American Home Shield Review (2020)

With almost 50 years of experience, American Home Shield (AHS) is one of the most trusted companies in the home warranty industry. They provide some of the most comprehensive coverage, protecting major home systems and appliances and allowing customers to customize their own plan.

Below you’ll find House Method’s 2020 review of American Home Shield. We compare coverage and pricing of different AHS home warranty plans, stack the company against other home warranty competitors, provide a few customer reviews, and help you determine if an AHS plan is the best home warranty for you and your home.

Best customizable plans

  • Provides generous coverage caps for consumers
  • Real estate agents can save money when they buy warranty coverage for multiple properties
  • Customers can receive discounts on name brand appliances
  • 24/7 customer service
Pros Cons
The oldest and most trusted home warranty company in the industry Doesn’t let customers choose their own technician
Allows customers to build their own plans Doesn’t provide coverage in Alaska
Ability to choose the service fee you want to pay

American Home Shield plans, coverage, and cost

AHS offers four plans—an Appliance Plan, a Systems Plan, a Combo Plan, and a Build-Your-Own Plan—at an average cost of $50–$60 per month. They also offer optional coverage at an additional cost for items like septic pumps and guest units.

Appliance Plan: $49.99 per month ($599.88 per year). This plan covers 10 appliances, such as your refrigerator, oven, and cooktop.

  • Refrigerator
  • Range/Oven/Cooktop
  • Clothes washer
  • Clothes dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-in microwave oven
  • Trash compactor
  • Freestanding ice maker
  • Garage door opener
  • Built-in food center

Systems Plan: $49.99 per month ($599.88 per year). Under the Systems Plan, 12 of your home’s major systems are covered.

  • Air conditioning and ductwork
  • Heating and ductwork
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing (with stoppages)
  • Doorbells
  • Smoke detectors
  • Ceiling fans
  • Garbage disposals
  • Water heater
  • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
  • Central vacuum
  • Re-Key

Combo Plan: $59.99 per month ($719.88 per year). This plan covers everything in the Appliances and Systems Plan for the best price. 

  • Air conditioning and ductwork
  • Heating and ductwork
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing (with stoppages)
  • Doorbells
  • Smoke detectors
  • Ceiling fans
  • Garbage disposals
  • Water heater
  • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
  • Central vacuum
  • Re-Key
  • Refrigerator
  • Range/Oven/Cooktop
  • Clothes washer
  • Clothes dryer
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-in microwave oven
  • Trash compactor
  • Freestanding ice maker
  • Garage door opener
  • Built-in food center

Build-Your-Own Plan: $54.99 per month ($659.88 per year): The cost of this plan will depend on the appliances and systems you choose. You can select up to 10 items to include in your coverage. Note: for every item over this limit, you’ll pay $2.00 extra per item.

Optional Add-Ons: AHS offers coverage for five additional items that you can add on to any plan. The prices for these add-ons vary, but you can see an estimate when receiving a quote online.

  • Electronic extended warranty—This coverage protects TVs, laptops, desktops, tablets, home theater systems, gaming systems, smart home products, and more.
  • Pool and spas—Repairs on pools can be costly so its a plus that a warranty for your pool can be added to your plan. With this coverage, you’ll get protection for above-ground pool components and parts of the heating, pumping, and filtration systems.
  • Well pump—If your well pump goes bad, you’ll likely need to purchase a new one for thousands of dollars. Luckily, if you add on well pump coverage to your existing plan, they will pay up to $1,500 for access, diagnosis, repair, or replacement of your system. 
  • Septic pump—All first-year customers can choose to add on septic pump coverage to their current plan. Mainline stoppages that can be cleared through an existing opening and the sewage ejector pump are covered. Note: septic pump coverage is not renewable after your first year of coverage.
  • Guest unit—AHS covers guest houses and rental units under 750 square feet. If you have a guest house larger than this amount, you’ll have to purchase additional home warranty coverage.

*Note: You have the power to set the trade service call fee amount when a contractor comes to assess the appliance or system in question. You have three options: you can pay $75 per service call (the cheapest option), $100 per service call, or $125 per service call (this will lower your monthly payment).

Price of American Home Shield vs. competitors

This graph represents the monthly premium customers would pay under American Home Shield's most basic plan against what they would pay for competitor plans. Note: these prices do not include the service fee amount.

Details for top systems and appliances

To get a better idea of what comprehensive home warranty coverage truly looks like, our team surveyed 1,000 homeowners and asked which home systems and appliances were most valuable to them. Once the results were in, we took the responses and compared them to what each home warranty provider covers.

From our findings, we gathered that the top three appliances most important to a homeowner are the refrigerator, the oven/stove/range, and the clothes washer and dryer. The top three systems that hold the most importance are the electrical, plumbing, and air conditioning.

Here’s what specific coverage looks like under an American Home Shield plan:

  • Refrigerator: All parts and components of your refrigerator that break down due to normal wear and tear are covered, but freestanding freezers, multi-media centers, and wine chillers aren’t covered. They will pay customers up to $3,000 for a refrigerator repair or replacement.
  • Oven/stove/range: They cover all parts and components of ovens, ranges, and cooktops. If you want coverage for these appliances, you can opt into an Appliances Plan or Combo Plan.
  • Clothes washer and dryer: Did you know that the average cost to repair or replace a washer and dryer without a home warranty can range anywhere between $600–$700? Lucky for you, all components and parts of a clothes washer and dryer are covered.
  • Electrical: All components and parts including lighting fixtures and built-in exhaust/attic fans are covered. Items not covered include security wiring, telephone wiring, circuit overload, and faceplates.
  • Plumbing: For the most part, they offer pretty extensive plumbing coverage. Leaks and breaks of water, drain, gas, waste or vent lines; toilets; showerheads; diverter valves; permanently installed sump pumps (ground water only); and built-in bathtub whirlpool motor, pump, and air switch assemblies are all covered. Similar to Choice Home Warranty plumbing coverage, AHS doesn’t cover caulking and grouting, septic tanks, saunas, and stoppages caused by collapsed vent or sewer lines outside of the home.
  • 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. Window units, water towers, well pumps, and chillers are not covered.
Get a customized quote for your home today

Coverage length

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 prior to the expiration of your contract. Unless you notify AHS that you don’t want to continue your plan, you’ll be charged the applicable plan fees and your contract will automatically renew.

Coverage limits

One of the main differences between AHS and their competitors is the leniency when it comes to coverage limits. AHS doesn’t place a limit on the number of covered repairs during the length of your contract and offers coverage even if an appliance or system has been improperly installed, insufficiently maintained, or mismatched. 

AHS does not cover home systems or appliances that are already protected under a manufacturer’s warranty (this includes appliance warranties from companies like Kenmore or Samsung).

If you read the fine print, you’ll learn that if they are unable to repair or replace a covered item, the company may offer money for you to repair or replace the item yourself. Note: AHS is not liable for matching the brand, dimensions, or color of home systems or appliances.

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.

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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AHS is not available in Alaska. If you live in that state, check out our reviews on the best home warranty companies in Alaska to find a home protection plan that’s right for you.

Our take

If you’re looking to customize your home warranty coverage, American Home Shield is a great choice. They’re one of the only home warranty companies in the U.S. that lets customers pick and choose what systems and appliances they want to include in their plan. Not to mention, AHS leaves it up to customers to determine the service fee they want to pay ($75, $100, or $125). A higher service fee will get you a lower monthly payment, while a low service fee will result in higher monthly premiums.

Additionally, they offer a 30-day workmanship guarantee, so if there’s an issue with the repair or replacement within 30 days of service, the company will send a contractor back out to your home for free—we think that’s a pretty good sign of trustworthiness.

Regarding company reputation, AHS founded the home warranty industry 50 years ago and is the oldest home warranty company on record. It’s also a founding member of the National Home Service Contract Association.

Still not convinced of the company’s trustworthiness? Here are a few awards that the company has won over the years:

  • 2019 America’s Best Midsize Employers Award by Forbes
  • 2014–2015 Women’s Choice Award
  • 2014 Home Warranty Awards “Best in Service” Award

It’s also worth noting how efficient the AHS claims process is. Once your claim is approved, a customer service representative or contractor will get in touch with you directly. American Home Shield claims that it approves and assigns professionals to a customer’s service request within the first 24 hours 98% of the time—this is way faster than Choice’s 48–96-hour timeline.

In sum, we believe that American Home Shield has a combination of factors that make it a great choice for consumers—extensive coverage that can be personalized, excellent customer service, and years of experience.

American Home Shield ratings

Plan options

5.0 / 5

Breadth of coverage

4.0 / 5

State availability

3.3 / 5

Cost

4.5 / 5

Trustworthiness

4.8 / 5

Customer service

4.0 / 5

Unique benefits

4.0 / 5

What others are saying

As a consumer, you probably don’t have the time to sit around and sift through the hundreds of reviews left by customers. That’s where we come in. At House Method, we go through user complaints, reviews, and ratings of each home warranty company and compile that information in a chart that’s easy for you to understand.

Below, we’ve included AHS ratings compared to the industry average.

Summary of Customer Feedback

Reviewer American Home Shield Ratings Industry Average Ratings
Average # of Reviews Average Score Average # of Reviews Average Score
Yelp 127
1.0 375
1.2
BBB 5188
2.9 956
2.0
TrustPilot 74
1.5 937
1.9

American Home Shield reviews

American Home Shield has a B rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and an average of 2.9 stars from over 5,500 customer reviews.

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

Dana R. said:

I especially like that they give the policy holder multiple options of service contractors, it gives the policy holder a chance to do some research and choose the best contractor from the list. This was my first time having to use ASH, hopefully any other dealings will go just as smoothly as this recent transaction.

Jamie E. said:

Great service! Our furnace broke and I was able to request service online. Within a day, our contractor came out. He was very professional and fixed our furnace in a timely manner. We LOVE the security of having a home warranty that covers all our appliances and major systems. Definitely recommend

Chris S. said:

I’ve never dealt with people who genuinely did not want to solve a problem over the phone. I was put on hold over 20 times and transferred numerous times to people who could not solve the problem. They refused to cover a claim, did not want to refund the service charge even though no one came to my house and then they did not want to allow me to cancel my contract. I will never recommend them to anyone ever.

Sarah L. said: 

My furnace broke down in the middle of winter and everything went smoothly with AHS. The repair company they sent arrived in good time, the person was professional and knowledgeable and my heater was fixed and working again. Very pleased and the process was very easy for me.

Frequently asked questions about American Home Shield

Is American Home Shield a reputable company?

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 coverage that’s customizable to you and your specific home coverage needs.

What is covered by American Home Shield?

American Home Shield covers major home systems and appliances, like your refrigerator, electrical, and plumbing. They offer four plans:

  • Appliance Plan—Covers appliances like a refrigerator, dishwasher, and clothes washer/dryer
  • Systems Plan—Covers home systems, like air conditioning and heating
  • Combo Plan—Covers both home systems and appliances that are covered under the Systems and Appliances Plans
  • Build-Your-Own Plan—Gives you the option of choosing 10 major systems and appliances you want covered

Optional add-ons include a pool, spa, guest units up to 750 square feet, and well and septic pumps.

How much does American Home Shield cost?

Plans cost $50–$60 per month. In general, coverage costs will vary based on the homeowner’s location, the plan they choose, and whether they add on any optional coverage.

Customers are also required to pay a service fee for every service request that’s approved. Trade service fees range from $75 to $125. Customers can opt for a lower service fee for a high premium or vice versa.

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.

Can you cancel American Home Shield?

Yes, 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.

Is there a waiting period for American Home Shield?

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.

Do American Home Shield plans cover electrical?

Yes, American Home Shield includes electrical coverage under its Systems Plan. With this plan, the company will pay $1,000–$1,500 per covered item.

Will American Home Shield replace my furnace?

Under the Systems Plan, AHS will offer a repair or replacement for your furnace. It’s up to the company to decide whether to repair, replace, or reimburse customers for any of the systems that are explicitly written into the plan.

Is an AHS warranty worth it?

A home warranty with American Home Shield is definitely 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.

Final thoughts

House Method gives American Home Shield 4.28 out of 5 stars. Since they founded the home warranty industry, we think the company knows what it’s doing. We also appreciate the responsiveness its customer service has shown on the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and other review sites by actively responding to complaints. What’s more: you can’t beat the generous coverage caps on its services and the ability to customize your own coverage.

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.

On the other hand, AHS might not be your first choice if…

  • you want to choose your own service contractor to complete your home repair work.
  • you prefer to work with smaller businesses (AHS is one of the largest home warranty companies with over 1,600 employees).

Compare AHS to the competition

Best for
Cost per month
Number of appliances covered
Other perks

Best for

Customizable plans

Cost per month

$50–$60

Number of appliances covered

12

Other perks

Covers cost to dispose of broken items

Best for

Editor's choice

Cost per month

$36–$44

Number of appliances covered

10

Other perks

First month free (promotion)

Best for

HVAC coverage

Cost per month

$28–$43

Number of appliances covered

9

Other perks

Covers improperly installed/maintained items

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. Our team spent hours on the phone speaking to representatives from each home warranty company to get information right from the source.

Our rating system involves a weighted, 100-point scale that scores home warranty companies on plans offered, coverage, state availability, cost, trustworthiness, customer service, and unique benefits.

For more details, check out our affiliate disclosure and rating methodology.

Company information

  • Company name: American Home Shield
  • Company type: Public
  • CEO: Rex Tibbins
  • Ticker symbol: SERV
  • Founding date: 1/2/1971
  • Years in business: 49
  • Telephone: 833-850-4092
  • Address: 860 Ridge Lake Blvd Memphis, TN 38120
  • Country: USA
  • State availability: 49 states
  • Service fee: $75–$125
  • BBB rating: B
  • Number of BBB complaints closed within last 3 years: 10,734

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