American Home Shield Review
American Home Shield is a home warranty provider with a distinguished history. Started in 1971, American Home Shield was the very first home service contract provider in the United States. In many ways, American Home Shield pioneered the home warranty industry.
Today, American Home Shield has managed more than 65 million service requests and has a national network of more than 15,000 licensed contractors. And, unlike many regionally focused providers, American Home Shield is available in all 50 states. American Home Shield offers plans for the whole house and its systems, appliances only, as well as customizable plans that contain many unique features.
Pros and Cons of American Home Shield
- Oldest home warranty provider in the U.S. with a distinguished track record
- Network of more than 15,000 contractors
- Available in all 50 U.S. states
- Add-on items and additional coverage costs more
- Build your own coverage plan is limited to 10 items
What Does American Home Shield Offer?
American Home Shield’s most distinctive characteristic is that it allows people to customize and build their own plan by choosing which appliances and systems in their home to cover.
According to American Home Shield, its most popular plan is the Combo Plan, which covers up to 21 systems and appliances. The Combo Plan fully covers eleven items, meaning there are no limitations or exclusions for these items. Fully covered items include many smaller things that are often excluded by competing companies. This includes items such as doorbells, smoke detectors, ceiling fans, garbage disposals, trash compactors, built-in microwaves, hot and cold water dispensers, and ice makers.
Combo Plan Coverage
70% of American Home Shield customers are covered under the Combo Plan. It covers 21 appliances and systems and is among the most comprehensive home warranty plans on the market.
The warranty covers malfunctions from normal wear and tear, including rust, corrosion, or sediment, even if there was insufficient maintenance. Unlike some other home warranties, the Combo Plan even covers repairs if the appliance or system was improperly installed or modified. This popular plan covers the following appliances and systems:
- Ranges / ovens / cooktop
- Clothes washer
- Clothes dryer
- Built-in microwave
- Trash compactor
- Free-standing ice maker
- Garage door opener
- Built-in food center
- Air conditioning with ductwork
- Heating with ductwork
- Smoke detectors
- Ceiling fans
- Plumbing including stoppages
- Water heater
- Garbage disposal
- Instant hot and cold water dispensers
- Central vacuum
Other plans offered by American Home Shield include:
- Appliances Plan: covers the same 10 appliances as the Combo Plan regardless of age, make or model
- Systems Plan: covers the same 12 systems as the Combo Plan
- Build Your Own Plan: mix and match up to 10 items. Add extra coverage for an additional $2/month per item.
American Home Shield has a large network of more than 15,000 contractors spread across the country. This extensive network of contractors is backed by nearly 50 years of experience in the home warranty business. These professionals provide immediate service if a major home system or appliance breaks down or malfunctions. Because of its size and speed, this network of contractors is a core strength of American Home Shield.
American Home Shield’s plans are comparatively affordable when measured against their competitors. All of the monthly plans are within $10 of each other and include:
- Systems Plan: $49.99 per month
- Appliances Plan: $49.99 per month
- Combo Plan: $59.99 per month
- Build-Your-Own Plan: $54.99 per month
As we mentioned earlier, customers who build their own plan will pay an extra $2 per month for each item beyond ten. Customers also pay a $75 service fee to contractors who are dispatched to repair an appliance or system in a home. This additional fee is a standard charge among home warranty providers. Customers can select the price of the service fee they pay: $75, $100 or $125. If you choose the $125 service fee, it lowers the monthly payment for the home warranty plan.
The company does offer a few discounts including $50 off if you buy a home warranty for a second property in addition to your main residence. There are also discounts on some appliance makes and models that feature updated technology and Energy Star ratings. And American Home Shield offers air filters for air conditioners and furnaces for up to 50% off the retail price.
What’s Not Covered:
Like all home warranty providers, American Home Shield has some exclusions in its coverage. An appliance or system that’s still under warranty by a manufacturer, distributor, or builder, for example, is not covered by American Home Shield. Commercial sites or dwellings converted into businesses also aren’t covered. And the company makes clear on its website that it is not responsible for malfunctions from fire, freezing, water damage, or misuse, abuse, or mistreatment of equipment. In all, there are exclusions applied to about half of the covered appliances in the Combo Plan. You should become familiar with the terms and review each covered appliance and system on the company’s website before taking out a plan.
Additionally, American Home Shield does not cover hazardous materials such as mold, mildew, lead paint and asbestos. Nor does the company repair damage caused by water or leaks. American Home Shield’s Combo Plan doesn’t cover the removal of pests or insects, theft, roof damage or tree damage. These exclusions are common among home warranty providers and are often covered by homeowners insurance.
Other Fees and Conditions:
American Home Shield offers warranty coverage for five additional items that can be added to any plan for an additional cost. These five optional add-ons include an electronics extended warranty, swimming pool, well, septic system and guest unit.
Customers can cancel their American Home Shield plan at any time. If you cancel within the first 30 days of signing up, your contract fees will be refunded. If you cancel after the first 30 days, the company will refund a prorated amount for the remaining length of the contract.
The Bottom Line
American Home Shield is among the very best home warranty providers in the United States. It’s not only the oldest company in the industry, but it also has the widest possible reach, a strong network of contractors and competitive prices. The company’s distinguishing feature is the ability for people to customize and build their own warranty plan, which is unique among home warranty providers. If you’re looking for warranty coverage on the appliances and systems in your home, and value flexibility, should check out American Home Shield.