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American Home Shield Review

Monday, April 15th

2024 Home Warranty Company Reviews

American Home Shield Review 2.5 Star Rating

American Home Shield

2.5 Star Rating
  • Accredited by the BBB
  • In business for over 50 years
  • Millions of customers
  • All plans cover older items and those without maintenance records
  • Choose your trade service call fee

American Home Shield has been in business for over half a century, boasting over two million customers overall.

3 plans plus add-on coverage

You'll need to enter your zip code to see which AHS warranty plans are available in your area. Generally speaking, these are the options:

  • ShieldSilver: covers parts of 14 major systems, including HVAC, electrical and plumbing.
  • ShieldGold: includes all of the coverage of ShieldSilver plus adds protection for 9 kitchen and laundry appliances.
  • ShieldPlatinum: get everything in the Silver and Gold plans, plus roof leak repairs, complimentary HVAC tune-up, unlimited AC refrigerant, and coverage for code violations and permits
  • Add-ons: any base plan can have extra coverage for electronics, pool/spa, roof leak repairs, guest units, septic pump, and well pump

Pricing depends on your preferred trade service call fee

When you click on "Shop Plans" and enter your street address and email, you'll see the specifics of the plans offered for your location. Pay attention to the Trade Service Call Fee at the top: you'll pay what is essentially a co-pay for every service request, and you choose whether you want it to be $75, $100, or $125 (with the corresponding impact on your monthly pricing). For our home, with a $100 call fee, we were quoted $39.99/month for ShieldSilver, $49.99/month for ShieldGold, and $69.99/month for ShieldPlatinum. No matter which plan you choose, all AHS home warranties include protection for older items, undetectable pre-existing conditions, items without maintenance records, and removal of old/defective items.

Extra coverage is worth looking at

Once you select a plan, you'll see all of the available add-on coverage. For example, we could add electronics protection (backed by Allstate) for an unlimited number of new/used devices for just $18/month. Depending on what's included in your chosen plan, you can add some coverage a la carte: roof repairs, septic pump, and pool/spa are a few of the options.

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Be sure to read the sample contract

We recommend that you take the time to review the sample contract that AHS has on their website. We found that link in the FAQ at the bottom of the page. It's a great way to make sure you understand exactly what you're getting, with no nasty surprises when you try to make a claim. For example, it states very clearly that if your AC unit needs refrigerant, you'll pay up to $10 per pound (if you're not on the Platinum plan) and you're on the hook for anything beyond that - and at least at the time of this evaluation, freon was running anywhere from $50 to $150 per pound. If your system needs a complete refill of 6-15 pounds, you should do the math and be aware of how much you'll pay out of pocket.

10,000+ complaints - in just one year

American Home Shield has a "just okay" rating of "B" from the Better Business Bureau, along with accreditation. We're not going to lie: we were pretty shocked to see that there were over 10,000 complaints filed against AHS - in the last 12 months alone. That reflects what we found elsewhere, including abysmal 1-star ratings from over 2,100 American Home Shield customers. Comments describe unreasonably long delays in getting parts and repairs (like five days without AC in Florida), difficulties in getting covered appliances replaced, and customer service reps who sound like they're overseas and are hard to understand.

Hardly any happy customers here

Yes, many home warranty companies get thousands of complaints. Unfortunately, AHS's rivals also tend to have a decent number of five-star reviews as well, while this company only scrapes up a few hundred five-star ratings out of over 2600 total reviews. Most disappointing were the reviews from people who said they paid premiums for years, only to be refused when they made their first claim - and those who said that they used to receive good service here but now it's just bad all around.

No longer a provider we recommend

American Home Shield is no longer one of our highest-rated home warranty providers. Their track record lately shows a disappointing trend towards customer dissatisfaction, and you're likely to get better service from another provider. While we hope to see some changes in a positive direction in the future, for now we have to rank American Home Shield as one of our least-recommended home warranty companies.

Where Can You Get the Best Home Warranty Protection?

Maybe you're a landlord trying to mitigate your operating expenses. Or you're trying to sell your home in a tough market and want to set prospective buyers' minds at ease. Then again, you could be like the average homeowner who wants some protection against those unexpected expenses like a failing air conditioner or a leaky bathtub.

In all of these situations, a good home warranty is a wise choice that can make the difference between a quick, inexpensive fix and a huge repair bill. How do home warranty plans work? Most providers give you several plans to choose from, ranging from basic coverage of appliances or systems, to premium packages that cover just about every component of your home. There are usually add-on services for an extra fee, like coverage of your electronics, sump pumps, septic systems, pools/spas, and so on.

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Home Warranty Company FAQ

Home warranties protect your home's appliances and systems in the event of a malfunction. Normal wear and tear takes a toll on all systems in your house, so a home warranty saves you from having to spend the hundreds or thousands of dollars it takes for even the smallest of repairs. By purchasing a home warranty plan, you're able to call a technician to repair or replace your faulty appliances when needed.
Having a home warranty provides peace of mind. It usually comes as a surprise when your heating system stops working, your dryer breaks, or your air conditioner goes out. When your systems and appliances need a repair, it is an urgent matter and you want to make sure you're able to afford the cost of getting them fixed. If you have a plan that covers the item that malfunctions, you'll have it paid for minus the cost of any applicable deductible or service fee.
When purchasing a home warranty, you'll be able to select from different plans depending on what you want covered. They might include a kitchen plan (fridge, range, oven, dishwasher, garbage disposal, etc.), heating and cooling (air conditioning, interior electrical system, central heating, etc.), plumbing systems, pool pumps, garage door opener, TVs, laptops, and more. You can buy as many plans as you want or bundle and save!
Home warranties are usually billed monthly and range from about $30 - $100/month depending on what you want covered, how many plans you buy, if you bundle your plans, and so on. On top of this, the company you use might charge service fees or have a deductible set up that you'll need to meet before they cover the rest of what it takes for repairs. Either way, having a home warranty will likely save you thousands of dollars in the long run since appliance repairs can be so expensive.
Home warranties cover the effects of normal wear and tear on systems and appliances. After running your dishwasher a couple hundred times, it might need maintenance, which would be covered by your warranty (if you selected a plan that included it). Home insurance protects you financially from unexpected major events like a fire, flood, or weather damage. It allows you to get a lump sum of money to replace items in the home or the house itself when disaster strikes. However, if your air conditioning goes out in the middle of summer, you're out of luck if you have home insurance without a home warranty.
A home warranty lasts as long as you choose to pay for it! Many people just budget for it long-term and pay year after year just like they make their house payment. You can pay monthly or make a yearly payment on the type of coverage you select. As long as you are subscribed to a home warranty plan, you'll be able to have a repairman come to your home to take care of your appliances and systems when problems arise.
There is no limit to the number of repairs you can call in during your home warranty contract. If there is a service fee, you'll need to pay that each time a technician comes out. If you have a deductible to meet, you'll pay for each repair until you hit your deductible and can be fully covered by the company. It's reassuring to know that regardless of how many things go wrong in your home, as long as your contract includes the repairs, you'll be able to have them taken care of!
Every home warranty service might do things a little differently. Most of the time you'll be able to call in and let them know your issue and get a timeframe for a technician to come make repairs. Some companies have an online form you fill out and then they contact you back and dispatch their workers. It's easy to get the help when you need it within a reasonable timeframe when you're dealing with home warranty companies.
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Continued from above...

All home warranties have limits, exclusions, and caps on the amount your policy will pay over the life of the contract: this is one of those times where it's essential to read the fine print and understand what's covered and what's not.

You should also expect a 30-day waiting period before your coverage takes effect. In other words, don't think you can hurriedly throw a warranty plan on your broken fridge and expect it to get fixed - unless you want to wait a whole month. Many home warranty companies use this time as a money-back guarantee period, in case you change your mind or discover something in your policy that you weren't aware of when you signed up. One such "surprise" is often the trade call service fee: what you'll pay per service call, similar to a copay you'd have on a medical insurance plan or a deductible with your car insurance. Be aware that you could have multiple fees for a single repair, if the fix requires different tradespeople to get it taken care of (both a plumber and an electrician).

You've got a lot of companies to consider for your home warranty, and it's easy to get overwhelmed. How can you tell which ones will deliver what they promise? Here are the most useful criteria to guide your decision:

  • Reputation. First and foremost, what do homeowners say about their experience with the home warranty provider? Are claims handled quickly, with repair technicians dispatched in a timely manner? Does the company approve claims easily, or should you expect to fight to get them approved and paid for? How many complaints have been registered, in comparison with any positive feedback?
  • Coverage. What will you get for what you pay? Can you select a tier of service that doesn't make you spend money on coverage you don't need? What's included and what's not?
  • Value. What will you spend on your home warranty? How much will you pay for trade service call fees? Play with the numbers and see what your annual premium totals and fees might be, compared with what you'd spend out of pocket to take care of the repairs on your own.

To help protect your home (and your savings), TopConsumerReviews.com has evaluated and ranked today's most popular home warranty providers. We're sure this information will help you choose the right plan for your property!

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Select any 2 Home Warranty Companies to compare them head to head

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  • Elite Home Warranty
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  • Home Warranty of America
  • Choice Home Warranty
  • American Home Shield
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