First American Home Warranty has been in business since 1984, serving more than 590,000 policyholders. Their home warranty plans will replace or repair appliances, systems, or components in your home when covered by the service contract. Like all warranty companies, you will need to pay a service fee each time a contractor comes to your home.
Although First American Home Warranty offers competitive pricing for its plans, it doesn’t offer much flexibility in terms of being able to customize items you want covered. Plus, complaints from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) suggests that their services aren’t being delivered as advertised. Before signing up, learn about the important details of this home warranty company to make an educated decision.
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Claims dispatched as soon as four hours
Competitive payout caps
Higher than average number of customer complaints
No flexibility in coverage plans
Basic plan doesn’t offer good value for coverage
First American Home Warranty was founded in 1984 as part of the First American family of companies, offering various real estate products and services. The company has three major offices in the United States and offers 24/7 service, 365 days a year online and through its customer service hotline.
There are two homeowner plans: Basic and Premier. The basic plan offers minimal protection and optional coverages can be added on for extra charges. When homeowners purchase plans, there is a waiting period of 30 days for coverage to begin. Sellers and homebuyers can get home warranty plans through their real estate agents to protect them against any repairs after the home purchase with coverage effective during the escrow process.
Here’s a list of what’s covered in available plans:
You can also pay extra to add optional coverage to the Basic plan, which includes additional refrigeration, central air conditioning, pool and spa equipment, and well pumps.
Real Estate Plans
First American Home Warranty has plans for real estate professionals. Realtors can offer plans for sellers and buyers, plus additional coverage options. Upgrades include air conditioning, ductwork, heating, and the septic tank/plumbing system.
Optional coverage varies between sellers and buyers—the First Class Upgrade package includes coverage for items such as a dishwasher, trash compactor, washer and dryer, and smoke detectors.
Coverage begins as soon as you receive your contract number—seller’s coverage lasts until the listing expires, or a maximum of 180 days. Although First American Home Warranty indicates that plans start at $420, you need to contact an area manager for an accurate quote on real estate plans.
Both the Basic and Premier plans have a contract length of 12 months and require a $75 trade service fee, also referred to as a TSF. This is a fee you pay upfront to have a contractor come to your home after making a claim. While First American Home Warranty has its own network of contractors, the company may make exceptions if you get approval before using your own contractor for repairs.
While prices are lower compared to other home warranty companies, it doesn’t offer coverage for as many features. Prices vary depending on where you live and the type of home, but you can get an instant quote online after entering your personal details.
We gathered a variety of quotes based on single-family homes that are less than 5,000 square feet.
Optional coverages are consistent for the sampling of quotes we gathered:
Although First American Home Warranty will cover the repairs and replacement of parts for covered items as a result of wear and tear, there are a number of exclusions. For example, kitchen appliances such as the dishwasher, oven, range, and cooktops are covered, but door glasses, lock assemblies, magnetic induction cooktops, and dials are not.
To see a full list of exclusions, check out the company’s sample contract.
Payout Caps and Limitations
Like most home warranty companies, there are limitations to what the company will pay in a claim. First American Home Warranty does not cap expenses for many of its systems, but there may be limits as to which parts that will be repaired or replaced. For example, ceiling fans don’t have a cap, but light kits aren’t covered in the plan.
Here’s a list of the payout caps, which appear to be standard compared to other home warranty companies:
First American Home Warranty will dispatch a contractor within four hours during normal working hours after confirming your claim. The contractor should arrive at your home within 48 hours to start repairs under normal circumstances. If you need repairs done outside of normal working hours, you may be charged additional fees. In case of an emergency, First American Home Warranty will make an additional effort to expedite services.
You typically won’t be able to choose your own contractor because First American Home Warranty has its own network, but exceptions may be made on an individual basis.
Customer Service and Claims
First American Home Warranty offers 24/7 support by calling 800-992-3400 or signing in to your account online to initiate a new service request. Once complete, your claim is processed right away and a contractor will be dispatched within four hours during normal working hours.
Complaints and Third-Party Assessments
This home warranty company has been a Better Business Bureau accredited member since 2000 with a B+ rating. There are 1,570 customer ratings, averaging three out of five stars. There are a high number of complaints (2,984), mostly about the contractors assigned to service claims.
We chose Select Home Warranty to compare alongside First American Home Warranty since both competitors offer 24/7 coverage, have an internal network of contractors, and offer similar pricing.
Although First American Home Warranty offers more competitive pricing for similar coverage, it doesn’t offer much flexibility in terms of customized policies. Select Home Warranty allows you to choose from different TSFs and three different plans for homeowners. Plus, Select Home Warranty offers coverage against roof leaks and a signup bonus if you pay for your annual plan up front.
However, even with the signup bonuses, First American Home Warranty’s policies are priced lower than Select Home Warranty. It also offers coverage in more states than Select. Unless customization and coverage against roof leaks are really important to you, First American Home Warranty stands out as the winner.
First American Home Warranty is a great choice for homeowners looking for a competitively priced plan that offers a fast claims process—all from a company that’s been around for a long time. The downside is that it doesn’t offer as many customization options and coverages (such as roof leaks) compared to other home warranty companies. Given the number of complaints on the Better Business Bureau, consider whether you want to take what existing customers say seriously before signing up for a policy.
How We Review Home Warranties
When evaluating a company’s warranty plans, 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.