Home warranties are optional protection plans that prevent homeowners from paying full price for costly repairs on major appliances—such as dishwashers and water heaters—and systems, like heating and cooling. One downside to most home warranties is that they only repair or replace covered items that are properly installed and maintained.
That’s the best part about First American Home Warranty.
Its First Class Upgrade is indeed an upgrade from most home warranty plans, as it covers appliances and systems even if they were improperly installed, modified, or maintained. This means, if your 19-year-old water heater broke and show signs of rust or corrosion, the repair or replacement is still covered by First American.
For this reason, we recommend First American to home buyers whose appliances or systems were included in their home sale. The previous owners may not have installed or maintained an appliance correctly.
Additionally, they may have modified it in some way that you’re unaware of. When that appliance breaks, you can rest assured that it’ll be covered by First American.
This is why we believe First American is the best home warranty for limited exclusions.
First American offers a Basic Plan for both home buyers and sellers, an upgraded Eagle Premier Plan for homeowners, and First Class Upgrades, which is home warranty coverage for additional items on an à la carte basis.
Use our First American Home Warranty review as a guide to better understand the provider, its coverage and costs, and how it stacks up against other home warranty companies.
First American does not publish its home warranty prices on its website. Instead, the company encourages customers to enter their information to get a personalized quote. This is understandable since home warranty costs vary by location. However, the House Method team went ahead and requested a quote to give our readers a better sense of pricing. Prices range from $28 to $50 per month.
First American charges a $75 service call fee, which is an industry standard. For reference, most home warranty service fees range from $75–$125. First American Home Warranty customers are fortunate in that the company does not charge repeat service fees if the repair doesn’t hold and the service provider has to come back to address the same problem within 30 days.
|First Class Upgrade (optional add-ons)|
|Central air conditioning (optional)||Central air conditioning||Central air conditioning||Central air conditioning|
|Ductwork (optional)||Ductwork||Ductwork||Ductwork (must be correctly installed/maintained)|
|Electrical system||Electrical system||Electrical system||Smoke detector|
|Garage door openers||Garage door openers||Garage door openers||Garage door openers|
|Attic/ceiling/exhaust fans||Attic/ceiling/exhaust fans||Attic/ceiling/exhaust fans||Pool/spa equipment|
|Central vacuum system||Central vacuum system||Central vacuum system||Well pump|
|Plumbing system||Plumbing system||Plumbing system||Plumbing|
|Plumbing stoppages||Plumbing stoppages||Plumbing stoppages||Septic tank pumping/system|
|Toilet tanks/bowls||Toilet tanks/bowls||Toilet tanks/bowls||Trash compactor|
|Water heater||Water heater||Water heater||Dishwasher|
|Circulating pump||Circulating pump||Circulating pump||Built-in microwave|
|Sump pump||Sump pump||Sump pump||Oven/range/cooktop|
|Pressure regulator||Pressure regulator||Pressure regulator||Additional refrigeration|
|Garbage disposal||Garbage disposal||Garbage disposal||Clothes washer/dryer|
|Trash compactor||Trash compactor||Trash compactor|
|Water dispenser||Water dispenser||Water dispenser|
|Built-in microwave||Built-in microwave||Built-in microwave|
The First Class Upgrade not only covers appliances and systems that have been insufficiently installed, modified, or modified, but it also covers:
First American’s home warranty coverage lasts for a standard 12 months with the option to renew at the end of the year unless you’re a seller who has enrolled in basic coverage for your home while it’s listed.
A home warranty is helpful to sellers while their house is on the market since it covers the cost of potential repairs and replacements that crop up while the home is listed or under contract. Seller’s listing coverage lasts 180 days or until the close of sale or listing cancellation, whichever comes first.
As far as cancellation goes, the policy differs from state to state. The company encourages you to request a quote, apply for coverage, and then thoroughly read your service agreement before signing.
Exclusions to the Basic Plan include systems or appliances that are malfunctioning due to improper maintenance or installation. You’ll have to choose the First Class Upgrade to get coverage for improperly installed or improperly maintained systems and appliances.
The sample contract reads, “[First American] will repair or replace a system or appliance (excluding roofs and ductwork) that was improperly installed, modified or repaired, or was not properly matched in size or efficiency at any time prior to or during the term of this contract.”
Unlike other home warranties, First American will also cover malfunctioning items due to an unknown defect or lack of maintenance.
Another clause in the contract reads, “This Contract provides coverage for unknown defects if the defect is not detectable through visual inspection or simple mechanical test (excluding renewal and non-real estate transaction customers). Items include malfunctioning systems and appliances due to lack of maintenance, rust, corrosion, and chemical or sedimentary build-up.”
Customers can either file a claim online or call First American’s customer service to start a service request. Once you’ve filed a claim, a representative from First American will contact you to schedule an appointment with a local service provider. First American’s pre-approved service professional will then diagnose, repair, or replace the faulty equipment as long as it’s covered under the warranty. You will be responsible only for the service fee. There is no limit to the number of times you can request service after the 30-day waiting period between signing up and when coverage begins.
The sample contract includes that if First American cannot locate a contractor in your area, the company may request that the customer hires an independent licensed contractor. The contractor and First American will have to agree upon a rate for service and will either pay the contractor directly or reimburse the home warranty customer.
|Average Cost Per Month||$28|
|State Availability||35 states|
|Coverage Term||1 year for homeowners & buyers
or 180 days for seller’s listing coverage
|Time in Business||35 years|
|Better Business Bureau Rating||B+|
|Review last updated:||March 21, 2019|
First American was founded in 1984 and has been in business for 35 years. The company was an early member of the 47-year-old home warranty industry. If you’re looking for a company that’s been around for a while, we recommend First American.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) gives First American a B+ rating. Although many First American Home Warranty reviews on the BBB site are negative, it’s important to remember these complaints have been accruing for 35 years. The BBB even raised First American’s score to a B+ because the company made a significant effort to address and resolve customer complaints over the years.
Consumers Advocate gives First American a 9 out of 10, citing its 34 years of experience, “The company serves over 450,000 customers across the nation, offering year-round repair and replacement services, even on holidays.” Consumers Advocate also attributes the overall high score to First American’s lower-than-average service fees, easy-to-read contracts, and competitive coverage pricing.
House Method gives First American Home Warranty 4 out of 5 stars. It has generous coverage caps and limited exclusions that we’ve yet to find another home warranty provider offer. It’s been in the business long enough to know what customers want and need, and the company has made evident strides to show it cares.
One First American Home Warranty review from Boris E.reads
I’ve been very happy with First American for more than 15 years. In the middle of the summer, the air conditioner stopped working and in San Fernando Valley, you don’t want that at all. So, we [called] First American [and] they sent a gentleman. He fixed it, and it never acted bad again. If I didn’t have a First American Home Warranty plan, it would’ve cost a lot of money, a lot of aggravation, and I really wouldn’t know if the problem would be taken care of professionally.
I had two service requests recently. I had quick and excellent responses for both incidents. The air conditioning issues [were] particularly urgent because the temps are nearing 90 here and we have a medical patient in the house. First American dispatched a technician in a matter of hours and he was excellent and responded to our call after-hours, late in the evening. He took care of the problem right away and we had a very pleasant night thanks to the quick resolution of the issue. I’m genuinely impressed with the level of service and would recommend First American to any homeowner. I will always be a First American customer!
I do my homework before I buy something, and I checked this company out thoroughly. I know there [are] home warranty companies out there that don’t measure up—that they promise but they don’t deliver. First American promises, but more importantly, they deliver. [I] just can’t say enough about it..
First American Home Warranty is a good choice for you if …
Compare First American to the competition.
|Company||Best For||Score||Plan Options||Cost Per Month||Pros||Cons|
|First American||Limited exclusions||8/10||2 + add-ons||$28-$50||Covers improperly installed/maintained items||
Sample contracts are difficult to find online
|American Home Shield||Appliance coverage||9.5/10||4 + add-ons||$20–$65||Up to $3,000 limit on appliances||Higher service fees and longer wait times than average|
|America’s 1st Choice||Customizable plans||8/10||4 + add-ons||$32+||Choose your own service provider||Customers are charged $60 per call even if the repair cost is less than the service fee|
First American Home Warranty costs between $28 and $50 a month according to the quotes House Method received. Premium prices vary based on location and the level of home warranty coverage customers choose.
There is also a $75 service fee, which is paid to the pre-approved contractor upon appointment for service. These prices are average, as most home warranty plans range from $25 to $67 per month with service fees between $75 and $125.
Yes, plumbing systems and stoppages are covered by all of First American’s home warranty plans. Plumbing coverage includes:
First American Home Warranty asks potential customers to read their contract carefully before signing and they ask current customers to contact the company if they wish to cancel.
Cancellation policies vary from state to state, but home warranty customers can usually cancel their plan at any time, so we’d be surprised if this was not the case with First American.
Also, note that most home warranty companies charge an administration fee which is required by law. This fee is usually $50.
We found that American Home Shield is the best home warranty for appliance coverage. See our American Home Shield review for more information about AHS home warranty plans, custom coverage, cost, add-ons, and service terms.
America's 1st Choice Home Club is one of the few home warranty providers that lets policyholders choose their own repair technicians when they need a repair or replacement. Keep reading to learn about AFC's coverage, exclusions, and customer reviews.
Choice Home Warranty offers comprehensive protection against the high cost of repair or replacement on properly maintained systems and appliances. Check out our Choice Home Warranty review to learn more about home warranty coverage, the claims process, and how other providers compare.
Best Home Warranty for Limited Exclusions
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