The Best Home Warranty Companies in Maryland of 2023

With a home warranty in place, Maryland residents can protect their home systems and appliances in the event they break down. Closely scrutinizing what each provider has to offer can help homeowners find the best home warranty companies in Maryland.

By Jeff Keleher | Published Jan 13, 2023 10:32 AM

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The Best Home Warranty Companies in Maryland Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

Maryland residents may be interested in the financial protection provided by a home warranty, especially if they’re concerned about how well their appliances and home systems will hold up in the coming years. As air conditioners, heating systems, refrigerators, ovens, plumbing, and electrical systems age, there’s a greater likelihood that they will break down and require repair. In a worst-case scenario, a homeowner may even be on the hook for a full replacement, such as the removal and replacement of the home’s furnace ductwork. A home warranty may be a huge boon in those situations.

A home warranty is a service contract wherein the provider agrees to pay repair or replacement costs when covered items break down due to age and normal wear and tear. This kind of warranty can help fill in the coverage gaps with a homeowners insurance policy, which will not help pay for appliance and home system breakdowns. There are many home warranty companies that offer policies to Maryland residents, and it can be tricky finding one that delivers the right coverage at a reasonable price without doing a little up-front research. The best home warranty companies in Maryland all have meaningful benefits to offer their customers, and after reviewing each one, homeowners will have a better idea of how to find the right plan for their needs.

  1. BEST OVERALL: AFC Home Club
  2. RUNNER-UP: American Home Shield
  3. BEST ADD-ON COVERAGE: Liberty Home Guard
  4. BEST DISCOUNTS: Select Home Warranty
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: First American Home Warranty
The Best Home Warranty Companies in Maryland Options

Photo: istockphoto.com

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

At the start of the selection process, Maryland homeowners may be at a loss as to how to find the best home warranty company in their state. It’s helpful for prospective customers to have some key priorities in mind when selecting a home warranty provider so they have some tangible criteria with which to compare different companies and plans. In general, Maryland residents may want to consider coverage, cost, and the repair process, first and foremost, as these factors can have the most direct impact on a home warranty’s value.

Policies and Plans

Home warranty companies often have different plans or coverage tiers for customers to choose from, ranging from policies that are limited to select home systems to more comprehensive plans that cover a wide variety of appliances and systems around the house. Customers may find some overlap between plans from different companies, but it’s just as likely that policies vary quite a bit in terms of their coverage. As such, it’s important to look closely at the coverage options available and select a plan that best fits a homeowner’s needs.

In addition, home warranty companies will often have extra coverage options that can be added to a standard plan at a higher monthly rate. These add-ons allow customers to tweak their home warranty and expand coverage to include repairs or services that may not otherwise be included in this type of policy.

Coverage Limits

Homeowners may think they have a blank check to pay for any repairs covered by their home warranty, but that’s typically not the case. Like insurance policies, home warranties have coverage limits that can restrict how much money customers have at their disposal to pay for repairs or replacements. Home warranty companies may take different approaches to coverage limits: Some companies set a single limit for all covered repairs within a 12-month period, while others establish distinct coverage amounts for various home systems and appliances. It’s not always clear what coverage limits are in place without digging through a company’s user agreement, but it’s worth the extra effort to know exactly what is covered with a home warranty and what the coverage limits are.

Average Monthly Rate

When shopping around for an affordable home warranty, Maryland residents will likely be presented with a wide array of plans, extra add-ons, service-fee options, and potential discounts that can make it difficult to accurately compare prices. To get a clearer idea of how each company stacks up on price point, it can be helpful to refer to each provider’s average monthly rate. This rate takes the average price of each available plan without factoring in service add-ons, technician fees, or discounts. By removing those variables from the equation, customers can get a sense for how affordable different home warranty companies are as they begin to consider their options. Once they have narrowed down their list of options and have a clear sense of what they need from a home warranty, prospective customers can more closely compare different price points.

Discounts

Maryland residents looking for a cheap home warranty may want to consider companies that offer discounts to new customers. There are home warranty companies in the Maryland market that are willing to give significant discounts just for signing up for a new policy or switching companies. In some cases, these savings could equal a month or more of free coverage. Customers may also be able to receive a lower rate on their home warranty by selecting a multiyear policy or forgoing a monthly payment plan in favor of making a one-time up-front payment for the entire coverage term. It’s also somewhat common for home warranty companies to run promotional offers throughout the year with discount codes that can help customers save money on their home warranty. There may be several opportunities for homeowners to reduce the total cost of their home warranty coverage by taking advantage of available discounts.

Service Fee

Although home warranty companies will foot most of the bill to pay for covered repairs and replacements, customers will owe some out-of-pocket expenses themselves. Service fees are standard costs with even the best home warranties, and these fees are due whenever a customer submits a repair request. In many cases, home warranty companies will not schedule an appointment with a technician until the service fee has been paid.

When signing up for a policy with one of the top home warranty companies, Maryland customers may have the option to choose from a few different service fees, with monthly rates typically going up if they select a lower fee. There’s a balance to be had between the up-front costs of a home warranty and the future expenses presented in the form of a technician fee, and homeowners will need to determine what the right balance looks like for their particular circumstances. That being said, some companies will set one service fee for every plan no matter what, which limits how much flexibility customers have to manage their costs.

Waiting Period

Homeowners purchasing a home warranty for the first time will want to be aware that they will likely need to wait a certain length of time before their coverage will begin. Waiting periods are pretty common with home warranties as a way for companies to protect themselves in the event that a new customer has a pre-existing issue that they want repaired. A 30-day waiting period is typical, but customers may be asked to wait longer in some cases.

Another caveat to keep in mind is that companies may agree to waive the waiting period under certain circumstances, such as if a homeowner already has a home warranty and is looking to switch providers. Waiting periods may also be waived if customers agree to an inspection of their covered home systems and appliances, but not all companies will be willing to do so.

Claims Process

The claims process can make or break the customer experience when it comes to home warranties. A quick and seamless workflow that allows customers to quickly and easily schedule necessary repairs is ideal. Under those circumstances, customers are more likely to feel like their home warranty works exactly as advertised. On the other hand, unresponsive representatives and nonintuitive claims portals can frustrate customers and make them question the value of their home warranty. Response times can vary from one company to another, and some providers may offer more hands-on support from start to finish. Choice of technician impacts the claims process as well. Although most companies will select a local contractor from their network of preferred technicians to handle repairs, some may allow customers to select their own, which may be appealing to some homeowners.

Workmanship Guarantee

Home warranty companies will guarantee any covered repairs for a certain period of time, during which customers can request additional appointments if they are not satisfied with the quality of the technician’s work. After that time, customers may need to pay an additional service fee to have another contractor take a look at the underlying problem. These workmanship guarantees can cover a relatively small length of time—30 days, for instance—or they can run much longer—even the entire length of the policy in some cases. Companies may also set different guarantees for the labor provided and the parts and materials used. A longer workmanship guarantee can help ease any concerns about homeowners having to pay extra service fees if they need technicians to come back to follow up on their repairs.

Our Top Picks

The best home warranty companies in Maryland may be able to offer affordable rates, extensive coverage, extra perks, and a seamless claims process when customers file a request for repairs. After reviewing the top providers in the state, Maryland residents may find that one stands out above all others as the best fit for them.

Best Overall

Photo: afchomeclub.com

Why It Made the Cut: AFC Home Club could be a great choice for Maryland homeowners who want to pick their own technician and are looking for a longer guarantee on any work that’s completed.

Maryland homeowners have plenty of options to choose from when it comes to home warranty companies, but they would be remiss to overlook AFC Home Club. With an average monthly rate of $50 for Maryland properties, AFC Home Club could provide home warranties at a relatively low price in this market. In addition, new customers can lock in their rate for a period of 5 years, so if prices go up when the time comes to renew their warranty, they will be grandfathered in to their original rate. They may also be able to have their waiting period waived if they agree to a home inspection, which can help eliminate any coverage gaps.

Returning customers will want to know that they will need to schedule an annual HVAC tune-up to continue coverage, but such routine maintenance would be recommended regardless since it can help keep home systems running smoothly for a longer period of time. AFC Home Club really shines with its repair process, which gives customers the option to either choose their own technician or let the company pick one for them. Homeowners who already have a local repairman or handyman they trust may appreciate this flexibility. Another benefit is the company’s long workmanship guarantee. Running the entire length of the customer’s home warranty—either 1 year or 3 years—AFC Home Club’s workmanship guarantee can provide peace of mind for homeowners since they don’t need to worry about paying additional service fees if a repair fails or they are dissatisfied with their technician’s work.

Specs

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

Pros

  • Relatively low $50 average monthly rate
  • 5-year guarantee on monthly rate
  • Waiting period waived with home inspection
  • Customer-selected technician option
  • Extremely long 1- or 3-year workmanship guarantee

Cons

  • Annual HVAC maintenance required

Runner-Up

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

Why It Made the Cut: Homeowners looking for high coverage limits may find the right match in American Home Shield. The company doesn’t cap repair costs on covered home systems and also offers customers free or discounted HVAC tune-ups.

Coverage limits are common with home warranties, but American Home Shield stands out by removing any such limits on covered home system repairs. That policy holds true for all three plans the company offers, so customers can rest easy knowing their repair requests on HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems won’t be denied because the necessary work is too expensive. Although the company’s $63 average monthly rate is a bit high for Maryland home warranties, customers may receive savings in other ways. For example, depending on what customers choose, they will be able to schedule annual HVAC maintenance at either no cost or a significantly reduced rate.

Customers may need to be diligent about following up on any repair work that doesn’t meet their expectations, as the company has a 30-day workmanship guarantee. If customers are interested in other home services that wouldn’t typically be covered by a home warranty, such as carpet or drain cleaning, then they could use American Home Shield’s ProConnect platform to quickly schedule those jobs. The company also allows homeowners to cancel their plan within the first 30 days of coverage and receive a full refund, giving new customers a bit of a grace period to decide if American Home Shield is a good fit for them.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $63
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days

Pros

  • Unlimited home system repair work
  • Free or discounted HVAC tune-ups
  • Additional on-demand home services available via AHS ProConnect
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Relatively high $63 average monthly rate
  • Short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Best Add-on Coverage

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

Why It Made the Cut: Liberty Home Guard customers can build out their home warranty with numerous add-on options, including higher coverage limits on premium-quality kitchen appliances, among other possibilities.

The ability to customize home warranties can be a huge benefit for homeowners who want to extend their coverage beyond what’s included in a standard policy. Liberty Home Guard excels in this regard, as it provides 42 extra service options that customers can add to their home warranty. Some of the most popular service add-ons among the company’s Maryland customers include coverage for sump pumps, well pumps, septic system pumping services, stand-alone freezers, and roof leaks. Although the company limits coverage to $2,000 per occurrence, customers with professional-grade appliances can increase coverage for these items at an additional cost. By doing so, they can be sure that Liberty Home Guard will pay for higher-quality parts or the specialized technicians needed to handle any repairs.

Customers can reduce the amount they will owe when submitting repair requests by choosing the $60 service-fee option, which is fairly low for a home warranty in this market. When signing up for a home warranty, new customers may need to wait up to 60 days for coverage to begin, but that won’t always be the case, and some customers may have a much shorter waiting period. They also have a great deal of flexibility in terms of how they schedule their payments, with the option to pay on a monthly or annual basis—or even for multiple years of coverage up front. Customers who choose to prepay for their coverage rather than go month to month could receive a significant discount in the process.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $55
  • Service fee: $60 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 to 60 days
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 60 days

Pros

  • Wide range of service add-ons available
  • Special coverage available for professional-grade appliances
  • Low minimum $60 service-fee option
  • Flexible payment options

Cons

  • Relatively low $2,000 coverage limit
  • Potentially long 60-day waiting period

Best Discounts

The Best Home Warranty Companies in Maryland Option Select Home Warranty
Photo: selecthomewarranty.com

Why It Made the Cut: Select Home Warranty may be able to offer a great deal on coverage thanks to the different discounts available, including a lower price for customers who make annual payments.

Maryland homeowners looking for an affordable home warranty may want to take advantage of available discounts, and Select Home Warranty gives plenty of opportunities for customers to lower their rate. For instance, while customers have the option to pay on a monthly basis, those who opt to pay for a full year’s worth of coverage up front will receive a large discount that is equivalent to 2 free months.

It’s worth noting that claims can only be filed either online or through email, and customers could wait as long as 96 hours to receive a response on any repair request made on a weekend or holiday. Homeowners may be interested in the added value that a Select Home Warranty policy can offer since every plan comes with free roof-leak coverage. In addition, the company runs frequent promotional discounts that can provide additional savings for new customers.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $62
  • Service fee: $75 to $100
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online, email
  • Workmanship guarantee: 60 days

Pros

  • Free limited roof coverage with every policy
  • 2 months of free coverage with annual payment
  • Frequent promotional discounts

Cons

  • No phone option for submitting claims
  • Slow claim response possible up to 96 hours after receiving service request

Also Consider

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

Why It Made the Cut: First American Home Warranty may be a good option for Maryland residents to consider thanks to its quick response time on repair requests and money-back guarantee.

Maryland homeowners looking for responsive support when filing a claim may find the right fit with First American Home Warranty. The company claims that customers should expect to hear back from a claims representative within 4 hours of submitting a request for repairs. With such a quick turnaround time, homeowners could contact a technician the same day they submit a claim and then set up an appointment to repair broken appliances or home systems shortly thereafter.

Prospective customers will want to keep in mind that First American Home Warranty’s workmanship guarantee only runs for 30 days. Also, they might need to pay an extra fee if their home is larger than 4,000 square feet. That being said, if customers have second thoughts about their home warranty for any reason, they can cancel their plan and receive a full refund within the first 30 days of coverage thanks to the company’s money-back guarantee.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $59
  • Service fee: $75 to $125
  • Waiting period: 30 days (customers can choose a date up to 60 days)
  • Claims process: Online, phone
  • Workmanship guarantee: 30 days

Pros

  • Quick response within 4 hours of service request
  • 30-day money-back guarantee

Cons

  • Additional fee for homes over 4,000 square feet
  • Short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Our Verdict

We gave the award for Best Overall to AFC Home Club because of the company’s relatively low rates, long workmanship guarantees, and flexibility when choosing a technician. American Home Shield is our pick for Runner-Up because of the uncapped limits on home system repairs, exclusive home service platform, and money-back guarantee for new customers.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Companies in Maryland

We prioritized a few key factors when determining which providers could be considered the very best home warranty companies in Maryland. Coverage was an important consideration, starting with the basic terms included with each home warranty plan. Additional service add-ons were also weighed, as these options allow customers to expand the scope of their coverage and tailor their home warranty policy to their specific requirements.

Cost will always be a major consideration when choosing a home warranty, and it’s important to take into account every factor that could affect how much customers pay for their coverage. Cost considerations include the rates for standard policies, service add-on expenses, service-fee options, and discounts, and each of these factors were included in our research. Each company’s claims process was weighed as well, from expected response times and the methods used to submit repair requests to technician selection options and workmanship guarantees.

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

Homeowners will always want to read through the terms of agreement before buying a home warranty. In particular, it’s a good idea to check if there are any notable exclusions that might prevent a customer from filing a service request on a covered appliance or home system. For instance, companies may deny claims on older items, and it may not always be clear what the threshold is for that requirement. In other situations, home warranty companies may require customers to keep their appliances and home systems properly maintained—by scheduling annual tune-ups, for example—in order to receive consideration for coverage. These requirements will vary from one company to another, and some providers may not have them at all. For instance, while some companies will not cover issues stemming from rust or corrosion, others will. As such, it’s worth reading the fine print to better understand exactly what coverage is included with a home warranty.

Maryland residents will also want to be aware that there are limitations to home warranty policies, as they will only cover wear and tear rather than physical damage. To protect their home systems and appliances from fire, water leaks, and other perils, homeowners will also want to make sure to carry homeowners insurance. Together with a home warranty, a policy from one of the best homeowners insurance companies will provide the most comprehensive protection.

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

There are a number of factors that will impact home warranty costs, starting with the price of each standard plan. Companies often offer multiple plans at different price points, with cheaper policies offering more-limited coverage. Customers may have the option to pay on a monthly or yearly basis, which can impact how easy it is to budget for a home warranty in the short term. Any additional services customers tack on to their plan can increase the cost of their home warranty as well. When comparing home warranty rates, homeowners will want to keep in mind that some companies may include certain coverage terms as part of a standard plan while others will only offer them as service add-ons that will cost extra.

The service fee paid by customers whenever they submit a repair request is another important cost consideration with home warranties. There may be a few different options available, but customers will want to keep in mind that lowering their service fee will increase their monthly or annual premium. Customers may also be eligible for discounts if, for example, they choose a multiyear policy or pay for their entire coverage term up front. There could also be promo codes and new customer discounts that can help homeowners save money on their home warranty.

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

A home warranty can come in handy if an appliance or home system unexpectedly breaks down and requires repairs that would be expensive to pay for entirely out of pocket. As such, Maryland residents may decide they need a home warranty if they want to avoid covering the cost of repairing or replacing broken appliances and home systems completely on their own.

Home warranty companies can also take on the legwork required to find a qualified local technician and schedule repairs. That’s one less headache for homeowners to deal with when a refrigerator, furnace, air conditioner, or other covered home system or appliance stops working properly. The best home warranty companies in Maryland can offer other benefits that may provide even more value to customers:

  • Lengthy workmanship guarantees in case covered items require additional repairs or maintenance.
  • Generous coverage limits on repairs for many home systems and appliances.
  • Numerous service options to add to home warranties that help expand coverage according to the customer’s needs.

FAQs

A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to finding the right home warranty for a Maryland resident’s household. Understanding what to look for in a home warranty, how these service contracts are typically priced in Maryland, and how a home warranty’s coverage stacks up against homeowners insurance, among other considerations and questions, will put homeowners in a strong position to choose the best home warranty to match their situation.

Q. How do I recognize a reliable home warranty company in Maryland?

Reading home warranty reviews from current or former customers can help provide some insight into a company’s reputation and reliability. It’s also worth looking for user agreements to see exactly how coverage is handled and when a company might deny a claim on an otherwise covered appliance or home system. The best home warranty companies are often transparent about the terms of their coverage, which can provide some peace of mind to new customers.

Q. Are home warranty companies more expensive in Maryland?

The national average cost for a home warranty is $600 a year, or $50 a month. The best home warranty companies in Maryland as listed above offer average monthly rates that range from $50 to $63, so prices do seem to run a bit higher in this state.

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

Some homeowners think of home warranties as home repair insurance policies, but these plans could be more accurately described as service contracts. When comparing a home warranty vs. homeowners insurance, a key distinction to remember is that home warranties cover wear and tear that comes with normal use. Homeowners insurance will instead cover damages caused by certain perils, such as fire, hail, and vandalism. Insurance will also help pay to replace possessions that are stolen from the property. Another important difference is that homeowners insurance includes dwelling coverage that protects the structure of the home, while a home warranty only covers the appliances and home systems that are specifically outlined in the customer’s policy.

Q. How much is a home warranty in Maryland per month?

If homeowners decide to go with one of the home warranty companies listed here, then they can expect to pay, on average, anywhere between $50 and $63 a month. Total costs will depend on the plan and service fee selected, extra service options added to the policy, and any discounts applied to the customer’s rate. As such, costs could be higher or lower than the average monthly rate for the best home warranty companies in Maryland.

Q. Is a home warranty required in Maryland?

No, Maryland residents are not legally required to obtain a home warranty. That being said, this type of coverage can be very beneficial if HVAC systems, refrigerators, or other appliances and home systems were to break down and require expensive repairs. A home warranty may be worth it for homeowners who are concerned about footing the bill for unforeseen repairs down the road.

Q. Do home warranty companies in Maryland have the same regulations as in other states?

Home warranty providers can be held to different regulatory standards in various states. Home warranty companies in Maryland must adhere to the guidelines listed in the Maryland Service Contracts and Consumer Products Guaranty Act. According to the Maryland Department of Labor, home warranty providers are required to clearly outline certain disclosures in the customer’s contract, including the length of the term, any eligibility requirements, and the process to schedule repairs.

Q. Does the home buyer or the seller pay for a home warranty in a property sale?

Although home warranties may be included as part of a property sale, they are not required by any means. That being said, a home warranty could ease concerns for those who are buying an older home with appliances or home systems that could break down at some point. Who pays for the home warranty—the buyer or seller—in that scenario? Either party can choose to purchase a home warranty, and they may use it as a bargaining chip during negotiations. Sellers may even want to buy a policy while their home is on the market in case a major system or appliance were to break down before they found a buyer or conducted a home inspection.