- Different service fee tiers
- Build-your-own plan
- Award-winning home warranty company
- Works in all 50 US states
When it comes to coverage plans, American Home Shield has four options for you to choose from.
The Systems Plan includes, as its name suggests, home systems and their components, such as air conditioning (ductwork included), heating (ductwork included), electrical, plumbing, water heaters, garbage disposal, central vacuums, instant hot and cold water dispensers, smoke detectors, doorbells, and ceiling fans.
The Appliances Plan includes appliances found in most household, such as clothes washer and dryer, dishwasher, range/oven/cooktop, built-in microwave oven, refrigerator, free-standing ice maker, trash compactor, built-in food processor, and garage door opener.
The third option is a plan called Combo, which combines both the Systems and the Appliances plan. Combo is the company’s best-selling plan.
The fourth plan is called “Build Your Own” and, again, it’s pretty self-explanatory. You can decide which systems and appliances you want to cover with your home warranty contract and the price of the plan will depend on that. Bear in mind that you have to pick at least ten appliances and home systems.
American Home Shield also offers additional coverage for systems and appliances such as your pool and/or spa, septic pumping, and well pump.
American Home Shield also offers three real estate home warranty packages, designed to protect major appliances and systems after real estate transactions. Basically, they are used to increase the value of a property. The plans are Shield Essential, which includes the systems that homeowners usually report as the most important, Shield Plus, which covers everything Shield Essential does, plus many of the most common appliances, and Shield Complete, which combines the two previous plans.
Terms and Conditions
They do have an FAQ page on their website where you can download a page of a sample contract with the terms and conditions listed, along with a detailed list of everything that can be covered by a home warranty.
Like we said, before you consider signing the contract with American Home Shield (or any other home warranty company, for that matter), it is highly recommended you read the exact terms and conditions of the warranty. This is because no company will ever cover every single system or appliance in your home, so you better make sure what’s in and what’s not. Second, even if an appliance or a system is included in the coverage, it doesn’t automatically mean your claim will be accepted. This is because AHS doesn’t unconditionally accept claims for systems and appliances and applies certain rules.
The sample contract provided on their website states that the coverage will include commercial-grade appliances that are meant for use in a residential setting, as well as malfunctions resulting to certain conditions that occurred prior to the contract term, such as insufficient maintenance. This is not something that all home warranty companies include in their coverage, as most of them will deny your claim the moment they establish the malfunction was caused by misuse or a pre-existing condition.
On the other hand, if you have appliances or systems that are already covered by the manufacturer, builder, distributor or extended warranty, those will not be included in the AHS home warranty coverage.
Finally, AHS only covers systems and appliances in residential property (it doesn’t matter whether you own or rent) and it is not meant for commercial property or businesses.
In addition to the sample contract, AHS also offers a very detailed list of appliances and systems they cover, as well as their particular parts and elements. For example, while a water heater is included in the coverage, some of its parts, such as auxiliary tanks and energy conservation units, will not be covered. If the malfunction is related to those parts, your claim will be denied, even though the water heater, as a whole, is clearly included in the coverage.
As for the trade service home fee, there isn’t a single fee applicable to all cases. Therefore, in addition to four different plans, American Home Shield offers three service fee rates: $75, $100, and $125. When you sign up for a contract, you can choose both the coverage plan and the service fee that best works for you.
Unfortunately, American Home Shield does not allow their clients to pick the contractor they want to use. This is standard in the home warranty business, but needs to be said anyway.
American Home Shield has contractors in all 50 USA states. In some areas, there are more contractors than in others, so the response time might depend on your location, although American Home Shield maintains that 98% of the claims are dispatched within 24 hours.
Pros & Cons
- Flexible service fee plans
- Covers some pre-existing conditions
- Large contractor network
- Long track record
- Expensive service fees