The cost of living and homes in California can be high compared to the rest of the country. This makes budgeting for unexpected repairs difficult for many homeowners. For this reason, a home warranty can be great for California residents. A home warranty can be taken out for appliances, systems like electricity, plumbing, and HVAC, or for your entire home with add-ons for pools and outdoor kitchens. Depending on your plan, these apply when something breaks, needs maintenance, or repair and can save thousands of dollars in unexpected costs.
The state average cost for a home warranty in California is $350 to $750, with most homeowners spending $500 on a combined system and appliance plan. This project’s low cost is $250 for a basic 2-year combined service plan on a new home. The high cost is $900 for a platinum-level plan covering all systems and appliances in an existing house.
|Home Warranty Prices in California|
|National average cost||$500|
Home warranties are typically entered into for 1 year, but brand new homes may get longer warranties. When purchasing a standard home warranty for any system or appliance, you usually have two options - monthly and yearly. Paying the fee yearly tends to save money over paying per month. In California, where the cost of living is high, paying up front can often be the better choice. However, monthly payments are generally available for those who prefer to spread costs.
For brand new homes, in addition to system and appliance warranties, you can also get a structural 10-year warranty. This warranty covers your home’s walls and foundation from regular wear and damage for 10 years. This warranty has limits for natural disasters, such as wildfires and earthquakes, and only covers things like foundation leaks and wall cracks. Below are the average costs for home warranties paid out for different periods.
|Per Month||$30 - $75|
|Per Year||$350 - $750|
|10 Years||$400 - $1,200|
There are many plans to choose from in California, just as many climates and areas within the state may impact your plan. Most companies offer a roofing coverage plan that helps with roof damage from storms, which can be a good idea wherever you live.
Residents along the coast should consider plans that focus on appliances because salt air can damage appliances and electronics. Appliance plans cover most appliances that plug in, such as washers and dryers, ovens, and refrigerators. Hardwired appliances, such as dishwashers, are generally covered under system plans with plumbing and electrical.
Not all system plans are the same, and your location can impact the one you choose. Those in the southern parts want a plan that covers AC equipment and maintenance, while those in the north want a plan that covers heating systems and water heaters. If you live in the mountain and rural regions, you want a plan that offers add-ons like septic tanks and well pumps, while those with pools want a plan that offers coverage on these things.
Many companies offer basic and total protection plans of varying levels. These levels are usually given as Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, and each covers more items than the next. Check which plan covers what you need the most to get the best coverage for your California home. Below are the average monthly and yearly costs for the most common plans in California.
|Plan||Cost per Month||Cost per Year|
|Roofing||$25 - $45||$250 - $500|
|Extended Warranty||$30 - $40||$350 - $480|
|Appliance Protection Plan||$30 - $40||$350 - $480|
|Systems Protection Plan||$35 - $50||$400 - $600|
|Basic Protection Plan||$35 - $50||$400 - $600|
|Total Protection Plan||$40 - $75||$450 - $900|
Many home types in California can impact your home warranty plan costs. Mobile homes and condos are smaller than single-family homes. Therefore, they usually have lower costs. Smaller spaces like mobile homes and condos do not have as many systems or appliances as a single-family home, while condos often have shared systems that are not covered. Therefore, their costs are lower.
Duplexes and apartment buildings of up to 4 units can also get home warranties and usually have higher costs. Duplexes have twice the space to cover, while a small apartment building has even more space and systems. This means your costs are higher than a single-family home.
In addition to regular system costs, modular homes can also have a 10-year structural warranty. This is because they are built in a factory under strict conditions and often use additional material than other homes. This 10-year warranty does not cover damage due to natural disasters in California but covers regular damage and repairs to the foundation or walls. Below are the average costs per year for the various home types found in California and the 10-year cost of a structural warranty for modular homes.
|Mobile Home||$250 - $600/year|
|Condo||$250 - $600/year|
|Single-Family House||$350 - $750/year|
|Modular||$400 - $1,200/10 years|
|Duplex||$700 - $1,500/year|
|Apartment (Up to 4 Units)||$1,100 - $1,500/year|
Many reputable home warranty companies offer plans in California. All these companies offer some home warranty coverage. This can range from full coverage to different plans and levels that cover appliances, systems, or your entire home. Some may offer plans that better fit your needs than others. For example, some companies may offer additional coverage for pools, HVAC maintenance, roof leaks, and outdoor kitchens. Others may offer coverage for furnaces, while some may offer better coverage for air conditioning. Because California is such a large state, you may want to shop around to find a company that offers coverage on your systems rather than a general plan. Most companies offer a basic and total protection plan of varying levels, if not appliance and system plans. Check plans from several different companies to compare. Most companies also have a service fee and a cap on services, so compare these to ensure you get the best deal. Below are some of California’s most common home warranty companies and their monthly costs.
|Company||Cost per Month|
|2-10 Home Buyers Warranty||$25 - $70|
|HomeServe||$30 - $50|
|Fidelity National||$30 - $60|
|Old Republic Home Protection||$30 - $65|
|American Home Shield||$30 - $75|
|Cinch||$35 - $65|
|First American||$40 - $50|
|Choice||$40 - $60|
|America's First Choice||$40 - $75|
|Select||$55 - $65|
Home warranties in California cover many areas and systems in your home, making repairs more affordable. However, most plans come with a deductible or service fee per call. This ranges from $75 to $150 per visit, and some plans have tiered fees for deductibles. You pay the set amount when you call for a repair, while the warranty covers the rest. These fees are per service rather than yearly. Therefore, if you have 7 service calls in a year, you pay 7 deductible or service fees.
Some plans have higher fees than others based on your plan level. Some plans also let you pay a higher fee at the time of the service call to cover more issues. Always check your plan to understand the service fees or deductibles and how they apply to your plan.
In addition to systems and appliances, you can cover many additional areas. Some companies offer robust add-on plans in California for pools, septic systems, well pumps, and outdoor plumbing. These plans allow you to customize your home warranty to get the most out of your coverage. This is a good idea, particularly in California, where many areas and climates mean your coverage needs may change.
Homes in the south may have outdoor plumbing, outdoor kitchens, pools, and guest houses that need coverage. They may also need HVAC maintenance coverage for the extra use their AC units get. Homes in the mountain regions may need coverage for septic systems and well pumps, while homes on the coast may want to add electronic coverage because the salt air may damage delicate equipment.
Not every company offers every coverage type. You may need to shop around to get the best plan. Below are the average yearly costs for some of the most common areas to cover in California.
|Add-On||Cost per Year|
|External Plumbing||$25 - $60|
|HVAC Maintenance||$25 - $60|
|Electronics||$25 - $60|
|Outdoor Kitchen||$25 - $60|
|Roof Leaks||$60 - $85|
|Well Pump||$60 - $85|
|Septic Tank||$60 - $100|
|Pool and Spa||$125 - $250|
|Guest Units||$150 - $300|
Home warranties are not mandatory in California. However, they are recommended for several reasons, including the savings they offer.
This can depend on the contract between the buyer and seller. Many sellers pay for the warranty for a higher selling price.
It is typically the homeowner who pays the plan when the plan’s contract starts.
Choice home warranty offers plans in California, but they may be limited in some areas.