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Published: Oct 19, 2023 14 min read

American Home Shield (AHS) is a home warranty provider that offers tiered plans, comprehensive coverage and generous policy caps.

Home warranties are service contracts that cover repairs and replacement of home systems and appliances if they break down or fail due to normal wear and tear. These types of accidents aren’t typically covered by homeowners insurance, and can often result in costly repairs.

A home warranty company like American Home Shield (AHS), however, can help cover the costs of unexpected repairs and mitigate out-of-pocket expenses.

Ranked among Money’s Best Home Warranty Companies, American Home Shield stands out for its HVAC coverage. Below we review American Home Shield, its plans, coverage limits and availability. We also explore customers reviews, common complaints and how it compares to other home warranty providers.

Table of Contents

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  • Home warranty plans 
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American Home Shield Overview

American Home Shield is a subsidiary of Frontdoor Brands. The company has been around since 1971 and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Pros
  • Customizable service plans
  • Offers home electronics coverage options
  • High coverage cap with its premium plan, ShieldPlatinum
  • 30-day workmanship guarantee
Cons
  • Coverage is not available in Alaska
  • Roof leak coverage is not available in Hawaii

American Home Shield’s Services

American Home Shield plans and coverage

American Home Shield has three home warranty plans:

  • ShieldSilver
  • ShieldGold
  • ShieldPlatinum

All three tiers cover a mix of home appliances and systems, with ShieldPlatinum offering the most comprehensive coverage.

AHS lets you choose from two service call fees, either $100 or $125. Naturally, the higher the service fee, the lower your monthly premium will be.

All plans include coverage for repairs caused by normal wear and tear, rust, corrosion, sediment, insufficient maintenance and improper installation or repair.

Like most home warranty companies, AHS has a 30-day waiting period before you can make a home service request. However, it doesn’t require a home inspection or maintenance records, which some competitors do.

Here’s a breakdown of American Home Shield’s home warranty plans and what each offers:

ShieldSilver
(Starts around $29.99/mo*)
ShieldGold
(Starts around $49.99/mo*)
ShieldPlatinum
(Starts around $79.99/mo*)
• Air conditioners
• Heating units
• Ductwork
• Built-in exhaust fans
• Main breaker and fuse panel box
• Doorbells
• Interior electrical lines
• Ceiling fans
• Attic fans
• Garage door opener
•Water heaters
• Interior plumbing lines
• Toilets
• Faucets and valves
• Built-in jetted tub motors, pumps and air switch assembles
• Discounted home maintenance services
All items covered in ShieldSilver plus:
• Ranges/cooktops
• Ovens
• Dishwashers
• Built-in microwaves
• Garbage disposals
• Installed instant hot/cold water dispensers
• Washers
• Dryers
• Refrigerators (including in-refrigerator icemaker)
All items covered in ShieldSilver and ShieldGold plus:
• Roof leak repairs
• Free HVAC tune-up
• Unlimited A/C refrigerant
• Coverage for code violations, permits and modifications
• Higher coverage limit for appliances
*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are for a home in California.

Optional add ons

AHS also offers the following optional add-ons:

  • Roof leak repair (not available in Hawaii)
  • Pool and built-in spa equipment
  • Home electronics protection plan
  • Guest unit
  • Septic pump
  • Well pump

The Home Electronic Protection Plan includes coverage for the following electronics:

  • TV’s
  • Video game consoles
  • Smart home products
  • Home theater systems
  • Desktop/laptop
  • Printers
  • Tablets
  • Headphones

Coverage limits

Coverage limits are the maximum amount the home warranty company will pay if an appliance or system were to break down. These limits can change depending on the home system and coverage plan.

For instance, American Home Shield offers a maximum coverage cap of $4,000 for appliances with the ShieldPlatinum plan, instead of the $2,000 limit it offers to customers with the ShieldSilver or ShieldGold plan.

Other American Home Shield coverage caps include:

Covered item Coverage limit
Ductwork $5,000
Heating and air conditioning systems $5,000 (some systems may be limited to $1,500)
Sewage ejector pump $500
Appliances $2,000 ($4,000 with ShieldPlatinum)
Roof leak repair $1,000
Well pump unit $1,500
Septic system $500
Pool and built-in spa equipment $3,000
Electronics $2,000 (up to $5,000 aggregate)
Repairs that require access through concrete Up to $1,000

What American Home Shield doesn’t cover

American Home Shield plans don’t cover the following home items or events:

  • Doorbells that are part of intercoms, video monitoring or security systems
  • Lighting fixtures
  • Tempering tanks
  • Toilets seats, lids or toilet tank lid
  • Any steam component of shower heads or shower towers
  • Humidifiers, ultraviolet lights, dehumidifiers, home purification systems
  • Jetted tubs, jets or lines connecting to the jet pump
  • Stoppages cause by collapsed lines outside the property, or due to roots
  • Septic tanks, water softeners, filtration systems, saunas or steam rooms
  • Freestanding freezers, wine chillers, bar refrigerators or other specialty refrigerators
  • Outdoor kitchens
  • Cost of construction or modifications
  • Cost of non-standard equipment, such as cranes and scaffoldings
  • Breakdowns caused by misuse, abuse, vandalism, pets or pests
  • Known pre-existing conditions
  • Damages caused by acts of nature
  • Breakdowns covered by manufacturer’s warranty

You can check American Home Shield’s sample contract online for more information on its home warranty coverage, exclusions, and policy terms. There may be other things that void a home warranty, but these depend on each company.

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American Home Shield Availability

State availability

American Home Shield is available in 49 states — all, except for Alaska.

Contact information

American Home Shield’s customer service department is available 24/7.

You can contact an agent at 800-858-1922 for service or at 888-683-8576 for sales. Current customers can also request service through their account on the online portal.

User experience

American Home Shield has a customer portal that makes it easy to request service, track the status of claims and manage payments and billing.

Like most home warranty companies, American Home Shield has a 48-hour response time. This is the time the company may take to schedule a diagnosis appointment with a service contractor. However, response time may change depending on the season and the demand.

American Home Shield’s website offers plenty of information about its home warranty plans. You can also enter your address on the site to get an immediate free quote and purchase your service online.

American Home Shield’s Credentials

Regulatory or legal actions

Most home warranty companies have contract clauses that prevent customers from suing them or joining class action lawsuits against them. In some cases, a state’s attorney general or the U.S. Department of Justice may file a suit against the home warranty company.

We located a few older lawsuits against American Home Shield dating back to 2003 and 2009. However, as of this writing, we didn’t find recent regulatory or legal actions against the company.

Although we try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, we don’t claim this information is complete or fully up to date. As always, we recommend you do your own research as well.

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American Home Shield’s Customer Satisfaction

Third-party ratings

  • Better Business Bureau: 2.17 out of 5 star-average based on 10,565 customer reviews.

Customer complaints

American Home Shield has pretty dismal ratings across several review platforms.There is also a Facebook group of AHS customers that provide regular updates on their problems with the home warranty company.

American Home Shield is accredited by the BBB, and has a B rating and accreditation grade.

Here are some common complaints about AHS:

  • Denying claims (that customers believe to be legitimate)
  • Extended waiting times and convoluted processes to fulfill service requests
  • Many customers complained the company wouldn’t repair or replace air conditioners or water heaters.
  • Repairs that took longer than expected, lengthy waiting times or delayed repairs

The data above is based on research that was available at the time of publication.

American Home Shield Comparison

Aside from American Home Shield, there are other home warranty companies you can consider.

Here’s how American Home Shield compares to competitors like Choice Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty.

American Home Shield vs. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty offers two affordable home warranty plans, with prices ranging from around $46 to $55. Unlike American Home Shield, Choice Home Warranty’s plans aren’t tiered; instead its two plans cover a mix of both appliances and home systems.

The Basic Plan covers 14 different home items including heating, electrical and plumbing systems, kitchen appliances and garage door openers. The Total Plan, on the other hand, adds coverage for air conditioning, clothes washer, dryer and refrigerator.

However, when it comes to coverage limits, American Home Shield offers higher caps than Choice Home Warranty. For instance, American Home Shield covers up to $5,000 for heating and cooling systems, whereas Choice Home Warranty covers a fixed maximum of $3,000 for most covered items per annual contract.

Company Plan pricing Service Call Fee
(or deductible)
Availability BBB Rating
American Home Shield $29.99 - $89.99* $100, $125 Contiguous US B
Choice Home Warranty $46 - $55* $85 49 states D+
*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are for a home in California.

Read the full Choice Home Warranty review.

American Home Shield vs. First American Home Warranty

Similar to American Home Shield, First American Home Warranty offers three tiered plans that cover a mix of major home systems and appliances: Starter Plan, Essential Plan and Premium Plan.

The Starter Plan covers plumbing system, electrical and heating systems, dishwasher, refrigerator, oven, cooktop and built-in microwave oven. The Essential Plan adds coverage for water heaters, air conditioning, garage door opener and clothes washer and dryer.

The Premium Plan includes coverage for all the home items covered by the Starter and Essential Plan, plus protection for garbage disposal, faucets, instant hot water dispensers, central vacuum systems and enhanced coverage for permits, code violations and improper installations.

In terms of pricing, American Home Shield offers lower priced plans. AHS plans start at around $29.99 a month for its basic plan, whereas First American Home Warranty’s start at around $42.

However, First American’s Premium Plan includes coverage for items that AHS doesn’t cover, such as trash compactor, shower heads, and central vacuum systems, for around $67 a month and a service call fee of $125. By contrast, AHS’ premium plan starts at around $79.99 with a service call fee of $125.

Keep in mind, however, that while First American offers a somewhat more comprehensive plan, its coverage limits for some home items are lower when compared to American Home Shield.

Company Plan pricing Service Call Fee Availability BBB Rating
American Home Shield $29.99 - $89.99* $100, $125 Contiguous US B
First American Home Warranty $42 - $82* $75, $100, $125 35 states B
*Prices may vary depending on your state. Current quoted prices are for a home in California.

Read the full First American Home Warranty review.

Explore other home warranty options

Check out our reviews for other home warranty companies you can consider:

American Home Shield FAQs

Is American Home Shield trustworthy?

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American Home Shield is a legitimate company with over 50 years in the home warranty industry. It offers tiered home warranty plans that cover a mix of appliances and home systems. The company is accredited by the BBB and currently holds a B rating.

Can you cancel American Home Shield?

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You can cancel your AHS contract within the first 30 days of your coverage. Once you do, AHS will refund your contract fees minus any service and claims incurred by American Home Shield.

If you cancel your contract after 30 days, you'll get a pro-rated refund of your contract fees for the rest of the contract term, minus an administrative fee of up to one month's payment (where permitted by law) and any service or claims costs incurred by American Home Shield. However, cancellation terms may vary by state.

What is the deductible for American Home Shield?

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American Home Shield allows you to choose two options for your trade service call fee. You can choose to pay $100 or $125.

Does American Home Shield cover roof leaks?

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Yes, American Home Shield covers roof leaks, however this coverage is only included in its premium plan, ShieldPlatinum. Its lower-tiered plans —ShieldSilver and ShieldGold— don't include roof leak coverage, but you can add it for an additional fee.

How We Evaluated American Home Shield

We evaluated American Home Shield using a combination of publicly available data on its website and other sources such as consumer review websites. We considered the following factors:

  • Services offered: We looked into the company’s coverage, limits and availability, and compared them with competing home warranty companies.
  • Cost: We evaluated offering and pricing and compared them with competitors to determine cost-effectiveness.
  • Reputation: We checked whether AHS had any pending legal or regulatory actions.
  • Customer service: We read customer reviews online to gauge customer satisfaction and most common complaints.

Summary of Money’s American Home Shield Review

American Home Shield offers comprehensive home warranty services, relatively high coverage limits and competitive pricing. Customers can choose from three different plan tiers that cover a combination of home systems and appliances. With AHS you can also choose your service call fee and several add ons to customize your plan.

AHS stands out for its high coverage limits and HVAC protection which covers removal of A/C refrigerant, issues caused by mismatched units and breakdowns up to $5,000 per system and per agreement term. Customers with the ShieldPlatinum plan also get unlimited refrigerant coverage.

The company is registered and accredited with the BBB, and currently has a B rating. However, it has a relatively low customer rating, with most common complaints having to do with denied claims, extended waiting times and convoluted processes to fulfill service requests.

As usual, we recommend doing your own vetting of the company and to carefully read warranty coverages before moving forward.

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