First American Home Warranty vs American Home Shield: A Not So Close Race

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Two wrenches on pipe: American Home Warranty vs American Home ShieldHome warranties can be difficult to compare since they can vary by city and state. The coverage and technicians’ work depends on your specific situation. When we compared First American Home Warranty vs American Home Shield we looked at them side by side and we think you’ll be surprised to read what our research uncovered. This is an ever evolving category and company reputations can change quickly, as we’ve learned in our research for this article. So make sure you re-evaluate your home warranty company regularly to make sure you are happy with your purchase. If not, there are always other options to consider.

American Home Shield | First American Home Buyers Protection Corporation

We Think American Home Shield Is Better

We compared American Home Shield, which is our #1 pick for Best Home Warranty, against First American Home Buyers Protection. The table below is an overview of which company won each category, but be sure to read the sections following so you have a full  understanding of why we think American Home Shield is better.

 First American Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
Best CoverageCheckmark
Best PlansCheckmarkCheckmark
Available in More StatesCheckmark
Best Customer Service & ReputationCheckmark
Overall WinnerCheckmark

Best Coverage

The table below displays what appliances and systems can be covered for each company.

 First American Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
Additional RefrigerationCheckmarkCheckmark
Air ConditioningCheckmarkCheckmark
Clothes Washer & DryerCheckmarkCheckmark
Water HeaterCheckmarkCheckmark
Built-In MicrowaveCheckmarkCheckmark
Garbage DisposalCheckmarkCheckmark
Free-Standing Ice MakerCheckmark
Instant Hot-Cold Water DispenserCheckmarkCheckmark
Telephone WiringCheckmark
Trash CompactorCheckmarkCheckmark
Central VacuumCheckmarkCheckmark
Garage Door OpenerCheckmarkCheckmark
Smoke DetectorCheckmark
Built-In Food ProcessorCheckmark
Ceiling FanCheckmarkCheckmark
Sump PumpCheckmarkCheckmark
Septic PlumbingCheckmarkCheckmark
Well PumpCheckmarkCheckmark
Pool/Spa EquipmentCheckmarkCheckmark
Stand Alone FreezerCheckmark
Double OvenCheckmark
First American Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield

As you can see, American Home Shield covers more appliances and systems than First American Home Warranty.American Home Shield logo

Winner: American Home Shield

Best Plans

Pricing for the companies can vary based on location so please check with the company for your specific state.

First American Home Warranty Plans

BasicPremierOptional Add-Ons
Range/Oven/CooktopEverything in the Basic planAdditional Refrigeration
DishwasherDuctworkWell Pump
Garbage DisposalGarage Door OpenerCentral Air Conditioner
Built-In MicrowaveElectricalPool/Spa Equipment
Trash CompactorPlumbing
Kitchen RefrigeratorPlumbing Stoppages
Ceiling/Attic/Exhaust FansHeating
Instant Hot Water DispenserWater Heater
Clothes WasherCentral Vacuum System
Clothes Dryer

First American Home Warranty also has up to a $3 handling fee for each payment. This does not apply to Full Payment Plan.

American Home Shield Plans

Below are the details for AHS’s Appliances and Systems plans. They also offer a Build Your Own plan and a Combo plan, which includes everything in both the Appliances and Systems plans. The prices listed are the ranges for the minimum of each plan. Please be sure to contact AHS and get a quote for your specific state.

Combo Plan: $39.99-$71.99/month

Build Your Own Plan: $31.99-$64.99/month

Systems PlanAppliance Plan
Air Conditioning w/ DuctworkRefrigerators
Heating w/ DuctworkRanges/Ovens/Cooktops
ElectricalClothes Washers
DoorbellsClothes Dryers
Smoke DetectorsDishwashers
Ceiling FansBuilt-In Microwave Ovens
Plumbing (Including Stoppages)Trash Compactors
Water HeatersFree-Standing Ice Makers
Garbage DisposalsGarage Door Openers
Instant Hot/Cold Water DispensersBuilt-In Food Centers
Central Vacuums

Optional Add-Ons

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

  • Pool/spa
  • Well pump
  • Septic plumbing

We can’t compare pricing since it varies based on location, but we can compare plans. We like that AHS offers appliance and system specific plans but we also like that you can get a good mix with First American Home Warranty’s packages. The winner for this category is based off your personal wants, which is why we have a tie.American Home Shield and First American logos

Winner (Tie): American Home Shield and First American

Available In More States

First American Home Warranty is available in 35 states and Washington DC. American Home Shield is available in 49 states and Washington DC. AHS is not available in Alaska. AHS is the clear winner for this category since it is available in more states.American Home Shield logo

Winner: American Home Shield

Best Customer Service & Reputation

Both companies have a B rating from the Better Business Bureau but overall, American Home Shield prevails in this category. Our readers have told us that AHS and First American Home Warranty will choose to repair a system or appliance over and over instead of replacing the entire unit. This results in consumers going long amounts of time without their appliance or system working. Where they differ is that a large portion of the reviews online for First American Home Warranty are negative while there is a more balanced mix for AHS.American Home Shield logo

Winner: American Home Shield

First American Home Warranty vs American Home Shield: Other Comparisons

Below are some other comparisons for these companies for you to take into consideration before purchasing.

 First American Home WarrantyAmerican Home Shield
Waiting Period30 Days15 Days
Request Service24/7 online or phone24/7 online or phone
Service Call Fee$50-$100$75-$125
Years of Experience30+ Years40+ Years
Unlimited Service RequestsCheckmarkCheckmark
BBB RatingBB

To learn more about American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty, read their individual reviews.

Other Home Warranty Companies

This was a very close comparison, but in the end American Home Shield wins by a hair. In the future we will keep an eye on these two companies. We could see First American Home Warranty making a come back but for the time being, American Home Shield is the winner in this comparison. To see how the two companies compete against other home warranty companies, check out our comprehensive home warranty reviews which includes 15 home warranty companies.

We’d like to leave you with one extremely important reminder. When purchasing a home warranty be sure to read the fine print. These contracts can be overwhelming.  However, to make sure you are getting everything covered that you think you are, you need to read every word on that contract. The AARP agrees with us and thinks home warranties can be beneficial, especially for older homes.

Who would you pick between American Home Shield and First American Home Warranty?

About The Author:

Kimberly is our home security expert and has been writing about security and safety since 2013, covering everything from security systems and home automation to identity theft protection, home warranties, medical alert systems, and more. She has personally tested hundreds of system components and interfaced with dozens of home security companies to find out what’s happening behind the scenes. Her work has appeared in many notable brands, including The New York Times' Wirecutter, Reader's Digest, Forbes, People, Woman's World, and Huffington Post.

In 2018, she had her first child, which opened up a whole new avenue of security experience with baby gear. She wanted to purchase the safest items for her family.

Kimberly received her Bachelor of Arts in multimedia journalism from Simpson College. Her natural curiosity helps her research as she seeks the truth when learning about, comparing, and personally testing products and services.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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william Mangum
July 1, 2019 4:57 pm

I rge anyone not to deal with American Home Shield. They tried to double the cost of my premium to $160 pmr month for a renewal after claiming they had paid to much repair costs for which over many prior years had paid very little in repair costs. A shabby business practice that in fact Insurance companies would be substantially fined for upping their premium for a low cost customer customer

Doug Lerner
December 6, 2017 11:38 am

I’m a current AHS user of many years and for various reasons was considering changing to First American. One point to note: First American central air conditioning coverage includes refrigerant replacement. AHS does not. Refrigerant replacement when you need a new air conditioning unit could be $1,000 or more. So that’s an important difference to note.

Sharon Burgos
July 6, 2017 11:32 am

I believe this comparison gets several items wrong. First American Home Buyers Plan DOES cover ceiling fans, hot water dispensers, built-in microwaves and a few other items this article says they do not cover. In particular, they definitely cover central AC in their basic plan for buyers (new homeowners). For sellers, the AC coverage is a $70 add-on. In my opinion, First American Home Buyers Protection Plan is preferred by my clients and me. Several of my buyers have had to use their warranties and they were very pleased with First American. I’m a Realtor and I recommend a home warranty for most homes older than 12-13 years.

Indecisive Homeowner
May 23, 2016 9:49 am

Thanks Kimberly, I’m debating between American Home Shield and First American and have read mostly good things about both but was trying to decide which to go with. I have central AC in my home and that’s definitely a deal breaker though so will most likely go with American Home Shield, even though their customer service is a little dodgy. Worth it for me since I live in Texas where the AC is critical and can be expensive to replace. Thanks for this side by side comparison in helping me make up my mind!

March 29, 2019 3:26 am

I am in the same boat as you. Who did you go with and how where they.


September 7, 2018 1:50 am

So, two years later, who did you go with, and what has been your experience?