As the forerunners of the home warranty industry, both First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield are popular choices for homeowners.The two companies offer affordable pricing, comprehensive coverage options, qualified contractors, and more. However, there are some aspects where FAHW may do better than AHS, and others in which AHS may lead the race.
If you are looking to buy a home warranty policy from either of these companies, it may be hard for you to decide which company is better. To make things easier for you in that aspect, we have compared FAHW and AHS in various categories like coverage, pricing, customer service, and more.
A home warranty’s coverage offers protection to the major appliances and systems in your home. In this section, we will compare the coverage options of First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield.
|Instant Hot/ Cold Water Dispenser||✔||✔|
|Central Vacuum System||✔||✖|
|Heating including Ductwork||✔||✔|
|Air Conditioning including Ductwork||✖||✔|
|Attic, Ceiling, and Exhaust Fans||✔||✔|
|Garage Door Opener||✔||✔|
|Oven/ Range/ Cooktop||✔||✔|
|Roof Leak Repair||✖||✔**|
|Septic Tank Pumping/ System||✔||✔|
*Smoke detectors are covered in First Class Upgrade, which is optional.
**Roof Leak Repair is an optional add-on for ShieldSilver and ShieldPlatinum members and part of standard coverage for ShieldPlatinum members.
First American Home Warranty: First American Home Warranty misses out on certain coverage aspects. The company offers extended coverage and dollar limits in its First Class Upgrade. The First Class Upgrade is available as part of FAHW’s optional coverage.
FAHW has two plans – Basic Plan and Premier Plan. The Basic Plan only provides coverage to the appliances in your home. On the other hand, the Premier Plan, which is considered FAHW’s best-value option, offers coverage to both appliances and systems.
American Home Shield: Although American Home Shield does not provide coverage for a few items, but they have other coverage inclusions that FAHW lacks. AHS provides maintenance services like Rekey, Air Filter Discounts, and Discounted Heat or AC tune-up.
AHS has three plans that offer different levels of coverage – ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum. ShieldSilver only provides coverage to the systems in your home. ShieldGold offers protection to 23 appliances and systems in your home. Their most comprehensive plan, ShieldPlatinum, covers all the items in the plans mentioned above and provides coverage boosts and extends the dollar limits on covered items.
The cost of a home warranty is a determining factor when considering to buy one. So we have collected the pricing information of First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield and arranged it in a table. The table depicts the monthly premiums, trade call fees, and item limits of both companies.
There is no significant difference between the pricing of American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty. FAHW may have a higher appliance limit, but AHS offers more in terms of system limit.
The trade call fee or deductible has to be paid to the service technician that visits your home for repair. As you can see, AHS offers three deductible options. You can choose to pay a higher deductible to reduce your monthly premium or choose the lower deductible to pay a higher monthly premium.
American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty offer unique benefits to their customers. These special features are designed to attract potential customers and set their services apart from the rest. Here’s what AHS and FAHW have to offer in that regard.
It is important to regularly change and replace your air filters to reduce your energy bills and ensure that the air you breathe is healthy. First American Home Warranty has partnered with Filterjoy to deliver their customers with new air filters. New customers can get their first set of filters for free by using a FAHW code.
As a part of their Shield Assurances, AHS offers their services despite the following conditions –
American Home Shield is also offering $50 off on all their plans to celebrate their 50th anniversary this year.
Home warranties are, in essence, service contracts that lay down certain parameters for both parties to follow. Take a look at how AHS and FAHW contract policies compare with each other.
Take a look at First American Home Warranty’s claims, renewal, and cancelation processes.
First American Home Warranty is known for quick approvals of replacements. It is easy to request service from the pre-screened, qualified technicians of FAHW’s network. The claims process of FAHW is as follows:
FAHW has a Homeowner Center that is a dedicated space for customers to place service requests, track your request status, coverage limits of your contract, and more. The customer reviews indicate that people are happy about the transparency and cost savings from the company’s plans.
The coverage term of your FAHW contract is 12 months. You don’t need to do anything specific to renew your coverage, as the contract will be automatically renewed. If you do not want to renew your FAHW contract, you need to write to the company 30 days before the expiration of your contract.
You can transfer FAHW’s contract to the new owner when you sell your home. You need to inform the company about the change of ownership and submit the name and details of the new owner by calling the company.
With respect to cancellation, you can cancel your FAHW contract in the 30-day review period and receive a full refund. If you want to cancel your contract after the 30-day waiting period or in the middle of the coverage term, you will have to submit a cancelation request in writing to email@example.com. You will be entitled to a pro-rata refund of the unexpired contract term minus a $50 administration fee and other service costs.
The company can terminate your contract in case of nonpayment of fees or misrepresentation of facts.
Here are the claims, renewal, and cancelation processes of American Home Shield.
Customers can file claims through the American Home Shield website or phone number. As the largest home warranty company, AHS warranty customer service has paid out claims worth $2 billion since 2013.
Many customers report that American Home Shield lives up to its reputation by ensuring satisfactory customer service. They offer 24/7 customer support and have a vast network of over 15,000 service contractors. Their service technicians generally receive positive reviews for keeping up with the appointments and attending emergencies on short notice.
When it comes to renewing your AHS contract, the decision lies with the company to renew the service contract or not. If they decide to renew, you will be notified of the terms within 60 days prior to the expiration of the contract. As the contract renewal is automatic, you don’t need to do anything if you want to extend your contract term.
Your AHS contract may be terminated by the company in case of fees, nonpayment or fraud, or misrepresentation. You can cancel the contract at any time for any reason. If you cancel the agreement within the 30-day waiting period, you will be eligible for a full refund. After the waiting period, you will receive a pro-rata refund of the contract fees for the remaining term upon cancelation. The amount will be minus an administrative fee equal to your monthly premium. In some cases, you may have to pay AHS upon cancelation if the service costs provided by the company are greater than your contract fee.
The policies of both companies are comprehensive and can provide you with all the information you require. We recommend carefully reading the service agreement to understand policy exhaustions, exceptions, and other necessary details.
It is recommended to weigh the positives and negatives of a home warranty policy before purchasing one. Like any other home warranty, both First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield have their share of benefits and drawbacks. We have gathered this information and compiled it into short tables for each company. Take a look.
|24/7 Claims Service||Several bad First American Home Warranty reviews|
|Comprehensive Plans||Nationwide service unavailable|
|Online Homeowner Center||N/A|
|Generous Coverage Limits||N/A|
|Decades of Experience||N/A|
|Easy monthly pricing||Certain contractors have negative reviews|
|17,000 contractors nationwide||Few complaints about poor service|
|30-day workmanship guarantee||Contractors work only within business hours|
|24/7 customer support||N/A|
|Founded the home warranty industry||N/A|
We cannot deny the achievements and benefits of First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield, and thus choosing between them becomes quite difficult. AHS and FAHW provide good coverage options and extensive dollar limits.
AHS has a higher appliance and system limit in their ShieldPlatinum Plan, but FAHW offers generous coverage limits at a lower cost. However, American Home Shield allows for easier coverage and claims process with their Shield Assurances. While AHS has multiple plan options, FAHW only has two, but the coverage of both companies is almost the same.
As you can see, it is tough to decide which company is better in terms of their services and offerings. You can check out customer reviews of American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty and see if that can help you decide.