Sears Home Warranty operates under its parent company, Sears Holding Corporation, and its home warranty plans are underwritten by Cross Country Home Services. The home warranty company offers a selection of three warranty plans that cover the cost of repairs or replacement for appliances and major home systems.
Sears Home Warranty has a slightly higher-than-average monthly cost when matched to its competitors. However, plans include some extras such as a free heating and cooling maintenance check every year. We reviewed Sears Home Warranty based on cost, coverage, caps, and reviews.
Learn More: See who made our list of the best home warranty companies.
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Allows you to add items from one plan to another “a la carte”
Free heating and air cooling check once a year
Discounted oil change and tire rotation offered as a benefit
Up to 25% discount offered for non-covered items (depending on the policy selected)
Sears Holding Corporation (parent company) is currently operating under Chapter 11 bankruptcy
High number of complaints about customer service and repair times
Although the Sears Holding Corporation has been around since 1887, the Sears Home Warranty division has only been operating since 1999. In 2018, Sears Holding Corporation filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and is still operating with court supervision as the company reorganizes. As such, Sears Home Warranty is still operating and has plans that are still available for purchase.
Sears Home Warranty offers a choice of three plans where each plan has a $100 trade service fee (TSF) that is paid at the time of service. In addition to the warranty coverage, the company offers some added benefits, such as a free yearly maintenance check on heating and air cooling systems, a discounted oil change and tire rotation, and discounts on repairs that aren’t covered under the warranty plan.
The company also allows you to purchase additional coverage for things like well pumps and stand-alone freezers. One of the other options is that you can purchase an Appliance plan and then add additional coverage for items off of the System plan, or vice versa. As an example, you could purchase the Appliance plan and then buy coverage for your central air conditioning system, or buy the System plan and then choose to cover your refrigerator as well.
Once you have enrolled in the plan of your choice, Sears Home Warranty allows you to add additional coverage. Prices are not available until after enrollment.
Receiving a quote for a Sears Home Warranty plan is extremely easy. Simply click on “Select a Warranty Plan” then choose your state and the prices show immediately. Prices are the same in all states, and plans are available nationwide except for Arkansas. Warranty plans all have a $100 trade service fee, payable when you call for service.
Sears Home Warranty covers appliances and systems regardless of age, brand, or where you bought them. These plans cover most breakdowns that may occur, however, there is a long list of exclusions on both appliances and major home systems, so you should thoroughly read your policy to understand what is not covered.
For example, electric baseboard units are covered, but only if they are your primary heat source. The valve on your refrigerator that leads to your ice maker and water dispenser is covered, but the line to the refrigerator is not; neither is the actual ice maker or water dispenser. These exclusions are not unusual and are considered standard for the home warranty industry.
Sears Home Warranty offers a generous payout cap of $10,000 per claim and an annual payout claim of $50,000. However, there are specific caps on specialized or commercial-grade items. This limit includes $1,000 per appliance per term for items that are “commercial-like or ultra-premium” and $1,500 per term for “systems that have been converted from coal-to-oil, coal-to-gas, or oil-to-gas; or for hot water or steam heating systems including radiators, vent pipes/lines, or oil-fired forced air systems.”
We recommend reading over the payout caps carefully to ensure that you understand the limits for your appliances and systems.
You are typically referred to a service technician within two hours when your claim is made during business hours. Requests made after business hours, on weekends, or holidays have a 24-hour response time. This is a faster turnaround time when compared with the industry standard of 24 to 48 hours.
All repairs and replacements require approval in advance and Sears Home Warranty reserves the right to select the service provider that will make the repairs. The company does not specifically state that you cannot use your own service provider, although it does state in the contract that they will not pay for repairs unless you receive their prior express consent. If you wish to use someone outside of their network, it is advised that you discuss this option with them first to ensure that you will have coverage.
Customer Service and Claims
Support is available 24/7 and filing a claim is a relatively easy process that you can do either by calling 855-256-2467 or by submitting a claim through their website at my.searshomewarranty.com. Once the claim is made, expect authorization in as little as two hours during regular business hours or within 24 hours if made during non-business hours.
Complaints and Third-Party Assessments
Since Sears Holding Corporation has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, it does not have a current rating with the Better Business Bureau—this applies to Sears Home Warranty as well. As the company is still operating, however, customers do have the ability to leave reviews for services they have received.
Of the 270 reviews, we discovered that the majority of them are negative. Complaints range from issues with customer service representatives to service providers not showing up or taking too long to make repairs. Although the number of reviews received is below average for a home warranty company, the high number of negative reviews in proportion to good reviews is something to consider before you purchase.
Competition: Choice Home Warranty vs. Sears Home Warranty
We selected national provider Choice Home Warranty to compare with Sears Home Warranty because of its name recognition in the industry, plan prices, and exclusions. There are similarities in plan choices, but Sears Home Warranty has a choice of three plans while Choice Home Warranty has only two.
Sears Home Warranty Whole House Plan is $840 annually while the Choice Home Warranty Total Plan is $860 annually. Both plans provide coverage for appliances and major home systems and they are equally matched in the type of coverage they provide.
While the plan prices for both companies are above average, Sears Home Warranty makes up for this by offering benefits, such as a free heating and air cooling check each year, discounted oil change and tire rotations, and discounts on non-covered repairs. Choice Home Warranty offsets its higher price by offering a monthly price discount that nearly cancels out the $30 a month surcharge. This discount brings the monthly fee closer in line with its competition.
Since both companies have a long list of exclusions, we turned to the payout caps of each company to determine our winner. This is where Sears Home Warranty really has the edge. Although Choice Home Warranty has a $1,500 payout cap for heating systems and built-in wall units, and a $500 payout cap for electrical systems, Sears Home Warranty takes the win by offering a payout cap of $10,000 per claim and an annual payout cap of $50,000.
Although the name recognition of the Sears Warranty Company and its parent company tends to help offset a lot of the negative aspects of this company, the financial issues that it faces are a point of concern.
Since the company is operating under the supervision of a bankruptcy court, it doesn’t appear that the company will shut its doors anytime soon, but it does have a way to go to overcome this obstacle. Sears Home Warranty offers one of the highest payout caps on the market, allows you to choose and customize plans, and is reasonably priced. You can also benefit from the add-ons for maintenance and auto care. Despite the few hiccups Sears Home Warranty has had in the last couple of years, these positive features make this company worth considering for coverage.
How We Review Home Warranties
During the review process, we not only look at the monthly and yearly cost you pay, we also take a look at the overall costs that may include service fees, price add-on, and above-limit costs. In addition, we evaluate exclusions to coverage, complaints filed, Better Business Bureau ratings, and how the company stacks up to the competition in terms of price, coverage, price caps, and overall customer satisfaction.