American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty

By Deanna Kane | Affiliate Disclosure

American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty are two of the most well-known and consumer-friendly home warranty companies in the industry. 

A home warranty, also known as home appliance insurance or home repair insurance, is different from an insurance policy as it’s a service contract that covers major systems and appliances that need to be repaired and replaced. A home warranty should include the option for full coverage, multiple plan tiers to choose from, and clear contract language.

This article breaks down American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty and the differences between coverage, cost, how the claims process works, and important policy features.

Available plans
Availability
Waiting period
Service fee
Service recall period
Support
Reviews
Years in business
BBB rating
BBB accreditation
BBB complaints (as of October 2019)

Available plans

  • Appliances plan
  • Systems plan
  • Combo plan
  • Build your own plan

Availability

All states except Alaska

Waiting period

30 days

Service fee

$75–$125

Service recall period

60 days on parts and labor

Support

A 24/7 online system is open for claims.

Reviews

"American Home Shield provides excellent service...I highly recommend it to any homeowner."

Years in business

48 years

BBB rating

B

BBB accreditation

Yes

BBB complaints (as of October 2019)

10,851

Available plans

  • Basic plan
  • Total plan

Availability

All states except California, Oklahoma, and Washington

Waiting period

30 days, however, if you currently have a home warranty through a different home warranty company, CHW will drop the waiting period and your contract will begin immediately

Service fee

$60

Service recall period

30 days on labor
90 days on parts

Support

A 24/7 call center is open for claims.

Reviews

“As far as home warranties go, this one is fairly good. They don’t lie about anything, at least. They will probably deny many of your claims but they will be honest about why they are doing it and it’s all in the contract you signed so there you go.”

Years in business

11

BBB rating

B-

BBB accreditation

No

BBB complaints (as of October 2019)

5,050

Coverage comparison

When comparing the coverage options of AHS vs. Choice Home Warranty, both companies offer comprehensive plans that can accommodate most individual’s repair and replacement needs.

American Home Shield

As one of the largest home warranty companies, American Home Shield offers affordable plans that can accommodate different customers’ needs. The four home warranty plan options include:

  • Systems plan—This includes home systems such as air conditioning (ductwork included), heating (ductwork included), electrical, plumbing, water heaters, garbage disposal, central vacuums, instant hot and cold water dispensers, smoke detectors, doorbells, and ceiling fans.
  • Appliances plan—This includes common household appliances, such as a washing machine and clothes dryer, dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, built-in microwave oven, refrigerator, free-standing ice maker, trash compactor, built-in food processor, and garage door opener.
  • Combo plan—This plan combines both the systems and the appliances plans.
  • Build-your-own plan—The customer decides which systems and appliances to be included in the home warranty contract, and the price reflects the level of coverage. This plan needs to include at least 10 appliances and home systems.

Note: Coverage is available for additional home systems and appliances such as a pool and/or spa, septic pump, and well pump.

American Home Shield takes care of my problems immediately. When it is an emergency they handle it the same day. The people they send out are professional, on time, always explain what my problem is, how they will solve it and how to keep it from happening again.”

Choice Home Warranty

Also one of the largest home warranty companies in the U.S., Choice Home Warranty offers two different plans to accommodate different home repair and replacement needs. The two home warranty plan options include:

  • Basic plan—This includes heating, electrical and plumbing systems, plumbing stoppage, water heaters, whirlpool bathtub, oven or stove, dishwasher, cooktop, garbage disposal, built-in microwave, garage door opener, ductwork, and ceiling and exhaust fans. 
  • Total plan—This covers everything in the basic plan, plus a customer’s air conditioning, refrigerator, washing machine, and clothes dryer. 

Note: Additional coverage is available for a pool/spa, well pump, sump pump, septic system, septic tank pumping, second fridge, and stand-alone freezer.

I purchased the Total plan plus additional coverage for my pool. It wasn’t cheap, I’ll tell you that, but I felt (and I still do) what you buy is peace of mind. Anyways, I had one minor plumbing issue. The drain in the bathtub was clogged or something. When the technician inspected the piping, he pulled out a huge chunk of something resembling the abrasive side of a dish sponge. I have no idea how that got there. He said it was our fault it was there, you’re not supposed to allow objects like that into the pipes. I was afraid he’d say our claim was no good, but he didn’t. He fixed it, took the service fee money and left.”

AHS vs. Choice Home Warranty cost

When comparing the cost of AHS vs. Choice Home Warranty, both companies offer similar services, however Choice Home Warranty’s service call fees are less expensive.

American Home Shield—Service fees will depend on the coverage plan selected. There are three service fee rates: $75, $100, and $125. These fees are determined at the same time the coverage plan is selected during sign-up.

Choice Home Warranty—Choice Home Warranty has a standard $60 service call fee. This is $60 per claim, regardless of the actual cost to repair or replace your broken system or appliance. It’s payable directly to the technicians.

How does each home warranty work?

The process to submit a claim to AHS and Choice Home Warranty is similar. Both companies have convenient customer service access and quick technician turnaround times.

American Home Shield—Contract holders can request service online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. A technician is then assigned to diagnose the problem and offer a solution. The technician typically reaches the customer within 24 hours from the time the claim is made.

Choice Home Warranty—Customers can log in to their online CHW portal to make a claim. A technician will be sent to the customer’s residence as soon as possible. Customers can also call if more immediate assistance is required.

Policy differences

AHS and Choice Home warranty each have minor limitations and exclusions, however it’s the responsibility of the consumer to thoroughly read the terms and conditions prior to signing.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield’s home warranty terms and conditions are not public—only contract holders can access the agreement. This makes it important to fully understand the terms and conditions before opting in to the policy.

There is a sample contract available on the AHS FAQ page that outlines everything that could be covered under a policy, however this doesn’t guarantee it will be. It’s also important to know that even though an appliance or system is included, it doesn’t always mean your claim will be accepted.

Choice Home Warranty

Like American Home Shield, it’s important to review your CHW plan’s terms and conditions to ensure that you’re not surprised by any coverage gaps or extra charges. A home warranty with Choice Home Warranty starts 30 days after the contract is signed. This agreement is valid for 365 days. If the technician determines the appliance can’t be repaired, Choice Home Warranty will offer the contract holder a cash payment for the replacement cost.

Our conclusion

While both home warranty companies have their advantages and disadvantages, Choice Home Warranty offers essentially the same services with lower service fees than American Home Shield.

Choice Home Warranty is best for:

  • Those who want unlimited call center access
  • Those who desire a transparent repair and replacement process
  • Those who are wanting to choose from a large contractor network
  • Those who want an affordable home warranty

What we don’t like about CHW:

  • They don’t offer as much coverage nationwide like AHS does.
  • They charge a $50 administrative fee if you cancel services.

American Home Shield is best for:

  • Those who would like the option to choose from a variety of plans
  • Those who want customizable coverage
  • Those who want a trustworthy company with many years in the business

What we don’t like about AHS:

  • Though they offer 24/7 customer support, contractors are available only during normal business hours.
  • They’re slightly more expensive than CHW.

We pick Choice Home Warranty because of the better cost value and extensive network of service technicians at the customer’s disposal.

  • Lower service fees than American Home Shield
  • First month free
  • Extensive network of technicians, meaning a fast repair turnaround

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