warranty company that allows policyholders to choose their own technician. Although this feature is fairly uncommon for a rental property warranty, some providers do give policyholders the option to find a technician themselves.

Our Top Picks

The process of finding the best home warranty for a rental property can seem daunting, especially since the top companies all provide appealing benefits of their own to consider. Our research compared a number of factors—including service availability, coverage options, rates, discounts, service fees, and workmanship guarantees from each company—to determine the best rental property warranties available.

Best Overall

The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties Option: American Home Shield
Photo: ahs.com

Why It Made the Cut: American Home Shield offers numerous coverage options that may appeal to rental property owners, in addition to responsive customer support and potential discounts on new appliances.

American Home Shield may be a great option for rental property owners who want to explore a wide variety of coverage options and add-on terms. For instance, the company’s ShieldPlatinum plan covers appliances and home systems that were improperly installed. American Home Shield’s home warranties also cover pre-existing conditions that don’t appear during a visual inspection, which is fairly uncommon for a home warranty as policies typically exclude pre-existing conditions altogether. Such extensive coverage can offer greater peace of mind to policyholders, especially those who have just purchased property from a previous owner. It could also potentially save them money on future repair work.

Another policy term that may appeal to rental property owners is the option to add a separate guest unit to an existing warranty. This feature could help eligible customers avoid taking out two warranties to cover multiple structures on the same property. Although American Home Shield has a somewhat short 30-day workmanship guarantee, customers can reach a representative at any time over the phone to address any concerns they may have. Policyholders can also take advantage of the company’s appliance discount program to purchase name-brand washing machines, ovens, and other appliances at a discounted rate. Customers who opt for the ShieldPlatinum plan will have the option to get a free HVAC inspection and tune-up once a year, which will help maintain these systems and prevent more expensive repairs or even a replacement down the road.

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
  • Guest-unit coverage available
  • Coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions
  • Free HVAC tune-up possible
  • Generous appliance discount program
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Runner-Up

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

Why It Made the Cut: With low service fees, flexible payment options, and extensive coverage terms to choose from, Liberty Home Guard may be a good home warranty choice for rental property owners.

Liberty Home Guard can offer flexible payment terms to rental property owners who would prefer to avoid making a large initial investment in their home warranty policy. With the option to make monthly payments on their home warranty policies, Liberty Home Guard customers can more easily budget for this expense. In addition, Liberty Home Guard’s service fees start out at $60, which is low for a home warranty technician fee, helping property owners reduce their out-of-pocket costs when filing a claim and scheduling a repair.

The waiting period for a Liberty home warranty could run as long as 60 days, so rental property owners may want to anticipate a longer lead time before their policy goes into effect. Once they have an active policy, though, customers may benefit from the different coverage options that are available. For instance, property owners can purchase add-on coverage that includes maintenance jobs like pest control and carpet cleaning—tasks that may occur with some regularity when renting out property to a wide variety of tenants. Policyholders can also purchase extra coverage with higher limits to protect professional-grade appliances. This way, they can feel more confident that their home warranty will cover the cost for a full replacement in a worst-case scenario.

Basic coverage terms are impressive as well. Liberty Home Guard home warranties cover pre-existing conditions that were not evident during a home inspection, so policyholders can fix or replace appliances with lingering issues that could impact their functionality. Furthermore, Liberty Home Guard will not deny a claim due to the age of the appliance or home system, allowing property owners to obtain coverage for older equipment that may be more likely to require maintenance in the near future.

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
  • Month-to-month payment option
  • Property maintenance coverage available
  • Professional-grade appliance coverage available
  • Coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions
  • No age limit on covered appliances

Cons

  • Potentially long 60-day waiting period

Best Workmanship Guarantee

The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties Option: America’s 1st Choice Home Club
Photo: afchomeclub.com

Why It Made the Cut: America’s 1st Choice (AFC) Home Club offers an extremely generous workmanship guarantee, along with low rates for qualifying customers and the option for policyholders to choose their own technician.

America’s 1st Choice Home Club stands out due to its approach to scheduling maintenance and ensuring the quality of repair work. Rental property owners who worry about appliances repeatedly breaking down may enjoy the added sense of security that AFC’s workmanship guarantee can offer. The company’s guarantees run the entire length of the plan, no matter what policy tier a customer chooses. As long as the policy is still active, customers can schedule follow-up repairs without paying additional technician fees.

Rental property owners may also find the option to choose their own technician appealing, especially if they have preferred contractors they use for all of their properties. New customers may want to consider ahead of time all the policy terms they want to buy, as any add-on options purchased later on may require an on-site inspection. Overall, the cost of coverage with AFC can be pretty reasonable, with rates averaging around $50 a month. Customers may also be able to save more money on their home warranty by taking advantage of the company’s multiyear policy discount.

Specs

  • Service area: 49 states and Washington, D.C
  • Average monthly rate: $50
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Workmanship guarantee: Length of the plan
  • Claims process: Online, phone

Pros

  • Relatively low $50 average monthly rate
  • Workmanship guarantee runs the length of the plan
  • Customer-selected technician option
  • Multiyear policy discount

Cons

  • Inspection may be required for add-on coverage

Best Claims Process

The Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties Option: Choice Home Warranty
Photo: choicehomewarranty.com

Why It Made the Cut: Choice Home Warranty delivers a strong customer experience with representatives available at any time to help policyholders, with multiple case managers assigned to each claim.

Rental property owners looking for a more hands-on customer experience may want to consider Choice Home Warranty. The company’s customer service line is open 24/7, so policyholders can reach out to a representative day or night if they have questions about their warranty or have any concerns about coverage. That high quality of service extends to the claims process as well. Choice Home Warranty assigns multiple case managers to each claim, which can help speed the process along and prevent any delays in scheduling repairs. With more representatives working on their claims, policyholders can feel confident that their request will be quickly processed and that a technician will be sent out to fix their equipment in a timely manner.

While Choice Home Warranty charges a flat $85 service fee for each policy tier, that rate sits well within the standard range of technician fees for this type of warranty. New customers may also be able to get their 30-day waiting period waived if they can show proof that they have an active home warranty in place with another company and wish to switch providers. The ability to waive the waiting period can help property owners avoid initial coverage gaps when activating a new home warranty.

Specs

  • Service area: 48 states and Washington, D.C
  • Average monthly rate: $55
  • Service fee: $85
  • Workmanship guarantee: 60 days labor, 90 days parts
  • Claims process: Online, phone

Pros

  • Waiting period waived for customers with an existing policy
  • Hands-on claims support from multiple representatives
  • 24/7 customer support

Cons

  • No service fee flexibility

Also Consider

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

Why It Made the Cut: Select Home Warranty’s policies are available across the entire country, and rental property owners may benefit from the company’s multiyear discounts and other cost-saving opportunities.

Select Home Warranty stands out among home warranty companies with its nationwide footprint. Rental property owners can purchase a home warranty to cover property in every state in the country as well as Washington, D.C. That widespread availability may be very appealing to customers who currently own or are considering buying rental property in multiple locations across the country.

The cost for coverage could run somewhat high, given Select Home Warranty’s $62 average monthly rate, but the total cost will depend on the exact terms and policies that are purchased. Rental property owners may also want to take note of the company’s relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee. That being said, there are several opportunities to reduce the overall cost of coverage, including discounts on policies that run for multiple years. New customers can also receive 2 months of free coverage when they sign up for a policy, potentially lowering the up-front cost to buy a home warranty.

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

Our Verdict

American Home Shield is our choice for Best Overall because of the company’s around-the-clock customer support and extensive coverage options that may appeal specifically to rental property owners. Our choice for Runner-Up is Liberty Home Guard; its low service fees, flexible payment policies, and numerous add-on options for warranty coverage make it an attractive choice for rental property owners.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties

When assessing the best home warranties for rental properties, we focused on factors that would directly impact rental property owners. Coverage area, for instance, was an important consideration because policyholders could have properties anywhere in the country and may be interested in purchasing new rental properties in other states. In the same vein, we looked closely at coverage options, including both baked-in terms and optional add-on policies, that would most appeal to rental property owners. Cost was another factor that we weighed, and we looked at expected monthly rates, discount opportunities, and service-fee options. Because rental property owners may feel a significant amount of pressure to keep their appliances running properly at all times, we took into account the workmanship guarantees offered by each company as well.

Before You Choose One of the Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties

When considering a home warranty on a rental property, prospective customers may want to take stock of the coverage they really need. Home warranties can help cover the costs of repairing or replacing aging and malfunctioning equipment, but if rental property owners are more concerned about protecting appliances in the event that they are damaged, then landlord or rental insurance may provide the coverage they need. In that scenario, it may be worth looking at one of the best rental property insurance companies for the right policy.

In addition, property owners with handyman skills may be able to tackle the bulk of their maintenance and repair needs on their own. As such, a home warranty may not necessarily be worth the added expense for those individuals.

Cost of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties

Rental property owners need to be mindful of the cost of purchasing a home warranty since every expense that goes into maintaining their property could affect their bottom line. Policyholders have two major costs to consider when purchasing a home warranty: the monthly or annual rate and the required service fee. In some cases, customers can receive a lower rate on their warranty by accepting a higher service fee. The reverse may be true as well. Coverage terms often have a major impact on home warranty costs too, as more extensive coverage typically means a higher cost for the policyholder. Home warranty companies may also offer add-on options that can be purchased and attached to a policy, which will affect the total cost of coverage.

The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranties for Rental Properties

Home warranties can help rental property owners reduce their out-of-pocket expenses when repairing broken appliances and systems—in the right circumstances, a rental property home warranty could save policyholders money on their maintenance costs each year. Home warranty companies can also take on the burden of scheduling repairs so rental property owners won’t need to call around to local technicians, get quotes, and set up service appointments themselves. The very best home warranties for rental properties can go above and beyond to offer benefits and perks that may appeal to property owners including:

  • Extra policy options, including coverage for guest units and appliances with unknown pre-existing conditions.
  • Lengthy workmanship guarantees that, in some cases, can run the entire life of the policy.
  • Discounted rates on multiyear policies as well as free coverage periods for new customers.

FAQs

When buying a home warranty for a rental property, it’s important for rental property owners to be as informed as possible so they can find the right fit for their needs. Before vetting potential providers, rental property owners may need to establish a basic understanding of this type of warranty and what it can offer them. Below are answers to some of the most frequently asked questions regarding home warranties, which can help clear up any confusion and allow property owners to find the best home warranty for their rental property.

Q. Can you get a home warranty on a rental property?

Many home warranty companies do offer policies for rental properties. That won’t always be the case, though, so rental property owners may want to reach out to a representative before buying a policy.

Q. Who should pay for a home warranty on a rental property?

Property owners are responsible for paying any home warranties covering their rental property. Tenants are generally not able to—and likely would not want to—purchase a rental property warranty. For instance, tenants would not be able to buy a policy from American Home Shield for renters.

Q. What are the different types of home warranties?

Home warranties often provide general coverage for many different types of properties and ownership situations. For instance, companies may offer the same policy terms for single-family houses, condos, and rental properties. That is why it can be very important to look over plans to check that the coverage terms make sense for the property type in question.

Q. How will a home warranty benefit you as a landlord?

Home warranties for landlords can help cover the costs to fix or replace appliances that are either malfunctioning or have reached the end of their lifespan. As such, landlords may be able to lower their maintenance expenses in the long run, which can make a home warranty worth the initial up-front cost.

Q. Can I transfer my policy to a new property owner?

In some cases, companies do allow policyholders to transfer their home warranty to a new property owner.

Q. I have homeowners and landlord insurance; why do I need a home warranty?

Those types of insurance generally do not cover wear and tear or appliances that stop working due to age. Home warranties may cover the cost to repair or replace appliances and systems in those situations, however. As such, landlords and property owners may need a home warranty if they want more expanded coverage that includes aging equipment.

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

Homeowners insurance protects the structure of the home and the owner’s possessions if they are damaged by certain covered events such as fire, theft, lightning, and some forms of water damage. A home warranty covers appliances and home systems—assuming they are properly maintained—if they break down for virtually any other reason. When comparing a home warranty vs. home insurance, property owners may decide that they want both types of coverage to fully protect their rental property.

Q. What coverage should a landlord look for in a home warranty plan?

Landlords and property owners may find themselves scheduling repair work more frequently than a homeowner, which could make workmanship guarantees and service fees more pressing concerns. In addition, they may want to look for coverage terms that suit their rental properties—guest-unit coverage, for instance.