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Choice Home Warranty vs American Home Shield: The Showdown

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Row of mailboxes: Choice Home Warranty vs American Home ShieldYou want a home warranty you can count on, right? One that services your state, where the technicians do what they say they’ll do and the company covers what they say they will. Sounds easy, right? Believe it or not, home warranties can be much more complicated than that. So it’s important that you do thorough research and read every character of your contract or you may be signing up for something you don’t want.

Visit AHS’s WebsiteVisit CHW’s Website

Let’s see how Choice Home Warranty (CHW) and American Home Shield (AHS) compare against one another in this showdown. Below are the points we compared for both companies.

 Choice Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
Best CoverageCheckmarkCheckmark
Best PlansCheckmark
Available in More StatesCheckmark
Best Customer Service & ReputationCheckmark
Overall WinnerCheckmark

Best Coverage

The table below shows what CHW and AHS both cover.

 Choice Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
Choice Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
RefrigeratorCheckmarkCheckmark
DishwasherCheckmarkCheckmark
Air ConditioningCheckmarkCheckmark
HeatingCheckmarkCheckmark
DuctworkCheckmarkCheckmark
Clothes Washer & DryerCheckmarkCheckmark
ElectricalCheckmarkCheckmark
PlumbingCheckmarkCheckmark
Range/Oven/CooktopCheckmarkCheckmark
Water HeaterCheckmarkCheckmark
Built-In MicrowaveCheckmarkCheckmark
Garbage DisposalCheckmarkCheckmark
Central VacuumCheckmarkCheckmark
Ceiling FanCheckmarkCheckmark
Well PumpCheckmarkCheckmark
Pool/Spa EquipmentCheckmarkCheckmark
Free-Standing Ice MakerCheckmark
Instant Hot-Cold Water DispenserCheckmark
Trash CompactorCheckmark
Garage Door OpenerCheckmark
Smoke DetectorCheckmark
Built-In Food ProcessorCheckmark
DoorbellCheckmark
Septic PlumbingCheckmark
Exhaust FanCheckmark
Plumbing StoppageCheckmark
Whirlpool BathtubCheckmark
Sump PumpCheckmark
Second RefrigeratorCheckmark
Stand Alone FreezerCheckmark
Septic System and Tank PumpingCheckmark
Limited Roof LeakCheckmark

As you can see, both companies cover the same amount of appliances and systems, so we have a tie for this category.

Winner (Tie): American Home Shield and Choice Home Warranty

Best Plans

Below are the packages offered by Choice Home Warranty and American Home Shield. Be sure to get a quote from both companies for accurate pricing. Choice Warranty requires a $60 trade service call fee per claim while AHS requires a service fee of $75, $100 or $125 (depending on what you choose).

Choice Home Warranty basically forces you to upgrade to their Total Plan because the “basic” appliances that most people have and wish to be insured against loss aren’t covered in the Basic Plan. For example, air conditioning systems, refrigerators and clothes washer and dryer aren’t covered in the Basic Plan. We consider those to be items most households have therefore you’d want them covered. Also, coverage does not begin until 30 days after enrollment.

American Home Shield covers a good variety of appliances and systems. They have specific plans if you wish to just insure just your appliances or systems. Also they offer a Combo plan which covers most major appliances and systems. You even have the option to build your own plan based on your specific needs and concerns.

Choice Home Warranty Plans

Below are the two packages offered by CHW.

 Basic PlanTotal PlanOptional Coverage
Air Conditioning SystemCheckmark
Heating SystemCheckmarkCheckmark
Electrical SystemCheckmarkCheckmark
Plumbing SystemCheckmarkCheckmark
Plumbing StoppageCheckmarkCheckmark
Water HeaterCheckmarkCheckmark
Whirlpool BathtubCheckmarkCheckmark
RefrigeratorCheckmark
Oven/Range/Stove/CooktopCheckmarkCheckmark
DishwasherCheckmarkCheckmark
Built-In MicrowaveCheckmarkCheckmark
Garbage DisposalCheckmarkCheckmark
Clothes Washer & DryerCheckmark
DuctworkCheckmarkCheckmark
Garage Door OpenerCheckmarkCheckmark
Ceiling & Exhaust FansCheckmarkCheckmark
Pool/SpaCheckmark
Central VacuumCheckmark
Second RefrigeratorCheckmark
Well PumpCheckmark
Limited Roof LeakCheckmark
Stand Alone FreezerCheckmark
Sump PumpCheckmark
Setptic SystemCheckmark
Septic Tank PumpingCheckmark

American Home Shield Plans

AHS offers four plans total: Appliances, Systems, Build Your Own and Combo. The Combo Plan includes everything in both the Appliances and Systems plans.

Appliance PlanSystems Plan
RefrigeratorAir conditioning (including ductwork)
DishwasherHeating (including ductwork)
Clothes WasherElectrical
Clothes DryerPlumbing
Range/Oven/CooktopWater Heater
Built-In Microwave OvenGarbage Disposal
Free-Standing Ice MakerInstant Hot/Cold Water Dispenser
Trash CompactorCentral Vacuum
Garage Door OpenerSmoke Detector
Built-In Food ProcessorDoorbell
Ceiling Fan

Optional Add-Ons

All of these add-ons cost extra and are available for any plan.

  • Pool/spa
  • Well pump
  • Septic plumbing

Winner: American Home Shield

Available in All 50 States

American Home Shield covers 49 of the 50 states. Alaska is the only state not covered.

Choice Home Warranty is offered in 31 of the 50 states. Arkansas, California, Hawaii, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, Wisconsin and Wyoming are not covered.

Winner: American Home Shield

Best Customer Service & Reputation

Choice Home Warranty has one of the worst reputations we have seen during our research of this category. On the BBB there is a write-up about government action that took place.  Choice Home Warranty had a complaint filed that they were getting customers to buy their home warranty, which was actually a service contract. In the end CHW paid the State $779,913.93 and had to revise its business practices and monitor its compliance for at least one year. Even though all of this was settled in July 2015, we are still hesitant to recommend them to anyone. We need more time to pass before we give Choice Home Warranty the Safe Smart Living approval. If you decide to work with them, please let us know your feedback as we’d love to hear from some real customers!

American Home Shield has a B rating on the BBB and close to 8,000 complaints. This shows us that they have some areas to improve as well. Not too long ago they had an A+ rating and (only) 4,000 complaints. So their service has definitely gone down in recent years. Customers says they have excellent customer service or terrible customer service, there’s not really an in between. Phone times are pretty long when it comes to getting a claim approved as well. However, many home warranty companies have poor reputations so it’s not hard to be one of the best. We still consider AHS to be one of the “better choices” when it comes to choosing a home warranty. They have more than 40 years of experience and cover more than 1 million homeowners.

Winner: American Home Shield

Quality of Technicians

Like all home warranty companies, the technicians vary based on your geographic location.

Local Companies Contract with Warranty Companies

Every warranty company has contracts with local experts in your area to perform the repair work when you initiate a claim. Sometimes there is more than one company contracted to work with them for your need so be sure to ask for the name of the company to do your own research of their reputation before you waste everyone’s time. If there is only one company, than let’s hope they do a great job because you are stuck with them during the life of your/their contract with the respective home warranty company.

Let’s face it: the technicians used most commonly for repairs in your town are what make or break a company. So we suggest talking with neighbors, checking online reviews and local home warranty users to see what coverage is like in your area.

For example, Alex and Michelle (members of the Safe Smart Living team) had AHS for a few years. At first it was very helpful because there were options for which local company could come when the garbage disposal broke or the heat stopped working. But, in the past year or so, the number of technician options dropped from 2-3 companies to 1 and that company proved to be less than awesome on several occasions. Technicians would continually fix an appliance instead of replacing it and these band-aids were becoming costly and time-consuming. This caused more hassle and wasted money than help which is why they chose to do away with their AHS warranty.

Do Your Homework BEFORE You Sign Up

This story is exactly why you need to do your homework to find out which local technicians the home warranty companies you are considering use before you sign on the dotted line. Find out who, research their reputation around town and then combine that with the other factors (coverage, price, etc.) to make your decision on which company to go with.

Appliance Hacks

Did you know that sometimes your appliances can do many more things than you know of? For example, your microwave can cook bacon, make you potato chips, clean your sponge and many more cool things. Check out these 10 microwave hacks below.

And the Overall Winner is… American Home Shield

American Home Shield is the clear winner here in this showdown. In our opinion, they have better packages, are available in more states and have better customer service than Choice Home Warranty. However, American Home Shield isn’t our #1 overall pick for Best Home Warranty – you have quite a few other providers to choose from. To see whom we chose for the overall #1, check out this article.

Do you have experience with AHS or CHW?

Kimberly researches everything before she buys. She wants to make sure she is getting the best bang for her buck by purchasing the best product/service, which is why she loves her work. She has a degree in Multimedia Journalism and has been researching and writing professionally since 2013 to help consumers make more educated decisions.

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2 Comments on "Choice Home Warranty vs American Home Shield: The Showdown"

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Randy Pharr
Randy Pharr
I was comparing options to AHS (15 year customer). CHW had a decent Presidents’ Day sale. While online filling out quote information, a sales representative called. I was asking comparison questions, I.e. 2 heat pump unit coverage, etc when the representative abruptly said ” best of luck to you” . Taken off guard, I said “so, you are not going to answer my questions”. His response was “I have to move on to other calls (this was at the 2 minute mark) . I responded in kind with, “you lost me as a customer”. I receiver a clever, “I don’t… Read more »
ortiz
ortiz

I have to agree with that statement. But they need more personal I think is inappropriate to have a wait on the phone for more that ten minutes and then someone answering the phone much longer than that.

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