What Is Covered Under Builder’s Warranty?

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

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

Coverage

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

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

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

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

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

Making a claim

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

Things to keep in mind

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Difference between Home Warranty and Builder’s Warranty

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

Builder’s Warranty

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

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






In the fast-paced world, dishwashers have become a necessity in many households. Most of the modern families have dishwashers in their homes. People rely on dishwashers, as they can’t spare time from their hectic lifestyles. But often ignored, the value of a dishwasher is only realized when it stops working. No matter how old your dishwasher is, one year or five years, its cleaning efficiency reduces overtime. Therefore, to keep your dishwasher working like new, you need to take some measures to clean them. We have listed some easy tips to help you out, while keeping your dishwasher running like new.

dishwasher working like new

13 tips to keep your dishwasher working like new

1. Washing is different than scraping

Unless your machine has a special pre-wash cycle or other settings specifically designed to reduce food being left behind at the end of the wash cycle you will need to minimize the amount of food waste that you put into the dishwasher. Before you put your utensils in the dishwasher, rub the food bits off them. This may sound tiring, but scraping is extremely simple as well as essential. It minimizes the stuck food particles on your dishes. Moreover, it saves you from huge maintenance costs in the long run, while making your dishwasher work like new.

2. Do not overload

Do not try to wash too many items at the same time. It is better to wash a few dishes with hand, rather than running the entire load again. If you overload the dishwasher, then you could wind up washing the same load twice and your dishwasher may not be in good working order for very long.

3. Use hot water in the first cycle

Before starting the wash cycle turn on the tap nearest the dishwasher and run till the water is too hot to touch. This means that the first cleaning cycle will run with hot water, instead of cold water. This is an important tip, particularly for winters, because during winters the water takes more time to heat up.

4. Correct washing cycle

Use the proper dishwashing cycle. People tend to reduce the washing cycle, in order to reduce their electricity and water bills, and to save time. But short washing cycles lead to slimy residue on utensils. Additionally, you should wash your super dirty dishes by hand, just like you do your laundry. This will not disrupt the washing cycle, resulting in cleaner dishes.

5. Do not double up the rinse aid

When you go to buy a soap or detergent for your dishwasher, see if one of its ingredients is a rinse aid. If yes, then don’t buy an extra rinse aid. If not, then instead of buying a rinse aid, you can fill the reservoir with white vinegar. White vinegar is a perfect substitute for a rinse aid.

6. Run an empty cycle with vinegar

There are products specially formulated to clean your dishwasher, and you may prefer to use those. But you can just as easily run your empty machine using white vinegar once a month, more often if you see signs that the dishes are not coming out of the wash totally clean. It is the same concept like running a filled dishwasher with vinegar. Toss a cup of vinegar in your empty dishwasher and run the cycle twice. If you have a very dirty dishwasher, then you can also add some baking soda for the fizzing action. This will remove all the old food particles from the dishwasher, making it smell fresh and run like a new one.

7. Clean the dishwasher trap

Under the lower sprayer, there’s a tray, which can typically be removed. Take out that tray and wash it in your sink. Underneath the tray there is a space, which too needs cleaning. If you cannot remove the tray, then clean it with a piece of cloth or a towel. The tray as well as the space consists of trapped food particles. Cleaning both of them will make your dishwasher work more efficiently.

8. Clean the seals and arms

After some time of use, the dishwasher accumulates dirt in its seals and arms, including the rubber gasket of the door and the soap dispenser. Apart from this, there are other small spaces in your dishwasher that collect food and grime and get clogged over time. Make sure that you properly clean and scrub your dishwasher once in awhile, in order to keep it working like new.

9. Set the appropriate temperature of the water heater

Ensure that you set the appropriate temperature of your dishwasher heater, which should be between 120 to 125 degrees. This is the ideal temperature of the water heater for washing your utensils. If the temperature is less than 120 degrees, then the dishes would not be cleaned properly. And if the temperature is higher than 125 degrees, then the water will flash dry without rolling your dishes, in turn leaving your dishes dirty.

10. Test your water

The type of water you use in your dishwasher is an important part of the washing cycle. Hard water will be hard on the utensils as well as the dishwasher, leaving the dishes grimy. Make sure that that the water you use is soft.

11. Use the unused buttons

Dishwashers usually have a lot of buttons and settings that people hardly use. Due to this, people tend to set a particular setting to their dishwasher and then forget about it. In order to keep your dishwasher working like new, you should change its settings from time to time. Use all the settings of the dishwasher, so that none of the working parts become jammed due to disuse.

12. Check your dishwasher connections

You should regularly check all the connections and hoses of your dishwasher. See for dry rot or weak spots and fix them beforehand. This will avoid leakage and flooding in your dining room or kitchen, thus saving you from any untoward accident in the future.

13. Even out

Put a level under your dishwasher. Like washing machines and driers, dishwashers also need a level to work optimally. See that the level of your dishwasher is properly placed. Regularly check the level, as it changes with time.

Now that you have all of these helpful tips it’s time to put them to use! Employ these easy to follow suggestions, and see how well your dishwasher works. These simple DIY tips might also save you money as you run fewer loads of dishes and reduce future maintenances costs.




Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns

Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.

The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.

Home Appliance Warranty Plans

If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.

Table2 for Appliance Warranty article

Now lets discuss the most important question.

What kind of plans are available and do I actually need them?

Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.

If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they  call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.

Things to know about appliance protection plans

If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:

  • Home warranty plans are a way to ensure security and to reduce maintenance costs. They don’t provide blanket coverage nor do they pay for pre-existing issues.
  • All companies do not offer the best customer service. Make sure that the Home warranty company you choose comes with high recommendations.
  • Ensure that you read the contract for Home Warranty thoroughly.This ensures that conflicts do not arise later.
  • Many a times, it is often seen that Home Warranty companies opt for repairs rather than replacement of the damaged appliance. Further, waiting period for this is also considerably long in some cases. Worst of all, claims are sometimes rejected on unclear grounds or by bringing up small clauses from the contract that are often overlooked by the customers.

It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.

Do I really need Appliance Protection?

Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of  home warranty provider is good.

Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan

  • Confidence: This is something that can rarely be bought with money. Home Warranty Plans provide you a tension free life. It does so by relieving you from worries about unexpected expenses occurring due to damage of your appliances.
  • Broad coverage: Almost all your appliances and systems are covered by the U.S. Home warranty contract.
  • Affordable prices: The annual premium as well as the deductible you pay are both affordable to an average U.S. citizen.
  • Budget protection: To those of you who just purchased a new home and had to spend quite a lot on one time expenses like drapes, landscaping etc, the first year in your new home is not the ideal time to expect financial drains due to faulty appliances.
  • Lawsuit avoidance: Assuming that you sold your home while it was still covered by the Home Warranty, any appliance that sustains damages will be taken care of by the home warranty company. If the appliance was not covered by a Home Warranty, it may often result in the buyer suing the seller.

May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.




Getting and staying organized is a bit of a challenge for many of us. This challenge often feels impossible to meet, resulting in the individual getting trapped in an overwhelmed mode. It is probable, however to overcome the overwhelmed feeling and efficiently get your home arranged by breaking the task into smaller steps and following an organized approach to achieve each step.

Get Your Home Arranged

Reasons for getting Organized

After a tiring day at work, you require to get to place where you could take enough rest and relax for recharging your energy. No other place can be more appropriate to do that, than your own home. But, first and foremost, you need to get your home organized to make it your favorite place for relaxation.

Your house is not just a place where you take your sleep, stock up your belongings and nurture your body with food and other basic requirements. But, your home is your sanctuary for the reason that whatever happens through the day, you would always go to the place where you could ease your victories and judge your failures.

Those are the reasons why organizing your home should be a main concern if you want to keep its comfort. Since you are too busy at work and usual activities, you would find it a major challenge to get your home organized. Generally, people complain that it is hard to organize the home as there are just too many stuff that are stored in. They are too busy to fix the mess and clean the dirt regularly.

That is why the ability to get your home planned is a must for you and for everyone. Once you gain knowledge of how to get your home organized, you would surely realize that it is not a hard task. Moreover, you would surely develop the practice of being responsible and reliable in keeping your place as pleasant as possible.

Get Your Home Arranged in 7 Simple Steps

After implementing the following organizing tips, you’ll speculate how you or anyone else manages without being organized.

  1. Schedule time to de-clutter your home and do this regularly.
  2. Place your things in such a manner that there would be sufficient space for free movement within the house.
  3. Keep the orderliness of your cabinets, shoe rack and even your refrigerator. Throw away unwanted stuffs so that they would not pile up and will be trouble-free to get your home organized. If the stuffs have sentimental value, you could just pile them up in the garage or in the storage room.
  4. Keep your house hygienic and clean it regularly. Ensure there is no dust piled up at furniture and appliance surfaces.
  5. Arrange the books in the book shelf and label your compact discs and place them as per their categories.
  6. Use every room as per their proper functions to get your home organized. This would avoid unnecessary mess everywhere inside the house.
  7. Do not file the bills with personal letters and other important documents.

Keep to your goals and get your home organized. You would find that a planned home would surely make you feel good in the future as you would not be messed up inside the premises of your own sanctuary. If you still face difficulty to get your home organized, you need to consult experts.

All the Best with the re-organization!




For most people, buying a house is one of the most expensive purchases of their lifetime. As it is an expensive purchase, very often involving a person’s entire life’s savings, it is only natural that a homeowner will expect some additional protection.

Increase The Sale Price Of A Property

A home warranty or a home service contract is a form of service agreement that offers to provide discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances. When paired with a property sale, it has been noted that homes sell faster and at higher prices. Recent market studies have confirmed that homes with home warranty sell 10% faster than those without. Over the years, it has become one of the incentives that home buyers eagerly expect when they make a purchase.

In a recent survey conducted by the American Home Shield, it was clearly seen that homes sold with a home warranty sold faster and at higher rates. Following are the assertions from the study:

  • Average sales price of houses sold with home warranty was 0.91% higher than homes sold without warranty
  • The average number of days that a home with a home warranty stays in the market was 16.14% lower than those for homes without warranty.
  • The percentage of Sales Price to List Price was 96.7% as opposed to 96.1% for homes minus home warranty.

What makes home warranty increase the value of a home?

As mentioned before, home service contracts provide budget protection to the homeowner. When a buyer makes a purchase and receives a home warranty along with it, he also receives the following benefits. Let’s take a look at some of the benefits the buyer gets:

  • Protection against unexpected repairs and replacement costs
  • Repair services from qualified and skilled technicians if an appliance breaks
  • Saves the need to look for a trustworthy contractor as technicians are sent to one’s doorstep

If these points are not compelling enough, here’s a list of benefits that the seller will receive. Yes! This is a deal where people at both ends of the stick score high. Here are some of the seller benefits

  • Affordable liability protection.
  • Buyer will not bother the seller if appliances/ systems in the house crash
  • Increases the value of the property as buyer feels protected
  • Saves the need of chasing the seller as and when a damage occurs

In some cases, real estate agents often purchase transferable home warranty contracts for a property that is to be sold. Once the deal is closed, the protection becomes effective thereby reducing the agent’s liabilities.

From the points discussed above, it is quite clear that combining a home warranty with a home sale benefits both buyer a seller. Hence, a home warranty effortlessly increases the value of the property.

Different types of home warranty in a property sale

In a property sale, 3 types of home service contracts are commonly seen

  • Seller Home Warranty: A seller home warranty is one that is purchased by the seller during the time that the house sits in listing. It becomes effective as soon as the payment is made and protects the house during the listing period. It can be transferred to the buyer once the sale is made.
  • Buyer Conversion Warranty: This is a home warranty that is transferred to buyer. It becomes effective on the closing day.
  • Buyer Direct Warranty: Buyer direct warranty is purchased by the buyer or his real estate agent. It becomes effective on the day of closing or it can be purchased anytime within 90 days of closing.

When is a home warranty not ideal?

No matter how attractive a home service contract may seem, there are times where it is a bad deal. Here’s one such situation. A home, if it is new, stands very little chances of encountering appliance/ system crashes. Also, home warranty covers damages that occur due to regular use and wear & tear. Such damages are more likely with appliances that are over 4 years old. So, in cases where the home is new, a home warranty, no matter how attractive, could be unnecessary.

How to select a home warranty plan for your home that you plan to sell?

It is unlikely that a real estate agent would ask this question. Most agents have a company that they always rely upon for home service contracts. If you are a first time seller, we suggest that you talk to a few agents before picking a plan. Speak to your friends and family who have experience in home sales and related aspects.

Another option is to visit home warranty review websites. Such sites offer ratings and opinions from customers of home warranty companies. It gives you a hands on feedback about the big players in the industry. This is a very reliable option as user generated feedback is often the ideal way to decide a company’s quality.

Making the final decision – Sell with warranty or without?

From all that has been discussed here, it’s quite clear that, new homes don’t necessarily need a warranty plan. At the same time, it is advised that if you are first time homeowner, you should always have your newly purchased home protected with some form of appliance warranty.

In conclusion, homes that are not new and not under any form of protection are best sold with a warranty plan attached to it. In fact, when homes sold with a warranty sell faster in addition to being sold at higher prices. Nothing good can come out of putting yourself and the buyer at inconvenience. So, do visit some review sites and listen to the Vox Populi!!

Hope you found this helpful. Do share the article and help someone else too. Cheers!!




As a father of small children I’ve spent lots of time fighting in the house cleaning trenches. Many a Saturday and Sunday have been spent reversing the enemy’s advances, the barricades of dirty laundry, the diversions of dirty dishes and the assault on my allergies from dust.

I’ve learned a few things, many of which I think make housework easier and faster to tackle. You may have just as many techniques, or maybe you’re a new recruit in the battle against the mess. If the latter best describes you then suit up and grab your broom. We’re going in!

Make a list

Nothing helps with a big day of work around the house like a good list. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing you’ll probably forget things and maybe even waste time on tasks that should be left for another day. It’s easy to get lost or distracted in a messy house.

How to Clean Your House Faster

Start easy

If you hate doing housework then the hardest thing to do is to start.  It’s best to pick the easy tasks and knock them out first.  Loading the dishwasher might be the task you hate the least.  Or you might think starting a load of clothes in the washing machine is easiest.  Whatever you like to do (or least hate doing) should be put first.

Work smarter, not harder

When you enter a room it’s best to go in prepared to finish it in one trip. You burn valuable energy when you run around the house. Work your way through the house, room by room, taking only what you need to clean each one. Trash bags, dust cloths, disinfectants and cleansers can usually be carried in a small utility bucket. Leave filled trash bags in a hallway or other common area adjoining the rooms you’re cleaning, and save the trash disposal for the end if possible. If you’re worried about trash bags leaking then it’s better to double bag than to make lots of trips back and forth, especially if you have a two or more story house.

Don’t give yourself a headache

If you prefer to or need to use harsh chemicals be sure to avoid inhaling the fumes. Weather permitting, you should open windows and close doors to contain and remove the vapor of chemical cleaners such as bleach, ammonia and others. If you are cleaning surfaces you will be standing on, such as shower floors or bathroom floors, with bleach then it pays to have some old shoes that you can change out of when you leave the room you’ve just cleaned. Tracking bleach around the house can be a disaster.

Be sure to only clean each thing once

If vacuuming is part of your list then ensure the vacuum is not already full of debris from the last time you used it. An empty vacuum bag or canister and a suction opening that is free from obstructions will ensure that you only need to vacuum one time and that the floor will be very clean. When dusting, be sure to use the right cloth for the job. Dusting with paper towels or other cloths that are not suited for dusting will make a bigger mess than you started with. And if you must use a spray cleaner for dusting try spraying it on the cloth rather than on the surface you are dusting. Some surfaces get clean faster and look better in the end if you stick to using a dry dust cloth.

These are general tips, it’s true. But if you combine them with your own specific preferences and tricks you should find that the housework goes by faster and more smoothly. Organization is key. And avoiding making yourself tired or sick is important too. What you want is to find ways to keep the house looking the way you like it without making the labor involved so back breaking that you will avoid doing it at almost any cost.

House keeping is not always an easy task but you can get better at it if you keep yourself well read and informed. More information about how to maintain your home in perfect condition is available on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. You could take a look at it and start applying it to your home! And while you are at it, take a look at 10 most innovative home maintenance smartphone apps.

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




Condos are a great substitutes to renting an apartment or possessing a single family home and they have their own unique insurance needs.

About Condo Warranty Insurance

Condo Warranty

Condo Warranty is similar to appliance warranty and provides condominium owners with coverage for repair of major appliances and home systems.

Appliances are intended to make your lives simple. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, and other kitchen compliments not only assist you in doing everyday chores and prepare food faster, but they take some of the monotony out of your day and allow you more free time, as well.

Unluckily appliances, like any other piece of machinery can stop working. When that occurs, instead of saving your time and hassle, your malfunctioning appliance can actually add to your stress. This problem becomes even bigger when the malfunction occurs soon after you buy an appliance. To avoid the extra stress of dealing with faults of a brand new appliance, an appliance warranty is a brilliant tool to have in your corner.

Condo Warranty Types

When procuring an appliance, inquire if the appliance is issued by the dealer or if the appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s  warranty. Some retail chains and dealers buy appliances from the makers without a manufacturer’s warranty, so as to lower their costs. There are quite a few disadvantages to this.

  • First, if the dealer or chain goes out of business, you will probably be left without warranty at all. Whenever service is required, the dealer will fix up for someone to service the unit at no cost to you. But if you are not happy with whom they have chosen, you are caught up with them.
  • Conversely, if the warranty is covered by the manufacturer, you must be able to address any of their official service agents to get the repairs done.

Comprehend Your Condo Warranties Systematically

In case you buy a product for commercial/store use for a boarding house, townhouse, or apartment building with an ordinary kitchen or laundry room, make sure to study the warranty limitations. The majority of domestic appliance warranties are only meant for single family use.

Bear in mind that the majority warranty companies, no matter at what condition your appliance is, they would still repair it than replace it.

Condo Warranty vs. Home Warranty

Condo Warranties are there to cover you when a trouble happens due to a defect.

A home warranty is planned to cover repair and replacement costs for major home systems and appliances (like wiring, plumbing etc.). Usually, a home warranty is bought as a contract for a year, with either annual, monthly or quarterly payments.

Even if you might have to pay a small deductible when you raise an issue, with a home warranty, you will have less worries about large, unforeseen bills caused by appliance or home system breakdown. When merged with your  dealer condo warranty, a home warranty must ensure that, one way or other, if something goes wrong you will be able to manage it without breaking the bank.

About Condominium Insurance

Condo Warranty Insurance

Condominium insurance is a unique insurance intended to fit the detailed needs of condo owners. Similar to renters insurance, condo insurance offers liability and personal property protection. However, condo owners need to consider additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and it’s coverage.

So take a look at this article, you can learn about condominium insurance below, and then obtain a free quote to see if it can help you get the coverage you need to defend your residence and your belongings.

Why Do I Need Condo Insurance?

Condo insuranceYou possess a condo and the association has insurance. So what’s the big deal? Well, your condominium association insurance covers the condominium building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association.

Regrettably there are many instances where that insurance policy won’t cover you or your things – like water damage to your living room walls, break in, or someone gets injured by slipping on your wet kitchen floor. For this reason, you need condominium insurance planned specifically for condo or co-op owners.

If something happens to your condo or townhome, it may be up to you to put back things like flooring, drywall, light fixtures, cabinets and more. That’s where condo liability insurance comes into the picture.

Many condominium associations only insure the building’s structure and general areas, typically leaving each unit’s interior construction to the homeowner. However, condo insurance coverage may also vary by state.

What Does A Condo Insurance Policy Cover?

All-risk contents coverage insures the possessions inside your home for the most common types of losses. When you have this coverage, your contents are insured for the whole thing, unless it’s particularly excluded from your policy.

Named-Perils coverage includes a catalog of the most common types of items covered under your insurance. It includes theft, fire and water damage. All the items are clearly listed in your policy booklet so that you have a thorough knowledge of what your insurance policy covers.

A standard home policy usually offers for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) replacement of your possessions. This means you only obtain the value of the item, less reduction. For instance, if you bought a TV 5 years ago for $500, you might only receive $100 for it if it were damaged in a fire. Even if it may cost you $600 to substitute that same TV, your insurance would only give you $100.

Many people opted to add the Replacement Value option to their contents coverage. Replacement value coverage means that the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them. When you substitute the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a definite time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s). This means if your 5 year – old TV was lost in a fire, you would obtain the full amount it would cost to replace it.

When you replace the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a specified time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s) not what they were actually worth in their used state. This means if your 5 year-old TV was lost in a fire, you would get the full amount it would cost to replace it, even if that is more than you paid for the TV in the first place.

Detached Private Structure. This type of coverage applies to structures that belong to your property, but that are not connected to your primary residence. For example, a separate garage could be integrated under this coverage. There is normally a definite limit to this kind of coverage, but you can always increase that limit by buying additional coverage options.

Additional Living Expenses. If you are compelled to leave your home because of a loss, this coverage pays for your logical and necessary expenses to momentarily live away from home. Hotel and food expenses would be covered under such circumstances. There is generally a limit on this kind of coverage.

Personal Liability. Liability insurance guards you from having to pay damages to people, if you have been found liable for accidentally injuring them or damaging their property.

Voluntary Payments for Medical Expenses. This covers medical costs if someone unintentionally hurts themselves as a result of your personal activities or the way you have kept your building. It also covers injuries caused by resident employees.

Voluntary Payments for Damage to Property. The unintentional physical damage to the property of others is covered. It may also be caused by your pets or animals, or by actions of your resident employees. This kind of coverage would also comprise the intended acts of other insured persons under a certain age.

Improvements and betterments. Investing money to get your residence better increases the worth of your investment. The Improvements and Betterments Protection recompenses you for all the additional you have put into your condominium – on top of what the builder initially provided for you, up to the limit of your replacement value.

For example, your unit was initially furnished with a $5000 medium-grade carpet. You want to upgrade to a high quality carpet, valued at $10,000. The ‘Improvements and Betterments’ protection will guarantee that you obtain the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss. So if there were a fire, and the builder only gave you $5000 to cover the value of the original carpet, the insurer would give you the remaining $5000.

Supplemental Coverage. Aside from insuring your betterments, you may also need to insure your condominium unit itself. This will ensure that you are sheltered should the corporation’s insurance not fully cover a loss to your unit.

Loss Assessment. A significant feature of a condominium insurance policy is loss assessment. This is when you share liability with others for common property. The insurer will shell out, up to a set limit, your portion of any particular assessment that’s valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules:

  • If it’s due to a direct loss that influences a shared part of the premises and if it has been caused by an insured hazard
  • If it’s due to legal liability arising out of shared ownership of common areas of the condominium premises
  • Providing that the assessment has not been made essential because of a deductible in the corporation’s own insurance policy

Condo Insurance Quotes ProvidersCondo insurance quote

You are likely finding out there are a lot of decisions to make and details to work out before you make a choice.

The home insurance agents recognize that a condominium is not a traditional home. However, it does need homeowners insurance of a particular type. In case you want to protect your condo, ensure to inquire about how condo insurance differs and what it covers.

Homeowners insurance agents who focus on condo insurance are an exceptional resource. In all reality, you are asking for tailored homeowners insurance quotes, when you ask for condo insurance quotes. So there is guarantee that you are receiving what you actually require in a policy.

Ensure you speak with a Condo Insurance Professional

All agencies or insurance types are shaped equal. Make sure that when you get condo insurance quotes,  you follow up with the insurance agents who offered you with the quotes, so you are alert about all the details before you invest in a policy.




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

Home Warranty Claims

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

Common Causes of Home Warranty Claims Denial

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

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

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

How to Dispute Home Warranty Claim Denials

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

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

 




May 20, 2014: A fast growing home service contract company, Sensible Home Warranty has announced that the company has closed down its operations once and for all. The company, reported to have its main office in New York made the declaration through their website announcing that they were shuttering their services.

“To our loyal customers and dear friends:
It is with great regret that we must notify you that Sensible Home Warranty has shuttered its operations. We wish you all the best of luck and thank you for your years of support.” – read the announcement on the official website of the veteran warranty company.

Growing discontent among customers

For the past several months, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have been reporting instances of displeasure and dissatisfaction with the services they received from the company. Despite the fact that the company has been functioning for more than a half decade, Sensible Home Warranty failed to build a sustainable business.

According to customers, the company repeatedly failed to process claims and provide adequate service. The latest reviews about the company revealed that the company frequently denied claims on vague grounds. It is worth noting that the company had mostly positive reviews in its early years. It is not clear what caused the downfall.

Sensible Home Warranty

The Better Business Bureau (BBB) shows that over 1811 complaints were filed against them during the last 3 years of which 1037 complaints were filed during the last three months. Furthermore, it was revealed that the company had been banned in three states.

Following the announcement of their closing, customers of Sensible Home Warranty have expressed shock and betrayal through various review sites and social media. One irate customer expressed her disappointment and stated that she felt cheated as she had purchased a long term plan from the company. The customer had been trying to contact the company regarding a claim for several weeks when the announcement of the company’s closing came through.

Did Sensible Home Warranty deserve this Fate?

Despite some bad PR around, the company did have a loyal base of satisfied customers who vehemently said that their services were exceptional. Some even expressed their sadness at the news of them closing down. This makes us want to believe that in spite of what the reviews on the internet say about such companies, home warranty is one industry were misunderstandings are common leading to an unpleasant interaction between the companies and their customers. Like many, a company which succumbed to infamy, Sensible too may have been judged badly.

As customers all over the nation reel in shock from the news, the company has requested that customers direct inquiries to [email protected] until further announcements are made. The company has been unavailable for a statement.

UPDATE June 26, 2014: ABC News covered a news story on this topic. According to them, you can collect refunds from the State Dept. of Insurance if you are in Arizona. Other states may or may not have such a provision.

 

What Choices Consumers Have Now?

It is not easy to recover your losses since home warranty companies are loosely regulated. Here are your choices:

  1. Make Sure You Have Adequate Coverage – First and foremost, it is important to make sure your appliances and HVAC units are protected. Since you no longer have the coverage, you should find a reputable home warranty company on our site, request a quote and then buy a home protection plan. Make sure you are covered from day one, by showing them proof of coverage from the now defunct company.
  2. Recover Your Losses – Contact your State Insurance Department and find out if they can recover your costs from the company. Some States do require companies to put down deposits, so if you are lucky, you will be paid from those reserves. The other option you can pursue is to hire a lawyer and go after this company’s assets while the company is still going through the bankruptcy process.

UPDATE 09/26/14:

Here’s an update on this news. The Nevada Division of Insurance is trying to reach out to customers of Sensible Home Warranty in Nevada who have unpaid claims against the company. All customers who fall into this category are requested to file a Proof of Claim form to the organization on or before 26 March, 2014. The Commissioner for Insurance will be evaluating the forms received for granting approval. The Division does not guarantee that a fixed percentage of claims will be paid, they have also stated that the funds available for the program are limited.

For more information, check the Nevada DOI press release.

 




Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch.  You have home buyers.  You have home sellers.  You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries.  Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty.  The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with.  Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!

Differences in home warranty and home service contract

What’s in a name anyway?  Well, sometimes a lot.  Take a home warranty, for example.  In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract.  And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers.  You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty.  Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract?  If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.

The letter of the law

No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract.  Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty.  A homeowner typically needs a home service contract.  Knowing the difference is important.  Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.

A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant.  Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer.  A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold.  It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame.  In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship.  The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.

Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty.  And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company.  If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.

So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it.  Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.

Covering breakdowns that occur due to normal wear and tear

A home service contract is NOT a warranty!  Why the emphasis on “not?”  Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased.  And it’s really not their fault that they are confused.  When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable.  But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is.  Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers.  And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.

If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.  But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract.  The purpose of a home service contract is twofold.  Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.

  1. When something breaks in a house it usually is completely unexpected.  We all have lives to deal with, and few of us have time for unexpected things that take us away from our jobs, our families, or our other commitments.  So time is a big, valuable thing for us.  And a home service contract is supposed to help homeowners avoid wasting time.  The idea is that the home service contract company has relationships with a lot of professional repair technicians.  And because they work with so many technicians, they can afford their customers access to licensed, bonded, pre-screened professionals in less time than the homeowner could have found them.  Instead of spending a whole day making calls, reading reviews from other consumers, and getting estimates, the homeowner with the home service contract is supposed to be freed to go on with his or her daily life.
  2. Cost!  Nobody likes dealing with the cost of fixing things that break.  We already pay a lot for our houses, and in some cases, we’re already strapped cash-wise.  This is the another big advantage that home service contract companies offer to their customers.  Instead of paying every penny of a home repair, the home service contract company is meant to cover some or all of the cost of a repair or replacement job.

So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers.  Let’s break that down into some detail.  Bear with us.  It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.

What parts of a house does a home service contract cover?  

In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered.  But it varies greatly from one company to another.  So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty.  Do NOT fixate on the price alone!  Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.  

Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things.  But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same.  In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework.  At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.

Sometimes the biggest difference is in the fine print

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes.  These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not.  Here are some loopholes to watch out for.

Pre-existing conditions

It’s exactly what it sounds like.  A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown.  And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers.  But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.

Excluded parts

It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered.  Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded.  Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.

Maximum amounts the company will pay

This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract.  Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period.  Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract.  Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company!  And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract.  That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests.  It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way.  If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract.  And “in writing” is the most important part.

Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts.  If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below.  Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers.  If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question.  Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?




Home Warranty Hidden CostsWhen 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.

Prior to Purchase

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.

What is and not covered before purchasing any home warranty

  • How long does the warranty last? For existing homes, warranties last about a year after which you can renew them. For newly built homes sold by the builder, the warranty provided by the builder can last for as long as 10 years, but incorporates shorter coverage terms for certain systems and materials. For instance, the doors, trim and drywall may be covered for the few years of the warranty term, while major damage or structural defects to load bearing portions of home are covered for quite a few years longer, as long as it meets the severity of defect stated by the warranty coverage. Again, make sure to read the fine print.
  • What is covered and what is barred? Warranties usually disclaim responsibility for consumer abuse, normal wear and tear, neglect of maintenance, and site preparation. Many exclude “cosmetic” items and some exclude important items such as wall cracks and leaky faucets, and doors and windows. Used homes typically have extremely limited warranties. To learn more, check out What is not Covered by Home Warranty article
  • What can cancel the warranty? Sometimes moving or selling the home together with improper site preparation can void the warranty. Does the home need regular maintenance to keep the warranty in force? If yes, what kind of maintenance?
  • Are appliances covered by a separate warranty? Whom do you contact for service? Who performs the warranty work? How does the retailer, manufacturer, and installer split job? Whom do you contact first? It is recommended to purchase directly from a manufacturer, but it is not possible in all states due to licensing laws.
  • Be wary of “extended warranties.” These are often little more than high-priced insurance products issued by 3rd party companies. Terms of the extended warranties may be dissimilar than the original warranty, so assess them as closely. If you are financing the extended warranty, then interest costs should be considered as one of the factors.
  • Arbitration Clauses: These contract terms restricting your right to take legal action are more common in manufactured homes than conventional buildings. You must ask whether any of manufacturers, retailers or the finance companies uses mandatory arbitration clauses in their contracts. What does it cost file a claim? Will they sell you the home warranty without the clause, or with the clause changed to your satisfaction? Request to see the argument while shopping.
  • Quality of Service: Check whether the retailer has references from previous customers. Verify with more than one, possibly people who have been in their homes long enough to endure the excellence of warranty service. You can also check the history of the manufacturer, retailer and installer. Many states want retailers to be licensed.

After the Purchase of Home Warranty

  • For new homes sold by builders, store all documents pertaining to the sale of your home, in addition to any correspondence with the retailer, manufacturers and state or federal agencies. Evaluate the homeowner’s guidelines and other information found in the homeowner’s manual that your retailer gives you upon receiving your new home. This manual is needed by the Federal law. There must be facts on how to deal with warranty issues, as well as maintenance necessities that may need to be pursued to keep your warranty valid.
  • Maintain credentials of maintenance performed on the home.

Small Print Clauses and Hidden Costs of Home Warranty

  • Waiting period – normally 30 days from the date of purchase of home warranty
  • Claim denials are very common and some of the reasons include negligence and lack of maintenance of appliances. For HVAC units are you supposed to get the annual maintenance performed by a professional. Make sure you keep maintenance records.
  • Trade/Service Call Fee – You are required to pay service call fee per repair incident. The amount is anywhere between 50 to 100 dollars.
  • Repair Over Replacement. Even if an appliance is faltering very often, the service providers tend to repair it rather than replace it as it will cost them less. Due to this tendency of service providers, you have to face the same problem repeatedly, without having much control over it as you are tied down by spending in the plan.
  • Max Limit – Some companies will set the ceiling on maximum amount on repair expenses they incur. Make sure you understand these limitations.
  • As you near the end of your warranty period, cautiously examine the home for signs of problems.

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.




We previously reported about NY attorney general’s lawsuit against National Home protection. On December 15, 20009 NY New York Attorney General Andrew M. announced a court victory in the lawsuit against this home warranty company. NHP’s website is not accessible any more and phone calls are not answered. The company is believed to be defunct and its customers cannot expect any service, although they might get some kind of severance from this lawsuit.

According to the reports published at wivb.com this morning, the court found NHP engaged in false and misleading advertising, made multiple misrepresentations and violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. Subsequently, the company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakim, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The agreement was approved by the New York Supreme Court on December 14.

NHP sold consumers yearly home warranty plans at an annual price of about $370. NHP’s advertising and contracts promised to repair or replace consumers’ household systems and appliances which failed to work properly due to normal wear and tear. Hundreds of consumers who purchased NHP’s plans complained to the Attorney General’s office and other agencies that NHP did not provide the promised services or replacements.
The Court also concluded that NHP made multiple misrepresentations to consumers via its website, including that it provided “sensible protection against repair costs,” “affordable coverage that could save you thousands,” and that it “will replace your unit with the same or like model.” The Court noted that consumers complained that claims were denied for failure to produce maintenance records and that they were offered inferior appliances or cash back offers that were a small fraction of the actual appliance cost. The Court also ruled that the Attorney General could recover on behalf of all aggrieved consumers, including those residing outside the State of New York, since NHP used New York to complete its deceptive transactions.

Importantly, the Court’s decision makes it clear that a company cannot rely on small print terms and conditions of contracts to disclaim attractive advertising claims that lure consumers to purchase products or services.

As part of its agreement with the Attorney General’s office, NHP and it principals have agreed to pay a total amount of $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The company and its owners are also permanently enjoined by court order from running a home warranty business unless they first comply with the New York Insurance law on demonstrating financial responsibility and with other New York consumer protection statutes, violations of which are punishable by contempt.

Consumers who are eligible for restitution under the settlement
include:
– Consumers who were denied contracted-for, or advertised services from NHP;
– Consumers who did not receive gift cards advertised and offered by NHP as an incentive for entering into the home warranty agreements; or
– Consumers who were denied the right to cancel their home warranty agreements within twenty (20) days of the date of mailing of the home warranty agreement or within ten (10) days if the home warranty agreement was delivered at the time of sale, and have not received a full refund from NHP or any other entity.

Consumers who were harmed by NHP’s deceptive conduct and false advertising will be able to file a claim for restitution. All NHP customers will receive claim forms by mail over the next several weeks and need not take any further action at this time.

Consumers may check the Attorney General’s website periodically for updates on the National Home Protection consumer claims process. Consumers with questions may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 771-7755.




There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.

IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)

Zero Deductible

Home Warranty Plans with No Service Call Fee

Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:

  1. Complete Protection
  2. UtilPro Appliance repair
  3. HomeServe USA
  4. Stanley Warranty
  5. Hi Tech Home Warranty
  6. Certified Warranties
  7. AHPS Home Warranty

As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.

What is a deductible?

In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.

For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.

What is a premium?

An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.

The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.

In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.




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.

Fake 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.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

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.




2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.

Green Advantage Warranty

The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.

Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”

Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.

Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.

About the company

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

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HVAC appliances are one of the most vital components in a home. Naturally, unexpected crashes and breakdowns of HVAC units disrupt a peaceful living. And once they crash, boy! They are really expensive to repair (or replace).

Any homeowner, in his right sense would therefore make sure that the heating, cooling and ventilation units are well taken care of and maintained. For all of you who are wondering how to extend the life of your HVAC appliances, this checklist is just the right thing for you!

Monthly maintenance routine

Yes, all HVAC appliances will do well if you give them some basic cleaning every month. Ensure that you do the following two steps at least once a month.

  • Check thermostat settings
  • Clean out the vents, replace filters, and keep it dust free as much as possible

Annual maintenance routine

The U.S. Dept. of energy advises homeowners to carry out a maintenance routine at least twice a year. This ensures that the power consumption is optimized and hazards are avoided. Here are the steps that you should carry out yearly to ensure healthy running of your HVAC appliances/ systems.

  • Hire a professional inspector to perform checks on your HVAC units
  • Hire a professional to clear the air ducts
  • Re check and tighten all electrical connections
  • Check refrigerant levels
  • Use suitable lubricants to lubricate moving parts
  • Clean the area around HVAC units and ensure that it always remains dry

If you think that these tasks are difficult and that your warranty plan will save you, here’s some incentive for you to get going in the right direction.

Home Warranty Companies usually DO NOT cover damages caused due to lack of  maintenance. Which means that if your system stops working and the technician diagnosis says that the damage was caused due to lack of maintenance, your claim may be denied.

If that is not compelling enough, here are some more things that will happen if you are careless about HVAC maintenance

  • Excess power consumption. Man! those electric bills are going to shock you (literally)
  • Unclean machinery heats up abnormally, this leads to fire hazards.
  • If vents are clogged with debris or other particulate matter, efficiency of the system drops
  • If you don’t monitor your gas/ fuel connections, health issues and fire hazards may happen

Appliances and systems in our home and around us help us lead a happy and easy life. So it is only fair that we do for them at least a fraction of what they do for us. Take good care of your appliances, don’t use them roughly and above all, purchase a home warranty plan to protect your budget against unexpected appliance crashes.

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If you are someone trying to sell your home at the best possible price, you’ve landed at the right place! Many homeowners face a lot of hurdles when trying to sell their property. We understand that it can be difficult especially if potential buyers start low-balling the price. In today’s times, it sometimes makes sense to hire a real estate agent specializing in selling homes to make sure that your home gets the right buyer. However, picking the right real estate agent could be a task in itself.

We’ve got some great ideas about how to sell homes faster. Take a look at some of the points discussed below to know more!

Sell Your Home Faster

Five Hacks To Sell Your Home Faster!

 

Make The House Look Pretty

While the sentence sounds simple, a lot of effort goes into making a home look warm and inviting. Here are a few tips you could try to liven up things –

  • Give your home a fresh coat of paint. Works wonders.
  • Update the kitchen and its content. Don’t overdo it, though.
  • If there is too much furniture, get rid of some. People who come to see your home would like to walk around without stubbing their toes.
  • Make the home smell nice. Can’t stress enough on the importance of this one.

Before you conduct the open house, you can consider hiring a stager. Stagers are folks specialized in setting up your home to make it look extremely pleasing to the eye. However, if you’ve got a knack for things like this, we’re sure your skills would be more than enough.

Necessary Repairs And Replacements

Make sure everything in the house is functional. Which means you’ll have to check for leaks, faults with inbuilt appliances and even a pest control drill may be necessary in some cases. Most buyers will opt for a home inspection prior to making a purchase and if multiple faults come up in the home inspector’s report, there’s a good chance that they’ll cancel the deal.

Also, make sure that the windows are sparkling clean and broken light bulbs/ fixtures are replaced.

Offer A Home Warranty Plan

Some studies reveal that offering such a plan would not only sell your home faster, but an appliance warranty may actually increase the sales price of the property by an appreciable value. Many home warranty providers also offer seller’s warranty which is an ideal option in a scenario like this. While you may be offered suggestions, we recommend that you read and compare top home warranty companies in your region.

Also, since most plans are transferable, you can simply transfer the plan to the new owner once the sale is finalized. Many real estate agents strongly recommend offering an appliance warranty to the buyer as it not only fetches the house a higher price, but also reduces the liability of the seller and the agent. If and when an appliance related issue occurs, the buyer would call the home warranty provider and not the seller/agent.

Present The Property Well

How the house is presented to a potential buyer is a major factor which decides whether a buyer develops an interest in the property or not. If you have hired an agent, step back and let the agent show the clients around. Agents do this for a living and so they would know how to do it best. They also know what to highlight, what not to stress on and how to tackle tricky questions that may come their way.

All of this will not be possible unless you have a killer agent. Do ample research, meet many agents and ask around before you hire one to represent your home. You may want to read about how to pick the right real estate agent for you.

Price It Right

Lastly, price your property correctly. We cannot stress enough on the importance of this one. If you price it too high, most folks won’t give a second glance to the ad. Price it too low, you’ll leave potential buyers wondering whether your home has some serious issue (or worse, haunted).

A real estate agent would be the right person to guide you on how to price your property. Several things go into deciding the value of your home – locality, age, square footage, amenities, proximity to schools/hospitals etc. You may want to look at listings in your neighborhood to find out an approximate value.

First Impression Is Almost Always The Best

This proverb is more true than you’d think, especially in real estate dealings. If buyers don’t like the property at the first glance, they may not give it much consideration. Keep this in mind during every stage of the sale. We would strongly recommend that you consider offering a home warranty along with your home as the benefits are just too hard to ignore.

Real estate dealings can be hard to many, but as long as you have the right agent and the right support, it should leave both parties happy. We hope your property sale goes well. Good luck and thank you for reading this article!




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.

1. The Home Service Club

The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.

The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.

They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.

Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.

Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.

3. Complete Appliance Protection

As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.

Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.

The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.

Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.

The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.

5. Select Home Warranty

Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.

Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.

They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.

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