Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield (AHS) are two nationally recognized home warranty companies. They both provide round-the-clock service in multiple states and are affiliated with licensed local vendors nationwide.
Choice Home Warranty vs. AHS comparison
|Average yearly cost||$450||$600|
|Plans available||Basic plan|
|Service recall period||90-days on parts|
30-days on labor
|60-days on parts|
60-days on labor
|Availablity||All states except California and Washington||All states except Alaska|
|Support||24-hour call center for claims||24-hour online claim system|
|Customer satisfaction||Choice Home Warranty reviews||American Home Shield reviews|
|Average yearly cost||Plans available||Support||Service recall period||Availablity||Customer satisfaction|
|90-days on parts|
30-days on labor
|All states except California and Washington||24-hour call center for claims||Choice Home Warranty reviews|
|60-days on parts|
60-days on labor
|All states except Hawaii||24-hour online claim system||American Home Shield reviews|
To compare coverage, we chose Choice Home Warranty’s “Total Plan” and American Home Shield’s “Combo Plan.”
With these plans, both Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield provide coverage for major home systems including heating and cooling, ductwork, electrical, plumbing, and major appliances including refrigerators, ranges/ovens/cooktops, dishwashers, built-in microwaves, garbage disposals, washer/dryers, water heaters, garage door openers and ceiling fans. Both provide optional, add-on coverage for items like pools and spas, well pumps and septic systems.
Choice Home Warranty coverage: Choice Home Warranty’s total plan covers a few items that American Home Shield’s combo plan does not, including whirlpool bath and exhaust fans. Additionally, Choice offers optional coverage not available via American Home Shield for the following items: second refrigerators, stand-alone freezers and limited roof leak coverage.
American Home Shield coverage: Overall, American Home Shield has the edge with total items covered. Their combo plan covers the following items not listed under Choice Home Warranty’s total plan: doorbells, smoke detectors, re-key services, instant hot and cold water dispensers, freestanding ice makers and built-in food centers. Also worth noting, American Home Shield offers optional coverage for guest units under 750 square feet.
While yearly fees do vary by plan, on average, Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield both cost around $600 a year. Choice Home Warranty has a set service call fee of $85, while American Home Shield starts at $75, but also provides the option to pay a higher service call fee (between $100 and $125 per visit) in exchange for a lower annual cost.
|Choice Home Warranty||American Home Shield|
|Average yearly cost||$600||$600|
|Service call fees||$85 per call||$75, $100 or $125 per call|
|Appliance benefit limit||$3,000||$3,000|
|Systems benefit limit||Up to $1,500||$1,500|
Compare contract policies
If an item cannot reasonably be repaired, most home warranty providers will provide a replacement of the item in an amount up to the policies coverage limit.
Choice Home Warranty replacement policy: Choice Home Warranty’s user agreement also states they will provide replacements that have similar features, capacity and efficiency, but do not guarantee dimensions, brand or color. However, they state they will provide a builder’s grade replacement for items like toilets and ceiling fans. Choice Home Warranty will provide a cash payout in the amount of the average cost of replacement or repair for items where parts or replacements are no longer available. While they state their cash payout terms are similar to AHS’s in regard to having a payout capped at a maximum coverage limit, their user agreement also states that they reserve the right to offer cash back in the amount of what their cost would be to repair or replace the item, which is often below retail value.
American Home Shield replacement policy: American Home Shield’s sample contract states they will provide replacements with comparable features, capacity and efficiency, but makes no guarantee on matching dimensions, brand or color. A cash payout may be provided in lieu of replacement if the cost of the repair or replacement exceeds your policy’s coverage dollar limit. In that situation, you would receive a payout in the amount the coverage cap and be responsible for covering the rest of the cost of the replacement. You’ll also be required to provide AHS documentation that proves you used their payout to replace the item in question. If a replacement fails within 60 days, AHS will pay for the repair and no service fee will be charged.
The coverage limit on your policy refers to the maximum dollar amount the home warranty company is willing to pay out to repair or replace item. These maximums can vary between appliances and systems or per item covered.
Choice Home Warranty coverage limit: $500–$1500 per item
American Home Shield coverage limit: $1000–$1500 per item
A waiting period is the amount of time between purchasing a plan and the policy going into effect. The industry’s average waiting period is 30 days, which both companies adhere to.
Choice Home Warranty waiting period: 30 days
American Home Shield waiting period: 30 days
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