American Home Shield (AHS) is the nation’s leading home warranty company, but does that means it also supplies the best home warranty in Colorado? I researched and evaluated both of the state’s local home warranty businesses, Blue Ribbon Home Warranty and Colorado Home Warranty, to find out how each one stacked up against its national competitor.
During my research, I scored all three companies on a bunch of factors (including add-on pricing, BBB ratings, transparency, contract stipulations, and the quote process) — I even applied for quotes. In the end, I determined that while American Home Shield is the easiest to work with for claims and quotes, while Blue Ribbon Home Warranty and Colorado Home Warranty respectively offer the cheapest basic and premium coverages in the area.
The Best Colorado Home Warranty Companies
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty: Cheapest Basic Coverage
American Home Shield: The Quote Process
Colorado Home Warranty: Cheapest Premium Coverage
In order to thoroughly compare each company, I applied for quotes with two different hypothetical profiles: a homeowner with only the most basic home warranty needs and the potential buyer of a large house and high-end appliances.
For the basic profile I used a 2,300 square foot home and applied for washer/dryer, HVAC, and water heater coverage. For the premium profile, I used a 5,800 square foot home, with coverage for everything included in the basic profile, plus coverage for a refrigerator, roof leaks. septic tank (and septic lines), microwave, cooktop, well pump, and pool.
Here are my quotes:
Basic Coverage QuotePremium Coverage QuoteService Fee
Blue Ribbon Home Warranty$445$875$55
Colorado Home Warranty$445 ($395 with realtor discount)$775 ($725 with realtor discount)$55
American Home Shield$468$804$125
American Home Shield was by far the easiest company to work with. The website was filled with helpful information and I was able to complete the quote process in less than a minute. It was also the only company of the three that offered an online claims tool. (If you do business with Colorado Home Warranty or Blue Ribbon, you’ll have to speak with an agent directly to file a claim.) Once I started looking into affordability, however, American Home Shield couldn’t quite compete with its Colorado-based competitors.
At first, Blue Ribbon and Colorado Home Warranty tied for basic coverage at $445. But during my conversation with Judy (from Colorado Home Warranty), I learned that the latter offers a realtor discount that knocks that basic coverage cost to $270, plus an extra $125 to cover the AC, washer, and dryer, which brought my total up to $395. The obvious caveat is that this discount only applies if you are a seller. That’s why I gave the basic coverage award to Blue Ribbon — it comes out just as cheap for the buyer and offers a better overall quote and claims experience.
It’s also worth nothing that I had to select Blue Ribbon’s “Gold” plan to get coverage for my washer, dryer, and central AC. But, once I did that, I was given the option to opt out of heating system coverage, dropping my quote from $445 to $375. So if you don’t have a furnace, Blue Ribbon is definitely the cheaper choice for basic coverage.
When it comes to premium coverage, Colorado Home Warranty takes the cake. No matter how I finagled plans from AHS or Blue Ribbon, I couldn’t beat $775, which is $34 cheaper than the runner up, American Home Shield. And if you’re a seller who’s using a realtor, that’ll drop down to $725 thanks to the discount.
Home Warranties 101
What is a home warranty?
A home warranty is a service agreement (typically 12 to 15 months) that will cover repair or replacements costs of home systems and appliances that may break down due to normal wear and tear. These service agreements are most commonly purchased by sellers or buyers of a home to protect against unwanted expenditures within the first year of closing on a home.
What about homeowners insurance?
Home warranties and homeowners insurance are not the same thing. Home insurance protects your property from disasters that are beyond your control, like floods, fire, and burglaries. And like I mentioned earlier, a home warranty covers specific systems and appliances in your home when they malfunction from damage or normal wear and tear.
Is a home warranty right for me?
There’s really only one scenario where a home warranty makes sense: the purchase of a home. And even in that scenario, buying a home warranty might not be right for everyone. Before you open up your wallet, consider the following?
Replacement Cost. Consider the cost of repairing or outright replacing the appliances or systems in the home. If you are leaning towards buying a more energy-efficient water heater after the old one from 1960 bites the dust, you might not need to worry about a home warranty — or at least consider excluded water heater coverage from your plan. Remember: A warranty will not replace something that can be fixed, and it will never cover an upgraded model. On the other hand, if you can’t afford to replace the home’s HVAC system, a home warranty will come in handy.
Is the appliance already covered? Don’t forget that many appliances may already be covered under a manufacturer’s warranties. If you’re buying a home, ask the seller whether there are any active warranties and if they can be transferred during the sale.
The Bottom Line
American Home Shield might be the most popular choice across the country, but Blue Ribbon Home Warranty and Colorado Home Warranty are going to be your cheapest options, bar none. Not only does each offer cheaper coverage for basic and premium coverage; both have a $55 service fee, which undercuts American Home Shield’s $125 service fee by $70.