Refrigerator maintenance is a vital part of housekeeping that just cannot be ignored. For people who don’t know the first thing about cleaning a fridge, this guide is just for you!
Is your refrigerator running? Well, you’d better go catch it!
If you are rolling your eyes then maybe you’re not a fan of old jokes. That’s forgivable. But that old joke has a tiny bit of truth to it if you own a home. Your fridge may be running away from you in terms of the electricity it’s using.
There are two good reasons to maintain your refrigerator. The first is to keep it running as long as possible, but the second is less obvious. Your home’s monthly electricity costs are directly affected by the way you use and keep up your fridge. It’s easy to forget that, but if you get into a habit of following these tips you will begin to see the savings.
The back of your fridge is almost never seen, but it’s the part most in need of regular cleaning. At least once each month you should pull your fridge away from the wall, preferably without unplugging it, in order to clean the operational parts located near the bottom. The best way to do this is to gently clean the coils and other exposed parts with a vacuum cleaner. But be careful not to press against the parts with the vacuum. Doing so may damage some of the more delicate parts. By keeping these parts clean you can help your fridge to optimize its heat dissipation. And that helps the fridge use less electricity.
Don’t let the areas around or on the door gaskets become dirty or greasy. Keeping the door gaskets clean will allow for a good, tight seal. And the more air you keep inside the fridge the easier it is for the fridge and freezer to maintain ideal temperatures.
Resist the temptation to carelessly load your fridge. Don’t overload it, but also don’t underfill it. An empty fridge is almost as bad as a fridge that is too full. Either way you’re making the refrigerator work harder in order to stay at a constant temperature. If you are the type to keep lots of food around try to make sure the food is distributed evenly and does not obstruct air flow. If you travel a lot or order food regularly then maybe you have an empty or nearly empty fridge. If that’s you then you can use bottles of water to fill the fridge so it runs more efficiently.
Avoid putting food straight into the fridge after cooking it. Even if you are preparing food to eat later it’s best to cover it and allow it to cool before refrigerating it. Hot things do not help your fridge stay cool. And uncovered foods are problematic too. Though it might not be as obvious as producing odors or being a spill hazard, uncovered foods make your fridge work harder. Ideally you want to keep the moisture in foods and drinks sealed in and not allow it to become part of the air that the fridge must cool.
If your freezer is frost free then you should have a drain pan underneath the fridge. If you have one down there then it’s very important to keep it free from debris. You don’t want to block the drain or cause spills by allowing the pain to fill up with dust and other junk. The best time to clean it is at the same time when you clean the rear of the fridge.
It’s best to keep the fridge and freezer around 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Usually you can do this by leaving the thermostat at its middle setting. Turning the thermostat in the fridge down too low can not only increase electricity usage but can sometimes result in the freezer not staying at a safe temperature.
If you do not have a frost free freezer then it’s important to regularly remove ice and frost from the inside of the freezer. You don’t need to turn off your fridge in most cases. A nice open container of hot water left inside the closed (and emptied) freezer will usually do the trick.
When you wipe down the inside of your fridge or freezer try to always dry off the surfaces you clean. And if you use disinfectant cleaners to remove meat or egg drippings then be sure to go back over those surfaces with water in order to not leave chemical residues.
Though your refrigerator may not be using as much electricity as your heating and cooling system it still pays off in the long run to maximize its energy efficiency. And if you love to cook it pays off in other ways. Your food will stay fresher, not to mention taste and smell better, if you make these tips part of your regular routine. You can also go through this guide on How to Conserve Electricity At Home And Cut Energy Bills for more information.
If you are an obsessive cleaner, you may also want to look at this elaborate guide on refrigerator maintenance. You’ll know exactly what to do with each appliance once you go through this. Good luck!
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
In a quite short period of time, home protection plan have grown considerably in recognition. Today, the plans are almost standard in every city real estate transactions, where 8 of every 10 homes sales are covered. Homeownership can be one of life’s many pleasures, but it’s not always cheap. Most likely the last thing a homebuyer wants to do after closing on their new home is to shell out even more money on appliances or systems that unpredictably break or malfunction. It’s a usual part of being a homeowner, though, and procuring a home warranty protection plan is one way you can attain some peace of mind.
When your appliance breaks down, don’t worry about whom to call to fix it, or what it will cost. There are various options by which you can protect your budget from pricey emergency repairs.
Want to know how home warranty works? Watch this video –
Home warranty plans, also called home protection plans, are basically service contracts or insurance policies that cover major appliances and systems of a home. It’s a good idea if you are a first time home buyer without any understanding in maintaining a home or property. Homeowners insurance does not cover breakdown of a home’s major systems or appliances, but a home warranty protection plan can help with repair expenses such as refrigerator that stops running, or your air conditioning system breaks down in the middle of the night.
When a breakdown happens that involves a system covered by the home warranty plan, the homeowner calls the insurance firm and desires a service call. The cost of the service call, which ranges from $35 to $95 per visit based on your location, is salaried by the owner. The warranty company allots the call to an approved contractor, and the home protection company shells out for the system repair or replacement.
Home warranties naturally cover the mechanical systems of a home such as heating, plumbing, water heater and most built-in appliances. Structural components and pre-existing conditions are usually are not covered. For instance, if the water heater hasn’t worked properly for some time, it possibly that it won’t be covered in the buyer’s home warranty plan. Other items which are typically not covered include faucet repairs, sprinklers and permit fees. Some home warranty cover roof repairs and garage door openers with certain limits.
Another common problem with home warranties is that you will not be able to decide the repair provider that will care of your problem while the warranty is in effect. Normally, if a covered item breaks down, you will put notify your home warranty company, which will select a service provider with which it has an agreement.
Additional coverage is accessible under most home warranties at an extra charge for a spa, pool, air conditioning and freestanding appliances, such as washer, refrigerator and dryer.
Coverage usually runs for a year, but it may be extended at the owner’s choice for a renewal fee. Some people keep their home warranty policy in position for years and years. If the home protection plan is ordered at the time a home is bought, inspections are normally not required.
If you don’t want to have to be anxious about repairs in your first year of home ownership, a home warranty may be a good idea. However, it is imperative to weigh up your warranty, to ensure that you will be properly covered.
Know the basics of home warranty.
Extended warranties, by providing protection for pricey purchases and increasing the span of a product’s original warranty, have become the standard for many retailers. These warranties often appeal to economical consumers, for whom purchasing big-ticket items like appliances and electronics can be a challenging decision.
An extended warranty or service contract is like an insurance policy – your savings buys off only when the most evil happens. But do you actually want one? These days, almost all the brand – name appliances are sturdily – built and generally last their usual life span with few or no repairs, rendering extended warranties pointless. In case you do choose to get one, ensure that you do your homework.
There might be instances where an extended warranty is affordably priced and makes up for a limited warranty that covers little ground and has short period of time, and thus, is worth it. But too often, they are a waste of money. Before you purchase an extended warranty, ask yourself the following questions:
You frequently forget that while your product may certainly break down later on, the price of the product will also depreciate later on. Only when the forecasted cost of replacement or repairs become considerably greater than the present cost of the extended warranty, should one consider buying the extended warranty. And still, a warranty must only be thought out if there is also a significant chance that the appliance will stop working in the first place!
Certainly, warranties are significant and you must always ensure that when you buy pricey appliances – like clothes dryer for example – that it has a warranty to follow with it. But if a salesperson is attempting to get you to buy an additional extended warranty, be doubtful. Think about sales and advertising. There is always an income motive and retailers and merchandisers can regularly make money off consumers when they purchase extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why third party companies and retail stores provide extended warranties, not the manufacturers.
Think about sales and advertising. There is always a profit motive and retailers and merchandisers can often make more money off of consumers when they buy extended warranties than when they buy replacement products or pay for repairs! This is why retail stores and third-party companies offer extended warranties, not the manufacturers themselves.
The moral of the story is that you must do a little math and significant thinking prior to buying an extended warranty. Possibly it will be a wise purchase, and may be the money will be better used up toward other services or products.
Don’t lose your cool over unforeseen home repairs; call the experts for a home service contract. One such company that provides Service Contract is Service America. Never again will you have to worry yourself with the hassle and high cost of unforeseen repairs.
Service America is protecting its customers from unpredicted air conditioning, appliance and plumbing repairs for over 38 years saving them a ton of money, time and unnecessary frustration. When something breaks down at home, it becomes necessary for you to rush and find the right technician to fix the problem. Many times it’s an urgent situation and you don’t have the comfort of shopping around for the best price. But you can avoid these types of stressful circumstances, save money and experience peace of mind at the same time by buying a Service Contract.
A Service America Service Contract covers all these appliances and services for just one low yearly cost.
Quoting and buying a service contract takes a few minutes but expectantly you will find it effortless. In order to obtain the best possible coverage you need to give basic information about your home.
In the heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) industry, equipment servicing is generally headed by the issuance of HVAC service contracts. The key purpose of this is to describe the terms of service as well as the cost, the length of service and what requires to be done, and each package of contracts is exclusive to each type of service. These service contracts incorporate full-coverage, full-labor, preventative-maintenance, inspection contracts, and end-use contracts.
All of these HVAC service contracts cover the tasks of each party, material cost, wages and how to decide arguments with a complete document. The equipment, procedures, tasks, unique descriptions and reports on the precise work to be done ought to be covered as well. Every contract also sketches processes and details the responsibilities of the contractor and owner. Regardless of which contract is signed, there can be several contracts put into practice for the same parties at any given time.
Appliances are a vital component of a well running home, as they are utilized every day. When they stop working, an appliance repair professional is able to restore the item to full working order. Along with repairs, professionals will regularly service your appliances to make sure that they run as safely and efficiently as possible.
Appliance repair professionals can render the following services amongst others:
While hiring your appliance repair professional, make sure that you get a quote on the work that needs to be performed. Ensure that the quote incorporates the call out fee and the cost of any parts that must be replaced. The professional must also be ready to give assurance of their work for a certain period of time. It’s good idea to investigate several repair pros in your area and pick the one that offers experienced technicians, reasonable prices, and good customer service. Always make sure that the professional is insured and licensed.
An appealing lawn counterparts the rest of the garden and makes the whole garden seem fantastic. Spring is the best season to repair your lawn and sort out problems. It is the best time to spend less effort getting it into shape-mowing the grass, nourishing with a lawn fertilizer and dealing with ugly weeds, moss and bare patches.
The most cultivated plant in the world is the grass that grows in your yard. In reality, almost 18 million acres of land is landscaped with grass in the U.S., as per the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Americans are so infatuated with keeping their lawns green that they together dump 70 million pounds of fertilizers and pesticides on it every year and use 30% of all obtainable water on the East Coast irrigating it.
In case you have not begun organizing your lawn for the warmer months, now is the time to begin. Prepping your lawn now ensures that your grass will always be greener in the coming spring and summer.
Here are some handy tips to make sure your lawn is looking its best coming into spring. The secrets of success to a great looking lawn are:
This will be most imperative the first few seasons when you choose to get your lawn off chemicals and treat it organically. Aerating removes inch-long plugs from the lawn to let air and water into the soil. When you aerate for the first time and inspect the plugs, you will observe that the soil near the grass roots is thick and possibly clay-like when it should be dark brown and crumbly.
The most essential lawn care job for a wonderful looking lawn is correct and regular mowing. You need to cut the grass whenever it’s growing – which is probably to be weekly or even more often as the weather warms up in spring.
The plan must be to keep at the same height all through spring. For most lawns this must be about 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high. For lawns that take a lot of wear and tear the height is better raised to 5 cm (2 in). For shaded areas, it is advised to mow at a height of 7.5cm (3in).
Mowing too short and as a result weakening the grass, is the easiest and quickest way of letting weeds and moss to become established and spoiling the lawn.
Next on the priority list is feeding the grass, and a good range of lawn feeds will produce a lawn to boast about.
A good feed with a lawn fertilizer, not only makes the grass greener, but makes it grow thicker and enhances its strength, vigor and health. Good feeds also make the grass more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds, moss and weather-related stresses. In spring, best results are achieved by making use of a granular feed that supplies a usual amount of nutrients over some weeks.
When using a granular lawn feed it is vital to apply it evenly over the whole lawn at the suggested rate. The simple way to do this is to use a lawn spreader, such as the built-in spreader in the smaller sizes.
If you feed the lawn again in 6 week’s time it will stay strong and healthy all summer.
Lawn weeds are the main headache that can prevent you getting pleasure from your lawn. A strong, healthy and well-fed lawn will be able to deal with moss and weeds far better than one that is not looked after and fed properly.
You need to deal with weeds and moss promptly. You should do a treatment that builds up the lawn’s resistance to drought, heat and other stresses. Where major moss or weed attack is a trouble, dealing with them with an extra application of liquid weed killer can produce excellent results.
After the damages of winter, many lawns have bare areas that not only appear ugly, but are perfect places for weeds and moss to occur. Give your lawn a treat by giving it the unique combination of grass seed, coir and slow-release feed that will cover bare patches in no time and produce a thick grass covering of the bare area.
Each year up to a quarter of the grass in the lawn can die, more after a cold, wet winter. Overseeding- planting new grass seed into the existing lawn – can revitalize the lawn and bring it back to life.
By increasing the density of the grass, overseeding enhances lawn’s appearance and reduces weed and moss invasion.
This simple lawn care program will give you a lawn to be proud of, keep it in perfect condition and make friends and neighbors green with envy!
How is a home builder’s warranty different from a home warranty service plan? If you are concerned about protecting your valuable investment with a home warranty policy, but are uncertain about what to select, read on to discover their unique features.
Many different real estate terms cause confusion as they sound like they are talking about the same thing, but in actuality are talking about very different things. Home warranties and home builder warranty are two of those things. They both offer safety for you and your home, but in very different ways. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be a benefit in selling a home.
Home warranties are often supplied by builder. Builder warranties give peace of mind to buyers of newly constructed homes. After all, no one wants to have purchased a home riddled with defects. Sellers of existing homes may take in a warranty with the sale to push a would-be buyer into a purchase. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be an advantage in selling a home since the warranty is movable.
Every homeowner seeks the same thing: peace of mind and the security of knowing that if anything hit in the night, all it will take is one phone call to have it looked after. In an ideal world, there would be one all-complete home warranty to tackle all potential worries; ranging from severe damage brought on by natural disasters to the breakdown of one your favorite household appliances. But the you do not reside in a perfect world. So you have to make a choice and wish for the best.
Two specific types of home warranty services can deal with your needs. You have choices.
The differences between the home builder warranty and the independent home warranty service will deal with two sets of criteria: the main difference is this: a home builder warranty usually provides coverage against major structural defects while the independent home warranty includes plans that cover your household appliances and systems. That said, it’s important to comprehend what that entails. The most important thing you can do ahead of making this investment is to study the terms and conditions of each and carefully understand the significance of their meaning.
If you go through the fine print of most home builder warranties, you will find out that the coverage under the policy is limited to providing protection against key structural defects of the “load bearing” portions of the home. “Non load-bearing” items which are excluded from the coverage include the range from HVAC, certain wall tiles and coverings, appliances, exterior finishing, some plumbing and electrical and others.
When the repair or substitution of an item under the home builder warranty is agreed, matching the repair or replacement to its prior condition will be tried, but there is no guarantee that he item will be returned to like a new condition.
On the other side of the equation is the independent home warranty service. This type of warranty permits the homeowner to select and decide what components they would like to cover, with flexible plan coverage ranging from kitchen and laundry –to home office- to electrical – to-HVAc and others. You can opt for only particular items or select a comprehensive plan that covers all, with the choice of adding individual units as add-ons.
The consumer is usually rewarded for selecting the extensive plan coverage with discounted prices and a lot of many other value-added incentives, like toll-free assistance and advice that is provided 24/7/365. Another trait of the independent home warranty service is found with the service providers who promise like-kind or better replacement. Joining in a plan that makes that promise is recommended.
Taking no blunt approach to upholding your home can prevent lot of problem later on down the road that can charge a bundle. One reason why various home warranty service providers have to include exclusions from coverage into their conditions is to avoid repairing items that wouldn’t be in need of repair if they had been cared for. Fair enough, it is suggested, however, that you carefully take note of any other exclusion from coverage as detailed in the terms and conditions of your warranty policy.
The standard home builder warranty will incorporate a wide listing of exclusions from coverage, far-surpassing the case of owner neglect, which may comprise some of the following conditions:
With the set home warranty service plan, the list of exclusions from coverage is much smaller – covering the basics, such things as insect infestation, neglect or improper maintenance of appliances and improper set up of appliances and household appliances.
Reputable home warranty services are intended to provide convenience and reduce the hassle of filing a claim. Ordinarily, there will be a number to call in order to send out specialized trade service expert to your home to come assess and take care of the damage in one shot.
Filing a claim with a home builder warranty provider can offer some interesting predicaments. When filing a claim, the best thing is to proceed with caution. Expect an inspector or multiple inspectors to show up at your home in order to investigate your claim. The more articles you can present as proof of the problem, the better off you will be. These can take in reports, diagrams, reports and photos. When the determination is made for the homeowner, he/she is anticipated to sign a release giving up all rights.
If your claim is denied and you cannot resolve it through the dispute resolution process with the home builder warranty providers, you may be asked to sign an arbitration provision. By doing this, you will be waiving your rights to a trial in a court of law and you may have to present your claim to an arbitration company from the home builder warranty provider’s list of listed arbitration companies.
Also, take note of the fact that many of these providers accept reports only from a list of approved construction consultants – encompassing contractors, inspection firms and others.
In total, as painful as it can be to read through the fine print of a warranty policy, it is the best way to go about picking the warranty provider who is going to deliver what is promised – and it is the most helpful way to choose either a home builder warranty or an independent home warranty service.
Preserve the quality and craftsmanship of your home and all the adored items within today and it’ll make a world of difference in your world tomorrow!
Personalizing a space and its aesthetics to suit your style and needs is what renovation is all about, but it’s not all about how it looks. We all know what a task it is just to get your home repainted, from covering up all the furniture and appliances to pretty much having to move out till the task is complete. That’s where the mission of preparing yourself for a home renovation comes in – from the planning of layout and budgets to the actual wrapping up of the house and constant supervision. When it comes to renovating a kitchen, planning is all the more important, as it is impossible to use the space while the contractor is at work.
It can seem very daunting and not knowing where to begin is a major setback when it comes to such projects. If you take too long, there is even the fear of losing interest altogether. Taking stock of property, estimating costs, schedules and research are all a part of the process, making sure you don’t compromise during the renovation and yet don’t land up overshooting budgets. Below are a few points that will help you out to kick start and keep control of the renovation.
Keep your plans and layouts realistic, the budget strict and make sure you set aside a margin for unexpected costs – there is no way of avoiding surprises completely! A few absolute essentials – cabinets, stovetops, sink, and chimney – usually take up a larger percentage of the estimate, so if you plan on changing or adding any of these, do it first.
Keep some time to go through interior and architecture magazines and blogs online to get some inspiration and keep an archive of things you might want to get back to or must remember. Phone applications like Wunderlist, Evernote and Google Keep act as great digital notebooks, and Pocket for Android/ Apple /PC allows you to save websites and blogs offline to get back to later. Instead of printouts and sticky notes, the digital era gives you an easy way out, especially since they can be synced between computers and phones with just an ID. It might seem like a lot of work, but it is always helpful to have a picture of that you want, especially when talking to the contractor.
At this point, there would be two ways to go about it – either to follow the existing blueprint or to alter architectural elements and start afresh. The latter is more lucrative but keep in mind that it is also pricey and more time consuming. The benefit of it is that it will allow you a lot of flexibility in terms of wiring and even plumbing a few areas.
It’s time you also took stalk of decisions regarding your appliances; their age, condition, and efficiency primarily. This is a good stage in the process to call in an inspector from a Home Warranty company to assess which appliances of yours are keepers and what the company can offer you in terms of their coverage, claims, and conditions.
The first step is going to take up quite some time, especially when it is about budgeting. The fact of the matters remains that you will need a professional sooner or later, and it is best to give yourself that liberty of taking help when you need; from hiring an inspector for technical decisions to getting a little design assistance during your showroom visits.
Pick what suits you best and chalk out a tentative budget. A professional at this point can be very resourceful and would also help you keep grounded in all the small decisions that you need to take. If you plan on undertaking a more comprehensive route which involves architectural changes, getting an engineer to inspect the space is a must.
It’s time now for big decisions! It is important to keep things functional but that shouldn’t stop you from having a bit of decorative fun.
Major aesthetic decisions you have to narrow down and sign off on:
Before you sign off with a contractor, make sure you get more than one estimate. Outside of the budget, make sure you relate with him and his team – you will be spending quite a bit of time with them, especially when you supervise the finishing touches.
Once the hiring, picking of designs, signing contracts are done, it is time for you to pack up and let the renovation begin. Have the contractor help you set up an alternate space; it makes the entire process a lot less daunting.
We’d love to say that it is time now to relax but now is when the real work begins. Though the contractor and professionals will do the heavy lifting, as a homeowner, it important that you are involved and kept in the loop every step of the way.
Be it an extensive renovation or just a few replacements and tweaks, having an insurance in place during the construction process as well as a warranty for appliances and wiring systems is highly recommended.
Not only are you covered in case of accidents, there is also a certain degree of guarantee that the alterations being made are going to hold for years to come, without constant repair.
And what better way to research than HomeWarrantyReviews.Com? With comprehensive reviews, ratings of all the states in the US and with a greater focus on home warranty companies operating in major cities, you can be certain of the level of work you can expect from a home warranty company. At the end, all you have to go is compare policies and pricing by getting free quotes from many home warranty companies operating in your ZIP code!
Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.
Buildings and risk management
This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.
The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.
That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.
Building insurance basics
The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.
The shopping around needs to include:
Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.
While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.
More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.
Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.
The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.
Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.
So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.
We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.
Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts
We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:
If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!
Today’s topic: Customer Service Success Through an Efficient Contractor Network in Home Warranty Industry
With thanks to the following participants:
Gwen Gallagher, President, Old Republic Home Protection
Dave Quandt, Vice President of Field Operations, American Home Shield
HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to offer the first in our new series of home warranty industry round table discussions. In this first issue, we hear from two of the top companies in the industry regarding how each of their organizations meets the growing demands from their customers for high quality, timely service from repair contractors.
We asked each company the following three questions. Their answers bring into greater focus how a very large home service contract provider deals with the challenges of a shrinking labor market while at the same time seeing its customer base increase and the demands of those customers increase as well.
1. Companies in the home warranty industry rely greatly on contractor networks. How does your company approach the job of ensuring quality customer service through a network of contractors?
Gwen: Old Republic Home Protection sets high customer service standards for our Independent Network Service Providers… and it begins even before allowing them to join our network. Coaching service providers and establishing our service expectations begins with the first contact and continues throughout their tenure in our network.
As a standard, Old Republic Home Protection requires Service Providers to:
(1) Provide timely and professional service
(2) Be licensed in the trades they service
(3) Carry General Liability Insurance
(4) Charge fair and reasonable rates for parts and labor
(5) Maintain the requirements on an on-going basis
Prior to signing up, Service Providers receive our Contractor Guide, detailing our operations procedures, service processes, and service expectations. Calls throughout the sign-up process reconfirm our service expectations. We then follow-up each month to reinforce our guidelines, expectations, and commitment to our Plan Holders.
Customer feedback is paramount to the process. We respond quickly and appropriately when our Plan Holders, either through random surveys or interactions with our staff, indicate a potential service issue. We have a team of specialists dedicated to following up on customer feedback, rewarding service providers for excellent performance, coaching them when needed, and removing them from our network when they cannot meet our service expectations.
Dave: We hold our contractors to very high standards of performance and accountability. Last year we reviewed more than 3,500 applications from contractors that wanted to join the American Home Shield network.
Once a contractor joins, that contractor’s service quality is monitored on 15 different performance metrics, including quality and cost factors. Some of the tools we use include:
2. Is your company taking any steps to prepare for the forecast shortages of specialty trade workers, such as electricians, in the U.S. in coming years?
Gwen: We work hard to establish a strong reputation with service providers. We reward service providers who perform well by giving them additional work, filling in the gaps when their retail business might be slow. We pay them quickly and fairly for services rendered and we treat them as part of our team. As such, service providers prefer to work with us and we’ve yet to experience shortages.
Even in regions where there might be shortages from a retail perspective, we seek out experienced tradesmen—those who’ve worked under the guidance of more seasoned professionals for some time—who are starting their own businesses. They find that working with Old Republic Home Protection is a great way to build their client base through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.
We closely monitor every region, ensuring we have sufficient service providers to meet our customers’ needs. We focus recruiting efforts on those areas and trades that dip below our established thresholds. Recruiting can come internally through our team of service provider procurement specialists or externally through referrals from our nationwide sales staff and real estate professionals.
Dave: The biggest shortages we have seen are in the appliance and plumbing trades. We are recruiting in traditional ways, and are even expanding our contractor recruiting efforts using social media and advertising and engagement with trade schools. Getting connected with trade organizations will also help us find and recruit contractors in these areas.
Also, because we’re a business unit of ServiceMaster, we can approach thousands of franchise owners regarding available contractor services.
3. Summers and winters are bringing more extreme high and low temperatures each year. How does your company cope with surges in claims due to weather related strains on systems?
Gwen: Meeting high demands begins with service provider procurement. Based on years of experience and data analysis, we are able to closely predict our service demands by region as the season’s change. We anticipate surges and plan ahead as opposed to reacting when they occur.
In those parts of the country that have weather extremes, we procure more service providers than meets the typical demand. As spikes occur, the higher number of service providers is most often sufficient to meet our needs.
In extreme weather surges, when spikes in demand are at their peak, we put the needs of our customers first. If our network service providers become overwhelmed, we’re quick to offer approval for Plan Holders to use their own service providers from outside our network. This process helps ensure fast and efficient resolution of the customer’s service issue.
Dave: We are strong advocates of customer education and engagement and share a lot of information and tutorials about the importance of regular maintenance on our Home Matters blog and YouTube channel. We also send out pre-season e-mail notifications to our customers about starting furnaces or A/C units early to ensure they catch any issues before temperatures change.
Because we have more than 1.5 million customers—and receive more than 3 million service requests each year—we have a lot of data around weather forecasts that helps us anticipate peaks in the heating or cooling seasons. With this data, we work with our contractors to plan for capacity in different geographic regions and make sure they are able to prepare from a staffing standpoint to handle the volume.
Our contractor relations teams also keep a close watch on customer saturation by Zip code to ensure we have adequate contractor coverage. If the demand is more than our capacity we immediately start recruitment of additional contractors to fill the gap.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com wishes to thank the participants in this first round table discussion. For more information about the representatives from the two companies please scroll down. If your company would like to participate in future round table discussions please click here for more information.
Gwen Gallagher is the president of Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP). For more than 35 years, she has held multiple positions within the company from customer service to financial reporting, becoming president in 1994. Gwen lends her vast experience and industry knowledge to charting the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring production and profit while maintaining its vision of “People Helping People.”
Dave Quandt is the vice president of field operations—and oversees contractor relations—for American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty company. With more than 11,000 contractors in its network, American Home Shield has one of the largest home warranty contractor networks in the country.
Note from HomeWarrantyReviews.com to readers: Would you like your company to be featured in upcoming round table articles? Please contact us here.
Home warranty or appliance protection plan is a service agreement that covers your household appliances and systems during breakdowns thereby protecting your budget. When an insured device malfunctions it is either repaired or replaced. There are various types of Home Protection plans available in the market today.
In case of an unexpected appliance/ system breakdown, you can open a claim by calling the customer support or reporting it online, following which the home warranty company sends a technician to fix the issue. Most companies have round clock customer service facility to process claims. Once the report is processed, contractor assistance will be scheduled as per your convenience.
Most basic plans cover major appliances and systems like heating, air conditioning, plumbing systems, electrical appliances, kitchen and laundry appliances or any other key units. For a detailed list, refer to What is covered by home warranty.
Some Standard coverage may also include appliances like-
Plumbing stoppages, toilets, sump pump, bathroom whirlpool motor pump, recirculating hot water pump, water heater, heating and duct work, telephone system, central vacuum system, garage door opener, ceiling fans, attic and exhaust fans, smoke detectors, doorbells, dishwasher, range, oven, cooktops, built-in microwave, instant hot water dispenser and trash compactor.
Warranty covers only those systems and appliances, specifically mentioned as covered in the contract and excludes all the others. The contract does not cover system or appliance failures that occur due to lack of maintenance, natural hazards, theft or other crimes.
Additional or optional coverage is the extra coverage you buy from a list of add-on items such as kitchen appliances like refrigerator, oven, washer/dryer, air conditioning, pool and spa equipment. Roof leak repairs are also available for purchase at an additional fee at the time of signing a contract.
Typical home warranty expenses are as follows:
Annual premium, which would be around $300 to $500 for basic appliance coverage and a service call fee per incident, which comes to around $40 to $70. This fee varies from company to company.
It depends. Generally the buyer pays the cost of a home warranty policy. However, the seller may buy a policy for the buyer to avoid certain liabilities that may occur after the closing a deal. You can also buy a policy on existing homes.
For sellers: Usually the coverage varies from company to company . Coverage begins when the enrollment form is received and continues through the listing agreement period.
For buyers: Coverage begins at closing (when title is transferred and payment is received).
For Existing Homeowners: Generally coverage is effective 30 days after receipt of funds. Check with the contract guidelines to confirm on the duration.
A standard service fee/deductible is a nominal fee charged each time you raise an issue. Some repairs may require more than one service partner or several unrelated visits to the house by the same service partner, and a service call fee is charged for each visit. If a contractor has to order parts and come back to your house at a later time to complete the repairs, this visit would not require an additional deductible. Fee varies from company to company, but it is generally between $40 to $100 per incident. Some companies have zero deductible home warranties
Denial of claims may be caused due to code violations, unusual wear and tear, improper installation, pre – existing conditions and in some cases issues due to improper maintenance. Some companies however, do cover damages resulting from lack of maintenance. For further details, refer to your warranty contract.
A home inspection is a procedure in which a home inspector investigates the comprehensive information about property conditions. He/she analyzes the description of problem in a written report and recommends further evaluation if required. Normally every Inspection report is guaranteed for 30 days.
You must have received your Home Protection Kit after having purchased warranty coverage within which you will be able to find all the information and materials you need on the service contract. You have several options, you can locate the toll free numbers of the service providers and place a call to them. Your call should be immediately answered by a customer service representative who will expedite your request. Most companies have a customer service wing that functions round the clock.
Most warranties come with an emergency repair service option. You may simply contact customer service toll free number and report the problem. Normally customer support works for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and 365 days a year. They will schedule the dispatch of a qualified service technician as early as possible. Following which, the technician can rectify and sort the issue.
It usually takes 48 hours, following the acceptance of your claim, to provide you with a service call. In case of an emergency, the service time may be much quicker.
If the damaged item is covered under the policy, the technician will normally fix it on the spot. Warranty Company may provide the cash payment on repair or replacement. If it is diagnosed that the covered item is not repairable, or it is not cost effective to repair, the appliance may be replaced with a new product with the similar primary functionality and capacity. But the company may not be able to provide exact match in color, dye, material, type or brand.
Manufacturer’s Warranty is designed to cover factory defects of a new product. It is of limited duration, normally for a period of up to one year and covers only ONE appliance. But home warranty covers a whole range of appliances which are usually aged and stand higher chances of breakdowns.
A home buyer’s protection plan is a service contract that covers repairs and replacements of insured appliances and systems like electrical, plumbing and heating systems and built-in appliances that are not covered by regular homeowner’s insurance.
Home warranty coverage varies from company to company. It is very essential that you read the terms and conditions of the policy before choosing one that is suitable for your requirements. Most of the standard policies cover plumbing and heating appliances, but if the cooling units are not covered under the basic plan you can still include it by paying an additional fee, into your policy.
Though there are different plans available in the different warranty companies, most plans function in the same way.
Step 1- In case any of your systems/ appliances stop working, you need to call your home warranty company and inform them about the fault.
Step 2- Home Warranty company contacts a service provider with whom they have contracted.
Step 3- Now, the service provider calls you (home owner) to fix an appointment.
Step 4- Issue will be fixed by the technician who visits your house. In some rare cases if the appliance could not be repaired and needs to be replaced, based on the conditions mentioned in the contract, home warranty company will pay for the replacement of the appliance.
Step 5- As a small out pocket expense, you may need to pay for each service request. You may have to pay a Trade Service Call Fee of around $50 per visit. Some companies offer plans that do not charge any service call fee.
Usually the home warranty coverage plan begins 30 days after the payment receipt or on the day the sale closes. The coverage plan generally covers the appliances for 365 days from the date the policy is active.
When your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of renewing your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty duration, it is essential to know whether the existing warranty is really beneficial or not.
Home Warranty Company will send the notification to the warranty holder regarding the renewal of coverage. The homeowners will be notified about the expiration date in advance and will be provided with a variety of convenient payment options.
If your home is newly constructed, then you may think that home warranty is not essential for first few years. But it is wise to have a warranty protection plan to protect you from costly repairs and replacements.
A standard policy usually costs around $200-$600 per year, which is reasonable and can certainly save you from spending money on repairs or replacements. However, remember that you cannot get extended warranties on plumbing, duct work, electrical or gas systems.
Homeowner’s insurance protects personal belongings and the entire house from damages due to burglary, crimes or natural disasters such as fire, lightning, tree fall and certain other explicitly mentioned perils, but it does not cover issues caused due to wear and tear or age. Hence homeowner’s insurance can never be used to replace a home warranty or vice versa.
Home warranty plans cover your household appliances and systems from breakdowns and puts less risk on your budget. When an insured device malfunctions, it is either repaired or replaced by the warranty company. Basic home warranty plan covers major appliances like heating, air conditioning, plumbing systems, electrical appliances, kitchen and laundry appliances or any other expensive units.
Your homeowner’s insurance is a hazard insurance, and only covers items damaged due to fire, flooding, wind, and other natural disasters and perils. A home warranty repairs household appliances and mechanical systems that break down due to normal wear and tear.
When is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.
People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.
Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.
As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.
None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.
Established in 2006, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one of the leading websites when it comes to Home Warranty information, guides, reviews, and customer assistance. With extensive lists of companies sorted by states, cities, rank and rating from across the country, the website is your one stop for all the information you need when it comes to Home Warranty. Besides the comprehensive information which has been accumulated through the years, HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on their excellence and presents them each year with Home Warranty Awards.
Home Warranty Awards were started in 2012, spanning three categories – Top Rated, Best in Customer Service and Best Regional Company. This year’s awards see the addition of another category – the Editor’s Choice Award. The awardees are chosen based on the data collected during the year gone by. The process is entirely independent and utilizes an algorithm to analyze the information accumulated on the site.
The Home Warranty Awards for 2017 are out, and HomeWarrantyReviews.com proudly announces the recipients, acknowledging their excellence in the industry-
Giving the customers an edge and helping them take informed decisions regarding Home Warranty schemes and coverage, Home Warranty Awards play a role not only in assisting the client but also encouraging the Home Warranty Companies to keep their policies and services up to the mark and constantly improving.
The first category, Top Rated, is awarded to the company that has shown excellence when it comes to overall customer satisfaction, ranking high in everything from services and product maintenance to complaint resolution, policies, and outreach.
The Best in Service Award is presented to the Home Warranty Company that shows distinction and quality when it comes to handling customer complaint resolution, servicing of products, claims, and repair.
Reserved for companies that are localized in a specific state or region, the Best Regional Award is given to a company that does not necessarily have a wide client base across the country but has shown excellence in its own region.
The Editor’s Choice Award looks at the Home Warranty Company’s overall rating as well, focusing on specific excellence in fields that show the company’s quality.
The selection process is rigorous and relies on information that is provided through research and analysis. Special focus is given to customer reviews and satisfaction as through the years, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a database of more than 35,000 customer reviews. At the end of each year, companies are nominated under each category of the Home Warranty Awards and then subsequently the awardee is selected.
Companies are nominated based on a few basal requirements, regarding their customer base (at least 5,000 in number), years of experience (minimum of 5 active years in the industry) and coverage across the country (75% of the states of the US, not required for the Best Regional Award Category). Once these are met, the companies are screened by HomeWarrantyReviews.com for their standing when it comes to reviews, credibility, presence online and on social networks, accessibility and complaint resolution, satisfaction rate etc.
Set up primarily to bridge the gap between consumers and Home Warranty Companies, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is an independent site which through the years has created a platform for conversation, reviews and complaint resolution regarding Home Warranty. The user-friendly interface of the site gives you all the information you will need before and during your Home Warranty purchase and policy claims.
Providing you with data ranging from company lists and regional differences in warranty laws to pros and cons, do’s and don’ts – the website presents to you, objective data and subjective reviews, all just a click away.
Besides articles and reviews, the website is also equipped with tools and interfaces to maximize your research. From on the spot estimates through the Home Maintenance Calculator to a thorough and well supervised Complaint Resolution Program, HomeWarrantyReviews.com has developed a strategy to make sure you make your decision in a well informed and planned fashion.
Purchasing Home Warranty is most often a big decision, and just as every home differs, so does the appropriate policy and coverage for the customer. The Home Maintenance Calculator gives you a chance to weigh the pros and cons of your decision to purchase a Home Warranty policy, looking at it objectively in terms of maintenance costs with and without the warranty. By feeding in basic information about your home, its age, appliances in it and their condition, the Home Maintenance Calculator provides you with an estimate of your expenditure for repairs and servicing for the years to come. This cost is compared to how much a Home Warranty policy would cost you for the same period of time.
Besides age of the house and its appliances, the Home Maintenance Calculator also requires you to feed in the specific age of major appliances, electrical systems, heating systems and how frequently you have repairs done in your home. The resulting comparison will give you a reasonable idea of whether or not Home Warranty is for you, but make sure you supplement the estimate provided by the tool with adequate research before you pick your company, policy, perks, and claims. Also, keep in mind that state laws regarding Home Warranty vary across the United States, so it is important you check your region’s specifications before signing papers. State-wise laws and claim information is available on HomeWarrantyReviews.com as well.
The site also has inbuilt features to compare policies within and between companies, saving you from the tedious task of having to tally features and perks across different portals and websites. This is furthered added to by the State and City-wise listings which offer a comprehensive comparison of prices and policies as well.
As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.
As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.
Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.
There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:
Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.
To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section
If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.
Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.
Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.
If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.
It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.
Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.
Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.
Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.
Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.
There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.
Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company. Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.
The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services. Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.
There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!
Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible. Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot. Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product. Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials. Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.
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.
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.
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.
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.
It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.
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.
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.
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.
Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.
Now, back to the story.
Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to
Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.
Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!
Dallas is the fourth most populated metro area in the country with 280 localities. The most active areas between April 2015 and April 2016 included Westhollow, Oak Lawn, Mountain Creek, Cedar Crest, Lake Highlands and Uptown. The Dallas-Fort Worth area is the top job producing metro areas in the country, and hence Dallas attracts thousands of new residents each year. In the past year, at least 7,800 real estate agents have assisted consumers with over 10,756 residential home sales in Dallas, Texas.
Whether you are buying or upgrading from your starter home, or downsizing now, working with a real estate agent is probably the best move. They will be knowledgeable in what it takes to advertise a home and also how to successfully negotiate a purchase.
If you are looking to purchase a home or property, it is important that you appoint a local real estate agent. Local Dallas realtors have familiarity with listings, actual property values, and trends in your target area and have dealt with dozens of properties in Dallas, thereby bringing detailed market experience to the transaction. Once you outline your specifications, your Dallas realtor will be able to show you the most suitable home that best fits within your vision.
Similarly, if you are selling a home in Dallas, the qualified realtors can guide you through the entire process. They may already have buyers who may be interested in buying a property in your area. Besides, your Dallas realtor will be able to make use of the Multiple Listing Service (MLS) and other property listing systems to market your home for sale to other potential buyers.
Moreover, your Dallas realtor will be aware of the trustworthy local professionals such as contractors, escrow officers, mortgage bankers or appraisers who may help you close the transaction smoothly. The Dallas real estate agents also have experience with local housing laws and will be able to explain any industry jargon that you may not already be familiar with.
Dallas is home to numerous realtors, so make sure that you choose someone who comes closest to having the best professional experience to match your needs Below is the list of 7 highly recommended realtors based on their sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and an average price of homes sold. These professionals have proven results and can be a powerful ally as you purchase, sell, or invest in Dallas real estate.
Ellen Terry’s name has been synonymous with brilliant customer service, business expertise and the highest standards of integrity and ethics in the Dallas’ real estate market. Her 36 years of knowledge, experience, and proficient negotiating skills have proven invaluable to many of her customers. She has in-depth experience in Dallas’ most preferred neighborhoods and can offer latest market scenario besides renowned customer service.
Ellen Terry is referred as the Neiman Marcus of the real estate industry owing to her dedication to the highest level of excellent marketing and an utmost commitment to superiority in both service and product. During her notable career, she has closed over $530 million in sales volume epitomizing 158 multi-million dollar properties ranging from $1 million to $22 million.
Ellen’s civic, charity and professional activities have earned her
She has been a continuing member of the Dallas Junior League Crystal Charity Ball Committee and a current member of Charter 100. Owing to her professional experience and dedication, she is also honored at the 8th Annual Award of Excellence for successful entrepreneurs.
Besides being an expert realtor, Ellen also acts as an executive vice president of coaching and mentoring at Briggs Freeman Sotheby’s International Realty that helps her coach agents who want to attain their business goals.
Ellen’s favorite quote is by Napoleon Hill, “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, the mind can achieve,” and she not only believes this, she lives it!
Rene Burchell is a proficient realtor with Keller Williams Realty in Plano, Texas. She is licensed since 1992 and has been keenly helping buyers and sellers effectively since 2002. Rene holds the Graduate, REALTOR® Institute (GRI), Certified Residential Specialist (CRS), e-PRO, Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES), Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS) and Certified Distressed Property Expert (CDPE) designations. Rene’s commitment to ongoing education and passion for accomplishing her clients’ real estate goals has facilitated her to be consistently recognized as a Top Producer and Top Sales Associate and team both with RE/MAX; her former alliance as well as Keller Williams.
Rene is a member of the National Association of Realtors, Texas Association of Realtors, Collin County Association of Realtors the latter which she spent 2 years as the Director of the Board. She is also an active member of the Women’s Council of Realtors where she served as the 2011 Past President for the Collin County and served 5 years on the board.
Before working in real estate, Rene worked as a financial executive assistant for Whirlpool, Merrill Lynch and Cain Watters & Associates PC for a decade after receiving her real estate license in 1992.
Rene and her team dedicatedly work with first time home buyers & sellers to Luxury Real Estate in the Dallas, Plano, N. Dallas, Allen, Frisco, Prosper, Celina, Little Elm, McKinney and nearby cities. Her focus on quality service, professionalism, and client satisfaction have earned her following accolades and awards:
Dani Hanna has over 11 years of knowledge in real estate and more than 24 years of in-depth experience of residential home construction, contract negotiation, and organizational expertise. She diligently navigates the buying and selling process to your advantage. Dani is constantly acknowledged as a top producing agent and one of the best real estate agents in the mid-century neighborhoods of central Dallas, including Lakewood, Oak Cliff, the M-streets and Lake Highlands.
Dani’s clients and peers have recognized her willingness to step outside the box to attain her goals. Her clients say she is a true advocate of their best interest and puts the right people in place to execute their specialty. It’s no wonder she is constantly a top producer at Dallas City Center, with sales more than 20 million dollars. Dani enjoys tremendous client loyalty for the past five years in a row and has also been named on D magazine’s “Best Real Estate Agents” list since 2007.
Call Dani today if you are seeking a clear communication, seamless real estate transaction and local market expertise.
Debbie Murray has relished an exceptionally successful real estate career in Dallas where she was voted as “D Best Realtors in Dallas” by D Magazine and named a Unique Homes “Elite 2008” realtor” by the esteemed magazine. She attained her real estate license in the mid-1980’s while working as a Series 7 and 63 certified associate with Merrill Lynch. Debbie has keenly served condo, single family home and townhome buyers in the Dallas area for the past 17 years. Her in-depth knowledge of Dallas, Denton and Collin counties has brought her new and repeat clients from each. Besides a luxury home specialist, Debbie also focuses on home staging, international buyers, buyer representation, pro athlete and corporate relocation and new construction.
Debbie’s comprehensive relocation experience has served transferees from major corporations such as Cadbury Schweppes, State Farm Insurance, J.C. Penney, Hunt Oil, Price Waterhouse, and Mohawk Industries. She holds a BBA degree in Marketing from the University of Texas at Austin. As a marketing major from one of the leading business schools in the US, Debbie is equipped to innovatively implement a tailored marketing strategy for your home.
Debbie’s clients benefit from her Broker’s license education and the special skills which she has attained from her 9 professional designations.
Debbie says, “My designations have trained me at a higher level in real estate. It is exciting to share that knowledge with my clients when helping them purchase or sell a home.”
Debbie is a member of the MetoTex Association of Realtors Forms and Contracts Committee and serves on the Board of Directors for The Suicide and Crisis Center of North Texas. Proud of her association with the number one producing residential real estate office in Dallas (and Christie’s International affiliate), Debbie expect to work with you!
Debbie has surpassed in real estate sales as she attentively listens to her clients, always putting their needs above all. A home’s resale value is Debbie’s number one priority, whether her customers are buying an existing or building a new home.
A consistent real estate expert for almost 20 years, Laura Michelle characterizes the meaning of outstanding customer service. She has been consistently honored as a multi-million dollar producer and best agent by several publications. The idea of connecting property, architecture, and people fascinated her while concentrating her studies on Business and Real Estate at the University of Texas, where she graduated with honors. Laura provides a sophisticated understanding of the trending market to her clients and offers counsel from a business manager’s point of view. She strives hard to provide unmatched service and offers innovative tactics to reduce the stress from purchasing or selling a home in the Dallas, Garland, Mckinney, Plano, Richardson areas.
She holds the Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR) and Senior Real Estate Specialist (SRES) designations along with her broker’s license offering buyers with the highest level of service in a transaction. Laura concentrates on fostering customer relations with the latest technology and marketing developments. This has earned her the following accolades:
Laura is the best producing agent in several properties sold at Dave Perry-Miller & Associates and the industry has acknowledged her with the VIP Award for Excellence in Customer Service.
With over 38 years of experience in Dallas real estate, Tom Rhodes Jr has sold more than $1 billion in homes and properties. He is a Certified Residential Specialist, a Certified Commercial Investment Member and a Graduate of the Realtor Institute and leads The Rhodes Group. With unparalleled market knowledge and impeccable customer service, the Rhodes Group can market their clients’ home most effectively and have averaged a home sold every 2.5 days for the past decade. When you appoint The Rhodes Group, you hold the power of Dave Perry-Miller & Associates (a subsidiary of Ebby Halliday, the leading privately-owned real estate company in Texas) whose performance is supreme in the industry by selling more than one-fourth of their listings in-house and each averaging nearly one million dollars per sale.
With over 85% of The Rhodes Group’s clients coming from repeat and recommendation business, it has been named to The D Magazine’s list of Best Real Estate Agents in Dallas since 2004.
Bill Shields has more than 30 years of professional real estate experience in home buying in Collin County and Dallas County. He specializes as a buyer’s agent and dedicated to helping you find your ideal home. Shields and his team negotiate the best price and choose the right strategy to protect your rights and interests throughout the entire home buying process. With over 20 years of experience as an Exclusive Buyer’s Agent, Shields assesses home values based on previous sales and help you purchase the right home at the lowest price. Shield and his team of skilled real estate professionals have the updated information on the great North Texas communities.
Bill Shields is a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:
Prior to entering the world of real estate on your own, see if any of the above Dallas realtors can help you instead. It will take just a few minutes to analyze their transactions and reviews and find the best match based on your needs.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
Home warranties, or home service contracts as they’re more correctly called in Washington and elsewhere in the nation, covers the costs of some repairs that are needed around a house each year. These repairs are often small things, but even small costs add up. And then there’s the time taken away from work and family life to deal with the arrangements for the repairs. So the point of a home service contract is to help save time and money when things around the house stop working properly. But there’s a catch to the whole thing. That catch is the quality and availability of professional contractors to do the work required.
Most established home warranty companies have huge networks of home repair contractors, ones they regularly check for customer satisfaction and overall quality of work. So customers of big home service contract companies can typically count on there being an abundance of good repair contractors in their areas. But this does vary when you consider small towns, states with highly rural populations, or crowded metro areas with more customers per square mile than in suburban or rural areas. With all this under consideration, it pays for home warranty buyers to understand which companies are the top ones in their local areas. In short, it pays to understand the market for qualified contractors before buying a home warranty.
Today we will cover the state of Washington. What’s the home warranty market like for people living in the state of Washington? That’s today’s topic in our top companies series!
Residents of the state of Washington live close to the heart of the U.S. home warranty industry. The western part of the country is home to some of the largest and oldest home warranty companies. And the homeowners out west are typically more knowledgeable about using home warranties too. Between the savvy consumers and the abundance of choices, there is a thriving market for these service contracts for homeowners.
Among the most popular companies in Washington are ones you’ll find in our top ten companies list. But there are also companies such as Fidelity National Home Warranty which fall outside of HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s top ten companies, by our website’s users’ ratings. According to Google, one of the most searched companies in the home warranty space among search engine users in Washington is Fidelity National Home Warranty. And though search volume is not an indication of sales volume it’s still worth noting that we don’t necessarily capture all the data needed to say for sure which companies are selling the most home warranties in individual states. So as you read on, please keep in mind that these top companies are a reflection of what you’ll find in our website’s users’ reviews and company ratings.
According to HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s statistics, ratings and reviews accumulated for many years now, homeowners in the state of Washington overwhelmingly prefer American Home Shield. We reached out to the company for comment after discovering this to be the case.
Mike Clear, VP of Operations at AHS weighed in on what he believes is behind American Home Shield’s success in Washington.
|“Homeowners in Washington expect and deserve outstanding service and value. At American Home Shield, our employees and network of local service contractors proudly provide both, each and every day. When things break down, we solve problems, plain and simple. This means being there when you need us most; making sure you have convenient access to technicians who have the expertise to diagnose and repair covered items; and protecting your budget against unexpected repair costs. We founded the home warranty industry 45 years ago, and no one pays more in servicing claims or protects more customers than American Home Shield.”
AHS is by far the largest company in the industry today. So in some ways it makes sense to see them on nearly every top companies list we publish here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider that the company that’s the biggest also has the most customers. And that something is customer satisfaction. Though no company keeps every customer happy all the time, AHS has done an extraordinarily good job pleasing its customers who post reviews here on our website. So whether you’re in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S., American Home Shield is one you should probably include in your list when comparing home warranty companies.
Based in Colorado, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving American homeowners for almost four decades. Like American Home Shield, 2-10 is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of longevity and number of customers. In addition to providing home service contracts, 2-10 also sells home warranties in the true legal sense, meaning the contract covers defects in the builder’s work or materials.
As one of the original companies in the home warranty industry, 2-10 has a presence across the U.S. and an expansive network of professionals serving its customer’s repair needs.
As part of the Direct Energy family of companies, Home Warranty of America brings its home service contract offering to the western U.S. via its network of regional sales representatives. HWA assists real estate professionals and homeowners with many different scenarios in which coverage of home repairs are important. This includes periods in which a house is listed for sale or has just been purchased, as well as longer periods of time in which an owner of a home would want to offset the costs of repairs due to an unexpected system or appliance breakdowns.
We reached out to them for a comment about their service to Washington residents, and Monica O’Neill, HWA Product Manager, had this to say.
“Home Warranty of America has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and we are very grateful for our loyal customers. We truly enjoy providing reliable solutions and being a home warranty partner to real estate agents and homeowners across the great State of Washington.”
Customers of Home Warranty of America have the security of working with a home service contract provider backed by a big parent company, well known in the energy space. And financial stability is one of two of the most important things to look for in a home warranty provider.
That wraps up our short list of top companies in the state of Washington. Come back here soon for new articles about companies providing home service contracts in other parts of the country.
Readers in Washington, if you have a company you’d like to give a shout out to, please do so in the comments below! If you represent a home warranty company doing good things in Washington, please feel free to mention your company in the comments below as well.