Old Republic Home Warranty Review — Is It Worth It?
Can your emergency fund withstand the costs to repair or replace an expensive system or appliance after a breakdown? More importantly, why would you want to use your hard-earned savings if there is a way to protect your budget and financial security? A home warranty plan is optional insurance that helps you plan for unforeseen expenses and provide a peace of mind.
The most significant advantage of home warranty plans is that repair or replacement costs for appliances are easily managed. Policyholders are generally responsible for an annual premium and the cost of a service fee to pay a technician to inspect and diagnose an issue. In turn, the expenses for a covered appliance is paid for by the warranty company.
In this article, our team of researchers aims to inform you about the ins and outs of Old Republic Home Warranty Protection. While the company shows to offer sufficient protection for systems and appliances, we chose American Home Shield as the best overall home warranty company in operation.
Its exceptional dedication toward customer service, affordable pricing, and total-home protection plans with available add-ons, allows customers to gain peace of mind for equipment both in and around their homes.
If you're ready to compare your best options, we recommend you get a quote from American Home Shield today:
Background About Old Republic Home Protection
Old Republic Home Protection was founded in 1974 and became a subsidiary of Old Republic International in 1982. The group stayed true to California, where it was founded, before it began expanding in 1995. Today, the company services 24 states and the District of Columbia and boasts an A+ rating from the BBB.
Based on ratings from another review site, TrustPilot, actual policyholders have given Republic Home Protection a 4.1-star rating, after nearly 3,500 reviews. In general, most feedback is positive, with 68% ranking their experience as excellent. When negative comments are made, the company is quick to reach out and resolve the issue.
Old Republic Home Warranty Plans
It's typical for companies that offer home warranty plans to provide several levels of coverage, and Old Republic Home Protection is no different. However, this group's policies regarding the protection of the type of system and appliance, expenses, and add-ons can vary dramatically depending on location.
So you can get an idea about what is offered, check out the available packages, and annual premiums for single-family homes in the company's founding state, California. Keep in mind, different locations will include region-specific add-ons and coverage options.
We must note that this coverage is offered for homes under 5,000 sq. ft., larger properties will require higher premium costs. The listed fees are also examples for California home buyers who are in the midst of a real estate transaction. Those who already own their home and wish to add protection from Old Republic Home Protection may face different fees, coverage, and terms.
Old Republic Home Protection State Exclusions
This provider is unfortunately not available to homeowners in the following states:
Old Republic Home Protection Plan Breakdown and Cost
Old Republic Home Protection offers four plans, with some optional add-ons. The plan structures do vary by state in terms of what can be added, but these are the basics.
- Covered all plans: primary gas or electric heater, ductwork, limited pest control, drain line stoppages, plumbing pipe leaks, toilet, water heater, jetted bathtub motor and pump, recirculation pump, hot/cold water dispenser, garbage disposal, water pressure regulator, sump pump, electrical system, ceiling and exhaust fans, garage door opener, central vacuum, rekey service, dishwasher, trash compactor, kitchen exhaust fan, oven, range, cooktop, built-in microwave.
- Covered by Standard Protection Only: washing machine, clothes dryer, refrigerator
- Covered by Platinum Protection and Ultimate Protection only: air conditioning system*, refrigerant recapture, reclaim, and disposal, code upgrades, permits, and haul aways, mismatched systems and improper installation.
- Covered by Platinum Protection only: increased coverage for plumbing items and stoppages, increased coverage for items covered by manufacturer warranty, increased coverage for modifications and code upgrades.
*If a home doesn't feature an A/C system, policyholders may substitute coverage for a kitchen refrigerator.
An annual premium isn't the only fee that consumers should expect. You should understand each plan available from Old Republic, as well as additional fees. Be sure to look at your own state coverage to see the exact cost for your plan. For example, in Georgia, coverage can cost anywhere from $355-$530 depending on the plan and the service fee selected.
According to the California sample brochure from Old Republic Home Protection, under the Platinum Protection Plan, coverage for the missing appliances is offered as optional, which increases the annual premium.
- Washer and dryer: $80
- Refrigerator: $50
Or, you may bundle the coverage of all three appliances for $90.
The options for Georgia do not include that same bundling pricing if you want to add your washer/dryer and refrigerator to your Platinum Protection Plan. That's another reason why it is critical to look at the plans and options for your own state specifically.
Homeowners can further customize each of these packages by including add-ons for an additional fee. Costs will vary depending on your state—the ones below are for California.
- Pool/Spa: $170
- Pre-season HVAC maintenance: $25
- Solar hot water system: $250
- Limited roof leak: $100
- Outdoor kitchen: $125
- Ornamental fountain: $100
- Water softener: $75
- Septic tank pumping: $90
- Well pump: $100
- Slab leak and external pipe leak: $100
Service Fee Cost
A service fee is standard throughout the home warranty industry. The expense is the responsibility of a homeowner and is required to pay a technician during a service call. Old Republic Home Protection handles its costs differently than most. Rather than utilizing a set price for all policyholders, the company offers a sliding scale that can affect the annual premium.
For instance, a sample contract from Oklahoma shows its packages are available with service fees of $75 and $100. While in Texas, the charge is a flat $75, and in Nevada, the non-negotiable requirement is only $65. Even the high end of the group's service fees are slightly below the national average of $60–$125, according to DaveRamsey.com.
In most locations, policyholders are allowed to cancel their contracts within 30 days of its inception and receive a full refund. However, upon cancellation, you will be required to pay a $50 processing fee.
Regional Contract Costs
Since the price of a contract varies so drastically based on location, our research team hand-picked states in various regions to show you the differences.
- Idaho, Oregon, and Washington: $280-$520 (cost range for plans), $75 (service fee)
- Texas: $400-$650 (cost range for plans), $75 (service fee)
- Kansas and Missouri: $470-$660 or $505-$605 (cost range for plans), $100 or $75 (service fee)
- Mid-Atlantic: $370-$640 or $400-$585 (cost range for plans), $100 or $75 (service fee)
- Florida: $425-$665 or $460-550 (cost range for plans), $100 or $75 (service fee)
Sources: State-specific brochures.
If we didn't list your region, you can find the exact terms and conditions for eligible states by choosing it from this menu offered by Old Republic Home Protection.
Compared to the average cost of home warranty plans of $300–$600, the expenses from Republic Home Protection are higher in nearly every package and state.
Old Republic Home Protection Plan Limits
Old Republic Home Protection plans are subject to exclusions and limitations for a system or appliance that's protected under a contract.
- Electrical: Covered (main panel or sub-panel, breakers and fuses, interior wiring, light switches and outlets) v. Not Covered (power surge damage, light fixtures, security alarm wiring and systems, smoke detectors)
- Plumbing: Covered (drain line stoppages accessible without excavation, shower and bathtub valves, stop and waste valves, water supply and drain system) v. Not Covered (water heater storage tanks, costs to locate, access, or install ground level clean-out, damage caused by tree roots, fire suppression systems)
- Heating: Covered (thermostat and ductwork, components that affect operation, leaks or stoppages in condensation lines, heat pump) v. Not Covered (zoning control systems, filters or diagnostics, fireplaces, wood or pellet stoves even when they are a primary heat source)
Coverage for appliance also includes restrictions but does offer protection for all components that affect the primary function of each unit. Items like dials, knobs, door glass, and interior lining or trim are excluded.
Old Republic Home Protection Quote Process
If you're interested in obtaining a quote for coverage, there are two options. For those involved in a real estate transaction, a convenient online form is available. However, if you wish to purchase a contract for your existing home, you must call 800-445-6999.
Old Republic Home Protection Claim Process
A significant consideration for anyone pursuing home warranty plans is the process of making a claim for a failed system or appliance. Old Republic Home Protection offers 24/7, 365-day assistance by calling 800-972-5985 or signing in to its claim center once you're a member.
Our Verdict on Old Republic Home Protection
While Old Republic Home Protection has been in operation for over 40 years, we found that it lacks in numerous areas when compared to other home warranty plans. Take a look at some of the advantages and disadvantages we discovered.
- Lower than average service fees
- Numerous add-ons to customize service
- Extensive experience in the home warranty industry
- Claims processing accessibility is 24/7
- Multiple states are not eligible for coverage.
- Contracts are expensive compared to other providers.
- Numerous negative complaints and reviews on BBB.
- Policies lean toward those in real estate transactions rather than current homeowners.
While Old Republic Home Protection may be an option to consider in eligible states and during a real estate situation, we recommend American Home Shield for the best overall provider to offer home warranty plans.
Best Home Warranty Companies
Our Recommended Provider: American Home Shield
American Home Shield is a veteran in the home warranty space, with over 48 years of experience providing home warranty coverage. Their prices are simple to understand when you request a quote on their site. Their service fees adjust based on what you select; $75, $100, or $125. When you agree to pay a higher service fee, your monthly premium costs decrease.
Wide Availability and Simplicity
American Home Shield also offers coverage in 49 states; the only state they don't cover is Alaska. They offer three plans: the ShieldSilver™ Plan for systems, the ShieldGold™ Plan for a combination of both systems and appliances, totaling 23 items, and ShieldPlatinum™ Plan that comprehensively includes everything in ShieldGold plus additional features and increased coverage limits. The plan pricing and structure is more streamlined and easier to understand than Old Republic's offerings.
American Home Shield is For Every Homeowner
Literature in Old Republic Home Protection sample contracts is clearly driven toward those either buying or selling a home. Our recommended provider, American Home Shield, encourages everyone to seek optional protection regardless of the age of appliances or its brand name. It is an excellent option for those with older homes and dated equipment and systems.
Runner Up: Choice Home Warranty
Choice Home Warranty is a well-known provider who has been in business for 11 years. Its coverage is extensive, affordable, and customizable because of numerous add-ons. Price-conscious homeowners can obtain sufficient coverage for an affordable price through Choice Home Warranty. Through our research, we found that average plans for coverage range between $29–$42 per month. You have two options for a plan: the Basic Plan or the Total Plan.
Choice Home Warranty also offers optional add-ons so you can customize your coverage.
The pre-packaged plans help policyholders avoid confusion when choosing the right amount of coverage they need.
Available in Most States
When considering home warranty companies, you should ensure their coverage is available in your area. Choice Home Warranty is eligible to operate in 48 states in the country, excluding California and Washington. In contrast, Old Republic Home Protection provides coverage in only 24 states and the District of Columbia.
Including Optional Add-Ons
Choice Home Warranty provides more time to include coverage for optional add-ons. Per its sample contract, coverage may be purchased for up to 30 days after the commencement of a policy.
Customers of Old Republic Home Protection are unable to add optional coverage after the initial contract fees are paid.
Home Warranty Provider Comparisons
Below, we compare our top providers with Old Republic so you can see how they compare.
- American Home Shield: $75, $100, or $125 (service fees), 49 eligible states, ideal for all customers, $420-$720 (annual price range)
- Choice Home Warranty: $85 (service fees), 48 eligible states, ideal for customers with older homes, $348-$504 (annual price range)
- Old Republic Home Protection: $65-$100 (service fees), 24 eligible states+ D.C., ideal for customers undergoing real estate transaction, $280-$665 (annual price range).
We conclude that American Home Shield is a well-rounded company that is a great fit for the majority of warranty customers. Its commitment to customer service, a vast service area, and affordable fees make it a more effective provider than Old Republic Home Protection.
Home Warranty Rating Methodology
The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens strives to provide unbiased and objective reviews to readers by compiling relevant information on home warranty companies and rating the providers on a variety of factors.
Here's what our review process looks like:
- We examine each provider's website to determine plan details, coverage, customer service offerings, and other benefits. We also speak with company representatives to get more insight on plan details.
- We read sample contracts from each home warranty company to analyze and compare coverage details, limits, and exclusions.
- We read at least 100 third-party customer reviews for each home warranty company to determine the real-life benefits and drawbacks of each provider.
- We gather cost information for a variety of home warranty plans in different states by completing online quote forms and speaking with sales representatives to simulate the quote process.
- We revisit each company's offerings on a seasonal basis, ensuring that we include the most up-to-date information in our reviews.
We also created a 100-point rating system to score companies based on objective factors, such as plan options, coverage, and customer service:
What we consider
The number and type of plan options offered to customers
The types of items included in a policy
How much each plan costs and the service fee options
How the company is perceived through Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings and a company's years in business
The customer service team's availability, what guarantees are offered, and what customer communication channels are provided (online customer portals, quote forms, etc.)
Factors that make the customer experience more seamless, such as allowing customers to choose their own contractor
Overall, the Home Service Research Team has reviewed over 70 home warranty companies to select the top-rated providers in the industry.