Are you over the age of 65 and looking for home warranty coverage? Or are you looking to help protect your loved ones from unexpected home expenses?
If so, you’re in the right spot. In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Are there home warranties made for senior citizens?
- Do home warranties cover pre-existing conditions?
- How soon can your systems and major appliances be insured after warranty purchase?
- What should you look for when picking coverage for your home as a senior?
- What makes a home warranty for a senior unique?
- And much more!
We’ve have reviewed and rated 68 different home warranty companies, and below are the top picks that we think are of the most benefit to seniors. Continue reading!
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Our Top Picks Overview
What's In This Guide?
Senior citizens are among the fastest-growing demographic in the U.S., and more retirees are choosing not to forgo their condos, townhomes, apartments, country cottages, or city homes for a retirement community when they reach a certain age. Only 3.6% of seniors over the age of 65 live in nursing homes, leaving almost 97% of the demographic prone to high repair and replacement expenses without a home warranty service contract.
Besides, who wants to spend their golden years dealing with financial woes? For most seniors, retirement is more than money. It’s about spending time with children and grandchildren, traveling, community, and enjoying not being in the office. Because of this, we at ReviewHomeWarranties.com want to help you find the best coverage for your major systems and major appliances during this next stage of your life.
So, what is a home warranty for a senior, you ask? Well, here’s the answer. A home warranty can save you money and time when basic home systems like the air conditioning system, clothes washer, dishwasher, or a water heater stop working.
And while most home warranty providers do not offer a specific plan for senior living, owning a home warranty plan can help derail the out-of -pocket expenses and give you the comfort in knowing that a home repair and replacement are just a phone call away.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For A Senior Citizen
Do Home Warranties Cover Replacement?
The short answer is, yes. But, imagine you have just retired after 40 years recently relocated to Florida from New York. Your daily home needs are different now, as your air conditioner’s heavy use has replaced your use of a furnace. You’re excited about the new weather, but realize the days where your son-in-law popped over for routine home systems maintenance are gone, as your family still lives in upstate NY, leaving you do figure out home maintenance on your own..
So, what do you do when your air conditioning unit quits, or ceiling fan stops running just as the FL weathermen are forecasting triple digits?
You don’t have to worry, because you remember that your Choice Home Warranty Total Plan for home systems, one of the best home warranty companies in the business, covers all repair and replacement components for air conditioning units below 13 SEER.
Long story short, the right home warranty plan leaves you assured that your home systems and appliances will be covered when they break down. But companies do differ in their terms on what individual plans include.
For example, some providers do include HVAC systems as part of their basic systems plan, like American Home Shield. Others, however, might require an extra monthly payment for this system to be covered.
Best Home Warranty For A Senior?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for a senior in the home warranty market. Choice has more than 10 years of experience, has 24/7 customer service availability and emergency response around the clock for seniors in crisis.
Can Home Warranties Cover Pre-Existing Conditions?
Most companies do not cover pre-existing conditions, which is the industry standard. But, some companies will cover them, like American Home Shield. AHS covers pre-existing conditions for items with a bit more wear and tear and will even replace your items no matter the age.
It is strongly recommended that you conduct a home inspection regularly, keep maintenance records or that you have a working knowledge of past home appliances or system issues so that you won’t have any denied claims with your provider. However, if you are unable to have a home inspection done before you purchase coverage, don’t fret!
Most companies do not ask for a home inspection or documentation of appliance and system history. As long as your items are working properly when you purchase a policy, companies are generally not concerned about the age of the product, the brand or make.
How Soon Can You Use A Home Warranty For After Purchase As A Senior?
Home warranty companies do not want to keep you waiting around for repairs and replacements. But, if you are new to the home warranty industry, generally providers enforce a 30-day waiting period for coverage. Just like how you can’t crash your car and then get car insurance, you can’t notice a broken sump pump and file for insurance the next day expecting coverage. After the 30 days, you are free to file a claim and make a service call when needed.
However, if you have a home warranty plan and are looking to switch to a new company, the waiting period will generally be waived.
Is Home Warranty Coverage Worth It For Seniors?
Home warranty companies do all of the leg work for seniors by finding a technician out of their network of contractors, booking appointments convenient for you, and repairing the issue– saving you the hassle of finding a dependable repairman, so they are definitely worth it.
There are many benefits to owning a home warranty, especially if you are a homeowner who doesn’t want to have to deal with maintenance items and costs. However, it does depend on your retirement situation if you really need the extra coverage.
Depends On Where You Live
The retirement years are when children move out, and because of this, many seniors choose to downsize, relocate to a new home with fewer stairs, or choose to live in an apartment or condo to relieve some of the stresses that being a homeowner brings.
For that reason, your use of a home warranty might depend on the type of home you live in. For example, if you have recently built a new home, you might not need a home warranty because some contracts include coverage for the first year. Many real estate agents will even give a home warranty as a housewarming gift to the home buyers, so if that’s the case, then you won’t have to purchase another plan until the first year is up.
However, if you are a senior who has downsized to a renovated or older home, you will probably want your major appliances and major systems to be insured for peace of mind so that an unexpected expense won’t be a shock.
Living in an apartment or condo comes with all the luxuries of having an elevator and not having to deal with cutting the grass. But, let’s face it. Owning a condo still comes with similar expenses to owning a home, like paying for your air conditioning unit, water heater and other utilities, so seniors should cover these items. On the bright side, if you own a condo, you do not have to worry about having to pay for optional coverage items like pool, septic repairs and roof.
Depends If You Rent Your Property
Homeownership can be expensive during retirement, so some seniors choose to move into a rental property for their golden years. Owning a home on a fixed retirement fund can be risky, especially if it is prone to maintenance.
As a renter, the home appliance and home system breakdown are at the mercy of the landlord or company. Generally, if your septic system, ductwork system, plumbing system or even electrical system breakdown as a renter, the issues are not your problem. But if your a landlord, a home warranty is more worth it for you.
Depends If You Have A Manufacturer’s Warranty or Homeowners Insurance
For some seniors who own a home, a manufacturer’s warranty for new appliances and systems or homeowner insurance is usually included. All three of these items– a manufacturer’s warranty, homeowners insurance and a home warranty– are different but do confuse some seniors. We want to go ahead and get this straightened out before proceeding with any kind of coverage plan.
A manufacturer’s warranty will generally cover repairs, and sometimes replacement, of a specific appliance in a new home. Items are covered by the original manufacturer and are usually limited to one year, so after that limit is up, it’s essential to have backup coverage of your appliances and systems through a home warranty policy.
Homeowners insurance and a home warranty are different because a homeowner’s insurance policy covers the cost of damage, natural disasters, and unexpected events like theft. A home warranty doesn’t protect from these events; rather, they cover the normal wear and tear home items like a garbage disposal, garage door opener, exhaust fan or cooktop. Even though there is a difference between these two policies, you will want to have a home warranty and homeowners insurance to have all home costs covered.
What To Consider When Picking The Best Home Warranty As An Elder?
Home Warranty Cost
As a retiree, it’s important to consider all costs associated with purchasing a home warranty to protect your wallet from any expenses that could take a chunk out of your retirement fund. Typical costs that seniors need to think about when purchasing home coverage the deductible cost and the premium cost.
Don’t know how a deductible works for a home warranty? A deductible is a small service fee that is required upon the arrival of your technician. But don’t worry, each home warranty company makes the fee clear, so you know exactly how much you have to pay.
Each company charges different call rates, and some are lower than others. For example, Choice Home Warranty has a rate of $85 per service call for all plans. American Home Shield, however, charges different rates for different plans.
And how about premiums? A premium is the amount you owe the warranty company each year for your coverage plan. Once again, these prices vary. Choice Home Warranty, for example, has premium costs that range from around $400-600 per year.
As you start to age, emergency planning is a must to live a confident and calmer lifestyle. Because of this, the benefit of having a home warranty is that generally, most companies offer 24-hour service, seven days a week and 365 days a year. So, if something goes wrong, you can rest assured that your home warranty company will be by your side.
For example, all five of our top providers listed above offer emergency services. The difference is, though, that some companies don’t provide these services for free. Choice Home Warranty, however, does. Choice even offers a safety guide that explains how seniors can live safely and independently.
Some people look forward to moving to a desired destination or closer to family in their retirement years, which is why it is important to consider which home warranty companies offer transfers of contracts.
For example, if you want to be closer to your grandchildren and decide to move, Choice Home Warranty offers a free transfer of an existing contract to a new house. This is a great opportunity to take advantage of, especially if you don’t stay put in one place for very long because most companies charge a fee for a contract transfer, like Choice’s competitor American Home Shield.
Check on this video on a few simple and inexpensive ways that seniors can remain at home, where most want to safely age.
How Do Home Warranties For Seniors Work (Are They Unique)?
Step 1: Decide What You Want To Be Covered
As a senior, you will want to consider what you prefer to be covered by your home warranty plan to protect you from high maintenance costs. Consider where you are living, the age of the appliances and systems in your home and even the weather.
Some everyday items that seniors prefer to have covered are their pools and spas– two essentials that seniors enjoy for therapeutic, physical activity and wellness reasons. For the active senior that has retired in a warmer destination, pool coverage is a must.
Pool and spa coverage is normally offered as an optional add-on to most packages. Other optional coverage items that seniors usually cover are their sprinkler systems, central vacuum and ice makers, as these convenience items make retirement life a bit more enjoyable.
Step 2: Choose The Right Plan
Depending on the number of items you want to be covered will impact the plan you choose. For senior homeowners who don’t need to have the maximum number of items insured, then a more basic plan for either systems or appliances will do the job.
But, if you are trying to cover as many items as possible to alleviate the stress of any repair or replacement, a combo plan or personalized plan is best. For example, American Home Shield’s Combo Plan packages together 21 appliances and systems in a plan. They also offer a Build Your Own Plan, which is good for the senior that prefers to choose what items to be covered individually.
Generally, you can add-on as many items as the company offers to any plan. However, it is important to be aware that optional items can really add up when coverage is sought out for items like pools, spas, sprinkler systems, sump pumps, and other unique elements that homeowners want to be insured.
Step 3: Make A Claim
If your appliances or home systems start to fail and you realize they need to be repaired or replaced, submit a claim online and schedule an appointment with a technician. Most appointments are scheduled during regular business hours throughout the week, which as a retiree, gives you ample opportunities to schedule a consultation mutually.
However, if you do not hear from the technician within 24 hours of filing a claim, contact your home warranty company. Generally, most companies will provide you with a number to contact the technician directly.
Step 4: Wait For Repair or Reservice
Most home service providers guarantee a two-day repair time after you file the claim. However, for weekends and holidays, the industry average is about four days. When the repairman arrives at your house, he or she will diagnose the problem and begin the repair or replacement process.
What makes home system and appliance coverage unique for elderly customers is the convenience of not having to deal with repair or replacement issues on your own or having to go through the hassle of finding a contractor. Especially if you have relocated for retirement and don’t know who the best repairmen are in your community yet, you will appreciate the luxury of not having to worry about contracting someone.
Top Home Warranties For Seniors Reviewed
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
Total Home Protect Review (Best For Larger Systems)
Why Do We Like Total Home Protect?
Total Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average protection on more robust systems like septic systems and roof coverage.
Their monthly cost comes out to around ~$45 per month for their basic “Gold” plan, which puts them on the more expensive side of the scale when compared to other top home warranties on our list with better coverage.
Most home warranties do not cover anything related to your roof but Total Home Protect does, which we found to be unique to their offering helping them crack our top list.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Very similar to Choice and AHS, Total Home Protect 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!
- You Can Choose Your Own Technicians
- Roof Coverage
- More Exclusions Than Most Competitors
- The Worst BBB score
- Low Payout Limits ($500)
First American Home Warranty Review (Best Customer Service)
Why Do We Like First American Home Warranty?
First American Home Warranty made our list as a home warranty with above average customer service mixed with in with a decent price point.
The only drawback was that they aren’t nationwide lacking coverage in the following states: ND, MN, WI, IL, NY, VT, NH, ME, MA, CT , RI , DE, AL, HI, LA.
Their plan options include a “Basic“ plan, which only covers appliances and will run you about $28 per month. Their combo plan, which covers major systems and appliances branded the “Premier” plan costs around to ~$43 per month.
Overall a good home warranty provider, but just lacking the coverage, which would have helped make a better case for “best overall home warranty company”.
Policy On Pre-Existing Issues or Older Units?
Again, all of the home warranty providers seem to have adopted a similar policy in that they cover “old” appliances and systems 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!
- Great Customer Service (B+ BBB Score)
- Online Chat Support
- Not Available In 15 States
- Can’t Choose Your Own Contractor
Our Top Pick For a Home Warranty For Seniors
In conclusion, choosing the right plan and the right home insurance company is not a decision that any senior should take lightly. We at ReviewHomeWarranties.com know that it can be a tough choice, which is why we believe that Choice Home Warranty offers the best plan options for seniors.
This is because of their free transfer of contract, three comprehensive plans available and 24/7 access to emergency services. Choice also does not conduct pre-inspection before policies are provided, so if you are a senior living in a home with older appliances and systems, this is the plan for you.