Comprehensive Choice Home Warranty Review
If you’re considering a home warranty purchase, it’s because you are interested in a level of protection from large unexpected expenses. A service agreement from Choice Home Warranty might do just that – and can save you money in the event your home’s appliances or major systems break down from everyday wear and tear. The New Jersey-based company offers warranties for homes in most states and is one of the most popular choices for buyers.
So how does Choice Home Warranty compare to other home warranty companies? We recently published a guide to finding the best home warranties and found Choice stood out for it’s commitment to customer service.
- Affordable pricing
- 24 hour call center
- Vetted technicians
- Appliance coverage built-in
- Coverage limitations
Critically, they guarantee their repair work to fix the issue (both parts and labor). Choice works only with authorized service professionals who are able to do the work, document their work, and communicate back to you. All technicians are licensed and insured.
Choice Home Warranty plans
A Choice Home Warranty lasts for 13 months, and can be renewed from year to year as needed. The company offers two warranty plans, with the option to cover additional items though a la carte style pricing.
The entry-level plan, called The Basic Plan, covers some but not all of the home’s major systems. The Total Plan is their most comprehensive option, covering all the critical components of your home’s major systems and appliances. Both plans are managed with the same notable commitment to customer service. For a breakdown of the coverage by plan type, see this table.
|Covered in Plan||Basic Plan||Total Plan|
* Heating and Ventilation, but not Air Conditioning
** Excludes washer, dryer and refrigerator
The more comprehensive option (Total Plan) covers a home’s HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning), including ductwork. It also covers plumbing, including the water heater (gas or electric) and garbage disposal. Moreover, Choice covers your home’s appliances, even those that are not built into the home. So refrigerators, the washer & dryer, even the microwave are covered. The home’s electrical system is covered as well. The company’s Basic Plan does not cover the A/C, refrigerator, or the washer/dryer.
Service agreements can be upgraded to include other household systems for an additional fee. So if your home has a pool or spa, there are coverage options for that. Moreover, if you live in a rural area and have a septic system or well system you can get coverage for that. Coverage begins 30 days after enrollment unless you can provide a certificate of coverage from a previous warranty provider, and then your coverage can be continuous.
Choice Home Warranty Costs
The company offers seasonal sales incentives, as well as discounted pricing to customers who request a quote. So while the final price may vary from one customer to the next, the retail price of their warranty is based primarily on two factors: plan type and the size of the home.
|Home Size||Basic Plan||Total Plan|
|Less than 5,000 sq. feet||$420*||$500*|
|5,000 sq. feet +||$670*||$750*|
*Retail price on Dec. 29th, 2017. May be subject to changes or sales incentives. Contact choice for a current quote.
Choice Home Warranty coverage explained
Choice’s home warranties are affordable, despite their unusually high commitment to service. It seems the company manages its cost advantage by limiting the scope of their coverage to the most important – though typically most expensive – components of your home’s major systems or appliances. You can get a feel for what’s covered and not covered by reviewing Choice’s user agreement, which explicitly states items the company will not cover. As a good example, the company will cover leaky pipes but not clogged drains.
As mentioned, this comprehensive coverage does not include every facet of your home’s major systems. If a service professional determine’s your home’s repair should be billed to insurance, rather than to the home warranty, a warranty claim may be denied. For instance, if there is an earthquake and your pipes break, that is not a home warranty claim. Also, if the pipes burst because the home was not properly winterized and the pipes freeze, that is not a home warranty claim. Choice also mentions in their service agreement the company may elect to provide cash to customers in lieu of providing the repair service.
Who should buy a Choice Home Warranty
There are two major buyer groups for home warranties from Choice. The first is home sellers or buyers. Because real estate is such a big investment, both parties in a home sale might be a potential home warranty buyer. Warranties are transferable if the house changes ownership.
Another potential customer group is those on a budget or on a fixed income. A home warranty can help to mitigate the risk of unexpected and expensive home repairs. Even if you aren’t on a shoestring budget, a home warranty might give you some financial peace of mind.
Choice Home Warranty Claims
In the event you need to make a repair, Choice Home Warranty contractually agrees to handle warranty claims 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Choice also commits to promptly respond (within two business days), and to schedule service calls at a mutually beneficial time.
The FTC suggests warranty buyers should examine the claims process. If you have an issue, you can contact the Choice Home Warranty claims department at 1-888-531-5403. Choice will arrange for the repair technician to contact you. Alternatively, you can submit a claim online.
Choice will respond to your claim within two business days, and the technician will contact you to arrange a time for the service call. There is a $60 service call fee for each claim, regardless of the technician’s findings. You may be required to pay the technician for parts or service, and then be reimbursed by Choice Home Warranty.
Choice Home Warranty Complaints
The most common home repairs mentioned in reviews are related HVAC, plumbing, and appliances. Some customers (but not all) said Choice was prompt with service calls (even same day). Choice does explicitly say in their terms of service that the technician will arrange a time within two business days.
Other review feedback is often related to claims disputes, where customers believe they should be reimbursed for a denied claim. Choice has clearly elected to save customers money on premiums by offering coverage with specific limits.
These policies are intended specifically for normal wear and tear claims, and for specific components of most of your home’s major systems. Conceptually, Choice Home Warranties are more like an automobile manufacturer’s powertrain warranty than a bumper-to-bumper warranty. So the lesson here is to understand what you get before you buy.
Choice Home Warranty FAQ
Why are some Choice Home Warranty claims denied?
Choice Home Warranty limits claims to wear and tear, so if a system is broken for some other reason (e.g. fire), it will not be covered. Choice also expects homeowners to properly maintain their equipment in order for it to be covered. If for example, a furnace breaks and it appears the filters have never been changed, that could result in a denied claim. Similarly, if pipes freeze because they were not properly insulated, this is not normal wear and tear.
Do you offer both new and existing home warranties?
Yes. Home warranties can be purchased for any home, though typically new homes have longer-term warranties that are even more comprehensive. For instance, a new home warranty may cover superficial items like cracks in the drywall.
What are their credentials? Are they part of any trade organizations?
Choice is not part of the National Home Service Contract Association or accredited by the Better Business Bureau.
Do I need a home inspection?
No. You do not need a home inspection order to purchase a warranty from Choice.
Is Choice Home Warranty available in my area?
Possibly. Coverage is not available in all states. At this time, policies are not available in California or Washington state.
Why does service matter for home warranty?
Home repairs are generally expensive, frustrating and time-sensitive, so it’s important to get the job done quickly and right the first time. When your home’s systems break down, you don’t want to be stuck waiting for a service professional to come – or to come back if the repair wasn’t done correctly.
Overall, considering the service quality, affordability and the levels of coverage, Choice Home Warrranty is a good choice for a home service agreement.