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American Home Shield Review
American Home Shield offers a lot of flexibility in home warranty plans, including the ability to customize your own coverage. American Home Shield offers home warranty plans that cover the majority of common household appliances and systems — and more. It also offers a reasonable number of add-on options for less common items.
Overall, American Home Shield is a top competitor among the best home warranty companies. However, there will always be exceptions to the rule, and knowledge is a powerful key to warranty satisfaction and expectations. So, always read the fine print before you buy, and make sure the plans and pricing will provide you with coverage that makes sense for you.
American Home Shield at a glance
|Company Name||Year Founded||Service Fee||Recall Period||States Available|
|American Home Shield||1971||Service fee varies||30 days||Nationwide coverage |
*Does not cover Alaska or New York City and its surrounding area.
American Home Shield’s home warranty plans
This company offers four warranty plans to choose from:
- Appliances Plan — This plan covers the cost to repair or replace major household appliances that fail under normal wear and tear.
- Systems Plan — The System Plan covers issues that occur with major household systems, like heating with duct work, electrical, water heaters, garbage disposals and more.
- Combination Plan — The Combination Plan gives you a full range of coverage by offering the best of both worlds. It covers everything listed under Appliances and Systems plans.
- Build Your Own Plan — This plan allows you the flexibility to choose at least 10 items from both the appliance and systems lists that make the most sense to cover for your household.
The company also offers additional products for things not otherwise covered. This includes optional coverage for a guest unit, septic pump, well pump, in-ground pool or spa, or electronics.
What we like about American Home Shield
The nice thing about American Home Shield is that the company offers four main plans to choose from, plus optional add-ons for things not otherwise covered.
Another perk is that there are no required home inspections or maintenance records needed to purchase a plan, even if the items are older. All items must be well-maintained, in good working order and not damaged or defective.
Most home warranty companies generally have a co-pay that’s required for a service technician to come to your home, so it’s nice that American Home Shield gives you a choice in the amount of trade service fees that you pay. That choice can lower your monthly warranty plan payment as well. A higher trade service fee results in a lower monthly home warranty plan payment.
Is the trade-off worth it? It just might be. The lowest trade service fee offered when using a Maine address was $75, bringing the sample monthly combo plan fee to $64.99. The highest trade fee was $125, which brought the same sample plan fee down to $49.99 per month. That would be a savings of $180 annually, assuming one major repair during the year. However, this only applies to the sample from the state of Maine. Prices may differ according to your location and plan. You can get a free online quote for your location to see specific pricing options in your area.
Things to consider
Like many warranty plans, limitations include normal wear and tear of regularly maintained appliances and systems. The company’s home warranties cover all plan-specific appliances or systems, regardless of the item age, as long as it is maintained in good working condition without defects or damage. Exclusions do apply, though, in cases where appliances and systems are covered under another warranty. Any manufacturer, distributor, builder or extended warranties already in place take precedence, so check existing coverage information before you buy a home warranty.
Another potential downside to American Home Shield is that while its mostly a nationwide company, it does not cover Alaska or parts of New York, such as New York City and its surrounding areas.
How American Home Shield compares with the competition
American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty
only offers two plans: basic and total. Choice offers similar coverage to what American Home Shield offers, but with less flexibility. Some major appliances are only covered under the Choice Total Plan, so review each plan carefully. Choice offers more add-ons, but some are already included as part of American Home Shield’s plans, and without the additional charge. Choice’s plans cost a little less than American Home Shield, but there are more limitations and exclusions, so be sure to read the fine print.
American Home Shield vs. Select Home Warranty
The Select Home Warranty Platinum Plan is comparable to American Home Shield’s Combo Plan with a few exceptions, like doorbells, trash compactors, and a couple of other things. Coverage for a handful of these devices or appliances is offered as an add-on option for an additional cost. Select Home also offers an add-on for sprinkler systems, which may be more beneficial for households with that system in place. The cost is comparable, and if you purchase Select’s annual plan, they’ll give you two months off the price. Trade service fees can be as low as $45 with Select, but the website’s information doesn’t specify how high they can go from there.
American Home Shield vs. Amazon Home Warranty
Amazon Home Warranty is the most similar warranty provider to American Home Shield. It offers three plans: systems, appliances and combo. Many of the items covered under each are comparable to American Home Shield, and plan pricing is also similar. However, Amazon offers more add-on options than American Home Shield. Amazon might be better for those who need to cover more specialty items, like wine refrigerators, whole-house humidifiers or sprinkler systems that aren’t covered under many other warranty plans.