American Home Shield Review (2022)

American Home Shield (AHS) is a home warranty industry veteran with over 50 years of experience. AHS is one of the top-rated and highly-trusted providers available to homeowners across the U.S. American Home Shield provides comprehensive coverage in all 49 continental states, protecting all major home systems and appliances. The home warranty industry is heavily saturated with hundreds of home warranty companies, but with five decades of experience and top-tier customer service, AHS is easily a top pick.

Best Customizable Plans

  • 3 plans + add-ons and the option to build your own plan
  • Customers can choose the service fee they want to pay
  • Provides generous coverage caps
  • $35–$75 per month

Pros and Cons of American Home Shield

Pros

✓ Customers can choose a service fee of $75, $100, or $125

✓ All three base plan levels include unlimited coverage maximums for covered home systems

✓ Haul-away services for repairs and larger replacements are included in each base plan level

✓ Higher than average coverage limits, including annual allowances of up to $6,000 per appliance with ShieldPlatinum

Cons

X Customer can’t choose their own contractor

X Doesn’t offer service in Alaska

X Repairs and replacements are only guaranteed for 30 days compared to the industry average 90-day workmanship warranty

Our Expert Take on American Home Shield

We rated American Home Shield with a 9.6 out of 10, earning high marks for its overall home warranty plan customizability and flexible service fee model.  We recommend American Home Shield to homeowners interested in comprehensive coverage that goes where other popular providers won’t. Unlike many of its competitors, AHS covers unknown pre-existing conditions and damage caused by improper installations, poor routine upkeep, and more.

Why Trust House Method

  • 63 companies reviewed
  • 41 key factors analyzed
  • 2583 data points parsed
  • 885 homeowners surveyed
  • 57 service contracts scrutinized

House Method’s Experts collected and analyzed 2000+ critical data points to identify what makes a great home warranty company in the eye of the consumer. Our reviews team used this data to assess over 60 home warranty providers for coverage extent, annual cost, and national availability to provide unbiased reviews so homeowners can confidently navigate key decisions about their homes.

What is American Home Shield?

First opening its doors in 1971, American Home Shield is the oldest and most trusted home warranty service provider on the market. Sometimes referred to as the torch bearer of the industry, American Home Shield has garnered a massive following of over two million policyholders nationwide.  During its time in business, AHS has proven itself reputable, supported by a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), with which it has been accredited since 1997.

American Home Shield Plans and Coverage

American Home Shield offers three home warranty plans: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum.  ShieldSilver offers standalone coverage for 14 major home systems. ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum include coverage for a mix of 23 systems and appliances. The main difference between ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum is that platinum policyholders will also benefit from the following coverage boosts:

  • $6,000 per appliance annual coverage limits (compared to $3,000 with ShieldGold)
  • One free annual pre-season HVAC tune-up
  • Up to $1,500 per year in roof leak repairs
  • Unlimited A/C refrigerant
  • Up to $1,000 per year for code violations and permits

System and Appliance Coverage

Here’s an itemized overview of how American Home Shield’s home warranty coverage differs across each plan, based on their inclusions and exclusions:

Covered Appliance or System ShieldSilver ShieldGold ShieldPlatinum
Central Air Conditioning
Heating
Ductwork
Built-in Exhaust, Vent, and Attic Fans
Ceiling Fans
Interior Electrical Lines
Main Breaker and Fuse Panel Box
Doorbell
Garage Door Openers
Interior Plumbing Lines and Stoppages
Hot Water Heaters
Faucets and Valves
Toilets
Whirlpool Tub Motor and Components
Refrigerators
Freestanding Ice Maker
Built-in Microwaves
Dishwashers
Ovens
Ranges/Cooktops
Garbage Disposal
Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
Clothes Washer
Clothes Dryer
Roof Leak Repairs

Add-On Options from AHS

Coverage add-ons are optional bonus plan features that homeowners can purchase separately to extend their coverage beyond what’s included in their base plan. American Home Shield advertises six additional coverage items.

AHS’s optional add-ons available for coverage:

  • Roof leak repairs (automatically included in ShieldPlatinum)
  • Electronics Protection Plan: TVs, laptops, desktops, tablets, home theater systems, gaming systems, smart home products, and more)
  • In-ground pools and spas: All components and parts of one heating, pumping, and filtration system.
  • Guest units: Extended coverage on items in your policy for guest houses and rental units under 750 square feet.
  • Septic pumps: Mainline stoppages and sewage ejector pump.
  • Well pumps: All components and parts.

Additional Services and Coverages

  • Rekeying services: $100 per year for all plan levels
  • Discounted air filters: Up to 50% off retail air filter prices for your HVAC unit with covered delivery fees
  • Discounted appliances: Exclusive access to discount rates on brand name appliances
  • Refer-a-Friend program: Receive a $25 Amazon gift card when you refer a friend to AHS
  • Multiple property discounts: Get extra premium discounts for each additional property you cover with an AHS policy.

Coverage Details for Top Systems and Appliances

Air Conditioning

All components and parts of the following air conditioning systems are covered: ducted central electric split and package units, geothermal units, wall air conditioners, and mini-splits. Any issues caused by mismatched units are also protected. There is no annual dollar limit on the components of air conditioning system repairs except for geothermal units. AHS will cover the cost to reclaim and remove refrigerant up to $10 per pound per occurrence. Customers who have a ShieldPlatinum plan get unlimited refrigerant coverage. ShieldPlatinum also comes with free HVAC-tune-up.

AHS does not cover window units, water towers, well pumps, and chillers. Specific HVAC units, such as geothermal and water source heat pumps, only cover up to $1,500 annually. Request a service contract and read the section labeled “Air Conditioning and Heating Note.”

Heating Systems

American Home Shield covers all parts and components for wall-mounted heaters, floor furnaces, package units, geothermal heaters, gas, electric, and oil forced-air heating. Coverage includes heat pumps, hot water and steam circulating heat, electric baseboard, room heating, and cable heat. These coverages have no annual limit, excluding geothermal heating units. The cost to reclaim and remove refrigerant is insured up to $10/pound unless you hold a ShieldPlatinum policy, then the coverage is unlimited. AHS will replace the heating unit if a breakdown leads to an issue that cannot be repaired.

AHS’s heating coverage is not responsible for the following: outside or underground piping, well pump and well pump components; portable units; fuel storage tanks; and pellet, grain, or wood heating units. Geothermal heating systems are only protected up to a $1,500 maximum per agreement term.

Plumbing Systems & Accessories

Leaks and breaks of water, drain, gas, waste, or vent lines; toilets; showerheads; diverter valves; faucets, permanently installed sump pumps (groundwater only); and built-in bathtub whirlpool motor, pump, and air switch assemblies are all covered by AHS’s policies. Repairs from rust and corrosion are included for interior plumbing lines, and stoppages are also covered. Hose bibs, expansion tanks, toilet mechanisms, risers, fate valves, permanently installed sump pumps, and vent line leaks and breaks are all insured by AHS.

Like Choice Home Warranty plumbing coverage, AHS doesn’t include caulking and grouting, septic tanks, saunas, and stoppages caused by collapsed vents or sewer lines outside the home. Plumbing systems and accessories are included in all three AHS plan options. AHS will contact a local plumber or repairman to service the plumbing system or accessory.

Washers and Dryers

All clothes washer and dryer components are covered, including the drain pump, tub bearing, heating element, drum roller, and motor. Appliances have a $3,000 coverage limit for access, diagnosis, and repair/replacement fees. This means washers and dryers are protected up to a combined limit of $6,000. If AHS cannot repair the covered breakdown, washers and dryers will be replaced.

Oven/Stove/Range

AHS protects all parts and components of ovens, ranges, and cooktops. The coverage includes gas burners, cooktop elements, ignition systems, and temperature sensors. A typical repair or replacement on one of these items can cost up to $800 per occurrence. If you want coverage for these appliances, you can opt into ShieldGold or ShieldPlatinum, which offer appliance coverage up to $3,000 per contract term per item.

Electrical Systems

The AHS warranty covers all components and parts, including lighting fixtures and built-in exhaust/attic fans, ceiling fans, garage door openers, direct current wiring, main breaker, and fuse panel box. Systems have unlimited annual coverage, which is a steal considering electrical system repairs can cost up to $1,200 per occurrence.

Items not insured by AHS include security wiring, telephone wiring, circuit overload, and faceplates. The electrical coverages are featured on all three AHS policies.

Refrigerator

All parts and components of your refrigerator that break down due to normal wear and tear are protected, but freestanding freezers, multi-media centers, and wine chillers aren’t covered. AHS will pay customers up to $3,000 for a refrigerator repair or replacement. AHS will insure multiple refrigerators as part of its plans and decorative features like light bulbs and hardware. The built-in ice machine and water filter and any associated water leaks are included.

Best Customizable Plans

  • 3 plans + add-ons and the option to build your own plan
  • Customers can choose the service fee they want to pay
  • Provides generous coverage caps
  • $35–$75 per month

American Home Shield Coverage Limits and Exclusions

Annual Coverage Maximums

Coverage starts 30 days after you purchase a contract and lasts for exactly one year after it begins. If you acquired the plan in a real estate transaction, coverage begins the day of closing. Before coverage ends, you’ll be notified of a plan renewal 60 days before the expiration of your contract. Unless you report to AHS that you don’t want to continue your plan, you’ll be charged the applicable plan fees, and your agreement will automatically renew.

One of the main differences between AHS and its competitors is the leniency regarding coverage limits. AHS doesn’t place a limit on systems for covered repairs during the length of your contract and offers coverage even if an item has been improperly installed, insufficiently maintained, or mismatched. Most appliances are covered up to $3,000 per contract term, but with the ShieldPlatinum plan, you can get coverage up to $6,000.

AHS does not cover home systems or appliances already protected under a manufacturer’s warranty (including appliance warranties from companies like Kenmore or Samsung). If you read the fine print, you’ll learn that if they cannot repair or replace a covered item, the company may offer money for you to repair or replace the item yourself. Review the terms of your desired plan before you sign up for a home warranty, so you know what’s covered and what’s not. A sample contract is available online.

Note: AHS is not liable for matching the brand, dimensions, or color of home systems or appliances.

Home Warranty Coverage Exclusions

Like other home warranty companies, AHS does not cover damage caused by acts of God; this includes theft, floods, storms, fires, etc. If you need coverage on your home due to this situation, look to your homeowner’s insurance policy for guidance. Homeowners insurance is meant to cover those damages, whereas a home warranty is geared toward normal wear-and-tear of home appliances and systems. AHS doesn’t offer coverage on a central vacuum, freestanding ice makers, or food centers, but other providers like The Home Service Club do.

Can You Cancel American Home Shield at Any Time?

You can cancel your American Home Shield policy at any time. However, if you cancel within your first 30 days of coverage, you’ll receive a full refund minus the cost of any paid service fees or claims.  If you choose to terminate your service contract after those first 30 days, you’ll be refunded for the unexpired term of your coverage minus an administrative fee. These terms are outlined in your service agreement but usually end up being equal to or less than one month’s payment. Potential customers can find examples of administrative fees in a sample contract.

American Home Shield Cost

Home Warranty Plan Pricing

American Home Shield costs between $29 and $59 per month, or $348 and $708 per year.  With such a low-cost monthly payment, policyholders can easily justify having a home warranty policy in place with just a few repairs.

Add-On Costs

Add-on options from American Home Shield range from $5-$33.99 per month, an extra $60-$407.88 annually. The cost of optional coverages varies depending on the items and relies heavily on how much it would cost to repair or replace them. For example, septic and well pumps are smaller and less costly to repair, costing $5 per month and $8 per month, respectively. However, coverage on swimming pools or electrons will be much more costly, so they are $24 per month and $18 per month, respectively. The most expensive add-on option is the Guest Unit at $33.99 per month; it includes all the items on the policy for an additional unit up to 750 sq. ft, which could be double the policy coverage.

Service Fees

As mentioned, the service fees from AHS are customizable. This feature is unique to American Home Shield and only a few other home warranty companies. It is not typical of a provider to allow the customer to choose their pricing. AHS offers service fees of $75, $100, and $125, and the monthly payment depends on the selected service fee. The service call fee is not customizable beyond those three options.

The service fee selected directly impacts the cost of the monthly deductible. If you choose a higher service fee, your monthly price will be more affordable. However, if you choose a lower service fee, you’ll pay more per month, but the cost will be less each time you need a repair. Each option has some give-and-take, and the right one depends on what the homeowner needs.

Where is American Home Shield Available?

American Home Shield is available in 49 states and Washington, D.C., excluding Alaska. To see the best home warranty companies in your state, click on the map below:

See if your state is covered by American Home Shield

AlaskaHawaiiAlabamaArkansasArizonaCaliforniaColoradoConnecticutDelawareFloridaGeorgiaIowaIdahoIllinoisIndianaKansasKentuckyLouisianaMassachusettsMarylandMaineMichiganMinnesotaMissouriMississippiMontanaNorth CarolinaNorth DakotaNebraskaNew HampshireNew JerseyNew MexicoNevadaNew YorkOhioOklahomaOregonPennsylvaniaRhode IslandSouth CarolinaSouth DakotaTennesseeTexasUtahVirginiaVermontWashingtonWisconsinWest VirginiaWyomingDistrict of Columbia
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American Home Shield Reviews

Reading customer reviews is a great way to gauge how a home warranty company treats its customers. You can read why actual policyholders either loved or hated their policies. Common positive reviews for AHS include comments that the company has professional and knowledgeable staff, comprehensive coverage, and reliable contracts. Some of the negative reviews complain of claim denial, which is a common complaint from home warranty policyholders of any company.

American Home Shield has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an average of 2.54 stars from over 8,500 customer reviews.

Here’s a look at a few recent reviews from AHS customers:

Top American Home Shield Reviews

“I have been with AHS for 20+ years with my primary and vacation home. My experience has always been a good one. I don’t have to look for an electrician, plumber, HVAC, or any appliance repair person. It is one call or email, and the rest is taken care of, including my pool pump. I can’t imagine being without AHS!” – Valerie A., 08/09/2022

“I have been associated with American Homeshield for decades. My wife and I were in real estate and always recommended American Home Shield to both our buyers and sellers. And we have always carried coverage on our own homes. We have never been disappointed in the service and never had any clients express disappointment.” – James W., 08/06/2022

Very pleased with American Home Shield and the warranty they provide for our home. We had to have a blower motor replaced in our HVAC system after being in our home for only six months. They were very professional and thorough in getting the repairs completed in a minimum amount of time. And our cost was $75 for the repair, including a $1,500 special order motor! – Bill P., 08/04/2022

American Home Shield Testimonial:

1-Star American Home Shield Reviews

“Response time was excellent – unfortunately, we were sent the wrong contractor, and the new one has not been dispatched yet. We have never really had a problem with AHS and have used them for years on many of our homes.” – Christine W., 01/28/2022

“We explained that we had a duct that had water in it creating a musty, damp smell. The young tech came in and said that the smell was due to mold. We have taken the duct that had the issue down, and the insulation was wet with brown stains. We now have to replace the duct at our costs.” – Judy K., 10/11/2021

Best Customizable Plans

  • 3 plans + add-ons and the option to build your own plan
  • Customers can choose the service fee they want to pay
  • Provides generous coverage caps
  • $35–$75 per month

Who Are American Home Shield Competitors?

Compare American Home Shield to Other Home Warranties

Best For
Rating
Monthly Cost
Service Fee
Response Time
Payout Limit (per item)
States Covered

Best For

Best Overall

Rating
Monthly Cost

$45-$53.33

Service Fee

$85

Response Time

24-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$3,000

States Covered

49 states

Best For

Most Cost-effective

Rating
Monthly Cost

$57.67-$62.08

Service Fee

$60

Response Time

2-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$250-$3,000

States Covered

46 states

Best For

Most Customizable

Rating
Monthly Cost

$29.27-$74.27

Service Fee

$75-$125

Response Time

24-72 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$6,000

States Covered

49 states

Best For

Quickest Service

Rating
Monthly Cost

$50-$62.90

Service Fee

$60-$90

Response Time

12-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$500-$2,000

States Covered

all states

Best For

Most Trustworthy

Rating
Monthly Cost

$69.99-$79.99

Service Fee

$75

Response Time

24-48 hours

Payout Limit (per item)

$500-$2,000

States Covered

48 states

American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty

  • Choice Home Warranty has more affordable policy options
  • AHS covered pre-existing conditioners and rust/corrosion damage
  • CHW vs. AHS plans: CHW only has two plan options, AHS has three
  • AHS offers customizable pricing
  • American Home Shield has higher coverage limits

American Home Shield vs. Select Home Warranty

  • Select Home Warranty has cheaper plans
  • AHS offers more comprehensive coverage
  • AHS has more policy options and customizable coverage
  • Both offer pool, spa, and septic as add-on options
  • ShieldPlatinum comes with free roof leak coverage

American Home Shield vs. First American Home Warranty

  • First American only offers two plans
  • American Home Shield has customizable service fees
  • First American is not available in 16 states
  • American Home Shield covers air conditioning in its policies

American Home Shield vs. Sears Home Warranty

  • AHS has slightly more affordable premiums for comparable plans
  • American Home Shield is a more established provider
  • Both AHS and Sears Home Warranty feature similar coverages
  • ShieldGold covers more items than Sears second-tier policy option

Is American Home Shield Trustworthy?

With 50 years of experience, American Home Shield is the oldest and one of the most trustworthy home warranty companies on the market. They have a solid network of 15,000 professional contractors that span across the U.S. and provide customizable coverage to you and your specific home coverage needs. AHS had a top-tier reputation and accreditation from the BBB.

Final Verdict

American Home Shield is one of the leading home warranty providers in the industry. AHS provides homeowners affordable policy options, 24/7 customer support, and more extensive coverage than any other company. With three plan options, and the most comprehensive one going for as low as $65 per month, it will be hard to beat American Home Shield’s customizable pricing. The annual maximums, $3,000 on appliances and unlimited on systems, are almost unheard of. It’s a no-brainer why AHS is an industry leader with nearly 2 million customers.

AHS is a good choice for you if…

  • You want to customize your home warranty coverage.
  • You want a plan with higher limits for coverage on home repairs.
  • You want technicians to remove and dispose of old appliances for free (most companies charge a removal/disposal fee but AHS doesn’t).
  • You want a trustworthy company with many years in the business.

Although the costs included in the article are accurate, other factors — like location, size, and type of home — can influence the cost of your policy. We recommend getting a quote directly from AHS with your zip code to get an accurate estimate. Visit AHS’s website and fill out this 10-second online form or call 888-365-2839 for your customized quote.

Frequently asked questions about American Home Shield

Does American Home Shield require an inspection?

Like other home warranty companies, American Home Shield does not require a home inspection to grant customers coverage. The age of your home and its systems and appliances will not affect coverage either. Although not required, a home inspection may be useful in the case that you must prove a pre-existing condition is unknown to you since the majority of home warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions.

Does American Home Shield have a waiting period?

You can make a service request as early as 30 days after you sign up for your warranty. If you purchased coverage during a home sale, your coverage starts on closing day.

Do AHS plans cover septic systems?

AHS plans do not cover septic tanks. However, they offer first-year customers non-renewable coverage of the sewage ejector pump for septic systems, which includes mainline stoppages that can be cleared without excavation. The septic tank will be pumped once during the contract coverage term if the stoppage is due to backed-up septic. Exclusions apply.

How do I cancel my American Home Shield service request?

You can cancel your AHS plan at any time. The company will refund your contract fees if you cancel within the first 30 days of coverage. If you cancel after that, the provider will refund you a prorated amount for the remaining duration of your coverage term.

Are home warranties a waste of money?

A home warranty with American Home Shield can give you peace of mind and is worth it if you’re a homeowner who wants to protect your major home systems and appliances. AHS has generous coverage limits and competitively priced plans, so you could save hundreds of dollars by buying a home warranty instead of paying for repairs and replacements out of pocket.

House Method Home Warranty Ranking Methodology

At House Method, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader. That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each home warranty provider according to our methodology.

We’ve done the homework for you and have researched over 50 home warranty companies so you can have the information you need to make the best choice for your home. Additionally, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader.

That’s why we took the time to create an objective rating system and score each home warranty provider according to our methodology. Our team spent hours on the phone speaking to representatives from each home warranty company to get information right from the source. We also dug into the fine print on each company’s service agreement to make sure no detail was left out.

To make the most of our research, we developed a formula to objectively determine the best home warranty companies based on the following criteria:

  • Plans: Do they provide a variety of plan options? We looked at the number of plans each company offered and the flexibility of adjusting the plan.
  • Prices: How reasonable are the monthly fees and service fees in comparison to the industry average? We compared the costs of each company to competitors.
  • Coverage: How many items are covered in each plan? We looked at the number of items each company covers. We dig into all service contracts available to get all the details.
  • Customer service: How is the customer experience when calling the providers? Based on our phone calls, we were able to judge each company’s customer service.
  • Trust: What do customers rate the company? We looked into what customers are saying about their experience with the company.
  • Nationwide availability: How many states does the company cover? We found the number of states covered by each company.
  • Unique perks: Does the company offer discounts or cover special items? We looked for perks offered by each company that sets them apart from the competition.

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