American Home Shield is a very well-established company in the home warranty space, having offered coverage since 1971. The company offers plans for homeowners in every state except Alaska. AHS gives homeowners have the ability to choose their own service fee, but it’s generally not homeowners’ least expensive option for home warranty coverage.
- Pros and Cons
- Key Takeaways
- Company Overview
Industry leader for over 45 years
More in-depth coverage than some other comparable companies
Guest house coverage
Requires customers to use contractors who are in-network
High number of customer complaints
Pricing is somewhat on the high end for this type of industry
Potentially multiple service fees for same incident (i.e. plumbing and washing machine)
- Company was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, TN
- AHS has provided coverage to more than 1.8 million customers
- It has paid out more than $2 billion in home warranty claims in the past five years
- Three plans available
- Customers can choose their own service fee—$75, $100, or $125
- Available in every state except Alaska
American Home Shield’s headquarters is located in Memphis, Tennesse. Founded in 1971, the company has provided service to more than 1.8 million customers and reports that it has paid out more than $2 billion in home warranty claims in the past five years.
- Year founded 1971
- Coverage area 49 states (excluding Alaska)
- Available plans ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, ShieldPlatinum
- Amount of coverage $1,500 to $6,000
- Length of contract 12 months
- Average yearly cost $480 to $750
- Network More than 17,000 licensed and qualified contractors
- Customer support Available online 24/7
- Customer support phone number 888-682-1043
- Recall period after repairs 30 days
- Days before coverage starts 30 day waiting period
- Website https://www.ahs.com/
American Home Shield is an American home warranty company that was founded in 1971. The company offers a selection of three warranty plans that cover the repair or replacement costs on major home systems and appliances. Customers are able to manage costs by choosing from multiple policies, adding on coverage, and opting for higher service fees.
Compared to other home warranty companies, American Home Shield has a slightly higher average annual cost, but it does provide some additional coverage on items that the competition does not, including doorbells and re-key services. Read on to see our full take of American Home Shield and if they offer the right home warranty for you.
American Home Shield offers three plans to select from and the price you pay depends on the Trade Service Call (TSF) fee that you choose. The TSF is like a deductible and in paid when you make a claim to have a service technician come to your home. Since prices can vary from state to state, we have included a sample of price quotes from several different areas of the country to assist you in comparing plan prices.
|Air Conditioning w/Ductwork||✓||✓||✓|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Disp.||N/A||✓||✓|
|Built-in Microwave Ovens||N/A||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Openers||✓||✓||✓|
American Home Shield also offers coverage on some individual items for an additional cost.
|Electronics Plan by Allstate Protection Plans
(TVs, computers, tablets, home theater systems, video game consoles and more)
|Guest Unit (extends coverage to guest units and/or rental houses that are under 750 square feet)||$10.99/mo|
|Pool or Spa||$21.25/mo|
|Well Pump (Serving as home water source)||$8.33/mo|
American Home Shield’s plans do cover an impressive number of items, and you're able to receive pricing right away through their pricing and plans portal.
The higher your service fee, the lower your monthly premiums.
If you don’t mind having a higher trade service call fee, however, the gap between plan prices begins to drop. American Home Shield gives three options for trade service fees ($75, $100, and $125) giving you a little more control. The lower your trade service fee, the more you'll pay each month, as our chart below shows.
Sample Monthly Plan Fees Based on Trade Service Fees
|AHS Plan Monthly Pricing||Trade Service Call Fee (TSF)||ShieldSilver||ShieldGold||ShieldPlatinum|
|California||$75 $100 $125||$39.99 $29.99 $24.99||$49.99 $39.99 $34.99||$64.99 $59.99 $49.99|
|Nevada||$75 $100 $125||$49.99 $39.99 $34.99||$59.99 $49.99 $44.99||$74.99 $64.99 $59.99|
|Texas||$75 $100 $125||$49.99 $39.99 $34.99||$59.99 $49.99 $44.99||$74.99 $64.99 $59.99|
Although American Home Shield covers almost all breakdowns for appliances that occur from normal wear and tear, there is a longer-than-normal list of exclusions when it comes to the coverage of home systems.
As an example, while water, drain, gas, waste or vent line leaks are covered, broken drain, vent or sewer lines are not. You can see a complete list of coverages and exclusions by viewing a version of American Home Shield’s sample contract.
There is no limit to the number of repairs during your contract term. Each plan option has a different dollar cap amount ranging from $1,500 - $6,000.
Once you have made a request for a repair online, you can typically expect authorization for a major repair to take 24 to 48 hours to complete. This is in line and comparable to industry standards.
Since American Home Shield has agreements in place with independent contractors in all of the states that they service, you do not usually get to choose your own repair person though occasionally exceptions are made.
Customer Service and Claims
There is 24/7 support and filing a claim is a relatively easy process that is done online or through customer service by calling 888-682-1043. Once your claim is made, the process starts immediately and you can expect authorization for a major repair to take 24 to 48 hours to complete.
Complaints and Third-Party Assessments
American Home Shield has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau. More important than the rating or accreditation with the BBB is what customers say. Although customers have stated that American Home Shield does honor warranty claims as promised, there is a relatively high number of complaints about the independent contractors that are assigned to service the claims. Problems reported range from repairs taking longer than expected to unresponsive vendors. This along with some complaints about difficulty in canceling service with the company have earned the company a B rating.
American Home Shield does offer state-specific plans for real estate professionals. The company estimates that its plans are included in more than 300,000 real estate transactions per year. This allows qualified home sellers to have warranty coverage for up to six months with no money due until closing if they add the Seller Coverage Option to their warranty package.
Competition: First American Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield
To provide a comparison between American Home Shield and the competition, we chose First American Home Warranty. Both companies provide similar warranty coverage, are affiliated with a network of contractors, and provide round-the-clock service.
|First American Home Warranty||American Home Shield|
|Average Yearly Cost||$396||$480|
|Plans Available||Basic Plan
|Support||24 hour online claim system; phone number||24 hour online claim system; phone number|
|Service Fee||$85||$75 / $100 / $125|
|Available Service Areas||Available nationwide||Available in 49 states, excluding Alaska|
At first glance, First American Home Warranty seems like a better value cost-wise, but there are many other positive features we like with American Home Shield. The additional items that they cover actually make it the better choice.
American Home Shield isn’t the best option for low-cost coverage.
Both have similar plans for home systems, but if you want your air conditioner covered you must select it as an optional coverage plan for $9/mo with First American Home Warranty, whereas American Home Shield includes it in the regular price plan.
When you take into consideration that American Home Shield offers three price plans and a way to lower your overall cost with different service call fee options, American Home Shield begins to make better sense and is the clear overall winner when it comes to getting more features for your money.
American Home Shield has been around a long time and is well-known in the home warranty industry.
They do appear to have a slightly higher number of complaints than some of the other home warranty companies. When you compare the number of customers they have served with the number of complaints they have received, however, this does not appear out of line for a home warranty company. You should take this into consideration before you purchase.
If a low monthly rate is your primary concern, you may find there are other home warranty plans that fit your needs better. Where American Home Shield shines is in its flexibility by offering a choice of four separate plans and the ability to create your own plan based on your individual needs. So if that’s what is most important to you, you can’t go wrong.
When evaluating a company’s warranty plans, we use our home warranty review methodology. We not only look at the monthly cost, but the overall costs, including service fees, price of add-ons, and out-of-pocket costs. In addition, we also measure how they stack up to the competition in price, coverage options, and customer satisfaction.
Better Business Bureau. “American Home Shield.” Accessed May 29, 2021.