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TotalProtect vs. American Home Shield

Compare coverage, cost and customization

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by Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor
American Home Shield and Cinch Home Services
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TotalProtect and American Home Shield (AHS) are two of the largest home warranty companies in the industry. Both providers offer services throughout the United States at comparable prices but with some notable differences among options and coverage.

TotalProtect vs. AHS comparison

totalprotectamerican home shield
Average yearly cost$600$600
Plans availableAppliances plan
Systems Plan
Combo Plan
Appliances plan
Systems Plan
Combo Plan
Build-your-own plan
Service recall period180-days60-days
AvailablityAll states except HawaiiAll states except Alaska
Customer satisfactionTotalProtect reviewsAmerican Home Shield reviews
Average yearly costPlans availableService recall periodAvailablityCustomer satisfaction
totalprotect$600Appliances plan
Systems Plan
Combo Plan
180-daysAll states except HawaiiTotalProtect reviews
american home shield$600Appliances plan
Systems Plan
Combo Plan
Build-your-own plan
60-daysAll states except AlaskaAmerican Home Shield reviews

Compare coverage

TotalProtect and American Home Shield provide coverage for 20-plus appliances and systems and offer optional coverage for pools, spas and a number of other items.

Both companies cover refrigerators, ranges/ovens/cooktops, built-in microwaves, trash compactors, dishwashers, washers and dryers, garbage disposals, water heaters, central vacuum, doorbells, smoke detectors and garage door openers and home systems including plumbing, electrical, heating and cooling.

TotalProtect coverage: TotalProtect offers coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions, which sets them apart from most home warranty providers. They also cover range exhaust hoods, whirlpool baths and attic/whole house exhaust fans as part of their combo plan, which American Home Shield does not include.

American Home Shield coverage: American Home Shield provides optional coverage for guest units, wells and septic systems, which TotalProtect does not appear to provide. They also cover instant hot and cold water dispensers, built-in food centers and ceiling fans in their combo plan, which TotalProtect does not list on their comparable plan.

Compare costs

Your total cost will vary by coverage, but both TotalProtect and American Home shield offer comparable coverage at a similar rate. TotalProtect costs $600 for their combination plan. American Home Shield costs $600 for their combo plan as well. Both companies have similar service fee calls, ranging from $75-$125 per call, depending on your package preference.

TotalProtectAmerican Home Shield
Average yearly cost$600$600
Service call fees$75, $100 or $125 per call$75, $100 or $125 per call
Appliance benefit limit$3,000$3,000
Systems benefit limit$1,000$1,500

Compare contract policies

Replacement policy

Most home warranty companies will replace an item if it cannot be repaired or, in certain scenarios, offer a cashout option for the homeowner to make a replacement themselves.

TotalProtect replacement policy: TotalProtect’s sample contract states they provide replacement items at their own discretion. If they opt to replace an item, they indicate the replacement they provide will be a “base model” that performs the same primary function as your original item at a similar capacity. TotalProtect will also provide installation services for the replaced item, but will not cover any additional costs accrued by necessary construction or modifications needed to install the item. A cash payout may also be provided up to the coverage limit stated in your contact.

American Home Shield replacement policy: In their sample contract, American Home Shield (states) replacements of comparable features, capacity and efficiency will be provided with no provisions made to match dimensions, brand or color. A partial cash payout may be offered when the repair or replacement of an item exceeds the policy’s coverage limit.

Coverage limit

Your home warranty contract should specify a coverage limit, that is the total dollar amount the company will pay to repair or replace a covered item. If an item costs more to replace than the coverage limit allows, the home warranty company might offer a cash payout for the total amount, leaving you responsible for the remaining cost.

TotalProtect coverage limit: $500–$3,000 per item

American Home Shield coverage limit: $1000–$1500 per item

Waiting period

A waiting period is the amount of time between signing your contract and your policy going into effect. The industry standard is 30 days.

TotalProtect waiting period: 30 days

American Home Shield waiting period: 30 days

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Bottom line: TotalProtect or American Home Shield?

Both American Home Shield and TotalProtect customers reported being generally happy with the work and customer service provided the home warranty companies. Despite their many similarities, American Home Shield provides more customization in coverage, while TotalProtect offers coverage for pre-existing conditions, which is rare in the industry.

TotalProtect is best for older homes: If you have an older home, choosing a plan from TotalProtect will give you extra peace of mind that any (unknown) existing problems in your home may still qualify for coverage.

American Home Shield is best for customization: With a customizable build-your-own plan available, American Home Shield is best for homeowners who want customized coverage and know exactly what they need.

Next, compare First American vs. American Home Shield.

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    Profile picture of Michele Lerner
    by Michele Lerner Mortgage & Real Estate Contributing Editor

    Michele Lerner, author of “HOMEBUYING: Tough Times, First Time, Any Time”, has been writing about personal finance and real estate for more than two decades. Michele writes for regional, national and international publications in print and online for a variety of audiences including consumers, real estate investors, business owners and real estate professionals.