American Home Shield vs. First American Home Warranty

By David Cusick | Advertiser Disclosure

American Home Shield and First American are two of the most well-known home warranty companies in the industry. When assessing companies in the home warranty industry, a home warranty should always include the option for full coverage, multiple home warranty plan tiers to choose from, and clear contracts. 

This article breaks down American Home Shield vs. First American and the differences between coverage, cost, how each company’s claim process works, and policy differences. Keep reading to find the best home warranty for you.

Available plans
Service fee
Service recall period
Availability
Support
Years in business
BBB rating

Available plans

4 plans - Build-Your-Own Plan Systems Plan, Appliances Plan, Combo Plan + optional add-ons

Service fee

$75, $100, $125

Service recall period

60 days

Availability

All states except Alaska

Support

24/7

Years in business

More than 45 years

BBB rating

B

Available plans

2 plans - Basic Plan, Review Plan + optional add-ons

Service fee

$75

Service recall period

0 days

Availability

36 states and D.C.

Support

24/7

Years in business

35

BBB rating

B+

Coverage comparison of American Home Shield and First American

American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty both offer comprehensive plans that can accommodate the repair and replacement needs for a wide range of home appliances and services.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield offers four plans that protect major home systems and appliances:

  • Systems plan—This plan covers home systems such as air conditioning and heating (ductwork included), electrical, plumbing, water heaters, garbage disposals, central vacuums, instant hot and cold water dispensers, smoke detectors, doorbells, and ceiling fans.
  • Appliances plan—This coverage includes common household appliances, such as a washing machine and clothes dryer, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktop, built-in microwave, refrigerator, free-standing ice maker, trash compactor, built-in food processor, and garage door opener.
  • Combo plan—This comprehensive plan combines both the systems and the appliances plans for total home coverage.
  • Build-your-own plan—With this plan, customers can decide which 10 systems and appliances to include in their home warranty contract, and the pricing will reflect that coverage.

Additional coverage is available for items like a pool, spa, septic pumping, well pump, and guest unit under 750 square feet.

First American Home Warranty

A leading home warranty company, First American Home Warranty offers two different plans that vary slightly for buyers and sellers:

  • Basic plan—In this plan, the following items are covered: heating (optional for seller’s coverage), central air conditioning (optional for seller’s coverage), ductwork (optional for seller’s coverage), electrical system, garage door openers, attic/ceiling/exhaust fans, central vacuum system, plumbing system, plumbing stoppages, toilet tanks/bowls, water heater, circulating pump, sump pump, pressure regulator, garbage disposal, trash compactor, dishwasher, water dispenser, built-in microwave, oven/range/cooktop.
  • Premier plan—This includes everything in the basic plan, plus major home systems including heaters, plumbing, electrical, water heaters, and more.

The First Class Upgrade is also available for purchase to cover appliances and systems that have been incorrectly installed or maintained.

American Home Shield vs. First American pricing

When comparing the cost of American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty, both companies offer similar services, however First American Home Warranty’s service fees are slightly more affordable.

American Home Shield

American Home Shield plans range between $50–$60 per month:

Systems Plan Appliances Plan Combo Plan Build-Your-Own Plan
$49.99 $49.99 $59.99 $54.99

The service fee varies based on the coverage plan selected. There are three service fee rates: $75, $100, and $125. A higher service call fee will result in a lower monthly premium and vice versa.

First American Home Warranty

First American’s Basic Plan costs $28.00 per month, while the Premier Plan costs $42.50 per month. These prices may vary based on state and specific contracts. First American charges a $75.00 service call fee.

How does each home warranty work?

The process to submit a claim to American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty is similar. Both companies have convenient customer service access, both online and via toll-free phone numbers, and quick technician turnaround times.

American Home Shield

Contract holders can request service online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Once a claim is approved, a technician is 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.

Customers can reach the claims department by:

First American Home Warranty

First American has a 24-hour claims center available for customers. Customers can reach the claims department by:

  • Requesting service online
  • Calling the customer service center at 800-992-3400

American Home Shield vs. First American policy differences

American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty each have minor limitations and exclusions in their service contracts. Before signing up for a plan, thoroughly read through the terms and conditions to understand exactly what is and isn’t covered.

American Home Shield

There are sample contracts available on the American Home Shield FAQ page that outline the parts and components of major home systems and appliances that are covered under a contract. Remember: even though a system or appliance is covered doesn’t always mean your claim will be accepted.

American Home Shield doesn’t have a limit to the number of service requests a contract holder can make, but they will not be able to help with the claim if the service isn’t covered under the contract holder’s plan.

First American Home Warranty

First American Home Warranty’s contract is also specific to individual contract holders, however there are some basic general terms and limitations. Basic plan coverage limits include home systems and appliances that are not working because of improper maintenance or installation. Repair for this type of issue requires upgrading to First American’s First Class Upgrade, which offers coverage for appliances or systems that were installed or maintained incorrectly.

Our conclusion

Both companies have their advantages and disadvantages, with First American Home Warranty offering the basic coverage with low deductibles and American Home Shield offering comprehensive and customizable plans and service call fee flexibility.

American Home Shield may be a good option if… 

  • you want to select your own service fee.
  • you want to customize your home warranty coverage.
  • you want discounts on name brand appliances.

First American Home Warranty may be a good option if… 

  • you live in an older home with aging appliances and systems.
  • you have home systems and appliances that show signs of rust or corrosion.
  • you’re on a budget and want cheaper home warranty options.

Our team recommends American Home Shield for its comprehensive coverage, customizable plans, flexible service fees, and excellent customer service.

  • Allows customers to customize coverage with the Build-Your-Own Plan
  • Lets customers choose a service fee of $75, $100, or $125
  • Provides generous coverage caps on systems and appliances

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