American Home Shield Review 2023

Is the country’s largest provider of home warranties the best choice for you?

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SecureScore™: 8.5 / 10 This rating is derived from our editorial team's research, hands-on product testing, and customer surveys.
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Wouldn’t it be great if you could make it so nothing in your house ever broke and nothing ever needed repairs? Like you had some sort of, we don’t know, shield to protect you against the seeming inevitability of Murphy’s law?

If American Home Shield has anything to say about it, you do.

American Home Shield’s Logo

American Home Shield’s Logo

One of the largest home warranty companies in the nation, American Home Shield has been protecting homeowners from the unplanned costs of major system repair and replacement for over 50 years. With 1.8 million customers in 49 states, it’s easy to assume it’s one of the best in the business.

But is that assumption correct?

That’s what we’re going to investigate today. We’ll talk about American Home Shield’s protections, its costs, and its online reputation. We’ll also discuss what you can expect if you choose to protect your home through the company, and what to watch out for. Before we get into the details and nuances, let’s touch on a few pros and cons.

Pros and Cons

  • Available almost everywhere
  • Tiered coverage makes it easy to pick the protections you need
  • Easy-to-use, informative website
  • Affordable coverages
  • Allows customers to select service fees

  • Troubling online reputation
  • Basic protection tier won’t cover kitchen appliances
  • No discount for purchasing annually

Now that you have a taste for what American Home Shield has to offer, let’s talk about who can and can’t use the company’s warranties.

What States Does American Home Shield Cover?

Right off the bat, we have a pretty big checkmark in the Pros column. American Home Shield is available in every state except Alaska. Sorry, Alaskans.

Why is that worth mentioning? A lot of other home warranty companies are available only in select states. When we reviewed First American Home Warranty, for example, we found some pretty great protections, but the company excluded almost half the country.

What’s Covered by an American Home Shield Warranty?

A lot of people confuse home warranties with homeowners insurance, but they are two different things with two different functions. The simplest way to understand it is that homeowners insurance covers major damage to your home, such as fires and natural disasters. Home warranties, on the other hand, protect your home’s appliances and systems from breakdown.

American Home Shield offers three levels of protection. Let’s unpack them in handy-dandy chart form.

American Home Shield Warranty Packages

American Home Shield Protection Plan Shield Silver Shield Gold Shield Platinum
Air conditioner Yes Yes Yes
Heating units Yes Yes Yes
Ductwork Yes Yes Yes
Exhaust fans Yes Yes Yes
Breaker and fuse panel box Yes Yes Yes
Doorbells Yes Yes Yes
Interior electrical lines Yes Yes Yes
Ceiling fans Yes Yes Yes
Garage door openers Yes Yes Yes
Water heaters Yes Yes Yes
Interior plumbing Yes Yes Yes
Toilets Yes Yes Yes
Faucets Yes Yes Yes
Whirlpool tub motor and components Yes Yes Yes
Refrigerators No Yes Yes
Ranges No Yes Yes
Cook tops No Yes Yes
Ovens No Yes Yes
Dishwashers No Yes Yes
Built-in microwaves No Yes Yes
Garbage disposals No Yes Yes
Instant hot/cold water dispensers No Yes Yes
Washers No Yes Yes
Dryers No Yes Yes
Minor roof leaks Add-on Add-on Yes
Appliances limit Not covered $3,000 per $6,000 per
Code violations Not covered Not covered $1,000 per year

One key difference between the Silver and Gold plans is that the former excludes common kitchen appliances, washers, and dryers, while the midtier plan covers them. The highest-level Platinum tier protects pretty much everything and doubles the limits American Home Shield places on appliance replacement. If you have a refrigerator that talks to you, this may be the plan for you.

“But wait,” you might be saying. “How much do these plans cost?” Don’t worry. We have a whole section on that coming up. But first let’s talk about what sets American Home Shield apart from its competition.

How Is American Home Shield Different?

During our research, we found a few items that make American Home Shield a little different from other home warranty providers. For starters, it covers older appliances and systems. Some warranty providers won’t cover certain products or systems if they are too old, but that’s not so with American Home Shield. We can’t say they won’t scratch their heads if your home is heated by whale oil, but you’ll be covered as long as it’s within reason.

Pro Tip: Make absolutely sure you understand what is and isn’t covered by your policy. Go into excruciating detail with your sales representative if necessary. Give them all the details, and make sure you’re satisfied with their answers. If not, you may be the one holding the bag if something breaks down.

American Home Shield is also pretty loose about what it defines as “properly maintained.” Some home warranty providers may exclude your appliances or systems from coverage if you haven’t kept meticulous records of how often they were serviced and what exactly was done to them.

The company is also happy to help properly repair or replace an appliance or system that was improperly fixed beforehand. That can be a lifesaver if, for instance, your home’s previous owner fancied themselves an electrician and forgot to ground all the light fixtures.

That all sounds pretty good, but now we have to talk about the elephant in the room: price.

How Much Does an American Home Shield Warranty Cost?

The cost of your American Home Shield Warranty will depend on four factors:

  • The size, type, and location of your home.
  • The warranty plan you select.
  • The additional coverage you want.
  • The service-call fee you select.

American Home Shield Prices By Protection Plan

Plan Price
Shield Silver $29.99 to $44.99
Shield Gold $39.99 to $54.99
Shield Platinum $59.99 to $74.99

We should also mention that, as with most home warranties, American Home Shield includes an a la carte menu once you’ve selected your plan. Some of the coverages and costs include:

American Home Shield Additional Coverages and Costs

Additional coverage Additional costs*
Roof leak repair $10 per month
Electronics protection plan $14 per month
Pool or spa $24 per month
Guest unit $20.99 per month
Septic pump $5 per month
Well pump $8 per month

*These were the costs for a Shield Gold plan for a modest, single-family home in Atlanta.

One thing we didn’t particularly like is that there’s no opportunity to save by purchasing your warranty for a year. When we reviewed Choice Home Warranty, for example, we found you’d save about $80 if you paid annually. That’s something to consider if you plan to shop around, which we highly recommend.

Before we move off dollars and cents, there’s one last thing to mention: service-call fees. American Home Shield allows customers to select how much they’ll pay when a technician has to come out to diagnose an issue: $75, $100, or $125. It may seem counterintuitive, but we recommend selecting the highest amount. If you select the lowest amount, your monthly cost will go up. Assuming you don’t need a repair person to come to your property every two weeks, it’ll take you no time to burn through the savings in a higher monthly cost.

Purchasing an American Home Shield Home Warranty

There are lots of ways to save when you go with a home warranty from First American. The first is by keeping your service fee at $125. Why? Let’s do some quick math.

American Home Shield’s website is informative and easy to use

American Home Shield’s website is informative and easy to use

We’ve received online quotes for quite a few home warranties in our day, and American Home Shield’s process is one of the easiest. Its website is excellent, and it offers a ton of valuable resources for potential customers. Even if you’ve never heard of home warranties before, you’ll feel like an expert after spending 20 minutes with American Home Shield’s online resources.

Pro Tip: We certainly recommended clicking around on American Home Shield’s site for a while before you buy. The educational resources it provides are extremely valuable and will help you make the best decision for protecting your property and belongings.

If this is checking all the boxes for you, that’s great, but we need to talk about one final element that may influence whether you go with American Home Shield: What do other customers think about it?

American Home Shield’s Online Reputation

This is where we pump the brakes. American Home Shield looks really good on the surface, but when you start investigating what people say about it, you may raise an eyebrow. Or two.

Some of the complaints are pretty egregious, and a lot of them center on the same theme: Customer service gives people the runaround.

But it’s not all bad. Here’s an example of someone’s good experience with American Home Shield. This one is from Joy K.:

My hot water heater broke. No hot water. I notified AHS and they assigned my case within an hour. They called the next morning. There was a wait, but I understood. They came out and got the hot water back on… I am glad I have American Home Shield to call when I have a problem, and I am very glad they have [great contractors working with them].

American Home Shield has 2.24 out of five stars on the Better Business Bureau website (not stellar), and the BBB gave the company a B rating. It has been accredited since 1997, and there are over 11,000 reviews to pull from when you’re making your decision. Keep in mind, though, that it’s really difficult to parse the truth in these testimonials.

Is American Home Shield Worth It?

In our estimation, yes. Despite the troubling online reviews, we think American Home Shield delivers great coverage for reasonable prices. We always recommend having a total understanding of what will and won’t be covered before you call out the service crews, but you’ll be in great shape if you can get your arms around that before you sign on the dotted line.

American Home Shield FAQs

Do I need a home warranty?

While your lender requires you to carry homeowners insurance, there is no such requirement for home warranties. Purchasing one is completely up to the homeowner’s discretion.

Is First American Home Warranty a good company?

First American Home Warranty has been in business for over 35 years and has a great reputation in the industry. Its protections are comprehensive and relatively affordable.

How expensive is First American Home Warranty?

First American’s basic coverage is pretty standard in terms of costs, but if you add on coverage or opt for the Premium service package, it can get a little expensive.

How long does it take for First American Home Warranty coverage to kick in?

If you purchase a warranty from First American today, your coverage will start in 30 days.

Will First American Home Warranty cover damage to my roof?

First American is one of the few home warranty companies that include minor roof repairs in certain coverage packages.

Derek Prall
Written By
Derek Prall
VPN & Identity Theft Expert

With a decade of experience as a journalist, Derek Prall has been covering cybersecurity for seven years. He has spent more than 1,000 hours researching digital privacy and has covered almost 100 topics related to VPN and identity theft protection. Previously, Derek has covered tech issues at American City & County magazine, where he won numerous national awards for his cybersecurity coverage. His areas of expertise included network security, big data analytics, and AI applications in public safety. Derek graduated with dual bachelor’s degrees in English and Communications from Furman University and now lives in Atlanta, Georgia, with his wife and two cats.