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First American Home Warranty offers two home warranty plans to homeowners and plans marketed to realtors. Their plans don’t offer a lot of bells and whistles, but they cover most of the systems that homeowners find the most valuable. They have been in business since 1984 and operate in 35 states.
Reviews of First American Home Warranty are mixed. They hold an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, but they have consistently low customer satisfaction. See how their plans perform before signing up.
- Pros & Cons
Competitive payout amounts
Easy to understand plan options
Fast service response
Basic plans only covers appliances
Low coverage in only 35 states
Must submit contact information for pricing
First American Home Warranty has operated in a little over half of the United States since 1984. Headquartered in Canoga Park, California, they offer two home warranty plans that cover home appliances, plumbing, electrical, and more.
Compared to other home warranty plans, First American Home Warranty offers competitive prices, although their plans offer only basic protection without much room to customize. Each visit from one of their service contractors also incurs a trade service fee (TSF) of $80.
- North Carolina
- New Jersey
- New Mexico
- South Carolina
- South Dakota
- West Virginia
First American Home Warranty keeps things simple with two plans. The Basic plan covers primarily kitchen appliances, while the Premier plan includes larger systems like heating, cooling, plumbing, and electrical.
For all plans, there is a 30 day waiting period for coverage to start. Here’s what’s covered in the available plans.
|Attic and Exhaust Fans||✓||✓|
|Central Vacuum System||✓|
|Clothing Washer and Dryer||✓||✓|
|Garage Door Opener||✓|
|Instant Hot Water Dispenser||✓||✓|
|Microwave Oven (built-in)||✓||✓|
Real Estate Plans
First American Home Warranty offers plans that are marketed to realtors and sellers. The plans mimic the basic and premier plans but are branded as seller and buyer plans. Seller plans offer the most limited coverage, allowing buyers to upgrade to a more comprehensive plan at closing.
Optional coverage can be added on, including coverage for Pricing is not available for realtor plans but can be requested.
Plan pricing for First American Home Warranty isn’t available without provided contact information. We gathered data on plan pricing in California, Florida, and Texas. Prices were lowest in their home state of California but were fairly consistent across the board.
All home warranty plans come with a 12-month contract at First American Home Warranty, and there is a penalty to cancel early.
Homeowners can add on expanded coverage for an additional fee. The price per item isn’t listed on the website. Still, options include:
- Additional refrigeration
- Central air conditioning
- First class upgrade
- HVAC tune-up
- Pool/spa equipment
- Septic tank pumping/system
- Well pump
Types of Damage Covered
Like other home warranty programs, First American Home Warranty stipulates that damage covered should be as a result of regular wear and tear. All items must be in good working order at the contract's start. If there are unknown pre-existing issues, they should be undetectable by a normal visual or mechanical inspection.
There are specific coverage limits within each covered item, and the list of uncovered items can be quite lengthy. Please consult your sample contract before agreeing to see what is covered.
Like other companies, many cosmetic items such as handles, doorknobs, and drawers are not covered. More specifically than other programs, many non-cosmetic components are not covered. For example, refrigerators are covered except for insulation, racks, shelves, drawers, handles, lights, ice crushers, beverage dispensers, interior thermal shells, and food spoilage. Once the exclusions are accounted for, the coverage is pretty minimal.
One way around these exclusions is to purchase the First Class Upgrade. While no price is listed on the website, this option covers man more cosmetic components such as hinges and springs for garage door openers in the sample contract. Given the extreme exclusion list, this may be a worthwhile option.
It’s important to note that to use your own repair person, you must have approval beforehand or the company may deny your claim.
Payout Caps and Limitations
While extension exclusions may seem prohibitive, the coverage limits for each item are quite generous compared to many other home warranty companies.
|Covered Item||Payout Cap|
When a repair is needed, customer service agents are available around the clock. During normal business hours, service calls will be dispatched within four hours, according to the sample contract. Customer surveys indicate that the average time for a service call is 48 hours.
First American Home Warranty works with a network of contractors. While it’s not advertised, they may allow you to choose your own contractor as long as it is approved first.
Customer Service and Claims Process
First American Home Warranty offers two ways to make a claim–by phone or by clicking through their customer portal on the website. Once a contractor is dispatched, users have to pay the service fee of $75 directly to the contractor.
First American Home Warranty has B rating with the BBB and a 3.9-star rating with Trustpilot. While there have been numerous complaints from customers through BBB, they have primarily been regarding local contractors used rather than the service through First American Home Warranty. Most of these complaints have been addressed.
First American Home Warranty vs. Choice Home Warranty
We compared First American Home Warranty with Choice Home Warranty. Both companies offer two levels of service and only operate in some portions of the U.S. First American Home Warranty is significantly more affordable than Choice Home Warranty and has much higher customer satisfaction ratings, making it a better choice for those with basic needs.
|Choice Home Warranty||First American Home Warranty|
|# of Plans Available||2||2|
|Support (with link to online and phone number)||Choicehomewarranty.com or 1-888-531-5403||Homewarranty/firstam.com or 800-992-3400|
|States covered||23 states including AL, AR, AZ, DC, GA, HI, IA, KY, MA, MI, NM, NV, NH, OH, PA, SC, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WI, WY||AL, AR, AZ, CA, CO, FL, GA, IA, ID, IN, KS, KY, MD, MI, MO, MS, MT, NC, NE, NJ, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VA, WA, WV, WY|
While First American Home Warranty offers only basic plans with the potential for significant exclusions, they are comparable with the rest of the home warranty industry. They offer better customer service scores than many of their competitors, as well as realtor-specific plans that can help sell homes.
If you decide to engage with First American Home Warranty, read the contract carefully, and know what’s covered and what isn’t. Since many issues arose from contractor consistency, ask about choosing your own repair persona. While it will require pre-approval, it may help speed along repairs.
Can I Cancel My First American Home Warranty Plan for Free?
No. You must submit a cancellation request in writing via email to cancel your plan. Once the plan is canceled, you will receive the prorated amount of your plan costs back, minus a $50 administration fee.
How Much Does the Plan Cost?
There are two levels of coverage available. The basic plan is between $360 and $420, depending on your location. The Premier coverage plan ranges from $490 to $550.
What Is the Response Time After a Claim?
If the claim is made within business hours, the company aims to have a service provider visit within four hours. The average time for a service call is 48 hours.
There are several aspects to consider when evaluating a home warranty company and its coverages. To assist in your decision process, our methodology for reviewing home warranties includes a quantified scoring system that evaluates four major categories - total plan cost, coverage and support, customizability and transparency. Within those four major evaluation categories we look at 18 core features that include annual plan fees and service fees, claim response times, payout caps, states available, contract length range, customizable coverages, ability to use own repair person, free cancelation, plan pricing, plan exclusions and other plan provisions available online. We assign fractional score values ranging from 0.00 to 1.00 points for each feature and then weight those feature values according to subject matter expert advice and consumer survey importance ranking. We also compare features for each company to industry average values determined from our data collection for the top 25 home warranty providers. Third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores are factored in to help assess a home warranty company’s overall quality, suitability and value.