American Home Shield Review—2021 Guide

·8 min read
A white kitchen with black and white rug and white wooden chairs around light brown wood table.
A white kitchen with black and white rug and white wooden chairs around light brown wood table.

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Most Practical Coverage

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Best Promotions

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Best Appliance Coverage

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Best Workmanship Guarantee

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Most Comprehensive Plan

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Since opening in 1971, American Home Shield (AHS) has been one of the biggest players in the home warranty industry, offering a variety of plans, comprehensive coverage, and customizable pricing.

We spent hours researching and comparing the top home warranty brands in the country based on a number of factors, including plan coverage, availability, and trustworthiness. Our research found American Home Shield to be one of the best home warranty companies available.

Scroll down for our thoughts on whether American Home Shield's monthly plans are worth the cost. For customized pricing and coverage information, we recommend getting a free quote from American Home Shield by entering your ZIP code into this online form or calling 844-529-9298.

American Home Shield: The Good and the Bad

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What Plans Does American Home Shield Offer?

American Home Shield offers three plans: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum. The ShieldSilver plan provides coverage for systems, including your air conditioner, heating unit, and plumbing, while the ShieldGold plan covers everything in the ShieldSilver plan plus appliances like your refrigerator, washer, and dryer. The ShieldPlatinum plan is American Home Shield's most comprehensive plan, covering 23 systems and appliances and offering coverage for roof leak repairs.

Here are the items covered under each American Home Shield plan:

All AHS plans come with unlimited coverage caps for major systems, but there are specific coverage limits for appliances and a few other items. A coverage limit is the amount that your home warranty company agrees to pay during a claim and is set in your home warranty contract. If a necessary repair or replacement exceeds the coverage limit, you'll be responsible for paying any remaining costs out of pocket.

Here are the coverage limits for the covered items in American Home Shield's plans:

  • Appliances: $3,000 coverage limit per appliance ($6,000 coverage limit with the ShieldPlatinum plan)

  • Air conditioning refrigerant: $10 per pound covered (unlimited refrigerant coverage included with the ShieldPlatinum plan)

  • Code violations, permits, and modifications (ShieldPlatinum only): $1,000 coverage limit per year

  • Roof leak repairs (ShieldPlatinum and add-on only): $1,500 coverage limit per year

How Much Does American Home Shield Cost?

The pricing of American Home Shield plans depends on the trade service call fee you choose, in addition to other factors, such as your location and home size. The trade service call fee, also known as a service call fee or service fee, acts as a deductible that you pay to the on-site technician when they come to your house to make a repair or replacement. Choosing a higher service call fee can lower your monthly rate while a lower service fee will raise it.Below are the prices from a sample quote we received on a 2,000-square-foot single-family home in Raleigh, North Carolina. Since pricing can vary depending on your location, we recommend calling 844-529-9298 or filling out this form to get a free quote.

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American Home Shield Optional Coverage

Optional coverage add-ons allow you to customize your coverage and protect specific items not typically covered under a home warranty. For instance, if you have a pool, you may want to add on pool coverage to your home warranty for repair or replacement coverage on the heating, pumping, and filtration system.

Here are the additional coverage options offered by American Home Shield and their monthly prices:

  • Guest unit (under 750 square feet): $16

  • Pool or spa: $24

  • Septic pump: $5

  • Well pump: $9

  • Electronics Protection Plan: $14

While roof leak repair coverage is included for free in the ShieldPlatinum plan, you can add it on for $10 per month with the other two plans.

Where Is American Home Shield Available?

American Home Shield's home warranty plans are available in 49 states, excluding Alaska. If you live in Alaska, look to other top providers who service the state, such as Choice Home Warranty or AFC Home Club. Because plan pricing can vary depending on your state and ZIP code, we recommend requesting a free quote from American Home Shield to compare costs in your area.

American Home Shield Reviews

American Home Shield has an accreditation and B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and a mix of positive and negative customer reviews on the BBB platform.*

Some customers are satisfied with American Home Shield's responsiveness, claims process, and option to choose an approved technician, whereas others complain about raised plan prices, denied claims, and negative experiences with contractors.

Here are some examples of American Home Shield reviews taken from the company's BBB page:

"I have had to use AHS on several occasions and have [received] good service. My AC [was] fixed within 24 hours of [my] call."

—Mary R.

"After paying for many years and making only a few small claims, [American Home Shield] denied coverage for my central AC, and it took them three days to come to the conclusion while I was in my home without air conditioning in June, one of the hottest months in Texas."

—Maria T.

*BBB information is accurate as of July 21, 2021.

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Our Recommendation

When comparing home warranty companies, we found American Home Shield to be the best in the industry for its overall performance across our review categories, including available plans, affordability, plan coverage, trustworthiness, and customer support.

If you're looking for a home warranty provider that offers extensive coverage at affordable prices, AHS could be a good option for you. However, since it doesn't offer an appliances-only plan like many other companies, you may want to consider Select Home Warranty or First American Home Warranty if you just need coverage for items like refrigerators or washers and dryers.

Get a free quote from American Home Shield by calling 844-529-9298 or filling out this easy online form.

American Home Shield FAQ

Does American Home Shield offer any unique discounts?

Yes. Real Simple readers can get $50 off their plan by requesting a quote online or calling 844-529-9298. This discount deducts $4.17 from any of the three monthly plan costs.

Does American Home Shield have any warranty exclusions?

Yes. According to a sample contract, American Home Shield excludes the following coverage from its home warranty plans:

  • Routine maintenance

  • Cosmetic defects

  • Flues, venting, chimneys, and exhaust lines

  • Electronic, computerized, or home management systems

  • Fire sprinkler systems, radon monitoring systems, and solar systems and components

  • Manufacturer defects

  • Mold, mildew, bio-organic growth, rot, fungus, or pest damage

  • Service or remediation costs involving hazardous or toxic materials

How do American Home Shield prices compare to other providers?

American Home Shield allows you to customize your monthly rates by choosing a service call fee of $75, $100, or $125. If you select a service call fee of $125, you could get the ShieldSilver plan for as low as $30 per month, which is one of the lowest monthly price points in the industry.

If you're looking for a combo plan that covers both systems and appliances but want a lower service call fee, other providers may have cheaper options. For example, Choice Home Warranty has a Basic Plan, which covers systems and appliances for $47 per month with an $85 service call fee.

Is American Home Shield worth it?

If you want a home warranty plan that has high coverage limits and protects major systems and appliances, we think American Home Shield is worth it. The company offers three home warranty plans and allows customers to select from three service call fees for plan and pricing customization. In addition, AHS is one of the oldest providers in the home warranty industry and available in 49 states.

While a homeowners insurance policy covers personal belongings and repairs to your home's structure after an unexpected disaster, it doesn't cover your systems and appliances when they break down due to normal wear and tear. That's where a home warranty comes in—a home protection plan can save you time and money by covering necessary repairs on home items that break down unexpectedly.

Best in the Industry

realsimple BUY IT

Most Practical Coverage

realsimple BUY IT

Best Promotions

realsimple BUY IT

Best Appliance Coverage

realsimple BUY IT

Best Workmanship Guarantee

realsimple BUY IT

Most Comprehensive Plan

realsimple BUY IT

How We Rated the Top Home Warranty Companies

To provide the most valuable recommendations and reviews to our readers, our reviews team spent hundreds of hours researching the home warranty industry and analyzed dozens of providers on key factors, including coverage, pricing, customer service, and more.

We created a rating system that compares home warranty providers on a number of metrics to help us determine which companies are the best in the industry. Below are six items we used to rate a provider's overall performance:

  • Available plans

  • Plan coverage

  • Customer support

  • Trustworthiness

  • Affordability

  • Additional features

Additionally, here are some steps we took during our research process:

  • We called each company or used its online quote tool to simulate the quote process, taking note of the overall experience and offered prices.

  • We read the fine print of each home warranty contract to ensure all coverage is clear and consistent.

  • We assessed each company's reputation by reading more than 100 customer reviews, researching the company's standing with the Better Business Bureau (BBB), and reviewing its years of experience in the industry.

  • We simulated the customer experience on the company's website, over the phone, and via email to ensure the provider offers quality and consistent customer service across multiple channels.