Both American Home Shield (AHS) and American Residential Warranty (ARW) are industry-leading home warranty companies that offer comprehensive plan options for your home’s most essential systems and appliances. Both companies split their coverage into three base plans with one budget-friendly option and two higher-tier combined coverage policies.

Our American Home Shield vs. American Residential Warranty review pits both providers head to head in order to call out key policy differences between the two. Keep reading to discover which of these top-rated carriers is the best home warranty company for you.

Our Take

Both companies split their coverage into three base plans with one budget-friendly option and two higher-tier combined coverage policies. American Home Shield offers lower monthly premiums and a customizable service fee, but ARW touts one of the lowest flat-rate deductibles on the market plus the freedom to choose your own service technician.

Compare American Home Shield vs. American Residential Warranty

American Home ShieldAmerican Residential Warranty
Our Rating9.68.9
Plan OptionsShieldSilver


Kitchen Plus

Platinum Premier

4-in-1 Bundle
Monthly PremiumShieldSilver: $34.27

ShieldGold: $44.27

ShieldPlatinum: $64.27

*Based on $100 service fee option
Kitchen Plus: $39.99

Platinum Premier: $64.99

4-in-1 Bundle: $129.99
Service Fees$75, $100, or $125$55
AvailabilityNot available in AlaskaAvailable in all 50 states and Washington, D.C.
BBB RatingBA+
Years in Business5113

American Home Shield vs. American Residential Warranty Coverage

American Home Shield and American Residential Warranty each offer a similar stack of three base plans that start with an appliance-only level followed by a middle-tier of combo systems and appliances coverage, topped off with a comprehensive premier plan. Still, when comparing both service providers side-by-side, we found that ARW was overall more expensive per month than AHS. And yet, American Home Shield offered nearly double the number of per-item inclusions than American Residential Warranty.

With 37 more years of industry experience and concentrated home warranty coverage for competitively low rates, we scored American Home Shield higher than American Residential Warranty.

American Home Shield Coverage and Plans

AHS offers three base plan options: ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, and ShieldPlatinum. All three plans have an unlimited coverage allowance for built-in systems. For appliance coverage, ShieldGold caps most of its annual payouts at $3,000 per item. With ShieldPlatinum, that coverage limit is boosted to $6,000 per appliance.

ShieldSilver provides homeowners with a limited coverage option for 14 integral home systems. ShieldGold and ShieldPlatinum, on the other hand, feature combined coverage for 23 systems and appliances, including laundry and kitchen items. ShieldPlatinum policyholders also have exclusive access to:

  • Up to $1,500 per year in roof leak repairs
  • Up to $1,000 per year for code violations, permits, and modifications
  • Unlimited refrigerant
  • One free pre-season HVAC tune-up per year
Covered ItemShieldSilverShieldGoldShieldPlatinum
Central Air Conditioning
Built-in Exhaust, Vent, and Attic Fans
Ceiling Fans
Interior Electrical Lines
Main Breaker and Fuse Panel Box
Garage Door Openers
Interior Plumbing Lines and Stoppages
Hot Water Heaters
Faucets and Valves
Whirlpool Tub Motor and Components
Built-in Microwaves
Garbage Disposal
Instant Hot/Cold Water Dispensers
Clothes Washer
Clothes Dryer
Roof Leak Repairs

American Home Shield Optional Add-ons Available for Coverage:

  • Pool and Spa
  • Roof Leak Repairs
  • Guest Unit (for dwellings up to 750 square feet)
  • Septic Pump
  • Well Pump
  • Electronics Protection Plan (covers an unlimited number of devices like TVs, smart home products, laptops, gaming systems, and more)

For more information about AHS, read our full American Home Shield review.

To get a free quote from American Home Shield, fill out this online form or call 888-365-2839.

American Residential Warranty Coverage and Plans

American Residential Warranty splits its standard coverage into three base plans: Kitchen Plus, Platinum Premier, and the 4-in-1 Bundle. Annual coverage caps range between $500 and $1,000 per item, within an aggregate yearly payout maximum of $5,000.

At the most basic level, Kitchen Plus offers coverage for six built-in kitchen appliances, hot water heaters, and interior electrical systems. Unlike with AHS, laundry appliances aren’t included at this level unless you purchase them as an additional coverage item for an extra $9.99 per month.

Next, Platinum Premier builds on the inclusions of Kitchen Plus with nine major home systems. For maximum protection through ARW, the 4-in-1 Bundle wraps Platinum Premier with washer and dryer coverage, water/sewer line protection, an electronic protection plan, and its trademark Deluxe Advantage package.

Covered Item Kitchen PlusPlatinum Premier4-in-1 Bundle
Interior Electrical Systems
Built-in Microwaves
Garbage Disposals
Kitchen Exhaust Fans
Water Heaters
Central A/C
Heating Systems
Ceiling Fans
Plumbing Systems (fixtures not included)
Plumbing Stoppages(fixtures not included)
Built-in Ice Maker
Clothes Washers and Dryers
Sewer and Water Lines
Deluxe Advantage
Ultimate Electronic Protections

American Residential Warranty Optional Add-ons Available for Coverage:

  • A/C Advantage
    • A/C refrigerant and coils
    • Refrigerant recapture and disposal
  • Plumbing Advantage
    • Toliets and internal functions
    • Plumbing fixtures and faucets
  • Deluxe Advantage (available on Platinum Premier only)
    • Garage door springs and tracks
    • Mismatched systems
    • Improper installations
    • Toliets and internal functions
    • Plumbing fixtures and faucets
    • Permits, code violations, and modifications
    • A/C refrigerant and coils
    • Refrigerant recapture and disposal
  • Ultimate Electronics Protection (includes desktops, laptops, tablets, routers, TVs, tech support, and more)
  • Up to $250 per year for food spoilage
  • Well pumps
  • External water or sewer lines
  • Water heaters
  • Second refrigerator or freezer
  • Second range/oven/cooktop
  • Second air conditioner unit
  • Clothes washers and dryers (to supplement Kitchen Plus and Platinum Premier)
  • Ceiling fans (to supplement Kitchen Plus)
  • Built-in ice-maker (to supplement Kitchen Plus and Platinum Premier)
  • Pools and spas

For more information about ARW, read our complete American Residential Warranty review.

American Home Shield vs. American Residential Warranty Cost

American Home Shield’s premiums range from $29 to $74 per month compared to American Residential Warranty’s monthly rates of $39.99 to $129.99. Based on our cost-to-coverage analysis of both providers, AHS offers a significantly broader list of covered systems and appliances than ARW, and at a lower price.

In terms of service fees, AHS can choose between deductible amounts of $75, $100, or $125. Freedom to customize their service fee also gives homeowners more control over their premium. The higher the service fee you select, the lower your monthly or annual premium will be and vice versa. Though ARW doesn’t offer an adjustable service fee, it only charges $55 per each new service request, which is lower than the industry average.

Here’s how monthly costs between American Home Shield and American Residential Warranty vary:

American Home Shield Cost

Home Warranty PolicyMonthly PremiumService Fee
ShieldSilver$29.27, $34.27, or $44.27$75, $100, or $125
ShieldGold$54.27, $44.27, or $39.27$75, $100, or $125
ShieldPlatinum$74.27, $64.27, or $59.27$75, $100, or $125

American Residential Warranty Cost

Home Warranty PolicyMonthly PremiumService Fee
Kitchen Plus$39.99$55
Platinum Premier$64.99$55
4-in-1 Bundle$129.99$55

American Home Shield vs. American Residential Warranty Reviews

American Residential Warranty boasts an impressive A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) whereas American Home Shield is currently marked with a B rating. Still, AHS has been accredited with the organization since 1997 while ARW isn’t accredited at all. Both providers showcase similar average star ratings from customers with overall positive reviews, though AHS has a larger quota of testimonials simply because of more years in business.

We’ve created an overview of the AHS and ARW customer experiences below by excerpting both positive and negative reviews from each company that we felt accurately encapsulated what you can expect from either provider.

Home Warranty Customer Reviews Comparison

American Home ShieldAmerican Residential Warranty
BBB RatingBA+
Average Star Rating2.25 out of 52.88 out of 5
Number of Online Customer Reviews10,383223
BBB AccreditationYesNo

American Home Shield Customer Reviews

Here are a few recent online reviews from American Home Shield customers:

“I came home from vacation to a hot house! I reported the issue online and paid the $100 service fee on a Wednesday around 6pm. I received an email later that with the name of my service provider and was instructed to call them for an appointment. I called Thursday morning and by Friday afternoon my AC was repaired. The whole process was easy and stress free!”

Desiree F., 07/02/2022

“AHS always responds and assigns service very quickly, and with no hassle. However, on the last request it took 4-5 visits by two different companies to solve a very simple oven problem. Not only that, after the very first visit when the problem that was supposed to be solved and returned after 30 days came back, I had to pay for another call in order to get assistance. All previous service requests have gone without a hitch.”

Alberto S., 08/21/2021

American Residential Warranty Customer Reviews

“We had a leak around the roman bathtub and we placed a claim with American Residential Warranty, I did this online on their website which was very user friendly. They contacted me promptly the next morning and were going to find a local provider ASAP. They called a couple of days later to let me know they were having problems finding a provider in the area. After a few more days, they decided that they were going to send me a check for $350 so I could get a plumber myself. I took care of it and was very satisfied with the result. Thanks for being on top of the claim and following up the way you did.”

Carlos P., 06/30/2020

“There are so many appliance warranty companies out there now, that you can’t really tell one from the other. They all do about the same thing. Right now, I will be looking for another one, because ARW upped my monthly bill way more than I feel it’s worth. I was told originally that the price would remain the same, but evidently not!”

– Marla B., 03/10/2020

FAQs about Home Warranties

What is the difference between American Residential Warranty and American Home Shield?

The key difference between American Home Shield and American Residential Warranty is that AHS is overall cheaper per month or annual than ARW with a longer list of inclusions and more comprehensive coverage, down to the add-ons. Still, ARW arguably makes up for it with its lower than average service fee and option to choose your own technician.

Does American Residential Warranty cover refrigerators?

Yes, American Residential Warranty covers refrigerators in all three of its base policy options.

Did American Home Shield change their name?

When founded in 1971, American Home Shield operated independently, however, in 1989, the company was acquired by ServiceMaster. Though AHS didn’t undergo an obvious name change, it is overseen by Frontdoor, Inc.

Is a home warranty a waste of money?

Whether or not a home warranty will be worth it for you ultimately depends on the extent of your coverage needs as well as your personal financial flexibility. If you have the budget to earmark at least 1% of your home’s property value per year for home repairs, then paying a monthly premium may not be worthwhile. If you don’t have an emergency fund and would have to pull directly from your savings for any household issues, we’d highly recommend considering any of the providers featured in our top seven stack.

Today's Homeowner Home Warranty Ranking Methodology

At Today's Homeowner, transparency and trust are our most important values for the reader.

To create this rating system, our team spent hours researching over 60 companies, analyzing 2500+ key data points, getting the thoughts and opinions of 1000+ homeowners, and speaking to home warranty company representatives directly. We also dug into the fine print on each company’s service agreement to ensure no detail was left out.

We developed an objective home warranty review and rating methodology to score each home warranty company based on several criteria. We used a five-point scale with a point index ranging from 0.00 to 1.00. The minimum awardable value is 0.0, whereas 1.00 is the maximum. These numeric points are translated into star ratings, using whole star increments between one and five.

Here is a quick breakdown of our five core scoring categories:

  • Coverage (0.4): This category evaluates the scope of protection offered by a home warranty provider. We clearly distinguished between limited or broad coverage to help homeowners identify their own home protection needs. We also factor in claim turnaround times, average waiting period lengths, plan types, annual coverage limits, policy exclusions, etc.
  • Cost (0.3): This category considers what home warranty companies charge homeowners monthly, annual, and out-of-pocket. We urge homeowners also to consider the cost-to-value ratio of a home warranty plan.
  • Transparency and Trustworthiness (0.15): This category evaluates home warranty providers based on pending or past legal action, hidden fees, lack of information readily available on the website, exclusions, and more. We consider how upfront a company is to its potential policyholders, which says a lot about its products and services.
  • Customer Support and Satisfaction (.09): This category evaluates the efficacy of a home warranty company’s effort to provide supportive guidance to inquiring customers and how policyholders are satisfied with the assistance they receive.
  • Customization (.06): This category evaluates the ability of homeowners to adjust and choose their policy details, such as pricing variation, optional add-ons, and the number of plans available.
Editorial Contributors
Meredith Kucik

Meredith Kucik

Meredith Kucik covers home warranties, company reviews, real estate, personal finance, and all things homeownership for House Method. She has published work in local and national media publications across the home services category, reaching various consumers from homebuyers to sellers to real estate professionals. Meredith graduated from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington in 2021 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Creative Writing.

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Roxanne Downer


Roxanne Downer is a commerce editor at Today’s Homeowner, where she tackles everything from foundation repair to solar panel installation. She brings more than 15 years of writing and editing experience to bear in her meticulous approach to ensuring accurate, up-to-date, and engaging content. She’s previously edited for outlets including MSN, Architectural Digest, and Better Homes & Gardens. An alumna of the University of Pennsylvania, Roxanne is now an Oklahoma homeowner, DIY enthusiast, and the proud parent of a playful pug.

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