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American Dwelling Defend Evaluation | Dwelling Warranties

Home warranties are contracts that cover repairs and replacements to home systems and appliances, from ice makers to hvacs, for a monthly or yearly fee. Usually, home warranty companies also have optional, add-on coverage that can be purchased individually for greater peace of mind.

Table of Contents

American Home Shield’s Services
American Home Shield’s Credentials
American Home Shield’s Accessibility
American Home Shield’s Customer Satisfaction

American Home Shield Overview

American Home Shield is a subsidiary of Frontdoor Brands. The company has been around since the early 70s and is based in Memphis, Tennessee.

Pros

Largest home warranty service provider in the nation
Extremely customizable service plans
Offers home electronics coverage options

You can use your own contractor

Cons

Repairs on covered items are only guaranteed for 30 days
Coverage is not available in Alaska

Roof leak coverage is not available in Hawaii

Even with the best homeowners insurance, your appliances and major systems aren’t covered if they break down from normal wear and tear. Unless you’ve got a home warranty, also known as a service contract, you could be on the hook for payment if your major appliances and systems fail.

You may have to raid your savings or get a home improvement loan to cover costly repairs. Alternatively, you could work with a company like American Home Shield (AHS) to help cover the costs of repairing or replacing appliances and systems. Here’s some information about this home warranty provider and its service contract plans.

American Home Shield’s Services

American Home Shield has three plans to protect your home’s appliances and systems. Be aware that once you sign up, there’s a 30-day waiting period before youcan make a home service request. However, unlike some competitors, American Home Shield covers you without requiring a home inspection or maintenance records.

What American Home Shield Offers

Here’s a breakdown of American Home Shield’s home warranty plans and what each offers:

ShieldSilver (starting at $29.99/mo.): Air conditioners or ac units, heating units, ductwork, built-in exhaust, vents, attic fans, main breaker, fuse panel box, doorbells, chimes, interior electrical lines, ceiling fans, garage door openers, interior plumbing, toilet, faucets, valves, whirlpool tub motor and components, water heaters.

ShieldGold (starting at $39.99/mo.): Effectively a combo plan, this covers everything that ShieldSilver does, in addition to kitchen refrigerator, range, cooktop, oven, dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, instant hot/cold water dispensers, clothes washer, clothes dryer.

ShieldPlatinum (starting at $69.99/mo.): Everything covered by ShieldGold, in addition to roof leak repairs, free HVAC tune-up, unlimited A/C refrigerant, coverage for code violations and permits.

The monthly fees outlined above can change based on your location. We recommend going to the AHS website and entering your home address to get a free quote with the correct monthly price for your region. Also, your monthly fee could vary depending on the trade service call fee you choose — either $75, $100 or $125. The higher the trade service fee, the lower your monthly premium will be.

AHS also offers the following optional add-ons:

Roof leak repair
Home electronics protection plan
Pool or spa
Guest unit
Septic pump
Well pump
Maintenance services: rekey, discounted heating or a/c tune-up and air filter discounts

You can either request service online at ahs.com or call 888.683.8576. Once AHS receives your request, the company dispatches a contractor from its network. In some cases, AHS will allows use of your own contractor. Outside authorizations such as these require the proper licensure, insurance and liability coverage before AHS will approve them to work on your request.

When you request service, you’ll pay the required trade service call fee so that your contractor can diagnose and fix your problem. Once the issue is resolved, AHS offers a 30-day workmanship guarantee. If there’s an issue with a completed repair within 30 days of service, AHS will send a contractor back out for free.

What American Home Shield Doesn’t Offer

Even the best home warranty companies have limitations on what they offer. According to the company’s website, American Home Shield plans don’t cover:

Older items, no matter their age
Undetectable pre-existing conditions
Items without maintenance records
Breakdowns caused by lack of maintenance
Improper installations, repairs or modifications
Malfunctions due to sediment, rust or corrosion
Removal of old, defective items
Duplicates of the same item, like an extra refrigerator

There may be other things that void a home warranty, but that’s highly dependent upon the company. If you’re unsure, ask an AHS customer service representative for a sample contract that clearly outlines what its home warranty covers, and its terms and exclusions.

Depending on your plan, there will also be some coverage caps:

A/c refrigerant
Roof leak repair (only available in certain states)
Systems limit
Appliance limit
Code violations, permits and modifications

With the ShieldPlatinum plan, you’ll have the highest coverage caps, but the ShieldSilver plan will have the lowest caps. For instance, the coverage cap is $3,000 with the ShieldGold plan and $6,000 with the ShieldPlatinum plan.

American Home Shield’s Credentials

Home warranty companies can often have bad reputations for poor service or trying to weasel out of covering repairs. For this reason, we think it’s pretty important that you research and vet any home warranty company you are considering. Here’s more information about AHS’s credentials to help you with your research.

Licenses and Registrations

America Home Shield is licensed in the state of Delaware and registered with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC).

Awards and Certifications

American Home Shield’s site displays the following award badges from consumer review sites:

Best Overall (2022; Best Company)
America’s Most Recommended Women’s Choice Award (2014-2022)

Regulatory or Legal Actions

Most home warranty companies have contract clauses that prevent customers from suing them or joining class action lawsuits against them. In some cases, a state’s attorney general or the U.S. The Department of Justice may file suit against a home warranty company. We located a few older lawsuits against American Home Shield dating back to 2003 and 2009. A recent small claims lawsuit was filed in 2021, but there’s no public documentation about the case available yet.

Although we always try to include accurate and up-to-date information on regulatory and legal actions, we don’t claim this information is complete or fully up to date. As always, we recommend you do your own research as well.

American Home Shield’s Accessibility

American Home Shield has a customer portal that makes it easy to request service, track the status of claims and manage payments and billing. Here’s more information about the company’s accessibility.

Availability

The customer service department is available 24/7 and operates in 49 states. The company states that response times for basic repairs without a return trip can range from as little as 15 minutes to four hours. Major replacements or repairs (which require AHS authorization) may take up to 72 hours to complete. Of course, this may change depending on the season and the demand.

Contact Information

You can either request service online or call 888.683.8576 to start your service request.

User Experience

American Home Shield’s website is very informative and offers plenty of pre-sales information. You can enter your address on the site, get an immediate quote and pay for your service online. Once you start your service, you can manage your account through your AHS customer portal.

Limitations

American Home Shield does not offer home warranty coverage for residents of Alaska.

American Home Shield’s Customer Satisfaction

We’ll take a look at AHS customer reviews and cover some common customer complaints as well.

Third Party Ratings

Yelp: 1 out of 5 stars (based on 781 reviews)
Better Business Bureau: 2.24 out of 5 stars (based on 10,811 reviews)
Trustpilot: 1.7 out of 5 stars (based on 3,222 reviews)

Customer complaints

Unfortunately, American Home Shield has pretty dismal ratings across several review platforms. We even located a Facebook group of AHS customers that provide regular updates on their problems with the home warranty company.

Even though American Home Shield is accredited by the BBB, with its profile revealing a rating and accreditation grade of B — there are plenty of one- and two-star ratings accompanied by many specific complaints.

Here are some common themes we noted across those complaints:

Denying claims (that customers believe to be legitimate)
Extended waiting times and convoluted processes to fulfill service requests
Many customers complained the company wouldn’t repair or replace air conditioners or water heaters.

The data above is based on research that was available at the time of publication.

American Home Shield FAQ

Is American Home Shield trustworthy?

American Home Shield is a legitimate home warranty company that’s been a part of the home warranty industry for over 50 years. Although no attorney general has filed any suit against it, we are concerned about the low ratings it has across multiple review platforms. If you decide to do business with AHS, please read your service contract thoroughly to understand exactly what is covered and what is excluded.

Can you cancel American Home Shield?

You can cancel your AHS contract within the first 30 days of your coverage. Once you do, AHS will refund your contract fees minus any service and claims incurred by American Home Shield.

If you cancel your contract after 30 days, you’ll get a pro-rated refund of your contract fees for the rest of the contract term, minus an administrative fee of up to one month’s payment (where permitted by law) and any service or claims costs incurred by American Home Shield. Cancellation terms may vary by state.

What is the deductible for American Home Shield?

American Home Shield allows you to choose three options for your trade service call fee. You can choose to pay $75, $100 or $125. The higher your trade service call fee, the lower your monthly premium will be.

How We Evaluated American Home Shield

Our evaluation of American Home Shield came from a combination of publicly available data on its website and other credible sources such as consumer review websites. We looked into the company’s coverage and coverage limits, nation-wide availability, costs, and customer service record. Finally, we checked whether AHS had any pending legal actions or, conversely, had won any awards or certifications.

Summary of Money’s American Home Shield Review

American Home Shield allows you to customize many aspects of your home warranty — from the service call fee to the add-ons and the ability to choose your preferred contractor.

We are concerned about its low customer ratings, however. While these don’t mean you can’t do business with AHS, you should spend extra time vetting the company and understanding its warranty coverages before moving forward.

For some people, home warranties are not worth the risk of paying a monthly fee and then getting claims denied. If this is the case for you, you should have a plan to save for home repairs or check into how to get a home improvement loan to help cover the repair and replacement costs of appliances and systems in your home.

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