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American Home Shield vs. Old Republic

Compare home warranty coverage plans, pricing and availability

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by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team
American Home Shield
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Finding the best home warranty company isn’t always an easy process. Luckily, the ConsumerAffairs research team has done some of the heavy lifting for you. Keep reading to learn about the pros and cons of two popular warranty companies, American Home Shield and Old Republic Home Protection.

Our pick for overall coverage
American Home Shield

Company nameContact
american home shield logo
LogoSummary
  • Coverage for up to 21 items
  • No age restrictions for coverage
  • 30-day workmanship guarantee
  • User-friendly website
  • Flexible payment options
Read reviews

American Home Shield, in business since 1971, has 1.8 million plan members. Its plans cover up to 21 household appliances and systems. We like that AHS has overall positive reviews and ratings from verified customers. It is widely available throughout the United States. New customers can select from three different plans or build a plan from scratch by choosing 10 or more items to cover. Plans typically have a 30-day waiting period.

American Home Shield plans and pricing

American Home Shield offers three home warranty plans: the Appliances Plan, the Systems Plan and the Combo Plan, which combines both to cover 21 items. The Combo Plan is the most popular and offers the most value, according to AHS. Customers can choose a service call fee, or the amount paid each time service is requested, of $75, $100 or $125. The cost estimates below are based on one year of coverage for a single-family home in Kansas City, Missouri.

Appliances Plan
$59.99 per month, or about $720 per year at the time of publishing.

The Appliances Plan covers the following items:

  • Refrigerators
  • Ranges, ovens and cooktops
  • Clothes washers
  • Clothes dryers
  • Dishwashers
  • Built-in microwaves
  • Trash compactors
  • Free-standing ice makers
  • Garage door openers
  • Built-in food centers
Systems Plan
$59.99 per month, or about $720 per year at the time of publishing.

The Systems Plan covers:

  • Air conditioning (including ductwork)
  • Heating (including ductwork)
  • Electrical system
  • Doorbells
  • Smoke detectors
  • Ceiling fans
  • Plumbing (including stoppages)
  • Water heaters
  • Garbage disposals
  • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
  • Central vacuums
Combo Plan
$69.99 per month, or about $840 per year at the time of publishing.

The Combo Plan covers all items in both the Systems and Appliances plans.

Add-on coverage
Costs vary.

Contact AHS for a quote for these add-on coverages:

  • Guest units
  • Pools
  • Spas
  • Septic pump
  • Well pump
  • Roof leak repairs
  • Electronics
American Home Shield limits and exclusions
Before signing up for an AHS plan, read over the contract carefully to learn the dollar caps for access, diagnosis, repair and replacement. On a sample contract on its website, AHS states it will pay up to $1,500 for certain systems and up to $3,000 for each covered appliance. Check for parts and components that are specifically excluded from coverage. AHS doesn’t cover breakdowns due to misuse, abuse or damage by pests. It also isn’t responsible for matching brands, colors or dimensions when making part replacements.

Our pick for budget choice
Old Republic Home Protection

Company nameContact
old republic home protection logo
LogoSummary
  • Service requests open 24/7
  • Trade call fee options
  • 30-day work guarantee
  • Optional roof leak protection
  • Available in 27 states
Read reviews

Old Republic Home Protection has been in the home warranty industry for over 40 years and claims to have protected over 6 million homes. The company specializes in home warranty plans for real estate transactions. Plans and pricing vary by state; Old Republic offers coverage in 27 U.S. states and Washington, D.C.

Old Republic plans and pricing

Old Republic Home Warranty plan options are based on the state where you live. In many states we reviewed, there are four plans available to homebuyers: Essential, Standard, Ultimate and Platinum. Customers can choose trade call fees of $75 or $100. The plans and prices below are based on quotes for a single-family home in Tulsa, Oklahoma, for one year.

Essential plan
$390 to $415 per year at the time of publishing.

The Essential plan covers over 20 household items, including:

  • Heating and electrical systems
  • Air conditioning
  • Ductwork
  • Toilets and plumbing
  • Water heater
  • Built-in jetted bathtub (motor and pump)
  • Garbage disposal
  • Sump pump
  • Exhaust, attic, ceiling, whole house fans
  • Garage door opener
  • Central vacuum
  • Dishwasher
  • Trash compactor
  • Kitchen exhaust fan
  • Oven/range/cooktop
  • Built-in microwave
Standard plan
$510 to $535 per year at the time of publishing.

The Standard plan covers everything in the Essential package, plus the following items:

  • Washer
  • Dryer
  • Kitchen refrigerator
Ultimate plan
$565 to $590 per year at the time of publishing.

The Ultimate plan covers everything in the Standard package, plus:

  • Refrigerant recapture, reclaim and disposal
  • Code violation corrections, permit costs and hauling away of items that have been replaced
  • Mismatched systems
  • Improper installation
Platinum plan
$725 per year at the time of publishing.

Platinum plans cover everything in the Ultimate package, plus:

  • Increased coverage for plumbing items and stoppages
  • Increased coverage for manufacturer's warranty
  • Modifications (with additional code upgrades)
  • Increased coverage for zone controls and HVAC systems
Optional coverage
Costs vary.

Old Republic offers the following types of optional coverages to homebuyers. The prices listed are current as of the time of publishing.

  • Preseason HVAC tuneup: $25
  • Ornamental fountain motor/pump: $100
  • Swimming pool and spa equipment: $180
  • Limited roof leak repair: $100
  • Outdoor kitchen: $125
  • Additional refrigeration units: $50
  • Water softener and reverse osmosis water filtration system: $75
  • Well pump: $100
  • Booster pump: $75
  • Enhanced slab leak limit and external plumbing: $100
  • Septic tank pumping, septic system and sewage ejector pump: $75
Old Republic limits and exclusions
Like most plans, Old Republic only covers household items that are installed correctly and working when the plan takes effect. It doesn’t cover preexisting conditions. Also, similarly to other companies, Old Republic gets to decide whether to repair or replace a covered system or appliance, and it reserves the right to offer cash instead of service. Review your contract for dollar limits for access, diagnosis, repair and replacement; the limit on appliances, for example, may be $3,500 per appliance per term.

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    Compare American Home Shield vs. Old Republic Home Protection

    Both American Home Shield and Old Republic Home Protection have positives and drawbacks. Old Republic’s starting costs are lower, but you may end up paying more for top-tier comprehensive coverage through the company. American Home Shield is available in most states, while Old Republic serves a much more limited area of the U.S.

    American Home ShieldOld Republic Home Protection
    Number of plans33 to 5
    Starting monthly cost*$50$32
    Average cost for comprehensive coverage*$600 to $800 per year$700 per year
    Service call fee$75, $100 or $125$75 or $100
    AvailabilityAll states except Alaska27 states

    *As of publishing date. Pricing varies by state.

    Bottom line: Which is better, Old Republic or American Home Shield?

    Overall, we like American Home Shield over Old Republic Home Protection because it has more positive customer reviews over the last year and greater nationwide availability. We also think American Home Shield’s plans are easier to understand and like that the company covers undetectable preexisting conditions, breakdowns caused by lack of maintenance, improper installations and duplicates of the same item.

    However, depending on where you live, Old Republic might still be an option worth considering. Old Republic seems to be cheaper and has lots of add-on coverages, so its plans may be better if you have unique needs or a more limited budget.

    If you still aren’t sure which company is right for you, compare Choice Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield next.

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    Profile picture of Kathryn Parkman
    by Kathryn Parkman ConsumerAffairs Research Team

    As a member of the ConsumerAffairs Research Team, Kathryn Parkman believes everyone deserves easy access to accurate and comprehensive information on products and businesses before they make a purchase, which is why she spends hours researching companies and industries for ConsumerAffairs. She believes conscious consumption is everyone's responsibility and that all content deserves integrity.