First American Home Warranty Review (2019)

By House Method

First American Home Warranty has been a leader in the industry for over 35 years, serving more than 590,000 customers. They offer ‘First Class Upgrade’ optional coverage that’s an upgrade from most home warranty plans—it covers systems and appliances even if they were improperly installed, modified, or maintained.

This means that if your 19-year-old water heater breaks but shows signs of rust or corrosion, most home warranties would not cover the repair, whereas First American will. Use our First American Home Warranty review to better understand the company’s coverage and costs, see what their customers have to say, and compare how First American stacks up against other home warranty companies.

Continue reading to learn why First American Home Warranty is one of the best home warranties in the industry or call now to get a free, personalized quote.

Best claim acceptance

  • Provides home warranty coverage of improperly installed or maintained appliances and systems
  • Has a network of pre-screened, qualified technicians
  • Offers flexible payment options
  • No cap on coverage for heating, cooling, and ductwork
  • Recommended by realtors
Pros Cons
Established company with a BBB accreditation Less add-ons available compared to other home warranty providers
24/7 service calls available Can’t choose your own contractor
Offers replacement of some covered items that are too damaged to repair Technical jargon in contracts may be confusing to customers

First American Home Warranty plans

First American Home Warranty offers two primary plans at an average cost of $28 per month:

  • Basic Plan (appliance plan)
  • Premier Plan (plan for both appliances and systems)

First American Home Warranty coverage

Basic Plan
(seller’s coverage)
  • Heating (optional)
  • Central air conditioning (optional)
  • Ductwork (optional)
  • 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
Basic Plan
(buyer’s coverage)
  • Heating
  • Central air conditioning
  • Ductwork
  • 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
Eagle Premier
(buyer’s coverage)
  • Heating
  • Central air conditioning
  • Ductwork
  • 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
  • Refrigerator
  • Clothes washer/dryer
First Class Upgrade
(optional add-ons)
  • Heating
  • Central air conditioning
  • Ductwork (must be correctly installed/maintained)
  • Smoke detector
  • Garage door openers
  • Pool/spa equipment
  • Well pump
  • Plumbing
  • Septic tank pumping/system
  • Trash compactor
  • Dishwasher
  • Built-in microwave
  • Oven/range/cooktop
  • Additional refrigeration
  • Clothes washer/dryer

The First Class Upgrade not only covers appliances and systems that have been insufficiently installed, modified, or modified, but it also covers:

  • Fees associated with the use of lifting equipment (i.e. cranes) that are required to service rooftop HVAC
  • Up to $250 per local building permits if needed prior to replacing appliances, home systems, or components
  • Costs to recapture, reclaim, and removal of refrigerant and the disposal of covered appliances, home systems, or components that the company repairs or replaces

Note: You have the option of including pest control services for termites under a First American contract.

For this reason, we recommend First American to home buyers whose appliances or systems were included in their real estate transaction. 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 Home Warranty.

Top systems/appliances covered

Coverage length

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 to repair or replace broken or malfunctioning items that either break while the home is listed or are revealed in a home inspection. Sellers’ 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’s customer service team encourages you to request a quote, apply for coverage, and then thoroughly read your service agreement before signing.

Coverage limits

Coverage limits to the Basic Plan include:

  • Home systems and 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 a 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.”

First American service calls

First American has a 24-hour claims center. Customers can:

  • Request service online—https://homewarranty.firstam.com/account/login.aspx
  • Call the customer service center—800.992.3400

Once you’ve filed a claim, a representative from First American will contact you to schedule an appointment with a local service provider within their large network of licensed and vetted home repair professionals. A pre-approved service professional will then diagnose and repair or replace the faulty equipment as long as it’s covered under the warranty.

At the time of the appointment, you’ll be responsible to pay the service fee to the professional repair contractor. Note: 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 states that if First American cannot locate a contractor in your area within its large network, the home warranty company may request that the customer hire 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.

States covered under First American Home Warranty

*First American Home Warranty covers all states except for Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Wisconsin.

First American Home Warranty cost

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, called First American, and requested a quote to give our readers a better sense of pricing. We found that prices range from $28 to $50 per month.

Average monthly cost
Basic Plan $28
Premier Plan ~$45

*Note: Prices can vary based on your home size and location

Service fee

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 customers are fortunate in that the company does not charge repeat service fees. For example, if a repair doesn’t hold and the contractor has to come back to address the same problem within 30 days, the homeowner does not have to pay an additional $75.

Ready to sign up for a home warranty?

First American Home Warranty reviews

The following First American Home Warranty reviews were originally published on the company’s website.

Boris E.

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.

Robert J.

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!

Bill C.

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.

Real estate professional, Lisa A.

I recommend First American Home Warranty because they’re easy to work with. They always make signing up for the home warranty as easy as possible. I just need to make a call or send an email and they take care of everything for me through escrow. I purchase the home warranty myself for all of my buyers so I know they can have peace of mind once they move into the new home.

First American Home Warranty ratings

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 home warranty company made a significant effort to address and resolve customer complaints over the years.

Trustpilot has given the brand a TrustScore of 7.9 out of 10, which is based on the customer satisfaction of 2,180 First American Home Warranty reviews.

Home warranty reviews for First American equate to a 7.3 out of 10. Its score is based on its time in business, the vast amount of customers its served across the U.S., and its responsive customer service—even on weekends and holidays. The company also has easy-to-read contracts and plans at competitive prices.

Frequently asked questions

How much does First American Home Warranty cost?

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’s 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.

Does First American cover plumbing?

Plumbing problems are covered by all First American home warranty plans.  Plumbing insurance under this home warranty company includes:

  • Pressure regulators
  • Circulating hot water pump
  • Bathtub motor, pump, and air switch assemblies
  • Permanently installed sump pumps (groundwater only)
  • Valves—shower, tub, diverter, riser, angle stop, and gate valves
  • Leaks and breaks of water, drain, gas, vent, or sewer lines (except caused by freezing)
  • Toilet tanks, bowls, and mechanisms (replaced with white builder’s standard as necessary)
  • Clearing of stoppages in sinks, tubs, shower drains, and toilets; sewer and mainline stoppages; and lateral drain lines up to 125 feet

Can I cancel my First American Home Warranty policy?

First American Home Warranty asks potential customers to read their contract carefully before signing and they ask current customers to contact the home warranty company if they wish to cancel.

Cancellation policies vary from state to state, but home warranty customers can usually cancel their First American home warranty 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.

Does First American Home Warranty cover mold?

No, First American Home Warranty does not cover mold. Here’s an excerpt from its sample contract regarding this type of coverage:

The Company will not effect service involving hazardous or toxic materials, including asbestos or any other contaminants. The Company is not responsible for any claim arising out of any pathogenic organisms regardless of any event of cause that contributed in any sequence to damage or injury. Pathogenic organisms mean any bacteria, yeasts, mildew, virus, fungi, mold or their spores, mycotoxins or other metabolic products.

What does First American cover?

First American Home Warranty covers major systems and appliances that break from normal wear and tear. This includes home systems, like heating and air conditioning, and home appliances, such as dishwashers and water heaters.

The company has a slew of other protection plans in addition to home warranties, including First American renters insurance, auto insurance, and landlord insurance. You might also consider First American Property and Casualty Insurance Group, which covers condominiums, or First American’s personal umbrella policy, which keeps you covered when you have reached the underlying liability limits on your auto or homeowner insurance.

The quick facts

Coverage begins after
Cancel without fee within
Cancellation fee
Contract term
Automatic renewal
Period to cancel automatic renewal
Repair timeframe
Free reservice period (parts)
Free reservice period (labor)
Customer service

Coverage begins after

30 days

Cancel without fee within

30 days

Cancellation fee

$50

Contract term

1 year for homeowners & buyers or 180 days for seller's listing coverage

Automatic renewal

Yes

Period to cancel automatic renewal

30 days

Repair timeframe

2 days

Free reservice period (parts)

30 days

Free reservice period (labor)

30 days

Customer service

24/7

Our conclusion

House Method gives First American Home Warranty 4.5 out of 5 stars. It has generous coverage caps and limited exclusions that we’ve yet to find another home warranty company offer. It’s been in the business long enough to know what customers want and need, and the company’s customer service has made evident strides to show it cares.

First American Home Warranty is a good choice for you if…

  • you own an older home.
  • your home systems and appliances are showing signs of rust or corrosion.
  • you’re unsure whether your systems and appliances have been properly installed or modified.
  • you’re a real estate professional who’s interested in free marketing materials.

First American Home Warranty might not be your first choice if…

First American Home Warranty company information

  • Company name: First American Home Warranty Corp
  • Company type: Public
  • Ticker symbol: FAF
  • CEO: Kristin Swan, Principal
  • Founding date: 2/8/1984
  • Telephone: 833-204-7164
  • Address: P.O. Box 7248
  • State/province: Santa Rosa, CA
  • Postal code: 95407
  • Country: USA
  • State availability: 35 states
  • Service fee: $75
  • BBB rating: B+
  • Number of BBB complaints closed within last 3 years: 3,140

Years in business

First American was founded in 1984 and has been an industry leader for 35 years. The home warranty company was an early member of the 48-year-old home warranty industry. If you’re looking for a company that’s been around for a while, we recommend First American.

Compare home warranties

Compare First American to the competition.

Best for
Plan options
Cost per month
Pros
Cons

Best for

Claim acceptance

Plan options

2 + add-ons

Cost per month

$28–$50

Pros

Covers improperly installed/maintained items

Cons

Sample contracts are difficult to find online

Best for

Appliance coverage

Plan options

4 + add-ons

Cost per month

$20–$65

Pros

Up to $3,000 limit on appliances

Cons

Higher service fees and longer wait times than average

Best for

Customizable plans

Plan options

4 + add-ons

Cost per month

$32+

Pros

Choose your own service provider

Cons

Customers are charged $60 per call even if the repair cost is less than the service fee


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