American Home Shield is one of the best home warranty companies in the U.S. Millions of homeowners across the country trust this company to cover their homes and belongings against a wide range of damages and unexpected breakdowns.
Home warranty coverage is a big deal, and it is prudent to work with a trustworthy and reliable home warranty company. Unfortunately, it is not uncommon for home warranty providers to escape their obligations, leaving their desperate clients disappointed.
American Home Shield promises to offer a range of friendly plans providing comprehensive coverage at an affordable price. To learn more about what American Home Shield has to offer, continue reading this review.
Home Warranty Plans
American Home Shield (also called AHS) offers three fixed coverage plans plus the option for additional add-on coverage. All plans provide comprehensive coverage for your home and personal items. Listed below are a few highlights of each plan:
The ShieldSilver plan is the lowest plan and covers 14 major systems responsible for keeping your home running smoothly. Some home systems covered under this plan include air conditioning, electrical systems, and plumbing.
The ShieldGold plan covers the major systems covered by the ShieldSilver plan plus nine additional major home appliances. These include secondary appliances such as garbage disposals and major kitchen appliances such as refrigerators and dishwashers.
The ShieldPlatinum plan covers all the home systems and appliances covered by the Silver and Gold plans. It also provides roof leak coverage for up to $1,500 of the total cost of roof leak repairs. It also offers additional coverage for unlimited refrigerant as well as $1,000 in coverage for permits and code violations.
As mentioned, American Home Shield offers optional add-on coverage for clients looking for a more comprehensive home warranty. The company accepts five optional add-ons:
- A guest unit measuring less than 750 square feet
- A pool and in-ground spa
- A septic pump
- A well pump
- Electronic extended warranty
- Roof leak repairs
It is also worth noting that the coverage caps increase as you climb the coverage plan ladder. For example, the ShieldGold plan covers some items for up to $3,000, but the ShieldPlatinum plan increases coverage for the same item to $6,000.
What does American Home Shield cover?
American Home Shield Corporation is one of the best home warranty companies because of its comprehensive coverage. The various home warranty plans cover varying items which make up almost all of your essential belongings, with some exclusions. Here is an overview of the coverage specifics:
Covered Built-In Systems
Built-in systems such as the air conditioner and interior plumbing are essential to your house’s overall integrity. For example, your home would be inhabitable during the winter if the AC didn’t work properly. These essential systems are covered under the ShieldSilver plan. They include:
- Air conditioner
- Heating units
- Vent, attic fans, and exhaust
- Fuse panel box
- Main circuit breaker
- Chimes and doorbells
- Ceiling fans
- Interior electrical lines
- Interior plumbing lines
- Garage door openers
- Faucets and valves
- Whirlpool tub motors
- Air filters
- Water heater
American Home Shield also offers coverage for major appliances that include kitchen appliances and most essential home electronics. Besides covering all the devices discussed above, ShieldGold also covers many appliances. Covered appliances include:
- Ovens (also cooktops and ranges)
- Built-in microwave ovens
- Garbage disposals
- Instant cold/hot water dispensers
It is also worth noting that American Home Shield also covers aging appliances, which is not a standard offer among most other companies. Other special AHS offers also include coverage for incompatible systems and improper installation of appliances.
AHS home warranty also covers a range of specialty items, including:
- HVAC tune-ups
- Roof leak repairs
- Well pumps
- Septic pumps
- Inground spas
- Guest units
These specialty items are covered under the ShieldPlatinum and Optional Add-ons plans. However, you have to pay extra (in addition to the monthly premium) for this coverage.
American Home Shield plans cover a wide range of items, but certain exclusions apply. These exclusions range from some types of personal property to certain forms of in-built systems.
Excluded appliances include:
- Free-standing freezers
- Multi-media centers
- Wine chillers
- Garage doors
- Door track assemblies
- Removable accessories from built-in food centers
Excluded systems include:
- Underground piping and pump components
- Water towers
- Window units
- Water lines
- Chiller components
- Security cable or wiring
- Circuit overloads
- Phone wiring
- Electrical wall plates
- Extra water heaters
- Doorbell intercoms and components
- Fuel storage tanks
- Extra water heaters
- Removable accessories from central vacuums
It is also worth noting that AHS doesn’t cover theft or irresponsible behaviors that lead to the covered items’ damages. However, it does protect against natural disasters and certain types of theft and vandalism. Before signing up, it is crucial to know what Shield Home Warranty covers and what it doesn’t.
American Home Shield Pricing & Costs
American Home Shield is also popular for its affordability, considering everything it has to offer. However, it is worth noting that this home warranty company doesn’t have a fixed pricing structure, as explained below.
Home warranty plans vary in price depending on factors such as your location, the size of your home, and the number and type of items covered. Once you have provided the requested information, you will be given a personalized quote.
However, Shield Home Warranty averages at about $50 for ShieldSilver, $60 for ShieldGold, and $75 for ShieldPlatinum for most homeowners. It is advisable to contact American Home Shield for a more personalized quote.
American Home Shield also charges service fees for every service request. The service fees are set at three tiers: $75, $100, and $125.
You will be required to pay the service fee for every claim you make, and you cannot make additional claims until all outstanding fees are paid. It is also worth noting that your chosen service fee tier affects how much you pay in monthly premiums. Consequently, you will pay higher premiums if you select a lower service fee ($75) and lower premiums if you choose a higher service fee ($100 and $125).
American Home Shield State Availability
American Home Shield is available in all states except Alaska. It is also worth noting that their premiums vary from state to state.
Once you sign up for a home warranty plan with AHS, a contract describing the plan’s terms will be provided to you. Here is an overview of what the contract will contain and what to look out for.
The AHS home service contracts are comprehensive and detailed. It covers everything about your plan, your obligations, the company’s responsibilities, and more. Here is an overview of the issues covered:
- A coverage overview, including the items covered, the requirements that must be met for a successful claim, as well as the company’s obligations
- The contract’s terms and conditions, including the plan fee and conditions for the transfer of ownership
- A guideline on how to request services and the requirements that must be met for approval
- A trade service call fee
- A comprehensive overview of the items excluded from coverage
- Warranty information for all appliances and systems
- Terms of renewal and cancellation
- Miscellaneous details
American Home Shield has a flexible cancellation policy for clients who may be unsatisfied with their services. Your contract fees will be refunded minus any service claims if you cancel within 30 days of the start date of your coverage. Following 30 days, you will owe the balance of one month’s payment, minus any prorated contract fees.
How does it work?
American Home Shield works like many other home warranty companies. Here is an overview of how the processes of signing up as a client and making claims work:
Buying a Home Warranty Plan
The first step entails buying a home warranty plan. As discussed earlier, there are three core options, and it is important to buy a plan that best suits your needs and preferences.
It is recommended to visit the AHS website to review their plans and prices before signing up. If you’re having trouble determining which plan is best for you, take advantage of their free home warranty quote.
The system will generate a free quote after you provide the required information. It is important to be as accurate and detailed as possible for a more personalized quote. American Home Shield does not require a home inspection for registration.
Once you’re ready to purchase, complete a registration form on their website. Some of the details required include your address, zip code, phone number, and email address.
Filing a Claim
Filing a claim with American Home Shield is easy, but there are some requirements. The company advises its clients to file a service request as soon as they identify a problem with a covered item. The company then reviews the request and initiates repairs or replacements within 48 hours.
AHS responds well to claims and has an excellent customer service department. However, the company charges a service call fee ranging from $75 to $125, depending on the type of service request. It is worth noting that the company will not provide any additional services until all past and present plan and service fees are paid.
To ensure that the service provided is adequate, AHS provides a workmanship guarantee of 30 days. AHS stands by their work and will make sure that your item stays functional during that window.
American Home Shield Reputation
Many homeowners have had negative experiences with their home warranties companies. In light of this, it is only natural to wonder whether American Home Shield is trustworthy.
American Home Shield was founded in 1971, making it one of the oldest home warranty companies in the United States. It is also one of the most popular home warranty companies with a presence in 49 states. More than 2 million homeowners have been served to their satisfaction by this company so far.
The company has achieved this popularity and its top status by maintaining an overall positive reputation. To this end, the company has a B-rating from the Better Business Bureau. It has also won several national awards as a leading national association, including:
- Women’s Choice Awards (from 2014 to 2017)
- 2014 Best in Service Award from Home Warranty Awards
- Top-Rated Award from 2015 to 2018 by Home Warranty Awards
In addition, American Shield Home Warranty is Consumer Affairs-accredited. The company works with more than 14,000 contractors throughout the country to deliver quality service. For this reason, you can find many honest American Home Shield reviews from both current and past clients.
Our Take on American Home Shield
American Home Shield doesn’t need to try too hard to convince any homeowner of its competence. The company serves millions of homeowners and has already paid out more than $2 billion in claims. There are few stipulations in the fine print, making the claims process relatively straightforward. Here is an overview of what we like and dislike about AHS.
Some of the benefits of working with American Home Shield include:
- Comprehensive coverage of all essential systems and appliances
- Coverage against a wide range of risks, including theft and natural disasters
- Affordable monthly premiums and service fees
- Quick registration and approval without the need for a home inspection
- An easy and fast claims process without hidden limitations
- National recognition as a national home warranty association
American Home Shield also has its shortcomings, like any other homeowners warranty company. They include:
- Not available in Alaska
- Repairs only guaranteed for 30 days
- Several negative reviews from dissatisfied clients
- B-rating with the Better Business Bureau means that it could do better
American Home Shield Alternatives
American Home Shield is one of several home warranty companies in the United States. Here is an overview of ideal alternatives to AHS:
Liberty Home Guard
Liberty Home Guard is also one of the best home warranty companies. Its benefits over AHS include cheaper monthly premiums, cheaper service fees, and an overall better BBB rating. AHS, however, offers more customizable plans and is available in more states nationwide. Additionally, AHS has substantially more experience than Liberty Home Guard.
Select Home Warranty
Select Home Warranty is also a leading brand in the home warranty industry. One of its most notable benefits over AHS is that it offers free roof repair coverage. It also offers lower service fees and cheaper premiums. However, it doesn’t cover as many states as AHS. It also lacks the vast experience that AHS brings to the table.
First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty is also popular with homeowners primarily because of its affordability. However, it doesn’t offer coverage for air conditioning, unlike AHS. It also doesn’t serve as many states as American Home Shield.
American Home Shield FAQs
How do I file a claim?
Here is a step-by-step process on how to file a claim with American Home Shield:
- Make a service request by calling the company or online using the company’s website
- Pay the service fee
- Let a partnered contractor into your house to inspect & fix the problem
Is American Home Shield a rip-off?
No, American Home Shield is not a rip-off. This company has been in business for about 50 years and has a nationwide presence with millions of clients. It also has a reasonably high BBB rating and is accredited positively by other accreditation bodies. The company also offers some of the most affordable premiums and flexible service fee arrangements, and the quality of services is well worth the price.
What does the American Home Shield ShieldPlatinum Plan cover?
The ShieldPlatinum plan is the highest plan, not considering the optional add-ons. It covers everything also found in the ShieldSilver plan (built-in systems) and ShieldGold plan (electrical appliances). It also covers roof leaks and HVAC tune-ups.
What is not covered under the various American Home Shield plans?
American Home Shield doesn’t cover some items in several categories, including appliances and built-in systems. Refer above for an exhaustive list of what is not covered, or get in touch with the company to ask about the specific items you would like covered.
Does American Home Shield cover roof leaks?
Yes, American Home Shield offers roof leak repair coverage under the ShieldPlatinum plan. It is also optional in the ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans.
Does American Home Shield cover mold?
Unfortunately, this company doesn’t cover mold and other hazardous materials such as asbestos, mildew, and lead paint. It also doesn’t provide coverage for damages sustained from the homeowner’s irresponsibility or incompetence.
Does American Home Shield cover water damage?
Unfortunately, AHS doesn’t provide coverage for water damage. Consequently, it is advisable to get homeowners’ insurance to cover you against this and other exclusions.
Does American Home Shield cover termites and insects?
Unfortunately, AHS doesn’t cover damages caused by termites and other destructive insects. However, the company does offer extermination services through one of its parent company’s affiliates.
Does American Home Shield cover theft?
Unfortunately, AHS doesn’t cover theft because of the underlying risk of encouraging fraud. Consequently, it is highly advisable to get homeowners’ insurance to protect you against this and other dangerous perils.
Does American Home Shield cover tree damage?
Unfortunately, AHS doesn’t provide coverage against tree damage and other types of structural damage. Consequently, it is advisable to get insurance coverage for this and other risks.
Are there customer service complaints?
Yes, there are some negative American Home Shield reviews, as with all other companies. As such, it is advisable to consider everything about a home warranty service provider before signing up.
How can I get a quote from American Home Shield?
You can get a quote from AHS by filling in the registration form. The system will use details such as your location to determine an ideal quote.
American Home Shield is a highly reputable company with an excellent track record of providing quality service. They offer affordable premiums and flexible payment arrangements, as well as many other benefits.
If you’re still on the fence about whether AHS is right for your home warranty needs, contact them for a free estimate to talk more about your specific needs. One of their friendly representatives will be happy to answer any questions you may have and provide a free quote based on your situation!