American Home Shield vs American Residential Warranty vs Guaranteed Home Warranty

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A Home Warranty is not an insurance policy. It won't cover your appliances in the case of theft or vandalism or damage caused by flood or fires. A home warranty can provide you with a piece of mind, however. In the long run, the money you spend on home wa

What is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty provides protection on your appliances and the systems in your home. Stoves and refrigerators, heating and air conditioning units, smoke alarms, pools and septic systems—all the things that provide comfort and safety to you and your family—may breakdown and need to be repaired or replaced. A home warranty from a company like American Home Shield, American Residential Warranty or Guaranteed Home Warranty can give you this protection, as well as a piece of mind.

American Home Shield


American Home Shield is a home warranty company that offers coverage to protect your home's systems and appliances. They offer several different plans for protecting systems and appliances. You can also customize your coverage or pick a combination of coverage to protect everything. They offer several options for different add-ons should you need additional coverage for pools, spas, wells or septic systems.

American Home Shield is accredited by the BBB with an A+ rating and is a member of the ServiceMaster family of brands. This Fortune 1000 company is headquartered in Memphis, TN. Other companies in the ServiceMaster family include Terminix, TruGreen, Furniture Medic, AmeriSpec, ServiceMaster Clean and Merry Maids.

Key Assets of American Home Shield

  • In the home warranty business since 1971
  • Serves almost 1.4 million customers in 49 states
  • 10,000 home service contractors in their network


Stuff happens. Sometimes stuff happens to our stuff, like our appliances and the systems we rely on to regulate our homes. Water heaters fail, central air conditioning units go on the fritz. The purpose of these plans is to get you quick and reliable repair service for the systems and appliances covered in your plan. If you are looking to sell your home or if your home is currently on the market, having a home protection plan can make your home more attractive to prospective buyers.

  • Combo Plan
  • Appliance Plan
  • Systems Plan
  • Build Your Own Plan

Appliance Plan

Covers your major appliances like gas range, oven, stove, washer/dryer and refrigerator with additional add-on options for pools and septic systems. The basic Appliance Plan is $19 per month.

Systems Plan

Covers electrical systems, heating and cooling systems, smoke detectors and water heaters. Additional add-ons include water softening systems, well pumps, septic pumps, pools and spas. The basic Systems Plan is $33.33 per month.

Combo Plan

Want maximum coverage? Consider the AHS combination plan and get everything covered. You'll rest easier knowing that everything from electrical and air conditioning systems are covered, including ductwork. Cover the little things like doorbells and garage door openers, garbage disposals and trash compactors. Customers can save an average of $14 per month when choosing the combo plan. The basic Combo plan is $44.08 per month.

Add-on options include well and septic pumps, pools, spas and water softeners.

Build Your Own Plan

The Build Your Own Plan allows you to do just that. Select ten or more items to include in your coverage plan. This allows you to protect what's important to you and avoid paying for coverage on appliances that aren't. The basic Build Your Own plan starts at $37.67 per month.

Service Fees

Should you need a service call to repair or replace a covered system or appliance, the service fee will be anywhere from $75 to $125, depending on the option you select as a part of your plan. Additional fees may apply as per your contract agreement.

Cancellation Policy

Should you need to cancel your contract, AHS will confirm your cancellation request within 10 business days. There may be a fee or service cost incurred due to cancellation.


The American Home Shield website is You can manage your account through their website, as well as get your initial free quote for a warranty. You can download a 7 page PDF booklet with more information on home warranty protection. The AHS website also has a FAQs page to answer your questions and provide additional information. You can also download a sample contract from the AHS site.

Get a Free Quote

It's easy to get a free quote on home warranty coverage. Simply fill out some basic information about your home on-line through the American Home Shield website. You can have a home protection specialist call you with the information or you can request a quote via e-mail.


You can contact American Home Shield 24 hours a day, every day of the year. Call them at 866-251-5444 or access them on-line by requesting service directly through the AHS website.

Customer Benefits

  • Discounts on Brand Name Appliance
  • Discounts on DuPont or Arm & Hammer air filters
  • $25 gift card for referring a friend to AHS
  • List of Prescreened Contractors
  • Discounts on other products ServiceMaster companies
  • Monthly home care advice


  • Expanded coverage plans
  • Over 40 years as the industry leader
  • 1 million + homeowners covered
  • More comprehensive coverage with fewer exclusions and limitations


About AHS

AHS Customer Reviews

American Residential Warranty


American Residential Warranty is a nationally operating home warranty provider headquartered in Boca Raton, Florida. While American Residential Warranty is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau they have received an A+ from the credit rating company AM Best. ARW is also underwritten and administered by Virginia Surety Company, Inc. ARW states that "outstanding service and customer satisfaction is a core part of our success."


To find out the coverage plans available in your area, enter the zip code of the property when prompted by the ARW website under the View Plans link. Here are the basic plans:


This plan offers coverage on a mix of systems and appliances with the option of adding additional items to the plan. Water heaters, exhaust fans and other kitchen appliances are covered. Air conditioning systems are optional. All plans include a $39 application fee. The cost is about $450 per year.

Platinum Premier

This plan offers a mix of coverage for home systems and appliances including central air, plumbing, humidifiers and microwaves. You can also select additional add-ons like septic systems and freezers. There is a one-time application fee of $39 making this plan roughly $600 per year.

Kitchen Plus

Covers your kitchen of course. Stoves, ovens, microwaves and refrigeration are included for a little over $300 per year including the $39 application fee.


This plan covers the following:

  • Interior Electrical Systems
  • Central Air Conditioning
  • Central Home Heating
  • Humidifier

Including the $39 application fee, this plan is about $300 per year.

Service Fees

The fee you will be required to pay on each service call will be outlined in the Declaration of Coverage section of your contract. Typical home warranty service fees will be between $50 and $75 per call.

Cancellation Policy

Should you need to cancel your contract, you will be required to contact ARW in writing at 1700 North Dixie Highway, Suite #122, Boca Raton, FL 33432, Attn. Customer Service Department. Cancellation goes into effect at the end of the current month.


The American Residential Warranty website can be found at It's a pretty bare bones site: concise and very functional. This make it very easy to navigate. There isn't a lot of extraneous information to bog you down. Some prospective customers may find it lacking in information. There is a FAQ page for customers to find out answers to questions like:

  • What is a Home Warranty Plan?
  • Why would I need a Home Warranty Plan?
  • How do I get service?
  • What is the deductible or trade service fee?
  • How long does it take to receive service?

You can also view and download a copy of the ARW Terms & Conditions.


ARW customers can contact a customer care representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week when they need to report a problem with their covered systems or appliances. To reach their sales department, call 800-588-9008. To make a claim, call 800-341-3624.


  • Network of over 29,000 licensed insured contractors
  • A+ rating the AM Best
  • 24/7 customer service


About American Residential Warranty

Guaranteed Home Warranty


Information on the Guaranteed Home Warranty company is very hard to come by. A search engine inquiry found scant returns for the company. You can visit their website at http://www/, but there are few links to other pages. The only way to find out more information is by filling out the on-line form to request a free quote. You must provide your address, e-mail and phone number. After providing this information, I received an e-mail from GHW stating that someone from the company would be calling me. I did not receive a call from GHW but I did receive a call from another company called Select Home Warranty.


No information is available on the company's website detailing plans, pricing or coverage.


When you visit the home page for Guaranteed Home Warranty, the only option for finding out more information is to fill out the on-line form and request a free quote. No other information is available on plans, pricing, claims, or customer service. There is no information about the company and no contact information is available. After filling out the form providing the address of the property and contact info, I did receive an e-mail from another company called Select Home Warranty. After visiting their web page, I was able to find much of the information one would expect from a home warranty company including a FAQ page and information on a basic plans. One can only assume that the Guaranteed Home Warranty page is designed to collect contact information to provide to other companies. I also received a phone call from a representative of the secondary company, Select Home Warranty. The representative was under the impression that I had asked Select Home Warranty for a quote directly and was unaware of a company called Guaranteed Home Warranty.


No information is provided on the company's website on how to contact the company other than filling out the online form requesting a quote.


A determination on why Guaranteed Home Warranty would be a good fit for your home warranty coverage could not be determined. There is no information available on the company website concerning plans or pricing options. It would appear that this company exists only to steer potential customers to a secondary company called Select Home Warranty.