American Home Shield

time icon 7 min read update icon Sept. 20, 2019
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American Home Shield (AHS) is the originator of home warranties, and has provided services for over 40 years. If you are considering a home warranty, AHS has established itself among the top five in the industry.

Purchasing a home today is a big investment; maintaining one can also be expensive. Unexpected expenses for appliance repair, furnace replacement or electrical issues in your home can really put a dent in your pocketbook. If this is a concern, you may want to consider a home warranty, which is a service contract that covers the repair or replacement of various appliances and systems in your home.

A home warranty is not insurance, but can help cover some of the costs when something in your home breaks, like your refrigerator or heating system. It’s a smart way to protect your budget. Home warranty plans cover things that a homeowner’s policy will not.

Grandfolk Scoring
Cost 7/10
Coverage period 6/10
Additional fees 5/10
Exclusions 8/10
Contractors 8/10
Service response 5/10
Payment 10/10
Claims 8/10
Cancellation 10/10
Ease 10/10
warranty 9/10
Customer Support 9/10
Is there an annual fee?
Annual feesrange from $249-500+ per year, and vary by location
Coverage period
When will my coverage begin?
Once you signthe contract, you must wait 30 days tocall for service
Additional fees
Are there any additional expenses or fees?
You must pay a Trade Service Call Fee each time you call for service
Are there any items that are not covered?
All plans cover normal wear and tear of appliances and systems only
Who will the company send to my home?
AHSemploys contractors who are graded on customer satisfaction
Service response
How quickly can the company resolve my issue?
It could take up to 48 hours for a technician to arrive
What types of payment are accepted?
AHS accepts credit cards and personal checks
What is the process for filing claims?
Place a call to the service center or enter a request online
Cost or difficulty to cancel?
Yes, and you will get a full refund if you cancel within 30 days
Ways you can enroll
Very easy; help is a phone call or email away
What warranties are offered?
Warranties on appliances, systems, and combinations of the two
Customer Support
Ease of access
Customer support is available online or by phone
Age Score:
50-64 Years
65-74 Years
75-84 Years

Using a service of this type requires a clear understanding of the specific terms of the contract. Many of the items AHS covers (ceiling fan, garbage disposal, doorbell, dishwasher, microwave) are covered completely, no matter what occurs within normal wear and tear. However, more complex systems such as air conditioning/heating systems, plumbing, spa equipment and well pumps have specific exclusions that could relieve the company from covering a problem. Older seniors may have trouble understanding these specifics and may find that something they expected to be covered is not. For example, the company will not pay for repair or replacement when a malfunction is due to a lack of capacity in the system, or if there are damages to appliances or systems that are affected by mold or mildew, storms, power surges, earthquakes or floods.

Health Score:
Great Health
Good Health
Fair Health
Poor Health

A home warranty plan can provide a homeowner great comfort in knowing they have little to worry about in terms of appliances that break, or air conditioning systems that fail. If a senior is in good or great health and can monitor the systems in their home, find short-term alternatives when an appliance fails, and wait for parts or a replacement, the service may be of value to them. However, when a senior is in fair or poor health, there is no guarantee that service can be provided in a timely way in an emergency.
The contract states that services will be initiated within 48 hours (under normal circumstances) after a service call is made. A technician could arrive as soon as 24 hours, but there is no guarantee of a timely dispatch. An electrical failure could have a severe impact on a senior who requires constant oxygen, for example.


  • The company has a network of over 13,000 independent service contractors and 45,000 service technicians.
  • Plans can be adjusted to suit your specific needs, or you can build your own plan.
  • Customers have access to additional savings on appliances and air filters, as well as discounts from other brands within the ServiceMaster family of companies.
  • Repair calls can be made 24/7/365.
  • There is no limit to the number of calls that can be made over the term of the contract.
  • There is no requirement for a home inspection to get coverage. The company will cover appliances and systems of any age.
  • The website is very comprehensive and answers many questions that you may have.


  • You must pay an additional Trade Service Call Fee in addition to your annual contract fee.
  • There is no guarantee that you can get timely service in an emergency. The company will accept a request to expedite scheduling of non-emergency service only when a service contractor is available. If the contractor agrees to expedite scheduling, you may have to pay an additional fee.
  • Whether an appliance or system is repaired or replaced is at the discretion of the company.
  • There is a waiting period before you can request service, usually 30 days after signing and paying for your contract.

Bottom Line:

American Home Shield is the first company of its kind. It offers plans to service appliances, systems, or both. The company allows great flexibility in choosing which appliances and systems in your home you want to cover. In addition, add-ons can be appended on every plan.
Websites that compare home warranty companies generally rate this company among the top five. It has been accredited by the BBB and holds a B rating (there are quite a few negative reviews). The company has been acknowledged by as Top Rated in 2015-17 and Best in Service in 2014.
Another benefit not to be dismissed: AHS offers savings plans to help you purchase new appliances at reduced rates. However, before signing up, you need to read the contract carefully and understand exactly what it covers and what it does not cover. If you are in the
market for a home warranty, this company is one you should consider, but be sure to do your homework.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I request service?

Once your contract is in effect (usually 30 days after you have paid for the contract), you can call the company anytime (24/7) or submit a request through the website.

Besides the plan price, are there additional out-of- pocket expenses?

You will need to pay a Trade Service Fee for each contractor of a different trade (plumber, electrician, etc.) who visits your home. This can range from $75-$125 per contractor.

Does the company cover old appliances?

Yes. American Home Shield offers flexibility in its plans if you have older appliances. If you have a lot of older appliances and think you will need to call often, you can choose a lower Trade Service Call Fee structure and pay a slightly higher annual cost.

More Information:

Product Details

Overview: American Home Shield has three basic packages: one that covers appliances, another that covers systems, and a third that is a combination of these (a combo plan). All plans allow you to append items that aren’t in the standard list. All plans require you to pay a Trade Service Call Fee each time a technician from a different trade visits your home. These fees vary from $75-$125.

Package Details: The Appliance Plan covers standard appliances, such as one refrigerator, dishwasher, clothes washer and dryer, range, oven, trash compactor, and garage door opener.

The Systems Plan covers replacement or repair of key home system components: air conditioning/heating and ductwork, electrical, plumbing, water heater, smoke detectors, central vacuum, ceiling fans, and doorbells.

The Combo Plan is a combination of the Appliance and System plans and includes everything covered in each plan. You will save an average of $14 per month compared to buying each plan separately.

Finally, you can build your own plan covering ten or more items from the items in each list.

Other Services: Once you become a customer of American Home Shield, you are eligible for several customer benefits, including an appliance discount program, discounts on air filters, and discounts from other brands in the ServiceMaster family, such as Terminix,
Amerispec, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and ServiceMaster Clean. If you refer a friend, you can receive a $25 Amazon gift card.

Additional Company Details

Contract Details: If you cancel your contract within the first 30 days, you will receive a full refund of the contract fee if no services have been used. If you cancel after 30 days, the refund is pro-rated for the unexpired term, minus any administrative fees of up to one month's payment amount and any service or claims costs incurred by American Home Shield.

Warranty: American Home Shield offers warranty plans for appliances, home systems, and a combination of both.

Accreditations: American Home Shield has been given a Women's Choice Award for three years running (2014-17) as America's most recommended home warranty provider. The company has been acknowledged by as Top Rated in 2015-17 and Best in Service in 2014.

Company Details: American Home Shield was founded in 1971, and was the first company of its kind. It was acquired in 1989 by ServiceMaster, and continues to be the largest home warranty provider in the U.S., offering services in 49 states and the District of Columbia. American Home Shield is BBB accredited and has received a 'B' rating.


American Home Shield
889 Ridge Lake Blvd.
Memphis, TN 38120
Tel: (901) 537-8000

Donna McDurfee - Senior Advisor

Donna is senior researcher with Grandfolk® providing in-depth product and service reviews to empower senior buying decisions.