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American Home Shield Review: Build Your Own Home Warranty

Catherine Miller

In a Nutshell

American Home Shield offers you the chance to customize your home warranty with optional add-on plans and adjustable service fees. It also has a more inclusive policy than most, covering, for example, undetected pre-existing conditions. Despite some poor reviews highlighting low-quality service, American Home Shield is a long-standing player, and its benefits, including multi-home discounts, could make it worth considering.

pros

  • A range of add-on plans to customize your cover
  • Automatically covers duplicates of the same item
  • Covers older items, including rust and corrosion

cons

  • No repair timeframe guarantee
  • Some negative customer reviews

American Home Shield American Home Shield Visit Site

American Home Shield Plans 

American Home Shield offers 3 main plans: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum. In addition, you can add 1 of the optional plans to make sure all your appliances or systems are covered. 


ShieldSilver

(best for basic systems cover)

ShieldGold
(best for systems and appliances)
ShieldPlatinum
(best for added extras and high price caps)

Heating and cooling systems

x

x

x

Electrical systems

x

x

x

Plumbing systems

x

x

x

Kitchen appliances

x

x

Laundry appliances

x

x

Roof leak repairs

x

Free heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) tune up

x

Unlimited air conditioner refrigerant

x

Coverage for code violations and permits

x

Optional Add-Ons

American Home Shield offers 6 optional add-on plans which can be bolted onto your base plan to provide extra cover where needed:

  • Electronics protection (home electronics and entertainment products)
  • Pools and spas (heating, pumping, and filtration systems)
  • Roof leak repairs
  • Guest unit (under 750 square feet)
An infographic showing American Home Shield's coverage

Plan Exclusions

Unusually for a home warranty service, American Home Shield will cover older items and those that have been neglected or have an undetectable pre-existing condition. However, there are some coverage limitations. American Home Shield will only cover residential properties, not those used for business or commercial purposes. It also won’t cover any damage or malfunction caused by a third party such as a manufacturer, distributor, or builder. There are also additional limitations for particular appliances or systems; for example, plumbing cover doesn’t include sinks or bathtubs. 

American Home Shield Plan Pricing 

American Home Shield lists its average annual premium as $500–$700 per year, with the exact cost dependent on the size of your home and the package selected. We obtained quotes for properties in California to compare to the company’s quoted averages:


ShieldSilver

ShieldGold

ShieldPlatinum

Annual premium, Texas

$479.88

$599.88

$779.88

Annual premium, California

$1,019.88

$1,139.88

$1,139.88

As our quotes show, the premium can be significantly higher in some states than in others. 

Additionally, you can choose your service fee; either $75, $100, or $125. Choosing a higher service fee can mean a lower monthly premium. Including an optional plan will add $50–$258 to your annual cost, depending on what you choose. 

How to file a claim with American Home Shield

You can request service through American Home Shield 24/7, either online or by phone. There’s no limit to the number of service requests you can make, but there is a cap on the amount you can claim for some repairs. For example, American Home Shield will pay up to $1,500 per contract term to access, inspect, and repair or replace heating and air conditioning units. The ShieldGold package has a $3,000 cap for appliances. And the ShieldPlatinum plan raises this to a $6,000 cap for covered appliances, plus $1,000 for correcting code violations, $1,500 for roof leak repair, and unlimited air conditioner refrigerant cover.

Is American Home Shield Legit? 

Reviews for American Home Shield are mixed. On Trustpilot, 95% of reviews are ‘Bad’. Customer complaints include the quality of contractors and the slow speed of repairs. However, the 3% of excellent reviews note the quick and efficient service. On ConsumerAffairs, the average rating is 4.4/5. Again, it’s a mixed bag when it comes to response times. 

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) rates American Home Shield with a ‘B,’ with an average rating of 2.52/5 based on 8,876 customer reviews. 

What’s Unique About American Home Shield?

American Home Shield offers a number of benefits, including:

  • Refer a friend - referring a friend who goes on to purchase a warranty will get you a $25 Amazon voucher
  • Additional property discounts ($50 for each)
  • Discounts on buying new brand name appliances
  • 50% off retail prices when buying air conditioning and furnace filters

Help and Support

American Home Shield has a useful blog covering home maintenance advice and a thorough FAQs section on its site. As a customer, you can reach American Home Shield 24/7 through your online account or by phone. You can also make queries by email. 

What about the American Home Shield app?

American Home Shield does not currently offer a mobile app.

How to Get Started with American Home Shield

You can obtain a free, instant quote from the American Home Shield website by giving your address and confirming the plan you’d like to purchase, as well as the service fee you’d prefer. 

How American Home Shield Compares to Other Home Warranty Services

American Home Shield is similar to its competitors in terms of the pricing for its plans, although its service fee can be more expensive if you opt for the lower premium option. Its network of contractors is decently sized. While 24/7 service is fairly standard in the home warranty industry, the add-on plans make it easy to customize your basic package, and American Home Shield offers more discounts and deals than some companies. 


Select Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty

Complete Care Home Warranty

Average annual premium

$599.88-$839.88

$476-$660

$450-$570 

Contractors

6,800 in-network

15,000 in-network

In-network (number not specified)

Service call fee

$75-$100

$75-$85

$60

Service requests

Service requests can be submitted online or by phone, 24/7

Service requests can be made online or by phone, 24/7

Service is available by phone, 24/7

American Home Shield vs Select Home Warranty

Select Home Warranty’s premiums can be a little more expensive than American Home Shield, although in some cases the service fee can be lower. Where American Home Shield has an advantage is its larger confirmed network of contractors, which may make you more confident in its ability to find local service for you. American Home Shield also offers a stronger range of deals and discounts. 

American Home Shield vs Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty is slightly cheaper than American Home Shield in terms of premiums and service fee. Its $3,000 cap on items is matched by American Home Shield if you’re on the ShieldGold plan, but if you invest in the ShieldPlatinum plan, you can raise this to $6,000. Therefore, if you are keen to cover more expensive repairs, American Home Shield could be worth the extra money.

American Home Shield vs Complete Care Home Warranty

Complete Care Home Warranty is somewhat cheaper than American Home Shield, both in terms of premium and service fee, so could be a better choice if you’re on a budget. However, we noted Complete Care Warranty’s low service caps on a range of items (only $500), which might feel restrictive. Additionally, American Home Shield’s add-on plans might suit you if you’re looking for a simpler way to customize your cover. 

American Home Shield American Home Shield Visit Site

The Bottom Line

American Home Shield offers solid coverage for the appliances and systems in your home and can ultimately save you money when things go wrong. What sets its service apart from competitors is its inclusive terms, covering items that are rusted or corroded or with undetected pre-existing conditions. Additionally, it offers add-on plans rather than a long list of single products, making it quicker and easier to customize your cover to suit your needs. Although it’s important to be aware of some negative customer feedback, American Home Shield also has satisfied members and offers some attractive incentives like friend referrals. If you’re looking for a customizable home warranty, American Home Shield could be the choice for you.

Frequently Asked Questions
Is American Home Shield legitimate?
-
+
American Home Shield has been operating for over 50 years and has 1.8 million members. While many members are satisfied with its service, some have logged negative reviews, including complaints about the speed and quality of repairs. However, the business remains accredited by the BBB (B grade).
Does American Home Shield cover pre-existing conditions?
-
+
American Home Shield covers undetected pre-existing conditions that wouldn’t be seen or found via mechanical tests.
When does American Home Shield coverage begin?
-
+
American Home Shield coverage starts after 30 days. This doesn’t count if you’ve bought or received your warranty as part of a real estate transaction, in which case, coverage starts when your deal is closed. If you renew your cover, it will roll over with no waiting period.
How do American Home Shield home warranties work?
-
+
American Home Shield warranties cover your systems and appliances (according to the plan you’ve purchased) for a year. If your systems and/or appliances break down, you can contact American Home Shield, who will arrange for a contractor to repair or replace the faulty item(s), subject to limitations. The American Home Shield network of contractors has over 17,000 members. This can save you the hassle of finding your own contractor. The company’s plans also cover items not usually included in standard home insurance.
How much does American Home Shield cost?
-
+
The average annual premium for an American Home Shield warranty is $500–$700. You will also need to pay a service fee of your choice ($75, $100, or $125). Paying a higher service fee can lower your premium. Additionally, you may decide to include an optional bolt-on plan for $50–$258.
Catherine Miller is a lead member of personal finance and pension innovator Maji, where’s she’s responsible for content creation and running Maji’s personal finance masterclass, among others. Miller also holds degrees in English and education, and worked as a teacher before moving into finance. Today, she combines aspects of education and personal finance to help readers make better decisions in finance and beyond.

American Home Shield customer reviews

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Top Reviews

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1 years ago

The service gives me peace of mind for when I need repairs. The response is immediate.

1 years ago

I had a stove that did not work and American Home Shield fixed the next day. The repair person was excellent and told us what the problem was before he fixed it.

1 years ago

Service each month is a little high, then you incur other fees for repair. I had a air conditioning issue, the charge for freon was 10.00 per pound. I discovered later the charge was way out of line for the product.

1 years ago

Does exactly what it supposed to. No issue with the service or access. Online access was also not an issue.

1 years ago

Very good service for the cost. Very easy to use. Have got my repairs do very fast with no wait.

1 years ago

They are fast to respond, I can do a lot via the website and the technicians they have sent are top-notch.

1 years ago

There was a warranty items that I felt they should have repaired but they had a different view. Perhaps next time will be better.

1 years ago

The customer service wasn't nice and I had to call multiple times to get issue resolved ..

1 years ago

Prices keep rising, while some services are now gone. Such as less coverage than before.

1 years ago

It is very impersonal now, and taking to a person is time consuming. You have to pay up front and there is no follow up

1 years ago

American Home shield provides protection for a variety of appliances. The buyer should be mindful of the deductibles

1 years ago

They do not communicate very well with the actions being taken on the warranty service provided.

1 years ago

They seem to be good but I have not had any reason to use them yet. The bill isn't breaking me so I think it's worth the price for a good warranty.

2 years ago

Had a very good experience with plumbing issue and AHS' response. However, have since not had as good results with air-conditioning issue and standard of service.

1 years ago

Not everything is covered enough for the required cost to bring the appliance or other items to a usable condition.

1 years ago

always responded well and service was fine and cost was also ok easy to call and get a response

1 years ago

They use a call center with agents that barely speak English, they are rude and don't take care of the customers

1 years ago

I have had issues with getting claims covered. They take too long and cost too much.

2 years ago

They often don't know what's going on with their service providers. It costs way too much.

1 years ago

I was only allowed to use one plumber, who did not contact me, respond to my contacts. Customer Service was indifferent. I have had good experiences with them on previous occasions

25 reviews