Purchasing a home warranty helps homeowners deal with the costs of repairing, replacing, and maintaining major home systems and appliances. In return for a monthly or annual premium, the home warranty provider will pay for vetted and licensed professionals to fix malfunctioning equipment or replace items that are beyond repair.
So, is a home warranty worth the cost?
We’ll let you decide for yourself.
In this review, we’ll look at Choice Home Warranty (CHW), one of the most popular home warranty providers — to help you decide if it’s a good fit for your situation.
Choice Home Warranty Overview
Choice Home Warranty is a home warranty provider that has been in the business since 2008. The company services more than 1.6 million homes across the United States and claims to have processed over 5 million service requests since its inception. What’s more, it boasts a vast service network made up of more than 25,000 contractors so professional help is never too far away.
Choice Home Warranty is headquartered in Edison, New Jersey, and currently offers comprehensive home warranty plans to residents across the United States, except in Washington State and California. However, as a workaround, homeowners in California may buy a CHW warranty through the company’s website, but the policy will actually be issued by its strategic partner, Home Service Club of California.
The company is fueled by its mission to protect homeowners and real estate buyers and sellers by offering affordable home warranty coverage and quality customer service. At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, Choice Home Warranty offered enhanced coverage and temporarily suspended certain coverage exclusions.
Choice Home Warranty on Mobile
To make it easier for customers to remain in touch, CHW is available as a mobile app. Users can download the Choice Home Warranty app from the Apple App Store and Google Play Store.
How Does Choice Home Warranty Work?
Signing a service contract with Choice Home Warranty essentially means acquiring an extended limited warranty on your home’s major systems and appliances. You have the option to pay your deductible in monthly installments or as a lump sum for the year.
Within your warranty plan, if a covered home system breaks down due to normal wear and tear—like the heating system, for example—you’ll reach out to Choice Home Warranty to request service. The company will dispatch a licensed, local service professional within its network to come check it out. You can submit a claim to Choice Home Warranty anytime.
Usually, there’s an $85 flat service that you’ll pay to the technician at the time of service. If the repair or replacement is covered under your policy, then you wouldn’t need to pay anything else even if it costs hundreds or thousands of dollars.
Keep in mind you’re not required to undergo a home inspection to sign up for a CHW protection plan. However, pre-existing conditions are generally not covered under warranty.
Choice Home Warranty Plans
Choice Home Warranty chose to keep it simple by sticking to a two-option protection plan system.
The first is the Basic Plan. It covers some of the most essential home systems and appliances. There are a few notable items that are not covered under this plan — air conditioning systems, refrigerators, clothes dryers, and washers — which is a bit disappointing. Still, the CHW Basic Plan can be a great option for homeowners who just want coverage for the basics.
The second is the Total Plan. It covers everything in the Basic Plan plus the aforementioned missing items. It’s a tad pricier, of course, but it could be worth the peace of mind knowing that your home’s main systems and appliances are covered.
Before deciding on which plan to go for, it’s important to assess your budget and current home systems and appliances.
Both plans have some limitations in place. For example, there’s a $500 coverage limit on the diagnoses, repair, or replacement of certain systems. In any event, there’s a $3,000 coverage cap on each covered item.
Optional Coverage And Add-Ons
Choice Home Warranty offers a number of add-on options so customers can customize their protection plans as needed. The additional systems include:
- Pools and spas
- Well pumps
- Sump pumps
- Central vacuums
- Roof leaks
- Septic systems
- Stand-alone freezers
- Second refrigerators
- Limited roof leaks
What Choice Home Warranty Does Not Cover
Choice Home Warranty’s fine print lists a number of household components or issues that it does not cover in its warranty plans and add-on options. These include:
- Central vacuum ductwork, hoses, accessories, and blockages
- Septic leach lines, lateral lines, field lines, and leach beds
- Rooftop or roof-level accessories
- Roof preventative maintenance
- Partial roof replacement
- Smoke detectors
- Portable sump pumps
- Pool accessories
- Portable or above-ground pools and spas
CHW Warranty for Home Buyers and Sellers
Home warranties can also be beneficial during the purchase or sale of a home. As a home buyer, the last thing you want to do is spend good money on repairing or replacing items around your home. With a home warranty, you can protect your finances against unexpected costs.
On the other hand, as a home seller, a home warranty can give you an edge during real estate sales. Potential buyers may be more likely and willing to progress the purchase if they know the house they’re about to buy is covered with a solid home warranty. This can translate into a better, faster sale, as well as help avoid repair issues that may delay closing. These service contracts are completely transferable to the new owners of the property.
Choice Home Warranty Cost
On average, expect to pay around $500 to $660 per year on your Choice Home Warranty protection plan. The actual amount will depend on how many add-ons you include in your plan. The company offers a free month and $50 off for customers who purchase an annual policy.
The CHW Basic Plan costs around $46 per month while the Total Plan costs around $55 per month. However, the exact costs will vary based on where the property is located and what features are to be covered.
Additionally, you might have to pay more to cover high-value appliances. It’s important to fully kunderstand the terms of your service contract before signing anything.
You’ll have to pay a service fee of $85 every time you file a claim with Choice Home Warranty. This fee will be paid to the technician that CHW will dispatch to your home following a service request. There’s a 90-day guarantee on parts and a 30-day guarantee on labor.
If you cancel within the first 30 days of signing up, Choice Home Warranty will fully refund your agreement fees less any service costs. If the cancellation occurs after the first 30 days, the company will issue a prorated fee refund minus any service costs.
What are People Saying About Choice Home Warranty?
Choice Home Warranty has a track record spanning over a decade, but like any other service company, not all of it is good. Let’s start with the positives.
Chauncey Crail at U.S. News gave Choice Home Warranty a rating of 4/5 stars, as well as the title of the Best Home Warranty Company of 2023 (tied with Liberty Home Guard). The company’s straightforward plan structures and pricing were the biggest drivers of the positive reviews.
External reviews contributor Annie Gallay of Today’s Homeowner also rates CHW 4/5 stars. She cited affordability, customer experience, and nationwide availability as the primary reasons behind the rating. However, the company scored low in industry reputation.
Over at Forbes, contributor Lauren Murphy gave a rating of 4.1/5. According to her, the fact that Choice Home Warranty doesn’t deny coverage based on the age of the home makes it a great home warranty provider for people with older homes.
Jessica Render at Consumer Affairs also gave CHW a rating of 4.1/5, citing the company’s 24/7 customer service and simple protection plan structures as the principal drivers.
On the other end of the spectrum, Choice Home Warranty has received its fair share of complaints and poor reviews.
It is rated a mere C by the Better Business Bureau (as of November 2022), and managed only a 3.8 star rating from Trustpilot and Investopedia. There have also been reports of lawsuits filed against the company in Arizona and Texas over the last two years. Naturally, these have managed to effectively drag down the company’s reputation.
Nevertheless, it would appear Choice Home Warranty is pushing forward and not letting these reports impact its services.
Overall, we rate Choice Home Warranty 4.0/5 stars. This is based on its straightforward plan structure, affordability, flat service fee, and nationwide availability.
However, it drops massive points for its unimpressive BBB rating. The reports of current and pending lawsuits doesn’t help their case either.
Choice Home Warranty Upsides and Downsides
- The Basic Plan covers both home systems and appliances
- Premiums are generally affordable by current industry standards
- 90-Day guarantee for parts and 30-day workmanship guarantee
- No home inspections required to kickstart coverage
- Free cancelation up to 30 days
- 24/7 claims hotline with round the clock support
- $3,000 coverage cap per covered item
- The Basic Plan does not cover air conditioning systems and refrigerators
- Only two plans to choose from and so few add-on options
- Legal troubles and reputation concerns
- $500 coverage limit on certain components
- Customers cannot choose their own technician
How Does Choice Home Warranty Stack Up Against Competitors?
Here’s how Choice Home Warranty compares against other top home warranty providers.
Choice Home Warranty vs. Liberty Home Guard
Like CHW, Liberty Home Guard (LHG) offers home warranty plans across 48 states and does not require a home inspection prior to purchasing coverage. Both companies also allow customers to request service anytime.
The biggest difference between them is their plan structures. Liberty Home Guard offers appliance-only and system-only plans plus over 40 add-on options. This allows the company to offer a more comprehensive plan.
Another notable difference between CHW and LHG is their pricing. At around $69 to $79 per month in deductibles and $65 to $125 in service fees, Liberty Home Guard is the pricier of the two.
Choice Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield
American Home Shield (AHS) is comparable to Choice Home Warranty in many ways, including its comprehensive coverage, ease of service request, and $3,000 coverage cap on covered items. However, AHS is clearly the more comprehensive warranty provider with a tiered plan structure designed to provide essential coverage at various stages of homeownership.
Price wise, both companies differ widely with American Home Shield’s plans (ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldPlatinum™) costing $29.99, $49.99, and $69.99 respectively. AHS also lets customers choose their own service fees as opposed to the flat service fee structure used by Choice Home Warranty.
Choice Home Warranty FAQ
Q. My home systems and appliances are aged, can they still be covered?
Yes, the age of the item does not matter. Choice Home Warranty will cover the home system or appliance as long as it is in good working condition and properly maintained.
Q. What are some reasons why my claim may be denied?
Choice Home Warranty’s fine print is quite clear on what it does not cover — known or unknown pre-existing conditions, misuse, abuse, or poor maintenance.
Q. When does coverage begin?
CHW coverage commences 30 days after enrollment. Cancellation within this period is free.
Q. What happens if an item needs to be replaced but the replacement unit is not available?
If a covered item that needs to be replaced is currently unavailable, Choice Home Warranty may offer the cash equivalent of the replacement cost to the customer.