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American Home Shield Review

Home » Brands » American Home Shield Review
8.4

Table of Contents

American Home Shield Review: 

If you’re thinking of purchasing extra coverage to protect your home’s appliances and major systems, it’s important to investigate the reputations of major home warranty companies. American Home Shield (AHS) is a leading home warranty company offering comprehensive coverage and protection for homeowners in all states outside of Alaska and Hawaii.

Currently, more than 2 million members use American Home Shield for extra protection in case something goes wrong with heating, electrical, appliances, and close to a dozen home elements. Plans can be used for single-family homes, duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, townhomes, condos, and mobile homes. 

American Home Shield is a popular choice due to its robust coverage, nationwide network of professionals, 30-day workmanship guarantee, and extras. Of course, there are several factors to consider when comparing home warranty providers. Monthly costs, extent of coverage, out-of-pocket costs, customer service, and customer ratings all factor into what makes a home policy worth it. This American Home Shield Review covers it all. 

Review American Home Shield Plans and Prices!

American Home Shield Awards:

AHS made the list for–

For California residents, check out American Home Shield on the Top 3 Best Home Warranties in CA list for 2023. 

Pros

  • Comprehensive Coverage: American Home Shield offers one of the most comprehensive plans for homeowners wishing to cover all of a home’s major systems. A single plan can cover electrical, plumbing, appliances, and heating and air conditioning systems. Using American Home Shield’s highest tier, homeowners get coverage for parts of 23 systems and appliances. This tier also includes roof leak repairs. Even the cheapest tier covers 14 major systems.

  • Flexible American Home Shield Service Call Fees: With home warranty plans, the service fee acts like a deductible that’s covered by the customers. AHS offers reasonable and flexible service call fees starting at low as $75. Members can choose to either pay higher fees with lower monthly costs or higher monthly costs with lower fees.

  • Experience: In a time when we’re inundated by ads from unfamiliar or unproven companies, it’s nice to know that AHS has been around for 50 years!

  • Generous Coverage Limits: While AHS provides a generous $6,000 maximum appliance limit, there’s no coverage cap for major home systems. All American Home Shield plans cover appliances and systems regardless of age, known issues, or maintenance history. AHS plans even pay for the cost of removing your old appliance.

  • Free Perks: Members get unlimited air conditioning refrigerant, free HVAC tune-up services, and built-in coverage for code violations and permits.

Cons

  • Not the Cheapest Option: While it’s easy to get excited by the comprehensive coverage offered by AHS, this robust coverage comes with rates that are higher than many other options out there.

  • Not Available Everywhere: AHS coverage is not available to people in Alaska or Hawaii. The company also excludes New York City from its service area.

  • No Plan Just for Appliances: If you’re simply looking for a cheap plan to cover repairs if appliances break down, you’ll need to look at another company. In fact, you have to upgrade to the middle-grade ShieldGold tier just to get kitchen and laundry appliances covered with AHS.

  • Short Workmanship Guarantee: While it’s appreciated that AHS applies a workmanship guarantee to its services, the warranty is only good for 30 days.

  • 30-Day Waiting Period: New AHS members are subject to American Home Shield waiting periods that prevent them from filing a claim for 30 days.

American Home Shield Review

When looking at American Home Shield coverage reviews, it’s important to compare the different tiers offered by the company.

American home shield home warranty plans and prices

American Home Shield Warranty Plans and Pricing:

  • Monthly Plan Cost: $29.99 to $69.99
  • Annual Plan Cost: $359.88 to $839.98

American Home Shield Warranty Plan 1: ShieldSilver

At $29.99 per month for protection for 14 parts of major systems, ShieldSilver is a bargain at first glance. It offers protection for 14 parts of major systems belonging to electrical and plumbing. While about half as many items are covered compared to the highest tier, coverage includes:

  • Air conditioners
  • Heating units
  • Ductwork
  • Exhaust, vent, and attic fans
  • Main breakers
  • Interior electrical lines
  • Ceiling fans
  • Garage door openers
  • Toilets
  • Faucets
  • Water heaters
  • Tub motors
  • Doorbells

American Home Shield Warranty Plan 2: ShieldGold

Starting at $49.99 per month, ShieldGold covers everything that’s included with the basic ShieldSilver membership with all of the same coverage limits. It also adds coverage for the following:

  • Refrigerators
  • Ovens, ranges, and cooktops
  • Dishwashers
  • Built-in microwaves
  • Garbage disposals
  • Water dispensers
  • Washers and dryers

This is the tier to bump up to if you’re looking for appliance coverage. With coverage for each appliance reaching $3,000, this plan should cover the needs of even high-end appliances. ShieldGold protects parts of 23 major appliances and systems in total.

American Home Shield Warranty Plan 3: ShieldGold

For a price of $69.99 per month, the ShieldPlatinum covers everything from ShieldSilver and ShieldGold with the same conditions. This tier also ramps up coverage to incorporate roof leak repairs up to $1,000. Also notable is the fact that the maximum repair or replacement cost per appliance increases to $4,000. ShieldPlatinum also offers up to $250 in coverage for code violations and permits, free HVAC tune-up services, and unlimited A/C refrigerant.

Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield

  • Plan Options: Like American Home Shield, Select Home Warranty offers three tiers (Bronze, Gold, and Platinum) with some optional add-on features.
  • Plan Costs: With plans ranging from $57 to $63, Select Home Warranty’s pricing starts much higher than American Home Shield’s pricing. However you’re looking at an average cost of $588 to $660 for Select Home Warranty versus an average cost of $359.88 to $839.88 for American Home Shield when you look at things holistically.
  • Service Fees: With services fees ranging from $75 to $125, AHS is the pricier option compared to Select Home Warranty’s fee window of $60 to $75.
  • Discounts: Select Home Warranty offers two months free if you pay for the full year.
  • Coverage: While American Home Shield covers 18 items in total at the highest tier, Select Home Warranty maxes out at 15. While coverage is similar, American Home Shield covers doorbells, water dispensers, and tub components.

American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty

  • Plan Options: Unlike three-tier AHS, Choice Home Warranty offers just two choices called the Total Plan and Basic Plan.
  • Plan Costs: CHW customers can choose the Basic Plan at $46.67 per month or the Total plan at $55 per month.
  • Service Fees: CHW service fees are around $85 per call.
  • Discounts and Promotions: CHW doesn’t offer any special promotions for signing up.
  • Coverage: With Choice Home Warranty’s Total Plan covering 18 items in total, it’s tied with American Home Shield’s higher tier.

Is American Home Shield Warranty Worth It?

American Home Shield stands out in this space because of its generous limits for repairs and replacements. Founded in 1971, the Memphis-based company has 50 years of experience with creating plans that actually matter to homeowners. Members enjoy coverage for up to 23 major systems and appliances. Of course, the robustness of AHS coverage is funded by premiums that are slightly higher than average.

While coverage is generous, American Home Shield won’t cover everything in your home. The company won’t touch standalone freezers, chimneys and flues, exhaust lines, solar components, and sprinkle systems. However, you can pay for add-on coverage if you want to include coverage for home electronics, pool and spa equipment, a guest unit, septic pump, or your well pump. Just be warned that add-on plans under American Home Shield are somewhat limited in terms of the components covered.

American Home Shield Reviews BBB

If you’re searching for American Home Shield reviews, BBB is a great place to start. They are one of the few gems online that offer unbiased reviews. Complaints against American Home Shield can be viewed, with details on how the company responded and if the complaint was resolved or not. This is valuable information when considering doing business with a home warranty company. You need to be certain that this company will cover your claims when the time comes, otherwise you’re paying fees for a home warranty scam! Fortunately, AHS does right for their customers.

American Home Shield has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB). AHS also has a customer rating of 2.18 out of 5 stars, which sounds bad but these reviews need to be taken into consideration in regards to the size of this company and compared to the record of other similar companies in the industry. When you dig into American Home Shield customer reviews, you’ll find thousands of four and five-star rated reviews. 

Think about it this way, everybody knows how large Home Depot is. And most of us, love Home Depot. In fact, for many Americans they couldn’t live without Home Depot. However, if you check Home Depot’s customer review rating, it’s a miserable one out of five, based on 5,476 total customer reviews. On the other hand, American Home Shield has over 11,000 customer reviews. That right there should give you an idea of how large this company is; then dig into those reviews and complaints and read the details, and you’ll realize AHS’s average customer review rating isn’t as bad as it sounds at first glimpse. And consequently, BBB rewards them with a B rating.

Review American Home Shield BBB Details

American Home Shield Complaints

The BBB has recorded 28,787 customer complaints against American Home Shield. Many of the negative reviews and complaints are related to poor communication on the part of AHS. Other common complaints include American Home Shield’s failure to send a specialist after collecting a service fee, problems not being addressed properly, and unfulfilled promises to cover repairs or replacements.

In 2012, the U.S. District Court approved of a class action lawsuit settlement agreement regarding the way that ugh its compensation of real estate brokers in connection with the sale and marketing of home warranties.

American Home Shield Reviews on Google

Like American Home Shield’s disappointing BBB reviews, the company’s 4,459 reviews on TrustPilot build a score of 2.2 out of 5 stars to earn a “poor” rating. However, American Home Shield earns a very positive rating of 4.3 out of 5 from 11,554 reviewers via Consumer Affairs.

American Home Shield Coverage Details

American Home Shield covers major appliances and home systems across its three tiers. The list of all potential items covered include:

  • Heating and Air Conditioning Systems
  • Electrical Systems and Accessories
  • Plumbing Systems and Accessories
  • Kitchen Appliances
  • Laundry Appliances
  • Roof

Keep in mind that AHS customers only get appliance coverage if they upgrade to the middle ShieldGold tier. Coverage on covered items accounts for:

  • Normal wear and tear
  • Improper installation or repair
  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Rust, corrosion, and sediment
  • Mismatches within an HVAC system
  • Older items
  • Breakdowns caused by unknown pre-existing conditions
  • Items without any maintenance records. None are needed!
  • Duplicates of the same item. Think of something like an extra air-conditioning unit!

American Home Shield Claim Process

When a covered item breaks down, the homeowner submits a service request to American Home Shield. Claims can be submitted online 24/7 through the AHS website or toll-free customer service line (800-776-4663). By making a claim, a homeowner agrees to a Trade Service Call Fee that will be charged to the payment method on file. This fee covers the cost of a contractor coming out to diagnose or repair an issue. While AHS will assign a contractor to the job, the contractor will contact the homeowner directly to schedule service.

After diagnosing the issue, the contractor contacts AHS to determine coverage. With coverage confirmed the contractor can then repair or replace the covered item. AHS follows up with the homeowner to confirm that the problem was fully resolved.

For smaller jobs, authorization can take 15 minutes to four hours. Service will be scheduled once authorization is received. For larger jobs, authorization can take 48 to 72 hours. Completion often depends on contractor availability.

American Home Shield waiting periods mean that you’ll need to wait 30 days for your first claim after signing your contract.

The American Home Shield payout process involves AHS paying the contractor directly on your behalf. Homeowners should not be authorizing or paying for work without American Home Shield approval because this can invalidate the contract. Unauthorized work is one of the biggest American Home Shield claim denial reasons. While AHS does cover pre-existing issues, American Home Shield pre-existing conditions are only coverable if they are undetectable.

American Home Shield Customer Service and Support

American Home Shield account holders can request service 24/7 online. There’s also a dedicated toll-free service number for filing claims. While it’s nice that AHS books contractors on behalf of its customers, some homeowners find that this creates quite a bit of back-and-forth confusion when it comes to getting answers. Reviews on how easy it is to get a hold of a customer service representative are also mixed.

American Home Shield does not allow customers to cancel their accounts online. To activate the American Home Shield cancellation process, a customer must call (833) 706-2865 to request assistance from a customer service representative. Customers will receive a full refund if they cancel within 30 days of starting a policy. American Home Shield coverage transferability applies if you are moving homes.

If you cancel after 30 days, you’ll receive a prorated refund of your contract fees. However, the company charges administrative fees that can equal up to one month’s payment.

American Home Shield Contractor Network

AHS has a nationwide network of more than 14,000 contractors and technicians ready to travel to homes to diagnose and repair issues. One recurring theme in American Home Shield customer testimonials is that not being able to pick your own contractor is “annoying.” AHS will only allow customers to choose their own contractors if the company is unable to locate one for you in your area.

American Home Shield doesn’t reveal how it guarantees American Home Shield contractor quality. The vetting process is private. However, it is known that AHS has an application system that allows essentially any contractor to apply. AHS will only consider contractors with the required licensing and insurance certificates. Contractors must also have their own vehicles.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is American Home Shield a ripoff?

Is American Home Shield worth it?

Is American Home Shield worth it, according to customer comments on Reddit?

American Home Shield vs. Landmark Home Warranty – Which plan is best?

How do I buy a home warranty from American Home Shield?

How do I file a claim with American Home Shield?

How long does it take after a claim is made for a technician to come?

Does American Home Shield cover roof leaks?

Does American Home Shield cover mold?

Does American Home Shield cover water damage?

Does American Home Shield cover termites and insects?

Does American Home Shield cover theft?

Does American Home Shield cover damage from trees?

What additional home warranty coverages are offered by American Home Shield?

Does American Home Shield have customer complaints?

Conclusion

American Home Shield Rating Breakdown

Criteria Description Points
BBB Rating and Licensing BBB A+ and Accredited = 10, A = 9, A- = 8, B+ = 7, B = 6, B- = 5, C = 4, D = 3, E = 2, F = 1, No industry license = 0 6
Customer Reviews Average weighted rating across multiple sources including BBB, Best Company, U.S. News 360 Reviews, Consumer Affairs, Google Reviews, TrustPilot, Investopedia, and MarketWatch. (1-10) 8
Lawsuits and Complaints Number and nature of complaints and lawsuits, resolution, responsiveness, ratio of total clients to total complaints. (1-10) 7
Average Monthly Cost Scoring based on lower monthly plan costs. (1-10) 7
Coverage for Essential Components Points awarded for covering all major home system and appliance components. (1-10) 10
Claims Processing Efficiency Ease of filing claims and efficient claims processing. (1-10) 10
Customer Support Availability of 24/7 support, response time, and friendliness of customer service. (1-10) 10
Extra Features Points for high-quality add-on coverage options. (1-10) 10
Reviewer Opinion Holistic evaluation of quality and trustworthiness. (1-20) 16
Maximum Total Points 84

5 Highlights from this AHS Review:

Comprehensive Coverage: AHS offers robust coverage for homeowners, protecting major systems like heating and air conditioning, electrical and plumbing, as well as a wide range of appliances.

Three Tiered Plans: AHS provides three warranty plans – ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum – offering varying levels of coverage and pricing to suit different needs and budgets.

Generous Repair and Replacement Limits: AHS stands out with its generous limits for repairs and replacements, ensuring homeowners are well-covered for unexpected breakdowns.

Large Contractor Network: With over 14,000 contractors nationwide, AHS has a vast network of professionals ready to handle repairs and replacements for its customers.

Mixed Customer Reviews: AHS has a B rating with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and receives both positive and negative customer reviews, with some praising the coverage and others expressing concerns about communication and claim processing.

Brand Conclusion: American Home Shield offers comprehensive coverage, a large contractor network, and generous repair and replacement limits. While customer reviews may vary, AHS remains a popular choice for homeowners seeking reliable protection for their homes.

Source

Sources:

  • American Home Shield, BBB Review, https://www.bbb.org/us/tn/memphis/profile/home-warranty-plans/american-home-shield-0543-22001027
  • American Home Shield, TrustPilot Reviews, https://www.trustpilot.com/review/ahs.com
  • Consumer Affairs, https://www.consumeraffairs.com/insurance/am_home.html
  • Compare American Home Shield Plans, https://www.ahs.com/plans/
  • Top Class Actions, Filling an American Home Shield Class Action? What You Need to Know, https://topclassactions.com/lawsuit-settlements/lawsuit-news/filing-an-american-home-shield-class-action-what-you-need-to-know/
  • Choice Home Warranty, https://www.choicehomewarranty.com/
  • Select Home Warranty, https://www.selecthomewarranty.com/
  • Landmark & American Home Shield Partnership, https://www.ahs.com/home-warranty/landmark-american-home-shield-partnership/

 

About Author

Dr. Ali
Scott Dylan Westerlund has been writing about home improvement, repair, and maintenance for almost ten years. In addition to Trusted Company Reviews, he writes for Angi, HomeAdvisor, Today's Homeowner, Homedit, Flyhomes, and HomeLight. You'll find his byline on articles about everything from buying a house and managing rentals to clearing clogged drains and picking the right lumber for your home improvement project. Prior to writing, Scott was an apprentice building contractor and property manager--so he knows how to keep the lights on and the water running.
Dr. Ali

Scott Dylan Westerlund

Last Updated: January 15, 2024

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