Owning a home is expensive enough without worrying about random problems like a broken dishwasher or failing air conditioner. If you’ve owned a home for a while, you probably already know about the pitfalls of it. That’s not to say owning a home is a bad idea. However, not preparing for emergencies is irresponsible.
The first thing you want to remember is that a home warranty with homeowner’s insurance differ in how they protect your investment. Insurance protects your home and the stuff in it if you have a fire or severe weather damages your house. In general, that's why you buy insurance, and many mortgage companies bundle it with your mortgage to protect their investment as well.
A warranty is really just a service contract, in most states, that provides you some safety when home services and appliances fail. In some cases, depending on your coverage, a warranty may pay for repairs to your roof similar to insurance but replacing a roof is not. If your dishwasher dies of old age, a warranty may replace or repair it while insurance won’t do much for you.
Research is crucial to finding the right warranty company since many home warranty companies exist in every state, and some cover multiple states. Read all the fine print and make sure you know the answer to these three questions above all else:
Caps on coverage amounts need to stay in line with costs in your area. If it costs $400 to replace a water heater in your area including labor, your coverage needs to be enough to take care of that amount minus your deductible. Obviously, ideal coverage exceeds typical replacement or repair costs in case different problems pop up during the job like extra plumbing chores.
Most deductibles, based on our research, rarely exceed $100 with the usual amount falling between $40 and $70. Avoid any warranty programs that require you to pay a deductible plus a service fee to the contractor that does your repair work. These programs exist, so watch out for them. That said, don’t automatically assume the plan with the lowest deductible is the right plan for you.
We want to help you make an informed decision when you buy a home warranty, so we’ve done a lot of research for you. In this review, we look at One Guard home warranties and break down the good and bad for you. Unless the cost of the warranty exceeds the average price by 20 percent or more, we rarely use price to judge a guarantee. We look at customer opinions and what's included first then cost.
What Should My Home Warranty Cover?
Everything in and around your home would be lovely, but unfortunately, we must settle for quite a bit less in most circumstances. Every warranty plan worth looking into covers the major appliances and services, usually. Never assume something is covered just because you think it is or may be included. Read all the paperwork and go over the contract a few times and make sure.
Many warranties cover big and small items, but this is really a matter of your personal preference. If the warranty covers replacing a ceiling fan, yet the deductible is $75, you may opt to replace the fan yourself if you find one cheaper at your local home supply store. Keep things like that in mind while you read the contract, so you don't get saddled with a bunch of useless repairs you can do yourself cheaper.
Look for plans that include all the major appliances if possible. Many programs may not cover your washing machine or dryer, but they may offer these items as an addon for an additional fee. This is somewhat normal, so don’t get shocked if those items aren’t on the list. The significant things you need to make sure are on the list include:
These appliances or devices often cost most to replace or repair than anything else in your home, so they need to be part of your warranty. Plumbing related appliances and devices make up more than half of all service calls across the country. Somehow, your water heater or toilet always manages to time their failures at the worst possible time or after regular business hours as well.
What is One Guard?
In short, One Guard offers home warranty plans and maintenance plans. We suggest getting one of each unless you know you’ll always replace your air filter on time or clean your air conditioner’s evaporator to prevent icing regularly. That’s up to you and in some cases, it may end up costing less to do these things on your own if you know how to do it correctly and safely.
For us, having someone on a schedule to come by and do home or yard maintenance is a no-brainer. However, you might enjoy these types of jobs and prefer to save a few dollars and do it yourself. Off topic, make sure you know what you’re doing and always do it safely. Don’t rely on videos online to show you the correct way.
What Does it Cost?
Their Appliance guard plan is what you want if you only want to cover your appliances including your washing machine and dryer. It doesn’t include any HVAC or plumbing repairs, unfortunately. This plan starts at $30 a month and comes with clear wording and an easy to understand the contract. It does come with some bonuses as well.
Their System Guard plan doesn't cover any appliances, but it includes most plumbing issues including stoppages. As of this writing, just about anything in your home that controls and uses water is covered by this warranty. Systems that move or condition air get covered under this plan as well. It starts at $44 per month and includes the same bonuses as the other plans.
Their Home Guard plan is your best value by far and includes everything the other two plans cover. Starting at $56 a month, we can't find a reason to go with the other programs while this plan is available. It includes all your appliances plus any systems not considered a machine. It even covers doorbells and smoke detectors, plus they’ll haul off any old appliances.
All three plans come with some nice perks considering their low cost, and the bonuses make all three plans hard to resist. That said, our pick is still the Home Guard plan since it covers everything for less than $20 extra a month. For the price of your deductible, here are some of the more exciting perks include:
As of this writing, One Guard offers these services in Texas, Nevada, and Arizona and our pricing guide are for Texas. The other states may have different pricing based on regulations or contractor fees. Still, the perks alone may be worth the price of the warranty or service plan. Pool maintenance is included in some states as well along with full yard maintenance.
If you don’t live in one of the places covered by One Guard, we suggest searching for plans where you live that match many of the features you see in this review. In a few states, home warranty programs get regulated like insurance companies and the price may end up being much more than what you see here. That said, it’s worth the money because you will experience appliance failures and plumbing issues.
What makes One Guard Home Warranties Great?
Most warranty programs cover many of the same items One Guard covers, but very few come with the bonus perks. We looked at a handful of other companies and didn’t find any in the same states as one guard that offered pool maintenance or yard work as a bonus perk. Some did provide the services but tacked on a much larger monthly premium.
They cover almost everything a homeowner might need or offer coverage as an add-on feature. Honestly, very few of the addon options are common to most households which is probably why these things are on the options list instead of the main list. For instance, most homes only have one of each type of appliance, but they offer coverage for multiples as an add-on feature.
What We Like Best About One Guard
Our favorite features are pretty much outlined in the previous section. We might add that their contracts are easy to read and understand. You have the option of calling them to report a claim or request something from the bonus list, but their online form makes it much easier to email your request or problem. No one likes waiting on hold.
If you force us to pick one thing as our favorite, we like the simplicity of everything from getting a quote to sending in a claim. It’s arguably harder to file an insurance claim or warranty claim than it is to buy a home, in many instances. One Guard tries to keep the process simple and painless from start to finish. That alone is valuable to us, and we’re sure you feel the same way.
Do Customers Like One Guard?
Any complaint in the service industry is important just like praise. However, most of the complaints we found about One Guard involved wait times for phone calls. Some customers claimed they waited on hold for a half hour or longer to talk to a representative. Overall, they were happy with the service but didn’t like waiting for an answer which is understandable.
Some customers complained that the company charged them for their bonus perks like window cleaning and carpet cleaning. We couldn’t investigate these claims, but it’s likely a case of the customer not reading or understanding the contract. The perks are great, but you have to pay the $69 service call fee to use them just like a repair job. The deductible applies anytime a contractor works at your home.
We found a few complaints about contractors not cleaning up after a job or doing below standard work. These complaints may be accurate, but we need to consider all the facts. One Guard has an agreement with the contractor to do a job at your home on their behalf, so the contractor is a separate entity. The logical step is complaining to the company as asking them to refer a new contractor.
Overall, minus the few complaints we outlined above, customers say they like One Guard’s plans and plan to stick with them. Like us, a lot of the praise for the company fell on the bonus perks and the simplicity of setting up a plan or getting work done. One thing that stood out is the existing condition option which allows you to get existing issues corrected if you meet specific criteria.
Is One Guard Better Than Their Competition?
This question has a yes answer and a no answer. They offer more perks for less money than just about any home warranty company that competes with them. They have several ways to contact the company beyond a phone call, and most companies only offer phone service. The no part of the answer is just there because they don't provide warranties in many locations.
Whether you go with One Guard for your home warranty or another company, read and understand every detail of your warranty. Ask questions and never assume anything is covered unless it’s in the plan you buy. Beyond that, get a home warranty to protect your appliances and take care of emergency repairs. A home warranty will almost always save you money in the end.