Looking for the best home warranty coverage for veterans?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot. In this guide you’ll learn:
- What does a home warranty for a veteran cost?
- Is a home warranty worth it for military personnel?
- What should a service member or vets look for in a home warranty plan?
- What is our top pick for a home warranty for a veteran?
- And much more!
We’ve reviewed 68 different home warranty companies, and below are our top picks for veteran coverage specific to your state. Want to learn more about each? Continue reading!
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What's In This Guide?
Ever since the days of the GI Bill, the business community—especially companies related to real estate—has been looking for ways to recognize veterans’ service (to earn their trust and gain their business). Housing affordability and related services, like home warranties for active military and veterans, have been one way to offer that recognition. There are discounts and incentives provided by warranty companies and even third-party veteran support organizations.
However, that doesn’t mean the deals and the best policies are always easy to find. That’s why we wanted to rate home warranties specifically, as they relate to veterans. Home warranty companies want to gain the business of vets.
In this home warranty review, you will also learn about comprehensive coverage, components that go into home warranty costs, the difference between homeowners insurance and a home warranty, basic plan options, covered items, and a general overview of what to expect from a home warranty company.
What Are The Basics About A Home Warranty Plan for Active or Retired Military?
For anyone looking at home warranties, it is important to first understand the difference between homeowner’s insurance and a home warranty. A homeowner’s insurance policy covers damage and loss from unexpected events like fire, flooding, or theft. A home warranty covers repair costs and in some cases, replacement costs of systems like HVAC and plumbing, along with home appliances, when they stop running from either old age or normal wear and tear. So first thing, understand home insurance and home warranty differences.
Homebuyers of new construction will have a home builder warranty for at least the first year. And if you are living on base, appliance and system breakdowns are somebody else’s problem. Home warranty providers offer some helpful solutions.
Some home warranty companies offer a separate systems plan and appliances plan, or combo plans. Some offer basic coverage that will cover some systems and appliances, but not others. The best home warranty companies will offer a wide enough variety of coverage options that, whatever your situation, there will be a coverage option that is right for you.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For Veterans
Is Home Warranty Coverage Worth It For Veterans?
It all depends on your situation. But let’s take a look at differences between what a home warranty can mean for active-duty military and veterans, so you can see if a home warranty is worth it for you.
While you are active in the military, you get your basic allowance for housing (BAH). BAH can be used for mortgage and other housing expenses. Your BAH will stretch further in some areas than others, but it could help you stretch your budget, making a home warranty an easy decision to make.
Here’s a BAH explainer from a current military spouse:
If you get a VA mortgage, the terms are very generous compared with other types of mortgage instruments.
Ask your real estate agent about home warranty options. With a VA loan—again depending on where you are serving and the cost of living in that area—there will even be room in the BAH for the home warranty. In that case, it is definitely worth it for the peace of mind a home warranty offers. You want to spend time with your family when you are not on base or otherwise on duty, not fussing with a home repair company regarding the water heater, dishwasher, or air conditioning (for instance) on your days off.
Well, you are out of the armed services and do not have that allowance for housing. Is a home warranty still worth it? Again, it will depend on your situation.
But generally, for an older home with systems and appliances that are not brand-new, a home warranty can be good protection for your wallet. Instead of repairs not covered by homeowner’s insurance coming completely out of pocket, you have a warranty to pick up the slack.
And once again, a VA loan provides very favorable terms, leaving you more money in your pocket for things like a good home warranty. And while the companies we reviewed do not all offer discounts specifically for military people, if you are buying a home, there are many national and regional organizations looking to help veterans defray the costs of homeownership.
So for both active duty and veteran military, a home warranty can be worth it for providing you with peace of mind regarding home repair and maintenance.
What Does a Home Warranty for Veterans Cost?
If, similar to your active duty days, you are planning to move frequently, home warranty plans can be a good idea. That way, you are not worrying about the condition of your appliances and major systems, and you can offer a home warranty as an incentive when the time comes to sell your home and move on.
Are you a member of USAA? As a member of the military, USAA offers a home warranty military discount.
The policies reviewed here range in price from $395 to $800. There can be additional charges for additional coverage on pools, hot tubs, well pumps, or roof leaks—systems not normally covered by standard home warranty plans.
Be sure to understand all the costs. Along with monthly payments for premiums, there are deductibles, also called service call fees, and add on protection. So, understand the total amount you are likely to pay, as well as the coverage maximums. Ask for a sample contract and read carefully before signing on the dotted line.
Do you live close to the San Diego Naval Base? We’ve picked the top 5 home warranty companies of the most benefit to you!
Do Home Warranties Cover Rentals for Military Personnel?
Yes, so rentals can be a great investment for veterans or active military who are also landlords . A military salary only goes so far, and many veterans purchase investment properties in order to build a solid financial future. A home warranty on your rental property can be a good idea, especially since the systems are often older and the appliances and other fixtures may not be “top of the line.”
It can be a boon for veterans who are tenants as well. When a landlord has this kind of coverage, repairs are likely to take less time, and the landlord will be less likely to balk at making the repairs. It’s a win-win.
Best Home Warranty For Veterans?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for veterans looking for a home warranty. Choice has more than 10 years of experience helping veterans insure their properties and even offers transfer policies without charge.
However, most of the top service providers will waive this waiting period if you’re simply switching plans from one company to another. In these situations, if you can prove that you haven’t had any gaps in your warranty coverage, then you can make your first claim as soon as you enroll.
How Soon Can You Use A Home Warranty After Purchase?
Generally, the time between when your policy begins and when you can file your first claim is 30 days. This is standard through the industry, but check your service contract to get the specifics on the policy you choose.
What Should You Look For When Picking The Best Home Warranty As A Veteran?
There are several factors you should pay attention to in order to get the best home warranty for your needs. Here is a quick rundown:
What Needs Coverage
It’s not just about the discount or incentives to purchase. You want a policy that will cover as many of your major home systems and major appliances for the least amount of money. This will mean comparing provider’s basic plans with their more “soup to nuts” plans.
Coverage will vary. Basic coverage may or may not cover the following: electrical system, plumbing system, garbage disposal, ductwork, air conditioner, garage door opener, clothes washer, heating system, smoke detectors, and cooktop. So be sure to examine the options to make sure you are covered.
Often companies will offer optional coverage on systems and appliances like ceiling fan, ice maker, swimming pool, whirlpool, central vacuum, sump pump, septic system and plumbing stoppages.
Bang for your Buck
Whether you are active military or a veteran, you want the most for your money. Pay attention to your BAH and weigh that against the premiums and deductibles of each home warranty plan you research. Coverage options vary from provider to provider. Will you need to add protection for a pool? Do you need a “platinum” plan or will a basic plan cover the items that most concern you in the home?
If you are a career military, you might be moving from place to place on a regular basis. Some home warranty companies charge for transferring a policy to a new home. If mobility has been your experience and you see more transfers in the near future, find a policy, like Choice Home Warranty, that will offer a free transfer of the policy.
What Are Some Helpful Resources for Vets Looking at Home Warranties?
If you are a member, USAA offers military discounts for home warranties, along with the insurance programs they are well known for. Contact your USAA rep to find out more about this discount.
Operation Homefront has many great programs for active military and veterans, from help with rental costs to outright payment of mortgages through their Homes on the Homefront Program.
Looking for coverage as a veteran in Tucson? Check out the top 5 companies for Tucson residents.
Top Home Warranties For Active and Retired Military Reviewed
Choice Home Warranty
Especially with a USAA membership and the home warranty discount available through that organization, Choice Home Warranty offers a very competitive price with a highly rated for its service provision, with some of the fastest response times in the industry. They are also known for not denying coverage for older systems and appliances. They are a company that is looking to serve you.
A few quick facts about Choice Home Warranty: They are available in 47 states. Especially if you are active in the military, you may move around quite a bit. With Choice Home Warranty, there is no charge for transferring your policy to a new home.
- You can cancel with no fee within 30 days of purchase
- Quick response time to claims calls
- Transfer policy to new home without charge
- Plans are not customizable
- Not available in California, Washington, or Oklahoma
American Home Shield
While not giving a discount per se, American Home Shield has in the past teamed up with Operation Homefront, a national nonprofit organization that provides emergency and other financial assistance to the families of U.S. service members, veterans, and wounded warriors, in a program called Homes on the Homefront. Through the program, veterans received a mortgage-free, American Home Shield warrantied home.
American Home Shield is a huge player in the business, accounting for about 48% of all home warranties in the country. And unless you are living or serving in Arkansas, you can get coverage in all other 49 states.
- You can choose your own service fee
- Available in 49 states
- Help veterans in need
- Not available in Arkansas
- Repairs guaranteed for only 30 days
Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty does offer a military discount, but you need to start an application to get details. They serve 46 states, one of the largest coverage areas in the pack. But if you are living or serving in Washington, Nevada, Wisconsin, or New York, Select Home Warranty does not serve those states.
We rate their value for the money as good but not great. Their premiums start at $629, making them one of the more expensive starting points among these five providers. On the other hand, they do offer low deductibles and a wide selection of plans.
Though not the only one to offer this, Select does provide emergency services to its customers. 24/7. Contractors are sent promptly after getting the service call and starting the claim.
- Low deductibles
- $150 off plus 2 months free, plus a military discount
- Larger selection of plans than other companies
- Must file claims within 3 days
- $75 cancellation fee
Total Home Protection
If Total Home Protection offers a military discount, they are keeping it a secret. They offer anywhere between $50 and $100 off and one or two months free to all new customers. Contact them to find out what they are currently offering.
THP pre-screens their contractors to ensure safety and a reliable service experience. They are available in 45 states but significantly are not available in both California and New York, along with Washington, Nevada, and Iowa.
If you put in a claim with Total Home Protection, you’ve got to be quick about it. With a one-day window, they offer the shortest span of time to submit your claim.
- 24/7 service calls
- Stand by their service and even offer reservice for failed repairs
- Of the providers surveyed, THP had the fewest BBB complaints
- They allow only 1 day to submit your claim
- They leave some heavily populated states (CA and NY) out of their coverage area
First American Home Warranty
FAHW is one of the larger and more established companies in the marketplace. They offer a $25 discount on yearly policy premium for active or former U.S. military personnel. That’s not huge, but it is something. They operate in 35 states.
If you like things done right the first time, First American gets good marks from reviewers on Google and Yelp for the professionalism of their contractors and service providers.
- Recognized as a good value in the industry
- B+ Better Business Bureau rating
- Only two service plans available
- Automatic renewal
Our Top Pick For a Home Warranty for Veterans
Choice Home Warranty, with their competitive pricing and consistently high ratings for service is rated our top choice for military. While not offering a specific military discount, the pricing and plans are such that they are the best bargain. Not to mention that when you are called to service—whether you are being stationed elsewhere or moving closer to the grandkids—your plan can travel with you to your new home.