Select Home Warranty Vs. American Home Shield: Which Company Should You Choose in 2023?
Our Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield comparison pits two of the best home warranty companies against each other to see which one is a better fit for homeowners across the country.
Select Home Warranty and American Home Shield are among the most popular home warranty companies available to homeowners—and for good reason. These two home warranty providers offer various policy options that cover a wide range of home systems and appliances in the event they break down due to normal wear and tear. They also provide coverage to large swaths of the country and can offer competitive rates on home warranty plans. But are both companies a good fit for every situation, or does one distinguish itself as a better choice for homeowners under certain circumstances?
For some homeowners, comparing Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield will boil down to price and coverage. However, there are other nuances to consider with each company, as these fine details could have a lasting impact on the customer experience and overall satisfaction. Let’s take a closer look at what these two companies bring to the table so homeowners can make a more informed decision on which one can deliver the right mix of features and benefits they need most from a home warranty company.
How We Compared Home Warranty Companies
Breaking down the differences between home warranty companies can be difficult at times because there’s often so much overlap in terms of coverage and features. However, homeowners who look more closely at each company will likely find that the various nuances distinguishing home warranty providers have a material impact on the value of their home warranty coverage.
- Reputation and customer reviews: Customer review sites provide hands-on insight into the experience homeowners might expect when using a home warranty and working with a home warranty provider.
- Service area: A company’s service area determines where home warranties are available for purchase, and homeowners will likely want to take note to ensure their home isn’t within an area where coverage gaps may exist.
- Coverage amount: Home warranty policies often set coverage limits for different types of repair jobs, which can lead to customers paying out of pocket if repair costs exceed those caps.
- Policies and plans: Home warranty companies typically offer multiple policy tiers for customers to choose from, each of which may extend different levels of coverage for home systems and appliances.
- Average monthly rate: With various price points across multiple policy options to consider, customers may find it easier to gauge the affordability of home warranties by comparing the average monthly rate of each company they’re considering.
- Discounts: Home warranty providers may offer discounts to new and existing customers that can help lower the cost of coverage and make policies more affordable.
- Service fee: A service fee is required any time a customer submits a repair request on a home warranty, but these fees often vary from one company to another—and companies may even offer a range of service-fee options to consider.
- Quote process: In many cases, homeowners can get a home warranty quote online, but some quote processes can be more detailed and informative than others, giving prospective customers more customization options and an overall better idea of what their home warranty can offer before they make a purchase decision.
- Claims process: When filing a claim on a home warranty, customers may want to take note of the company’s response time, claim review process, and technician selection options—all of which may impact the customer experience.
- Workmanship guarantee: Home warranty companies often guarantee covered repairs for a set period of time, which is known as a workmanship guarantee. If the underlying issue is not adequately addressed, customers can request follow-up work within that window without needing to pay an additional service fee.
1. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Reputation and Customer Reviews
American Home Shield has received relatively positive feedback from customers on the Consumer Affairs site. The company currently holds a 4.3 out of 5 satisfaction rating with Consumer Affairs reviewers. Satisfied customers remarked on the company’s high coverage limits and inclusion of rust, corrosion, and sediment damage as part of its standard coverage. Several American Home Shield reviews also praised the company for its swift response after a claim was filed and the quality of work on covered repairs. Better Business Bureau customer reviews tell a slightly different story, however, cataloging mixed experiences that run the gamut from extremely positive to fairly negative. Some customers complained that technicians were slow to diagnose problems and complete repairs, while others had very complimentary things to say about the company’s customer service. Prospective customers may be interested to know that American Home Shield is accredited by the BBB and currently holds a “B” rating with the organization. BBB ratings are based on several factors, including a company’s complaint history, actions taken to resolve complaints, commitment to transparent business practices, and the amount of time it has been in business. Ratings are assigned on a typical letter grade system, with a B rating being given to companies that score 84 out of 100 points.
Select Home Warranty has also garnered fairly strong reviews from Consumer Affairs users. The cost of coverage was a common bright spot among Select Home Warranty reviews, with customers praising the company for its generous discounts that can help lower the price of a home warranty. Many reviews also focused on Select Home Warranty’s helpful and attentive representatives, especially in regard to finding the right plan and coverage options to suit their needs. Like American Home Shield, Select Home Warranty has received more lukewarm reviews from Better Business Bureau users. Some negative reviews commented on slow turnaround times when scheduling appointments with technicians, while others complained that the company denied their claims due to coverage exceptions listed in their contract. It’s also worth noting that Select Home Warranty does not currently hold an accreditation with the BBB, but the home warranty provider has been given a B- rating by the organization.
Verdict: American Home Shield and Select Home Warranty have fairly comparable reputations among online customer review sites, with both receiving reviews that range from the middling to the extremely positive. American Home Shield holds a slight edge, however, thanks to its current Better Business Bureau accreditation.
Winner: American Home Shield
2. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Service Area
As noted in our American Home Shield review, the company’s service footprint covers most of the United States, stretching across 49 states and Washington, D.C. American Home Shield is able to offer home warranty plans to homeowners in every state, with Alaska being the one exception. Although Select Home Warranty’s service area is by no means small, it isn’t quite as large as American Home Shield’s operational footprint; the company provides coverage to 47 states and Washington, D.C. While that is a large service area in its own right, the coverage gaps may affect more people, as homeowners in Nevada, Washington, and Wisconsin will not be able to apply for a policy with Select Home Warranty.
Verdict: Although both companies provide home warranties to a large portion of the country, American Home Shield has a slightly bigger footprint that includes 49 states and Washington, D.C. (Alaska properties are not eligible for coverage). Meanwhile, Select Home Warranty’s service area stretches across 47 states and Washington, D.C., and coverage is not available in Nevada, Washington, or Wisconsin.
Winner: American Home Shield
3. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Coverage Amount
Like many home warranty providers, American Home Shield and Select Home Warranty set coverage limits for different types of repair jobs. As such, coverage limits for both companies may vary—and sometimes significantly so—across covered home systems and appliances. In American Home Shield’s case, the company doesn’t set any limit on home system repair costs, which can be hugely beneficial. This feature means that customers don’t need to worry about having a repair request denied because the job would be too expensive. Meanwhile, appliance repairs are typically covered for up to $3,000, which is in line with industry standards. Select Home Warranty similarly has a $3,000 coverage limit. However, that coverage cap applies to all types of repairs, including home systems such as HVAC, electrical, and plumbing systems.
Verdict: Coverage limits for the two home warranty companies can vary quite a bit depending on the type of repair performed. In American Home Shield’s case, coverage caps for some repair jobs can change across different policy tiers as well. Although Select Home Warranty’s $3,000 maximum coverage limit is in line with industry standards, American Home Shield comes out ahead thanks to the unlimited coverage caps on home system repairs.
Winner: American Home Shield
4. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Policies and Plans
Regardless of which company a homeowner chooses, they will have the option to select from three different policy tiers. American Home Shield’s plans include coverage for HVAC repairs at every level, with higher tiers offering support for appliance repairs and additional perks such as free HVAC tune-ups:
- ShieldSilver covers 14 of the most critical home systems that customers may want to protect with a home warranty, including HVAC, plumbing, and electrical systems.
- ShieldGold matches the basic coverage provided by ShieldSilver, but extends the scope of the home warranty to also include both kitchen and laundry appliances.
- ShieldPlatinum offers the most extensive coverage from American Home Shield, covering the same home systems and appliances included with a ShieldGold policy but adding coverage for roof leaks, code violations, permits, and modifications, as well as free HVAC tune-ups, unlimited A/C refrigerant refills, and other extra benefits. The inclusion of roof-leak coverage at no additional cost could be appealing to homeowners looking for one of the best home warranties for roof coverage.
Select Home Warranty’s three plans are similarly varied, with options for either home system or appliance coverage as well as a more comprehensive policy:
- Bronze Care provides coverage for eight specific appliances, including refrigerators, ovens, dishwashers, clothes washers, and dryers. No home systems are included with this type of policy, though.
- Gold Care exclusively covers six types of home systems: air conditioning, heating, plumbing, electrical, ductwork, and water heaters. This plan may be appealing to homeowners who want to protect their most critical home systems but don’t necessarily need coverage for appliances.
- Platinum Care is the most popular offering among Select Home Warranty customers. This plan combines the coverage provided by the two lower-tier plans while also adding garage-door openers and ceiling fans into the mix.
Both companies offer a limited selection of add-on options to purchase, and many of those extra services overlap with each other, including coverage for pools, spas, septic systems, and well pumps. However, there are particular add-ons that are exclusive to each provider, and homeowners may want to take those optional services into account when comparing these two companies. For instance, Select Home Warranty offers add-ons for central vacuum, lawn sprinkler systems, and stand-alone freezers. Meanwhile, American Home Shield customers can purchase additional coverage for guest units and electronics.
Another perk that homeowners may want to factor into their decision is American Home Shield’s exclusive home service platform, ProConnect. Using this platform, American Home Shield customers can quickly find home service providers in their area and schedule work that wouldn’t typically be covered by a home warranty. These home services can include carpet cleaning, appliance repair, and dryer-vent cleaning, but availability will vary from one location to another.
Verdict: Select Home Warranty and American Home Shield each offer three policy tiers for customers to choose from, with different combinations of home systems and appliances to consider. Customers can also mull over a similar slate of service add-ons with each company. However, American Home Shield includes coverage for HVAC repairs regardless of which policy a customer chooses, in addition to extra perks like free or discounted HVAC tune-ups that can add extra value to a home warranty.
Winner: American Home Shield
5. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Average Monthly Rate
Comparing home warranty costs can be tricky because there are so many variables to weigh—in the case of Select Home Warranty and American Home Shield, both companies have three different policy tiers along with extra service add-ons and potential discounts to consider. With American Home Shield, comparing rates gets more complicated because prices can vary significantly across different states. In some scenarios, homeowners may find that rates are very high for their area, while for others, American Home Shield’s prices could be among the lowest available in their market.
Select Home Warranty’s rates tend to be higher across all markets before accounting for available discounts and extra add-ons. Regardless of where homeowners live within Select Home Warranty’s operational footprint, they can expect home warranty rates to be fairly high. Again, those higher prices do not take into account any discounts that may be applied to a customer’s home warranty policy.
Another cost consideration that homeowners will want to account for is how each company handles cancellations. Customers can cancel American Home Shield policies within the first 30 days of their coverage and receive a full refund. After that window closes, they will receive a prorated refund based on the amount of time left on their policy term. Select Home Warranty customers can also receive a full refund if they submit a cancellation request during their policy’s first 30 days as long as they have not filed any claims on their home warranty. Customers who wait longer than that 30-day period will need to pay a $75 cancellation fee in order to receive a prorated refund. It’s worth noting too that the refund amount will not take into account any discounts the customer received and will instead be prorated according to the price of a standard annual policy.
Verdict: American Home Shield’s rates can be a mixed bag for customers as prices may vary signifcantly from one state to another—in some situations, monthly premiums may be much higher or lower than other competitors’ rates. Select Home Warranty’s average monthly rates are consistently on the high end, though, giving American Home Shield a slight edge on price point.
Winner: American Home Shield
6. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Discounts
Select Home Warranty consistently offers discounts to new customers that can help them lower the cost of coverage by a considerable amount. The size of the discount could change from month to month, but at any given time, homeowners stand to receive major savings on their Select Home Warranty policy by taking advantage of these discounts. In addition, there are no eligibility requirements that homeowners need to meet other than being a new customer, so these savings opportunities are widely available. Homeowners can save additional money on the total cost of their coverage by purchasing a yearlong policy in full rather than paying in monthly installments. Select Home Warranty will add 2 extra months to a policy when customers pay entirely up front, effectively giving them 14 months of coverage for the price of 12.
In comparison, American Home Shield’s discounts are less widely available. The company runs promotions at various times throughout the year, but these savings opportunities are less frequent, and homeowners may find that they are more likely to pay full price for a home warranty with the company. That being said, when discounts are available with American Home Shield, they tend to be pretty large. In some cases, customers could receive as much as 50 percent off of the standard rate for select policies.
Verdict: Discount opportunities through American Home Shield may be infrequent, but they can be quite generous when available. Conversely, Select Home Warranty consistently runs promotional offers that lower monthly rates for new customers while also providing additional savings for homeowners who pay up front for an annual plan.
Winner: Select Home Warranty
7. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Service Fee
Select Home Warranty and American Home Shield each offer a few service-fee options for customers to consider. Technician fees can have a big impact on the cost of a home warranty, as selecting a lower fee will decrease the out-of-pocket costs incurred when a customer submits a repair request, but it will lead to higher monthly or annual rates. On the other hand, customers who pick a higher service fee amount will likely receive a lower rate but pay more when they file a claim.
Of the two companies, Select Home Warranty offers the lowest technician fee: a $75 option. In fact, Select Home Warranty’s most expensive service-fee option—$100—matches American Home Shield’s lowest option. Whereas American Home Shield previously offered a $75 technician-fee option, the company’s service fees now range from $100 to $125.
Verdict: Both home warranty companies give customers a few service-fee options to consider, trading lower monthly rates for a higher technician fee and vice versa. Although American Home Shield’s technician fees are typical for a home warranty, ranging from $100 to $125, Select Home Warranty can offer even lower service fees that start at $75 and go up to $100.
Winner: Select Home Warranty
8. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Quote Process
Homeowners who want to check home warranty prices online will find that both companies offer a pretty quick and seamless quote process through their respective websites. When getting an online quote with Select Home Warranty, customers can see what coverage options each policy tier offers, the rate for each plan, and any active discount opportunities that can impact their final price. Available service add-ons are also listed alongside the three major policy options, including the monthly rate to purchase each additional service option. However, prospective customers do not have the ability to select a preferred service fee to see how that choice would impact the cost of their home warranty.
American Home Shield’s online quote process functions in roughly the same manner, with the price and coverage options of each policy tier clearly laid out. Comparing plans is relatively easy with American Home Shield because of the detailed tables that highlight which coverage options are available across the different plans. The company’s online tool goes into even more detail to show extra perks that may be included with home warranty policies, such as discounted or free HVAC tune-ups and AC refrigerant refills. Customers can also add extra services to their quote as well as adjust their service fee to get a more accurate cost estimate.
Verdict: Customers will find a quick and easy online quote process regardless of which company they choose, with standard coverage inclusions, add-on options, and price points all clearly outlined along the way. However, American Home Shield’s quote platform is slightly more detailed, laying out the coverage caps for different types of repairs so customers know exactly what they’re getting before they make a purchase decision.
Winner: American Home Shield
9. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Claims Process
Home warranty companies typically allow customers to file repair requests online, and American Home Shield and Select Home Warranty are no exceptions. Both providers allow customers to submit claims online once they have set up their own personal account. Homeowners who would prefer to speak directly with a representative when submitting a repair request will want to note that they will only be able to file a claim online or via email when using Select Home Warranty. In addition, Select Home Warranty customers could wait up to 96 hours for a response if they submit a service request over a holiday or weekend. The expected 48-hour response time during normal business hours is more in line with industry standards, however.
Meanwhile, American Home Shield allows customers to file claims both online and over the phone, depending on their preference. Customers can also expect to hear back from a representative within 48 hours of submitting a claim, regardless of when the request is received.
Verdict: Homeowners who choose either company for their home warranty needs will be able to log into their own dedicated account online to quickly and conveniently file a claim. However, American Home Shield also gives customers the option to submit a claim over the phone with a live representative, and the company’s estimated response time is the same even when claims are received outside of normal business hours.
Winner: American Home Shield
10. Select Home Warranty vs. American Home Shield: Workmanship Guarantee
Homeowners may appreciate a longer workmanship guarantee, as it can provide more assurance that any issues they have with covered repairs will be addressed without the worry of incurring extra costs. In that regard, Select Home Warranty’s 60-day workmanship guarantee is fairly standard for a home warranty company, giving customers time to react in the event a technician fails to adequately repair a covered home system or appliance.
American Home Shield, on the other hand, offers a relatively short workmanship guarantee to its customers. With only 30 days to identify and report a problem with a covered repair, customers may feel more pressure to quickly flag any residual issues after work is completed. Otherwise, they could be required to pay an additional service fee to schedule an appointment with another technician.
Verdict: At just 30 days, American Home Shield’s workmanship guarantee is somewhat short for a home warranty, which may lead to additional service fees if follow-up work is required outside of that window. Select Home Warranty comes out slightly ahead when it comes to workmanship guarantees as the company requires contractors to provide a 60-day guarantee on all covered repairs.
Winner: Select Home Warranty
Verdict: American Home Shield is our pick for homeowners looking for high coverage limits, standard HVAC coverage, and quick responses to service requests. Even so, Select Home Warranty could be very appealing to customers who value lower service fees and longer workmanship guarantees with their home warranty plans.
American Home Shield could be a great choice for homeowners looking to protect their homes with the high coverage limits thanks to the company’s policy of not setting hard caps on home system repairs. The fact that HVAC coverage is included with every policy, no matter what tier a customer selects, could be very appealing as well. The company also has a very large service area, so homeowners will be able to buy a policy from American Home Shield as long as they don’t live in Alaska. American Home Shield’s relatively quick turnaround time on service requests is another reason it may be a good pick for many homeowners.
Is American Home Shield a good home warranty for all homeowners, though? While the company presents several compelling benefits, it may not be the best option available for everyone. For those individuals, Select Home Warranty offers plenty of food for thought. The wide availability of discounts and savings opportunities could help customers reduce the overall cost of their home warranty even if they have a higher base rate. In addition, a favorable range of service fees could lead to lower out-of-pocket costs when they need to file a service request. Select Home Warranty also offers a relatively long 60-day workmanship warranty, which could alleviate concerns about potentially needing to pay additional service fees on covered repairs.
Determining the best home warranty company could come down to a homeowner’s specific priorities and requirements. Those looking for more extensive coverage may decide that American Home Shield is the best choice for them, while homeowners who want great coverage, significant discounts, and low service fees may find a lot to like with Select Home Warranty. Both providers can easily be counted among the best home warranty companies, but when considering everything that both have to offer, American Home Shield comes out slightly ahead on account of its generous coverage options, wide service area, and responsive claims support.