Do you own a duplex and need home warranty coverage?
Perfect, you’ve come to the right place. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What is a home warranty for your duplex?
- How much does a home warranty for a duplex cost you?
- Is coverage worth it for your duplex?
- How will a warranty plan for your duplex work?
- What are the best home warranty plans for duplexes?
- And much more!
After 100+ tests and 68 reviews, we at ReviewHomeWarranties.com want to help you find the best coverage for your duplex at the right price. Want to know more? Continue reading!
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What's In This Guide?
Owning a duplex as a rental property is no easy feat. Not only do you have to find and vet prospective tenants, but you also need to regularly maintain your duplex so it’s in good livable condition for years on end.
In fact, systems and appliance repairs are among the largest sources of stress for any duplex owner. With two units to take care of, staying on top of your property’s maintenance needs can be tricky, to say the least.
Thankfully, a quality protection plan from a home warranty provider can give you the peace of mind you need to deal with unexpectedly broken appliances and home systems. They can also provide some much-need financial protection from major repair costs that eat away at your monthly income.
But, is it even possible to get a home warranty for a duplex? Up next, we have answers to all of your most important questions about warranty plans for your rental duplex, complete home warranty reviews of the best policies on the market today.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For Duplex Coverage
What Is Home Warranty Coverage For Duplexes?
A home warranty for a duplex is a way to lower your annual repair and maintenance costs on your rental property. With a quality warranty plan, you’ll be protected from huge repair bills if you need to fix or replace any of your duplex’s major appliances or systems, like your air conditioner, because of problems caused by normal wear and tear.
In exchange for an annual premium, a home warranty plan will cover your repair bills up to a set dollar amount each year. This means more money in your bank account and fewer annual out-of-pocket expenses for maintaining your duplex.
What Does A Warranty For A Duplex Cost?
For a duplex, the average home warranty costs between $600-$1200 for the entire building or about $300-$600 per unit. However, the cost of a home warranty can vary quite a bit, depending on a number of factors.
Two of the most important factors that affect your warranty plan’s cost are the size of your duplex and the location of the property.
Additionally, the amount and type of coverage you want will affect the cost of your annual premium. When shopping for a home warranty, you can often choose between the following types of plans:
A basic plan generally covers the most essential components of a house, including the electrical system, ductwork, plumbing system, cooktop, and stove. However, these plans won’t generally cover things like a pool, spa, or well pump. So, they’re best for landlords that want affordable coverage for just the most critical parts of their duplex.
Best Home Warranty For Duplex Coverage?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for duplex owners. Choice covers duplexes with individual units of up to 5,000 ft and offers coverage for shared appliances and systems for the units within the duplex.
Premium Plan/Combo Plan
Premium plans (also known as combo plans) will usually include coverage for everything included in a basic plan, plus appliances like clothes washers and dryers, whirlpool bathtubs, and garage door openers.
Premium plans often provide some of the most comprehensive coverage you can get. They are an excellent choice for people who want complete protection from any unexpected expense in their home.
Appliance Plan & Systems Plan
Instead of offering a “basic plan,” some home warranty companies have appliance and systems plans. As the names suggest, appliance plans provide coverage for appliances like garbage disposals, while systems plans protect your heating, plumbing, air conditioning, and electrical.
Appliance plans are often a good option if you’re looking to cover just one of the units in your duplex. Since home warranties on single units within a multi-family home will not cover shared systems, like air conditioning or plumbing, an appliance plan is often the best choice.
Alternatively, if you’re planning on protecting the entire duplex, then you’ll be able to get coverage for all of the building’s systems through a standard systems plan. If your goal is to cover the entire property on one warranty, a combo plan might be the best and most economical decision you can make.
Build Your Own Plan
Finally, some companies will allow you to build your own warranty plan. This is an ideal option for a landlord that wants to fully customize their coverage and only protect specific systems and appliances.
It’s also a solid choice if you’re looking to include certain items, like septic systems and sump pumps, which aren’t often included in standard warranty plans. “Build Your Own” plans tend to be more expensive than other options, but they offer the most customizable coverage for your duplex.
Is A Home Warranty For A Duplex Worth It?
Simply put, a home warranty is definitely worth it for your duplex. Here’s why:
Coverage For Major Repair Costs
As a duplex owner, you have to deal with frequent repairs and maintenance calls for both of your tenants. This can get expensive quite quickly, even if the repairs are actually quite minor.
Now imagine what would happen if you had to deal with two major repairs at the same time. This could really impact your monthly income or even cost you money.
A home warranty helps cover most, if not all, of the cost of big home repairs, whether it’s a cooktop malfunction or a broken air conditioning system. In fact, they’ll generally cover replacement costs for essential home systems, which can save you a whole lot of money in unexpected expenses.
Protects Your Investment & Increases Rental Value
Your duplex is a major investment, so you want to be sure that you can continue to rent it out for years on end. The best way to do this is to stay on top of regular repairs and maintenance of your duplex’s most important systems and appliances, like your water heaters, heating system, or plumbing.
The right plan from a reputable home warranty company can help you stay ahead of the curve on these repairs since you’ll have financial support along the way. Instead of putting off repairs because you don’t have the cash on hand now, with a home warranty, you can keep your home’s appliances and systems up to date. This also means you can charge more for rent because you’re offering a better quality housing option to your tenants.
Let’s face it: Dealing with constant repairs is one of the most challenging parts of being a landlord. Getting phone calls in the middle of the night because a dishwasher is broken isn’t exactly anyone’s idea of a good time, but it needs to be done.
With home warranty coverage, though, you don’t have to spend hours searching for a service provider that can come to your house to complete your repairs. Instead, you can just submit a quick service request to your home warranty company, and they’ll send a service contractor straight to your duplex to deal with any issues that have cropped up.
This benefit is particularly valuable if you live far away from your duplex or also work another job. Since you just need to submit a service claim instead of searching for a qualified contractor, repairs for your duplex are much easier with a home warranty.
Curious about renting out your duplex? Check out this on why investing in a duplex is a great investment.
Covers What Business And Homeowners Insurance Won’t
You almost certainly have homeowners insurance or business insurance on your duplex, and for a good reason. It’s important to have these insurance policies, so you are protected if your duplex has a fire or if it’s affected by a natural disaster, like a flood or an earthquake.
But, your insurance company won’t help you if you need to repair your HVAC system or upgrade your duplex’s central vacuum. In these situations, a home warranty is the best thing to have if you want help paying for repairs or replacement of home appliances and systems. At the end of the day, your home warranty will cover what your homeowners insurance won’t.
Saves You Money On Your Taxes
If you own a duplex, chances are pretty high that you rent it out as part of your monthly income, making you a self-employed business owner. Interestingly, home warranty premium payments are considered a business expense, so you can likely use them as a deduction on your annual taxes.
Thus, home warranties not only protect your bottom line, but they can save you money each year come tax time. This makes them a great investment for any duplex rental property.
Increased Resale Value On The Real Estate Market
A home warranty can even help you get a better resale value on your duplex should you choose to sell it in the future. Not only does a warranty make it financially easier to repair and replace outdated home systems and appliances frequently, but it can also increase your building’s sale price.
Real estate agents often advise their clients to have warranties on their properties. Doing gives prospective home buyers the peace of mind they need to know that they’ll be covered if there’s an issue with the duplex after closing.
How Do Warranties For Duplexes Work (Are They Unique)?
For the most part, home warranty companies will cover duplexes under their standard plans. But, while warranty plans for duplexes aren’t unique to that specific type of property, there are some steps you should follow to ensure that you’re making the most of your coverage. Here’s how the whole process works:
Step 1: Identify Your Priorities
As a duplex owner, you have a lot on your plate. You’re in charge of maintaining your property, finding tenants, and helping them with any problems that might arise.
So, when searching for the right warranty service contract for your duplex, be sure to start by listing out all of your coverage priorities. Consider what’s most important to you and your needs and be sure to prioritize these items when looking at different plans.
Step 2: Get A Home Inspection
Technically, this step isn’t required when you purchase a warranty, but it’s highly recommended, particularly if you own an older duplex. Most home warranties will not cover pre-existing conditions, so you’ll want to know if your property already has any issues before you sign up for a plan.
If the inspector finds any problems in your duplex, it’s best to fix them before starting your own warranty. That way, you can be confident that any future issues are caused by normal wear and tear, not a preexisting condition.
Step 3: Get A Free Quote And Choose A Plan
Now that you have your priorities set and the home inspection out of the way, it’s time to choose a plan for your duplex. Since a duplex warranty can cost between $600 and $1200, it’s best to get a free quote from companies to see what your premium will be before committing to a plan.
Step 4: Wait For The Grace Period To End
After you purchase a warranty plan, you’ll have to wait for a grace period to end before you can make your first claim. This waiting period is generally around 30 days long.
But, the best home warranty companies will waive this grace period if you already have coverage and are just looking to switch providers or plans.
Step 5: Make A Claim
Once the grace period is over, you can go ahead and make a claim on your warranty whenever a covered item needs a repair or a replacement. To submit a claim, you generally need to call or message your company’s service center to request a repair. Most providers have a 24/7 call center that’s available to help you at any time of day.
Step 6: Pay The Service Fee
Every time you submit a claim on your home warranty, you’ll have to pay a service call fee. This fee is generally between $60 and $120 and is designed to cover the cost of sending a repair technician to your home. Usually, the service fee is charged just once per home service request and you can think of it as similar to a copay at a doctor’s office.
Step 7: Get Great Repair Service
Your home warranty company will arrange for a contractor to come to your duplex to fix any problematic appliances or systems. This easy service from your home warranty will help ensure that your repairs are completed promptly and with minimal hassle.
The warranty company will then cover the cost of any repairs or replacements up to the maximum value stated on your service contract.
The best home warranty companies have an extensive network of contractors ready to fix any covered item in your duplex. So, no matter if your home is in a bustling downtown area in New Hampshire, an ocean-side duplex in Hawaii or a multi-family home in Alaska, you don’t have to worry about finding a contractor on your own.
Top Home Warranties For Duplexes Reviewed
You have quite a few options to choose from when it comes to the best home warranty for your duplex. Here are our reviews of some of the top warranty plans available on the market today.
Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for protecting your duplex and rental property. The company will cover duplexes with individual units of no more than 5,000 feet.
They also offer coverage for shared appliances and systems for the units within the duplex. Alternatively, you can get coverage for just one unit within the duplex, but in this situation, shared systems would not be protected.
We particularly like Choice Home Warranty’s duplex coverage because their two plan options both cover systems and appliances. More specifically, their basic plan protects the following:
- Hot water heaters, whirlpool bathtubs, and plumbing (including stoppages)
- Heating, duct
- Ceiling fans and exhaust fans
- Ovens, range, cooktops, stoves, and built-in microwaves
- Dishwashers and garbage disposals
If you opt for the premium plan, you can also cover your duplex’s refrigerators, air conditioning, as well as your clothes dryers and washers.
In addition to a great selection of covered items, Choice Home Warranty offers affordable annual premiums and low service fees. This means more savings in your pocket whenever you call for a repair.
Their call center is also available 24/7 to help respond to your repair needs whenever they crop up. This is particularly useful for duplex owners who want a quick response to their tenant’s maintenance requests.
Plus, Choice Home Warranty won’t deny you coverage just because you have an older duplex or older systems. They even provided free reservice on both repairs and parts whenever you submit a claim.
- Affordable annual premiums
- Low service call fees
- Won’t deny you coverage just because systems and appliances are old
- Both units of the duplex need to be covered for protection on shared systems
American Home Shield
American Home Shield covers duplex rental properties under the plan options that they offer for all homeowners. With American Home Shield, you can choose between two standard plan options – one for appliances and one for systems.
If you want the most comprehensive protection for your duplex, they also offer a combo plan that includes all the covered items in both the appliance and systems plans.
Alternatively, you can build your own plan and choose up to 10 items that you want coverage for. This is one of the best choices for duplex owners that want maximum flexibility in their home warranty coverage.
One of the biggest benefits of American Home Shield’s plans is its high coverage limits. The company offers particularly good coverage for appliances, such as refrigerators and ovens/stovetops. They also allow you to choose your own service fee, which can mean big savings for owners of duplexes that need frequent repairs.
Their combo plan is a particularly good choice for duplex owners that want to protect themselves from repairs on nearly any home system. They also offer optional coverage for well pumps, septic pumps, and pools/spas for people that want maximum repair protection on their duplex.
- Customizable coverage with build your own plan
- Ability to choose your own service fee
- High per-item protection for appliances
- Premiums are a bit higher than average
Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty has three plan options that can be used to protect your duplex. They have appliance, systems, and combo plans, including:
- Bronze Plan. Covers most appliances, including a refrigerator, stove, oven, garbage disposal, dishwasher, built-in microwave, and washer/dryer.
- Gold Plan. Includes protection for most major systems, such as heating, electrical, water heater, plumbing, air conditioning, and ductwork
- Platinum Plan. Protects everything in the bronze and gold plans, in addition to ceiling/exhaust fans and plumbing stoppages.
These three plan options from Select Home Warranty offer good coverage for duplex owners that have unique repair needs. Thanks to these different options, owners of duplexes can fine-tune their coverage and pay for protection only on the items that matter most to them.
We also like that Select Home Warranty allows duplex owners the ability to choose their own repair technician. The company also provides emergency repair services.
This is particularly helpful for duplex owners with tenants since they need to be able to respond to maintenance requests at any time of day or night. Select Home Warranty also allows customers to file repair claims online or over the phone, which simplifies the entire process.
- Ability to choose your own repair technician
- Emergency repair services available
- Claims can be filed online or over the phone
- Some plan options cost a bit more than the national average
Total Home Protection
Total Home Protection will cover duplexes under their two plan options. Both of these plans cover appliances and systems, so you can choose if you want basic or premium coverage for your duplex.
With Total Home Protection’s gold plan, you get coverage on the following items in your duplex:
- Electrical system
- Plumbing system and stoppages
- Water heater and interior sump pump
- Whirlpool bathtub
- Oven, stove, cooktop, range, and built-in microwave
- Garage door opener
- Ductwork and ceiling/exhaust fans
- Garbage disposal and trash compactor
Their platinum plan also offers all of the above coverage, plus protection on your heating and cooling systems, clothes washer and dryer, as well as your duplex’s refrigerators.
If you want even more coverage, Total Home Protection also has a great list of optional coverage options. These include protection for your septic system, pool, or spa.
The company’s plans are particularly well suited for duplexes because they both cover systems and appliances. They also have an affordable service fee and good annual premium rates to help you save money in the long term.
Plus, Total Home Protection offers emergency repair services for their home warranty customers. This gives duplex owners the peace of mind they need to know that they can get repair help whenever an emergency arises.
- All plan options cover appliances and systems
- Emergency repair service available for landlords
- Reasonable premiums and service fees
- Coverage limitations by state
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty has two great plan options that can be used to protect your duplex investment. Their basic plan provides coverage for the following appliances:
- Oven, cooktop, and built-in microwave
- Garbage disposal and trash compactor
- Clothes washer and dryer
Meanwhile, the company’s premier plan covers the above, plus protects major home systems, such as:
- Central vacuum systems
The company is a popular choice for home warranty protection because they have low service fees and affordable premiums. You can also choose from a handful of optional coverage items if you want to protect your duplex’s air conditioning, pool, or spa in addition to all of your building’s major systems and appliances.
First American Home Warranty even has protection upgrades available should you choose to put your duplex up for sale. This can help ensure that selling your duplex is a pain-free process with no unexpected hurdles along the way.
- Low service fees and affordable premiums
- Protection upgrades available if you want to sell your duplex
- High total coverage amounts for repairs
- Air conditioning protection is only available as an add-on
Final Thoughts On Purchasing A Home Warranty For Your Duplex
As a duplex owner, you already have a lot to worry about. Paying for costly appliances and systems repairs shouldn’t be one of them.
A home warranty is one of the best ways to protect your real estate investment while also ensuring that you don’t spend an excessive amount of money on maintaining your property each year. Ultimately, a home warranty is a must-have for any duplex owner.
To keep your duplex protected, we recommend coverage from Choice Home Warranty, as they offer affordable annual premiums and low service fees, coverage of your unit up to 5,000 feet and great customer service available 24/7 for any emergencies.