We have found home warranties for rental properties to be very cumbersome. Most home warranty companies are easy to file claims with though when it comes to duplexes or quads, they only have the address of the public record side in the system so they do not recognize the other units so it is often a bit complicated to get them to give the assigned contrator the correct unit information. Once the claim is documented, the warranty company reaches out to their participating contractor for the area the property is in. Regretfully the contractor that is contacted, has 48 to 72 hours to accept the service request which if they don't, the new contractor that the warrany company contacts has the same 48-72 hr window, so if you have a tenant without heat, a burst pipe or other emergency situation the situation is unacceptable. The only choice in these cases is to get our usual contractors out and then have the owner fight with the warranty company about getting reimbursed. I have found that home warranty companies don't want to put owner credit cards on file which means that the contractor has to track me down so I can make the payment before they get to the property, as most tenant will not pay the service fee and let me reimburse them. Once at the property the contractors have to submit the type and cost of the repairs needed to the warranty company who has usually up to 24 hrs to review and decide if the item is covered and to what extent and let the owner know how much they will be responsible for. In the meantime the contractor leaves the property without the problem usually being resolved and a new appointment has to be made with the tenant to do any authorized work. Sometimes contractors take advantage of the situation to try and upsell the job by telling the tenant about other potential issues which then worries the tenant and I end up with a call about getting those things taken care of too. As you see, this whole process can take days till the work can actually get done. In fact I just had one case where we needed to replace the washer hookup valve which because there is no other shut off on the line, the tenant had to keep shutting the main off when they didn't need to run any water or constantly empty a bucket. It took the contractor 5 days from when we called in the claim before they got out to look at what we already knew to be the problem, another day for the home warranty to tell us that they would not cover the issue but because we were a new customer they would discount the contractor bill to where we would only have to pay about 25% of the bill including the already paid warranty fee. Even after agreeing, it took the contractor another 5 days to go out and replace the valve. So the tenant was inconvenienced for close to 3 weeks. In another case it took 7 days for the warranty company to replace a fridge. Thankfully the tenant was overly chummy with the neighbor, so she didn't get too irrate.
Bottom line, home warranties are great if you are the owner and you just deal with the hassle, but for a tenant especially in an emergency situation it is not usually an acceptable situation.