ServicePlus Home Warranty (SPHW), previously known as Total Home Protection, is a quick-growing home warranty company, having expanded their footprint in 46 states within five years. American Home Shield (AHS) is the home warranty pioneer present almost everywhere and backed by a heavyweight parent, Frontdoor, Inc. With both companies clamoring to increase their market share, which one should you choose as your home maintenance partner?
Buying a home warranty from the right company can help you save a great deal of money on recurring mechanical failures of home systems and appliances. Among the most popular companies on our platforms, SPHW and AHS are hot favorites. This post will compare these two popular companies for you. We will look at their offerings side-by-side and explore their pricing, important contract clauses, and everything else you should take into account when making your home warranty purchase.
In terms of company size, the number of plans, coverage extent, SPHW and AHS differ quite a bit. Take a look at the table below that summarizes the key differences at a quick glance.
American Home Shield may have been in business for nearly half a century, but ServicePlus Home Warranty has managed to expand themselves to a comparable extent in 1/10th of the time. While the pricing of both companies is comparable, AHS does serve a few more states. Does a business being around for a long time make it a better choice?
Only if they have used all that time to offer customers the best possible services. Let’s find out more.
ServicePlus Home Warranty American Home shield offer coverage to a range of crucial home systems and appliances. To compare the two companies, we have considered their most comprehensive plans that cover everything they have on their roster. Check out the table below.
|Items||ServicePlus Home Warranty||American Home Shield|
|Air Conditioning Systems||✔||✔|
|Main Breaker & Fuse Panel Box||✖||✔|
|Built-in Exhaust, Vent & Attic Fans||✔||✔|
|Doorbells & Chimes||✖||✔|
|Interior Electrical Lines||✖||✔|
|Garage Door Openers||✔||✔|
|Interior Plumbing Lines||✖||✔|
|Faucets & Valves||✖||✔|
|Whirlpool Tub Motor & Components||✔||✔|
|Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers||✖||✔|
|Roof Leak Repair||✔||✔|
|HVAC Tune Up||✖||✔|
|Discounted Air Filter Delivery||✖||✔|
|Code Violations, Permits & Modifications||✖||✔|
|Stand Alone Freezer||✔||✖|
|Refrigerator Ice Maker||✔||✖|
As we can see above, both SPHW and AHS cover all the home systems and appliances necessary to keep you comfortable and safe. Each company covers a few non-essential devices the other does not. While AHS covers modifications to fix code violations and get permits, SPHW covers the central vacuum and water softener.
To choose the right company for your home based on coverage, make a list of all the home systems and appliances you have and take note of the ones most likely to break down. Then read on to find out about the pricing and coverage limits, the next most vital factors that make up the home warranty plan choice.
The whole point of a home warranty plan is to save money on repairs and replacements. Therefore, you want to make sure that the home warranty pricing suits your budgetary constraints and you get the best value for your money. However, under some circumstances, you may be willing to shell out a few extra dollars for higher coverage in terms of limits or the number of items.
We advise you to choose affordable basic plans if you just have a few old home systems and appliances that are prone to mechanical failures. However, if you own an older home with lots of aging home systems and appliances, it’s best to choose comprehensive home warranty plans and add optional coverage.
Here are the ServicePlus Home Warranty plans and prices. HomeWarrantyReviews.com users get $200 off and 2 months of free coverage as part of a special deal.
|ServicePlus Home Warranty||Monthly Cost||Annual Cost||With HomeWarrantyReviews.com Offer|
|Gold Plan||$45.33||$519||$319 annually|
|Platinum Plan||$52||$599||$399 annually|
|Optional Coverage Average Cost||$7 per item||$7 per item||–|
Check out the American Home Shield plans and prices.
|American Home Shield||Monthly Cost||Annual Cost|
|Optional Coverage Average Cost||–||$50 to $258|
ServicePlus Home Warranty seems to be the more budget-friendly choice between the two companies. They offer free roof leak coverage and have a flat, low-priced deductible. However, American Home Shield offers some flexibility in pricing by allowing a choice of deductible that may bring down or hike the premium pricing accordingly.
Thus, you can choose the one that covers everything that you anticipate may need repairs this year. Remember that the home warranty companies don’t usually cover items under OEM warranty, so, it won’t help any new items that you buy.
Based on your add-on coverage choices, you may have to pay a few more charges. Submit your free quote here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com to get exact pricing details from SPHW or AHS.
The wisest advice you can ever get about home warranties is to read the contract thoroughly. The majority of negative feedback we receive boils down to misunderstandings over the extent of coverage offered. Understanding what to expect from the plan will help you decide how to optimally allocate your household budget for thorough home protection.
While home warranties do help save thousands of dollars on repairs and replacements, they don’t pay an unlimited amount of money. Every covered system or appliance is subject to coverage limits. The coverage cap is the maximum amount worth of repairs or replacement the home warranty company will reimburse. This means that if an item has a coverage limit of $3000, repairs will only be covered till that amount has been billed and any additional charges have to come out of pocket.
Coverage limits are an important way in which American Home Shield differs from ServicePlus Home Warranty.
|American Home Shield||ServicePlus Home Warranty|
|Average Appliance Coverage Limit||$6000 with ShieldPlatinum Plan||$350~|
|Average System Coverage Limit||None||–|
|Average Coverage Limit per Contract Term||NA||$1500|
Only the items, parts, and components explicitly mentioned in the service agreement would be covered by American Home Shield and that coverage would extend only to failure due to normal wear and tear. The company will not cover any repairs resulting from rust, corrosion or not following the correct maintenance routines. Undetectable pre-existing conditions can be covered but will have to be proven with a visual inspection or a mechanical test.
The company determines if the covered item needs repairs or has to be replaced. Sometimes, they may be unable to provide repair or replacement services and would offer cash instead. If they authorize services from an outside party, they will offer cash according to the amount it would have cost them which could be less than retail pricing.
Among exclusions, American Home Shield does not cover window air conditioning units, portable heating units, telephone wiring and faceplates, sinks, showers, toilets and lids, seals and caulking, water filtration/purification systems, etc. But they do cover almost everything in home appliances.
To avail of ServicePlus Home Warranty services, all past trade service payments must be made and plan fees paid on time. They specify that they will pay only for the repairs and replacements performed by their authorized contractors. They do allow the customer to get a second opinion and pay the service call fee only if the second opinion concurs with the first.
ServicePlus Home Warranty excludes from coverage A/C filters, window units and non-ducted wall A/C units, condenser casings, water leaks from A/Cs, gas heating systems, solar water heater etc. In appliances, they do not cover doors, baskets, ice makers in fridges, toilet tanks, water line clogs, hydro jetting, jet and steam cleaning, bathtubs, insufficient water pressure, etc. It’s necessary to read the contract in detail because each system or appliance tends to have its own coverage cap.
AHS and SPHW have a very similar process for filing claims. They have an online portal for filing claims, and you can access them by logging into the respective customer service account.
The coverage begins 30 days after the date of purchase of the SPHW plan. ServicePlus Home Warranty can waive the waiting period if you can show a record of previous coverage with no lapse from a different home warranty service provider.
American Home Shield has an Online Account page where you have to enter your ZIP code and policy number or street address. Alternatively, you can call their Claims Department at 888.682.1043.
The SPHW Customer Portal requires you to enter the registered email address, password, and policy number. They also give you the option to file claims over the phone at 1-800-545-0402.
The companies check whether the item is covered as per the contract and assign a qualified service contractor, following your schedule and availability. You have to pay the deductible to the service contractor who comes out to assess the breakdown.
Most home warranty companies follow the same procedures for renewal. The home warranty policy should be renewed before the expiration of the contract, and to get coverage without disruption and no waiting period.
AHS renews the contract automatically after the expiration of the annual term. If they don’t receive payment within 45 days of the new contract term, they will cancel the contract. Customers can also renew their contracts online.
ServicePlus Home Warranty sends an update 60 days before the plan expiry and then renews your policy automatically when the contract is up. Monthly payees get the update during the 10th month, and SPHW renews the plan automatically unless the company is informed otherwise.
Upon sale of the home to a new owner, you can transfer the remainder of the home warranty plan. Both American Home Shield and ServicePlus Home Warranty have to be notified of the change in ownership by telephone call or by email with supporting documents.
The American Home Shield plan can be canceled at any time. If you cancel within 30 days of buying the plan, AHS refunds the entire fee minus any claims serviced. If syou cancel after 30 days, you will receive a prorated refund of the remaining fee minus the cost of any services provided by CHW and an administrative fee.
ServicePlus Home Warranty allows you to cancel the policy for any reason. Plans canceled within 30 days of the order date are eligible for a full refund. After 30 days, you will receive only a prorated refund minus the cost of any services incurred by SPHW and a $50 administrative fee. If the services provided exceed the plan fee, then you will not get any refund.
After covering the broad facets of the services and plans offered by AHS and SPHW, it’s time for a quick look at the pros and cons of choosing either company.
|Almost nationwide coverage||Not available in 5 states|
|Budget-friendly plans with a special discount of $200 for HomeWarrantyReviews.com users||No information on the size of contractor network or no. of homes covered|
|Free roof leak coverage and 2 free months of coverage||No customization of plans|
|Covers more than one HVAC unit, refrigerator, and garage door opener||Excludes many components from coverage|
|Operates in 50 states||Comparatively expensive plans|
|Offers home cleaning and maintenance services from independent contractors for a fee||Limitations in customer service at times|
|Offers full coverage on some items||Optional coverage is not as extensive|
|Offers coverage cap upgrade with comprehensive plans||Better to get a home inspection to ensure there are no pre-existing conditions|
Finally, it’s time to round up a winner, and our verdict is: It depends on your priorities!
Both ServicePlus Home Warranty and American Home Shield are large companies though SPHW operates in 4 fewer states. When it comes to quality of customer service, they both offer 24/7 claim filing and schedule service visits within 2-4 business days. Both companies have a number of exclusions though American Home Shield has fewer appliance exclusions.
American Home Shield though they offer extensive coverage and upgrades may not be useful if you don’t have a ton of aging systems and appliances requiring regular repairs. However, they have an extensive technician network and several accessory products. ServicePlus Home Warranty makes for a more budget-friendly choice and has a good technician network, having grown exponentially since establishment.
For more information, read the reviews from customers of both companies. You can request a free quote to figure out which company would work out best for your unique needs.