First American Home Warranty Review
As discussed in our Home Warranties Buyer’s Guide, home warranties are intended to provide peace of mind to homeowners who want protection for home-related costs that go beyond homeowner’s insurance. First American Home Warranty offers warranty plans to cover household items such as major appliances and electrical and plumbing systems.
Appliances and systems fail as they age. If the appliance or system is out of manufacturer’s warranty, the homeowner may be looking at hefty repair bills. Homeowner’s insurance covers the structure of the home itself but does not cover the repair or replacement of big-ticket items in your home unless destroyed in an insurable event like a fire or high-wind storm. This lack of coverage can create a large hole in a homeowner’s budget when a home system fails unexpectedly. Home warranties are designed to try to fill these financial holes.
First American Home Warranty serves over 550,000 customers and has 24/7 claims assistance available online and via telephone. They offer plans for homeowners as well as real estate professionals wanting to cover homes they have listed on the market. For homeowners, they provide a Basic and a Premier plan. Plans for real estate professionals have basic and optional coverage but vary based on whether they cover the seller or the buyer of the listing.
- Coverage options give flexibility in choosing the coverage that best suits the consumer’s needs
- Replacement of some covered items that are too damaged to repair
- Monthly and yearly payment plans
- Warranty allows the consumer to budget for repairs based on service call fees
- Coverage exclusions can be confusing to average consumers due to technical jargon
- Customers must use the contractor selected by First American Home Warranty
First American Home Warranty Costs
First American Home Warranty plans range in price from $288 to $468 per year. Instead of a deductible per claim as is standard with homeowners insurance, home warranties require a service fee before a contractor investigates a claim. You pay the required fee when the service repair person comes to the property to inspect the situation and make a diagnosis of the problem with the system or appliance. The service fee is charged to cover this home visit. First American Home Warranty has a $75 service call fee although there may be some variation in this amount based on the location of the home, the home size, or the warranty chosen.
First American Home Warranty Products
First American Home Warranty offers two main types of home warranties to consumers. They also have a real estate professional option. For consumer options, First American Home Warranty offers a Basic and a Premier plan. While prices vary based on home size and location, sample quotes we received were $41 per month for the Premier plan and $25 per month for the Basic program. The Basic program covers common appliances while the Premier plan adds in coverage for some home systems such as plumbing, electrical, and heating.
First American Home Warranty also offers add-on coverage for specific items that include pool or spa equipment, well pumps, and central air conditioning at additional costs. They also offer a First Class Upgrade with coverage for accompanying accessories and parts like knobs and interior lighting on microwaves, or faucets attached to plumbing. They also extend add-on coverage for additional types of refrigeration units such as freestanding ice makers or wine refrigerators.
A sample policy is available for review before your purchase a plan. Consumers are encouraged to ask questions about coverage before purchasing.
First American Home Warranty Fast Facts
|Coverage Length||Cancellation Policy||Required Maintenance||Pricing|
|– 12 months– Coverage begins on the contract effective date||Non-cancelable by
consumer except in agreement with the
company after first
30 days or once a
claim has been made.
The company may cancel
under certain conditions.
|A clause in coverage
requires proper maintenance
of covered systems
|– Premium $288-$468 per year– Deductible $75-95|
First American Home Warranty Coverage Limitations
While exclusions vary based on the exact plan purchased, some common exclusions are worth noting here. In general, there is no coverage on parts of an appliance or system that do not affect the actual function of the appliance or system. For example, knobs on a stove or shelves in a refrigerator. Also, if a covered system fails, items that are secondary to the system or that are easily movable may not be covered.
Computers, doorbells, televisions, and alarm systems are examples of this type of exclusion should the electrical system fail. Specific causes of failures can result in exclusions as well. For example, there is no coverage for damage due to pests, caused by lack of maintenance, or inappropriate usage of the appliance or system. Also, events such as power surges, smoke, theft, accidents, riot, vandalism, and acts of God are examples of non-covered events. In some cases, these exclusions exist because homeowner’s insurance provides coverage.
First American Home Warranty Claims
The first step in filing a claim with First American Home Warranty is to review your warranty to determine if you have a covered issue. Once you have done this, call the toll free service number on your warranty or fill out the online service request form on the company’s website. The online form is the better option because you will have documentation of your claim from the start.
From that point, First American Home Warranty will select an appropriate service contractor in your area and assign them to the claim. The service contractor will then contact you directly to schedule an appointment based on their schedule and your availability. The service fee is payable when the contractor arrives at your home. The service contractor will inspect the system or item in question and make a diagnosis as to the cause of the problem.
Once coverage is confirmed, the service contractor will begin repairs, which may require more than one visit. If the system or item in question cannot be repaired, it may replaced. The replacement procedure will vary depending on item or system involved, and details will be discussed with the homeowner by a First American Home Warranty representative.
First American Home Warranty Complaints
First American Home Warranty currently has a 3 ½ star rating on ConsumerAffairs and a “B” rating with the Better Business Bureau. The majority of consumers who report concerns report confusion or issues with understanding what is covered or excluded by the policy. Some were confused about coverage limits as well.
First American Home Warranty Q&A
How long do I have to wait before requesting service?
If you’re a new First American customer, you must wait 30 days before requesting service.
Can I choose my own contractor?
No, First American Home Warranty maintains a list of service contractors that they dispatch based on the type of problem and location.
What happens if local or state codes have changed since the home system installation?
First American Home Warranty states they are not liable for upgrades, repairs, inspections, or other costs due to any laws or building codes.
What if my covered item breaks beyond repair?
First American Home Warranty may replace the item. Replacement coverage varies by system, appliance, and plan selected.
What if I disagree with a First American Home Warranty decision?
Try to reach an agreement with the company, as you would with any other product or service. Contact the company, explain why you disagree and have information to support your opinion. Get any promises of resolving the problem in writing. If an agreement is not possible, First American Home Warranty’s policies include an individual arbitration agreement waving class action rights, but you can still have the matter settled in small claims court.
Does First American Home Warranty do business in all states?
No. First American Home Warranty offers coverage in 38 states and the District of Columbia.
First American Home Warranty has been providing home warranties for over 30 years. Their plans include many exclusions, but they do offer add-on coverage that adjusts or eliminates some of these exclusions, which allows the consumer to tailor the warranty to fit their needs. As with any warranty or insurance product, is it vital to understand the terms and conditions of the coverage you are purchasing.