Young woman and technician saying goodbye while shaking hands after repair work

America's Preferred Home Warranty Review | 2021

Each business or product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you purchase a product or service using the links included, we may earn commission.
Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

As a homeowner on a budget, obtaining home warranty coverage will provide peace of mind that your major appliances are protected from the costs of unexpected repairs. Unfortunately, not all home warranty companies are reliable choices. As you research protection plans, you must be diligent when considering a provider.

In this review of America's Preferred Home Warranty, our research team will discuss what potential policyholders should expect from the company. We will educate you about the real costs associated with home warranty plans, the steps to file a claim, and the types of systems and appliances that are covered. 

While America's Preferred Home Warranty proves to be a viable option for home warranty protection, we did find flaws that led us to recommend a more comprehensive provider. We recommend American Home Shield (AHS) Warranty as our Best Overall provider because of its unique plan options, quick customer service response, and strong reputation.

Best Overall
American Home Shield

Background On America's Preferred Home Warranty

America's Preferred Home Warranty began its operation in 1999, in Jackson, Michigan. The Christian-based corporate office remains in this location. With an A+ rating from the Better Business Bureau, the group claims to take extra strides to inform policyholders of its terms and conditions to avoid negative experiences. 

Rather than only providing coverage for single-family homes, America's Preferred Home Warranty also supports new construction, multi-family units, and condominiums. Another highlight of the group's operation is its commitment to community involvement. A part of its mission statement is to set aside a portion of income for donations to local charities and campaigns. 

America's Preferred Home Warranty Plans

The plans provided by America's Preferred Home Warranty are straightforward and sufficient when compared with other home warranties offered. When choosing a policy from this group, there is no confusion about what is included, as there is only one standard option. However, the plan can be enhanced by purchasing an upgrade that provides more extensive coverage for major home systems and appliances. 

What is Covered Under a Standard Plan?

The preferred upgrade enhancement offers additional protection for components that aren't necessarily required for a major home system or appliance to function. Standard coverage focuses primarily on the repair or replacement of essential parts after a breakdown. 

In short, if the breakdown is caused by a failed part that inhibits the performance of a major home system or appliance, America's Preferred Home Warranty will likely approve the claim. When issues arise that are cosmetic or not warrantied under contract, you should expect to pay for the repair in full. 

Here is what you can expect from the standard plan, optional add-ons, and what the Preferred Upgrade includes, per a sample contract. The Preferred Upgrades provide additional coverage on systems and appliances that are included in the standard plan.

Preferred upgrade enhancements for

  • Built-in dishwasher: Racks, baskets, and rollers
  • Built-in microwave: Interior lining, glass door, clocks, and shelves
  • Built-in oven: Interior lining, clocks, rotisseries, racks, handles, knobs and dials
  • Central air conditioning: Refrigerant recovery, crane expenses for installation, registers, and grills
  • Heating system: Registers, grills, and heat lamps
  • Refrigerator: Refrigerant recovery, control board, ice maker, and ice/beverage dispenser
  • Plumbing system and stoppages: Toilets are replaced with similar models
  • Permanent trash compactor: Lock and key assemblies, and buckets
  • Water heater: Sediment buildup
  • Garage door opener: Hinges springs, keypads, and transmitters
  • Extra for: ceiling fans, fire or burglar alarm, lighting fixtures, doorbell, extra $250 to correct code violations

In addition to this coverage, America's Preferred Home Warranty also allows policyholders to customize their protection with these optional add-ons:

  • Pool and spa: $600 (coverage cap)
  • Premium/saltwater pool and spa: $1,200 (coverage cap)
  • Jetted bathtub: $600 (coverage cap)
  • Clothes washer and dryer: $400 (coverage cap)
  • Clothes softener: $600 (coverage cap)

If you're concerned that an essential home system is aging and will soon break down due to wear and tear, an America's Preferred Home Warranty plan can provide sufficient coverage. 

America's Preferred Home Warranty Cost

Aside from an annual contract cost, policyholders of America's Preferred Home Warranty must prepare their budgets for additional fees. Take a look at your financial responsibilities when you acquire home warranty plans from the company. 

Since there is only one main package offered from America's Preferred Home Warranty, pricing is relatively straightforward. However, it's worth mentioning that customers can choose from three different deductibles that impact the final cost.

Here are the fees you should expect for a standard contract and how the various service fees change the premium:

  • $50 Deductible: $549 (annual) v. $45.75 (monthly)
  • $100 Deductible: $499 (annual) v. $41.58 (monthly)
  • $125 Deductible: $465 (annual) v. $38.75 (monthly)

Based on average costs from other home warranty companies, America's Preferred Home Warranty is comparable with its service fees, but contract expenses lean toward the high end in the industry.

  • Average Service Fee: $75–$125
  • Average Annual Cost: $300–$600

Based on average costs from other home warranty companies, America's Preferred Home Warranty is comparable with its service fees, but contract expenses lean toward the high end in the industry.

  • Average Service Fee: $75–$125
  • Average Annual Cost: $300–$600

Like other home warranty providers, America's Preferred Home Warranty has optional add-ons for homeowners. This extra coverage can be purchased for the prices below.

  • Preferred upgrade: $125 (annual) v. $10.42 (monthly)
  • Pool and spa: $185 (annual) v. $15.42 (monthly)
  • Premium pool and spa: $345 (annual) v. $28.75 (monthly)
  • Jetted bathtub: $125 (annual) v. $10.42 (monthly)
  • Clothes washer and dryer: $85 (annual) v. 7.08 (monthly)
  • Water softener: $85 (annual) v. $7.08 (monthly)

While you may choose to pay your contract premium either annually or monthly, it's essential to understand that its terms are for 12 months. 

Cancellation Fees

If you are unsatisfied with the policy from America's Preferred Home Warranty, you may cancel at any time but must pay a fee. According to the company's terms and conditions, policyholders who cancel within 30 days of the contract start date are entitled to a 100% refund, as long as no claims have been filed. 

For policies canceled after 30 days, or if a claim was made during the existing agreement, the refund is minus any paid claims. You will also be responsible for a cancellation fee of up to 10% of the remaining contract.

Coverage Limitations

To further plan your budget, policyholders must understand that not all repairs or replacements are completely covered under America's Preferred Home Warranty. Each system or appliance has a maximum allowance per contract terms.

Per its terms and conditions, appliances and system coverage ranges between $500–$2,250 with a maximum payout of $25,000 per contract. You can read more about coverage caps in the sample contract our team discovered. 

Quote Process

If you're interested in obtaining a free quote from America's Preferred Home Warranty, you have two options. 

  1. Fill out this online form and state if the property is involved in a real estate transaction or if you currently own the home.
  2. Call 888-351-3681 to receive a free quote from a live customer service representative. 

Once you accept the quote and agree to a 12-month contract, service typically begins at the time of closing. However, America's Preferred Home Warranty does suggest there may be specific instances when a 30-day waiting period must be activated. 

Claim Process

When reporting an issue, policyholders are asked to begin the process through their online account to receive a claim number. Once this step has been initiated, homeowners can call a licensed contractor of their choice. 

However, before any work is to begin, the homeowner must call 800-648-5006 to gain approval from America's Preferred Home Warranty. 

When a claim is approved, there are multiple ways for your contractor to receive payment.

  • A customer service representative can pay the technician over the phone via credit card. 
  • Your contractor may request that a check is sent through the mail. 
  • A policyholder can pay the repair person upfront and receive a reimbursement check within 14 days.

America's Preferred Home Warranty Reviews

America's Preferred Home Warranty has been BBB accredited since 2010 and has a rating of A+. Although there are some complaints from homeowners in user reviews at BBB and elsewhere, many customers are happy with their service, especially the option to choose their own service technician.

Our Verdict on America's Preferred Home Warranty

After researching the company, we feel that America's Preferred Home Warranty can offer sufficient protection plans. If you prefer to choose your own service technician, they are one of the few providers who don't require you to use someone in their network. Nevertheless, we found some areas where other providers outshine the group. 

Pros

  • Extremely affordable service fee of $50 is available
  • Straightforward pricing and simple protection plans
  • Most major appliances are covered under the Standard Package

Cons

  • Cancellation fee of up to 10% of the contract fee can be significant
  • Complications from using an unauthorized service contractor may cause delays
  • Package pricing is more expensive than industry averages

Best Overall Provider: American Home Shield

While America's Preferred Home Warranty has some strengths, such as its excellent BBB rating, American Home Shield (AHS) Warranty offers the Best Overall home warranty according to our research team. AHS offers unique plan options, quick customer service response, and a strong reputation.

Best Overall
American Home Shield

Here are some of the highly valuable perks that AHS offers:

  • Three plan options. Customers can choose between the ShieldSilver, ShieldGold, or ShieldPlatinum plans.
  • Choose your service fee. Based on the monthly premium you select, you can adjust the amount you'll pay at the time of service.
  • Fast service request response: AHS assigns professionals to a customer's service request within the first 24 hours 98% of the time.
  • Strong reputation:
    • Founded the home warranty industry and is the oldest home warranty company
    • 2019 America's Best Midsize Employers Award by Forbes
    • 2014–2015 Women's Choice Award
    • 2014 Home Warranty Awards "Best in Service" Award

Best Basic Plan: Choice Home Warranty 

We rate Choice Home Warranty as offering the best basic plan in the home warranty industry, since it covers both appliances and systems at an affordable price.

Best Basic Plan
Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty offers two primary tiers of coverage. The Choice Basic Plan covers multiple major appliances and home systems. The Total Plan covers everything in the Basic plan, plus some additional systems and appliances. 

One of the biggest selling points for Choice Home Warranty is their simple, down-to-earth pricing for all the home protection you need and more. The quote process is quick and easy to navigate, and you can have a quote within two minutes through their basic online form. Our team got a sample quote directly from Choice Home Warranty for an address in Georgia, zip code 30097, and we received the following:

  • Basic Plan: $41.69 (monthly premium), $85 (service fee)
  • Total Plan: $50 (monthly premium), $85 (service fee)

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Conclusion

Choosing a home warranty company is a major decision because your peace of mind depends on it. Our research team recommends American Home Shield as Best Overall and Choice Home Warranty as offering the best basic plan.

As always, we recommend that you request quotes from multiple providers and read all of the fine print first before making a decision.

Home Warranty Rating Methodology

The Home Service Research Team at Better Homes & Gardens strives to provide unbiased and objective reviews to readers by compiling relevant information on home warranty companies and rating the providers on a variety of factors.

Here's what our review process looks like:

  • We examine each provider's website to determine plan details, coverage, customer service offerings, and other benefits. We also speak with company representatives to get more insight on plan details.
  • We read sample contracts from each home warranty company to analyze and compare coverage details, limits, and exclusions.
  • We read at least 100 third-party customer reviews for each home warranty company to determine the real-life benefits and drawbacks of each provider.
  • We gather cost information for a variety of home warranty plans in different states by completing online quote forms and speaking with sales representatives to simulate the quote process.
  • We revisit each company's offerings on a seasonal basis, ensuring that we include the most up-to-date information in our reviews.

We also created a 100-point rating system to score companies based on objective factors, such as plan options, coverage, and customer service:

Factor

What we consider

Plan Options

The number and type of plan options offered to customers

Coverage

The types of items included in a policy

Cost

How much each plan costs and the service fee options

Company Reputation

How the company is perceived through Better Business Bureau (BBB) ratings and a company's years in business

Customer Service

The customer service team's availability, what guarantees are offered, and what customer communication channels are provided (online customer portals, quote forms, etc.)

Unique Benefits

Factors that make the customer experience more seamless, such as allowing customers to choose their own contractor

Overall, the Home Service Research Team has reviewed over 70 home warranty companies to select the top-rated providers in the industry.