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American Home Shield Reviews: Plans, Coverage And Cost In 2021

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Published on August 23, 2021
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Home appliances and other major home systems don't always last forever. For this reason, we've put together a comprehensive review (including American Home Shield reviews from other sites) so you can learn about your coverage options. Warranty companies like American Home Shield can help you achieve peace of mind that goes beyond your homeowners insurance.

Let's take a look.

What Is American Home Shield?

American Home Shield (AHS) offers 12-month-long renewable warranties that give homeowners more protection than single appliance extended warranties. Home warranty companies cover heating systems, air conditioning units, electrical systems, washer and dryer units and more, regardless of age.

American Home Shield claims 50 years of experience as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Affairs. American Home Shield's approximately two million members reside in all states except Alaska.

Depending on specific contracts, American Home Shield requires homeowners to pay a $75 – $125 service fee to professionals, such as plumbers or contractors. The company offers access to over 15,000 licensed contractors and paid out $2 billion in claims over the past 5 years.

Homeowners can still tap into American Home Shield services regardless of an appliance or system's age, preexisting conditions, maintenance history, improper installations, malfunctions due to rust or corrosion or duplicates of the same item.

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American Home Shield Warranty Reviews

We included American home shield warranty reviews from several other websites below for additional information about choosing American Home Shield.

Consumer Affairs

Consumer Affairs' customers consistently gave American Home Shield a five-star rating. The website cited the following pros and cons of the company as follows:

Pros:

  • Workmanship guarantee of 30 days
  • Flexibility with payment options
  • Members can customize plans

Cons:

  • Not available in Alaska
  • A few customer service complaints
  • Higher prices than industry average

 

Consumer Affairs' review found that American Home Shield offers a high level of coverage at a fair rate. Customers who like to manage their coverage online may find it a good fit, according to the site.

This Old House

This Old House named American Home Shield the best overall home warranty company of 2021 and gave it a 9.5 out of 10 rating. This Old House's 2021 review highlights a few key takeaways about American Home Shield, including the following:

Pros:

  • Has generous coverage gaps
  • Doesn't require members to provide maintenance records
  • Can choose various service fee cost levels

Cons:

  • Not available in Alaska
  • Only guarantees repairs for 30 days
  • Over 10,000 complaints in the past 3 years

Better Homes And Gardens

Better Homes and Gardens concluded that American Home Shield was a "smart choice for a home warranty because of its comprehensive coverage, payment flexibility and legacy." The site listed the following pros and cons: 

Pros:

  • Customizable premium rates
  • Extensive coverage with generous limits
  • Covers rust and corrosion issues 

Cons:

  • Shorter service guarantee – just 30 days
  • Not available in Alaska
  • Competitors offered more add-ons

U.S. News And World Report

American Home Shield tied for No. 3 among warranty companies and garnered 3.9 out of 5 stars with U.S. News and World Report. U.S. News and World Report reviewed American Home Shield's three home warranty plans and various coverage options and included the following pros and cons in its review:

Pros:

  • Flexible tiered plans
  • Add-on coverage options available
  • Improper installation and repair coverage included 

Cons:

  • Not available in Alaska
  • No discount for paying in full for a year

What Do American Home Shield Warranty Plans Cover?

American Home Shield’s coverage plans cover a wide variety of items through its ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™ and ShieldPlatinum™ plans.

Check out the following items and coverages denoted by each plan.

Item Coverage

ShieldSilver Plan

ShieldGold Plan

ShieldPlatinum Plan

Roof Leak Repair

No

No

Yes

Air Conditioners

Yes

Yes

Yes

Heating Units

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ductwork

Yes

Yes

Yes

Exhaust, Vent and Attic Fans

Yes

Yes

Yes

Main Breaker and Fuse Panel Box

Yes

Yes

Yes

Doorbells

Yes

Yes

Yes

Interior Electrical Lines

Yes

Yes

Yes

Ceiling Fans

Yes

Yes

Yes

Garage Door Openers

Yes

Yes

Yes

Interior Plumbing Lines

Yes

Yes

Yes

Toilets

Yes

Yes

Yes

Faucets/Valves

Yes

Yes

Yes

Whirlpool Tub Components

Yes

Yes

Yes

Water Heaters

Yes

Yes

Yes

Refrigerators

No

Yes

Yes

Ranges/Cooktops

No

Yes

Yes

Ovens

No

Yes

Yes

Dishwashers

No

Yes

Yes

Built-in Microwaves

No

Yes

Yes

Garbage Disposals

No

Yes

Yes

Hot/Cold Water Dispensers

No

Yes

Yes

Washers and Dryers

No

Yes

Yes

Home Electronics

No

No

No

You can also get the following add-ons: roof leak repair, electronic protection plan, pools and inground spas, septic pumps and well pumps.

ShieldPlatinum

ShieldPlatinum covers 23 systems and appliances, as well as roof leaks and free HVAC tune-ups. It also includes unlimited air conditioning refrigerant and coverage for code violations and permits.

This plan best serves homeowners who want the most comprehensive coverage of home essential systems. Homeowners who want roof leak repair coverage and higher limits on covered systems will want to choose this plan.

The plan includes $6,000 per appliance, a $1,500 roof leak repair limit and $1,000 coverage for code violations, permits and modifications.

ShieldGold

ShieldGold, the most popular coverage option, covers parts of 23 major home systems, though it doesn't offer quite as much as ShieldPlatinum. It offers more coverage than ShieldSilver, but adds nine other appliances, including kitchen and laundry appliances.

Homeowners who choose this plan type usually want coverage for major systems, including heating and cooling, electrical systems, plumbing systems and laundry appliances.

The ShieldGold plan covers appliances up to $3,000.

ShieldSilver

ShieldSilver protects 14 major systems, including heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing systems. This plan does not include a systems limit.

The ShieldSilver plan serves homeowners who need coverage for basic systems, including heating and cooling systems, electrical systems and plumbing systems. Add-on coverages are available if homeowners would like to add an electronics protection plan or septic pump plan, for example.

Add-On Coverage

Homeowners can consider adding an additional protection warranty from American Home Shield, including coverage for the following components:

  • Home electronics
  • Pools and spas
  • Roof leak repairs
  • Guest units
  • Septic pumps
  • Well pumps

 

When checking out online, homeowners can select the plan they prefer first, then select the add-on coverage that fits their needs.

American Home Shield Pricing Breakdown

The cost of an American Home Shield warranty depends on the type of plan. Let's go through how plan pricing and trade service call fees work.

Plan Pricing

American Home Shield pricing varies depending on square footage, the size of your service fee, any additional coverage included and more. Plan pricing also depends on your location. Input your address and ZIP code for the most accurate plan costs.

Trade Service Call Fees

American Home Shield has a service request fee policy. You pay a trade service call fee for the professionals who visit when you purchase your plan. The amount varies, depending on what you choose – either $75, $100 or $125, plus sales tax. Some coverage limits or exclusions may apply.

American Home Shield Availability

American Home Shield offers home warranty coverage in 49 states. However, it does not offer coverage in Alaska.

How American Home Shield Matches Up Against The Competition

When comparing home warranty companies, you may find a wide variety of options. We'll compare American Home Shield against several competitors.

American Home Shield Club Vs. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty offers fewer coverage options compared to American Home Shield – just a total plan and a basic plan. Choice Home Warranty's basic plan doesn't cover air conditioning systems, refrigerators, washers and dryers, unlike American Home Shield's ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum plans. Both warranty companies offer add-ons for additional coverage needs tailored to each homeowner's situation.

Both companies offer a nationwide contractor network. However, unlike American Home Shield, which offers a service fee range, Choice Home Warranty requires a set $85 service range fee. American Home Shield could save homeowners money in the long term because of its customization opportunities and ability to mix-and-match exact needs, including add-ons.

Those living in the states of California or Washington cannot use Choice Home Warranty.

American Home Shield Vs. Select Home Warranty

Like American Home Shield, Select Home Warranty also offers three coverage plan options: gold, bronze and platinum. However, Select Home Warranty is offered in a limited number of states and has only been around for 10 years compared to American Home Shield's 50-year legacy.

Unlike American Home Shield, Select Home Warranty offers optional coverage for central vacuums, lawn sprinkler systems, standalone freezers and sump pumps.

Select Home Warranty requires just one $60 service fee deductible, offers free roof coverage and two months coverage free of charge. The company regularly runs discounts on its site but doesn't offer coverage for preexisting conditions, unlike American Home Shield.

American Home Shield Vs. First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty offers just two plan options plus add-ons; American Home Shield offers more plan options. Residents of Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin cannot get coverage from First American Home Warranty, compared to American Home Shield's 49-state range.

First American Home Warranty's basic plan doesn't provide coverage for garage door openers, heating, plumbing and electrical systems, water heaters, central vacuum systems and ductwork.

However, it does promise (within contract limitations), "if we can't repair it, we'll replace it." American Home Shield also offers the same option to replace your covered items and systems, even problems caused by a lack of maintenance.

Homeowners must pay $75 for its service fee deductible, potentially equal to or less than American Home Shield's service fee.

American Home Shield FAQs

Take a look at the following frequently asked questions about American Home Shield before you decide whether the company fits your needs.

Does American Home Shield provide discounts?

Yes. Through December 31, 2021, American Home Shield offers the following discounts:

  • MSRP discount on appliances
  • $50 off for multiple properties
  • $25 Amazon gift card for you and a friend with a referral
  • Air filter discounts
  • $50 discount through the National Association of REALTORS®

Members can log in to American Home Shield's website to see additional discount opportunities.

What types of damage are covered by American Home Shield?

American Home Shield will fix or replace your covered items and systems, including systems or appliances that break down or malfunction due to age or wear and tear. American Home Shield will also cover items even if they haven't been maintained properly or contain rust or corrosion.

What are the differences between an AHS home warranty and home insurance?

Home insurance covers the interior and exterior of a house, theft of personal property, loss and damage and general liability when someone becomes injured on your property. However, your home insurance company isn't on the hook for the repair or replacement of home systems and appliances that fail such as HVAC, electrical and plumbing systems and appliances.

Homeowners do not need to purchase home warranties but must purchase homeowners insurance. Instead of a deductible with home insurance, you're charged a service fee with a home warranty.

What are American Home Shield’s coverage limits?

ShieldPlatinum coverage limits:

  • $6,000 per appliance
  • $1,500 roof leak repair limit
  • $1,000 coverage for code violations, permits and modifications

ShieldGold coverage limits

  • $3,000 per appliance

ShieldSilver coverage limits:

  • No systems limit

How do you submit a claim for American Home Shield?

You can file a claim by using this link and clicking the "Request Service" button.

Does American Home Shield require a home inspection?

American Home Shield doesn't require a home inspection – plans cover broken appliances and systems due to wear and tear and even those that haven't undergone periodic maintenance.

Does American Home Shield have a waiting period?

American Home Shield has a 30-day waiting period.

How do you pay for your home warranty with American Home Shield?

You can pay by checking account, credit or debit card monthly or annually and can choose a specific billing date during each month.

Does American Home Shield provide a cash-out option?

American Home Shield may pay you cash instead of replacing systems and appliances. This depends on whether a service person can repair an item and/or can find a replacement. Sometimes the service cost may exceed the dollar amount of contract liability and American Home Shield will refund the difference.

How good is the American Home Shield home warranty overall?

American Home Shield Review offers a wide variety of coverage options and to a degree, customizable pricing. Homeowners can choose from three different protection plan levels and three different service fee cost levels from this company with extensive industry experience.

The company has experienced some negative reviews, but overall, the company offers excellent plan options and customer service, especially compared to other warranty companies.

The Bottom Line: Why We Like American Home Shield

The 50-year-old American Home Shield offers 12-month warranties that cover various systems and appliances. American Home Shield can claim status as an accredited business with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and Consumer Affairs. The company offers access to thousands of licensed contractors. Over the past 5 years, it has paid out $2 billion in claims.

Even old appliances or systems can get coverage, and American Home Shield customers can also choose their service call fees, which gives them control over their monthly payments.

American Home Shield's blog also provides tips on homeownership and advice on home maintenance and repairs.

Get a quote with American Home Shield today.

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Melissa Brock

The Quicken Loans blog is here to bring you all you need to know about buying, selling and making the most of your home. Whether you’re thinking about becoming a homeowner, selling your current home or looking to keep your place in tip-top shape, our writers and freelancers bring their experience and expertise to meet you right where you are.