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First American Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield

American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty are two veterans within the home warranty industry, each providing coverage to their customers for over 35 years. Keep reading to learn how they compare against each other.

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First American and American Home Shield are both home warranty companies that offer protection plans for systems and appliances such as air conditioning or plumbing. American Home Shield also offers coverage for air conditioning within a couple of its core plans, while First American does not. Both companies offer optional add-ons.

Keep reading to see a breakdown of the differences between First American and American Home Shield’s plans, coverage, cost, claims process, and important policy features.

Side-to-Side Comparison: First American vs. American Home Shield

Features First American Home Warranty American Home Shield
Features First American Home Warranty American Home Shield
Get a free quote Visit site Visit site
This Old House rating 8.4/10 9.5/10
Plan options Basic, Premier, and optional add-ons ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, ShieldPlatinum™, and optional add-ons
Monthly premiums $36–$38 $40–$58
Service Fee Deductible $75 $75–$125
State availability Available in all U.S. states except Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, Rhode Island, Vermont, or Wisconsin Available in all U.S. states, except Alaska
BBB rating B B
Years in Business 36 49

Coverage Comparison

American Home Shield provides customers with a wide range of coverage options and offers three plans: the ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldPlatinum™.

First American Home Warranty provides two affordable, easy-to-understand plans—a Basic Plan and a Premier Plan—that offer coverage on major home systems and appliances. Additionally, FAHW offers customers a First Class Upgrade, which covers appliances and systems that have been inadequately installed or repaired.

American Home Shield Coverage

Item ShieldSilver™ ShieldGold™ ShieldPlatinum™
Item ShieldSilver™ ShieldGold™ ShieldPlatinum™
Air conditioning
Built-in exhaust, vent, and attic fans
Main breaker and fuse panel box
Interior electrical lines
Ceiling fans
Garage door openers
Interior plumbing lines
Faucets and valves
Whirlpool tub
Water heaters
Built-in microwaves
Garbage disposals
Instant hot/cold water dispensers
Clothes washer
Clothes dryer
HVAC tune-up
Roof leak coverage

American Home Shield also offers optional coverage for the following items:

  • Electronic extended warranty
  • Pool and spas
  • Well pump
  • Septic pump
  • Guest units up to 750 square feet

You can receive pricing for these items when you go to the AHS website and request a free quote.

First American Home Warranty Coverage

Items Basic Plan Premier Plan
Items Basic Plan Premier Plan
Clothes washer
Clothes dryer
Built-in microwave oven
Trash compactor
Garage door opener
Water heater
Garbage disposal
Central vacuum system

First American Home Warranty offers coverage through two affordable plans, Basic and Premier, that provide comprehensive coverage on systems and appliances. Compare what’s covered under each plan below.

In addition to these two plans, First American offers a First Class Upgrade that protects systems and appliances that have been improperly installed or repaired. If you choose to opt for this add-on, you’ll receive coverage for the following items:

  • Fees associated with the use of lifting equipment, like cranes, necessary for rooftop HVAC maintenance
  • Up to $250 per local building permits (if needed) prior to replacing appliances, home systems, or components
  • Refrigerant recapture, reclaim, and disposal
  • Haul-away services associated with the cost of appliance, system, or component removal
  • Appliances and systems that have been insufficiently installed or modified

Price Comparison

Although First American Home Warranty and American Home Shield offer similar coverage, First American offers cheaper monthly premiums. See how the companies compare in pricing below.

American Home Shield Prices

Plan $75 Service Fee $100 Service Fee $125 Service Fee
Plan $75 Service Fee $100 Service Fee $125 Service Fee
ShieldSilver™ $54.99 per month $44.99 per month $39.99 per month
ShieldGold™ $64.99 per month $54.99 per month $49.99 per month
ShieldPlatinum™ $79.99 per month $69.99 per month $64.99 per month

In addition to the monthly cost of an AHS plan, you’ll be required to pay a service call fee, a one-time fee paid to the service technician that comes out to repair or replace your system or appliance. American Home Shield allows customers to select their own service fee: $75, $100, or $125. Usually, a higher service fee decreases your monthly cost while a lower service fee increases it.

First American Home Warranty Prices

First American Home Warranty Plan Cost
First American Home Warranty Plan Cost
Basic Plan $28.00 per month
Premier Plan $42.50 per month

FAHW customers are also required to pay a $75 service fee for every claim they make.

Note: The monthly cost of your FAHW plan could increase if you add on optional coverage for central air conditioning (electric), additional refrigeration, pool or spa equipment, well pumps, or the First Class Upgrade.

To receive pricing on these items or get a free quote, fill out this online form or call First American Home Warranty at 800-891-9778.

Our Conclusion: Which Is Better?

American Home Shield offers customers the ability to choose between a variety of plans that can protect systems or a combination of appliances and systems. AHS offers generous caps on systems and appliances, and it allows customers to choose their service fee.

Although AHS offers comprehensive coverage throughout the United States, it does not provide coverage in Alaska. The company also doesn’t allow you to choose your own technician and only guarantees repairs for up to 30 days.

On the other hand, First American Home Warranty provides affordable coverage through two comprehensive protection plans. The established provider has no caps on heating, cooling, and ductwork and offers 24/7 customer service.

Unlike American Home Shield, FAHW doesn’t provide a protection plan for just coverage on systems. To protect your home’s systems, you’ll have to opt for their Premier Plan, which protects both appliances and systems, or purchase additional coverage through add-ons. Additionally, First American doesn’t allow you to choose your own technician or service fee.

This Old House Pick: American Home Shield

American Home Shield is our top pick as a home warranty provider, receiving a rating of 9.5/10. The home warranty veteran has been in the business for almost 50 years and has some of the most comprehensive coverage in the industry, offering you the ability to customize your own coverage and choose your own service fee.

Although the AHS monthly premium is a little higher than First American’s, customers have the ability to decrease their monthly cost through selecting a higher service fee.

For a free quote from American Home Shield, fill out this online form or call 844-529-9298.

FAQ about Home Warranties

How long do home warranties last?

Home warranty contracts usually last for a year, though some companies will give you discounts if you sign up for a multi-year contract.

What does a home warranty cover?

Typically, a home warranty covers both systems and appliances, though some companies offer plans that cover only appliances or only systems. The most common systems and appliances covered under a home warranty include air conditioning, heating, electrical, plumbing, ductwork, refrigerators, water heaters, built-in microwaves, dishwashers, ovens, clothes washers, clothes dryers, and garbage disposals.

How can I cancel my home warranty?

With most home warranty companies, you can cancel your home warranty contract within the first 30 days for a full refund. After the 30-day waiting period, you may still be able to cancel your contract, but you’ll probably receive a prorated amount based on your remaining contract. Check your policy’s terms and conditions to understand the cancellation policy.

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