Dishwasher – Cleaning and Maintenance

If you don’t have much time to sit around reading elaborate articles on how to clean your dishwasher, take a look at the image given below before you run back to the kitchen to finish cleaning your dishwasher. For those of you with time on your hands, continue reading for effective methods and tips to maintain a healthy dishwasher.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                      Dishwasher Cleaning and Maintenance

For those of you who are still waiting to get further details and instructions about cleaning your dishwasher, here is some happy news. A dishwasher is an appliance that requires very low maintenance efforts as it cleans itself to a certain extent during each wash cycle. So frequent cleaning may not be necessary. However, in order to ensure that the internal parts remain unharmed and functional, it will be  wise to clean your dishwasher once a month.

Following instructions are an elaborate version of the above steps steps

  1. Firstly, empty the dishwasher completely. The steps that follow should be performed only when the dishwasher is empty.
  2. Check all the spinning arms. Make sure all the holes are open so that water can run through them freely.
  3. Clear any debris out of the holes in spinning arms.
  4. Wipe around the edges of the door and around the gasket. Use a damp cloth and if you like, a mild spray cleaner. An old toothbrush or other soft  household brush can help get into corners and up under the gasket.
  5. Clean under the bottom of the door. In some dishwashers, this is a dead spot where water doesn’t go and therefore it can accumulate debris. Wipe this off.
  6. Inspect the bottom of your dishwasher around the drain. This is the area from where soiled water is expelled. It may accumulate solid debris as well, make sure to clean this out.
  7. To remove hard water deposits, run one cycle of your dishwasher empty, with a mild, food acid of your choice. Avoid using bleach and detergents containing bleach if your dishwasher has a stainless steel interior or door.
  8. Spray the front of your dishwasher with a mild spray cleaner of your choice and wipe it with a sponge or soft cloth. Pay particular attention to the controls and the handle. Also, don’t miss the little ledge between panels. It tends to collect dirt.

Most often, regular cleaning alone does not ensure proper maintenance of your dishwasher. This is because there are certain parts within the appliance that are hard to reach and thereby overlooked during the cleaning. If you have doubts regarding how you could maintain your dishwasher properly, the following steps shall shed some light on it

  • Use your dishwasher regularly. To a certain extent, this makes sure that debris and dirt don’t accumulate in the holes.
  • Always clean your dishwasher immediately after you run it.
  • It is best that you use needle nose pliers for cleaning the holes. However, make sure that you don’t leave scratches on the surface.
  • The bottom of your dishwasher needs special inspection as this region is where the waste water goes. Ensure that no debris is obstructing this area.
  • Run one cycle on the dishwasher with nothing but any food acid of your choice inside it. This helps in cleaning out the hard to reach spaces.
  • The rinse aid dispenser is to be refilled at least once a month for best results.
  • Clean your baskets with brushes to remove all the dirt.

Cleaning the internal parts

It is the bottom portion that often requires to be opened out so that it could be properly cleaned. This region usually has a grate or a grill through which dirty water is expelled. If you can remove the solid debris accumulated over here, opening the grate may not be required. However if you see debris lodged deeply into it, you may have to open the grate to give it a proper cleaning. This task does not always require a technician, if you follow the instructions carefully,  you can do it yourself.

  1. Unplug the dishwasher. Do not confuse the plug with the garbage disposal.
  2. Unscrew all screws you see there. Do not drop them anywhere. Try to keep a note of what was unscrewed from where. This shall save you a lot of time figuring out which screw goes where.
  3. Once all screws are removed, the cover lifts off easily leaving the area beneath it exposed.
  4. Remove all the dirt accumulated here. It is advised that you use gloves or a cloth to do this task as there are chances of finding broken cutlery pieces or other sharp solid objects.
  5. You can also brush this area with a cleaning tool.
  6. Replace and re-assemble everything once you have finished cleaning. Do not over tighten the screws.

Refilling the Rinse Aid Dispenser

It is essential to refill the rinse air dispenser as this avoids spots on your dishes. To do this,

  1. Find a suitable rinse aid from a department store.
  2. Unscrew the round knob on the dishwasher door.
  3. Pour in the rinse aid as per the instructions on the dishwashers user manual.
  4. Some people substitute white vinegar in place of rinse aid. Make sure that you check to see if this is safe procedure.
  5. Solid rinse aids are also available in the market. Although the only advantage they have is that they are visible and hence may serve as a reminder to fill that occasionally.

Although regular maintenance will help your appliances last longer, they certainly won’t make them everlasting. Hence we suggest that you consider buying an Appliance Protection Plan to protect yourself from unnecessary expenses that may occur due to appliance breakdowns.






At HomeWarrantyReviews.com, we strive harder to bring you honest articles that help you decide in buying home warranty plans from over 90+ companies listed with us and over 25 thousand reviews to skim through. This article is all about annual savings from home warranty plans.

Now given for a fact, all of us would like to have a great deal, be it on any day (not only on Memorial Day or Thanksgiving or Christmas, gotcha!). So we decided to help you make an informed decision and save you dollars which could obviously prolong and protect your budget for unforeseen circumstances.

Annual Savings From Home Warranty Plans

Here are ways to Estimate Home Maintenance Costs and it’s good to know Which Appliances Break Most Oftenwhen you plan to buy an optimal home warranty as per your needs. And we’ve also got a free get quote tool for you to know what’s best in your area. Why don’t you give it a spin!

Choosing The Right Home Warranty

From $70 being shelled out to a repair executive to the individual appliances consuming more than $200 at one go, you could save plenty of dollars if you knew how to choose the right Home Warranty Plan.

Firstly, a homeowner with a new place to crash doesn’t need a home warranty, you’re covered by the builder’s insurance policy for up to a year. Then there’s life expectancy for the new appliances, so you could safely assume that it’s not gonna burn a hole in your pocket for the first few years. The danger mark is when one approaches the 4 year tenure and upwards of it.

Secondly, assume that your home is over 12 years old and isn’t maintained at scheduled intervals (read it as faulty appliances, leaky pipeline, paint fading, shabby interiors, you get the picture!), then even if you have the most amazing home warranty plan on the planet, your claims could get rejected. Home warranty companies seek for schedules of maintenance and keep in mind that not everything is covered and that the service executive could also charge the deductible and not get the appliance working, crazy right? It’s more likely to boil down to the individual state of affairs and policy-to-policy variations. (Clauses, subclauses and more!).

If you’re not covered under a policy at this juncture, then the regular service executive charges something around $70 per hour, also keep in mind that you’ll be charged for extra hours. You’d definitely want to think if you want to repair the appliance or replace the appliance, most would stick to the later option.

Lastly, here lies the category of pivotal importance. The sweet spot of 4 to 10 years during which every homeowner must have a home warranty policy. Now, let me tell you why. Among all the claims, the most sought after one is the HVAC control system. The service costs can vary from as low as $80 to as high as $900, in extreme cases. The average costs hover within the price bracket of $200 to $400. And now this should get you thinking, if one appliance service repair is costing that much, then how about the remaining appliances in your home! We’ve still got the next sought after claim- water heaters, averaging again around $300 for each service repair, and adding more to the list are- swimming pools/spas, garage doors, plumbing, furnaces, washing machines, refrigerators, dishwashers and other miscellaneous appliances, which might potentially need a service. Thus, the individual average price of each appliance can shoot over $200 respectively. (That’s a Roadkill if you ask me!)

At this juncture, on a yearly basis, one can expect that at least two of the home appliances could breakdown & give you headaches which you never knew existed! Add to that the service executive’s cut, the cost of the replaced part and you’ll see yourself frowning. Whereas, the average price of one comprehensive home warranty policy is around $600, lesser than getting HVAC control system alone repaired on your own. But, if you choose wisely you’ll cover a lot of other appliances and potentially save a minimum of $1500 to $2000 in a given year. Isn’t that a pretty cool figure to save any day?

Home Warranty Benefits 

So this is why we’re all here folks, to know why Home Warranty plans are beneficial to us, in our day-to-day activities. Here’s a list of comprehensive pointers for us to ponder over-

  1. Protection against unexpected repair costs on home appliances
  2. Comprehensive protection covered in your neighborhood
  3. Expect high workmanship and professionalism, the best in business
  4. Just a call away to sort the issues at hand
  5. Most important appliances are covered in a standard policy
  6. Unlimited services and easy claim process for hassle-free operation
  7. Provides continuous protection by yearly renewals
  8. Attract first time buyers, if you plan to sell
  9. Amount of time saved can be greatly used for other activities
  10. Peace of mind for sure

Better Safe Than Sorry

The bottomline is, if you’re a homeowner falling under the 4 to 10 years age bracket, then home warranties are going to be most beneficial as elucidated. We would also urge you to search for best companies locally listed under your ZIP and find the right choice for a home warranty plan by comparing the different plans offered by top 10 companies. If you fall into other categories, fret not, and make an informed decision by checking out our extensive collection of reviews, get online, be in the know, it’s that simple! Internet is the information superhighway afterall. Happy home warranty hunting everyone!

 




Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.

This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.

Coverage

A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes

  • Windows
  • HVAC units
  • Plumbing and electrical systems
  • Stolen construction materials are also covered in some plans.

As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.

These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:

  • Household appliances.
  • Components that are still covered by the Manufacturer’s warranty.
  • Minor cracks in tiles, bricks or drywall.
  • Damages sustained as a result of your own abuse, outsider or people whom you hired to work on the property.
  • Deterioration of materials used in construction within an expected level.

Making a claim

If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.

Things to keep in mind

The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.

For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.

  1. What is not covered?
  2. Name some of your previous projects so that you can speak with some owners
  3. What is the extent of your liability?
  4. What do I do if I have a claim or dispute?

The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.

Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.

You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.

Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.

Difference between Home Warranty and Builder’s Warranty

We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty.  Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.

Builder’s Warranty

You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.

The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!




Okay, so you feel that your tiny apartment is boring and is in desperate need of some styling. Worry not, my friend! Who wants a large apartment when you can always spice up your little one? Plus, we all know that apartments are easier to maintain and you only need to spend less money on them.

Your home should be a space that makes you feel good and we don’t see how the size really matters when it comes to styling. Unless you live in a minuscule apartment like the one Lily Aldrin from “How I met your Mother” occupied (You poor dear!), we don’t see why you would find it difficult to do add some style to your home. Take a look at our list of ten cost effective things you could do that would make your home look A.W.E.S.O.M.E !

Ways to Decorate your Apartment

1. Mirror, Mirror, on the wall!

Well, it doesn’t necessarily have to be on a wall. Large mirrors create an illusion of larger space. If you can place a reasonably sized, framed mirror in your living room, it will definitely increase the glamour quotient of your home.Another option is to cover an entire wall with a freakishly large mirror. These days you can buy doors that have mirrors on one side. This option is ideal if you don’t really have space for a large mirror.

 

1

2. Color your Walls

Who wants to live in an apartment with boring white walls? If you have watched the “Hunger Games”, we’re sure that you would not have forgotten the look of the folks at the Capitol. That’s the effect bright colors have on you. Buy a can or two of your favorite color and paint a wall with it. You can even invite your buddies over and make this a fun chore. Make sure you speak with your building supervisor before you do this.

Some apartments don’t encourage their residents creating masterpieces on the walls. If you don’t have the option of painting your walls, try using colorful furniture instead. A funky bright pink chair, or an emerald green sofa may bring a drastic change to your home. You can also try using brightly colored curtains and drapes.

chair

3. Fun with furniture!

If your apartment is really small, it would be unwise to fill it up with large pieces of furniture. This restricts movement around your home and in general ruins the whole look and feel. If you have sufficient space, “float” your furniture so that cleaning will be easier.

Chuck out all the unnecessary furniture. If you rarely eat at home, then its pointless to keep a dining table and six chairs. Instead use this space for something that you genuinely need, say a work space or an exercise room. Budding musicians can use this space to display and practise on your instruments.

display photo

4. Display what’s dear to you!

Do you have old photographs lying around somewhere? Use them to add a personal touch to your home. Frame them elegantly and hang them up on the walls. If you paint and have painted any pieces, put them up on display. It needn’t necessarily be anything two dimensional like a painting or a photograph, you can always make something fun and creative and display that as well!

open storage

5. Open storage for kitchen staples

Now this one not only looks nice, but it also ensures easy reach to things you need. Place an open shelf in your kitchen and rooms. Neatly arrange all your stuff on it adding flower vases and other showpieces of your choice intermittently. Metal shelves are best suited for this. They are stable, sturdy and can hold a weight.

If you store your kitchen staples this way, it will save you a lot of time while you prepare your shopping list as you can visibly see all the empty jars. Just make sure that you don’t place any rotting veggies or fruits on them

carpet

 

6. Mind your carpets

If your apartment is rented out, you may feel stuck with the things inside it. In such a situation, you could bring a lot of change by placing suitable carpets and rugs. You wouldn’t believe the difference they bring to the entire house. Try carpets with patterns and designs. If you are not a regular cleaner, go for ones that are not furry and bushy.

entertainment

7. Center of entertainment

Decorate your TV wall with some panel work or artwork. Turn that into a focal point. Always try to go for a wall mounting TV, it saves space and is easier to move around and of course the picture quality is better.

If you have other recreational devices, they too can be placed in decorative backgrounds. This adds a certain charm to your apartment.

green

8. Add a touch of green

Go green! Add plants and bonsai trees to you home. You have a lot of options on indoor plants and they are easy to maintain as well. If you don’t want a live plant you can always go for a fake one, but it will never be as good as a live one.

Plants are not the ideal additions to your bedroom, what with the CO2 being emitted at night and all that. However windows and kitchen counters are ideal locations for these green friends.

eclectic

9. Be eclectic, be unique

There’s no fun in symmetry. Use your creativity, make a mix of themes and styles. You can go online and check various color combinations and theme mixes. Like they say, two styles are better than one single boring one.

10. Wake up the stylist in you!

Sometimes your options are limited. You can’t always implement all the changes you want to, right? Say for example the colour of your bathroom tile, no matter how painful and eye damaging that color is, there is very little you can do about it.

So what do you do? Work around it. Try to get other stuff that matches or negates the effect of that bad tile color. Same goes with everything else that you can’t change. At the end of the day, its more about what you make out of the things that you already have.

The bottom line – Be Creative!

These are not rules that you must follow, they are simply tips that you can adopt if you want to. It is your home and your life. Let nothing stop you from decorating it the way you want. Be sure that it reflects your personality and that you turn it into something that makes you feel warm and homey.

The last thing you want after a tiring day at the office, is to walk into a space that doesn’t make you feel relaxed. Let your creativity run wild, make use of what you have. Happy decorating!




Moving into a new home is always something people look forward to. While new beginnings promise hope and happiness, there are some things you need to consider before you pack up and make the move.

Whether you are buying a home or renting , the rules remain pretty much the same. One must carefully inspect the property and neighborhood to determine whether it suits your needs and lifestyle.

Let’s a take a look at some of the things you must do before you move into a new home.Things To Do Before You Move Into A New Home

1. Inspect The Property

Hire a professional home inspector to take a look at your new place irrespective of whether the home is old or new. As discussed elsewhere on our site, home inspection reveals existing and potential faults with the property and the appliances. This is all the more necessary if you are planning to buy the house.

If there are multiple faults with the house, it means that you will be spending a lot of money on repairs in the future. While all home warranty companies do not mandate a home inspection, it may be a good idea if you are planning to purchase a home warranty to protect your budget. However, if the owner is selling a house with an existing warranty plan, an inspection may not be necessary.

However, if you are planning to rent the house, you don’t need a professional home inspection. You can do a basic assessment yourself to ensure that the home is functional.

2. Make The House Ready-To-Move

This step consists of several little things. Most sellers and owners exhibit their property claiming that it is ready to move in. However, there are some vital points that you need to check/implement.

  • Change locks on all doors that lead to the outside. We cannot stress enough about the importance of this step. It is vital to ensure the safety of everyone at home.
  • Give the interiors of your house a fresh coat of paint, unless of course the house was freshly painted recently. This step will not only improve the visual appearance but will also remove mould and fungi from your walls.
  • Pest proof your house. This not only avoids infections but it also saves damage to your property.
  • Fix shelves and storage spaces if needed. If the house you are buying or renting is old, chances are high that there wouldn’t be enough storage options. Kitchens may also require contemporary cabinets and carousels. Do not wait to put them in after you move.
  • Check smoke detectors and other essential components. If needed replace them.

3. Pick a Home Warranty and Homeowner’s Insurance Ahead Of Moving

If you are buying the house and if you plan to do it on mortgage, homeowner’s insurance is always mandatory. Apart from this, you may need to buy a home warranty to cover your budget in case any of your appliances break down.

Select the plans well in advance so that you won’t have to spend time on it later when you are tired after all the moving and unpacking.

4. Get Acquainted With Neighbors

Speak to your neighbors and get to know your neighborhood. New neighbors are the best sources of information about facilities available in the vicinity. Also ask about the general atmosphere in the area.

5. Drive Around The Neighborhood

Once you meet your new neighbors, it will not be a bad idea to drive around the place. When you do so, make a note of the department stores, hospitals, eat-outs and other essential joints in the vicinity.

And You’re Done!

You’re almost there. Once you change your address and telephone numbers, you are ready to move! Last but not the least, make sure you hire a reliable and reputable packers and movers. Lousy ones cause  damage to your items. Best avoid them. Good luck!

Hope you enjoy your new home!




Winter Home Protection TipsThe leaves are starting to turn and the chill is in the air, and now is the time for homeowners to prepare their residence for winter. With heating rates expected to rise this year, winterizing your home could save money on lower heating bills and remove expensive damage to the house from the elements.

The most crucial things to check are testing for leaks around the house and to make sure that heating is efficient. Experts suggest scrutinizing your home and making necessary repairs now prior to that first snowstorm.

During previous year, more than one third of home insurance claims were weather related. Many of those claims have been prevented if the homeowner had some time to prepare their home for the winter months. Here are some simple and helpful tips to get your house ready for the winter so that you can be comfortable, warm, and safe should bad weather hit.

1.Seal the Envelop of your Home

Seal Your Home's EnvelopeNow it is the time to look for cracks and places that need caulking or sealing. It will help you out save money in the summer and winter by reducing air infiltration.

Try to find cracks around windows, faucets, doors, dryer vents, air conditioning vents and any other place that something can come through the wall. Most cracks can be sealed with superior quality exterior caulk – it’s reasonable and comes in many colors to match the exterior. In case you do not find areas with big cracks, you may have to use expandable foam.

It is suggested patching any areas with cracked paint as exposed wood has no hurdle against moisture, which can cause more grave problems. To get warranty for all these appliances check out our Home Warranty Reviews guide.

2.Make sure Doors and Windows are Sealed Properly

Sealing DoorAs half of your energy costs go to heating and cooling your home, you need to make sure that windows and doors are tightly sealed. Confirm that weather stripping is installed and that caulking around windows is not missing or cracked. Make sure that weatherstripping is set up and that caulking around is not missing or cracked. This is also the time to take away screens and put in storm windows.

If by now you have weatherstripping, look whether the foam’s is in good form. If it’s not then take off a small strip and then take it with you to the store so as to match it with new weather stripping as that will give you the best seal.

3.Protect from Critters

While you are walking around, try to find access points for small animals and insects. Closing any holes can put off squirrels and other animals from living in your warm attic all through the cold winter months and causing long-term troubles.

4.Inspect Gutters and Downspouts

Winter Home Protection TipsOnce the leaves have fallen, clean up the gutters and check for any needed repairs. See where the downspout directs the water and ensure water doesn’t puddle and stay near your foundation. Gutters that don’t handle run-off usually create ice dams. Take care of the melting ice as it can pool and cause roof rot.

5.Protect Wood Floors

You mainly want to protect your hardwood floors from winter walking wear and tear as you are most likely to be indoors in winter. Also, with wet weather mud comes, so reduce the amount of dirt and mud as this will scratch up the wood. Try keeping floor mats by the front and back doors and even an outdoor mat for pre-wiping your shoes. Also, for wood floor protection, it is important to not let water just sit on your wood flooring as it will mold, warp and damage the floor.

6.Trim Tree Limbs

Cutting Tree Limbs

Heading into the colder months is the best time to cut down any tree limbs that are touching or are near the roof. These could damage the shingles (shingles guard the roof from water and moisture and prevent roof rot and leaks). Besides, also remove any weakened or diseased trees or else they could fall from bad weather storms.

7.Take care of Faucets and Pipes

You don’t have to do this if you have frost-proof faucets. Wrap any available pipes in your basement or attic with foam pipe wraps. This help prevent any freeze damaged and burst pipes and help you save funds since it will take the hot water for use.

8.Insulate your Attic

Insulate Your Attic

Even though most houses have less than 6 inches of insulation, you need no less than 12 inches. If you can roll insulation, you can get your money back in energy savings within 6 months. Even adding one or two rolls at a time will still have an advantage. When rolling insulation, employing unfaced insulation without paper rather than faced insulation prevents trapping moisture in the insulation down the road.

Lastly, plan an appointment with your heating company. It is good to get an annual tune-up, you need to be sure your homes furnace or boilers are working well. This helps your home be energy efficient and aids prevent carbon monoxide leaking into the air, which can become a toxic gas. This is something that needs to get done in every home; we tend to do ours in mid fall just to ensure with the holiday crazy that we don’t fail to remember.

If you have not planned yours yet, call a professional now!

So there you have it, there are many home improvements from light fixtures to leaky faucets bookcase building and deck finishing.

Paying attention to these important home improvement projects before winter will keep your family safe and your heating expenses down.

==> Click here to get  Price Estimate for Home Warranty.




Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.

Am I Required To Have Home Insurance If I Own A Home?

Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.

New age policies for American Homeowner

Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.

  •  HO-1 & HO-2 – Broad policy that guards against 16 perils that are stated in the policy
  •  HO-3 – Covers the structure against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-4 – If you rent or lease your home, you need a renters policy to cover your personal property and liability
  • HO-5 – Premium policy that guards newer, well-maintained homes; it covers against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-6 – Insurance for co-ops/condominiums, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit
  • HO-7 – Similar to an HO-3 policy, but for mobile homes
  •  HO-8 – Policy particularly for older homes, with similar coverage to an HO-2 policy. However, it only covers actual cash value. In Florida, many insurers are offering this policy

Comprehending Your Policy

As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.

Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.

Additional Insurance And Endorsements

Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).

Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.

Some Popular Endorsements And Extra Policies Include:

  •  Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – A policy that pays to reconstruct your home completely, even if the cost is above your policy limits. You can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 more in premiums each year for this endorsement
  • Inflation Guard – A policy that automatically raises your dwelling coverage limit yearly in proportion to inflation, so that your limits are at least 80% of its value. Incremental premium increases in relation to the limit are often charged when the policy is renewed
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance – A policy that broadly covers assets. It increases your liability coverage above the limits available in any of your “basic” policies, comprising auto, boat, and homeowners insurance. Umbrella coverage can extend to other excluded coverages, such as the invasion of privacy, false arrest, and slander, which can kick in once your primary coverage is exhausted. Premiums for this coverage begin at around $150 to $300 per year for $1 million in coverage, an additional $75 for $2 million, and $50 extra per year for each additional $1 million in coverage
  • Scheduled Personal Property – A policy that covers high-value objects such as stamps, jewelry, coins, antiques, guns, computers, furs, and other items that could go beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy

Creating Your Home Inventory

When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.

For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.

Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.




Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.

Home Warranty Claims

A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.

So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?

  • Lack of Maintenance – You are supposed to take care of cleaning and maintenance of appliances. HVAC units must be serviced every year and you should keep maintenance records.
  • Code Violations – If any of your appliances violate safety and installation codes, they won’t be covered.
  • Unusual wear and tear – due to reckless usage etc.
  • Improper installation – This is where having a home scrutiny done by a professional is so significant. Paying out a few hundred dollars for this kind of assessment could save you thousands of dollars and years of annoyance. For instance, if the HVAC system was not installed properly, or if the defect existed before the new buyer takes ownership, the claim could be denied. If the seller is reluctant to deal with issues that are found in a home inspection, think two times before you close on that home.
  • Excluded appliances Clause – Not all appliances are covered. Your service contract lists all covered appliances. Make sure you are okay with the coverage.

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:

  • Step 1: Verify your home warranty documents. The definite steps you have to take with the home warranty company to appeal a petition for denial must be listed in the documents.
  • Step 2: Make contract with your home warranty company. Keep a record of all dates and times you talk to a company representative. Obtain the names of every person you speak to. Inquire for the required paperwork to demand a denial of your warranty plan.
  • Step 3: Get the problem re-estimated by a third party. Speak to a local contractor or repairman and get a written estimate for the repair. Have the professional note in writing of what he thinks is the reason of the damage.
  • Step 4: Pursue the warranty company’s appeal process. Some companies want mediation actions be started by and finished by you before the issue can be taken further. Provide any documentation demanded by the company.
  • Step 5: Approach Better Business Bureau (BBB.) Most companies are willing to resolve your issues and close BBB complaints to have a clean record.
  • Step 6: Call your State attorney general’s office. The attorney general’s office normally deals with warranty fraud and service denials.
  • Step 7: File a complaint in small claims court if your claim is small enough. Small claims courts are confined on how much money you can file for a suit. Ensure with the small claims clerk’s office to settle on if your claim falls under the limit.
  • Step 8: Get hold of an attorney for larger claims. Verify with your local bar association to locate an attorney knowledgeable in real estate and denial of service matters. The permissible charge for an attorney differs by area, but usually you will be able to sue the warranty company for the lawyer charges you paid other than your claim.

 




We are sorry that we can’t give you a name, but we will do the next best thing. We will tell you about all the qualities you need to look for in a most reliable Home Warranty company.

For those of you who feel that you don’t know enough about home warranties and matters related to it, we suggest that you go through detailed description about a Home Warranty plan section.

Most Reliable Home Warranty Company

So, you are on the look out for a Home Warranty company that gives you the best plan that suits your budget well. For that, first, lets discuss how to figure out what’s best for you.

Preparation

  1. Plan how much you are willing to spend on a home service plan each year. Home warranties cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per year, while average appliance costs would be over $2000 per year according to some expert estimates.
  2. What kind of coverage do you require? Is is extensive or just the basic offer? Basic coverage will include plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems along with major appliances. If you have a second refrigerator, it is probably not covered unless you request for additional coverage.
  3. What are the companies out there that offer services that you can afford? You can compare home warranty companies and choose the best plan, based on reviews, pricing etc. available on our website.
  4. Start comparison shopping!

Once this is done, let’s get to the fun part. Here’s a list of features that describe the most reliable Home Warranty company.

Coverage

Look for a company that offers varying packages based on coverage. The company should be able to provide you with a lot of options on the extent of coverage. If you can find a company that offers a tailor made plan for you, it would be great, provided the plan is affordable. Not all appliances and systems covered, so please understand the coverage terms. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered under some plans and lack of maintenance issues are almost always not covered.

Repairs vs Replacement

Did you know that most companies prefer to repair and not replace damaged devices? And because of this, you must thoroughly understand the companies policies regarding this. Go through the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy booklet carefully. A reliable company will always look out for your appliances and will replace them if it is needed.

Customer support

The importance of this aspect cannot be overstated. Ensure that the firm you choose has a 27 x 7 customer service wing whom you can call up at any time. They are the people with whom you will be communicating in case an issue occurs. So make sure that they are available around the clock and also enquire about the average time taken to get a response followed by filing your complaint. If you prefer filing claims online, check if the company has online claims processing options.

Seamless customer support is definitely part of an ideal company.

Qualified and experienced vendors

Ensure that the company you choose has a local branch or at least a good network of  contractors in your neighborhood. In case they do not have qualified contractors in the area, make sure you are allowed to choose your own vendors.

Your insurance company should always provide you with the service of trained and experienced service technicians. They are the people who are responsible for fixing your damaged gadgets so it is highly important that they have a good record. Speak to an agent and inquire about the quality of vendors that are hired by the company. Vendors must be thoroughly screened by the company.

Clean Record

It is never a bad idea to refer to the record of the State Insurance Commission or BBB to ensure that the company you are planning to choose has a clean history. Picking a company that has a history of lawsuits and bad reviews can never live up to your expectations. You can also ask your friends and family to recommend a company based on their experiences. Always choose a company with good reputation to make the most of the deal.

This article is just a brief description about the qualities of a good Home Warranty company. This is not a rule or guideline. Home Warranty plans can cost anywhere between $250 to $700 per year, so it is necessary that you make an informed decision. You can get a free quote or estimate on home warranty plans before you choose any company.

Happy Home Warranty shopping!




Well, technically it isn’t winter yet, but like the Starks say – “Winter is coming” and as a homeowner, you better be prepared for it. If you live in a region which sees subzero temperatures and biting winds, your house, and its contents could be in trouble. While snow covered trees and angelic white surroundings may look pretty, the potential damages that cold temperatures can cause to household appliances are no fun. Frozen water in the plumbing, malfunctioning humidifiers and the scariest of them all – broken radiators which means no heat! Many things could go wrong and if that happens in the dead of the winter, you could be in trouble. So before the winter sets in full swing, here’s a checklist of things you must get done.

winter is here

Step 1: Plumbing Check

This step cannot be skipped, more so if your home is 4+ years old. The outdoor pipes face the biggest perils as they can easily have water freeze inside them causing grave damages. Like you learned in school, frozen water expands and this means that the pipe could burst if water has frozen inside it. Needless to stay, a burst pipe is not an ideal thing during Christmas season. Your septic piping may also need your attention. Clogged sewage or burst pipes within the sewage system are nightmares.

To prevent plumbing issues, here are some things that you could do –

  • Leave the water running. Not torrentially, leave the faucets to trickle.
  • Inside the home, keep the heating at a minimum of 550F.
  • Pad or insulate the piping systems outside.

Step 2: HVAC Check

Unless you want to freeze to death, inspecting your HVAC unit or even better, getting a professional to check and run a maintenance routine is highly recommended. We have a dedicated HVAC maintenance checklist which you MUST go through to prevent possible breakdowns. Some things you could do to ensure smooth running of your HVAC unit are –

  • Clean the furnace/boiler.
  • Clear the vents to ensure that dirt and debris are not clogging it.
  • Check external pipes for clogs and snow and clear them out.

Winters require your heating systems to work overtime and sometimes even round the clock. Even if they are in their best shape, here are some signs that could indicate that the system will become faulty soon. Watch for –

  • Varied temperature zones within a room. Cold in one spot, hot in another.
  • Shrieks and other unusual sounds from the vents or the system as such.
  • Sudden fluctuations in the temperature in either direction.

If you see any of these signs, have a professional look at the system right away.

Step 3: Roof Check

Roofs often get the worst of it as they are constantly exposed. Roof tiles may crack or even break if the climate gets that harsh. Such cracks and breaks allow water to seep into your attic and disturb the temperature of your house, or worse, cause further cracks and breaks. It might be a good idea to get your roof inspected. If your roof sustains extensive damages, the repairs could cost you an average of $600.

Some DIY checks you could do are –

  • Look for loose tiles/shingles
  • Check your chimneys for clogs and debris
  • Check attic for leaks and cracks

Step 4: Fireplace Check

Fireplaces were the first heating arrangements that civilized humans used. They are fairly inexpensive to maintain when compared to HVAC units. Before winter sets in, it might be a good idea to give your fireplace a thorough cleaning. The general rule of thumb is that the fireplace must get cleaned once a year, ideally before the winter. A lot of ash and other fuel residue tends to accumulate within the fireplace which could lead it to function badly.

If you use gas, your fireplace will be considerably cleaner. However, there is always the risk of debris or leaves that fell through. Wood fireplaces may need a routine check from a professional.

Step 5: Appliance Warranty

Most American homeowners swear that an appliance warranty plan is the best strategy for budget protection. Any unexpected repair cost will get covered as long as the damage was caused due to normal wear and tear. Of course, for damages caused due to natural hazards or perils, you’ll need a homeowner’s insurance and not a home warranty. While both plans are designed to cover repair and replacement costs, homeowners insurance and home warranty are quite different from each other.

During winter, especially in regions where the temperatures drop really low, the risk of appliances getting damaged rises significantly. So, if you are not a home warranty customer already, you may seriously look into getting one. It could help you save thousands of dollars in the long run.

Happy Housekeeping During Winter!

Maintaining a house in good working order, especially when the climate gets harsh, is no easy feat. Which is why you need to go through our home maintenance checklist and execute the steps in it to ensure that you have a warm and cozy winter. The festive season is just around the corner and nothing spoils our mood more than faulty appliances. Keep your home warranty ready and you’ll have your peace of mind. Have a good winter!




Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.

Renew Your Home WarrantyIn all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.

Consider Your Options

Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.

How much peace of mind do you require?

For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.

Should you renew your home warranty program?

Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.

Things to Consider When Renewing

Consider Several Factors for RenewalWe all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.

For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.

You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.

The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.

So how do you approach the renewal question if you are about to purchase a new home warranty?

One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.

It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse.  You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.




By:  Kevin Wallach


One of last year’s most talked about movies, “The Big Short,” got people thinking once more about the great housing market crash of 2007.  The film, based on true events, cut to the heart of the abuses of government regulatory weaknesses that allowed one of the worst market collapses in history to occur.  Though that financial crisis is behind a great many, plenty of U.S. homeowners are still feeling its effects in the form of an upside down mortgages, loans bigger than the value of the houses that collateralize them.  According to NBC News, 13% of U.S. homeowners are still seriously underwater.  This estimate was based on figures provided by RealtyTrac, and the basis for the term, “underwater,” was that the home’s value is 25% less than what is currently owed by the homeowner.

From Buyers Market to Seller’s Market The U.S. Housing Shortage

Imagine what this means for the homeowners.  You face the choice of holding on to a house that may or may not ever reach a value which would match or exceed the mortgage.  For many families, this just is not an option.  The other prospects are not any better, though.  Accepting foreclosure or a short sale can be as damaging to a consumer’s credit rating as a bankruptcy.  The long term effects of having poor credit can be devastating, particularly so for families barely hanging on financially and experiencing long-term decreases in household income.

It’s no surprise then that homeowners who owe more on their homes than the houses are worth should be cheering the current situation facing the housing market.  That situation, of course, is the housing shortage that is being realized nationwide, worse in some regions than others.  In a blog post on Trulia’s website just days ago, the online publisher of real estate industry information broke down factors that are contributing to the shortage of homes and particularly the shortage of affordable ones.  According to that Trulia article, 95 of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas have seen dramatic drops in the number of new starter homes being built.  If you compare these metro areas with various measures of employment opportunities, you begin to see that what’s driving the economic recovery in some regions may also be driving a split between housing that is affordable for the most fortunate among us and that which is affordable for the average worker or for the working family.

Talk of a housing shortage may seem bizarre to those who are still watching their property values hover, stuck in a zone that seems almost permanent.  These homeowners are witnessing a recovery in a housing market that has not been evenly experienced nationwide.  While places like southern California see spikes in prices of even undeveloped land, much of the country is seeing stagnation, except in neighborhoods with premium housing options.  So while inventory nationwide is shrinking, it’s not necessarily translating into big opportunities for owners of homes around the United States to sell at break even or a profit.  And those who do sell their lower-priced houses as such are running into problems finding houses that they can afford at the next price level.

So, what is it that’s really driving housing shortages, if not healthy employment and more people moving from their first house to their second, and more expensive one?  This is where speculation can lead to some pretty grim possibilities.  Back in January of this year, The Washington Post gave some predictions for the housing market in 2016.  Among those visions of the coming year were sunny forecasts of continued rising home values, built on solid ground this time, unlike the lead up to 2007.  But what the Post’s article may be wrong about is how solid the ground is under these increasing housing costs.  According to some market analysts, a new type of real estate investor is largely taking the place of larger institutional investors.  These “mom and pop” investors are, unlike their larger predecessors, using credit, not cash, to make these purchases.  In this article from RealtyTrac about mom and pop investors in the real estate space, the purchase of homes is secondary to the effort to purchase the loans themselves.  And it doesn’t end with small investors who buy distressed houses on credit or who buy non-performing loans (NPL) and usually foreclose, adding to reduced house values in areas already struggling to rebound.  There is evidence, as Fortune reflects in their recent article, that a number of large scale investment factors are directly contributing to overvalued real estate in the U.S., an undercurrent that is buoying sales of overpriced homes, thus leading to a shutout for prospective buyers with budgets that just are not big enough for the market’s demands.

If worst case scenario predictions prove to be true then American homeowners should not expect to see the continued value increases predicted by optimists and eager salespeople.  And if it proves to be true that the shortage is mostly built on speculation, much like the bubble that burst in 2007, then that 13% of underwater mortgages reported by NBC News may, in the not-so-distant future, grow much bigger again and abruptly end the housing shortage.


About the Author:  Kevin Wallach has written about the home warranty industry and other homeowner related topics since 2009.  He is actively involved in the marketing of home warranties, as well as being an active member of the larger industry.  He is the administrator of the Linkedin group for the home warranty and home service contract professionals.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to bring our readers editorial articles such as this one. If you would like to see other topics related to home ownership covered in future editorial articles, please let us know. And if you came here today to read about home warranties then please consider one of our recent articles about home warranty companies and their services.




When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.

Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.

When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

  1. Determine the Coverage: Jot down the kind of coverage you need. Include exact items you want to be covered. Electrical systems and plumbing are typically covered under a basic home warranty, but you have to shell out for coverage for some other main appliances such as spa or garage door opener.
  2. Shortlist companies:  Visit Compare Home Warranties section to make a list of companies that you like. You can also check with your friends and family members or with a local real estate agent for a list of suggested home warranty providers.
  3. Research Providers and Pricing: Note down the pricing and ratings info for each company. You can also get price estimate of appliance warranty policy in the same section. Visit the official website of each warranty company if you desire.  Jot down the overall annual price for your preferred policy from each company.
  4. Talk to Companies: Contact home warranty company and inquire more about pricing information and a quote if the information isn’t available online or to verify data you received online. Ask how much fee they charge for a service call, and make a note of prices for each company next to policy price information you already listed. Ask about the typical wait times for a technician to know if there will be someone available promptly to help you when you need it. Also inquire if emergency and 24-hour service is available. Observe how they handle their customers.
  5. Read the Fine Print: Evaluate policy and service fee prices as well as service terms offered in the contract. Don’t assume anything. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Few companies also require you to get maintenance & inspection done on HVAC units by a professional every year. But some  companies add lots of fine print clauses so as to exclude coverage on many things. This is the MOST important step among all.
  6. Customer Service: Finally, remember to check the customer service of the company you choose. When you call to inquire, observe how they treat you. Are they well mannered and kind or intolerant and impolite? Do you have to waste a lot of time on hold before getting through to speak to someone? Realize what their hours so you can make out whether there be someone accessible to help you when you call for it. Also, discover who the company employs for repairs. Ensure it’s a company individual you are happy with, and that they are near enough that they will be able to facilitate your repairs in a timely manner.

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.

The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.        Arkidus Home Protection

The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued.  This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.

According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.

BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business.  Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company.  For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.

According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.

The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites.  One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida.  In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”

Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever.  If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly.  Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies.  Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam.  The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.




Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.

Insurances

An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.

We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.

Insurances That You Cannot Miss To Have For Your Home And Family

Life Insurance

As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.

Benefits of a Life insurance

  • Risk Cover – Insurance ensures that your loved ones continue to enjoy a good quality of life against any unforeseen event.
  • Planning for life stage needs – Life Insurance not only provides for financial support in the event of untimely death but also acts as a long term investment which can reap benefits once it reaches a maturity period.
  • Assured income through annuities – Life Insurance is one of the best instruments for retirement planning. The money saved during the earning life span is utilized to provide a steady source of income during the retired phase of life.
  • Tax Benefits-Insurance plans provide attractive tax-benefits for both at the time of entry and exit under most of the plans.

Health Insurance

It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.

  • Protection against rising health expenses – Life Insurers through riders or stand alone health insurance plans offer the benefits of protection against critical diseases and hospitalization expenses. This benefit has assumed critical importance given the increasing incidence of lifestyle diseases and escalating medical costs.
  • Provides peace of mind – You don’t have to worry about the huge bills when you visit the doctor or an unfortunate accident or an expensive surgery your insurance will take care of unpredictable medical needs.
  • Regular health checkups – Insurance gives you various benefits and one of such is that you can avail regular health checkups and keep a tab and stay healthy.

Auto Insurance

It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.

Benefits of Auto- insurance

  • With a high cost of living there is hardly much room for savings in case of an emergency. Unfortunate auto accidents are the kind of emergency situations that can easily drain your bank account. A premium according to the specified period can be of a great help.
  •  Even in case of a minor accident with no injuries, cost of paying for another person’s vehicle and your own can burn a hole in your pocket and an insurance is a friend in need to bail you out in such a situation.
  • It helps you in case of automobile thievery, you can claim the insurance with some existing terms and conditions whereas getting the complete value might not be possible.

Home Warranty

A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.

Benefits of home warranty

  • Saves you huge cost of repairs
  • A Home Warranty will repair or replace any covered item. It adds value to your property and benefits everyone from a buyer, seller to homeowner has an advantage.
  • Assures you peace of mind

Home Insurance

This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.

Benefits of home insurance

  • Protects your biggest investment that is your home in case of natural and manmade disasters.
  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Takes cares of any third party damages and legal issues if any incident occurs while in your property.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.

Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.

When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.

Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.

Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.




Season's greetings!

X’mas greetings!




Purchasing your home was likely the single largest investment that you ever made… and not just monetarily. Homeownership is an emotional investment as well. You care for your home, pouring your heart into maintaining and improving it. Your home is where you watch children grow, create lasting memories, cry a few tears—some happy and some sad—and watch as the seasons of life change.

So, with all that you’ve poured into your home, you deserve to maximize the return on your investment when it comes time to sell. Including a home warranty in the transaction helps protect your investment— monetarily and emotionally—and may even help attract better offers.

Offering a Home Warranty

What Is a Home Warranty?

A home warranty helps defray the unexpected costs associated with repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances should they malfunction due to normal wear and use. For the home seller, coverage remains in effect while the home is on the market (up to 180 days in most cases). For the buyer, coverage usually goes into effect at close of sale and lasts for up to one year.

What Is Covered?

Home warranties cover your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and use. This includes:

  • Heating and air conditioning systems
  • Plumbing
  • Electrical systems
  • Kitchen appliances
  • Garage door openers

What Are the Advantages during the Listing Period?

Since we all know things happen at the least opportune time, home sellers may avoid Murphy’s Law by purchasing a home warranty. If your water heater springs a leak while your home is on the market, paying the full cost of a repair can erode potential profits from the sale of your home and possibly delay closing until repairs are complete.

With a home warranty plan, home sellers get immediate protection, as coverage takes effect the day your agent submits the application. This is important, as it means there are no delays or waiting periods before you can make a service request, further saving your precious time and resources.

On top of the budget protection home warranties provide, home sellers benefit from access to a network of qualified contractors and the peace of mind that comes with knowing help is just a phone call away (you can even request service online!). Perhaps most important is a greater return on your investment, as your home may sell faster and at a higher price.

No matter how well you maintain your home, potential buyers are taking a perceived risk. The older your home (and its systems and appliances), the greater the risk in their eyes. You can offset the perceived risk by offering a home warranty with the home sale. In many cases, a home warranty could prove to be the differentiating factor for some buyers, giving them enough confidence to increase their offer and more aggressively pursue your home.

In addition, the home warranty continues protecting you beyond the close of sale. One of the last things you want is an after-sale issue because a covered system or appliance malfunctioned in your old home. If you include a home warranty with the home, the buyer contacts the home warranty provider—not you—to have the malfunction resolved.

Home Warranty Coverage Is Affordable

There are two distinct coverage periods in a real estate transaction, the seller’s coverage period (when the home is on the market, up to 180 days) and the buyer’s coverage period (after the close of sale, up to 12 months). When you choose to have seller’s coverage, you agree to purchase a home warranty contract for the buyer as well. In most cases, the fees for the home warranty contract are paid through the closing process, meaning there is no out-of-pocket cost to you until the home sells.

Depending on your state, the warranty company either includes coverage for the home seller with the home buyer’s contract or provides the coverage for a small fee (typically $60 to $75) in addition to the cost of the home buyer’s contract. That’s a small price to pay for tremendous budget protection!

What You Should Know about Home Warranty Coverage

It’s important to note that home warranties do not cover everything. Read your contract carefully to understand how the Plan works. Every home warranty has terms and conditions of coverage that explain what is and is not covered, the conditions under which coverage applies, and any dollar limits that may apply.

Home warranties provide coverage for the items specified in your contract, which are typically limited to the home’s major systems and appliances.

For home buyers, additional optional coverage is available. In some states, items such as air conditioning, kitchen refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer may be included in the standard plan or available as options for an additional fee. Optional coverage may be available for other non-standard items, including swimming pool and spa equipment, well pump, septic system, ornamental fountain, and more.

Plan upgrades provide additional protection and enhancements to custom fit the individual needs of your home. For example, some companies offer plan upgrades that cover additional costs for permits, cranes required for repairs, modifications, correction of code violations, and a host of other coverage enhancements. Consider the systems and appliances in your home when choosing coverage to ensure you choose adequate protection to meet your needs.

Bottom Line

It’s inevitable that a home’s systems and appliances will eventually break down and usually at the least opportune time. A system malfunction could cause unnecessary financial hardship and personal stress when your home is on the market. A home warranty, however, offers affordable budget protection and peace of mind. It may also help sell your home faster while attracting higher offers from confident buyers.

Speak to your agent to learn more and ensure you realize the full value home warranty coverage can provide.

About the Author

This article was prepared by Old Republic Home Warranty, a leading provider of home warranty plans.




An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.

What is Structural Warranty?

Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.

It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.

It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.

A Middleman

If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.

Value of the Home

If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.

How Structural Warranty Works

Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.

What Structural Warranty Covers

If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.

Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.

As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

  • Beams, Pillars, and Columns
  • Girders and Lintels
  • Foundation of the home
  • Masonry arches
  • Roof beams, and framing systems
  • Flooring
  • Walls and partitions that bear the load and contribute to the building’s structural validity.

The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.

Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.

Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.

The Cost

Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.

When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.

Recommended Articles




There is no question that a large number of people would give anything to live in California. This is one of the greatest states in the US because no other location in the entire country has ever been able to become the capital of entertainment and dreams. The state that has given life to the largest phenomenon in the entertainment industry and that is of course Hollywood. This is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to move to this state. In this article we are going to talk about the top five warranty companies and how important it is to be able to hire their services if you want to get the best service. These are the top rated home warranty companies in California as of June 2015

1. The Home Service Club

This is a great company that has an excellent service with two main warranty plans available. They have the standard and comprehensive plans. Once covers the primary systems and appliances and the other covers basically everything in your household. The reviews are generally very good and their services are known to be very efficient. They have fewer plans than others, but their current plans are quite good.

2. American Home Shield

This is the company that basically founded the home warranty industry. They offer a wide variety of home warranty plans that have a wide range of costs that can fit most budgets. The general opinion in the reviews about this company are quite good, so you can definitely trust their services to be good. They have been in the business longer than anyone else and they have learned how to get things done properly.

Home Warranty Companies in California

3. Home Warranty of America

This is another company that has been providing excellent services to millions of Americans in every state of the country. They have been providing some of the most cost effective plans that are available in the industry. The reviews for the business are very positive and their customer service is their greatest strength. This is one of the companies with the largest reach in the country.

4. Select Home Warranty

This company has plans that truly fit all kinds of budgets and they give coverage to all sorts of properties and the repairs and replacement that might be needed for their homes. This is the main reason why so many reviewers are saying that this is the home warranty service.

5. Total Protect

There is no question that customer services is the most important thing that the staff at Total Project wants to be able to provide to all of their clients. They have a very special method of helping with home warranties by giving homeowners better tools in order to maintain their own homes much better. The reviews say that this is the one company that seems to get involved the most and this is the reason why they have gained so much respect in the business. The reviews are generally quite positive too.

Conclusion

There is nothing more important than being able to get the right kind of service when it comes to your home warranty. This is going to allow you to maintain your home in top condition at all times for a very reasonable cost. The use of this kind of service has become extremely popular in California and now you have plenty of choices that will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best decision. You can research all of the companies that we have just mentioned and decide which one will be best for your needs.

To view a complete list of top rated home warranty companies use the link below: