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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Our Top Picks Overview
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.
If you’re looking for a trusted, industry-leading home warranty company, we recommend Choice Home Warranty. They’re a top-rated brand and right now you can take advantage of their current promotions that get you $50 off, plus one free month and free 30-Day cancellation. Get a free online quote or contact a specialist at 929-400-6169 before these deals end. Another great option is American Home Shield which offers $50 off. Get a free quote online or you can call a home warranty specialist directly at 866-464-7521.
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 Review (Best Overall Home Warranty)
Why Do We Like Choice?
Out of all the home warranty companies we reviewed, Choice Home Warranty has the most comprehensive plans, good payout limits, minimal number exclusions, quality customer service, and affordable cost.
Choice has two main home warranty plans. The “Basic Plan” and the more comprehensive “Total Plan” covering 15 home appliances (dishwasher, etc) and systems (duct work, water heater, etc). They also have “Optional Coverage” for add on items most homeowners don’t usually have, which include pools and spas, well pump, sump pump, roof leaks, other extraneous items.
Based on our review, Choice’s “Total” plan covers these items at a more affordable price point than its competitors although has a few more exclusions, which is how they can justify charging a lower monthly payment.
The thing about home warranties is that they are a bit complicated with a lot of moving parts that may confuse most homeowners on what’s covered versus what’s not covered.
A key deciding factor in our review looking for the best home warranty company is finding one with top quality customer service to help customers like you walk through the claims process so you don’t have to worry about nasty surprises when you need service.
That said, Choice has 24 hours a day 7 days a week 365 days a year availability and a 48 hour response time to get a contractor out to your home. Other providers tend to have slower response times and are less communicative about when technicians are assigned to your claim.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Choice covers appliances regardless of age or existing wear and tear, so you don’t need to worry about signing up and not getting covered due to age assuming you’ve properly maintained the item over it’s life.
What’s not covered is if you or someone else breaks the unit regardless of when it happens. All home warranties, regardless of company, won’t cover a unit you break through negligence or misuse (i.e., baby sticks chocolate bar into VCR).
- Good Limits (up to $1,500)
- Minimal Exclusions
- More Affordable
- Only 15 Home Appliances & Systems Covered
American Home Shield Review (Editor’s Choice)
Why Do We Like American Home Shield?
Far and away the most thorough and transparent home warranty company we reviewed is American Home Shield. They are the gold standard. If you spend any amount of time on their website, it’s clear that they are very upfront about what they do cover and don’t cover when compared to their competitors.
In fact, they go out of their way to tell you they cover things their competitors don’t like rust or plumbing stoppages.
They also have the best home warranty coverage with an astounding 21 systems and major appliances including trash compactor, smoke detectors, and clothes washer. They also have the fewest number of exclusions with the highest dollar limit payout amounts ranging from $1,000 – $3,000 per claim.
Think of American Home Shield as the “BMW” or “Mercedes” of home warranty companies. More expensive than Choice, but with better coverage and limits.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice, American Home Shield covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Highest Payout Limits (up to $3,000)
- Widest Coverage (21 systems and appliances)
- Fewest Exclusions
- Most Expensive
Select Home Warranty Review (Most Affordable)
Why Do We Like Select Home Warranty?
Select Home Warranty made our list as a best budget friendly home warranty option. They have lower limits ranging from $500 – $2,000 per claim but also lower service fee costs and potentially reduced annual premiums as low $325 per year if you opt into multiple year contracts, far below other competitors.
If you opt for their “Platinum Care” they are on-par with other providers in terms of what they actually cover.
Overall, a great budget option for people who want a home warranty but can’t afford Choice or American Home Shield.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and American Home Shield, Select covers old systems and appliances that break down due to wear and tear, but they do not cover pre-existing issues or negligence related to the misuse of your appliance or system!
- Most Affordable Service Contracts
- Roof leaks Are Covered In Their Platinum Plan
- Ultra Pushy Sales
- 3 Days To Submit Claim
- Weaker Network Of Contractors
Amazon Home Warranty Review
Why Do We Like Amazon Home Warranty?
The Amazon Home Warranty is one of the best options for homeowners. The Amazon Home Warranty has only been around for a little more than ten years. However, in that time, they have been able to put together some great coverage options across 46 states. At Amazon Home Warranty, you will get more of that small company feel that many of us look for in great companies today.
When you look at all of the companies out there, you will find that some stand out from the crowd. From the website to the customer service, to the plan versatility, Amazon Home Warranty has everything a homeowner could want. They have created relationships with over 50,000 contractors around the country. With a base like this, you can get your issues fixed quickly and without spending more of your time and money.
The most refreshing thing about this company is how simplistic its plans are. When you want to find out what the Amazon Home Warranty will cover and what they won’t, you can easily do so on their website. You won’t have to worry so much about fine print and exclusions with Amazon Home Warranty. Since this is a more modern and streamlined younger business, it’s very easy to stay on track with what they are offering and how they can help you.
In addition to the essential appliance and system plans, Amazon Home Warranty offers a combo plan option and add-on coverage for those homeowners with specific needs. When it comes to policy limits and exclusions, the Amazon Home Warranty will be very similar to other options on the market.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Like other home warranty companies, Amazon will cover issues due to wear and tear on older models; however, they will not cover problems that have already occurred to your appliances or systems. There is a 30 day waiting period when you first sign up for new coverage that you will have to abide by before your plan truly starts. If your refrigerator is currently broken, you will need to fix it before Amazon Home Warranty covers it. For a newly purchased home, Amazon Home Warranty is going to want to see an inspection report before they are able to fix or cover an issue in your home.
- Younger, more modern company
- Wide coverage
- Add on options
- Over 50,000 certified contractors Nationwide
- Easy to work with a smaller team of customer service agents
- Lost their BBB accreditation and are in the process of getting it back
Liberty Home Guard Review
Why Do We Like Liberty Home Guard?
Liberty Home Guard is one of the newer home warranty companies on the market. With Liberty Home Guard, you will be exposed to all of the latest and greatest theories and concepts in the industry. This attention to technology will be seen immediately on their website and when dealing with the brand new customer portal. If you like a streamlined and electronic process for your home warranty policy, Liberty is a great choice.
Liberty Home Guard has only been in the industry for a few years, yet they have grown a network of more than 10,000 certified contractors from around the country. These contractors have to go through a rigorous application to ensure that they are qualified to be making repairs in your home.
Like some of the other home warranty companies on the market, Liberty Home Guard allows you to customize your plan with add ons and additional coverages. When it comes to pricing, Liberty Home Guard will be right in the same ballpark as most other manufacturers. There is some customization of your plan to be able to work within your budget, but a basic plan will start around $49.99 a month.
We like that with Liberty Home Guard, you can use a contractor of your choice if you wish. The reservice fee will not be covered if you choose your contractor, but it is an excellent option if you have people that you trust to do your home repairs.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
If you are not moving into a brand new home, you will still get coverage from Liberty Home Guard. After your 30 day waiting period to begin coverage, all working appliances and systems will be covered from that point forward. If you have a broken microwave and you haven’t signed up for converge just yet, you will need to have that fixed before your coverage can start.
- State of the art customer portal system
- Rigorous testing for contractors
- Ability to use your own contractors
- Fair pricing
- Good customer service for a newer company
- Must report your issues within one day of noticing a problem
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.