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.

Pros
  • 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
Cons
  • 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.
Noncancelable 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
and appliances.
  • 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 screenshot

First American Home Warranty Screenshot. Source: First American Home Warranty Homepage

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.

    first american screenshot

  • 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.

Conclusion

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.

To check a quote from First American, call 877-755-6974 or start a quote online.

First American Home Warranty Reviews

Recent Reviews

If you have an emergency of no running water with backed up toilets and showers, GOOD LUCK. It happened on a Saturday and they couldn’t find a contractor, AND wouldn’t let us call one of hundreds in our local area who were available and ready to come to our home until 24 hours past! She said it's policy to wait 24 hours for all emergency calls if they can't find a contractor. It's an EMERGENCY and they want you to wait!?!?! We were forced to pay a night at hotel. We had my mom and children visiting. Then I called the next day before 24 hrs we're up to check status and they said oh you can go ahead and call a contractor of your choice as we still have not found one. I asked why hasn't anyone called to tell me this?? I've been waiting for status! How much longer was I going to wait for call? I found a plumber and they came out within 2 hrs on a Sunday. The company is great if you don't have an emergency... I will not renew. Their policy is just wrong. In the end I spoke to probably the best customer service person they have and he helped with processing our reimbursement. It's been a week so I'm still waiting for it in the mail. They will not cover the hotel cost.

Marisol M.
Altadena, CA

We have been very satisfied with First American. It’s comforting to know when any of my covered items get in trouble I have someone I can depend on. So far I have no complaints. I have had to have service on three occasions and have been very pleased.

Clark B.
Madison, MS

Claim was handled effectively and service provider was able to make the necessary repairs. I did have an issue with scheduling the installation of the repair part and was forced to wait an additional 2 weeks to have the repair completed but as I said it was eventually completed to my satisfaction.

Larry O.
Vero Beach, FL

We have had First American Warranty for 1 1/2 years. We have had small repairs throughout the year and they did fine. However, recently our A/C coil was leaking and needed to be replaced. The company they sent out to do the repair was notorious for poor workmanship and dishonest dealings. This company informed us that the total cost was $1500 to replace the evaporator coil ($500 of which we would have to pay, leaving $1000 to be paid by First American). We called 3 other companies in the area to get quotes on replacing the coil and all 3 gave us a total of $1500. Because of the contracted companies reputation, we called First American to get a payout so we could go with a different company. They offered me $350!!!! This wouldn’t even cover the cost of the part. We have filed a complaint on BBB, with no resolve. I have also left messages to speak to a manager twice and never gotten a call back. All we want is our A/C fixed by a reputable company.

Adrienne F.

Worst scam ever. Terrible contractors, terrible foot dragging. The time you spend on the phone with these people trying to get something fixed, combined with the time wasted working with their many inept contractors could be better used learning how to fix it yourself or calling a contractor of your own choice. I've had a simple in wall pipe leak for over a month (claim submitted to them a month ago) and 5 visits later and STILL no diagnosis and no plan of action to fix it. NO, NO, NO. I will not ever renew with them.

Robert F.

Worst home warranty I've seen bottom line. I've been having an ongoing issue with my AC, first the technician they send don't know much and report its an electrical issue and it goes back and forth. To make it better they dont schedule you a follow up date till they send the report and they can get a hold of the company. Once they settled it was a compressor issue it took the company 2 weeks to send the work order and when it was “fixed”. I called because the same issue persisted, called back and requested a different tech to take a look and they said the compressor was wrong. Now they have to make the other company liable and get them to come back. Its been 2 months, $900 wasted, and lots of time off work to be at home with the tech, without AC in mid summer my house is usually at least 80 degrees and to make matters worse I had surgery. This company never calls me back and never gives you a confirmation on when matter would be fix, just a run around. This is not a company you want.

Rafael T.

CONSUMER BEWARE!!! THEY DIDNT WANT TO PAY FOR A CLAIM THAT IS CLEARLY STATED AS COVERED SO THEY HAD THEIR PEOPLE CALL IT SOMETHING ELSE THAT IS NOT COVERED!!! My fuse box shorted out. This is clearly covered by contract under electrical. (fuses, fuse panel, junction box, wiring, circuit breakers, switches/fuses, plugs, and conduit all covered. The electrician they sent out said: "I won't even touch it because I don't want to be responsible for the fire it causes". Then said "they try not to pay for these repairs based on cost, and usually have to pay out 50/50 (about half the time"). so they call it "inadequate wiring" and claim this in not covered, however, the house was inspected by a certified electrician and an electrical inspector less than a year ago and passed with flying colors. Not to mention multiple times throughout the years. when it was submitted, the EXTREMELY RUDE rep that only spoke very poor broken English said they refuse to pay because of the cost of repairs. First American is a fraudulent company selling a service contract they refuse to honor, Because they RUDELY refuse to help resolve this.

Mike H.

Total Air Care - unethical, immoral, fraudulent. Avoid at all costs. Our A/C died 24 July 2018 and we contacted First American Home Warranty (FAH) the next morning via their on-line appointment request and via telephone. Three days later (!!!) Total Air Care (TAC)'s tech came out, saw that pressure was low in our condenser, and topped it off. Two days later, the same problem happens again. Obviously there's a leak somewhere. Second visit took FOUR days to get the technician out - he diagnosed a bad condenser coil (leaking) and told me they would replace it provided the home warranty covered it. FAH decided to replace it, and here's where it goes sideways - well. More sideways than the ridiculous waits for people to come out and take a look. I fought FAH for THREE WEEKS to get them to order the correct equipment. Our home is equipped with a 4 ton air handler and condenser, and they ordered a 3.5 ton replacement for both. I spent over 8 hours on the phone with multiple people who all gave me different stories, provided pictures of the make and model, the manufacturer's documentation on how to decipher the model to derive capacity, and finally am assigned a claims specialist named Yvonne. I was contacted via email only after I complained on their web-based dashboard that I wasn't being helped and that my kids were suffering in the 90+ degree, 80%+ humidity of a Florida summer. So FINALLY, at 34 days of misery, the right equipment is available for pickup by TAC. I look at the portal, and see "Awaiting customer acceptance of non-covered charges". Huh? Never disclosed. When trying to contact TAC, expect to waste 4 hours of your day in their Parts and Service queue to be told by an overflow operator w/o access to anything useful with regards to status that "someone will call you" - you never get through to a person that can help, they do NOT respond to emails, and they will NEVER call you back. Here's what TAC submitted to me as "non-covered charges" - and wouldn't tell me over the phone, I had to get this from FAH: Permit fee: $199 dollars (permit fees in my area are $95. A like-for-like replacement does not require a permit). Manual J Load Calculation: $225 (TAC never ran one. One isn't required in my county. A Manual J calculation should be performed when DESIGNING a system, and takes into account thing like floor plan, cubic footage of air to be cooled, R ratings of insulation, windows, all of it, and not required during a like for like replacement). Float switch: $100 (Available for $24.99 on-line, more than 300% markup) Condenser pad: $150 (36" x 36" x 3" pad is $78 at Home Depot, 100% markup) SUP(ply)-RET(urn) modification: $375 (Installing an air handler dimensionally identical and no listing of REQUIRED modifications. Also note TAC did not perform a site survey, cost estimating, labor estimating, or materials estimate.) Programmable Thermostat to meet code requirement: $127 (Already have one, not required). R410A reclaim/recovery fee: $144 (System is empty, it's leaking, so no refrigerant in system... if this is a legal requirement I'd want them to state the code and section that requires it. Thy did not). Disposal Fee: $100 Condenser Tie Downs: $78 (A set of four of the same make as the manufacturer of the unit to be replaced are available on Amazon for $11.75. More than 500% markup). Locking caps: $79 ($30 bucks at Grainger, no explanation of requirements provided and more than 150% markup). Electrical Modifications: $550 (What modifications are required for an existing, code compliant installation? No site survey, cost estimating, labor estimating, or materials estimate performed. I'd want an itemized list of work to be performed with materials required as well as labor to be performed - what, to plug it in???). Drain Line modifications: $76 (Huh?) Code requirement Duct Certification: $175 (not required in my county) Total cost of non-covered items were: $2378 Total cost of replacement equipment if I purchased: $3172 Offered cash in lieu of replacement: $ ~$2000 FAH stated that they: - Do not set the charges from TAC - Do not advocate for customers with contractors - Do not release procured equipment to other contractors less predatory than TAC - Do not obtain second opinions on installation "non-covered" charges - Do not negotiate. Period. - Take the payout or pay TAC $2400 dollars, and have a nice day. If you've read this thus far, you're smart enough to figure this out...TAC unavailable for comment and FAH is useless. Avoid at all costs. Find another warranty company and NEVER let TAC work on your house. Tech was a good dude but company? Crooked as a dog's hind leg.

B B.

Terrible experience. Waited a month for a repair and guy spent 10 minutes and didn’t fix it and told me to call back for another technician to come fix it. Customer service was rude, won’t answer questions, reads from script over and over, puts me on hold 35 minutes, transfers me to another rude person and same thing again and again. Have to wait another month for another technician. Such a waste of time and money. We need our appliances to work and are stuck without them because this awful company can’t get their stuff together.

Carla C.

The contractor chosen by First American had trouble getting in parts for my heater. After almost two months with a heater and air conditioner malfunctioning, First American said the problem was fixed on the first visit and I was putting in a new claim. Fortunately I kept the voice mail of their selected contractor telling me he was waiting for the parts. I hope their fraud gets me around the arbitration clause, if there is an arbitration clause as mentioned in this article. My intention is to retain counsel to file a class action suit.

Laura L.
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