What is the difference between American Home Shield and American Residential Warranty?
Home warranties can provide peace of mind, but they're only helpful if they cover the items you need protected. We compare two home warranty companies, American Home Shield and American Residential Warranty, side by side to help you make sure your home warranty fits your needs and budget. We look at costs, service call fees, coverages and more to make your choice easier.
American Home Shield is a reputable home warranty provider with some of the most complete plans on the market. You can add to its base plans with various add-ons, including electronics coverage through Allstate Protections Plans and coverage for a guest unit (up to 750 square feet). Homeowners can also choose from three service call fee options.
American Home Shield plans
AHS offers three packages. Below is what you’ll find covered by each one:
ShieldSilver ($29.99/month): 14 major systems, up to $1,000 or $1,500 per contract term for many items to access, diagnose, repair and replace. Systems include heating and cooling, electrical and plumbing
Heating and cooling systems: Air conditioners, heating units, ductwork
Electrical systems and accessories: Built-in exhaust, vent and attic fans, main breaker and fuse panel box, doorbells and chimes, interior electrical lines, ceiling fans, garage door openers
Plumbing systems and accessories: Interior plumbing lines, toilets, faucets and valves, whirlpool tub motor and components, water heaters
ShieldGold ($39.99/month): ShieldSilver coverage plus nine appliances, up to $3,000 per appliance per contract term
Instant hot/cold water dispensers
ShieldPlatinum ($54.99/month): ShieldGold coverage, a higher appliance limit of $6,000 per contract term and extras
Roof leak repairs (up to $1,500)
Free HVAC tune-up
Unlimited A/C refrigerant
Coverage for code violations and permits (up to $1,000 per year)
Prices here are based on quotes obtained for a 77009 ZIP code using a $125 service call fee option.
What American Home Shield customers say
Happy American Home Shield customers frequently mention the ease of the website and the claims submission process. They say their issues are fixed quickly and contractors are helpful and explain things well, with a few customers noting that technicians go the extra mile to help. Some customers who leave negative reviews mention the time it takes to resolve problems and that customer service isn’t always available when needed.
American Residential Warranty
American Residential Warranty offers home warranty and electronic protection plans. To cover your electronics, the company partners with Asurion. It also partners with SafeStreets, an authorized ADT provider, for security system installations. Customers can qualify for up to $850 in free home security equipment. If you need to make a claim, the company allows you to choose your own licensed contractor if they can’t provide one for you.
American Residential Warranty plans
American Residential Warranty has several packages to choose from so that you only pay for the items you need. The company clearly displays prices on the website for plans and available additional coverages. You can also customize your plans to exclude central air conditioning for a lower price. Limits for access, diagnosis, repair, replacement and installation range from $500 to $1,000 per year. Here are the available plans to choose from:
Heating & Cooling ($39.99/month):
Central air conditioning system
Central home heating system
Interior electrical system
Kitchen Plus ($34.99/month):
Interior electrical system
Range, oven and cooktop
Kitchen exhaust fan
Refrigerator (excluding ice maker)
Platinum ($49.99/month or $39.99/month without A/C): Includes all items in Heating & Cooling and Kitchen Plus
Platinum Premier ($59.99/month or $49.99/month without A/C): Includes all items in Platinum plus:
Bottom line: American Home Shield or American Residential Warranty?
American Home Shield offers a straightforward home warranty process through three comprehensive plans (one systems-only and two combo plans) and a selection of add-ons. Its plans cover most things homeowners want, so you aren’t likely to pay more for additional coverage.
On the other hand, American Residential Warranty offers a semi-customizable home warranty, with six base plans to choose from, each with its own selection of add-ons. It also works with partners to provide electronic and home security options. But despite having similar pricing to competitors, ARW charges add-on costs to cover items like clothes washers and dryers and plumbing fixtures — commonly included as standard items with other companies — and provides no coverage for doorbells and bathtubs.
American Home Shield is best for customers searching for comprehensive home warranty plans where few add-ons are needed.
American Residential Warranty is best for homeowners wanting to build their own home warranty plan.