For apartment renters, it’s easy to rely on the property manager when something breaks, but as a homeowner, you are the one responsible for finding a good technician and covering the full repair cost.
A home warranty contract offsets the cost of repairs and replacements for covered appliances and systems most prone to damage, such as the air conditioning, oven and plumbing. Having a home warranty gives you peace of mind knowing that if something breaks, your service provider will handle the task of finding a technician and paying them for repairs.
Our team has researched and reviewed the best home warranty providers, including First American Home Warranty. When shopping for a home warranty, we recommend comparing quotes between several providers. In addition to First American, which is rated “Most Comprehensive Claim Coverage” by the research team, we’ll share some of our top-ranked providers below.
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Today’s Homeowner works with an independent reviews team to create evidence-based research that helps our readers make informed decisions. The reviews are always independent. For transparency, we may be compensated if you purchase through a link.
First American Home Warranty Overview
First American Home Warranty has served over 450,000 homeowners across the U.S. since its founding in 1984. Its long history coupled with its comprehensive home warranty policies, makes First American Home Warranty one of the leading veterans in the home warranty space.
Excluded states include: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, Vermont and Wisconsin.
With its two plans, First American Home Warranty gives homeowners an affordable way to protect their critical systems and appliances against astronomical repair costs. Services are available every day of the year, and First American boasts an expansive network of prescreened contractors whose reliability has been praised by many customers.
First American Home Warranty Plans
First American Home Warranty offers two protection plans — Basic and Premier. Additional coverage is available for both plans. While the Basic Plan provides coverage for some of the most commonly used home appliances, the Premier Plan is the comprehensive option that includes protection for home systems, as well.
|Basic Plan||Premier Plan|
|Washer and dryer||✔️||✔️|
|Garage door opener||✔️|
|Central vacuum system||✔️|
First American Home Warranty provides additional upgrades for both plans.
|Add-on||Price (per month)|
|First Class Upgrade||$9.00|
The First Class Upgrade unlocks items typically excluded from protection. When you purchase this upgrade, the company will handle the costs associated with removal and disposal of items.
Although First American Home Warranty provides protection for all the major systems and appliances found in most homes, there are many exclusions.
Here’s a few examples of some of the items included and excluded from First American Home Warranty’s coverage. Note that the following list isn’t all-inclusive. For a detailed overview of all exclusions, look through the sample contract line-by-line to ensure the components important to you are covered.
All parts of your washer and dryer are covered except for soap dispensers, plastic mini-tubs, filter, and lint screens, knobs and dials and venting and damage to clothing. You can get coverage for knobs and dials by adding the First Class Upgrade.
All refrigerator parts are covered except items like shelves, rocks, handles, tracks, insulation, lights, beverage dispensers, ice crushers, stand-alone freezers and refrigerant recapture. With the First Class Upgrade, the company will pay for costs related to refrigerant recapture, reclaim and disposal.
First Class Upgrade covers all parts of the dishwasher except baskets, rocks, rollers, knobs and dials. With the First Class Upgrade, you can have the typically excluded items of your dishwasher covered, as well as haul away services.
Some of the items excluded under this category are rotisseries, interior lining, lights, knobs, dials, racks, door glass, magnetic induction cooktops, meat probes and clocks. With the First Class Upgrade, you can unlock coverage for rotisseries, racks, knobs, dials and interior lining.
Pressure regulators, valves, leaks and breaks of water are covered. Shower head, shower arm, fixtures, filter, caulking and grouting are excluded.
Covered components in your heating system include radiators, heat pumps, gas, electrical and oil furnaces and thermostats. However, cable heat, flues and vents, heat lamps and fuel storage tanks are barred from coverage.
For any appliance or system, First American Home Warranty will not cover:
- Repair and replacements due to missing parts, fire, flood, freeze, smoke, lightning, theft, storms, accidents, war, improper installations, damage from pests or misuse
- Repair and replacements due to cosmetic defects
- Solar systems and components
- Repairs due to manufacturer’s recall of covered item or items covered under an existing manufacturer’s warranty
- Repair and replacement of a system, appliance or their components if its deemed defective by the manufacturer
- Routine maintenance
First American Home Warranty’s plans are intended to cover the expenses of rectifying malfunctions resulting from normal wear and tear. There are no age restrictions on the items covered. Your claim will be approved and reimbursed as long as your covered appliances and systems are in decent condition and are being properly maintained. If you just bought a house that contains an old, but working, set of washer and dryer, it will still be eligible for coverage.
First American Home Warranty Costs
First American Home Warranty’s Basic Plan starts at $28 per month, and the Premier Plan starts at $42.50 a month. The exact amount will vary by location. You will also be charged a $3 handling fee per payment, if you have a monthly payment plan.
The monthly costs for both plans are lower than or consistent with other home warranty companies. Keep in mind that purchasing add-ons can increase your monthly payments. First American Home Warranty’s optional coverage price ranges from $4 to $15, depending on the selected item(s).
|Plan||Monthly Cost||Handling fee per payment|
The service fee associated with the company’s policies is $75 to $100 per service call. This fee goes to the technician who performs the diagnosis and repair. First American Home Warranty’s $75 service fee cost is in line with what most other home warranty companies charge. The $100 fee per call for some states is higher than average.
Every home warranty comes with annual payout caps. This is the predetermined amount the company pays for the repair or replacement of a specific system or appliance. First American Home Warranty has some cap-free categories, too. These include garage door openers, washer and dryers, and the electrical system.
Here’s what First American Home Warranty’s coverage caps look like:
|Home System/ Appliance||Coverage Cap|
Garage door opener
Central vacuum system
|No limit on covered items|
|Central air conditioning|
Well pump (one per home)
|Plumbing system||$500 for repair and replacement of items in or below concrete|
$600 each for every like-quality toilet replacement
How to Get a Quote from First American Home Warranty
You only need to provide your basic information, such as your name and contact information. You can then view your coverage options, as well as what the price would be per month or year.
How to Make a Claim with First American Home Warranty
Here’s what to do to file a claim with First American Home Warranty when a covered system or appliance stops working:
- Sign into your First American Home Warranty account to place a service request online, or call their claims center at 800-992-3400. The hotline is available 24/7.
- First American Home Warranty will tap into their network of contractors within four hours of service request and assign you a technician. This contractor will contact you to schedule an appointment and initiate the diagnosis within 48 hours.
- You will pay a $75 trade call for each service request. This fee goes directly to the contractor who is an independent worker, and not the company’s employee. That said, the contractor’s work is warranted for 30 days. If the same item fails after this window of time, you will be charged a trade call fee again when soliciting service.
If First American Home Warranty is unable to find a contractor to handle your claim, they will allow you to use an independent licensed contractor. They will be reimbursed for any authorized repairs. If the contractor doesn’t invoice the company, then you will be directly reimbursed the authorized amount.
First American Home Warranty Reviews
First American Home Warranty is accredited with the Better Business Bureau (BBB) and holds a B+ rating. There are over 1,500 customer reviews, averaging a three-star rating. The company often responds to reviews, both thanking customers for positive ones and reaching out to assist customers who left negative ones.
Positive BBB Reviews:
“Super easy process, work finished in a timely manner, very satisfied customer.”
– Mark B., five stars
“Filed a claim for my garage door. Service person was quick to call me and scheduled service right away. I have never had a bad experience with First American and would recommend them to anyone who needs a home warranty company.”
– Ava M., five stars
Negative BBB Reviews:
“Beware. They do not vet the vendors they send to your home. We had a leak and the first vendor stole our service charge and never came. First American worked with me to send a new vendor out, but when I looked up each vendor they offered to send, they ALL had one star reviews on various websites. When I asked if they checked the vendors they work with, they said any vendor can call them to be a part of their rolodex.”
– Dara B., one star
Assessment of First American: Most Comprehensive Claim Coverage
There’s plenty that the reviews team likes about First American Home Warranty. It has been in this industry for many years, makes a solid effort to suit the budget of most Americans and offers some of the lowest premiums among competitors.
First American Home Warranty is also quite transparent about what’s included and excluded in its coverage. Most companies only include this information as fine print in sample contracts, but with First American Home Warranty, you can easily find the excluded items, as well as coverage caps right within its website.
|Generous coverage caps||Average or above-average service call fees|
|Covers improperly installed and maintained appliances||Not available in 12 states|
|Affordable plans||Have to pay extra for air conditioning coverage|
First American Home Warranty doesn’t restrict repairs on damages incurred through sedimentation, rusting or poor maintenance. This is something that many companies exclude. Also, when you purchase the First Class Upgrade, you won’t have to pay haul-away fees or handle the task of disposing of items. Coverage caps are generous, with some reaching up to $3,500.
That said, there are a few things the reviews team didn’t like about First American Home Warranty. Its service fee is usually $75 per service call for most states, but in some cases it can go up to $100. If your appliance is old and frequently malfunctions every few months, repeatedly paying service fees for multiple claim requests can add up.
Also, coverage for central air conditioning is only available as an add-on — an issue because air conditioning is a heavily used system and is prone to damage from overworking in summer months. Air conditioning coverage is an extra fee of $4 every month.
Recommended Provider: American Home Shield
First American Home Warranty offers decent plans for an attractive price. In addition to this company, we think you should consider American Home Shield. The home warranty provider has a long-standing reputation in the industry, in business since 1971 and available in all states except for Alaska.
American Home Shield has four plans. The Systems Plan™ and Appliances Plan™ are both specialized, while the Combo Plan™ includes both. The Build Your Own Plan™ offers customizable coverage, allowing you to bundle up to 10 systems and appliances.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does First American Home Warranty have a waiting period?
Yes. The waiting period is 30 days after which you can start placing service requests.
What is the First American Home Warranty First Class Upgrade?
First Class Upgrade is an add-on coverage that unlocks coverage for particular excluded items, as well as extra services. This feature is available for an extra $9 per month.
Does First American Home Warranty offer cash in lieu of repair?
Yes. However, the amount may be less than retail since the company negotiates the rates with its suppliers.