The Best Home Warranty Companies in Illinois

From low rates to low service fees and extended workmanship guarantees, the best home warranty company in Illinois for each homeowner offers some valuable benefits to homeowners.

Best Overall

AFC Home Club

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Runner-Up

The Best Home Warranty Companies in Illinois Option Liberty Home Guard

Liberty Home Guard

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Best Claims Process

The Best Home Warranty Companies in Illinois Option Cinch Home Services

Cinch Home Services

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From insurance to warranties, there are several tools homeowners can leverage to protect their house and the systems that keep it running, but understanding these tools is sometimes easier said than done. Homeowners may be confused when comparing home insurance vs. a home warranty, but the difference is quite simple. While homeowners insurance protects the home in the event of covered losses such as fires, property crimes, and damage caused by hail, snow, and sometimes wind, a warranty for houses helps offset repair and replacement costs for the major systems within the home, such as the HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems. Some companies even offer appliance home warranties, which cover repairs on such things as large kitchen appliances, so having a warranty in place can mean valuable peace of mind for first-time home buyers and experienced homeowners alike.

With several companies and types of coverage to consider, homeowners can use this guide to determine what to look for in a home warranty and how to choose the best home warranty company in Illinois.

  1. BEST OVERALL: AFC Home Club
  2. RUNNER-UP: Liberty Home Guard
  3. BEST CLAIMS PROCESS: Cinch Home Services
  4. BEST COVERAGE LIMITS: American Home Shield
  5. ALSO CONSIDER: Select Home Warranty
The Best Home Warranty Companies in Illinois Options
Photo: istockphoto.com

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

There are a number of factors homeowners will need to consider in order to determine whether they need a home warranty, and if so, which home warranty best meets their needs. The homeowner’s budget, property, and location will all play a role in selecting the right home warranty coverage options, so before committing to a policy, homeowners will want to be sure to weigh the following factors.

Policies and Plans

Every home warranty provider is different, and even if homeowners have a good idea which provider they want to use, that provider likely has several plans that come with their own unique terms and offerings—all of which will impact what is or is not covered within the home. This means that taking the time to understand the plans and policies offered by each company, as well as the limits and exclusions associated with them, is key to selecting a plan that fits the individual homeowner’s needs.

When reviewing their policy options, homeowners will want to pay particular attention to which systems and appliances are covered and make note of any coverage caps that may apply. For example, homeowners who have expensive, high-end systems or appliances will want to look for an appliance warranty company that also offers home systems coverage. A homeowner with an inground swimming pool in their home will likely want to consider the best home warranties for pool coverage to avoid expensive out-of-pocket repairs.

Average Monthly Rate

Cost considerations are important to take into account when selecting a home warranty policy. The average monthly rate on the policy will depend on a number of factors, but these rates also vary widely among home warranty companies. To select the best provider and plan for their needs, homeowners will need to understand their monthly budget and how much they can afford to spend on top of other monthly bills like mortgage payments and homeowners insurance costs.

When looking at monthly rates, it’s important for homeowners to remember that some companies may offer lower-priced plans with higher service fees. Therefore, homeowners looking to pay less up front may need to be prepared to pay more out of pocket when repairs are needed. In addition, a home warranty company may require a homeowner to pay in full for their policy when they first take it out rather than paying monthly. If monthly payments are important to a homeowner, they’ll want to make sure their chosen company offers this option.

Discounts

Many home warranty companies offer discounts, some of which can mean substantial savings for Illinois residents, so homeowners will want to consider these discount offerings alongside each company’s average rates to get a more accurate understanding of the cost of coverage. For instance, some companies may offer discounted coverage to customers who pay for a full- year policy up front as opposed to making monthly payments. Others may offer a discount to entice a homeowner with a warranty from a competing company to make the switch. Homeowners are encouraged to ask about any available discounts as part of their home warranty vetting process.

Service Fee

While the monthly rate is the price policyholders can expect to pay for their home warranty coverage, the service fee is the price they can expect to pay when they actually need to use that coverage for repairs. This means that alongside the average monthly or annual rate for coverage, the average service fee will need to be a consideration for a homeowner when choosing a provider.

To weigh the service fee against the monthly rate, homeowners will need to consider their aversion to risk. While they may be able to find a home warranty company with relatively low rates, these rates typically come with more expensive fees at the time of service. So especially for homeowners with smaller emergency funds, paying more up front may be worth it to avoid having to pay an arm and a leg when they need a covered system or appliance fixed quickly.

Waiting Period

The waiting period on a home warranty is the length of time the homeowner must wait to submit a claim after opening the policy. In general, home warranty companies have waiting periods around 30 days, though some may offer coverage that starts sooner and others may require homeowners to wait as long as 60 days after opening a policy before they can schedule a service call. When choosing a home warranty provider, prospective policyholders will want to consider how the waiting period aligns with any work they expect to need in the near future.

Claims Process

When homeowners experience issues with crucial home systems like their heating, plumbing, or electrical, they are understandably eager to have the problems resolved. This is where the claims process comes into play. Each home warranty company will have its own process for submitting and reviewing claims, and this can lead to drastic differences in the amount of time between when a claim is received and when the repairs can be scheduled and completed.

To choose a provider with a claims process that aligns with their needs, homeowners will want to consider the process for submitting a claim, the average length of time it takes to process a claim, and the ease with which they will be able to find a contractor or technician to schedule the necessary repairs.

Workmanship Guarantee

A workmanship guarantee is provided by home warranty companies to protect the homeowner in the event that scheduled repairs do not resolve the initial claim. If a homeowner continues having issues with a system or appliance within the workmanship guarantee time frame, further repairs can be scheduled without the homeowner having to pay an additional service fee.

The length of the workmanship guarantee can vary widely among companies, with some offering only a 30-day guarantee and others offering guarantees up to several years. Therefore, this is another important factor to consider, especially because choosing a company with a longer workmanship guarantee may mean paying less for repairs in the long run.

Our Top Picks

To identify the best home warranty companies in Illinois, we looked for those that offer affordable rates and service fees, extra add-ons for increased coverage, and a smooth claims process with a workmanship guarantee that further protects the homeowner.

Best Overall

AFC Home Club

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

Pros

  • Relatively low $50 average monthly rate
  • Customer-selected technician option
  • Long 1- or 3-year workmanship guarantee
  • 5-year guarantee on monthly rate

Cons

  • Annual HVAC maintenance required

Why It Made the Cut: AFC Home Club offers relatively low monthly rates that can be locked in for 5 years, giving prospective policyholders a break on costs in both the short and long term. With an average monthly rate of $50 for Illinois properties, AFC Home Club offers coverage at a fairly low cost to residents of the Prairie State. To make the most of this, the company locks in customers’ rates for their first 5 years of coverage, meaning that if prices rise, customers will continue paying their original rate rather than an increased rate. When it comes to repairs, AFC offers flexible, customer-selected technician options, so homeowners who have a trusted contractor or technician in mind can choose to select that vendor for their repairs instead of being limited by the company’s technician network. And regardless of the vendor they choose, homeowners can rest easy knowing if covered repairs need follow-up work, they can get it done with no extra cost due to AFC’s workmanship guarantee, which runs the entire length of the customer’s policy. Prospective customers will want to note that AFC will require them to schedule an HVAC tune-up at least once per year. Although this is an added cost to continuing coverage, the company’s reasonable rates make up some of the difference—and, as a benefit, routine maintenance on HVAC systems can prevent major issues down the road.

Runner-Up

Liberty Home Guard

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  • 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 variety of service add-ons
  • Low $60 service fee option
  • 2 months of free coverage with annual payment
  • Flexible payment options

Cons

  • Relatively low $2,000 coverage limit

Why It Made the Cut: With affordable rates, low service fees, discount offerings, and flexible payment options, Liberty Home Guard can be an inexpensive and convenient home warranty option. Liberty Home Guard offers myriad add-on options for customers to expand their home warranty as desired, making it easy for homeowners to customize their coverage to fit their needs. Some of these add-on services include stand-alone freezer, second refrigerator, limited roof leak, sump pump, and septic system pumping coverage. Liberty’s home warranties cover up to $2,000 in repairs, which may be lower than what customers can find with other companies. However, while this may mean some homeowners will need to pay the difference out of pocket, other homeowners may find that the $2,000 limit is more than enough to cover their needs. The company’s service fees can run as low as $60—a relatively low cost in Illinois—allowing customers who choose this option to save on their-out-of-pocket expenses when the time comes to submit a repair request. Discounts provide another way for customers to save. Liberty offers several payment options to choose from, with longer plans coming with larger discounts. For example, customers who choose to pay for a 1-year plan in full can expect to receive a discount that is equivalent to getting 2 months of free coverage, which substantially lowers the overall cost of the policy. But customers who prefer to pay on a monthly basis have that option as well, making it easy for customers to select the payment schedule that best fits their budget.

Best Claims Process

Cinch Home Services

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  • Average monthly rate: $50
  • Service fee: $100 to $150
  • Waiting period: 30 days
  • Claims process: Online
  • Workmanship guarantee: 180 days

Pros

  • Relatively low $50 average monthly rate
  • Quick response within 2 hours of service request possible
  • Free HVAC tune-up offered

Cons

  • Relatively high $100 to $150 service fee

Why It Made the Cut: Cinch understands the sense of urgency behind home service repairs, offering a claims process that may allow customers to connect with a technician in as little as 2 hours. Cinch’s home warranty rates may vary depending on the property and the coverage terms selected, but overall, the company offers relatively affordable monthly rates. With Cinch, customers who do not file a claim within the first 9 months of their 1-year plan are rewarded with a free HVAC tune-up, which can help homeowners keep their central systems running properly and prevent more costly issues from developing. And for those customers who do need to submit a claim, Cinch’s user contract notes that the company will make reasonable efforts to connect the customer with a technician or contractor in as little as 2 hours after the claim is received, allowing customers to schedule covered repairs on their home systems without delay. This expedited process may be partially responsible for Cinch’s service fees, which range from $100 to $150—relatively high for this type of fee. However, some homeowners may be willing to pay more at the time of service if it means having the necessary repairs completed without delay.

Best Coverage Limits

American Home Shield

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Why It Made the Cut:

Unlike many home warranty companies, American Home Shield offers coverage on home systems with no hard cap on repair work so homeowners can rest easy.

For Illinois homeowners who feel they may need expensive home system repairs in the future, American Home Shield (AHS) could be a great option, as the company does not set a hard limit on repair work for covered home systems. This is an uncommon offering for home warranty companies and means that homeowners won’t need to worry about their claims being rejected due to cost considerations alone. The company also offers free or discounted tune-ups on HVAC systems depending on the plan selected, making it easier for customers to pay for routine maintenance jobs.

However, this uncapped coverage comes at a cost, with American Home Shield generally setting high rates for Illinois properties—although this won’t always be the case as the specific cost of the policy will depend on the individual coverage options selected. Still, some homeowners may be willing to pay these higher rates if it means increased access to the home services they need.

It’s important to note that AHS offers a relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee, so customers could find themselves paying more than one service fee if their home systems require follow-up work more than 30 days after the initial repairs. However, with AHS’s service platform, ProConnect, customers can easily schedule home services that wouldn’t normally be covered by home warranty plans, such as carpet cleaning, power washing, and dryer vent cleaning, with service providers potentially arriving in 60 minutes.

Specs

  • Average monthly rate: $83
  • 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

Cons

  • High $83 average monthly rate
  • Relatively short 30-day workmanship guarantee

Also Consider

Select Home Warranty

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  • 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

Cons

  • Relatively slow claim response of up to 96 hours after receiving service request
  • Somewhat high $75 plan cancellation fee

Why It Made the Cut: From offering discounted coverage to customers who pay for a 12-month plan up front to providing free limited roof coverage with every policy, Select Home Warranty has its policyholders’ best interests in mind. With Select Home Warranty, every home warranty policy comes with free limited roof-leak coverage as a part of the standard coverage terms. This type of coverage would typically be offered as an extra add-on at an additional cost, so having it included with the policy adds value for Illinois customers. If a customer wants to cancel their home warranty plan, they may be required to pay a $75 cancellation fee (if cancelling after the first 30 days of coverage), which is a relatively high amount. However, renewing the policy means a homeowner can avoid paying this fee and continue coverage on their home. The company’s user agreement notes that repair requests submitted over the weekend or on a holiday may not receive a response for up to 4 days, so homeowners considering Select Home Warranty will want to be prepared for potential delays slowing the claims process. However, customers who choose to pay for a 12-month plan in full will also receive 2 months of free coverage in return. This can greatly reduce the total cost of service, making Select Home Warranty a good option for homeowners seeking an affordable plan.

Our Verdict

We gave the award for Best Overall to AFC Home Club because of its relatively low monthly rates and reasonable service fees, plus its unique offer for Illinois homeowners to lock in their original rate for 5 years. The Runner-Up award goes to Liberty Home Guard due to its wide variety of service add-ons and flexible payment plan options.

How We Chose the Best Home Warranty Companies in Illinois

To determine the best home warranty companies in Illinois, we examined each company’s coverage options and average monthly rates as well as its service fees, discounts, and other perks to get a clear understanding of the savings potential offered by each provider. Home warranty reviews, company waiting periods, claims processes, and workmanship guarantees were also considered to gain insight into the potential customer experience.

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

Illinois home warranty companies offer coverage at a number of price points, but because the specific coverage options, claims process, and other factors vary so widely among companies, financial considerations alone will not be enough to find the right plan. This means that choosing the right home warranty policy will require homeowners to ask themselves several questions.

First and foremost, homeowners will want to determine if a home warranty is worth it for them. To do this, they will need to take stock of the systems in the home and their overall condition. For instance, newly constructed properties with the most up-to-date systems on the market may not be as likely to need immediate repairs as those in an older house. Homeowners will also want to consider the type and purpose of the property, as the best home warranties for condos may differ from the best home warranties for rental properties or primary residences.

Another question to answer is how easily the homeowner would be able to cover urgent home system repairs using their emergency fund alone. If the homeowner has extensive savings, they may not feel the need to pay for home warranty coverage they may or may not use. On the other hand, homeowners living paycheck to paycheck may seek out the peace of mind that comes with a home warranty, knowing they’ll have to pay less money out of pocket when a home system or appliance needs a repair or replacement.

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

Although the exact cost of opting for a home warranty will depend on the specific company and plan the homeowner chooses, the average annual home warranty cost is $600 nationally. Home warranty companies in Chicago and the rest of the Prairie State tend to charge anywhere between $300 to $600 per year depending on whether the homeowner chooses a basic or comprehensive plan, though factors like the condition of the home will also impact the overall cost of the home warranty.

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

Although home warranties may not be necessary for everyone, having a warranty for the house can provide valuable peace of mind to those who opt for it. Having a home warranty means that if a covered appliance or home system breaks, homeowners can typically expect to get it repaired faster and at a cheaper cost than those without a warranty in place. Other benefits of opting for a plan from one of the best home warranty companies include:

  • Easier financial planning: A home warranty can help homeowners avoid surprise expenses. By understanding the monthly rate and service fees associated with their plan, homeowners can prepare for home system repairs without it breaking their budget.
  • Cheaper home system repairs: The average cost to replace items such as a furnace or central air conditioner without a home warranty can easily reach and surpass $5,000, so by comparison, spending $600 annually on a home warranty is inexpensive.
  • Access to service professionals: Depending on the provider, having a home warranty may make it easier for homeowners to find trusted, qualified professionals to work on their home systems and appliances.

FAQs

Home warranty policies in Illinois come with varying levels of coverage that can make it tricky for homeowners to understand exactly what is covered, how to use the coverage, and how much the coverage will cost. To successfully navigate this process, prospective policyholders will want to take the time to explore the answers to the commonly asked questions listed below.

Q. What is the most important thing to consider when looking for a home warranty company in Illinois?

The most important factors to consider when choosing an Illinois home warranty company are the types of coverage offered and the costs associated with coverage. Reading a review of home warranty companies can help give potential policyholders an idea of the customer experience, but they’ll want to take these reviews with a grain of salt since many customers only review companies after a bad experience rather than after a good one.

Q. Do home warranty companies in Illinois cover existing issues?

Much like home insurance companies in Illinois, home warranty companies will generally not cover pre-existing issues with home systems and appliances—though some companies may, so it’s worth asking if this is a concern.

Q. Do home warranty companies in Illinois cover labor?

Unlike warranties provided by the manufacturer, home warranties typically cover the cost of both the parts and labor needed for repairs.

Q. What do home warranties in Illinois cover?

What is a home warranty? Home warranties in Illinois are a kind of home repair insurance designed to help cover the cost of repairs or replacement of major systems like the heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical as well as major appliances.

Q. Is a home warranty in Illinois required by law?

Home warranties are not required by law in Illinois, but many homeowners choose to opt into a warranty to extend their home protection plan beyond their homeowners insurance policy. Often, a seller will pay for a home warranty to entice a buyer to make an offer, but buyers and homeowners can purchase home warranty coverage on their own at any time they like.

Q. Do home warranty companies in Illinois offer monthly or annual contracts?

Home warranties are available in Illinois with several payment options, and many companies offer homeowners the flexibility to make payments on either a monthly or annual basis.

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Katie Ziraldo

Contributing Writer

Katie Ziraldo is a freelance writer and data journalist with a background in personal finance and real estate. With more than a decade of professional experience, Katie specializes in simplifying complex topics to create equitable, educational content. Her portfolio of work also includes The Detroit Free Press and Huffington Post. In her free time, you can find Katie hunting for home decor or cuddled up on the couch with her furry, four-legged friends.

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