A home warranty helps maintain major appliances and systems not covered by homeowners insurance, and can even make a difference when selling a home. However, national home warranty companies often do not serve California due to its strict administrative and financial regulations. ConsumerAffairs researched the best home warranty in San Diego to assist with your decision to purchase coverage.
Home warranty for buyers, sellers and landlords in San Diego
While homeowners insurance protects your home in case of damage from natural disasters, fires and theft, a home warranty is insurance for the components of your home that wear out with use.
If you are shopping for a home or recently purchased one, a home warranty protects household appliances and systems. Sellers might keep in mind that buyers prefer homes with a home warranty. New homeowners might consider a home warranty if the home did not come with a plan, especially if the appliances are no longer under original manufacturer warranty. While you can purchase a plan any time, you might get a lower premium if you buy the policy before you close on a new home.
Owners of older homes with more wear on the systems, or appliances that are past manufacturer warranty, will benefit from home warranty plans to cover unexpected repairs. For example, consistently warm temperatures in San Diego put strain on air conditioning systems. Be prepared for unexpected breakdowns that can be covered by a home warranty.
For San Diego rental property owners, a home warranty also protects your investment.
Home warranty coverage in San Diego
The average home warranty in San Diego costs $635 annually. Price depends on level of coverage. Some items typically covered by a home warranty include:
HVAC system and ducts
Plumbing systems (some components)
Electrical systems (some components)
Typical home warranties exclude certain items. Secondary air conditioning units are not covered, nor are garage doors, roofs and some appliances. Pools and hot tubs, popular in the sunny San Diego climate, are typically not included. Some providers allow for add-on coverage for these items.
San Diego residents who irrigate their landscaping should note that home warranties do not cover sprinkler systems. Homeowners in the unincorporated parts of the county where water might come from a well should ask about add-on coverage for the well pump.
How much does a home warranty cost in San Diego?
The average yearly cost of a home warranty plan in San Diego is $635 per year. Most home warranty companies charge a monthly fee and require yearly contracts. A service call fee, usually between $50 and $100, applies when a home warranty contractor diagnoses your covered items.
Generally, a home warranty company in San Diego assigns your repair request to a local network contractor. Make sure the company hires licensed and bonded professionals. You can check licenses with the Contractors State License Board.
Read the sample contract on the company website carefully for coverage details. You should review your contract before you sign. Ask about coverage limits and be aware of preexisting conditions that might nullify parts of the plan.
Finally, read company reviews to find out how providers handle claims, repairs and complaints. California consumers have rights under the Consumers Legal Remedy Act.
American Home Shield boasts it is the original home warranty company, founded in 1971. They partner with real estate agents to bring home buyers and sellers lower premiums on home warranty plans. San Diegans who own rental property will appreciate their multi-property discount. Some San Diego reviewers experienced long wait times for customer service while others in California liked the fast AC repairs.
2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
With more than 35 years in business, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is an industry leader that covers appliances like a dishwasher, refrigerator, washing machine and air conditioner, to name a few. Whether you’re buying, selling or building a home, 2-10 offers a service agreement to protect you from unexpected repair costs.
With tiered pricing options, AFC Home Club makes it easy to see what is and is not covered under its three plans. Choose one that fits your home’s needs and buy extra coverage to protect additional appliances and systems. There’s no deductible, only a $60 service fee. Plans include restaurant gift cards and a retail savings program for cash back at 5,000 retailers.