American House Protect Guarantee Critiques: Is AHS a Rip-off?
American Home Shield is one of the leading home warranty companies operating in the United States. They have a lot of competition, however, and we know it can be overwhelming trying to sort through your options to find the best home warranty provider.
To help you make a more informed decision, we’re looking in depth at American Home Shield home warranty plans and reviewing this company. We hope this objective assessment helps you decide whether American Home Shield warranty plans are right for you and allows you to better understand what they have to offer compared to some of their competitors.
A Look at American Home Shield
Founded in 1971, American Home Shield serves around 1.4 million customers and operates in 49 states. This makes them one of the most widely available home warranty providers. American Home Shield Warranty plans protect homeowners against the cost of repairing or replacing major appliances and home systems. Instead of homeowners having to pay for these costs out of pocket, they can make monthly payments on their home warranty coverage plan and get the help they need when those major expenses occur.
Our overall rating for American Home Shield is 95%, and we will tell you why as we get into some of the different aspects of their plans and the quality of the customer service and coverage they provide. This makes it one of the best home warranty options, which is why we thought it would be helpful to review it.
The fact that this company is available in just about every state and that it is well rated by professional review outlets and by the Better Business Bureau makes it a worthwhile choice for most homeowners.
Pros and Cons of American Home Shield
Let’s dive into some of the positives and negatives of this company and what they have to offer their customers. All that some people want when it comes to a review of home warranty providers is a quick assessment of the company as they compare American Home Shield to other options. A list of the pros and cons can be very helpful if you just want a quick look for a point-by-point comparison.
Five decades of experience
Decent Better Business Bureau rating
Numerous plan options
Widely available- offered in 49 states
Multiple service option fees for new customers
Guarantees repairs for one month only
Not offered in Alaska
Which Plans Does American Home Shield Offer?
Let’s take a look at the American Home Shield plans so you know what kind of choices you have available if you enroll with this home warranty company. They offer three distinct plans- ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum.
The Platinum plan will cover the most expensive, taking care of coverage for 23 appliances and home systems. It includes coverage for roof repairs, air conditioning, heating, the refrigerator and more.
The Gold plan is not as comprehensive as the Platinum one, but it still covers 23 appliances and systems. It simply comes with a lower appliance coverage limit compared to Shield Platinum.
ShieldSilver will cover homeowners for 14 systems, and this includes essential home systems like electrical and plumbing. It also has a lower coverage limit compared to the Platinum plan.
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No matter which of the plans you sign up for, you will be covered for a large number of home systems and appliances. Here’s a list of what’s covered by all of the plans:
Air conditioning units
Attic, vent, and built-in exhaust fans
Chimes and doorbells
Interior electrical lines
Interior plumbing lines
Valves and faucets
Garage door openers
Fuse panel and main breaker box
Whirlpool tub components, including the motor
Air Filter discounts
All of that is covered by the three plans and would be included in the lowest coverage plan- ShieldSilver. If you sign up for the Platinum or Gold plans, you get all of these added coverage benefits:
Built-in microwave ovens
Cooktops, ovens, and ranges
Hot and cold water dispensers
There are additional coverage benefits if you sign up for the ShieldPlatinum plan that wouldn’t be included in the lower tier plans:
If you enroll with this company and expect that an American Home Shield service request will always be honored with repairs for items covered under your plan, you should know about the exceptions. Every home warranty company will have some exceptions to their coverage plans. One of the most common exceptions is pre-existing conditions, which are usually not covered by home warranty providers, but AHS does cover them. Repair costs for older equipment might not be covered by some providers, but AHS covers them. Typically, the best time to purchase a home warranty plan is when your appliances are fairly new and they are likely to be fully covered. If you wait too long and purchase a plan when many of your appliances are older, you might not be getting the full benefit of your coverage.
Natural disasters may not be covered by your home warranty plan either. You should check with your home warranty provider to see what exceptions are listed. Home warranty plans tend to cover damage not covered by home insurance plans. So, home insurance plans will usually cover damage caused by natural disasters, fire, flood, theft and more. Home warranty plans don’t typically cover that kind of damage and the resulting repairs.
They also don’t usually cover sediment build up or cosmetic components, such as knobs, doors, and rollers. Maintenance on some systems and appliances like air conditioning maintenance will be excluded as well.
Check the entire list of exclusions before you sign up for a plan, ensuring that you know what will be covered and how much you will be responsible for paying. This is an important step in choosing the right plan and sorting between different plans to determine which one covers you the best and offers the most value. If something goes wrong in your home, you want to know what you’ll be responsible for and what you can rely on the home warranty company to do for you.
Electronics Protection Plan
American Home Shield also offers an optional coverage plan that focuses solely on electronics in your home. It doesn’t matter when they were purchased or where they were purchased. As long as the electronics are eligible for American Home Shield’s coverage, they will be covered under this plan. It doesn’t matter how many items you have, as there’s no limit to how many electronics can be covered.
This coverage plan will repair objects that are able to be repaired and replaces those that can’t be fixed. A replacement item will be issued to you or you will be covered for the cost of replacing the item.
Which kind of electronics are covered by this plan? Here’s the list of currently covered electronic items:
Smart home systems
Home theater systems
Video game consoles and controllers
If you sign up for the electronics coverage plan, you’ll be covered for as many electronics as you like that are eligible with one plan. You won’t have to provide any receipts or be required to register any of your electronics.
What kind of damage or failure is covered? The Electronics Protection Plan will cover power surge protection, defects in the materials and workmanship, and electrical and mechanical failure from normal usage. All the items covered by this plan are backed by American Home Shield’s excellent customer service, and claims can easily be filed online for your convenience.
There are additional covered items you could have added to your plan. You can contact the American Home Shield customer service about add-ons that extend your plan further. Add-ons will cost more, but there’s a lot of versatility with these. You can change them around each month, if you add new appliances to your home or if your needs change.
Some add-ons are not necessary, and what you need will depend on which kind of appliances and systems you have in your home. You should read over the warranty contract very carefully to make sure that you’re not signing up for something that doesn’t apply to you and make sure that the plan actually covers all the things you need to have covered. Many of the add-ons relate to what’s already in the primary plans. You should know that some add-ons may not be available for some of the American Home Shield plans.
Here are the current add-ons available from American Home Shield:
This add-on is available for all of the American Home Shield warranty plans, and if you want to make sure your septic pump is working at all times, this is an essential add on.
Roof Leak Repair
A leaking roof is a serious business, and it’s important that you get the leak taken care of as fast as possible. You won’t have to worry about how much it will cost to repair your roof if you sign up for this add-on. It can be added to the ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plans but is already a part of the ShieldPlatinum plan. If you want to ensure that your coverage is more comprehensive and give yourself less to worry about, then this is an add-on you’ll want to have.
This add-on will take care of the cost for repairing a well pump that is not working properly. This add-on can be tacked on to any of the American Home Shield plans and can keep you protected in case something goes wrong. Your well pump provides you with fresh drinking water, and you don’t want to be without this important component if you have a well on your property.
Pools and Spas
Repairs for both pools and spas can be covered by your American Home Shield warranty plan with this add-on. It covers a number of important parts, and you can make this add-on a part of any of the AHS home warranty plans.
Your guest house may be a source of income for you or a great way to house friends and family members when they visit. You don’t want anything to go wrong with the guest house and not be able to be repaired quickly. This add-on is a great way to ensure you’re protected in case of a problem, and it can be added to any of the American Home Shield warranty plans when you initially sign up or if you call the American Home Shield number for customer service.
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Plan Costs for American Home Shield
How much will you pay for an American Home Shield home warranty? where you live will affect the price, as does the plan you pick, and add-ons you want to include in your plan. You may be able to save money sign up by using an American Home Shield promo code. It can be worth it to check for available discounts before you make a purchase.
American Home Shield rates are about in line with the industry average, so if you’ve checked around and compared some prices, you should not find too many surprises. The monthly cost can range anywhere from $40 to $60 a month, depending on various factors. You may be able to find exact quotes if you use the American Home Shield phone number, and quotes may be available online if you fill out a request form.
One way this company helps you out when it comes to pricing is in the choice of service fee. This is a fee you pay whenever a contractor comes out to repair the appliances or a system that’s covered by your warranty. American Home Shield may cover some or all of the cost of the repairs, except for a service fee. You can choose the service fee you want to pay- $75, $100, or $125. Choosing a lower service fee means a higher monthly premium; so, if you want lower premiums, you’ll need to select the higher service fee when you sign up.
In Which States Can You Enroll with American Home Shield?
One of the best features of this company and something that’s praised in many American Home Shield warranty reviews is the almost complete national coverage. You can sign up for an American Home Shield home warranty in almost any state in the Union.
Forty-nine out of 50 states are part of the home warranty providers coverage network. The only state that these home warranty plans are not available in right now is Alaska. That’s more nationwide coverage than you get with most home warranty providers, which is one of the reasons this company is so highly rated. It’s easy to take your coverage from state to state if you move. Of course, you won’t have the coverage on the same house, but you can stay with the same provider, if you’ve grown accustomed to them and like their service and rates.
Customer Sentiment on American Home Shield
How do customers feel about American Home Shield home warranties? We searched the Internet for American Home Shield reviews and found plenty of information pertaining to what customers think about them.
Consumer Affairs currently has over 19,000 customer reviews for American Home Shield. The company has managed to achieve a 4.4 star ranking out of 5 stars, which is incredible. This shows that customer sentiment is very positive towards this company and that anyone choosing them as their home warranty provider can expect to be treated well.
What are customers saying about American Home Shield? Customers point out advantages of having a home warranty company that they can trust. One of the more common compliments is that American Home Shield provides excellent customer service and great coverage for them. Many customers mention that they don’t have to worry about repairing or replacing appliances and home systems that they break down thanks to their robust warranty plan from American Home Shield.
They also like they can customize the plans, choosing from a few different plan options as well as optional add-ons. Some customers pointed out that there’s a range of prices to pick from so that they can choose a plan that’s affordable for them.
Some customers also mentioned that they’ve run into problems with some of the repair techs who have been sent to them. In these cases, it seems that American Home Shield followed up on any problem and sent new repair technicians when needed until the problem was fully resolved.
What are some American Home Shield complaints from customers? We found a few service complaints where the repair replacement service wasn’t up to par, which could come down to individual repair technicians rather than the company itself. Of course, some customers pointed out that the company doesn’t offer any plans in Alaska currently.
Professional reviewer sentiment is positive as well. This company ranks highly on most lists of the best home warranty companies in America. In fact, it usually takes the top spot, according to our research. This speaks very well to their reputation as a company and the peace of mind customers can expect to experience when they sign up for one of their plans.
The company has been reviewed across multiple outlets both online and in print. In most cases, they received exceedingly positive reviews. Customers and professional viewers may have found a few points they consider to be disadvantages with this home warranty company. For the most part, however, reviews are overwhelmingly positive, and most reviewers (whether consumers or industry professionals) have nothing but nice things to say about AHS.
How American Home Shield Compares to The Competition
Let’s look at some of the other major home warranty providers and see how American Home Shield stacks up against them.
How It Compares to Select Home Warranty
If you compare pricing between American Home Shield and Select Home Warranty, the price range is similar. Likewise, select has a good reputation for customer service and a fast response time for service requests. When you look at the customer service rating, however, reading customer reviews, it’s obvious that American Home Shield is better reviewed.
Where Select managers to edge out American Home Shield is in the service fees, which are lower for Select Home Warranty. They range from about $60 to $75. Select also offers the same number of primary plans as American Home Shield does, making them very similar in a lot of ways. Customers should know that Select home warranty is only available in 46 states, compared to American Home Shield’s 49 states.
How It Compares to Choice Home Warranty
When we compare American Home Shield to Choice Home Warranty, the prices are very close. Choice sometimes charges slightly less than American for the plan premiums, and its service charges can be a little lower as well. However, American Home Shield is available in more states (49-48) and has a number of additional plan options. American Home Shield has also been in the home warranty business much longer. Choice Home Warranty is relatively new, having been around for about 12 years, compared to American Home Shield’s 49 years.
Choice Home Warranty can be slightly cheaper, but they don’t have nearly the number of options offered by American Home Shield, making them a choice only suitable for some people but not the best overall home warranty provider.
How It Compares to First American Home Warranty
Let’s look at First American Home Warranty as well, which is considered one of the major national home warranty providers. However, they don’t have the nationwide coverage that American Home Shield does, only offering coverage for 36 states at present. This puts them at a major disadvantage, but it’s not the only way they fall short when compared to American Home Shield.
First American doesn’t offer as many plans or add-ons as American Home Shield, so there is a good chance they won’t cover everything you need to have covered. Service fee costs for First American range from $75 to $125, making them comparable to American Home Shield in that regard. The monthly premiums for First Americans primary plans are a bit cheaper than American Home Shield’s, but you’re not getting as much coverage, so the value simply isn’t there.
First American shines by offering a few different coverage benefits not offered by some of the other providers, including coverage for improper installation as well as for building permits. Consumers who sign up with them can also make an unlimited number of service calls.
American Home Shield holds up well against its competition. There’s a reason it’s ranked so highly no matter where you look. In the list of top home warranty providers, American Home Shield usually comes in first and as you compare it to some of the other options, you can start to see why that is.
The Final Word on American Home Shield
We looked at a number of other home warranty companies, and American Home Shield was our top choice. This company has been around for decades, proving its value to the customer and offering extensive coverage that operates across all of the continental United States as well as Hawaii. That nearly nationwide coverage gives it a big advantage and makes it easy to recommend. There are some parts of the country where you just can’t sign up for some of the other home warranty plans from other providers, so American Home Shield seems like the obvious choice.
Something else that really makes this company stand out is its great customer service reputation. Across thousands and thousands of customer reviews, the consensus is very positive. You can find a few negative reviews here and there but that’s a rare thing. If you contact the American Home Shield customer service number, you’ll likely find it they’re very responsive and that they sent out service technicians to their customers quickly for any coverage claims.
American Home Shield also provides more coverage options than most of the other home warranty companies. They don’t just offer three different plans of coverage and an electronics plan to pick from at different price points, but they also offer a range of optional add-ons that can enhance any given coverage plan. They are the most likely home warranty company to have coverage for all the things you need to get covered.
We picked American Home Shield as the best overall home warranty provider, and it is ranked one of the best overall for customer service in customer review ratings. This company doesn’t always have the cheapest prices, but that can be due to the high value of their plans. Their home warranty plans tend to have more coverage than those of other home warranty providers, and the higher value warrants a slightly higher price, we think.
It’ll be up to you to decide if American Home Shield is the best choice for you, and we hope the information in this review has been helpful to you. We provided a lot of detailed information to help you make an informed choice and to make it easy to compare AHS among the different home warranty companies. Keep in mind that some of the information may change by the time you read this, and if you have any questions, you should contact American Home Shield about specifics, particularly pertaining to your area. Some of the costs may be different based on where you live.
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How We Score Our Reviews
We gave American Home Shield an excellent rating of 95% based on number of criteria. Every review we do uses the same criteria so you can easily compare between different products, services, and companies.
We look at the following criteria for home warranty companies:
Each of these key categories is given a rating out of 100%. Here’s the breakdown for American Home Shield:
Customer service- 90%
Coverage options- 100%
We add all these together and divide by the number of review factors (5) to get an average score of 95%.
American Home Shield FAQ
Let’s look at some of the most commonly asked questions about American Home Shield. If you have questions regarding this company and whether you should enroll in one of their home warranty plans, it may already be answered below.
Why purchase a home warranty?
Home warranty companies cover expenses not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Many people sign up for both kinds of coverage to ensure that they are fully covered. Home warranty plans typically cover home systems like plumbing, ventilation, and electrical, as well as appliances, like dishwashers, refrigerators, washing machines, and more.
Is American Home Shield well reviewed?
Adding up the scores of thousands of different customer reviews, we found that American Home Shield scores incredibly well, especially when compared against other home warranty providers. When we looked at professional reviews, American Home Shield reviewed well there too. They have consistently scored well for many years, proving to be a reliable, trustworthy, well-respected company, which is part of why we gave them such a great rating for this factor.
How soon will my home warranty plan cover me?
Once you use the American Home Shield contact information and enroll in a plan, you may be wondering how quickly the plan will take effect. How soon you will start to be able to enjoy the coverage and peace of mind it provides? You should receive an American Home Shield login within a few days of requesting coverage, but you will have to wait 30 days before you can make any service request on home systems or appliances. This is industry standard for home warranty companies, but you should know about the waiting period up front.
What happens when I file a claim with American Home Shield?
The company will first determine if you are eligible for coverage and repairs replacement on the requested item. Keep in mind that coverage is based on how the item was damaged. If it was normal wear and tear, you can file a claim using the American Home Shield phone contact or online. Call American Home Shield, and a technician should get to you in 48 hours or less to see about the problem. Once the tech arrives, they can determine whether the item or system needs to be replaced or repaired. This is when you will be required to pay the specified service fee.
Will air conditioning unit replacement be covered?
You only receive coverage for air conditioning unit replacement and repair if you have the ShieldPlatinum plan. The other plans will cover it, and it’s not provided as an add-on. Keep that in mind when you’re choosing your plan if you would like to have air conditioning new coverage. This is one of the more expensive appliances in the home, and repairing replacing it can be costly. It can be helpful to have a home warranty plan that covers damage to the air conditioning unit.
Will my water heater be covered?
No matter which of the three American Home Shield plans you enroll in, you will receive water heater coverage. This can take care of the cost of repairing or completely replacing the heater, depending on how damaged it is.
Is an inspection required before a home warranty purchase?
You won’t need to have an inspection done on your home before you purchase a home warranty plan from American Home Shield. This is one of the reasons why we like them so much, and they also don’t specify that your appliances or systems be of a certain age before they can cover them for you. If you have relatively old or new items to cover, it doesn’t matter when it comes to purchasing an American Home Shield home warranty plans and receiving coverage for those.
Will they cover roof leaks?
You will receive coverage from American Home Shield for roof leaks with the ShieldPlatinum plan only. You will be covered through up to $1,500 per term for repairs on your roof. You should know that coverage for roof leak repair is not available in Hawaii.
Will pre-existing conditions be covered?
Yes, American Home Shield covers pre-existing conditions on home systems and home appliances, ensuring coverage that gives you peace of mind. Be sure to examine the full list of coverage exceptions so you know exactly what’s covered and when it will be covered. This company offers some of the most extensive home warranty coverage available, though, leaving customers very little to worry about.
What do I need to do to cancel my American Home Shield home warranty plan?
The plan can be cancelled anytime you like, and if you cancel within the first 30 days of enrollment, you will be reimbursed for all contract fees. Canceling after the first 30-day period will entitle you to a prorated refund from a company for the remaining days of coverage on your plan.
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