Looking for the best home warranty for an older home?
Perfect, you’re in the right spot! In this guide, you’ll learn:
- What is a home warranty for an older home?
- How much does a home warranty for an older home cost?
- Is a home warranty worth it for your older home?
- How do home warranties for older homes work?
- Where can you find the best home warranty for your older home?
- And much more!
We’ve reviewed 68 different home warranty companies, and below are our top picks for older homes specific to your state. Eager to know more? Continue reading!
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Our Top Picks Overview
What's In This Guide?
Older homes are full of character, charm, and a whole lot of history. However, owning an older home can get expensive very quickly. All those unexpected repairs and replacements on your older building’s home systems and appliances can rack up some pretty big bills over the years. Thankfully, there’s a way to protect yourself from costly home repairs.
The answer? A home warranty.
With a home warranty for your older home, you can feel confident in your financial security and your ability to pay to replace major appliances or systems. But, can you even get home warranty coverage for an older home?
What Are Home Warranties Meant For Older Homes?
A home warranty for an older home is a way to protect your real estate investment and reduce or eliminate any unexpected repair costs.
With a home warranty plan, you pay an annual premium in exchange for coverage on your home appliances. Additionally, depending on your coverage options and covered items, you can also protect major systems, like your electrical system, plumbing system, or even your HVAC.
Top 5 Best Home Warranties For Older Homes
Then, if you need to repair or replace something in your older home, your home warranty service contract will cover most, if not all, of the cost of your expenses. So, a home warranty plan is one of the best ways to reduce how much you have to spend on maintaining your home each year.
Home Warranties For Buying An Older Home
Additionally, if you are a home buyer interested in purchasing an older home, then a plan from a reputable home warranty provider can make a big difference. Even the best-kept of older houses will ultimately need to replace some of the building’s most important components, like the HVAC system or septic system.
So, new homeowners can protect themselves from any issues that eventually crop up by using a home warranty. In fact, real estate agents will often recommend that individuals purchase a home warranty, particularly while closing on an older house. Doing so can help give you peace of mind and can defray the cost of any major issues that might happen in your new home.
How Much Does Coverage For An Older Home Cost?
For an older home, the average home warranty costs between $300 and $600 for an annual premium. However, this amount can vary quite a bit depending on a number of factors, including:
- Size of the home
- Location of the residence
- Whether you choose a comprehensive plan, a basic plan or a make your own plan with add-ons
Most companies will offer you a free quote based on the coverage you’re interested in and the size/location of your home before purchasing a plan. This can be a good way to see how much your plan will cost and if there’s room in your budget for any optional coverage add-ons to better protect your home.
Do You Pay More For Home Warranties On Older Homes?
While the size and location of your house are important in determining your premium, the best home warranty companies will not charge you more for owning an older home. In fact, most companies don’t even require that you get a home inspection before you purchase a home warranty plan – though it’s still good to do one anyway (more on that in a bit).
This makes warranties very different from home insurance, which will charge you more for outdated or older systems and appliances. Indeed, the best warranty providers won’t deny you coverage just because you have older fixtures and appliances in your house.
However, many companies will request that you provide documentation and repair records when servicing older systems and appliances. Generally, you just need to show proof of regular service and maintenance for the period that you’ve owned your home, but the more information you have, the better.
Additionally, while most home warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions, some plans made for real estate transactions involving older homes will offer some protection for these problems. Your home inspection should catch any glaring pre-existing conditions, but if the issue wasn’t obvious to an inspector or professional, it’d likely be covered under your plan.
Is A Home Warranty For An Older Home Worth It?
Adding the cost of a home warranty premium to your monthly expenses might not seem very enticing. But, a warranty on your older home is worth the expense and can make a big difference to your finances if you have a major issue with an appliance or system.
Here’s how a home warranty works to protect you and your older house:
Helps Maintain Your Home
Older homes have character and appeal that you often can’t find in a new build. However, when houses age, they need a whole lot of repairs.
With a home warranty, so long as any issues with your house’s systems and appliances weren’t caused by insufficient maintenance, you’ll likely be covered. This means your warranty plan will help to pay for repairs and replacements that you will eventually need to maintain your older home.
Of course, you will have to spend a bit on your annual premium with a warranty plan. But, when compared to how much you will save each year on repairs, a home warranty is certainly worth it.
Best Home Warranty For Older Homes?
Choice Home Warranty is our top pick for homeowners looking for a home warranty. Choice has more than 10 years of experience and won’t deny you coverage just because you have old systems or appliances.
Even if you have enough budgeted for regular maintenance on your home, the cost of replacing a major feature of your home, like your air conditioning system or your well pump, can be a big hit financially. With a home warranty, though, you’re protected from large out-of-pocket expenses.
With your home warranty protection plan, you get coverage on all of your included appliances and systems up to a certain dollar amount each year. Older homes often need to replace at least one large and expensive item every few years, so the coverage offered by a warranty can keep more money in your pocket over time.
Simplified Repair Service
One of the biggest advantages of a home warranty is the simplified repair service. With a warranty plan, when you have a problem, you simply file a claim. Then, the company will send a qualified repair specialist to your home to assess, diagnose, and fix any issues you may have.
This process makes getting home repairs easy and stress-free. Instead of having to rush to find a reputable local plumber, electrician, or HVAC specialist to come to your home in an emergency, with a warranty, you just need to reach out to the company’s service center. Then, you’ll get prompt, quality service without all the panic normally associated with broken home systems.
Read Also: Can I Have A Home Warranty For My Older Columbus, Ohio Home?
Protection For New Homeowners
Another great yet under-appreciated benefit of a home warranty for older homes is the protection they offer for new homeowners. Although many people sign up for a warranty plan to cover their current house, most companies will offer some sort of coverage for homebuyers through the real estate process.
Getting a home warranty when you purchase an older home can give you the peace of mind to know that you’re protected if something happens after you close on the house. Hopefully, any potential issues are caught during the home inspection and then repaired, but a warranty can cover you if there are any issues down the line that weren’t obvious to an inspector.
Thus, a warranty for new homeowners can protect the charm and character of the house you love while also ensuring that you can enjoy your new home for years to come – without breaking the bank.
Are you a new homeowner and curious about the pros and cons of buying a new-build home vs. an older home? Check out this video!
Covers What Homeowners Insurance Won’t
Home warranties are often confused with homeowners insurance, but they’re not the same thing. Homeowners insurance is a policy that protects you against damage caused by events like fires, earthquakes, theft, or flooding.
While you should certainly have home insurance, it won’t cover you if your dishwasher or water heater breaks – this just isn’t the purpose of this type of coverage. But, this means you’ll have to pay out-of-pocket for these repairs even if you have homeowners insurance.
But, with the right home warranty plan, you’ll be protected if you have an issue with your air conditioner, sump pump, or even your clothes washer. You’ll even be covered after the manufacturer’s warranty on major appliances expires, which is an added bonus for owners of older homes.
How Do Home Warranties For Older Homes Work (Are They Unique)?
For the most part, the home warranty that you can buy for an older home is the same as what you’d get for a new home. Interestingly, most companies will not offer separate “older home” plans but will offer you coverage under the same great protection plans that you can get for a new home.
Here’s what you need to know about how the whole process works:
Step 1: List Your Priorities
If you’ve owned your older home for a while, you’re probably quite familiar with repairing and replacing your house’s systems and appliances. So, you’re also probably well aware of what coverage you’d like to protect your home.
For older homeowners, it’s best to make a list of all your top priorities when it comes to home warranty coverage. While you’ll want to get as much coverage as you can, if you’re working with a limited budget, consider what systems and appliances are most important to cover in your home.
Making a list of these items before you start looking at any individual policies will help you narrow down your different plan options to see which one is best for you.
Step 2: Get A Home Inspection
Although this advice applied to anyone interested in a home warranty, it’s highly recommended that people who own older homes get an inspection before purchasing a policy. Since older homes can amass various issues over time, it’s best to find out precisely what problems your house has before you purchase a plan.
Since most warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions, you’ll want to know if there are any issues lurking in your major systems or appliances before you purchase a plan. Then, you can fix any of these problems before starting your warranty. This will give you peace of mind moving forward as you can be confident that any future issues will be covered by your policy.
Step 3: Choose A Plan
Once you know what you want to cover in your home and you’ve determined that your systems and appliances don’t have any pre-existing conditions, it’s time to choose a plan.
When shopping, you’ll notice that you often have the option between appliances plans, systems plans, or more comprehensive coverage through a combo plan. Sometimes, you can build your own plan if you want to mix and match different covered items for your home.
If you’re looking to protect the appliances in your house, you can save a bit of money with an appliance plan. However, in an older home, a combo plan with coverage for appliances and systems is usually a solid bet.
Since older systems can be very expensive to replace, the added coverage of a combo plan can bring you a lot of peace of mind and financial protection over the years.
Step 4: Wait For The Grace Period To End
After purchasing a plan, you’ll generally have to wait for a short grace period to end before you can make your first claim. This is normally about 30 days from the time the plan starts.
However, if you already have a warranty policy and you’re just looking to switch providers or coverage options, then most companies will waive this grace period. You usually have to provide proof of continuous coverage to qualify for this exemption.
Step 5: Make A Claim
When your grace period finishes, you can make your first claim as soon as an issue arises. The best companies will have a 24/7 call center where you can submit a claim for service. Many plans will require that you report the issue within 1-3 days of it starting, so don’t delay when it comes to contacting the call center.
Step 6: Pay The Service Fee
Once you make your claim, you’ll have to pay a small service fee to have a repair technician come to your house. This fee varies from company to company and is usually between $60-$125. The fee is generally paid just once per repair claim, regardless of the number of times contractors are sent to your home. You can think of these as similar to the cost of a copay when you visit the doctor.
Step 7: Get Prompt Repair Service
As soon as your claim is processed, your warranty company will send a service provider to your home for a hassle-free and prompt repair service. The specialist will assess and diagnose the issue and then give you options for how to proceed with repairs or replacements of your appliance or system.
Top Home Warranties For Older Homes Reviewed
You have a lot of options when it comes to coverage options on your older home. So, to simplify the research process for you, here are our top home warranty reviews of the best companies and plans 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
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
Final Thoughts On Coverage For Older Homes
If you own an older home, a home warranty is a must-have. Older homes need major repairs much more frequently than new builds, so a warranty can help protect you financially from huge maintenance costs. Choice Home Warranty is our top choice because they offer comprehensive and affordable coverage for older homes, regardless of the age of your systems or appliances.