Service Fee (Winner: American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty)
American Home Shield has a customizable service fee that can either be $75, $100, or $125. The service fee will directly affect your monthly cost; if you choose the cheaper service fee, you'll pay more in your monthly bill, whereas if you select the more expensive service fee, your monthly fee will be less.
First American Home Warranty has a set service fee of $75. Although it is not customizable, the service fee is on the cheaper end when compared to other service providers.
Home Warranty Cost (Winner: First American Home Warranty)
First American Home Warranty has American Home Shield beat in monthly/yearly cost. Although AHS has the convenience of a flexible trade service fee, when you compare the two companies and their pricing, First American Home Warranty comes out on top. If you select AHS's $75 service fee, First American Home Warranty's cost is cheaper.
First American Home Warranty's basic plan starts at $28 per month or $336 per year (pricing based on a $75 service fee). American Home Shield's two basic plans are both $49.99 per month or $599.88 per year (pricing based on a $75 service fee). Pricing may vary by location.
Contract (Winner: American Home Shield)
Both First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield require one-year warranty contracts. However, American Home Shield offers a month-to-month contract option after the first year of service. If you plan to have warranty coverage for more than one year and want flexible terms, American Home Shield is the better option.
Basic Coverage (Price Winner: First American Home Warranty; Coverage Options Winner: American Home Shield)
- American Home Shield's Basic Plan: $599.88 per year (based on a $75 service fee)
- First American Home Warranty's Basic Plan: $336 per year (based on a $75 service fee)
American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty differ in pricing as well as in what major appliances and systems their warranty covers. American Home Shield separates its basic coverage into two separate packages: an Appliances Plan and a Systems Plan. First American Home Warranty, on the other hand, offers one basic plan that includes both systems and appliances.
First American Home Warranty's Basic Plan ($336 per year) includes the following:
- Washer and dryer
- Oven range
- Garbage disposal
- Trash compactor
American Home Shield's Appliances Plan ($599.88 per year) includes coverage for the following appliances:
- Clothes washer
- Clothes dryer
- Built-in microwave oven
- Trash compactor
- Freestanding ice maker
- Garage door opener
- Built-in food center
The following systems are covered under American Home Shield's Systems Plan ($599.88 per year):
- Air conditioner and ductwork
- Heating and ductwork
- Smoke detectors
- Ceiling fans
- Plumbing (including stoppages)
- Water heater
- Garbage disposal
- Instant hot/cold water dispenser
- Central vacuum
Combo Coverage (Winner: American Home Shield)
- American Home Shield's Combo Plan: $659.88 per year (based on a $75 service fee)
- First American Home Warranty's Combo Plan: $510 per year (based on a $75 service fee)
Although First American Home Warranty offers cheaper combo coverage, the company does not provide as robust of coverage as American Home Shield does. AHS's combo plan covers every system and appliance that First American Home Warranty's plan does, in addition to multiple other items:
- Air Conditioning
- Smoke Detectors
- Ceiling Fans
- Instant Hot/Cold Water Disp.
- Free-standing Ice Makers
- Built-in Food Centers
First American Home Warranty does not offer coverage for any of the above items, except for air conditioning. For air conditioning coverage, First American charges an additional $108 per year. If you want air conditioning included in your coverage, this bumps its yearly cost up to $618, and this doesn't include the additional major appliances and systems that AHS offers for a total of $659.88 per year.
Add-On Coverage Options (Winner: First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield)
First American Home Warranty offers five items that you can select individually for add-on coverage: electric central air conditioning ($108 per year), additional refrigeration ($48 per year), pool and spa equipment ($180 per year), and a first class upgrade ($108 per year and includes coverage for cranes, refrigerant recapture, reclaim and disposal, and a $250 reimbursement for each building permit).
American Home Shield also has additional offerings you can purchase a la carte: Electronics Plan by Asurion ($240 per year), coverage for guest unit ($179.88 per year for a unit less than 750 square feet), pool and in-ground spa coverage ($167.88 per year for pool only, $167.88 per year for in-ground spa only, $167.88 per year for pool and in-ground spa equipment, and $80.04 per year for additional in-ground spa), sump pump coverage ($30 per year but only available first year of warranty), and well pump coverage ($84.96 per year).
Both companies have robust add-on coverage, but their offered products differ. The company who has the best add-on coverage will depend on systems and appliances you're looking for as a homeowner.
Build-Your-Own Coverage (Winner: American Home Shield)
Many homeowners want the option to build their own home warranty packages as this provides more customization and ensures they don't have to pay for coverage they don't need. American Home Shield offers build-your-own coverage that lets you pick and choose each individual system or appliance you want coverage for.
American Home Shield's build-your-own package is $659.88 per year based on a $75 service fee. The warranty plan covers your choice of 10 systems and appliances. If you select more than 10, it's $2 for each added product per month or $24 for each added product per year.
First American Home Warranty does not offer a build-your-own home warranty package. The company only has a basic plan and a combo plan with additional add-on items.
Waiting Period (Winner: American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty)
Both American Home Shield and First American have 30-day waiting periods outlined in their warranty plans. This is a common feature in a warranty policy, stating that customers must wait 30 days for their coverage to become effective, and it ensures that warranty companies are not covering items that the consumer knew would need repair or replacement due before finding warranty coverage. Thirty days is the industry average.
Licensed Contractors (Winner: American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty)
First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield provide licensed contractors to respond to your service repair and replacement claims. This means homeowners don't have to worry about doing additional research to find their own service technicians. Both home warranty companies have a trusted network of technicians.
24/7 Claims Service (Winner: American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty)
First American Home Warranty and American Home shield both have a 24/7 claims service. You can contact the service providers through their service requests hotline or you can submit a claim on their websites through your customer login. These are convenient features for customers whose items need immediate repair.
Time in Business (Winner: American Home Shield)
American Home Shield has been one of the most well-known home warranty companies since its founding in 1971. The company is a market leader with more than 1.7 million customers.
First American Home Warranty has also been in business for decades and has extensive experience in the home warranty industry. Although AHS has been in business longer, First American Home Warranty has also proved itself as a trusted home warranty company with saving homeowners more than $180 million in system and appliance repairs and replacements since its opening.
Customer Reviews (Winner: First American Home Warranty)
First American Home Warranty has hundreds of positive reviews with the majority of consumers giving the company 3.5/5 stars in regards to the company's value for money, quality of service, customer service, and company trustworthiness.
American Home Shield has more negative reviews, giving the company an overall customer score under three stars. Customer satisfaction is a bit lower when it comes to quality of service, customer service, and company trustworthiness.
First American Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Which is the better option?
American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty are both popular brands in the home warranty industry. The companies offer robust home warranty plans with a variety of plans to choose from.
Which company is best for you depends on a variety of factors.
First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield are similar in their 24/7 claims process, quality of contractors, and add-on coverage options. Here is where the companies differ:
First American Home Warranty wins in the following areas: overall home warranty cost, basic coverage pricing, and customer satisfaction from customer reviews.
American Home Shield wins in these areas: service fee customization, contract flexibility, combo coverage, build-your-own coverage, and time in business.