American Home Shield is a widely available home warranty service with more than 50 years of experience. Often regarded as the founder of the home warranty industry, the company is known for its comprehensive coverage options and customizable fee structure. Unlike some home service contract providers, AHS offers coverage without a pre-contract in-home inspection.
After researching dozens of providers across the industry, we determined that AHS was among the best home warranty companies for homeowners. In this review, we take a closer look at American Home Shield’s plans, prices, claims process, and reputation to help you determine if it’s the right choice for you. We’ll also examine how AHS’s offerings compare to competitors’ services and show you a few consumer reviews.
American Home Shield Rating and Review
American Home Shield (AHS) scored 4.3 out of 5 stars in our rating system. A few highlights include its flexible service call fee model and affordable basic plan that provides excellent coverage for built-in systems and appliances. A potential downside for some homeowners is that AHS offers limited add-on options.
Here’s how we rated American Home Shield in key categories:
- Available Plans (4.3 out of 5): AHS offers a variety of three plan options, two of which are combo plans.
- Plan Coverage (3.8 out of 5): AHS rated well for its plan coverage for built-in systems, which covers all the major home systems without a preset coverage cap. AHS provides appliance coverage with high coverage caps. However, it doesn’t offer as many add-on options as its competitors, and it doesn’t cover built-in trash compactors.
- Price Range (5 out of 5): AHS offers a flexible service call fee model and at least one plan for less than $45 per month.
- Industry Reputation (4.8 out of 5): AHS provides service contract transparency, has been in business for more than 50 years and maintains a good reputation on third-party sites, such as the Better Business Bureau.
- Customer Support (4.8 out of 5): AHS gives customers an easy-to-use online customer portal and 24/7 claims support.
- Additional Features (4 out of 5): AHS allows you to choose your own contractor and transfer your policy.
American Home Shield Review: Claims
American Home Shield bills itself as a leading home warranty provider that can help homeowners save money on repairs and keep their house or condo in good condition. The company is careful to make the distinction that it provides home warranties—not homeowners insurance—pointing out that this type of policy is meant to complement insurance rather than replace it. American Home Shield also champions the breadth of coverage that is included in its home warranty plans and assures customers that it will pay to replace any broken appliance or home system that cannot be repaired. Such lofty claims are no doubt appealing to many homeowners, but it’s important to look at the entire customer experience to better understand what to expect as a policyholder.
About American Home Shield
American Home Shield is a home warranty company that offers year-long service plans to help customers pay to repair or replace failing appliances and home systems. Covered units may include refrigerators, central air-conditioning systems, water heaters, and dishwashers, but that will depend on the type of policy that is selected. American Home Shield currently sells home warranties in 49 states and Washington, D.C.—the company does not operate in Alaska at this time. Customers may want to note that certain coverage options may not be available in all states in the company’s service area. Roof-leak protection, for instance, cannot be purchased by policyholders living in Hawaii.
American Home Shield’s approach to home warranties is very similar to that of other companies in this space. Customers can choose from three service tiers—ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum—and purchase extra coverage through optional add-ons, if necessary. Price ranges across the different plans are pretty typical for the cost of a home warranty, neither significantly undercutting or exceeding the rates of many other providers.
When filing a claim on a broken appliance, customers will need to pay a technician fee before repairs can be completed. Again, this is not out of the ordinary, as such fees are typically assessed with any home warranty. Customers do have the option to select a lower technician fee at the time they purchase their policy, thereby lowering their out-of-pocket costs for repair,s but choosing a lower service fee will result in a higher monthly rate. That flexibility could be appealing to homeowners who want to customize their home warranty policy as much as possible.
Customers’ Online Experience
American Home Shield’s services are heavily focused on the digital experience for customers. While homeowners can get a quote and file a claim over the phone, it may be more expedient to do both through the company website. When considering their policy options, customers can review a detailed table comparing coverage across each available home warranty plan. This makes it easier to see exactly what each policy tier can offer and then decide which plan makes the most sense given a homeowner’s particular needs.
Some online resources—information regarding available add-on options, for instance—may be difficult to find through the site’s home page. Because there is no search function built into the site itself, users may need to hunt around to find specific pages or resort to using Google. Despite those drawbacks, American Home Shield’s site is relatively easy to navigate, and pertinent information is clearly displayed so as to catch the eye of visitors.
Customers can also quickly switch to the Spanish-language version of American Home Shield’s site, allowing them to get a quote and buy a policy using either English or Spanish. Given the nuances of home warranty agreements, it may be a good idea to review terms and conditions in the language that a homeowner feels most comfortable using.
Home Warranty Plans, Coverage, and Caps
American Home Shield offers three tiers of service plans for customers to consider.
- ShieldSilver provides the most basic coverage and is primarily focused on major home systems, including heating and cooling, plumbing, and electrical systems.
- The next step up is ShieldGold, which protects the same home systems as ShieldSilver but adds coverage for kitchen and laundry appliances.
- The most comprehensive plan is American Home Shield’s ShieldPlatinum policy, which covers all of the appliances and home systems protected by the other plans but adds a number of additional coverage terms and perks for policyholders. ShieldPlatinum offers roof-leak protection, which would otherwise need to be purchased as an add-on, a free annual HVAC tune-up, and unlimited AC refrigerant refills. ShieldPlatinum policies will also provide up to $1,000 per year to bring home systems up to code.