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If practice makes perfect, then Choice Home Warranty should be a great bet for a home warranty company. With more than four million service calls, the company is one of the most established in the industry. And while they may only offer two plans, each one is comprehensive, offering solid ways to lower potential repair bills that may pop up as a homeowner.
We’ve explored all that these plans have to offer to see if Choice Home Warranty is the right company for your needs. With a Better Business Bureau rating of B, they have a good standing, but a customer rating of 1.05 hints that there may be issues under the surface.
- Pros & Cons
Reasonable prices for coverage provided
Round the clock support
Add-on coverage offers coverage for items not often covered
Extremely fast response times
Poor customer satisfaction rates
Only two plans to choose from
Multiple settled lawsuits for false claims
Choice Home Warranty was founded in 2008, with its headquarters in Edison, New Jersey. With more than four million service requests under their belts, they have experience in home warranties. Their calling card is fast and convenient service. Each claim is handled by a team of two or three representatives, so customers should feel supported.
While Choice Home Warranty has a track record, not all of it is good. They have nearly 10,000 complaints with the Better Business Bureau in the last three years. It has also faced lawsuits for consumer fraud in Texas and Arizona. Perhaps for this reason, their sample contract and its exclusions is easily accessible on their website.
Choice Home Warranty offers two plans: the basic and the total plan. With additional coverage for more unusual items or systems like pools and spas, plans can be built to accommodate most homeowners’ needs. They also offer the first month of service free with any single payment home warranty plan.
- Washington, D.C.
- New Mexico
- New Hampshire
- South Carolina
Choice Home Warranty offers two plans that offer comprehensive coverage for your home. The Basic plan covers plumbing, electrical, heating, some kitchen appliances, ductwork, and water heaters. The Total Plan adds A/C, refrigerator, and washer and dryer to the coverage.
|Choice Home Warranty Plan||Basic Plan||Total Plan|
|Air Conditioner System||✓|
|Oven / Range / Stove||✓||✓|
|Ceiling & Exhaust Fans||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||✓||✓|
Real Estate Plans
Choice Home Warranty offers plans specifically designed for realtors and sellers. However, realtors must register in order to view available plans, so we cannot report on any differences in the plans.
Both the Basic and the Total plan offered by Choice Home Warranty cover a wide variety of systems, so it’s unsurprising that their prices are fairly comparable. We looked at pricing in three states: Florida, New York, and Texas, and found that prices did vary based on location. The Basic plan was roughly $47 more expensive in New York than in either Florida or Texas. The overall average plan cost is $596.65, which is slightly below average for the 25 companies we reviewed.
Plan Prices included:
- Basic Plan in Florida and Texas: $532 annually
- Basic Plan in New York: $579.22 annually
- Total Plan in Florida and Texas: $627 annually
- Total Plan in New York: $682.25 annually
In addition to the monthly premium, any claim triggers a service fee of $85. Service fees are common with home warranties and $85 is the average price. Overall, Choice Home Warranty’s pricing falls in the middle of the pack for home warranties. If the contract is honored for needed repairs, it would be considered an excellent value, especially if promotional pricing is involved.
Choice Home Warranty also offers coverage for several other household features including:
- Central vacuum
- Second refrigerator
- Well pump
- Limited roof lead
- Stand alone freezer
- Sump pump
- Septic system
- Septic tank pumping
Types of Damage Covered
Home warranties are designed to cover damage and breakage, but they seldom cover all that can happen to any home appliance or system. Language perceived as deceiving or fraudulent is one reason for many of the negative reviews of Choice Home Warranty, so make sure you thoroughly understand your service agreement before signing.
Standard coverage applies to breakage due to normal wear and tear on items that are deemed to be in proper working order on the effective date of the home warranty plan. All items must be located within the foundation or a detached garage area with the exception of pools/spas, well pumps, and septic systems. The contract stipulates that it only covers homes that are under 5,000 square feet. Larger homes will incur higher fees.
The contract also stipulates that it covers only one item of each kind–if you have more than one refrigerator, for example, only the main refrigerator would be covered. Typically, all plans cover components and parts for the covered systems.
As with any home warranty plan, there are exclusions for Choice Home Warranty. Most of the stated exclusions are connected to plumbing, electrical, air conditioning, and water heaters.
Some items that aren’t covered include:
- A/C, Heating and Ductwork is covered except for outside or underground piping, well pumps and components, window units, water towers, refrigerant line sets, fuel storage tanks, chimneys, etc. Please review the contract thoroughly for an exhaustive list.
- Water heaters are covered except for holding or storage tanks, vents and flues, thermal expansion tanks, energy management systems, and units exceeding 75 gallons.
- Electrical systems are covered except for wiring or cable for audio, video, computer, intercom, alarm or security, circuit overload, or face plates
- Plumbing system/stoppages are covered except for stoppages caused by collapsed or broken drains, vents or sewer lines outside the home’s main foundation, bathtubs, sinks, showers, toilet lids and seats, caulking and grouting, water filtration systems, saunas or steam rooms, etc.
In addition to these specific exclusions, plans are intended to cover appliances and systems in good working condition at the time the plan goes into effect. If the issue is deemed to be a pre-existing condition, even if it is undetected, the company can deny service. All damage covered should be a result of normal wear and tear.
Payout Caps and Limitations
Choice Home Warranty has a maximum liability of $3,000 per item under contract but many items have significantly lower thresholds. If an item can’t be repaired and a replacement isn’t available, the company may offer a cash payment for the amount of the predetermined replacement cost.
For repairs that require access through the walls, floor, or ceilings, Choice Home Warranty says they will cover up to $500 to return the area back to ‘rough finish condition.” Be aware that this may mean that returning it back to the original condition may cost more than expected.
Choice Home Warranty does shine in some ways–response time is one. While they say that claims can be approved in as little as four hours, the average time for a visit is 26 hours, which is still very good compared to other home warranty companies. Customer support is available around the clock, so claims can be filed at any time.
Although they contract with more than 25,000 contractors, they may also approve an out of network contractor that you choose as well. Make sure to speak with a claims agent about approval first.
Customer Service and Claims Process
To make a claim, users have two options. They may submit a claim online or they may call the 24/7 customer service line. The contract language also states that a claim must be filed as soon as a problem has occurred. If there is evidence that a homeowner has allowed a problem to get worse, they may have grounds to deny the claim.
While Choice Home Warranty maintains a B rating with the BBB and a Trustpilot score of 3.9, it has more than 4110 complaints within the last 12 months. Customer satisfaction seems consistently low, with many reports of denial of coverage for issues that were believed to be within plan limits.
In addition, Choice Home Warranty has been sued at least twice–one case was settled out of court in Texas. The other lawsuit, brought for consumer fraud in Arizona, is still in progress according to our research.
Choice Home Warranty vs. American Residential Warranty
So how does Choice Home Warranty compare to other plans on the market? We compared it to American Residential Warranty. American Residential offers comparably priced plans and optional add-ons.
|Choice Home Warranty||American Residential Warranty|
|Average Annual Cost of Plan||$596.65||$554.88|
|Number of Plans Available||2||4|
|Support||Choicehomewarranty.com or 1-888-531-5403||Americanresidentialwarranty.com or 877-637-7890|
|States Covered||23 states including AL, AR, AZ, DC, GA, HI, IA, KY, MA, MI, NM, NV, NH, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WY||All 50 states|
Given the lack of area coverage, fewer plan choices and considerably lower customer satisfaction results, American Residential is the clear winner, offering greater value and lower service fees.
Choice Home Warranty has handled millions of claims over the years using a basic but effective two plan system. However, the troubling customer service reports, commonly denied claims, and ongoing legal action are a reason for caution. Before you sign anything with Choice Home Warranty, read the contract carefully and be aware of what is included.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are There Customer Service Complaints About Choice Home Warranty?
Yes, there have been more than 4,000 complaints through the BBB in the last 12 months. Additionally, they have been sued for consumer fraud.
How Much Is the Service Fee?
The service fee for any visit is $85.
Can You Cancel the Plan for Free?
Yes, you can cancel the plan for free at any time.
There are several aspects to consider when evaluating a home warranty company and its coverages. To assist in your decision process, our methodology for reviewing home warranties includes a quantified scoring system that evaluates four major categories - total plan cost, coverage and support, customizability and transparency. Within those four major evaluation categories we look at 18 core features that include annual plan fees and service fees, claim response times, payout caps, states available, contract length range, customizable coverages, ability to use own repair person, free cancelation, plan pricing, plan exclusions and other plan provisions available online. We assign fractional score values ranging from 0.00 to 1.00 points for each feature and then weight those feature values according to subject matter expert advice and consumer survey importance ranking. We also compare features for each company to industry average values determined from our data collection for the top 25 home warranty providers. Third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores are factored in to help assess a home warranty company’s overall quality, suitability and value.