American Home Shield Review

American Home Shield offers three solid plans and generous appliance caps

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American Home Shield

American Home Shield

overall rating
4.4

Our Take

American Home Shield allows you to customize your plan with only the items you want covered. Its 30-day workmanship guarantee is also a real perk. But some standard coverages are excluded, such as standalone freezers.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Specifications
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Option to build your own plan with only the options you need

  • 24/7 claims and customer service online or by telephone

  • Generous $6,000 per appliance cap

Cons
  • Real estate plans do not offer a choice on the Trade Service Call fee

  • Multiple service call fees are possible such as plumbing and an appliance

Key Takeaways
  • There is a 30-day waiting period before homeowners can use the policy, but this is fairly standard for the industry.  
  • American Home Shield offers a very generous $6,000 per appliance cap through its ShieldPlatinum tier.
  • The ShieldSilver plan, the most basic package, covers 14 major systems.
Specifications
  • Year Founded 1971
  • Coverage Nationwide
  • Customer Service 24/7 online
  • Waiting Period 30 days
  • Contractor Network Contractor network of over 16,000 licensed contractors in 49 states.
  • Service Recall Period 30-day workmanship guarantee
  • Number of Plans 3 homeowner plans. 3 real estate plans. Optional coverage available for an additional fee.
  • Coverage Limit Payout cap of $1,000 per contract term for plumbing. Payout cap of $1,500 per contract term for well pump.
  • Contract Length 12 months, 2 year options are available for real estate plans.
  • Payment Options The company will repair/replace covered items or may pay cash in lieu of repair/replacement.
  • Cost (Trade Service Call Fee Options: $75, $100, $125) Homeowner plans: $22.99-$94.99/mo depending on location and plan options. Real estate plans: $375-$1,045 yearly depending on location and plan options.
  • Official Website https://www.ahs.com/

American Home Shield was one of the first companies in the United States to establish home warranties to help protect homeowners against the high cost of home repairs. The company has 50 years of experience in the business, giving it a solid reputation among its competitors.

We’ve taken a close look at American Home Shield (AHS) to see how its home warranty plans measure up. Some of the criteria we examined included the number and type of home warranty plans, plan costs, exclusions, payout caps, and how it compares to the competition. Keep reading to see if AHS is a good fit for your home warranty needs.

Company Overview

American Home Shield was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. It has the distinction of being the first home warranty company in the U.S. It offers nationwide coverage with three homeowner options and three real estate plans. 

Homeowner Plans

AHS offers three home warranty plans; its ShieldPlatinum, ShieldGold, and ShieldSilver plans. You can also purchase add-ons as a way to further customize your plan.

Appliances/Systems ShieldPlatinumTM ShieldGoldTM ShieldSilverTM
Air Conditioning w/Ductwork
Heating w/Ductwork  ✓
Built-In Exhaust, Vent & Attic Fans
Electrical
Interior Electrical Lines
Main Breaker & Fuse Panel Box
Ceiling Fans
Interior Plumbing Lines
Toilets
Whirlpool Tub Motor & Components
Faucets & Valves
Water Heaters
Garbage Disposals
Instant H/C Water Dispensers
Refrigerators
Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops
Clothes Washers
Clothes Dryers
Dishwashers
Built-in Microwave Ovens
Roof Leak Repair

Add-Ons

In addition to the three plans available from American Home Shield, you can also purchase add-ons to customize your warranty plan.

  • Electronics Protection Plan
  • TVs
  • Desktops/Laptops
  • Tablets
  • Printers
  • Home theater systems
  • Smart home products
  • Headphones
  • Video game consoles and controllers
  • Pool or Spa
  • Above-ground components
  • Pool sweep motor and pump
  • Pump Motor
  • Blower motor and timer
  • Plumbing pipes and wiring
  • Plumbing and electrical
  • Guest Units
  • Guest and rental units under 750 square feet
  • Septic Pump
  • Mainline stoppages that can be cleared through existing access or without excavation
  • One septic pumping during the contract
  • Sewage ejector pump for septic system only
  • Well Pump
  • All components of the well pump utilized as a source of water to the home

You can also add a rekey service to any plan for $100 extra a year, allowing you to rekey up to six keyholes with the delivery of four keys on previously installed and functioning non-electric doorknobs and deadbolts on the hinged doors used for accessing your covered property.

Roof leak repairs are included with a $1,500 per year coverage limit in the ShieldPlatinum tier, but this coverage can be purchased for the ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans. This add-on will also have a $1,500 a year coverage limit.

You can also purchase a discounted heat or AC tune-up plan for an extra $75 a year for the ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans. The tune-up plan is included with the ShieldPlatinum package.

Homeowner Plan Pricing

We obtained quotes in several states to help you compare plan prices. Trade service call fee options are $75, $100, and $125. This fee is like a deductible, so choosing a higher trade service call fee lowers your monthly payment.

Choose a higher trade service fee to keep your monthly payments down.

State ShieldPlatinum ShieldGold ShieldSilver
California $736.52/year $424.88/year $234.88/year
Florida $719.88/year $539.88/year $419.88/year
Texas $799.09/year $541.12/year $273.21/year

Real Estate Plans

AHS offers three real estate plans; ShieldEssential, ShieldPlus, and ShieldComplete. The Trade Service Fee is $75 for all real estate plans. Consumers should be sure to talk to their Realtor during the escrow process. Sellers can use them as a powerful negotiation tool and buyers can get better pricing if they need to purchase it.

Appliances/Systems ShieldCompleteSM ShieldPlusSM ShieldEssentialSM
Air Conditioning w/Ductwork
Heating w/Ductwork
Plumbing (including stoppages)
Electrical
Water Heaters
Clothes Washers  ✓
Clothes Dryers  ✓
Refrigerators  ✓
Built-in Microwave Ovens  ✓
Dishwashers  ✓
Garbage Disposals  ✓
Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops  ✓
Ceiling Fans  ✓  ✓
Doorbells  ✓  ✓
Garage Door Openers  ✓  ✓
Instant H/C Water Dispensers  ✓  ✓
Built-in Exhaust, Attic, Whole House Fans  ✓  ✓

Exclusions

A complete list of terms and exclusions can be found in the sample contract. While these appliances or systems may be covered in your plan, the parts or conditions listed below are excluded from coverage. The number and type of exclusions from American Home Shield are somewhat better than average compared to other home warranty providers.

 System/Appliance  Exclusions
Air Conditioning and Ductwork Outside or underground piping, well pump, and well pump components for geothermal and/or water source heat pump; window units; water towers; chillers, chiller components, and water lines; legally mandated diagnostic testing when replacing heating or cooling equipment.
Heating and Ductwork Outside or underground piping, well pump, and well pump components for geothermal and/or water source heat pump, fuel storage tanks, portable units, fireplace, grain, pellet, or wood heating units (even if only source of heating); legally mandated diagnostic testing when replacing heating or cooling equipment.
Electrical Audio/video/computer/intercom/alarm or security wiring or cable; telephone wiring; faceplates; and circuit overload.
Plumbing (including stoppages) Stoppages caused by collapsed, damaged or broken drain, vent or sewer lines outside the home's main foundation; lines broken, infiltrated or stopped by roots or foreign objects, even if within the home's main foundation; bathtubs; sinks; showers, shower enclosures and base pans; toilet lids and seats; jets; caulking or grouting; septic tanks; water filtration/purification system; holding or storage tanks ; saunas or steam rooms; costs to locate or access cleanouts not found or inaccessible, or to install cleanouts; access through roof vents.
Water Heaters Auxiliary holding or storage tanks; noise; fuel storage tank and energy conservation unit.
Garage Door Opener Garage doors; garage door track assemblies
Rekey Lockout or lock-picking services.
Refrigerators Free standing freezer; multimedia centers; wine chillers.
Pool and Spas Portable or above ground spas; access to pool and spa equipment; lights; liners ; jets; ornamental fountains, waterfalls, and their pumping systems; auxiliary pumps; pool cover and related equipment; fill line and fill valves; built-in or detachable cleaning equipment including, without limitation, pool sweeps, pop-up heads, turbo valves, skimmers, chlorinators, and ionizers; fuel storage tanks; disposable filtration mediums; heat pump; multimedia centers; dehumidifiers; salt water generators and components.
Well Pump Above or underground piping, cable or electrical lines leading to or from the well pump, including those that are located within the well casing; well casings; pressure switches not located on the pump; holding, storage, or pressure tanks; booster pumps; redrilling of wells; well pump and all well pump components for geothermal and/or water source heat pumps.
Septic Pump Broken or collapsed sewer lines outside the foundation; stoppages or roots that prevent the effective use of any externally applied sewer machine cable; cost of finding or gaining access to the septic tank or sewer hook-ups; disposal of waste; chemical treatment of the septic tank and/or sewer lines; tanks; leach lines; cesspool; any mechanical pump or systems.

Payout Caps

Every home warranty company institutes payout caps for covered systems or appliances. Here's a breakdown by homeowner tier of American Home Shield's payout caps.

 Plan AC Refrigerant Roof Leak Repair Systems Appliances
ShieldPlatinum Unlimited $1,500/year Unlimited $6,000/appliance
ShieldGold $10 lb covered Add-on Unlimited $3,000/appliance
ShieldSilver $10 lb covered Add-on  Unlimited Not covered

Additionally, the ShieldPlatinum plan provides up to $1,000 for code violations, permits, and modifications.

Repair Time

A service technician will be initiated within 48 hours after you request service from AHS. The company will make its best effort to expedite those repairs it deems to be of an emergency. You may request expedited service for non-emergency repairs if a service contractor is available for an additional fee.

Real Estate Plan Pricing

Trade Service Call Fee for all real estate plans is $75. The pricing of plans is on a yearly basis.

Purchasing a real estate homeowners home warranty plan can protect home buyers from unexpected repair costs after moving in and also provides sellers an added layer of protection from liability issues. Many times a discount is available for purchasing a home warranty plan within 30 days of closing on a home. This discount is an added savings over purchasing a home warranty plan outside of a real estate transaction.

Talk to your Realtor when buying a home to see if the sellers are willing to buy the home warranty plan for you as part of escrow closing.

A California homeowners plan outside of a real estate transaction is roughly $736 annually for the most comprehensive package compared to the $750 yearly option of the most comprehensive option for a real estate homeowners warranty plan. The waiting period for homeowners plans is 30 days and the real estate home warranty plan goes into effect upon the completion of the home closing.

State ShieldComplete ShieldPlus ShieldEssential
California $750 $590 $400
Texas $775 $600 $450
Florida $725 $600 $425

Customer Service/Claims

You can file a claim online by clicking on the request service button on the website, or you can call (844) 491-8810. If there's a problem with your claim or the repair was not to your satisfaction, you can call (855) 628-5025. If you need to change your plan, you can do so 60 days after purchasing your plan by calling (855) 628-5025.

Additionally, you can cancel your plan at any time. If you cancel within the first 30 days of purchase, you'll receive your contract fees, minus any service or claims incurred by AHS. If you cancel after those 30 days, you'll receive a pro-rated refund of your contract fees for the rest of the contract term, minus an administrative fee of up to one month's payment and any service or claims costs incurred by American Home Shield. It's important to note that these cancellation terms vary from state to state.

Final Verdict

The company has more than 50 years of experience and a favorable customer service record. AHS has fewer payment caps than other home warranty companies we reviewed. Its plan flexibility and excellent reputation make American Home Shield a great choice when considering home repair coverage options.

Methodology

We reviewed the top 25 home warranty companies representing the vast majority of the overall market share based on 875 data points we collected. This data was collected through online and direct company phone and email outreach across a total of 35 scoring criteria.

A customer survey comprised of 538 current, past, and prospective home warranty customers offered valuable input about the criteria the meant the most to them when choosing a provider.

Read our complete methodology.