First American Home Warranty Review

Competitive pricing with limited options

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First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty 

overall rating
4.6

First American offers competitively priced home warranties but doesn’t offer many types of plans or optional coverages, compared to other providers. The company has also received many customer complaints through the BBB.

Based on our review of over a dozen home warranty companies, First American Home Warranty was not one of the best companies we found. To see other options that may be better, visit our list of the best home warranty companies.

  • Pros and Cons
  • Key Takeaways
  • Company Overview
Pros and Cons
Pros
  • Claims dispatched as soon as four hours

  • Nationwide coverage

  • Competitive payout caps

Cons
  • Higher than average number of customer complaints

  • No flexibility in coverage plans

  • Basic plan doesn’t offer good value for coverage

Key Takeaways
  • First American has been in business since 1984 and serves more than 590,000 policyholders 
  • There’s a 30-day waiting period before coverage kicks in
  • The company offers two primary plans: Basic and Premier  
  • Homeowners can pick their own contractor if they get prior approval 
  • There have been over 2,900 customer complaints registered through the BBB
Company Overview

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.

  • Year founded 1984
  • Coverage Nationwide
  • Number of plans Two (plus optional add-ons)
  • Coverage limit Various payout caps depending on plan and systems, appliances, or components
  • Contract length 12 months
  • Payment options Check or credit card
  • Cost $28 to $43.50 per month; $75 trade service call fee
  • Contractor network Nationwide network of licensed contractors
  • Customer service Available online 24/7
  • Customer service telephone 888-875-0533
  • Waiting period 30 days
  • Service recall period Work guaranteed for 30 days
  • Official website https://homewarranty.firstam.com

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.

Available Plans

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.

BBB complaints suggest that customers may not be getting everything they expect.

Here’s a list of what’s covered in available plans:

Available Plans Basic Premier
Attic and Exhaust Fans
Ceiling Fans
Central Vacuum System  
Clothes Washer and Dryer
Dishwasher
Ductwork  
Electrical  
Garage Door Opener  
Garbage Disposal
Heating  
Instant Hot Water Dispenser
Kitchen Refrigerator
Microwave Oven (Built-in only)
Oven/Range/Cooktop
Plumbing  
Plumbing Stoppages  
Trash Compactor
Water Heater  

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.

Basic coverage Seller Buyer
Attic and Exhaust Fans
Ceiling Fans
Central Air Conditioning
Central Vacuum System
Circulating Pumps
Dishwasher
Ductwork
Electrical
Garage Door Openers
Garbage Disposal
Heating
Instant Hot Water Dispenser
Kitchen Refrigerator
Microwave Oven (Built-in only)
Oven/Range/Cooktop
Plumbing
Plumbing Stoppages
Pressure Regulators
Re-Key Service  
Sump Pumps
Toilet Tanks and Bowls
Trash Compactor
Water Heater

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.

Optional Coverage Seller Buyer
Additional Refrigeration  
Clothes Washer and Dryer  
First Class Upgrade
Pool/Spa Equipment  
Septic Tank Pumping/System  
Well Pump  

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.

Plan Pricing

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.

State Basic Premier
Florida $32 per month; $348 per year $43.50 per month; $486 per year
California $28 per month; $300 per year $42.50 per month; $474 per year
Maryland $32 per month; $348 per year $43.50 per month; $486 per year

Optional coverages are consistent for the sampling of quotes we gathered:

Optional Coverage Price
Central Air Conditioning (electric) $9 per month; $108 per year
Additional Refrigeration $4 per month; $48 per year
Pool/Spa Equipment $15 per month; $180 per year
Well Pump $7 per month; $84 per year
First Class Upgrade $9 per month; $108 per year

Plan Exclusions

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.

Homeowners may be able to pick their own contractor if they get prior approval.

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:

Covered Item Payout cap
Central Air Conditioning $1,500
Kitchen Appliances $3,500 per covered appliance
Heating System $1,500
Plumbing $500 for items encased or covered by concrete
Water Heater $1,500

Repair Time

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.

Competition

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.

  Select Home Warranty First American Home Warranty
Cost $432 to $900 $300 to $486
Number of Plans Available Three Two
Support 24/7 online or call center 24/7 online or call center
Trade Service Fee $60 or $75 $75
National Availability Nationwide except for California, Nevada, New York, Washington, and Wisconsin Nationwide

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 upfront.

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.

Verdict

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.

Methodology

In order to assess a company's warranty plans, our methodology for reviewing home warranties includes a quantified scoring system that evaluates plan pricing, exclusions, payout caps, repair times, and terms, comparing them to other carriers across the industry. Third-party ratings and customer satisfaction scores are factored in to help assess an warranter's overall quality and value.

Article Sources

Investopedia requires writers to use primary sources to support their work. These include white papers, government data, original reporting, and interviews with industry experts. We also reference original research from other reputable publishers where appropriate. You can learn more about the standards we follow in producing accurate, unbiased content in our editorial policy .
  1. Better Business Bureau. "First American Home Warranty."