America’s Preferred Home Warranty (APHW) was founded in 1999 and is based out of Jackson, Michigan. It does business under Christian-based principles and vows to “maximize customer value through innovation and the use of technology.” In addition to providing warranty coverage, America’s Preferred Home Warranty is an active advocate of charities within its communities, setting aside a portion of its profits to directly benefit hurting families, cancer research, and children’s hospitals.
The This Old House Reviews Team has reviewed multiple home warranty companies and their plans, coverage, and pricing. In this America’s Preferred Home Warranty review, we’ll discuss coverage, claims, costs, and customer reviews to help you decide if this is the best home warranty for you.
Pros and Cons of America’s Preferred Home Warranty
Pros & Cons
|Preferred Upgrade allows for additional coverage on select systems and appliances||Only one protection plan available|
|Offers a low service fee of $50||Coverage is expensive for homeowners who choose the lowest service fee|
|Policyholders can choose their own licensed contractros|
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Plans and Coverage
|Standard Coverage||Included Coverage from Preferred Upgrade|
|Heating system||Register, grills, and heat lamps|
|Refrigerators||Control board, ice maker, ice/beverage dispenser, and refrigerant recovery|
|Attic and exhaust fans|
|Instant hot water dispenser|
|Plumbing system and stoppages||Toilets are replaced with similar models|
|Permanent trash compactor||Lock and key assemblies and buckets|
|Water heater||Covers sediment buildup|
|Garage door opener||Hinges, springs, transmitters, and keypads|
|Hotel room benefits|
|Permanent sump pump|
|Limited roof leak repair|
|Water well pump|
|Built-in dishwasher||Racks, baskets, and rollers|
|Built-in oven||Rotisseries, racks, handles, interior lining, clocks, knobs, and dials|
|Central Air Conditioning||Refrigerant recovery, crane expenses, registers, and grills|
|Free-Standing Range and Cooktop|
|An electrical package offers coverage for fire or burglar alarms, lighting fixtures, and doorbells.|
|$250 for the correction of code violations|
America’s Preferred Home Warranty also offers several optional add-ons so policyholders can extend their coverage for additional systems and appliances:
- Pool and spa equipment
- Premium pool and spa
- Clothes washer and dryer
- Water softener
- Jetted bathtub
Note: You’ll have to pay an additional fee every month for any add-ons you include in your standard plan. Here’s what those costs look like.
|Optional Add-Ons||Annual Cost||Coverage Caps|
|Clothes washer and dryer||$85||$400|
A sample contract provided by America’s Preferred Home Warranty states that the company protects against the malfunction of covered appliances and systems that result from normal conditions of use. The user agreement gives a transparent look at what is included and what is not.
Here are a few highlights that should be noted.
|Systems and Appliances||Covered Repairs||Excluded Repairs|
|Central air conditioning||Coils and compressors||Window or portable units|
|Leaks in refrigerant lines||Condenser fins|
|Condensing units and coolers||Filters|
|Electrical system||Electrical breakers and wiring||Meter boxes|
|Conduit and junction box||Wiring located outside of the main dwelling|
|Panels and subpanels||Loss from a power surge|
|Water heater||Electric, gas, and tankless units||Insufficient capacity|
|Gas valves||Water residue or rust out|
|Heating system||Interior gas lines||Fuel oil lines|
|Thermostats||Registers and grills|
|Heat exchanger||Chimneys and chimney liners|
Before signing up for service, analyze the sample contract to ensure the type of equipment you own is included in the coverage.
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Pricing
The price of your plan will depend on the service fee you select. With a $50 service fee, a home warranty policy costs $549 per year, while a $100 deductible will lower the annual cost to $499. By choosing the highest service fee of $125, a basic policy will cost just $465 per year. By including the Preferred Upgrade, it will increase the annual price with a one-time payment of $125.
This pricing is comparable to other providers with similar coverage—the average home warranty costs homeowners about $300 for a basic warranty and $600 for more comprehensive protection.
The maximum aggregate liability of America’s Preferred Home Warranty is $25,000 per 12-year service contract. The provider lists its maximum payouts per specific appliances and systems in its sample agreement. Keep in mind, these totals are the coverage limitations per instance, regardless of the number of claims for repairs or replacements.
|Plumbing and electrical systems||$500|
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Claim Process
APHW has an easy claims process and can be performed online through the company’s website. Here are the steps you should take to file a claim:
- Start a claim on the APHW website and receive a claim number.
- Call a licensed contractor of your choice to diagnose the problem.
- Once the contractor is on site, and before any work is performed, call 800-648-5006 for phone approval. Failure to abide by this guideline may result in denial of the claim.
- An America’s Preferred Home Warranty representative will provide a determination on coverage, and if approved, initiate payment.
America’s Preferred Home Warranty claims that they will immediately pay for a repair or replacement over the phone via credit card, send a check to the contractor, or reimburse a policyholder within 14 business days.
America’s Preferred Home Warranty Reviews
By analyzing America’s Preferred Home Warranty Reviews reviews from actual policyholders, we can gain a unique perspective into how committed a provider is to its customers and the terms and conditions. Based on America’s Preferred Home Warranty profile from the Better Business Bureau (BBB), customers can see that the company was accredited in 2010 and has an A+ rating.
Here are a few customer testimonials.
“My wife and I will always be thankful that our home came with an America’s Preferred Home Warranty because we ended up needing to use them the first winter in our home, when our furnace went out. Then, the following spring, our air-conditioning system went out! Shortly after, as if it couldn’t get worse, our dishwasher and washing machine broke! America’s Preferred Home Warranty quickly and conveniently assisted us in replacing each of these systems/items, and we have decided to keep our warranty renewing for the foreseeable future. We otherwise could not have afforded to replace all of these things! I highly recommend them.” — David E., 5 stars, 10/21/2019
“America’s Preferred Home Warranty is a scam. They will find a way not to pay much or nothing at all for a repair. I would never recommend them to anyone..Don’t spend your money on this company.” — Judith R., 1 star, 01/23/2020
The This Old House Reviews Team gives America’s Preferred Home Warranty a 9.2/10. Its straightforward approach to choosing coverage helps streamline the process for policyholders, and its service fee of $50 is lower than the industry average.
The company is different from most home warranty providers as it allows a policyholder to choose their own licensed contractors for repair work. Typically, home warranty companies will dispatch a qualified contractor from its network of experts.
Unfortunately, we also discovered a few disadvantages to America’s Preferred Home Warranty.
- If a policyholder selects an unauthorized technician, repairs or replacements may be delayed or result in a claim denial.
- The base package doesn’t cover a washing machine or dryer. Instead, coverage for these items must be purchased for an additional fee.
- When choosing the lowest service fee, the cost for coverage is near the industry’s most expensive costs.
Our Preferred Provider: American Home Shield
The This Old House Reviews Team recommends American Home Shield as the best home warranty company in the industry. American Home Shield is a reputable company that is well-known as the inventor of the home warranty industry. It began its operations in 1971 and currently services over 1.8 million customers. The company stands out due to its dedication to customer service, affordable packages, and transparent terms and conditions.
The company offers three different packages: ShieldSilver™, ShieldGold™, and ShieldPlatinum™.
Here are a few other benefits of American Home Shield:
- Covers 49 states, excluding Alaska
- Requests for service are answered within 24 hours 98% of the time
- Includes generous coverage caps for appliances of up to $3,000
- Offers basic, comprehensive, and customizable warranty packages
- Has a 30-day workmanship guarantee after repairs or replacements are completed
Our Rating Methodology
The This Old House Reviews Team is committed to providing comprehensive and unbiased reviews to our readers, and we aim to provide transparency in our review standards and research process.
Our research process includes speaking with representatives from more than 40 home warranty providers, requesting quotes, and asking clarifying questions to gain insight into each provider’s benefits and downsides. We also analyze sample contracts from each company to understand specific coverage terms.
To rate companies, we apply the data we have gathered to our review standards. These standards are on a 100-point scoring system, which is detailed below:
- Coverage (35 points): Providers are scored based on breadth and depth of coverage. We focused on key home systems (HVAC, plumbing, and electrical), essential appliances (refrigerator, ovens, and laundry machines), and unique coverage items (such as roof-leak coverage and code violation allowances). Coverage scores are weighted by taking into account coverage caps and other limiting factors, meaning providers with greater range of coverage and higher coverage caps score the highest.
- Value (30 points): A company’s plan value is a reflection of how well it serves the customer in comparison to what the customer pays for the policy. We accounted for monthly costs, service call fees, and cost flexibility (such as customizable service call fees, discounts, and multi-year policies).
- Trustworthiness and Transparency (21 points): Trustworthiness and transparency are a reflection of how well the provider considers the customer’s interests. We scored items such as the length of workmanship guarantees, online availability of a sample contract, policy change flexibility, and ease of cancellation. Additionally, we scored items that reflect industry reputation and customer satisfaction, including analyzing brand reputation across the Better Business Bureau and third-party customer review aggregators.
- Availability and Service (14 points): Quality of customer service is key to customer satisfaction. We dug into each provider’s guaranteed response times, claims processes, service flexibility, emergency availability, and more.
To share feedback or ask a question about this article, send a note to our Reviews Team at firstname.lastname@example.org.