Five Steps to Choose the Right Home Warranty

I know it’s not normal to admit it, but I’m a warranty nerd. I spend a lot more time researching the home warranty industry than most people. But it’s sort of my job, so I feel less awkward admitting that I get excited over talking with people who are not familiar with home warranties, also called home service contracts. I like telling people about the service and helping them with their questions.

One of the questions I hear most often is “how do I choose a home warranty?”

The answer is initially easy but gets more complex as I go on with explaining the process. So I like to break down the process to five easy steps in order to make it all more manageable.

Step one: Do you need it?

Before you buy anything you really should decide whether you need it or not. With home service contracts it’s pretty simple to do this. First, is the home you want to cover with the contract brand new? If so then are you only looking to cover the appliances? If the answer is no then you probably don’t need the contract. If the answer is yes then the next question is whether or not the appliances you want to cover are out of the manufacturer or retailer’s warranty or service contract. If you say yes to this one then it’s time to shop for a home warranty. If not then you should probably wait until your appliances are no longer covered and then look into getting a contract to provide repair services.

Steps to Choose the Right Home Warranty

Step two: How much do you need?

This part is really important! Your livable square footage and the items you want to cover should be known before you begin shopping for a home warranty. Knowing these things ahead of time will allow you to get the most accurate price and coverage quote.  Do not go with a generic price and coverage quote or buy online without speaking to a company representative unless you are absolutely certain that the contract you are purchasing is exactly what you need.

Step three: Which companies cover your zip code?

Maybe you live in a highly populated place, or maybe you don’t.  This can affect how many service technicians are in your area.  And that can affect how many home warranty companies will offer to cover your home.  It pays to know whether or not a company covers your area before you get into examining price and coverage quotes.  You’ll waste time talking with the wrong companies if you’re not careful.

The easiest way is to go online to find home warranty companies that serve your area and short list them.

Step four: Do you already have things breaking or about to break?

This part is extremely important.  Some companies have periods of time after you sign up when they will not cover repairs.  You should ask if this is the case.  And you should also ask if things that were already broken or about to break are still covered by the home service contract.  Many companies in the home warranty industry have exclusions in their contracts for things that were not working properly or not properly maintained before you became their customer.  And in some cases the fine print in the home warranty contracts may require you to submit maintenance records or otherwise prove that something that breaks was not poorly maintained or repaired improperly prior to becoming a customer.

Step five: Read reviews and contracts carefully!

Along with understanding the exclusions mentioned in step four, this is the most important of all steps.  Do not buy a home warranty until you have read a number of reviews on reputable consumer review websites.  And do not trust websites that rank companies based on advertising dollars those companies spend with the websites.  You can usually trust services such as Angie’s List to provide objective information based on real consumer feedback.  But many fly-by-night websites cannot be trusted and will steer you toward whatever company is paying them the most for advertising or other marketing services.  The ultimate and best resource is a friend or family member who has experience buying home service contracts for their own homes.  Once you’ve gotten reviews or first hand experiences from other consumers you need to read the contracts you are considering buying, word for word.  Don’t skip things just because the contracts are dull reading material, and don’t overlook things that you think are not clear or worded suspiciously.  If you talk with a company representative about parts of the contract which concern you then you should either get a better feeling or an intuitive feeling that this company is not the right one for you.  And that’s how you make the best decisions when buying any product or service.

As you shop for a home warranty please keep in mind that these contracts do save some homeowners money, not to mention time finding a screened contractor on short notice.  But in some cases it makes just as much sense to put away money in a savings account that earns interest and leave that money for emergencies.  Ultimately the decision is up to each individual homeowner, and it’s not always an easy one to make.  If you are not sure you understand how best to calculate your potential savings on home warranty, you can use this excellent calculator provided here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com!

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.






Gas grillNothing announces the advent of summer like firing up the grill. Sadly, nothing spoils a summer party faster than a grill that won’t light, cooks unequally or smokes too much. Marinades, Grease, and sauces cause mess on gas burners, while charcoal grills endure the corrosive properties of charcoal.

All professionals know the value of their tools. The basketball players have their shoes. The surgeons have their knife. And you have your grill. The perfect tool can aid you get the job done with the greatest of ease. But before showing off your grilling skills to everyone, you must know how to care for your grill.

Grills of all types, from simple kettles to stainless steel restaurant-grade infrared grills, need maintenance to guarantee that they perform and last. A careful cleaning makes sure that the burners fire well, heat distributes equally, and the grill is safe. Usual maintenance of your home  lets you catch problems like rust early on.

Without correct grill maintenance, you are just playing with fire!

For a successful season of grilling, you need a clean, reliable grill.

Easy Maintenance Tips for Grills

Follow these tips to keep your grill in fine working order – and have delicious meals for many summers to come.

Cleaning a gas grill1. Not all Grills are Created Equal.

Always study your owner’s manual for detailed guidelines and cleaning instructions. Most are obtainable online at the grill manufacturer’s website.

2. Clean After Every Use.

Regardless of what type of grill you have, you must clean it regularly. Clean and reliable grills work better, last longer and won’t have a terrible taste on food. This is particularly true for cooking grates, which, if left unclean, can harbor bacteria that could contaminate your food.

3. Keep it Hot.

The best time to clean a grill is just after food is removed, as the cooler you allow your grill to get, the more time you are giving stuck-on food and grease to set. Heat makes it simpler to take out food particles, so get at it while it’s very high in temperature.

4. Use Protection.

After every use, put a grill cover over your cooled, cleaned grill, and if possible, store in a sheltered area. This is mainly important during the off season to help avoid dirt buildup, mechanical failures and rusting.

5. Keep Up Appearances.

After every use, take away dirt and grease from the outside of your grill. If you see rust spots or areas where paint is coming off, use grill-safe paints for external touch-ups.

Cleaning your Grill

Simple and easy cleaning will increase your grill’s grilling potential for many years.

Cleaning cooking grates1. Cooking Grates

  1. Clean them after each use. Here’s how to do it easily and quickly
  2. If your grill has cooled, close the top and turn up the heat for about 5 to 10 minutes
  3. Use the back end of a stiff wire brush to rub off cooked-on remains
  4. Make use of brush side to take out all remaining particles and grease
  5. Put out the flame and allow the grill to cool
  6. Coat grates with a paper towel or cooking spray to avoid future buildup

Charcoal grill2. Charcoal Grills

Low maintained charcoal grills are more inclined to rust. After each use, and after the grill has fully cooled, remove grates and clear your ash catcher; or take out ashes using a large spoon or garden trowel. Then employ your wire brush to remove any remains.

Extend the long life of your grill with a careful preseason cleaning. Remove each detachable piece, and clean individual parts with warm, soapy water and a wire brush. Allow cooking grates to soak for 15 to 30 minutes before scrubbing. Heat the grill completely for about 15 minutes to burn off any remaining soap residue before using.

Outdoor gas grill3. Propane or Gas Grills

These grills at times have a misleading “clean” knob or a “self-clean” setting, but these settings will burn off only some stuck-on food. In case your grill has a setting like this, use it to preheat before cleaning grates.

Lift the grate and gently clean the barriers above the burners. The barriers could be lava rocks, ceramic briquettes or metal plates. If it is ceramic or rock, use a soft cloth, as these surfaces are more delicate than metal. Employ your wire brush to clean metal plates.

Cleaning grill with Wire Brush4. The Emergency Deep Clean.

In order to remove baked-on food or grease, wrap cooking grates tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil- shiny side out – and put on a heated grill for about 15 to 30 minutes, depending on severity. Allow the grates to cool and then unwrap the foil. If that does not work completely, follow up with a wire brush and warm soapy water.

Follow these simple grill maintenance tips and you will have a trouble free barbecue season this year! So get out there, clean the grill and just don’t forget to use these great grill maintenance tips.

Good maintenance will extend the life and working of the grill.

Read more about how to prolong life of your appliances.




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.




When it comes to appliance warranty protection plans, the choices are plenty. Should you buy a comprehensive home warranty or extended warranty at the point of sale? While home warranty is like an umbrella insurance that covers all major home appliances, extended warranty is purchased for each appliance separately.

extended warranty

Home warranties will charge annual premium and deductibles per repair incident but they can be purchased anytime during the life-cycle of the product. Extended warranties will charge up front fees, but no deductible per incident and these protection plans are generally sold during the initial stages of product’s use, although there are exceptions.

Generally, home warranties cover all used appliances, but extended warranties cover new items only. Recently, Warranty Week ran an article that questioned whether there is an overlap between the two. They interviewed several executives from home warranty and extended warranty companies. The general consensus appears to be that, there is some overlap, however two types of warranties serve different purposes.

Mike Frosch, president of The Warranty Group, North America, said “Home warranties are great, when you’re buying or selling a house and want to cover used appliances immediately. Service contracts are great, when you’re shopping for new appliances and want to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for additional years. So in a sense, the coverage may overlap, but the offers don’t really compete. When you buy a home warranty, for the sake of argument let’s say it’s $450. It’s a one-year coverage on used equipment. It’s providing some coverage on some amount of appliances, but it’s really about heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electric”

In our view, they do overlap if you are talking about big ticket appliances, but there is no need to buy both. If you are buying a new appliance, chances of it failing in the first 3-5 years is far less assuming you have researched the product before buying. So, there is no real need for extended warranties.

However, if homeowners still want peace of mind coverage, then they should simply go with home warranty as it covers all appliances in your home not just one specific product. The home warranty costs are higher than the extended warranty, however it covers far more items and you have a single point of contact for all repair needs.

Extended warranty companies argue that they provide better service and offer more economic protection plans. The argument is compelling on the surface, but keep in mind home warranties are useful where there is frequent need for repair such as old appliances.

We wonder what would be the service level if extended warranty companies offer maintenance service of 10-15 years old appliances such as heaters and air conditioners. The repair needs are much higher and their profit margins are much lower. Generally extended warranties are bought for new electronics items and repair incidents are much lower. For this reason, we think it is a wise decision not to buy extended warranty at point of purchase.




Green Landscaping is a new trend of sorts and it causes the least harm to our nature so I suggest that you read on. You might already know that Landscaping is essentially the practice of improving the aesthetic appearance of a confined or set area by making use of colors, contours, trees, or plants, you name it. Altering the visible features of an area immensely influences the emotions of the people who constantly occupy that area.

Green landscaping

Over the years, Landscaping has become more than a hobby to many. With the rising amount of pollution and falling levels of energy resources, you may want to consider an alternate way of Landscaping. Why not adopt a method that will not only make your yard stunningly beautiful, but will also help you save the environment and conserve energy too?

That’s what Green Landscaping is all about. Green landscaping, also called as sustainable or eco-landscaping makes use of methods that do not harm the environment in any way. It uses less water, protects the natural vegetation by making use of native or naturalized species, manages the waste disposal efficiently and also optimizes energy usage. And guess what? The costs are much lower too! On the whole it offers healthier and inspirational spaces to people.

People who take up Green Landscaping are often called Green Landscapers, and trust me when I say this, they are not lazy, jobless people who took to Green Landscaping just to kill time. They are highly motivated and they don’t take environmental issues lightly. Green Landscapers treat their designs the way other people would treat Home Insurance, everything must be covered. Based on reading so far, if you genuinely want to start one on your own, do read the rest of the article.

Planning Green Landscape

1. Assess your property

Begin by assessing the site where you plan to start your green landscaping activity. Pay attention to the following:

  • Type of soil– Your soil could be acidic or alkaline. In certain cases soil may contain small amounts of lead, this could be dangerous if your little ones play in it. It is suggested that you get your soil checked. You can call the following number for details – National Lead Information Center at 1-800-424-LEAD
  • Location– Inspect the other details of your site. Determine the amount of sunlight received, mark areas where underground utilities and overhead power supplies are present. Note the shape and size of the property and try to convert that into a map on paper.

2. Research and Plan

  • Brainstorm– Decide what you want your yard to be. It could be a play area, outdoor dining or maybe a bubble to save you from the rest of the world. It’s your choice and it could be anything. However if you plan to start anything that primarily involves plants and vegetation, you should make sure that your site receives ample sunlight. You can also mark the areas that do receive sunlight and use them exclusively for vegetation.
  • Research– If you already have some vegetation there, try to do some research to identify what species they are. It is also suggested that you identify what plants grow in your soil. If you wish to attract a special kind of wildlife, study their behavior and decide what should be put up so that they would flock into your garden.
  • Plan– Once you have gathered all the information, draw up a map and start working on it by breaking it down into manageable parts.

Creating a Green Landscape

The most basic form of Green Landscaping requires minimum effort. All you have to do is reduce the amount of solid waste and conserve water. Eg, you could simply create a compost pile instead of bagging your twigs and leaves.

Don’t see what’s the fun in the idea you just read above? Fair enough, here are some elaborate methods

  • Go green: Since Green Landscaping essentially involves plants ( thats’ a no brainer), make sure you have plenty of them. If there isn’t enough native vegetation, you could plant some after determining the behavior of your soil.
  • Restore drainage conditions: All plants require moisture to thrive well. However excess water may cause them to rot. So it is important that water does not collect at the base of your plants. If you want to incorporate a method that saves water you could try to water your lawn less during summer. You see, grass are programmed in a way that allows them a certain period of dormancy during the summer heat.
  • Promoting soil chemistry and biota: Plants are the keystone species in any garden. What you plant should not contradict the natural ecological profile. If you have your keystone species in place, everything will turn out right.
  • Say no to chemicals: Reduce or better totally avoid the use of chemical fertilizers in your garden. These chemicals tend to pollute the soil, water and air around you. You can always use compost instead. However if you are adamant that you need fertilizers, make sure you use them during fall and spring only. That’s the time it is most beneficial to plants.
  • Reduce emissions: I’ve heard the EPA say that lawn mowers, snow blowers, leaf vacuums and chainsaws are major contributors to the rising pollution. Try to use them as little as possible. You can try shifting to electrically powered tools. This will only reduce pollution as electrical tools also produce emissions. The best way out of this is to use manual tools. It will make sure that no emissions are involved and will also give you some amount of physical exercise. You can cut your gym bills by doing this one.
  • Waste not, Want not: As mentioned before never dispose off your solid plant wastes. They can be the best of fertilizers once they decay. Also avoid throwing around clipped grass and leaves, they can be major sources of water pollution. Recycle your garden pots and flats whenever you can. Try to share large tools with your neighbors. Most importantly save and conserve as much water as you can. Place rain barrels in your yard if you live in a region that receives ample rainfall.

The Bottom-line

 If  I were to write down all the details about green landscaping, I would easily use up an entire hard-disk (of one TB). It is not an easy task, but once you can get into the flow of it, it will be easy and highly rewarding. With the current rate of  fuel consumption, our environment is dying out fast. Nobody wishes to leave behind rotten goods for their children. Do what you can to save nature. Let’s adopt Green Landscaping and make this world a better place to live in.

 




Warranties for newly built homes guarantee to replace or repair certain elements of the home, if needed, within a definite time. If you are bearing mind a new home warranty, it is significant to realize what it covers, how to make a claim, and the procedure for resolving disputes with the builder or warranty company.

Protection for your Newly Built Home

Home warranty for new homes

A new home warranty can offer peace of mind for homeowners, assuring that if something goes wrong in the early stages of a home’s life, it will be covered. Many appliance service contracts sold to homeowners are backed by the builder; others are procured by the builder from an independent company that presumes liability for certain claims. For added protection, homeowners may pay for coverage on their own from third party warranty companies in order to supplement the coverage their builder offers. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs want builders to buy a third-party warranty as a way to defend buyers of new homes with FHA or VA loans.

New Home Warranty: What’s Covered?

New home warranties usually offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to different components of the home, such as heating, windows and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, and plumbing for definite periods. A warranty also normally defines how repairs will be made.

The length of coverage differs depending on the component of the house. Coverage is offered for workmanship and materials on most components all through the first year. Coverage for plumbing, electrical systems and HVAC is usually two years. Some builders offer coverage for up to 10 years for “major structural defects,” sometimes defined as problems that make a home insecure and put the owner in danger. For example, a roof that could crumple is a “major structural defect.”

Nearly all warranties for newly built homes, however, do not cover costs an owner may acquire as an outcome of a major construction defect on warranty repair, similar to the expense of having to move out of one’s home while repairs are being made. Nor do they in general cover:

  • Household appliances
  • Small cracks in brick, tile, cement or drywall
  • Components covered under a manufacturer’s warranty

To know more about coverage, look into what’s typically covered in a home warranty plan.

Filing a Claim

If you have a flaw in your new home that may be covered by your warranty, first study the warranty or service contract cautiously to ensure that your problem is covered. Give particular concentration to the length of specific types of coverage.Home Warranty Claim Form

Specialists suggest that its owners pursue the matter with both the original builder and the home warranty company. The builder possibly will defer to the warranty company, but at least they have been alerted.

Homeowners must make a list of the troubles that they want to get resolved and should make sure that the problems are covered under the home warranty. Pay attention to the “performance standard” section of the document, which records common problems and explains to what extent the builder is liable for fixing them.

Next, file your claim as per the instructions in your warranty, and put your application for repair in writing, even though the company offers a hotline for urgent needs. Ask for a return receipt, and keep a record of your correspondence and conversations with the company. Probabilities are your claim will be managed to your satisfaction, but if a dispute occurs, it’s good to have a record of your dealings with the builder and the warranty company.

In best-case scenario, the builder or the home warranty company will fix the problem. If issues continue, however, the problem could go to settlement.

Protect Yourself from Future Problems

One way to safeguard against future problems is to appoint a home inspector to inspect the house before taking custody. Many new homeowners think that they don’t need a home inspection since municipal building inspectors have signed off on the work done in the home; the house is new; and it is covered by a home warranty.

New homeowners should also bear in mind to keep a maintenance file comprising documentation of everything done on the home, including regular and special maintenance. The paperwork will come in handy if a claim is required.

In filing a claim, homeowners must keep in mind to be persistent. It may take a while. In the end, diligence pays.

New Home Warranty: Disputes

Frequently, a dispute occurs between a homeowner and a builder or third party company over whether a defect is covered or whether repair was finished appropriately. Many warranties provide for meditation of disputed warranty claims on newly built homes, followed by compulsory binding arbitration. In meditation, a unbiased third party – a mediator – assists the homeowner and the company resolve the problem by making the discussion easy between both parties. It is up to the homeowner and the company to settle an agreement.

In case meditation does not work to resolve the dispute, it is possible that the homeowner would be needed to put forward any claim to arbitration, instead of going to the court. In this procedure, an “arbitrator” or panel makes a decision or award once the participants present their cases. Some warranties let the homeowners pick an arbitrator from a list acceptable to the builder or the third-party warranty company.

Arbitration is less formal than court. Most warranties want that both parties obey the arbitrator’s decision, without appeal. If your loan is funded through the FHA or VA and you file a claim against the third-party warranty company, you can opt between arbitration and going to court. If you pick arbitration, realize that you are bound by the verdict.

Costs of a New Home Warranty

Home Savings

Even though arbitration is normally less pricey than going to court, home owners can anticipate shelling out several thousand dollars so as to take their claim through the process, based on the complexity of the arbitration. Understand your warranties carefully to decide what arbitration outlays or costs the homeowner is liable for and what expenses the builder must pay.

A few companies provide homeowners the option of arbitration or going to court. Sometimes builders disburse all costs related with arbitration to support a homeowner to agree not to take the issue to court.

You can also use our absolutely cool tool to get a free home warranty quote!

More Information on New Home Warranty

To discover more about warranties on newly built homes, get in touch with your state or local builder’s board. If you have loan insured by FHA, call the closest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development field office for additional information. In case you have a VA loan, you can contact the nearest VA office.

Further, you can also compare and choose home warranty companies depending upon your requirements.




Most of us consider homeownership as a treasured experience. It is a common dream to own a home someday. While the experience is indeed one that gives tremendous joy, it too has a certain not so joyous side. Most common troubles associated with homeownership are usually monetary in nature. Let’s take a look at some of the statistics that are sure to shock you!

Real cost of being a homeowner

For many, the initial days of being a homeowner are filled with happiness and a sense of accomplishment. Once those days pass, the reality sinks in, homeownership is a pricey experience. For those of you who are not aware of the various costs that are associated with homeownership, this article may surprise! We’ve borrowed the results from the U.S. Census Board’s survey that conducted a study to identify the various costs of being a homeowner. Let’s take a look at some such costs

.Home Ownership Cost

#1 – Home Maintenance & Appliance Repairs

This is a very familiar term. Everyone knows that a house will require maintenance, but does anyone know exactly how much? The Census Board believes that, on average, every home requires annual maintenance costs that is around 1-4% of the home’s value. And this percentage steadily rises as the house ages.

It’s no big secret that appliance repairs/ replacements are expensive affairs. Maintaining them will be hard on your budget if you don’t have any form of protection or service contract for that. As per the studies, home maintenance makes for the biggest chunk of expense any homeowner is bound to encounter.

Research revealed that on an average a $200,000 home will require at least $2,000 in repairs and general maintenance expenses alone. Average appliance repair costs alone range between $100 to $350 in a year. This is precisely why home warranty plans were invented. Such plans cost only around $200-$600 a year and they will provide you with discounted repairs/replacements, which in the long run would help you save thousands of dollars!

#2 – Property Tax

This too should be a familiar term. The Census Board says that between the years 2007-2011, around 60% of the counties in U.S. reported the average property tax to be somewhere around $500 – $1,500. Here’s a fact to shock the living daylights out of you, the average annual property tax in Westchester county, NY was $9,647. Worried?

#3 – Heating & Cooling costs

Now this one must not have crossed your mind. Almost all homes in U.S. are equipped in heating and cooling units. As per surveys, home’s using electricity for heating will spend $900, homes using propane $1,666 and homes using heating oil will spend $2,400 on average heating costs.

Cooling thankfully runs on electricity alone and research suggests that on average a home incurs around $300 annually by using air conditioning systems.

#4 – HVAC repair

Yet another one that makes up for one big chunk of money. HVAC repairs, on average cost around $400 a year. Furnace repairs sometimes cost upto $800 a year. At least for the sake of avoiding such expenses for HVAC units, we recommend that you purchase a home warranty plan. $300 a year for a host of appliances is better than $800 a year for one unit. Is it not?

And that’s NOT all!

Sadly this list does not cover all the expenses that a homeowner has to meet, it lists only the main ones. We strongly recommend our readers to go through the various benefits of home warranty and to purchase one if your home and its contents are 4+ years old. You can even use our website to obtain a free quote and to take a look at top 10 home warranty companies.

Our readers are encouraged to approach us should they have any concerns or queries. We hope you enjoyed reading this article. Do come back for more. Cheers!




If you have been planning to buy a house or you have already bought a house, realizing the importance of homeowners insurance is very important. Make sure you have adequate coverage. Studies reveal that approximately 20% of the Americans have cut back on their insurance costs to meet their other monthly financial obligations.

Home Insurance Premium

However, insurance coverage is one thing that should never be compromised upon. Your home insurance should be such that it should not only give you adequate coverage but it should also do justice to the amount you shell out as premium. And your premium should be within your reach. It is only when you find it difficult to make payments for the premium that the insurance policy appears to be a financial burden to you.

The ideal way to find the best quote for homeowners insurance  is to shop around. You can compare quotes online or talk to insurance carriers personally. There are many insurance carriers that offer different plans to meet the requirements of the consumers. You can try out these and after evaluating the pros and cons of the plan, should you buy your  insurance policy.

It is very important that you are not underinsured. If you save some cash now by staying underinsured, you may have to shell out just the double in case of a financial emergency or an unforeseen event.

Ways to cut down homeowners insurance costs

Instead of buying inadequate coverage for your homeowners insurance policy, there are many things you can do to cut down expenses related to your insurance policy in a reasonable manner. Given below are few measures you can take to reduce insurance costs.

  • Do not insure the land, insure your home – The land that is attached to your house isn’t prone to theft, fire or windstorms. So, don’t waste money by insuring the land too. Insure your house and its belongings instead.
  • Enhance safety and security measures – You can install safety devices such as safety alarms and burglar alarm to enhance the safety and security of your house. It reduces the insurance cost to a great extent. And you may also avail discounts up to 20%.
  • Review your policy once a year – You want to get adequate coverage. So, if you review or check your home insurance policy every year, you will be able to make the necessary changes and adjustments as needed.
  • Stick to a single insurer – If you have been with one insurance carrier for several years, your insurance carrier may extend special discount to you. Studies reveal that several insurance carriers offer approximately 5% discount to consumers who have been with the same insurance carrier for a period of 3 years or more. And if you have managed to continue with the same insurance carrier for a period of 6 years, you can as well be given a discount of 10%.
  • Make electronic payments – It has been observed that there are many insurance carriers that charge approximately USD$5 for sending payments by mail. The best way to make your insurance payment is to have your premium deducted directly from your account. So, try to make payments electronically.
  • Review your credit rating – Maintain a good credit rating and make sure you keep track of the same. Often insurance carriers allow you to enjoy better rates if you have a good credit rating,

So, when you have the above measures to keep your insurance cost down, it is not necessary to reduce the coverage to save costs.




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.

 




Public Service Enterprise Group (PSE&G) is an energy company headquartered in New Jersey. They also have a host of products meant for homeowners across NJ. Here, we will be reviewing their appliance repair services.

WorryFree is an appliance protection plan covering a range of heating, cooling and appliance repair/replacement services. The protection plans are offered by PSE&G to New Jersey residents. The company claims that customers who move to Worry Free protection, experience peace of mind and budget protection.

Services Included in the WorryFree Protection Plan

  • Repair services when an appliance breaks down.
  • Replacement services when it is time to buy a NEW heating, cooling or water heating equipment.
  • Contracts for household appliances when you wish to enhance your coverage.

Repair services

The company is said to have a large team of skilled contractors who provide efficient repair services. Here is the list of heating and cooling devices PSE&G WorryFree plan repairs for you.

  • Gas Furnace/Boiler repairs
  • Central Air Conditioning repairs
  • Gas and Electric Water Heater repairs
  • Refrigerator repairs
  • Gas and Electric Range/Stove repairs
  • Dishwasher repairs
  • Washing Machine repairs
  • Gas and Electric Dryer repairs
  • Gas Grill repairs
  • Gas Pool Heater repairs
  • Gas Outdoor Lamp repairs
  • Gas Fireplace Log repairs
  • Gas Space Heater repairs
  • Heat Pump repairs
  • Ductless Heating and Cooling System repairs

To schedule a repair service, customers can simply visit their website and place a call to the customer service center number provided onsite. After providing all the relevant information, the representative will then schedule the appointment at the earliest.

Replacements services

All NJ customers receive replacement services when they sign up for the WorryFree plan. To avail this service, customers must call up the company to get a free estimate and information about the various replacement options. Customers may even qualify for N.J state rebates up to $900. For further details, readers are requested to visit their website.

Business protection services

PSE&G also offers business protection to N.J. business customers. A WorryFree Business Heating Protection Plan is said to be one that provides fast service when you are in need. It covers your water heater (gas) PLUS one gas boiler furnace OR one rooftop gas heating unit.
The company claims that you can avail additional benefits like the following:

  • Dependable coverage for repair service and certain parts that manufacturers’ warranties often omit.
  • Zero deductible or labor charge to replace covered parts.
  • Zero price increases because your appliances are aging.
  • No exclusions based on make or model.
  • Fast response for repair work from New Jersey’s largest fleet of appliance repair trucks.
  • Online account access and scheduling – 24/7!

Review

Reviews and feedback reported about the WorryFree plans by PSE&G are mixed to positive, with positive reviews being reported more often. Like most companies that sell home warranty services and products, PSE&G too will have their own set of hurdles. On the whole, the plans seem to be as good as warranty plans provided by other reputable companies. However, since warranty needs vary from person to person, only a customer can make a choice on whether the plans are suited for his needs or not. We suggest that our readers visit the website of PSE&G to gather further information about their plans and services before you make a purchase

Contact PSE&G

Official website: pseg.com
Contact number: 800-4367734
Address:
35 Journal Square Suite #2, Jersey City, NJ 07306 (corner of Bergen and Newkirk St.)
317 George St. New Brunswick, NJ 08901




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

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

Consider Your Options

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

How much peace of mind do you require?

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

Should you renew your home warranty program?

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

Things to Consider When Renewing

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




According to a news release, Atlanta based AGL Resources, Detroit-based DTE Energy and Tampa-based TECO Energy, Inc. have formed a joint venture to offer home warranty products and services under the brand name “UtiliPRO”

UtiliPRO

UtiliPRO home warranty plan will be launched in Georgia before opening for business in other AGL Resources territories, including Tennessee, Virginia, Maryland and New Jersey and possibly other states also. The firm was established at the tail end of 2009 and is based in Atlanta. UtiliPRO will be headed by former DTE Energy director of business development Kevin McCrackin.

UtiliPRO initially is offering a home warranty appliance repair program that will cover both natural gas and electric appliances as well. The program details are not available, but it appears the company will cover only heating and cooling appliances. Most of the home warranty companies such as American Home Shield offer a blanket policy covering many other appliances in the home. This program is unusual, however, the repair or replacement costs are much higher for heating appliances, so consumers might be willing to pay less and have coverage for large appliances.

“Given current economic conditions, this is an ideal time to launch this new business,” said John W. Somerhalder II, chairman, president and CEO of AGL Resources. “UtiliPRO will help people manage unplanned and expensive repairs of their most important appliances.”

Kevin McCrackin said the backing and experience of three well-regarded utilities – AGL Resources, DTE Energy and TECO Energy – with a desire to provide valued products and services during these challenging times will differentiate UtiliPRO from traditional providers of home warranties.

“UtiliPRO combines the utility business appreciation for effective, efficient processes that deliver consistent, quality service with in-the-home, beyond-the-meter products and services that extend the public trust of their utility into a more direct customer relationship,” McCrackin said.




Most homeowners are quite concerned about maintaining their household appliances in good working condition. Any homeowner worth his salt will admit that it is no easy task. Hence it calls for some expertise in the form of appliance maintenance plans. What confuses homeowners is the fact that there are so many appliance maintenance plans out there and they end up wondering which ones to sign up for!

Here’s an article that’ll help you decide what plans you need to buy to ensure smooth running of your household appliances, while going easy on the pocket too.

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.

  1. Age of your appliances: If your appliances are 4+ yrs old, you may need a maintenance plan.
  2. Availability of a trusted contractor: If you don’t have a contractor you can rely upon, it is highly recommended that you purchase a home protection plan.
  3. Sufficient funds for frequent repairs and replacements: Repairs and replacements are expensive to get done. Makes more sense to buy protections plans, right?
  4. Time and skill for DIY repairs: Unless you are a contractor yourself, it is advised that you seek professional help in case an appliance crashes.

In short, folks who have old appliances, lack DIY repair skills and sufficient money and do not have a trusted contractor should purchase some form of protection for their household appliances.

What plan do I purchase?

Let’s make this easier for you. An HVAC maintenance plan covers only heating, ventilation and cooling units. A basic home warranty plan covers all the major systems and appliances in the home which includes HVAC units and other appliances too. In simple terms, the coverage is often more for home warranty contracts.

Let’s take a look at some of the common advantages

  1. Budget protection
  2. Service from qualified and skilled professionals
  3. Increases value of property at the time of sale
  4. Peace of mind.

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

  • Often includes annual/ half-yearly maintenance routines.
  • Discount on labor and parts
  • May help lower electricity bills

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

  • Wider coverage. Protects more than just HVAC units. Coverage can be extended as per homeowner’s wish
  • Covers damage that occurs due to regular wear and tear and sometimes even due to lack of maintenance. This does not apply to HVAC maintenance plans.
  • Affordable and transferrable
  • Increases the value of property at the time of sale

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

  • Homeowners who have no time for repairing and maintaining their HVAC units themselves
  • People who don’t have the budget to carry out regular maintenance routines
  • People whose other appliances and systems are reasonably new and well-maintained
  • Folks who require budget protection

The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.

Who needs a Home Warranty?

Homeowners whose homes are aged should definitely think about purchasing a home warranty plan. It covers more than just your HVAC units. Ideally, following are the types of homeowners who need a home service contract:

  • Homeowners whose homes and the components in it are 4+ yrs old
  • People who lack time and skill for DIY repairs
  • People who lack sufficient funds for costly repairs and replacement services
  • Folks who are first time homeowners

Still undecided?

Although most home warranty plans include coverage for HVAC units, the services are not as extensive as provided by an HVAC plan built specifically with heating and cooling needs in mind. If you feel that you are okay with basic coverage, then it would make more sense to go for a home warranty as your other appliances get protection too. Another option (safer one) is to buy a home warranty plan that covers on general household appliances and electrical systems and then to top it up with an HVAC plan. It may cost a little more than just a single plan, but it will be useful in the long run.

Yet another vital thing to do is to get your HVAC appliances get checked by a professional at least once a year. Regular maintenance checks are often helpful in diagnosing problems at an early state. Hence, no matter what the age or the make is, annual maintenance checks are a must for every HVAC appliance/system.

You can also read about Home Maintenance Tips on our website. We host several articles that explain the maintenance regimes for various household appliances and systems.

Remember, no matter how much thought you give into deciding a plan, if you don’t take the same effort for picking a reputable company, it may disappoint you. Always, we repeat, always select a trusted warranty provider and do sufficient research before you sign the contract. You can visit websites like ours, HomeWarrantyReviews.com, to see reviews and ratings about various warranty providers. Our website provide readers with reviews from genuine customers who are more than willing to share their experiences with others.




Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services.  Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:

Stanley Warranty

The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices.  In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers.  Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers.  Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.

Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.

This Isn’t The First Time That A Home Warranty Company Has Gone Belly Up

Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors.  It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.

Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection.  Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors.  Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.

The Signs Were All Over The Place That Stanley Warranty Was Trouble

Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative.  The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf.  Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.

On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers.  On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds.  That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016.  Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing.  And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.

Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees.  Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call.  For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers.  And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.

What Happens Next May Not Be Good For Stanley Warranty’s Pre-Paid Customers

The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks.  Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and  Certified Warranties Corporation.  All of these companies have something in common.  They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.  

This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening.  As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance.  All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.

In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim.  It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight.  But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice.  Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:

Do your homework!  Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase.  Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States.  That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource.  Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening.  One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims.  Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.

Be safe out there.  And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.




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.




This infographic depicts the most basic definition of what a Home Warranty is all about. Although the title says that it is for dummies, we’re sure that even people with average/ above average intelligence can keep up!

Now, an appliance warranty is a form of protection your purchase for your household appliances and systems. It is a contract that offers to provide you discounted repair and replacement services should your device sustain any damages.

Home Warranty Dummies

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Coverage

As you can see in the infographic, all major systems and appliances are covered. Now that would include refrigerator, built in ovens and microwaves, washer/ dryer, HVAC units and major systems like plumbing and electrical units. Additional coverage can always be purchased, so you can rest assured that all your devices can be protected!

How Does Home Warranty Plan Work?

This is how it works. When your covered device gets damaged, you simply place a call to the warranty company explaining your situation. If the damage is not an excluded one, your claim will be taken up. The warranty company then sends a technician to your home to fix the damage.

Claims

Let’s discuss the claims part. Like we said, when you notice a damage, all you need to do is inform the warranty company about it. Did you notice that title saying “Common reasons for claim denials”? Yes it is true. Although this does not happen often, it is still noticed that companies often deny claims. The grounds for claim denial varies from company to company and can be understood only after you go through their policy booklet.

However, common reasons for denial are as follows

  • Insufficient maintenance
  • Improper installation
  • Code violations
  • Unusual wear and tear

Don’t worry too much about it. If you choose a reputable company, chances are low that your claims will be unjustly denied.

Premium and Deductible

Moving on, let’s discuss the premiums and deductibles involved. As the image says, the annual premium for most basic warranty plans are somewhere in the range of $250- $500. This can vary depending on the extent of coverage. Larger the coverage, higher the premium.

Each time you raise an issue, you will be expected to pay a deductible/ service call fee (it’s nominal, around $50). The happy news is that there are some companies offering plans at zero deductible.

So there! That’s what the infographic is all about. Isn’t it an awesome image? Cheers!




No human need is greater than a home to live in. While not all of us can afford to buy our dream houses, there are people who are not even sure buying is a good idea. The decision between buying and renting is one that has reduced many a strong willed man to tears.

As folks who work closely with homeowners, we have, over the years gathered knowledge about handling such dilemmas. So we thought we’d write an article to help those faced with the doubt that has plagued many of us – Should I buy a house or should I rent one?

Buying a house

Buying Vs. Renting A House

We know that it is not a silly decision. So here are some points you should give thought to before you lean towards one decision.

1. How long are you planning to live in that area?

This is something that should be considered before anything else. If you are in that city for an assignment or for a short duration, buying a house may not seem like a sensible option. If you plan to settle there permanently, looking into buying will be wise. Rent is often considered by many as dead money. That money never comes back or turns into an investment. So, give due thought to how long you plan to stay in an area and put that down on your list of things to consider.

2. How are your finances?

Does your bank balance match that of Arab Royals’? You could buy a mansion in that case. Is your balance the typical American average? Well, you could maybe buy a house with some aid from loans then. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, don’t even think about taking loans from several lenders to buy a house. Also, if you have no source of income, loans will never even be an option.

3. Are you looking for an investment or just a roof over your head?

If you plan to buy a house, redecorate and sell (which is an expensive but rewarding business idea), you could probably look into some options for buying. If you are just looking for accommodation, renting an affordable place might seem sensible.

4. Worried about landlord issues?

Believe us when we say this, some folks steer clear of the idea of renting because they are worried that the landlord might be a nightmare. However, don’t let this be the reason that deters from renting. Having a home of your own is indeed a satisfying feel but there is no reason why you should feel small because you stay in a rented house. For many, renting may make more sense financially than buying a home.

Perks Of Buying A House

Buying a house does have formidable benefits. Here are some of them-

  • Tax exemption for all payments you make towards buying a house.
  • A house of your own is a huge asset and can serve as an investment.
  • Mortgage rates are mostly fixed, unlike rent which could go up annually.
  • You could become part of the local community.
  • You’ll be free to do whatever you want in your space – decorate your home as you wish, invite guests as you want and live the way you chose :).

Disadvantages Of Owning A House

Like everything has two sides, owning a home too has a trying side. Let’s take a look at some common disadvantages of owning a house-

  • Maintenance. Or the excess of it. You may want to look into home warranty plans if you want to protect your budget from unexpected repairs.
  • Various kinds of taxes. You’ll have to pay them all!
  • Potential depreciation costs. If a crime/hazard happens in your neighborhood, the value of your home may fall below what you bought it for.
  • Paying for mandatory homeowner’s insurance, if you have a mortgage plan.

Perks Of Renting A House

Well, since it’s better suited for the not so well off, financially, renting offers many advantages over buying. Let’s take a look at some of them –

  • Very little maintenance required. If major systems get damaged, it’s mostly the landlord’s job to get it fixed.
  • No worries about owning a depreciating asset.
  • No mandatory insurances or protection plans, except maybe renter’s insurance.
  • Moving from one city to another or shifting, in general, is easier if you stay in a rented home.

Cons Of Renting A Home

Often called as a dead investment by many, renting comes with its set of heartbreaking disadvantages. Here are some of them-

  • Can’t redecorate/remodel your home as per your desires. Most rental agreements lay down clauses preventing the tenant from making any permanent changes to structures of the home.
  • No tax benefits. The money you pay every month is as good as lost.
  • Not your house, so not your rules. Some landlords are pretty strict about what activities can be done in their house.
  • Most landlords demand a yearly increase in the monthly rental amount.

The Bottom-Line

We can’t decide for you, but we can urge you to strongly consider every aspect before you make a choice. Owning a home is indeed a wonderful experience that is unmatched. If you are already a homeowner and if you are thinking about buying an additional house, we would recommend that you look into easy home maintenance tips & cleaning hacks. You may also want to compare top home warranty companies to ensure that your budget stays protected.




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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If you are shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, and you live in Florida then you probably know you have lots of options. But how do i find the best home warranty companies in Florida? What are the top rated companies in this state? These are valid questions. Let’s get down to answering them.

Florida is often called the sunshine state, and this is justified by the weather there. Orlando, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., typically still sees high temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit in November, according to weather website, Intellicast.com. Warm climates like that can really push air conditioning systems to the limit of the systems’ optimal performance standards.

Home Warranty Companies in Florida

Running the A/C year round results in much greater wear and tear and more frequent maintenance requirements. What does this have to do with choosing a home warranty company? Well, if your home is located in one of the warmer parts of Florida then your air conditioner may be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment covered by your service contract. So it’s important to choose the company that offers you the best coverage for that system.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback. And that’s important because it means you’re getting honest evaluations rather than biased ones based on how much the home warranty company pays to the reviewer. In the state of Florida here is the list of top companies based on the current standings on the website at the time this article was written (September 2015).

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty
  4. HSA Home Warranty
  5. Select Home Warranty
  6. Home Warranty of America

Chances are you’ve considered some of these companies during your search for a home warranty company. As top companies in the home warranty industry these are names that you’ll see in many states and regions in the country. But yours isn’t just any state. If it was it wouldn’t be a magnet for retirees, beach goers and vacationers of all ages, would it? As a Florida homeowner you need to know that the company you choose will come through for you when the temperature inside your home is equal to the temp outside. Let’s focus on air conditioning for a moment.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

AHS has loads of positive feedback in their recent reviews, but two in particular stand out. During the month of September two customers rated AHS five stars for air conditioner repairs. One customer remarked that when AHS found that all of its contractors were booked to help other customers the company told the homeowner to call any local contractor who could do the work on short notice. That sort of customer service could possibly mean the difference between your air conditioner being fixed quickly or waiting days for a qualified technician to be available.

2. The Home Service Club (HSC)

HSC also has some very positive review comments and ratings from consumers who specifically mentioned the air conditioner as the reason for the service call. In one review the homeowner remarked that the repair to the air conditioner would have cost a fortune if not for the service contract from HSC. While this may seem like anecdotal feedback, it’s important to note that not all companies reviewed on HomeWarrantyReviews.com have positive feedback from customers who had problems with air conditioning systems.

3. 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty

This company has some very positive reviews from customers whose air conditioners were serviced recently. Not one of the recent air conditioning related reviews had less than five star ratings.

4. HSA Home Warranty

In recent reviews for HSA Home Warranty there are three extremely positive reviews involving air conditioning system repairs. The customers not only were happy with the repairs but also with the speed with which the repair technicians were sent out by the home warranty company. With air conditioning being so important, the time it takes to get a technician to the home is one of the most important aspects of home warranty services.

5. Select Home Warranty

Out of six recent reviews which specifically mention the air conditioner being the reason for the service call, five of those are extremely positive. The one dissatisfied customer was upset due to a problem with the expiration and renewal period of the home warranty.

6. Home Warranty of America

HWA has six recent reviews that involved air conditioning. While it’s possible that even more of the reviews involve air conditioner issues, we will focus on these six. Five of the six reviews were highly positive, all earning the maximum number of stars from the reviewers. The one unhappy customer was a landlord who felt the technician sent by HWA did not make the correct judgement regarding the problem with the air conditioning system problem.

Are you starting to see a trend?

It’s not coincidence that these first three companies have overall high ratings from customers in your state and in other states. And though the companies deserve credit for the satisfied customers it’s important to note that the contractors they work with are also a big part of those good customer experiences. That leads us to the next point to consider. What type of contractor coverage do these companies have in your area?

If you live in a densely populated part of Florida then chances are any of these top rated companies will have sufficient contractor coverage to cover any repair needs that arise in your home. But if you live in a more rural part of Florida you’ll want to keep in mind that each contractor network is different. Be sure to ask about the local contractor coverage when you speak with a company about a home warranty price and coverage quote. And also be sure to ask if the company will allow you to choose your own contractor in the event the company’s network contractors are unavailable to help you or don’t have the right skill set to fix whatever is broken.

The good news is you live in a state with lots of great companies to offer you a home warranty. The bad news is you may have a hard time choosing a company due to all the options available. If that should happen then be sure to come back here to read the most current reviews for each company you are considering.