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  4. First American Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield

First American Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield

Compare home warranty coverage plans, pricing and availability

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    American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty
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    Unexpected home repair costs can wreak havoc on a budget, especially for big-ticket items like HVAC systems, water heaters, washers and dryers. A home warranty protects homeowners from expensive home repairs, paying for repairs and replacements of household systems and appliances when they break down from wear and tear.

    Warranty companies like American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty provide plans with various levels of coverage. Compare the two warranty providers using the information below to decide which is right for you.

    Compare American Home Shield vs. First American Home Warranty

    When you’re deciding between two home warranty providers, there are a few things to review. To start, take a look at the plans offered and where they're available. Then research starting and average costs, including the service call fee, which you pay each time you make a claim. From there, you’ll want to do a deeper dive to look into individual item coverages, exclusions and limitations. Read reviews to learn if customers are satisfied.

    Let’s see how American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty stack up:

    American Home ShieldFirst American Home Warranty
    Number of plans32
    Starting monthly cost*$35$28
    Average cost for comprehensive coverage*$540 to $720 per year$510 per year
    Service call fee*$75, $100 or $125 per call$75 per call
    AvailabilityAll states except AlaskaSelect states

    *As of publishing date. Pricing varies by state.

    Our pick for affordable coverage: First American Home Warranty

    First American Home Warranty has been in business since 1984 and has over 590,000 customers. It provides multiple levels of coverage and assists with service requests 24/7 online and by phone.

    First American offers Basic and Premier home warranty plans, with optional add-ons for home pools, spas, central air conditioning and more. You can also choose the First Class Upgrade for the Premier plan, which extends coverage for certain items and pays for building permits and removal of an old appliance. To check availability and see plans in your area, enter information online about your property location.

    first american home warranty logo
    • Multiple coverage options
    • 24/7 customer support
    • Online quotes

    Read reviews

    First American Home Warranty coverage options

    First American Home Warranty offers two levels of coverage. Basic plans start at $28 per month, covering washers, dryers and major kitchen appliances. Premier plans start at $42.50 per month, offering coverage for additional systems including electrical, heating and plumbing. The Premier plan’s coverage includes the following items:

    • Attic and exhaust fans
    • Ceiling fans
    • Central vacuum system
    • Clothes dryer
    • Clothes washer
    • Dishwasher
    • Ductwork
    • Electrical system
    • Garage door opener
    • Garbage disposal
    • Heating system
    • Hot water dispenser
    • Built-in microwave
    • Oven/range/cooktop
    • Plumbing (including stoppages)
    • Refrigerator
    • Trash compactor
    • Water heater

    Homeowners can purchase additional coverage for central air conditioning ($9 per month), pool and spa equipment ($15 per month) or a well pump ($7 per month). The First Class Upgrade is available for an extra $9 per month, extending coverage for certain systems and appliances and providing coverage for permits, disposals and code violation corrections.

    First American Home Warranty limits and exclusions

    There is a 30-day waiting period before coverage starts for many new First American customers. The company, in most cases, won’t cover appliances or systems with preexisting conditions. First American sometimes offers cash instead of making a repair or replacement.

    Read the contract to find dollar limits for diagnosis, access, repair and replacement. These limits may differ by appliance or system. First American may allow you to transfer a contract to a new homeowner if you sell your home. You may be able to cancel your contract (with mutual agreement by First American) and receive a prorated refund; check for any administrative fees.

    Our pick for nationwide coverage: American Home Shield

    American Home Shield has 50 years of experience in the home warranty industry and has 1.8 million members. It offers three plans and three service call fee options. Plans cover undetectable preexisting conditions, breakdowns caused by lack of maintenance, items that are improperly installed and duplicates of the same item. Customers can make claims 24/7 by phone or online.

    AHS provides free quotes for its plans, along with any add-on coverages you choose. The company covers homeowners in all states except Alaska.

    american home shield logo
    • Multiple plans available
    • 30-day workmanship guarantee
    • Flexible payment options

    Read reviews

    American Home Shield coverage options

    American Home Shield offers three warranty plans: the Appliances Plan, the Systems Plan and the Combo Plan. The Appliances Plan covers 10 items, including refrigerators, washers, dryers and dishwashers. The Systems Plan covers 11 items, such as air conditioning and ductwork and the electrical system. Combo plans start at $44.99 per month and include coverage for 21 household systems and appliances:

    • Air conditioning (including ductwork)
    • Built-in food centers
    • Built-in microwaves
    • Ceiling fans
    • Central vacuum
    • Clothes dryers
    • Clothes washers
    • Dishwashers
    • Doorbells
    • Electrical system
    • Free-standing ice makers
    • Garage door openers
    • Garbage disposals
    • Heating (including ductwork)
    • Instant hot/cold water dispensers
    • Plumbing (including stoppages)
    • Ranges, ovens and cooktops
    • Refrigerators
    • Smoke detectors
    • Trash compactors
    • Water heaters

    Optional add-ons are available for pools and spas, guest units, septic pumps and well pumps. American Home Shield also sells an electronics plan from a third party. Additional AHS benefits include discounts on new appliances and on air filters.

    American Home Shield limits and exclusions

    Like First American, American Home Shield plans usually have a 30-day waiting period before coverage begins. AHS doesn’t cover repairs or replacements if a malfunction is due to misuse or abuse. It also doesn’t promise matching brands, colors or dimensions on a replacement.

    Check the contract for dollar limits; it may pay up to $3,000 per covered item for access, diagnosis, repair and replacement. Look for excluded components on covered appliances and systems. AHS requires you to call to transfer a contract. You can cancel within the first 30 days for a full refund (as long as AHS hasn’t incurred any fees) or after 30 days for a prorated refund, minus an administrative fee.

    Which is better, First American or American Home Shield?

    First American has affordable coverage. AHS has comprehensive coverage.

    Both American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty are highly rated companies on ConsumerAffairs, offering customizable coverage and flexible pricing. First American has a lower cost per month, and its service call fee is on the lower end, making it an affordable option. However, First American is only available in limited areas, while American Home Shield is available nationwide. American Home Shield also offers coverage of more household items in its upper-level plan, making it a great choice for comprehensive coverage.

    Next, compare TotalProtect vs. American Home Shield.

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