Best Home Warranties in California 2024

A home warranty could help you manage the cost of home repairs in this high-cost-of-living state.
Whitney Vandiver
By Whitney Vandiver 
Edited by Claire Tsosie

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The best home warranty providers in California offer broad coverage, high coverage caps and transparent pricing. We selected our top picks from a list of providers with the largest market share in California, according to data from the California Department of Insurance.

American Home Shield: Best for systems-only plan

American Home Shield Home Warranty
American Home Shield Home Warranty

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Get started

on American Home Shield's website

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4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Monthly fees 
$20 and up

Service fees
$100 or $125
per claim

States available 
48
states, and Washington, D.C.
View details

American Home Shield's ShieldSilver plan takes the gold for systems-only coverage by covering items that many competitors exclude, including wired doorbells, all built-in fans, faucets and certain assemblies for built-in jetted tubs. Its broad coverage also comes with high coverage caps.

American Home Shield offers three plans:

  • ShieldSilver (the systems-only option): Covers heating, air conditioning, electrical and plumbing.

  • ShieldGold: Covers items included in ShieldSilver, plus kitchen appliances and a washer and dryer.

  • ShieldPlatinum: Covers items included in ShieldGold with a higher coverage cap, plus roof leak repairs; comes with a few other benefits.

Old Republic Home Protection: Best for appliance coverage

Old Republic Home Protection
Old Republic Home Protection

4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
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4.5

NerdWallet rating

 
Monthly fees 
$45 and up

Service fees
$100 to $125
per claim

States available 
25
states, and Washington, D.C.
View details

Old Republic Home Protection's Basic Plan includes coverage for a dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, range, cooktop, built-in microwave, trash compactor and kitchen exhaust fan with a coverage cap of $3,500 per appliance. Coverage includes a clothes washer and dryer set starting with the Deluxe Plan, and the coverage cap jumps to $7,000 per appliance with the Elite Plan, giving customers room for needed repairs.

Old Republic Home Protection offers three plans:

  • Basic Plan covers heating, ductwork, plumbing, electrical and most kitchen appliances.

  • Deluxe Plan covers items included in the Basic Plan and adds air conditioning systems, plumbing fixtures, clothes washer and dryer and extra services such as code violation correction and improper installations.

  • Elite Plan includes the same items as the Deluxe Plan with higher coverage limits for appliances.

First American Home Warranty: Best coverage for HVAC

First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty

4.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Read review

on NerdWallet

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4.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Monthly fees 
$42 and up

Service fees
$75, $100 or $125
per claim

States available 
36
states, and Washington, D.C.
View details

First American Home Warranty has no coverage caps for HVAC, making it especially appealing to Californians who anticipate air conditioning repairs. Most competitors limit this coverage to a few thousand dollars.

First American Home Warranty has three plans:

  • Starter Plan: Covers plumbing, electrical and heating systems, plus several kitchen appliances. 

  • Essential Plan: Includes items covered in Starter Plan, plus air conditioning systems, water heaters and a few more appliances. 

  • Premium Plan: Includes items covered in the Essential Plan plus higher-end appliances that are usually not covered and a few additional perks.

Home Service Club: Best for basic plan

Home Service Club Home Warranty
Home Service Club Home Warranty

3.0

NerdWallet rating

 
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3.0

NerdWallet rating

 
Monthly fees 
$50 and up

Service fees
$65, $95 or $125
per claim

States available
50
states, and Washington, D.C.
View details

Though its monthly premiums start higher than competitors, The Home Service Club's standard coverage includes an impressive 47 appliances and systems.

The Home Service Club offers two plans:

  • Standard Coverage includes heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing and electrical systems, water heaters, ceiling fans, garbage disposals, garage door openers and water leaks from within the home. It also covers major kitchen appliances and a clothes washer and dryer set. 

  • Comprehensive Coverage includes the items in the Standard Coverage plan and adds ductwork, plumbing stoppages, recirculating hot water pump, gas leaks, sump pump, whirlpool motor and pump parts, all fans including for exhaust and attic, alarm and telephone wiring and smoke detectors.

When selecting home warranty providers for inclusion in this roundup, NerdWallet considered companies with the largest market share and highest search volumes (as a proxy for consumer interest).

How does a home warranty work?

A home warranty helps cover the costs of repairing or replacing certain appliances or systems that stop working due to normal wear and tear. Common items that are covered by a home warranty plan include heating and air conditioning systems, plumbing, electrical items and major appliances like refrigerators and clothes washing and drying machines.

Customers must submit claims when a covered item malfunctions. The home warranty company reviews the claim, sends out a technician to look at the item and either approves the claim for the item to be repaired or denies coverage. If a claim is approved, the company will pay for the repair up to a certain amount; if a claim is denied, the homeowner must pay for the repair out of pocket.

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How much does a home warranty cost?

Home warranty plans typically cost between $20 and $85 per month. How much you’ll pay depends on the type and level of coverage you want and your plan’s service fee. Sometimes, you can get a discount for paying annually rather than monthly.

You’ll also pay a service fee — typically, $75 to $125 — every time the company dispatches a technician to respond to a claim. This fee applies whether or not the claim is approved.

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American Home Shield Home Warranty
GET STARTEDon American Home Shield's website
Monthly fees
$20 and up
Service fees
$100 or $125
per claim
States available
48
states, and Washington, D.C.
Liberty Home Guard
GET STARTEDon Liberty Home Guard's website
Monthly fees
$50 and up
Service fees
$70–$125
per claim
States available
50
states, and Washington, D.C.
Select Home Warranty
GET STARTEDon Select Home Warranty's website
Monthly fees
$44 and up
Service fees
$75-$100
per claim
States available
47
states, including Washington, D.C.

Is a home warranty worth the cost in California?

Because California is one of the most expensive areas to live in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Economic Analysis , repairs for home systems and appliances can be costly. But not every homeowner will benefit from a home warranty. A home warranty plan might be worth the cost if you:

  • Expect your home systems and appliances to need expensive repairs or to be replaced in the next year.

  • No longer have manufacturer warranties on your systems and appliances.

  • Would rather have a company find a technician for you instead of hiring one on your own.

Not all items will be covered by a home warranty. Service agreements list exclusions for coverage, such as lack of proper maintenance by a homeowner. If the company says your claim fits an exclusion, it won’t pay you to repair the item, even though you are paying monthly premiums.

Home warranty complaints in California

Even though home warranty companies don’t sell insurance, California requires that home warranty companies be licensed through the California Department of Insurance (CDI) to sell home protection plans to residents. The state also regulates and monitors home warranty companies to investigate consumer complaints, occasionally issuing violations if a home warranty company is found to have acted illegally according to California law.

The CDI maintains a database of complaints against and violations by these companies. We’ve summarized the data for the largest home warranty companies by market share with available complaint data. Each company’s complaints are per $1,000,000 in earned premiums for 2022.

Company

Complaints per $1,000,000 in earned premiums in 2022

NRG Protects

98.

Select Home Warranty

34.

Home Service Club

25.

American Home Shield

18.

First American Home Warranty

12.

HomeGuard Home Warranty

7.

Fidelity National Home Warranty

5.

Old Republic Home Protection

5.

Complaints include those found to require corrective action, leading to insurer compromise or other remedy for the complainant. Source: California Department of Insurance.

Before buying a home warranty in California

It’s important to do your due diligence before buying a home warranty plan. You’ll want to know exactly what your plan covers and what the company is required to do when you file a claim.

Here are a few items to check off your list before agreeing to a home warranty plan.

  • Check on companies’ past violations. Look up companies in the CDI’s public database of licensed home warranty companies. You can research major complaints previous customers have made against them.

  • Read your contract carefully. The CDI requires home warranty companies to clearly state their terms and conditions in their contracts. This includes what is covered and what is excluded from coverage. 

  • Know what rights you have as a customer. California residents have the right to a full refund if they cancel their home service contracts within 30 days of purchasing it; if you cancel after 30 days, you can still get a prorated refund. You can also report issues to the CDI if the home warranty provider is not resolving an issue for you.

» CHECK IT OUT: NerdWallet's best home warranties in Texas

Methodology

NerdWallet's Home Services team evaluated home warranties across several factors, including cost, covered items, coverage limits, customer ratings, ability to choose your own technician and warranty on work completed. Because costs can vary by location, it's best to get quotes from multiple companies before making a decision. Read more about how NerdWallet rates home warranties.