American Home Shield is a privately held company that issues home warranty policies to real estate agents and homeowners. They are included among the best home warranty companies — read on to learn why.
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- What Is American Home Shield?
- Plans for Homeowners
- Plans for Real Estate Agents
- Claims Filing Process
- How to Buy a Contract
- Customer Reviews
- Frequently Asked Questions
What Is American Home Shield?
Founded in 1971 in Memphis Tennessee, American Home Shield created the home warranty market. Serving over 1.7 million homes across the United States, their customer base is always growing.
AHS operated under the ServiceMaster brand until being spun off in 2017. With over 15,000 contractors, 45,000 service technicians, and 300,000 transactions, AHS continues to dominate the market.
While American Home Shield controls much of the home warranty market, a few notable competitors have begun to fill the void in the regional market. These companies include:
- America’s Preferred Home Warranty
- Blue Ribbon
- Pivotal Home Solutions
- Select Home Warranty
- And many others
American Home Shield stands out because of their size and unique pricing model. Instead of providing the standard “one size fits all” plan, a buyer may choose to cover appliances, home systems, or a mix of both.
Unlike other companies, AHS’s size allows you to cover only what you need. As a result, you’re not paying for coverage on things unlikely to break, which lowers monthly payments and simplifies the claims process.
In addition, American Home Shield claims are backed by an industry-leading 60 day workmanship guarantee.
States American Home Shield Serves
Due to its size and robust service network, American Home Shield offers coverage in all 50 states which includes the following:
Home Warranty vs Homeowners Insurance
A home warranty contract is not the same thing as homeowners insurance. Most warranty plans cover the cost of repairing or replacing systems that insurance won’t.
Such systems may include appliances, plumbing, electrical, or HVAC. Put simply, insurance policies protect the homeowner from property damage while home warranty contracts offset the cost of repairing/replacing an item that breaks as a result of normal wear and tear.
We’ve included basic recaps of these plans, but make sure to read the fine print before buying.
Plans for Homeowners
Instead of offering a blanket policy with an upgrade option, American Home Shield offers a non-standard structure to give the consumer more choices.
Plans offered are “Appliances”, “Systems”, “Combo”, and “Build Your Own”. Each policy offers varying coverage and the option to add a-la-carte coverage for pools, spas, guest units, septic pumps, and well pumps.
These policies are more flexible than any policy we’ve reviewed and the myriad of options left little to be desired.
1. Appliance Plan
The most basic plan American Home Shield offers is the appliances plan, which, as you’d expect, covers most appliances found in a home. This plan is a good choice for anyone seeking basic coverage on a home with older appliances.
Especially considering a control board can be upwards of $1,000 to replace in some of the newer electronic refrigerators and washers/dryers. Pricing starts at $34.99 with a $125 deductible.
2. Systems Plan
The next plan offered is the Systems plan which covers the entire electrical, plumbing, heating/air conditioner systems, and some of the more basic fixtures like garbage disposals and hot water dispensers.
This is a good choice for someone looking for peace of mind but not looking to directly cover any specific appliances. Pricing begins at $34.99 with a $125 deductible.
3. Combo Plan
With over 70% of customers choosing the Combo Plan, this is American Home Shield’s most popular package. Included are things like smoke detectors, trash compactors, central vacuums, and ice makers.
This not only covers common appliances but also covers all major systems (it’s a combination of the above two packages) and pricing starts at $44.99 with a $125 deductible. This provides the move value because for only $10 more than the Combo or Systems package, you can combine the two.
4. Build Your Own Plan
Arguably the most flexible option is the Build Your Own Coverage plan. This allows a user to select up to 10 specific items like cold water dispensers, ceiling fans, and clothes dryers.
This not only gives the user freedom to include coverage, but if the house does not have something like a clothes washer or water heater, coverage can be excluded which ultimately saves money. Starting at $39.99 with a $125 deductible, it’s not the least expensive option but is certainly the most flexible.
American Home Shield offers $75, $100, and $125 deductibles and pricing varies by plan and deductible chosen. We recommend selecting the lowest deductible available, as this cost is incurred each time a claim is filed.
On average, the cost savings of the first two visits will make up for the difference in annual premium between the highest and lowest deductibles.
Plans for Real Estate Agents
American Home Shield not only creates plans for homeowners, but also has a plan available specifically for home sales.
While these plans offer the same coverage options than those of homeowners, they are simpler and offer slightly less flexibility.
With a contract term of 1 or 2 years and a flat $75 Trade Service Fee (deductible), pricing is simplified. Additionally, coverage option is transferable to the buyer for up to 6 months after the sale and covers the seller until the transaction closes.
1. Shield Essential
American Home Shield’s most basic seller plan covers most systems but not specific appliances. This is priced most economically at $535 annually and $695 for 2 years.
2. Shield Plus
The next sales-specific home warranty covers everything in the Shield Essential plan but adds coverage for the appliance suites most commonly found in homes.
These include the washer/dryer, fridge, oven/range, and garbage disposals. We consider this to be the best value at $690 for a 1 year contract and $1,240 for a 2 year.
3. Shield Complete
The Shield Complete includes standard coverage and adds uncommon features like telephone wiring, built-in exhaust, and instant water dispensers. We find this plan to be a bit unnecessary.
But considering things like the garage door openers are covered, it could be worth the cost to some buyers. Pricing is $745 and $1,340 for a 1 and 2 year warranty contract, respectively.
Pricing varies by plan and is only available with a $75 deductible on a 1 or 2 year option. Ancillary coverage is also available for an additional price per add-on. Keep in mind that as with the standard plans, sales-specific plans incur a deducible payment on each service call.
MyAccount Pro for Real Estate Agents
In addition to sale-specific contract options, Realtors can use the mobile-integrated MyAccountPro to easily add or remove service or file claims on a listed property.
Registration is a single, easy step, and the entire platform is structured to streamline all processes. For example, adding service to a home under contract was taken from 7 pages to 1.
All content in the web portal has been condensed and alerts are even pushed out when a listing is closing to ensure nothing goes missed.
Real state office can manage all AHS accounts from 1 master login. Pricing sheets, marketing materials, and AHS digital magazines can all be accessed from this portal. This makes it the single most powerful Realtor tool in the home warranty industry.
AHS Referral Program
Existing American Home Shield customers are eligible for their “Give $25, Get $25 referral program through use of a unique referral code.To receive the bonus, new users must sign up through the existing customer’s program link.
Funds are paid out via an Amazon gift card. Unlike other programs, American Home Shield excludes realtors and caps the bonuses at $600 annually.
Claims Filing Process
Filing a claim with American Home Shield is easy and may be done electronically or by phone 24/7/365. We like filing claims by phone as it provides confirmation the claim was filed and submitted to the correct department.
But many consumers like the convenience of filing a claim online. Many customers mention the ease of claims filing process in their reviews and also note claims are processed expeditiously.
How to Buy a Contract
As with anything American Home Shield does, buying a contract is an easy process. To buy a contract, simply contact them at 1-888-682-1043 or visit their website at www.ahs.com.
You’ll need to provide your address, name, email address, phone number, and answer a basic questionnaire about your home. We suggest doing a little research beforehand to ensure you’re not buying coverage on things your home does not have.
After this is done, you’ll pay your premium and coverage will begin after the waiting period. Keep in mind that quotes are free, so there’s no reason to NOT get one.
While we review the main features and benefits of a policy, there’s nothing more helpful than a review from a satisfied customer.
We’ve compiled a few highlights from Google below to highlight why users love American Home Shield’s policies.
I love using American Home Shield and that I pay only my deductible and the rest of what needs to be done is taken care of for me. I love having that peace of mind knowing that I won’t be out of something important to me and my family because of not having the money to fix it when it breaks. This is a great service and very much worth having.
I’ve been very happy with American Home Shield. I receive immediate confirmation of my service request with the contact info of the contractor doing the work. The service providers have always been very professional and knowledgeable.
Everything went smooth, from the initial call about the problem to the service provided. Diagnosed the issue ordered the parts and fixed all within a few days, awesome service!!
Frequently Asked Questions
Thought we strive to make our reviews as comprehensive as possible, we are unable to cover ever topic. However, we’ve included a few frequently asked questions in an effort to answer any question you may have.
Please reach out to us with any suggestions to make this complete guide even more valuable to our readers!
Should You Buy From American Home Shield?
The bottom line is that American Home Shield leads the industry in coverage options and makes it easy to include or exclude any number of items from coverage.
Along with a strong contractor base, the home repair process is automated and no home inspection is required. The result is great coverage options, streamlined processes, and a great customer experience.
If you are in the home warranty market, we highly suggest considering American Home Shield as a candidate in your search.