American Home Shield Warranty Review

Written By Jeff Hindenach
Last updated August 31, 2020

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Insurance
August 31, 2020

Simple. Thrifty. Living.

Protecting our homes and appliances isn’t just about making a sound financial decision. It’s also about peace of mind, providing stability to our lifestyle and the people we love most. A warranty policy with American Home Shield accomplishes both, protecting needed items within your home as well as your family’s lifestyle.

Highlights of American Home Shield Warranties include:

  • Value. They’re great for new homeowners who want additional protection for their new life.
  • Accessibility. With a nationwide network of repair technicians, their customer support team is available 24 hours a day to provide service when you need it.
  • Flexible pricing. With a wide range of options to fit a person’s specific needs, American Home Shield offers warranties to fit all budgets.
  • Flexible options. Giving warranty owners the ability to cover specific appliances or home systems, people can choose exactly what they want covered.
  • Expertise. One of the oldest warranty companies in the nation, American Home Shield has a 40-year history that provides a level of professionalism and knowledge that only comes with experience.

American Home Shield Review

American Home Shield website

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  • Price: Your price will depend on where you live and other factors, but prices start at $29.99 for coverage. When doing home warranty comparisons with American Home Shield, be prepared to enter your contact information in order to see pricing.
  • Plans: Like many other home warranty companies, American Home Shield offers coverage for appliances, systems or a combination. What makes it unique is the ability to build your own custom coverage solution.
  • Features: With 24-hour service guarantees and 24/7 repair reporting, you can get emergency repair services on your schedule.
  • Customer service: In addition to an always-on repair hotline and general customer service line, you can also use online chat if you have any questions.
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For over 40 years, American Home Shield has provided protection against inevitable breakdowns and malfunctions for appliances and home systems. With a wide selection of coverages to provide a customized approach that is appropriate for your specific needs, American Home Shield has an existing network of prescreened experts to keep your appliances and systems running when you need them most. A more detailed description of their warranties will help you determine if American Home Shield makes sense for your particular situation.

American Home Shield offers three basic warranty packages: home appliances, home systems and combo packages.

The appliances option covers repair and replacement of the majority of home appliances, including a broken refrigerator, washers and dryers, ice makers, garage door openers, dishwashers, trash compactors, ovens, stoves and microwaves.

The covered items in the systems package include air conditioning and ductwork, electrical, plumbing, water heaters, smoke detectors, doorbells, ceiling fans and water dispensers.

The combo coverage is their most popular package and includes a combination of items covered in the appliances and systems packages.

American Home Shield also allows customers to build their own plans, choosing particular appliances and systems to include in their coverage. Additionally, individual items can also be added to existing appliance and system warranty packages.

Will American Home Shield replace my A/C?

Yes, if you have a system coverage package, air conditioning and ductwork is included in the coverage. It can also be a part of a combo or build your own service plan. If your A/C cannot be repaired, it will be replaced.

Does American Home Shield cover my TV?

No, American Home Shield does not cover the cost to repair or replace a television.

Does American Home Shield cover plumbing?

Yes, American Home Shield does cover plumbing if you have the home systems package or have elected it in a combo or build your own warranty plans.

Does American Home Shield cover garage doors?

No, American Home Shield does not cover the repair or replacement of a garage door under any of their packages. However, garage door openers are covered under a home appliances plan or as an election in a combo or build-your-own package.

Does American Home Shield cover termites?

No, American Home Shield does not cover termite protection, damage or prevention. Pest damage and pest control on the outside and inside of your home are not covered under any of the available policies.

Does American Home Shield cover a roof?

No, American Home Shield does not cover the costs of roof repair or replacement.

Since no two homes or families are alike, American Home Shield offers a variety of different coverage plans to accommodate different needs. While warranty packages usually make great sense for financial and lifestyle reasons, your own individual needs might differ from the more common types of warranty plans.

In other words, choosing the right warranty package for your needs depends on budget constraints and the appliances and systems you use. For instance, if you do not have a washer and dryer, purchasing a full home appliances plan probably isn’t your best choice. In that case, you would be better off choosing individual appliance coverage using the home appliance plan as a base.

Before describing their basic plans, it should be noted that American Home Shield provides customers the ability to add items like septic tanks, well pumps, pools and spas to their packages at additional cost. However, these items are not covered by any of the basic plans, only when a customer specifically adds them.

Also, American Home Shield allows customers to build their own plans, a very convenient feature for those who might not fit well into the appliance or home systems plans. By using a build-your-own plan, you get to choose precisely what is covered and do not get stuck paying for coverage on appliances or systems you do not own or use.

A basic home appliance warranty covers most of the major appliances you use in the kitchen and laundry room, including:

  • Refrigerators
  • Dishwashers
  • Clothes Dryers
  • Clothes Washers
  • Ranges/Ovens/Cooktops
  • Built-in Microwave Ovens
  • Freestanding Ice Makers
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Trash Compactors
  • Garage Door Openers
  • Built-in Food Processors

American Home Shield also allows you to cover particular appliances if only certain items apply to your specific needs.

A basic home systems warranty covers most of the major systems within your home, including:

  • Air conditioning, including ductwork
  • Heating, including ductwork
  • Electrical
  • Plumbing
  • Hot Water Heater
  • Garbage Disposal
  • Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
  • Central Vacuums
  • Smoke Detectors
  • Doorbells
  • Ceiling Fans

As with the home appliances coverage, American Home Shield allows you to cover particular systems within your home if you only require specific coverage. For instance, if you do not have air conditioning, you can use the home systems plan as a base and not include air conditioning as part of your coverage.

The home combo warranty package is American Home Shield’s most popular warranty plan. It includes all items on their base home appliance and home systems plans. The warranty owner will save monthly premium costs by purchasing the home combo plan as opposed to buying the home appliance and home systems packages separately. As with the appliance and systems plans, you can choose to not include particular items if they are not applicable to your needs.

Choosing the right plan is important in getting the most out of your warranty plan. If there are budgetary concerns, request a quote using American Home Shield’s build-your-own option and choose the set of coverages that you think is most needed.

While not a difficult question, the answer varies considerably depending on the type of coverage you select, where you live and several other factors. To get an accurate idea of what the monthly cost would be, it is highly recommended you visit their website, ahs.com, and request a quote that is specific to your individual needs and particular information.

Aside from the monthly cost, there can be out-of-pocket expenses depending on the nature of your needs. For service requests, you can expect to pay call fees between $75 and $125, called your plan’s Trade Service Fee, to each contractor from a different specialty for a particular service issue.

For instance, if you have a plumbing problem that requires a pipe to be replaced in your bathroom, you would pay a service fee to the plumber and possibly a general contractor or mason to cover floor replacement if that becomes necessary. If the same issue arises in the kitchen at a later date, you would pay those same fees again.

However, again using the same bathroom example, if the plumber is not able to completely fix the problem in a single visit, you would not pay another service fee for subsequent visits. Although it is certainly worth reading your service contract to fully understand the particulars, in general, if the multiple visits all stem from the same underlying issue, those additional visits from an expert do not typically require additional service fees be paid.

As far as premiums are concerned, you can elect to pay on a monthly or annual basis. However, you do not receive a discount if you choose to pay annually.

American Home Shield does offer discounts if you have multiple homes with coverage through American Home Shield.

Lastly, American Home Shield does provide some flexibility with their Trade Service Fees. You can elect to pay lower monthly or annual costs with higher Trade Service Fees if you choose. Alternatively, you can pay higher monthly or annual costs with lower Trade Service Fees.

As with choosing the most appropriate coverage for your needs, opting for higher or lower Trade Service Fees depends on the frequency of your service calls. If you have older appliances or home systems that tend to need service more often than newer appliances and systems, opting for higher premium costs and lower Trade Service Fees might make the most sense in your particular situation.

Similar to insurance, people purchase warranty plans to protect them from the unknown. It’s really about protecting yourself, your family and the items within your home from risk. If we had a crystal ball, no one would ever need to purchase warranties or insurance since we always knew what life had in store for us. Unfortunately, crystal balls don’t exist so we are left with doubt and questions.

American Home Shield is a reputable company with an extensive history and a good track record in the industry. Like all other warranty products though, coverage through American Home Shield is in no way mandatory. It’s really about your personal level of risk aversion. There’s no way to place a value on a good night’s sleep or the calm you feel knowing that your appliances or home systems are covered should something break down.

In short, American Home Shield warranties are worth it if you are a risk-averse person that would benefit from knowing the appliances and systems within your home are covered. Similar to insurance, an American Home Shield plan is one of those things in life where you will be thrilled with your decision to purchase it if you ever need it.

If you can afford coverage without sacrificing other budgetary items like adding to savings and retirement accounts, the annual family vacation, mortgages and car payments, then a service plan from American Home Shield might be a welcomed addition to your overall financial stability. That might be a bit of an ambiguous answer but, like most discretionary choices, it really comes down to a matter of personal preference.

In the particular case of someone that is thinking about selling their home, since the coverage is transferable, having a plan from American Home Shield on the home you are trying to sell can be a very powerful selling point to new buyers, even if they are unfamiliar with American Home Shield. Buying a home is already a stressful, trying process so anything you can do as the seller to provide a sense of stability and security to a prospective buyer can greatly impact their decision to buy your home.

 

Canceling your American Home Shield contract is quite simple and straight-forward. Some of the financial matters relating to canceling your contract, however, are a bit more complicated.

Basically, to cancel an active contract, all you need to do is contact their customer service department and they will guide you through the process. Since their customer service department is open and available 24 hours a day, getting through to them will not be an issue.

American Home Shield contracts last for a single year. If you pay annually, continuing coverage doesn’t commence until payment has been received for the new contract year by American Home Shield. If you are on a monthly auto-pay system, however, the contract gets automatically renewed. Canceling part way through a contract year, whether use elect annual or monthly payments, does have some fine print involved.

Canceling within the first 30 days of coverage is very clear and clean cut. You simply opt to cancel and the contract is terminated. You are then refunded the unused portion of your premium.

If you cancel after 30 days, you receive a prorated portion of the contract fees you paid for the remaining contract year, less an administrative fee of up to one month’s payment and any outstanding services fees owed to American Home Shield. The specific terms of cancellation vary by state so it’s worth finding the information particular to your state to get the most thorough answer.

 

A warranty package from American Home Shield can be a wonderful addition to your overall financial stability. It affords you the peace of mind that is always in short supply as a homeowner. By covering your appliances and home systems with a warranty plan, it can provide you an indispensable feeling of comfort and stability that simply isn’t possible with the factory warranties through the various manufacturers.

With a 40-year history in the industry, American Home Shield has a dependable track record and is not a fly-by-night type of company. They’ve been around for a long time and will likely continue to do so, giving you the assurance that American Home Shield will not disappear shortly after you sign the contract.

The marketplace for 2017 American Home Shield is different than it used to be. Now, it is saturated with warranty companies offering home warranties filled with fine print and inferior service. Given the nature of the warranty industry, it’s important you choose a warranty company that makes you feel comfortable with your choice of provider. An American Home Shield warranty eliminates the possibility of choosing an inexperienced company.

Also, with an existing network of thousands of contractors, all pre-screened by American Home Shield to ensure quality of service and work, you can find comfort knowing that if you were to need a service call, a competent service provider will be handling your repairs.

In short, American Home Shield offers a useful tool to prepare you for the great unknown. Unfortunately, life has a way of surprising us with the unforeseen, whether that’s a broken dishwasher just after Thanksgiving dinner or a malfunctioning air conditioning unit on the hottest day of the summer.

A warranty plan from American Home Shield might not prevent those items from breaking at the worst possible time but can certainly provide you comfort knowing that they will be covered in a simple, prompt and convenient manner. If you’re looking for a home warranty American Home Shield is a very good choice.

About the Author

Jeff Hindenach

Jeff Hindenach is the co-founder of Simple. Thrifty. Living. He graduated from Bowling Green State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Journalism. He has a long history of financial journalism, with a background writing for newspapers such as the San Jose Mercury News and San Francisco Examiner, as well as writing on personal finance for The Huffington Post, New York Times, Business Insider, CNBC, Newsday and The Street. He believes in giving readers the tools they need to get out of debt.

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