The Best Home Warranty Companies in California of 2022

California homeowners may want to protect their appliances and home systems with a home warranty. The best home warranty companies in California could help pay for various necessary and costly repairs.

By Jeff Keleher | Published Oct 3, 2022 12:56 PM

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The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

A home warranty can be a good investment for homeowners who want some financial protection in case their appliances or home systems unexpectedly break down and require an expensive repair—or even need to be replaced entirely. In the right circumstances, this type of policy can perfectly complement homeowners insurance to give policyholders broad protection against damages, breakdowns, and malfunctions.

Home warranties are rarely one-size-fits-all solutions, though. Every homeowner will have their own priorities that need to be covered when purchasing a policy. Home warranty companies often offer a variety of plans and add-ons to consider, which can help customers tailor their policy to best suit their situation. When it comes to California residents, it’s important to consider specific coverage requirements that may be unique to the state. California has a very diverse climate, with coastal areas, forests, mountains, and deserts dotting the landscape. As such, homeowners may be concerned about rust, roof leaks, overworked air conditioners, or swimming pool maintenance. Seismic activity is another potential issue to account for, as even minor earthquakes could cause imperceptible damage to home systems that may accelerate and exacerbate normal wear and tear.

With all that in mind, finding the best home warranty companies under these conditions can seem daunting, but focusing on a customer’s specific needs can help to quickly narrow down the available options. Homeowners will want to consider the full scope of coverage, costs, and services when searching for the best home warranty California has to offer.

  1. BEST OVERALL: American Home Shield
  2. RUNNER-UP: Liberty Home Guard
  3. BEST REPAIR GUARANTEE: AFC Home Club
  4. BEST FOR LOW RATES: Cinch Home Warranty
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: First American Home Warranty
The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

What to Consider When Choosing One of the Best Home Warranty Companies in California

There are a lot of factors to weigh when determining the best home warranties in California, and deciding which considerations to prioritize may come down to personal preference. In general, though, homeowners will want to vet home warranty companies based on the type and scope of coverage they can offer, the total cost of their services, the speed and ease with which policyholders can schedule repairs, and any additional perks or benefits that may make a provider stand out from the competition.

Policies and Plans

The value of a home warranty can often be determined by the type of coverage it offers. Major gaps in coverage could wind up costing homeowners more money if they purchase a policy that doesn’t protect the right appliances and home systems or pay for specific kinds of repair work. Home warranty companies often offer more than one policy to choose from, so customers will want to review their options carefully to confirm that the plan they want checks all the right boxes.

California residents may find that the more specialized coverage they need—protection for swimming pools, for instance—is only available as a separate add-on. The availability of extra coverage can vary significantly across different home warranty plans in California, so it’s important to account for any extra add-ons that a homeowner may want when weighing their warranty options.

Average Monthly Rate

Because each home warranty company in California will often offer more than one policy option—not to mention the extra add-ons that can be purchased separately—comparing rates across different providers can get tricky. To simplify rate comparisons, it may be easier to look at the average monthly rate for each provider. Doing so can give homeowners a good sense of the overall affordability of each company’s plans and decide if it’s worth exploring the exact details of the coverage more closely. If cost is a homeowner’s primary concern when they select a home warranty in California, then they may want to consider those providers that can deliver low rates without sacrificing the quality of coverage.

Discounts

Discounts are fairly common among home warranty providers, but not all companies will offer such opportunities. In some cases, warranty savings and discounts may not be significant enough to have a big impact on the total cost of coverage. That being said, homeowners may find that they can greatly reduce the price of their home warranty by taking advantage of certain discounts. For instance, they may be able to get a lower rate if they sign up for a multiyear policy rather than a plan that only runs for 12 months. It’s also not unusual for companies to tack on an extra month or two of free coverage to entice homeowners to buy a new home warranty in California. Homeowners may want to consider all the different ways they can potentially lower their average monthly rate when picking a home warranty provider.

Service Fee

No matter what company or policy homeowners choose, they will need to pay a service fee when the time comes to submit a claim and schedule a repair. Technician fees can vary somewhat from company to company—in some cases, a provider may have one set fee, while others may offer a range of technician fees for customers to choose from. When there are multiple service-fee options available, homeowners should know that their selection will almost certainly influence the price of their home warranty. A lower service fee will lead to a higher monthly rate, while a higher service fee will reduce the monthly rate. Factoring in the expense of a technician fee can be just as important as weighing the up-front cost of purchasing a new policy.

Waiting Period

Most home warranty companies have a set waiting period before a new policy can take effect. The purpose of these delays in coverage is to protect providers from unscrupulous new customers who would wait until they experience an issue with an appliance or home system before purchasing a policy and then file a claim. Waiting periods can often run for about a month, but in some cases, new customers may need to wait even longer before their coverage begins. Companies may also offer to waive the waiting period for homeowners who can show that they already have a policy in place and are simply switching providers. Accounting for each company’s waiting period may be important for homeowners who want their policy to begin as soon as possible and are concerned about any gaps in coverage.

Claims Process

Filing a claim on a home warranty should be a seamless process for the policyholder, but that may not always be the case. Homeowners may want to view the claims process from different angles to get a better understanding of what to expect when the time comes for them to submit a request for repair. For instance, some companies may give policyholders the option to either file a claim online or over the phone, and customers may find one approach to be more convenient than the other. In addition, it may be a good idea to look at expected response times when submitting claims, as homeowners will likely want repair work to be scheduled as soon as possible, and some companies may be quicker than others to set up an appointment.

Choice of Technician

In most cases, home warranty providers will choose a technician near the customer’s home when scheduling repairs. Often, this is the most efficient way to assign contractors to each job, and for homeowners who simply want the repairs completed, they may not care too much about who does the work as long as it gets done. Other people may have very strong feelings about which technicians are assigned to handle their repair requests, and some customers may even want to choose a contractor of their own who is not part of the home warranty company’s service network. In those situations, homeowners may want to seek out a home warranty provider that allows them to select their own technician. This option can be harder to find, but some homeowners may find that it’s worth seeking out a company that offers that kind of flexibility.

Workmanship Guarantee

Home warranty companies will almost certainly offer a workmanship guarantee on any repairs that are completed by outsourced technicians. These guarantees can run for as little as a month or as long as the entire duration of the warranty policy. If the issue re-emerges during that stated period of time, the customer can schedule another technician appointment without needing to pay an additional service fee. A long workmanship guarantee could help save customers money in the long run as well as provide more peace of mind regarding the quality of work provided. Becuase there’s so much variance from company to company, workmanship guarantees can be an important consideration when comparing the best home warranties in California.

Our Top Picks

When determining the best home warranty California residents can purchase, it’s important to consider the full scope of services provided, as well as the cost of coverage after factoring in rates, discounts, and technician fees.

Best Overall

The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Option American Home Shield
Photo: ahs.com

Why It Made the Cut: American Home Shield offers extensive standard coverage across its different plans, unlimited coverage on home system repairs, a 30-day money-back guarantee, and a generous appliance discount program.

American Home Shield includes a great deal of standard coverage for homeowners to protect their home systems and appliances, especially if they opt for the highest-tier plan. Through the company’s basic plans and extra add-ons, customers can get coverage for guest units and improperly installed appliances, as well as pay to bring older home systems up to code. Customers who opt for the company’s ShieldPlatinum policy will also receive roof-leak protection as part of their coverage, while other policyholders can add this option as an add-on.

Although American Home Shield only offers a 30-day workmanship guarantee, homeowners may feel more at ease knowing that the company provides unlimited coverage for home system repairs. As such, any work requests for home systems will not be denied simply due to the total cost of the repairs. If customers need to replace an aging appliance, they can also take advantage of American Home Shield’s appliance discount program to purchase brand-name units at a lower price.

American Home Shield customers can also get free or discounted HVAC tune-ups, depending on the policy tier they choose, which can help keep these important home systems running without any major issues. Homeowners considering a policy may also want to know that they have the option to cancel and get a full refund within the first 30 days of coverage thanks to American Home Shield’s money-back guarantee.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $59.99
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days

Pros

  • Extensive warranty coverage
  • Standard roof-leak coverage with ShieldPlatinum plan
  • No service cost limit on home system repairs
  • Free or discounted HVAC tune-ups
  • Exclusive appliance discount program
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Runner-Up

The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Option Liberty Home Guard
Photo: libertyhomeguard.com

Why It Made the Cut: California homeowners looking for flexible home warranty options may find a lot to like with Liberty Home Guard’s extensive add-on options, including coverage for saltwater pools.

Liberty Home Guard stands out as a top home warranty company with the sheer variety of extra add-ons that customers can purchase. Many add-on options include home services that would not normally be covered by a home warranty, including pest control, power washing, and carpet cleaning, which may provide policyholders more value with their plan. California homeowners may find Liberty’s optional saltwater pool coverage option especially appealing, as such specialized coverage is often difficult to come by, and any repair work may require specific expertise and experience fixing these types of pools.

Liberty Home Guard also offers extra protection for professional-grade appliances such as high-end ovens, stove ranges, and refrigerators from luxury brands. Because such appliances tend to have expensive components, a standard home warranty may not pay for the full cost to repair or replace them. Homeowners may want to take note of Liberty’s waiting period, which could run as long as 60 days, but that won’t always be the case for every new customer.

Getting an accurate quote with Liberty Home Guard is easy due to the company’s highly customizable online tool. Customers can add numerous extra coverage options to their standard policy and see exactly how much each of those add-ons will cost. New customers are less likely to experience sticker shock when they go to complete their purchase because any extra expenses are clearly laid out up front. One option policyholders may want to keep an eye out for is the ability to select from a few different technician fees, including a low $60 service-fee option that could help them save money when the time comes to schedule a repair.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $60
  • Service fee: $60 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 to 60 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 60 days

Pros

  • Wide variety of service add-ons
  • Saltwater pool coverage option
  • Special coverage available for professional-grade appliances
  • Low $60 minimum service fee
  • Specifics-driven and transparent quote process

Cons

  • Potentially long 60-day waiting period

Best Repair Guarantee

The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Option AFC Home Club
Photo: afchomeclub.com

Why It Made the Cut: AFC Home Club may be a great option for homeowners who want to feel more confident in any repair work they schedule, as the company offers long workmanship guarantees on all policies.

AFC Home Club has made a name for itself among the top-rated home warranty companies in California, thanks in part to its extremely generous workmanship guarantee. The company will guarantee any repair work for the entire length of the policy, which can run for either 1 year or 3 years. If customers need to schedule additional technician visits to follow up on repairs, then they won’t be required to pay another service fee.

Customers may be able to save money on their home warranty in other ways too. In particular, AFC Home Club offers a $100 discount on 3-year coverage plans. The home warranty company also guarantees rates for up to 5 years, so customers may be able to lock in their original rate when renewing their policy even if AFC’s rates have gone up in the interim. It may be a good idea to anticipate coverage needs before purchasing a policy, as any add-on options purchased 30 days after coverage starts will require an on-site inspection, which customers will need to pay for themselves. Another perk to consider is that AFC Home Club allows policyholders to select their own service technician rather than use one of the company’s preferred contractors. This is a pretty rare feature, and it may appeal to homeowners who already have a technician or repairman they trust.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $50
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 1 to 3 years

Pros

  • 5-year guarantee on monthly rate
  • Generous multiyear policy discount
  • Customer-selected technician option
  • Extremely long 1- or 3-year workmanship guarantee

Cons

  • Add-on coverage deferred for 30 days or more approved with professional inspection

Best for Low Rates

The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Option Cinch Home Warranty
Photo: cinchhomeservices.com

Why It Made the Cut: Homeowners who get a policy from Cinch Home Warranty may receive low monthly rates on their home warranty in addition to protection against rust and corrosion damage.

Cinch Home Warranty may be able to provide all the coverage a California homeowner needs at a very reasonable rate. The company’s $32.99 average monthly rate is fairly low for a home warranty, and it could help customers save money on their coverage in some cases. On the other hand, Cinch also charges a somewhat high service fee that can range from $100 to $150, so homeowners may want to consider the total cost of coverage when comparing rates.

Cinch customers could save more money if they wind up needing to file a homeowners insurance claim during the course of their policy. The company will give policyholders up to $500 to reimburse them for any deductible they pay on a homeowners insurance claim. It’s not entirely clear when coverage begins after a customer purchases a policy, but new policyholders may feel better knowing their home warranty will help pay to fix damage caused by rust or corrosion—especially if they live near the coast with its salty sea air.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $32.99
  • Service fee: $100 to $150
  • Waiting period: Varies
  • Claims process: Online
  • Workmanship guarantee: 180 days

Pros

  • Low $32.99 average monthly rate
  • Homeowners insurance deductible reimbursement
  • Standard rust and corrosion coverage

Cons

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

Also Consider

The Best Home Warranty Companies in California Option First American Home Warranty
Photo: homewarranty.firstam.com

Why It Made the Cut: Customers who have a First American Home Warranty can get a quick response to repair requests, and the company offers a money-back guarantee on new policies and coverage for building code violations and improper installations.

California homeowners who don’t want to be left waiting for their home warranty company to set up a technician visit may find First American Home Warranty’s speedy response window very appealing. The company will reach out to a local technician within 4 hours of receiving a repair request, which can help policyholders schedule repairs and address any issues as quickly as possible.

It’s worth noting that any repair work will only be covered for 30 days with First American’s workmanship guarantee. Also, policyholders will pay an $85 service fee no matter which plan they choose. That being said, new customers have the option to cancel their policy and get a full refund with the company’s 30-day money-back guarantee. In addition, policyholders can purchase add-on coverage to pay the cost to bring outdated equipment up to code or to fix improperly installed appliances and home systems.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $42
  • Service fee: $85
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days

Pros

  • Improper installation and code violation coverage available
  • Quick response within 4 hours of service request
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee
  • No service-fee flexibility

Our Verdict

Best Overall goes to American Home Shield because of its vast warranty coverage, exclusive appliance discount program, and uncapped cost limits on home system repairs. Liberty Home Guard gets the nod for Runner-Up due to the many add-on options available, along with the special coverage to protect saltwater pools and high-end kitchen appliances.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Companies in California

When vetting the best home warranty companies in California, we tried to account for factors that might specifically appeal to residents of the Golden State. For instance, additional coverage options to protect against rust from the sea air, pay for repairs on swimming pools, or address water damage from roof leaks were all considered. We also weighed the total cost of coverage for each company, including rates, service fees, and discounts.

Workmanship guarantees are an important consideration for any home warranty, too, as homeowners will want to know that they can schedule follow-up work without incurring additional charges if an issue persists after being repaired. Other guarantees, such as full refund policies or guarantees on coverage rates, also factored into our decision on the best home warranties in California.

Before You Choose One of the Best Home Warranty Companies in California

Buying one of the best home warranties in California can provide a bit of a financial safety net if homeowners need to pay for costly repairs to their appliances or home systems. That being said, it’s important that homeowners understand exactly what home warranties cover so they don’t overestimate what’s included in a policy. For instance, some warranties may limit coverage on older appliances or home systems, which could be a concern for people who own very old houses or are unsure when exactly their central air, heat, ductwork, and other home systems were originally installed.

Prospective customers will want to be mindful about the difference between home warranties and homeowners insurance, as a home warranty is often meant to supplement and complement insurance rather than replace it. In a similar vein, homeowners who have just bought a newly built house may want to compare their California builder vs. home warranty coverage, as the two may overlap.

Cost of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranty Companies in California

Homeowners may focus on the monthly or annual rate of a policy, but there are other home warranty costs they may want to consider as well. It’s often important to account for add-ons when weighing home warranty costs in California, as coverage for swimming pools, roof leaks, and other issues residents may experience could increase the price of a policy. In addition, every home warranty assesses a service fee when policyholders submit a claim and request a repair. In some cases, companies set a flat technician fee no matter what, but other providers may give customers the option to choose from a few service fees. Customers should note the effect that the technician fee will have on their policy’s rate—selecting a lower fee will often increase the plan’s price, for instance.

When discussing technician fees, policyholders may also want to consider the length of the workmanship guarantee, as a shorter guarantee period could result in the customer paying more than one service fee to repair the same appliance. Policyholders may be able to lower the cost of coverage by taking advantage of available discounts—some companies offer discounted rates on multiyear contracts, for example.

The Advantages of Opting for One of the Best Home Warranty Companies in California

A home warranty can help homeowners afford to make repairs to broken appliances and faulty home systems that might otherwise be extremely expensive to pay entirely out of pocket. Policyholders may also enjoy the peace of mind that comes with knowing that their home warranty company will help them find a local technician and set up an appointment as quickly as possible. With that assistance, homeowners won’t have to worry about scrambling to find a repairman on their own—and potentially on very short notice, too. The best home warranty companies in California can benefit homeowners in several other ways as well:

  • Unlimited coverage on home system repair costs
  • Protection for saltwater pools and high-end appliances
  • Lengthy workmanship guarantees to validate the quality of repairs

FAQs

Determining which companies are the best home warranty providers in California can seem daunting to homeowners who are either unfamiliar with this type of service or aren’t sure what to look for in a policy. Answering some of the most common questions homeowners have about home warranty coverage—“Is a home warranty required in California?” for instance—can provide more insight into the merits of home warranty policies geared toward California homes and properties.

Q. Who has the best home warranty for California residents?

Each of the five companies selected as the best home warranty companies in California have a lot to offer homeowners. Deciding which one is right for a particular household depends on the type of coverage that’s needed and how much money a person is willing to spend on their policy, among other considerations.

Q. Does the state of California require a home warranty?

There is no California home warranty law requiring residents to purchase a home warranty. If a home buyer is financing a purchase, though, their lender will likely require them to get a homeowners insurance policy before their loan can be finalized.

Q. What are the five best home warranty companies?

Based on our research, American Home Shield, Liberty Home Guard, AFC Home Club, Cinch Home Warranty, and First American Home Warranty are among the best home warranty companies in California. That being said, other companies may be a better fit for some homeowners, so it may be worth expanding their search and looking at additional home warranty reviews for California properties.

Q. Are home warranties worth it?

A home warranty is worth it when the policy provides the right kind of coverage to meet a homeowner’s needs. For California residents, they may prioritize coverage to help pay for repairs related to swimming pools, rust, corrosion, roof leaks, and other issues.

Q. How can a California home warranty benefit me?

A home warranty—in California or any other state—can help homeowners cover the cost to make repairs to their appliances and home systems. Such repairs could be quite expensive to pay for out of pocket, especially if there’s little time to budget for them. Home warranties can also foot the bill to replace units that are no longer working and are beyond repair. Homeowners who worry about affording such expensive repairs and replacements may decide that they need a home warranty.

Q. What should be included in your home warranty when living in California?

California residents should take into account how the local climate could affect wear and tear on their appliances and home systems. Homeowners who live by the sea may have to deal with higher salt content in the air, which could increase the risk of rust. Those living more inland may experience significantly hotter temperatures, which may strain air-conditioning systems. Swimming pool coverage is often available as an add-on option as well, so that is another type of coverage California homeowners with a backyard pool may want to consider.

Q. Who pays for a home warranty in California?

Regardless of where a homeowner lives—whether that’s California or another state—they will likely pay for a home warranty themselves. Having said that, someone selling their home may decide to buy a policy to cover appliances and home systems as a way to provide more incentive to potential buyers.