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Choice Home Warranty Review

Sunday, April 14th

2024 Home Warranty Company Reviews

Choice Home Warranty Review 2.5 Star Rating

Choice Home Warranty

2.5 Star Rating
  • In business for about 15 years
  • $85 trade service call fee per claim
  • Has serviced over a million homes

Choice Home Warranty has been around for about 15 years. In that time, they've handled over three million service requests for more than a million home warranty customers.

2 home warranty options

To find out what plans are available in your area, start by entering your zip code. From what we could see, there are just two options offered by Choice:

  • Basic: limited coverage of the heating system (doesn't include AC), electrical, plumbing, water heater, whirlpool bathtub, oven/range/stove, cooktop, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, ductwork, garage door opener, and ceiling/exhaust fans
  • Total: includes all features in Basic plus the air conditioning system, refrigerator, and clothes washer/dryer.

At the bottom of the plan options, you'll see checkboxes to include optional coverage for a pool/spa, limited repair of roof leaks, stand-alone freezers, central vacuums, a second refrigerator, well and sump pumps, septic systems, and septic tank pumping.

Pay annually or monthly

Once you've selected your plan, you'll be taken to the quote page. In our area, for Total home warranty coverage and no add-ons, we were shown a monthly rate of $55 plus a "monthly fee" of $2.50 (which wasn't explained anywhere), minus a mystery promotional discount of $4.17 which brought our final monthly cost to $53.33. If we wanted to make a single annual payment, we could get 13 months of coverage for $610 (averaging $46.92/month). In contrast, the Basic plan was $45/month or $510 for 13 months. You'll pay an $85 trade call service fee on each claim, no matter which plan you choose.

Read the fine print

In very tiny print at the bottom of the site, you'll find a "click here" link to Choice Home Warranty's limits of liability and exclusions. It would be well worth your time to give it a look before you get too far down the track with a warranty plan here. In that same tiny print, it also says that this company reserves the right to offer cash instead of repair or replacement, and that the amount they give you may be less than retail. That's what we saw in some client reviews, especially regarding appliances: when, say, a dishwasher needed to be replaced, the amount offered was for a machine that was similar in features but much lower in retail value.

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Poor showing with the BBB

Choice Home Warranty's reputation doesn't impress us. Their listing with the Better Business Bureau not only shows a lackluster "B-" grade and a disappointing 1-star average over 2600 customer reviews, but there was also an alert of government action. At the time of this evaluation, there was a lawsuit against Choice Home Warranty by the State of Arizona for "allegedly making false promises to consumers" and using "contract exclusions, payment caps, and bad-faith refusals to avoid paying for repairs" . Not a good look, but innocent until proven guilty?

Seems to avoid making good on claims

And yet, looking through those reviews on the BBB site and elsewhere, that's exactly the picture painted here. More than one person said that Choice Home Warranty reps refused to give them a detailed coverage and exclusion list until after they signed a contract. Seriously? They couldn't even point them to the link on the website? Contracts get renewed even when people have canceled their plans, and then they can't reach anyone in customer service to get it refunded and stopped for good. Time and again, policyholders say that Choice does everything possible to avoid paying out on claims.

You'll love it or you'll hate it

Then again, we found almost 16,000 five-star reviews for this home warranty service. It almost feels like repair roulette when you use Choice: will you have a horrible experience, or will you score with quick handling of claims and a right-away repair appointment? We're honestly baffled by the discrepancies between deeply unhappy and wildly satisfied customers here.

Look at your other options first

Choice Home Warranty isn't the worst option out there. You've got easy choices between plans, and some clients have no concerns about using this warranty provider. But, given the quantity of negative reviews, we think it's wise to leave Choice as a last resort if you don't find coverage you like with a more reputable company.

Where Can You Get the Best Home Warranty Protection?

Maybe you're a landlord trying to mitigate your operating expenses. Or you're trying to sell your home in a tough market and want to set prospective buyers' minds at ease. Then again, you could be like the average homeowner who wants some protection against those unexpected expenses like a failing air conditioner or a leaky bathtub.

In all of these situations, a good home warranty is a wise choice that can make the difference between a quick, inexpensive fix and a huge repair bill. How do home warranty plans work? Most providers give you several plans to choose from, ranging from basic coverage of appliances or systems, to premium packages that cover just about every component of your home. There are usually add-on services for an extra fee, like coverage of your electronics, sump pumps, septic systems, pools/spas, and so on.

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Home Warranty Company FAQ

Home warranties protect your home's appliances and systems in the event of a malfunction. Normal wear and tear takes a toll on all systems in your house, so a home warranty saves you from having to spend the hundreds or thousands of dollars it takes for even the smallest of repairs. By purchasing a home warranty plan, you're able to call a technician to repair or replace your faulty appliances when needed.
Having a home warranty provides peace of mind. It usually comes as a surprise when your heating system stops working, your dryer breaks, or your air conditioner goes out. When your systems and appliances need a repair, it is an urgent matter and you want to make sure you're able to afford the cost of getting them fixed. If you have a plan that covers the item that malfunctions, you'll have it paid for minus the cost of any applicable deductible or service fee.
When purchasing a home warranty, you'll be able to select from different plans depending on what you want covered. They might include a kitchen plan (fridge, range, oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc.), heating and cooling (air conditioning, interior electrical system, central heating, etc.), plumbing systems, pool pumps, garage door opener, TVs, laptops, and more. You can buy as many plans as you want or bundle and save!
Home warranties are usually billed monthly and range from about $30 - $100/month depending on what you want covered, how many plans you buy, if you bundle your plans, and so on. On top of this, the company you use might charge service fees or have a deductible set up that you'll need to meet before they cover the rest of what it takes for repairs. Either way, having a home warranty will likely save you thousands of dollars in the long run since appliance repairs can be so expensive.
Home warranties cover the effects of normal wear and tear on systems and appliances. After running your dishwasher a couple hundred times, it might need maintenance, which would be covered by your warranty (if you selected a plan that included it). Home insurance protects you financially from unexpected major events like a fire, flood, or weather damage. It allows you to get a lump sum of money to replace items in the home or the house itself when disaster strikes. However, if your air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, you're out of luck if you have home insurance without a home warranty.
A home warranty lasts as long as you choose to pay for it! Many people just budget for it long-term and pay year after year just like they make their house payment. You can pay monthly or make a yearly payment on the type of coverage you select. As long as you are subscribed to a home warranty plan, you'll be able to have a repairman come to your home to take care of your appliances and systems when problems arise.
There is no limit to the number of repairs you can call in during your home warranty contract. If there is a service fee, you'll need to pay that each time a technician comes out. If you have a deductible to meet, you'll pay for each repair until you hit your deductible and can be fully covered by the company. It's reassuring to know that regardless of how many things go wrong in your home, as long as your contract includes the repairs, you'll be able to have them taken care of!
Every home warranty service might do things a little differently. Most of the time you'll be able to call in and let them know your issue and get a timeframe for a technician to come make repairs. Some companies have an online form you fill out and then they contact you back and dispatch their workers. It's easy to get the help when you need it within a reasonable timeframe when you're dealing with home warranty companies.
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Continued from above...

All home warranties have limits, exclusions, and caps on the amount your policy will pay over the life of the contract: this is one of those times where it's essential to read the fine print and understand what's covered and what's not.

You should also expect a 30-day waiting period before your coverage takes effect. In other words, don't think you can hurriedly throw a warranty plan on your broken fridge and expect it to get fixed - unless you want to wait a whole month. Many home warranty companies use this time as a money-back guarantee period, in case you change your mind or discover something in your policy that you weren't aware of when you signed up. One such "surprise" is often the trade call service fee: what you'll pay per service call, similar to a copay you'd have on a medical insurance plan or a deductible with your car insurance. Be aware that you could have multiple fees for a single repair, if the fix requires different tradespeople to get it taken care of (both a plumber and an electrician).

You've got a lot of companies to consider for your home warranty, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. How can you tell which ones will deliver what they promise? Here are the most useful criteria to guide your decision:

  • Reputation. First and foremost, what do homeowners say about their experience with the home warranty provider? Are claims handled quickly, with repair technicians dispatched in a timely manner? Does the company approve claims easily, or should you expect to fight to get them approved and paid for? How many complaints have been registered, in comparison with any positive feedback?
  • Coverage. What will you get for what you pay? Can you select a tier of service that doesn't make you spend money on coverage you don't need? What's included and what's not?
  • Value. What will you spend on your home warranty? How much will you pay for trade service call fees? Play with the numbers and see what your annual premium totals and fees might be, compared with what you'd spend out of pocket to take care of the repairs on your own.

To help protect your home (and your savings), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular home warranty providers. We're sure this information will help you choose the right plan for your property!

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