Guide To Structural Warranty For New Homes

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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HomeWarrantyReviews.com is dedicated to providing our readers the best and most complete source of real, honest reviews and ratings of home warranty companies.  Our reviews come from real homeowners who have firsthand experience with the home warranty companies, not paid writers who only evaluate the companies that pay for advertising.  We are the largest, and longest standing source of objective testimonials about home warranties on the Internet.  

Home warranties, also called home service contracts, cover the cost of repairs in the home.  These contracts also provide homeowners with prescreened contractors, something that is very valuable to anyone with a broken appliance or major systems such as air conditioning or heating.  Through reviews on our website readers can really get a feel for the service they might expect from certain companies.  But what else can be learned from reading our reviews?  Quite a lot actually.  For one, you just might learn which covered appliances and systems break down most often.

Recently we asked our team to tell us what appliances are mentioned most often in our reviews.  This is a good question, since reviewers on this website usually include some information about their recent repair claims.  Here’s what we found out.

We started with 11,000 reviews.  We chose words that relate easily to specific appliances and system components.  Words like “air” would most often relate to air conditioning.  Words like “dishwasher” are even easier to correlate to a specific home appliance.  The list also included words like “furnace.”  In the end, we had a list of 15 terms that we wanted to look for in those 11,000 reviews.  The results were not so surprising.

Which Appliances Break Most Often

Which appliances break most often?

According to our research, the HVAC system is mentioned in 72% of reviews!  Does this mean that you have a greater risk of your HVAC system breaking down than any other appliance or system in your home?  No, not at all.  What it does mean though is that homeowners who use home warranties and who take the time to review those companies on our website are using those contracts to repair central heating and cooling systems quite often.  And that can lead to some inferences that might help you if you’re in the market for a home warranty.

What about dishwashers?  Those appliances get used daily in the average home.  You might assume that dishwashers would be a pretty commonly reported appliance.  The numbers we looked at told a different story though.  Only 3% of the reviews we used for this study contained the word “dishwasher.”

Roughly 9% of reviews reported problems with the home’s water heater.  Another 2% had trouble with ovens.  When you look at ovens, water heaters and dishwashers, those three appliances only account for 14% of reviews.  Compare that with HVAC units and you can see what a huge difference there is between that one, a single category of repairs and all the others.  While this is not enough data to base a conclusion on, it would seem that anyone who purchases a home warranty and who has an HVAC system should make sure that the HVAC coverage is very good and that the company has a good history of covering HVAC repair claims.

Among the final 14% of reviews, there were many other items listed including furnaces (3% of reviews,) clothes dryers (2% of reviews,) and plumbing, which appeared in 5% of reviews.  The remaining 4% of reviews had a range of different appliances listed, including microwaves, both installed and free standing.

What can our research do for you as a home warranty shopper?

The main thing we’d like readers to take away from our findings is that reviewers overwhelmingly described problems with HVAC systems and other cooling and heating systems.  No other single category even came close to stacking up next to these major systems.  And that makes sense.  No other system is worked harder, particularly in homes that experience very hot and very cold seasons.  For you, as a reader, this might mean that you should seriously consider opting for a home warranty that covers your heating and cooling system, versus one that only covers the appliances in your home.  But there’s a bit more to consider.  Having coverage is great, but having good coverage is much better.  It doesn’t help you at all to have a home warranty if your claim is denied.  To choose a company with a good history of approving claims you need to do your homework.  And to do that you should read reviews here on our website until you feel confident you’ve found the best company for the most reasonable price.

 




So, you have decided to purchase a warranty that’s going to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of your household devices. It is a wise step, but you might also want to know about the options you have when you buy warranties. We bring you the list of the most common types of warranties that are purchased to cover household appliances.

Warranty Plans for Household Items

Warranties can differ based on several criteria. The age of appliances, age of the home, current conditions of the device are all significant factors that you must consider before you zero in on a household appliance protection plan.

 The working is pretty much the same for all these plans. When a device cracks, you inform the folks from whom you purchased the warranty and then they send over a technician to fix the damaged device. You will pay a service call charge each time you raise an issue. And, you can’t report multiple issues in a single call.

Before we go into all that, we have to tell you that the Homeowner’s insurance is something that is not included in this article. It is an entirely different plan and if you wish, you can read about the differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home warranty.

Let’s begin with the list

#1 Home Warranty

We bet that you have definitely heard about this one! This is also the most widely used plan. The Home Warranty also called as the Appliance Warranty/ Appliance protection plans ( it is known by quite a number of names, would take sometime to list them all out) is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances.

This plan is ideally suited for customers whose appliances are over 4 years. Appliance protection plan covers damages that result due to regular wear and tear, so if you have brand new devices, chances are that you won’t need frequent repairs.

Also, this is not a free of cost arrangement. As a matter of fact, none of the plans discussed here are free. They do cost money, but the amount is nominal as compared to how much you will be paying if you had to carry out the repairs and replacements by yourself.

Home warranties cover almost all the major appliances and systems in your home. They don’t cover the outdoor devices like sprinklers and all that. Read your policy document to get a better idea. You can also read a brief description about the appliances that are covered.

If you think that this is the ideal plan for you, we suggest that you read more about Home Warranty before you make a move.

#2 Manufacturer’s Warranty 

This too is a familiar name. It is the kind of warranty that the appliance’s manufacturer provides for a limited period of time. Meaning that when you purchase a brand new appliance, the manufacturer’s warranty agrees to repair/ replace your device if something happens to it during the stated warranty period. The time frame changes from manufacturer to manufacturer. The average is often 1 year.

This warranty is a kind of legal binding. If they displease you by not honoring the conditions mentioned in the warranty contract, you can sue them.

Most new gadgets come with a manufacturer’s warranty, even if you buy them online, you can get the manufacturer’s warranty. Major appliances like HVAC units come with longer warranty periods. But keep in mind that the coverage doesn’t remain the same thoughout the warranty period. From second year on-wards, you will be paying for the repair service as the coverage becomes limited to certain parts alone.

You can’t use a Home Warranty to cover a device that is already covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty. As stated before, Home warranty is for devices that are old, used and no longer covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.

#3 Seller’s warranty

Also called as the dealer’s warranty, and is the warranty that is provided by the seller of the device. This is a very short duration warranty, usually around 6 months and if a defect occurs within the stated time, you have to take the gadget to that particular seller itself and no one else. It is not a very flexible and easy plan, but it is definitely better than no warranty at all.

#4 Extended Warranty

This is the kind of warranty that gives you the choice to extend the manufacturer’s warranty as and when it expires. These are ideal for the devices that are not covered under the Home Warranty plans eg., TV, Laptops, etc.

You can’t avail extended warranty on used and old devices. They can only be taken for fairly new gadgets whose manufacturer’s warranty expired recently.

#5 Home service contracts

These are third party service contracts, often provided by the seller or repair vendors. The costs vary widely as these contracts are usually given by local yet licensed service vendors. The coverage also varies so it is difficult to give much details about this type of warranty.

Speak with a few vendors and compare with the other options you have.

Getting the best

Do your research to get the best out of Appliance warranties. Always ensure that you chose a reputable company. You can also check with the Better Business Bureau to ensure that the company you chose has a clean record. Friends and family can also recommend good companies for you.

Remember, any kind of warranty, if chosen wisely can benefit you immensely by protecting your budget and also by giving you peace of mind.




Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.

Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.

Cost consideration on home warranty

The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty.  Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.

Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.

Importance of extended home warranty

Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.

If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.

Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.




Farming is not an activity which can only be done in a vast plane area; it can also be confined to your house, home or an apartment. Sounds appealing, isn’t it? It isn’t a mammoth task, after all, it is feasible and easy! For starters, here are some tips on where to start from, to have a fun-filled family activity like Urban Farming and get health benefits too!

Essentials For Urban Farming In Your Apartment

Finding A Perfect Location

Urban Farming In Your Homes

A balcony or a patio would be the first option coming to your mind. It essentially should be your first option because it receives plenty of sunlight and has open spaces. One more benefit is that it will keep the soil away from the inner area of your home. You can beautifully decorate the plants on both sides by keeping a path for walking!

The front or backyard is all you have if you are a resident of a lower level. With a lot of unused space, a collective farming can also be put in. Although it might not be an ideal area to dig in for farming, you can line up containers and start growing them.

A fire escape can be a new way of urban farming. After leaving a little space for the footpath, place your containers in the landing. Even though it has limited space, it can be useful to grow something for yourself.

The handrails! Yes, you heard it right. With the same method you used for the fire escape, handrails can also be used to grow one or more produces for oneself.

Walls, for instance, provide a lot of space for vertical gardening that needs to be clamped to the wall. Thus, they should be followed up with asking for permission from your landlord.

Windowsill boxes are better than the walls as they do not need to be secured. You can just lay some containers with no other extra attachments.

Method Of Urban Farming To Be Used

  • The Vertical Farming: The best way to utilize the available space in an apartment is to go for the practice of vertical farming. It is also called the Green Wall wherein, it helps to reduce the overall temperature of the building. Green walls are also used as a piece of art. It can be installed in the balcony, the outside walls of the building or inner areas of apartment such as the living spaces.
  • Pot gardening: A method used extensively across the urban farming sector is the Pot gardening. It ranges from small teacups to automatic irrigation system. Containers are easily movable and can be customized to any sort of balcony. The things to keep in mind while going for a container gardening is to make sure the drainage is loose and provides proper aeration to the roots.
  • Square Footing Garden: These type of Urban farming is ideal for a terrace or balcony. If one wishes to grow a variety of crops in a limited space, Square Footing garden is the best option. It only takes an initial effort to construct a raised bed with soil fills. Soon after, it is sure to yield a wide variety of organic produce. Let alone a Square Foot Garden, a raised bed has its own benefits. It prevents the unwanted weed/grass growth around the square foot.

Sun Conditions

An essential need for all plants to grow is sufficient sunlight, without which plants wither away. Typically, a plant needs minimum 6 hours of sunlight a day for its full growth. But in an Urban Farming setup in an apartment, what we primarily lack is also sunlight. Due to various problems with other apartment or roofs barricading the sun rays, it is quite a task to find spaces where it is possible to grow a crop.

It is advisory to assess the amount of sunlight received in your apartment for some days. Either by making a note of it or by clicking pictures of spaces you are planning to grow crops every one hour, it is necessary to understand the pattern of sunlight received.

After the above task is done, the next step is to evaluate which space will be suitable for your Urban Farming. And this should be according to the maximum amount of sunlight received.

What Crop To Grow

A lot of other questions have to be answered before we decide what to grow in your Apartment.

Prefer to a grow a crop you and your family prefer to consume. It is a total unworthy effort if you plan to grow a crop you don’t like consuming yourself. By raising a crop you like, it doubles your satisfaction that you have a farm all by yourself and can consume it with all your heart.

Decide on the purpose for which you are setting up the farm. If your motive is commercial, it is better to choose a crop that yields high income when you sell. It needs a study of the market value of various crops that can be grown in an apartment set-up. After that, decide which will be feasible and meanwhile profitable to you.

The climate conditions are also essential things to keep in mind while you are planning to set up an Urban Farm. Certain Herbs, Vegetables, and Flowers grow only at a specific temperature. Thus seasons are also one thing to check before you start on with the farm.

Home Warranty For Urban Farmers

Any activity related to farming needs an added focus. Besides watering and adding fertilizers to the crops, there exists a task of maintaining the various machines used for farming.

Be it a lawnmower or a container garden, a frequent inspection is an essential activity for extending their life. However, as the produce keeps growing, it demands multi-tasking.

But here’s the easy way! HomeWarrantyReviews.com provides a hassle-free affair of managing all the repairs and maintenance. By listing out to you Various Home Maintenance Companies, Home Warranty Reviews brings to you many options to choose from. To know more about your spot estimates, A Home Maintenance Calculator can be a relief for any Urban Farmer.

So why wait? All you need is to find a place and plant your favorite crop. Connect with roots. Connect with nature. Feel the magic of farming in your apartment!




What’s it like right now out there for home sellers?  Well, for one thing, despite the wild gyrations of the stock market over the last several months, houses are still being sold.  Not only are houses selling but many regions are showing signs of solid home value increases as inventory hits a bottleneck.  This is the good news.  The not-so-good news is that parts of the western U.S. are not enjoying the rising sales prices.  As homes in those parts of the country stay on the market longer, sellers find themselves in competition with other home sellers.  And that leads to knocking prices down or making other costly concessions to close a sale.  If that sounds like your situation then what can you do?  What can any seller do when a house doesn’t sell as quickly as desired?  The answer to that question is many things.  But one thing in particular is relatively inexpensive and easy to accomplish.  That one thing is buying a home warranty.

Home Warranty

Home warranties have not exactly been praised in recent years, so it might seem unlikely that anybody will see these contracts as a big plus.  But that’s a widely adopted misconception and one that deserves some closer inspection.

I asked the founder of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield, to help me understand why their customers involved in real estate sales are choosing to cover their listing periods and buyers’ first years of ownership with a seller provided home service contracts.

Lisa Rice, National Vice President, Real Estate Sales at American Home Shield answered the call for information with some details that real estate professionals and home sellers may want to consider when deciding whether or not to buy a home service contract.

What types of home warranties are available to home sellers right now?

American Home Shield offers different levels of coverage for homeowners in any number of situations. Sellers can offer any of our AHS packages to the buyer at closing – Shield Essential, Shield Plus or Shield Complete.  Shield Essential, for instance, provides comprehensive coverage to a seller on their “essential” systems that could fail during the listing period.  Further, a seller’s portion of coverage is paid at “closing” – so there is no up-front out-of-pocket expense to the seller.

What is the average cost of these contracts?

Our prices vary based on the part of the country you are in, but in some parts of the country, you can get our basic Shield Essential plan for less than $2 a day. The Shield Essential plans cover major appliances and home system components.

Do these contracts typically help homes to sell faster?  If so then can you cite any statistics?

According to a 2013 real estate study conducted by NRT, we found that homes with an AHS Home Protection Plan sold an average of about 11 days faster and about $2,300 more than those without a home warranty — that’s over three times the average price of the plan itself.  Also, in many states where multiple offer situations are a reality, buyers might choose to provide sellers coverage during the contract escrow period to make their purchase offer more attractive. This is a tremendous benefit for the seller.

Can you say what percentage of these contracts result in paid claims?

An American Home Shield customer uses their plan an average of two times per year. We accept and pay more service requests than any other home warranty company in the nation. In the past three years, we have serviced about 93 percent of claims. That’s added up to $1.7 billion over the last 5 years and $3 billion in the last ten years.

Lisa’s feedback helped greatly.  Even as someone working on the marketing side of the home service contract industry I still need to understand why the industry keeps growing its customer base, despite so many consumer advocates and other critics lambasting home warranties as a waste of cash.  But there were still questions that I have seen and heard from homeowners not familiar with the home warranty.  And a few of those are important to air out, in my opinion.

Isn’t home warranty something that overlaps with homeowner’s insurance?

Absolutely not.  But this is still a good point to address.  It’s a common misconception among a large percentage of homeowners in the U.S.  Truth is, your homeowner’s insurance mostly covers the unforeseeable things that happen TO your house.  Home warranty covers the things that happen in your house that is expected, even guaranteed to eventually occur.  Your insurance is a wager of sorts between you and the company issuing the coverage, their bet being that you’ll pay a lot more in than you ever get out in claims.  Home warranty pays for things that are much, much more likely to happen to almost any coverage purchaser, things like dishwashers wearing out and refrigerators needing replacement.  This is where the common complaints about home warranty are most easily linked to the nature of the service promised to customers.  Homeowner’s insurance is typically far more expensive to maintain per year than a home warranty would be for the same house.  Why?  Well, the main reason seems to be the price that customers are willing to pay.  People just don’t want to spend as much on home warranties, it would seem, as they do their insurance.  But by looking for the absolute cheapest home warranty you are practically inviting problems down the road.  Like insurance, the home warranty can’t operate profitably for the company unless more money comes in premiums than goes out in claims.  Homeowners would do well to keep in mind both the differences between homeowner’s insurance and home warranty and the dynamic at work inside the companies.  Sometimes you really do get what you pay for!

How can I find the top home warranty companies?

This one is easy.  HomeWarrantyReviews.com is the best place to narrow down the options that a homeowner has for home warranty coverage, no question about it.  You won’t find a website that has been around longer than this one, when it comes to providing unbiased consumer feedback about home warranty companies.

How do I know if I’m the right customer for a home warranty?

This is the best and first question a homeowner can ask, in my opinion, when considering a home warranty.

Do you need one?  Do you not need one?  Is it better to put money in savings or have a credit card with a good sized credit line on standby for emergencies?  Is it better to buy the home warranty?

Answering these questions can be as arbitrary as a coin toss for some people, simply due to all the uncertainty involved.  Though a newer appliance is less likely to break and may be covered under a manufacturer’s warranty, there is also the matter of how time consuming finding a qualified, reputable contractor can be.  And if you’re an investor with multiple rental properties, that time you spend calling around to find a good contractor may be greatly multiplied.

To help you with this decision, I would suggest you read this article here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com, with helpful tips about deciding whether a home warranty is something you need or not.

Author Bio

Kevin Wallach writes about the home service contract industry and works in a marketing capacity within the home warranty industry.  He has followed the industry for five years and has worked just as long to help bring customers and companies together through Internet marketing.  He also is the administrator of the Home Warranty and Service Contract industry group on Linkedin.

 




These days, when people hardly have time to even talk with neighbors, cleaning the house has become a rarer activity. Yet, cleaning your home is a task that just cannot be ignored. The first rule of personal hygiene – keep yourself and your surroundings clean. Otherwise, germs may take up residence on you and in your home.

For those of you short on time and money for hiring a maid, this article would be the perfect cheat sheet to make sure that your home remains clean and well, disease free. If you think this article is too big, take a look at our quick home cleaning cheat sheet.

We’ve compiled a list of things that you can do to ease the task of cleaning your home. This includes tips and tricks that you may never have come across. So don your cleaning gloves and let’s begin!

Kitchen Cleaning Hacks

1. Cabinet Cleaning 

Home Cleaning HacksMost kitchen cabinets accumulate gunk, usually around the handles or the inside corners. Thankfully, they’re not difficult to get rid off.

Here’s what you need to do – mix baking soda and any vegetable oil. The consistency of this mixture should be like that of toothpaste. Use an old toothbrush and scrub away around the handles and corners of cabinets. You’ll have clean surfaces in no time

 

2. Cleaning The Sponges

Everyone has cleaning sponges in their kitchens. Without these soft friends, cleaning would be very difficult indeed. However, over time, they become ragged and home to a host of microbes and germs. If the condition is so bad that they are tearing in pieces, discard them. If they are still in a single piece, sanitize them before you use them again.

To sanitize kitchen sponges, sprinkle a few drops of water (lemon juice, if you have it) and microwave them on high heat for two(2) minutes. This should fry any germs in them leaving the sponges clean and bacteria-free.

3. Cleaning The Garbage Disposal

DrainGet an ice tray. Mix water and vinegar in the ratio 1:8. Chop up a lemon into tiny pieces. Pour the water-vinegar mixture into the ice cube tray and drop one piece of lemon into each square. Freeze this mixture.

Once frozen, drop the ice cubes into the garbage disposal and run it for several seconds (leave the faucet running). Make sure all the ice is ground. This is an easy hack to not only dislodge debris stuck between the blades but also to sharpen and deodorize the device.

4. Stove Burner Cleaning Hack

Stove-BurnerThis is an object that accumulates huge amounts of grime and grease and cleaning them is a task we often dread. Scrubbing them may be time-consuming, so here’s a no scrub routine to clean grime and grease from stove burners.

You’ll need basic ammonia and a zip-lock bag. Take around half a cup or less of ammonia and drop it into the zip-lock bag. Drop in the stove burner as well and seal the plastic zip-lock bag. The idea is not to soak the burner in ammonia, but to let it just sit in the ammonia fumes overnight. Ideally, leave the zip-lock outside, just in case it develops a leak and you don’t want your house smelling of NH3. You should be able to clean the grime off smoothly with a cloth. No scrubbing needed!

 

5. Cleaning The Blendershutterstock_84133486

Yes, there’s a hack for this one too. No, cleaning it in the sink with the help of a scrub won’t help much. Blenders are difficult to clean because there are many jutting edges which could cut your fingers if you try to scrub around them.

Here’s what you need to do. Add a few drops of dish-washing liquid to a cup or so of warm water. Pour it into the blender and turn the blender on. Pour the soap water out and repeat with clean water. Once this is done, you can clean the outsides and then give the whole jar a final rinse.

Bathroom Cleaning Hacks

6. Cleaning The Shower Head

Yet another beautiful, no-scrub hack to clear out hard water stains from the shower heads and other steel surfaces. You will need a leak proof plastic bag, rubber bands, distilled white vinegar and water. Pour the vinegar into the plastic bag and tie it around the shower-head with the help of rubber bands. Leave it overnight or at least for a few hours, rinse with plain water in the morning. All hard water stains will be magically removed.

For other steel surfaces, dip a cloth into the distilled vinegar or spray some on them. Rinse with plain water after a few hours.

7. Cleaning Grout From The ShowerCleaning Tile

Grout is generally a kind of filling used between spaces while laying tiles or similar structures. Over time, they often turn dark and become an eyesore, especially against light colored walls/tiles. To remove them, there is a very effective, homemade grout cleaner that works wonders.

You will need a scrub brush or an old toothbrush, baking soda and some bleach. Combine ¼ cup bleach with a ¾ cup of baking soda until it forms a paste. Apply this on affected areas and let it sit for a few minutes. Bleach usually does the job, however, scrubbing it will yield maximum results. Do remember to wear your protective gloves when handling chemicals like bleach.

8. The Bathtub Drain

Bathtub drains accumulate a lot of grime and debris and the most common culprit behind a clogged drain is (ewww) human hair. For clearing a clogged bathtub drain, you’ll need a screwdriver, skinny pliers, paper towels, vinegar and baking soda.

Remove the drain plug and pull out the insert with the screwdriver. You should see some really disgusting gooey debris there. Use paper towels to wipe around the area and then use skinny pliers to pick up the gooey mess. The gross part is now over. Finally, pour a cup or so of baking soda and then vinegar over it until the mixture bubbles up. Leave this for around 15 mins and then rinse with tap water. Put back the plug, and you’re done!

9. Cleaning Mold From The Shower

voegenschrobbenwebMold is a kind of fungus that happily grows in any region that is continually damp. Bathrooms are ideal for mold colonies. These fungi are not only unpleasant to look at but they are also high-risk allergens. Cleaning them is thankfully simpler than you think.

Get some straight bleach and cotton balls, the kind you use for cosmetic purposes. Soak a piece of coil in the bleach and place it over the mold-affected areas. Leave this overnight. Using skinny pliers or tweezers, pick up the coil pieces and discard them. Rinse the area with water. You’ll be happy to see that mold growth would be considerably reduced. Keep in mind that bleach is a harsh chemical and it must never be handled without appropriate safety measures.

10. No Scrub Tub Cleaner

Yeah, this one made a lot of people happy. Scrubbing a tub could be back breaking task for some people which is why this one is a big hit! All you need is dish soap and vinegar. Mix the two in 1:1 ratio and spray it generously all over your tub. Leave this on for an hour or two, wipe away with a soft cloth and rinse with water.

These days, cleaning grade vinegar has become available in department stores. The acetic acid content in cleaning grade vinegar is higher than the food grade version. This means the cleaning effect is improved.

 

General Indoor Cleaning

11. Carpet Cleaning 

Carpets take a lot of beating from the folks in the house and so it’s quite common that they end up with difficult stains and a lot of offensive particulate material. While dust can be easily removed with the help of suction, stains require additional tools.

Baking soda, liquid detergent, vinegar and warm water are the only things you will need. As step 1, drop baking soda/cornstarch on the stains. Let it sit for half an hour and then use a vacuum cleaner to remove it. Once that is done, mix liquid detergent, one spoon of vinegar with warm water. Using a sponge, wipe the stain with the detergent solution. Using a different dry sponge, absorb the vinegar-detergent solution out of the carpet. Your stain would’ve faded considerably!

12. Easy Mattress Cleaning

Dust that accumulates in the mattress can cause some serious allergic reactions in some people. It is generally advised that regularly used mattresses must be cleaned at least once in a few months.

To clean your mattress without breaking your back, you’ll need a few drops of your favorite essential oil, baking soda and your trusted vacuum cleaner. Open a can of baking soda and add a few drops of essential oil. Replace the lid and shake the container so that the oil and the soda mixes well. Sprinkle this all over your mattress and let it remain for an hour or so. Vacuum the entire mattress making sure that all traces of baking soda are removed. This is very effective in removing dust mites and other harmful microbes.

 

13. Cleaning A Microfiber Couch

Microfiber couches are one of the most comfortable couches ever. However, they become dirty quite easily and kids just love to create art masterpieces on them. Cleaning them may seem difficult and you may even consider replacing them. But do try this simple fix before you discard your lovely couch.

You’ll need rubbing alcohol, a sponge, a sprayer and a scrubbing brush. Pour the rubbing alcohol into the sprayer and spray it all over the stain till it saturates. The alcohol will evaporate quite quickly so spray continuously. Using your sponge, scrub vigorously till the stain starts to visibly reduce. Once you are done scrubbing, leave it to dry. Use your brush to ruffle the couch back once the alcohol has dried. We strongly recommend that you use a pair of gloves while handling the scrubbing alcohol and try not to drink it :).

14. Removing Pet Hair 

downloadHaving a pet is a wonderful feeling indeed.  If you have a furry friend, be warned that their fur has been known to cause a lot of diseases, including the very dangerous Toxoplasmosis. It would be a good idea to rid your house of their fur once in a while to avoid pathogens of various kinds.

Damp rubber works wonders for removing pet hair. You’ll simply need to dampen your rubber gloves and give the furniture and other surfaces a good scrubbing. For getting cat/dog fur off carpets, use a squeegee and wipe the fur away.

 

15. Cleaning tiny toys

Toys left unused accumulate a lot of dust and the idea of washing them all individually might seem time-consuming. If you want to wash them all together in one go, here’s something you can try.

Grab a small laundry bag and dump all the small toys into it. Hold them under the sink and run the faucet. The tiny holes in the laundry bag will allow water to come in and drain taking all the dust away.

 

A Word Of Advice

While you may not be able to do all of these at once, try going one section at a time – bathrooms, followed by the kitchen and so on. Remember – Safety first. Do not forget to use rubber gloves or overalls when necessary. Once you are done, put the chemicals away in a safe place where your kids cannot reach them. We also have a great guide on 10 ways to organize your home efficiently. You should read that too!

Home maintenance is no easy task. Keeping a home running does require some amount of effort. That said, there are some things that you just cannot prevent. Appliance breakdowns are a fine example. We strongly recommend that you purchase a home warranty to protect your budget and your appliances.

That’s all for now, do try out these hacks and let us know what you think. Don’t hesitate to ask us any questions, we’ll be more than happy to help. Thanks for reading, 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.




Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.

While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.

What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.

Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials

1. Appliance is not covered

This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.

3. The damage is pre-existing

Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.

4. Unusual wear and tear

Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.

5. Code Violations and improper installation

If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.

You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.

Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.




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

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

Growing discontent among customers

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

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

Sensible Home Warranty

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

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

Did Sensible Home Warranty deserve this Fate?

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

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

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

 

What Choices Consumers Have Now?

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

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

UPDATE 09/26/14:

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

For more information, check the Nevada DOI press release.

 




Premium Home Warranties or a Deductible Home Warranties? Should I include a Home Warranty contract or not? These are just some of the many questions that you are to deal with before purchasing a home.

Buying Home Warranty Intelligently

You may have done a CIA level inspection of your home-to-be, but sometimes despite it, there is no telling when, why or how a machine will break down and force you to interrupt your everyday chores. Isn’t it a nightmare when you are forced to wait for days to simply wash your clothes or dishes? We don’t want a piling heap of clothes in our living rooms or even a stinking kitchen for that matter. Because with today’s employment demands it is hard and even close to impossible to manage work alongside home chores. So without your appliances to lend you a hand, you may never catch up on your housework.

Stop-Home-Warranties-Problems

 

So what happens if they break down?! The effective solution would be to use a home warranty contract to ensure a quick and reliable way to fix them in time, without coming in between your everyday schedules.

Buying Home Warranties are one such intelligent solution to your problems. Given how crucial it is, we want to cover all the mistakes people usually make while buying Home Warranties. In giving you a heads up, we hope to help avoid frustration, as well as cover all topics before an actual machine crisis ensues.

Here is a list of mistakes a consumer might make when choosing a Home Service Contract-

# 1 – Assuming Home Warranties Are Covered While Buying Properties

When purchasing a home, make sure you are buying from a builder who has covered the Home Warranty costs. While some states make the payment of warranty compulsory, otherwise, builders don’t usually cover the Warranty prices along with the price of the property/home. And in the states where it is compulsory, the home builders register with their respective regulator, thus escaping the need to make sure your warranty is paid. However, this is how it works only in the states where payment of warranty is compulsory. Hence, always make sure your builder is charging you the warranty along with the price of your home. If not, you may be falsely charged while not really availing a Home Warranty contract.

# 2 – Skipping The Inspection Of Your Home-To-Be

Not inspecting can be one of the first and worst mistakes you will ever make while buying a home. It should be obvious that home sellers have a tendency to hide defects within the property! Hence, always schedule a home inspection before purchasing a home which could avoid multiple costs later. If you are unfamiliar with the way a machine works or are ill-equipped to do so, rely on someone observant and knowledgeable in this aspect. Hence, with your own interests at heart, an inspection before moving in, i.e., at least prior to a month, have the home and its appliances inspected thoroughly.

If not the first time, do hire a professional Home Inspector before your warranty plan expires. Hence 12 or 24 months into use, some of the appliances might be showing signs of defect which are unrecognizable for a normal person. This will reduce the risk of ever having to spend either for labor and material costs since the defects would’ve been repaired when it has started to show the first signs. Also, since this will cover all the upcoming four seasons, we recommend you always hire a professional Home Inspector, at the expiration of your Warranty term if not at the time of delivery.

# 3 – Not Reviewing Your Home Warranty Contract

This can lead to disasters in terms of price, be it manual labor or material cost. Some Warranty companies don’t cover all the peripheral prices which are mentioned in the contract, which is why not reviewing a contract can lead to miscommunication between the buyers and the builders. While most plans cover all the appliances within, some might not cover the external structures. And if the model contract doesn’t cover the conventional structures, you can contact the contractor to add coverage to other appliances of your wish.

# 4 – Not Choosing The Right Plan

Since the market is flooded with hundreds of home warranty companies and hence, a mind-numbing number of Home Warranty Plans to pick from, it is all the more difficult to choose a Home Warranty plan that suits your home best.

It should be obvious that a Home Warranty plan used for a newly built home won’t necessarily be the right pick for a property that is a decade old. From HomeWarrantyReviews, you can use our Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) to complain or highlight a company based on your previous experience and also compare Home Warranty companies. This will give you a better insight as to which company could be the right pick for you. Since the CRP complaints can be reviewed by the companies themselves, they can immediately rectify it. Also don’t forget to read our reviews, checking out our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator in order to make the right choice.

# 5 – Not Researching Home Warranty Companies

Sometimes after using our Home Appliance Maintenance Calculator, you might find that Home Maintenance cost could be more without a Home Warranty or vice-versa. Using an unbiased guide on Home Warranty plans which is not sponsored by any Home Warranty company, in particular, can help you give a balanced view without misleading you to purchase from a company. For such an unbiased opinion, it is always important to do your own research to evaluate your needs and costs before buying.

Our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator calculates as well as compare the costs of repairing with and without a Home Warranty contract. This will hence give you a complete picture regarding whether or not you should buy a certain plan or a certain part of the plan.

Is That It When It Comes To Home Warranties?

Yes and No. As a leading platform for all of your home warranty needs, including getting your fresh quotes in a jiffy to using our knowledge resource of a wealth of articles and the free tools like that of a home maintenance calculator, we always create value for our readers.

So we always advise our readers to be cautious of not reading the fine print in the home warranty contracts, and we’re also against having predetermined opinions on certain companies or not researching enough on the new companies who’ve joined a long list of companies and who yearn to provide a quality service at your doorstep.

Go ahead and give our features a shot!




Purchasing warranty plans for household items has become a common thing these days. Over time, it has become one of the best ways to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of damaged household devices.

A Home Warranty, sometimes called an Appliance Warranty is a contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of the covered devices. They cover damages resulting from wear and tear and hence are ideally suited for houses whose appliances are over 4 years old.

insurance on appliances

Home warranties differ from homeowner’s insurances in the fact that the latter covers damages and losses resulting from natural hazards or crimes while appliance warranty covers damages due to regular wear and tear. You can never replace a homeowner’s insurance with a home warranty. It is generally considered that home warranties are best suited for the following people who –

  • Own appliances that are over 4-5 years old
  • Can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements
  • Do not have a trusted contractor to perform the repairs
  • Have no time for do-it-yourself repairs
  • Are owning a home for the first time

So naturally, they are not suited for people who

  • Own brand new or fairly new devices
  • Can afford expensive repairs and replacements
  • Have a trusted contractor or is a contractor himself
  • Have the time and skill for DIY repairs

There are a lot of home warranty companies offering a range of packages to suit your requirements. So never feel that you have only one option. In fact there are so many options out there that you may want to read a Home warranty buyer’s guide before you make a decision. In general, home warranties are affordable, with the annual premium ranging anywhere between $250 to $1000. The premium usually depends on the amount of coverage you are purchasing.

The advantages of owning a home warranty are many. And also, it is the closest thing you can get to peace of mind when it comes to protecting your budget. Let’s take a look at the pros.

Advantages

  • Being the repair contract that it is, home warranty takes care of repairs and replacements of damages happening to the covered device for a stated period of time. So if your appliances crash during the coverage  period, you will not have to spend much from your pocket.
  • Saves your budget from unexpected expenses due to appliance damages.
  • Almost all the major appliances and systems are covered. Electrical, plumbing, HVAC and wiring in general are included in a standard warranty plan. You can always purchase additional coverage too.
  • Each time an appliance crashes, you simply have to place a call to your service provider. They will send a technician to your doorstep to fix the issue. You have to pay a service call fee each time an issue is raised.
  • Depending on the coverage you purchased, home warranties sometimes even replace your device with a brand new one if the technician pronounces the device unrepairable.
  • Home warranties increase the value of your property at the time of sale as sellers prefer homes that are covered by appliance warranty.

If you have doubts about the devices that are covered and omitted, you can go through What is covered under Home Warranty plans to get a clearer picture. If you are still not sure if you need home warranty or not, we suggest that you read an article on “Do I need home warranty?”, this will certainly give you some guidance.

Working

Home warranty works in a very simple way. An appliance crashes and you call up the warranty company and inform them about the damage. They will ask you to give them all the necessary information like device name, manufacturer’s details, model no, batch no, and other relevant matters.

Once they collect this info, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then collects your contact details to talk to you about fixing an appointment. A qualified and experienced technician then comes over to look at your device. If the repairs needed are minor, he will do them right away. However, if major repairs are needed or if parts need to be replaced, the technician waits for the approval of the home warranty company. Parts needed will be procured by the company. You will pay the service call fee to the technician when he comes to your home.

Drawbacks

This is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will be paying a service call fee (around $50) each time you place a claim. Like a coin with two sides, home warranties too have a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss them.

  • Home warranty companies will always try to repair and not replace your damaged device.
  • Home Warranties do not cover pre-existing conditions or damages resulting from lack of maintenance. They also do not cover damages occurring due to crimes or natural hazards, that is the job of Homeowner’s insurance.
  • The technician sent over to your house will decide the extent and nature of your damage. The Home Warranty company will consider his word and not yours when it comes to determining the action to be taken up. If you have disagreements on this, contact the customer service operative of the company.
  • Claims can often be denied on unclear grounds and by stating tiny clauses from the contract which are often overlooked by customers. Ensure that you read the policy booklet and contract carefully to avoid any misunderstandings.
  • You cannot raise multiple issues in a single claim.

The bottom-line

Home warranties are indeed a great way to insure your household devices. It protects your budget too. It is necessary that you make a wise decision regarding the choice of company and warranty plan so that you make the best out of the deal. The policy booklet and the contract are vital documents and they must, without fail, be studied and preserved carefully.

You can go through reviews about various companies and their plans on our website to compare and choose the best.




Nation’s largest home warranty provider and a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings Inc., American Home Shield(AHS) has announced that they have acquired OneGuard Home Warranties as part of their strategic expansion. This step seems to open up new prospects for ServiceMaster while also hugely increasing their footprint in the highly competitive states of Texas, Arizona, and Nevada. The acquisition, which happened in late June, is a momentous step in the growth of both companies.

OneGuard-Home-Warranties-joins-hands-with-American Home SHield

The Vice President for mergers and acquisitions for ServiceMaster has stated that this is an important step in their strategy for organic growth. He has also stated that is one of the many commercial and residential acquisitions that ServiceMaster has made this year. This is ServiceMaster’s first acquisition after AHS acquired Wisconsin-based HSA Home Warranty in 2014.

The CEOs of both companies have expressed their excitement about this recent development and have opined that both companies have common goals, high standards and are equally driven to provide high-quality services to their customers.

President of AHS, Tim Haynes has said that OneGuard was a company that came across as driven and possessing a wide range of products. He also stated that the company has been enjoying a unique position in the marketplace and is a company that has shown much promise.

Financial details of the acquisition or the terms of the transaction remain undisclosed and are hence, unavailable right now. OneGuard, previously known as ServiceOne, reportedly has a revenue of around $30 million and a three-year growth rate of 92%

Despite the acquisition, OneGuard will continue to retain their brand identity and the leadership team will also remain untouched. Product offerings are also expected to remain the same. The company, headquartered in Phoenix, currently employs around 125 employees with most of them working at their headquarters and service centers in Phoenix. A team from AHS and ServiceMaster each is expected to relocate to Peabody Place Downtown.

About OneGuard

Established in 1990, OneGuard is a Phoenix-based company which caters to wide range of homeowner needs. The company is a two-time winner of the prestigious Angie’s 2015 & 2014 Service award. OneGuard has also appeared on the Inc. 5000 list of America’s fastest-growing private companies and has also been described as one of the best places to work for.

The company has a wide range of services to offer to their customers which include home maintenance and home warranty plans. OneGuard has serviced a total of over 50,000 customers so far in the states of Arizona and Texas. They also have a claims approval rate of 95%.

About American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield is a business unit of ServiceMaster Global Holdings and is responsible for founding the home warranty industry in 1971. Along with its subsidiaries, AHS services close to 50 million customers across all states of the U.S. The company employees over 1,800 people and has a contractor network with over 11,000 contractors and 45,000 technicians. AHS continues to remain an industry leader to this date.

The company has many home warranty products and home service/maintenance plans to offer. AHS has a nationwide footprint, with all 50 states being covered. Winner of many industry awards, the company is said to be one of the leading providers of home service contracts in the country.

About ServiceMaster Holdings

Founded in 1929 and incorporated in 1947, ServiceMaster was initially founded as a moth-proofing company. It quickly expanded to provide a variety of residential and commercial services. And today, after 85 years, the company has become a network of several high-quality franchise-based companies like Terminix, Merry Maids, and AHS.
After being acquired by a group of equity sponsors in 2007, the company shifted base to Tennessee and is currently headquartered in Memphis. The company began publicly trading in 2014.




Maintaining everything in the home is one of the major concerns homeowners have to deal with. Every homeowner worth his salt will tell you that the primary expenses incurred in the process of home maintenance are due to appliance and system faults.
Home Maintenance Plans

Having said that, we’re sure that everyone has heard of Appliance / Home maintenance plans or simply put, home warranty plans. Such plans are contracts that agree to provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services for household appliances and systems. Do keep in mind that such plans are for ageing appliances that have suffered quite a bit of wear and tear over the years. Appliance warranties only cover damages that are due to age, wear and tear.

Home Warranty – How Does it Work?

The working of such plans are quite simple. You purchase the warranty from a home service provider for a specific duration. During the coverage period, if your appliances / systems breaks down, you only need to  call the your warranty provider. They will send a technician to fix your faulty item at just a nominal service charge fee. The actual cost of repairs will be borne by the company.

Hence, in many ways, a warranty is a wise way to protect your budget from unexpected expenses. To know more about home service contracts, read things to know about home warranty. You’ll find that helpful.

Cost of Home Maintenance Plans

Now, coming to the actual problem that this article addresses, cost of home maintenance plans. In general such appliance warranties are affordable and reasonably priced. Most companies offer a specific set of plans from which you can choose, based on your requirements.

The annual premiums for a home service contract ranges between $200 – $ 600, for a home under 5,000 sq.ft. When you purchase a plan, you will be provided with a policy booklet that explicitly specifies all the items that will be covered. You will also be provided with information about various other terms and conditions. Like we said before, home service contracts do not cover damages due to anything other than age and regular use. For faults due to crime, hazards and other perils, you may want to check the difference between home insurance and home warranty.

In addition to the annual premium, you may also have to pay a nominal fee as the deductible each time you raise an issue. Deductibles usually cost between $50 – $100. There are some companies that offer zero deductible appliance protection plans

Like we discussed before, different providers charge different amounts for their plans. Following are the facts that decide the cost of home warranty.

  • Extent of coverage
  • Type of plan
  • Additional benefits/ services
  • Size of the house
  • Age of the house

If you want to purchase a home warranty plan, we suggest that you get your home inspected first. While some companies offer this service prior to the contract being signed, some companies do not. A home inspection reveals a lot of potential problems that your house may face and the inspector may even recommend a plan to make the best out of home warranty.

Bottom Line

If you are still unsure about home warranty, we suggest that you go through our web site and read some informative articles that may help you solve some confusion. That said, we still think that a home warranty is a clever way to protect your appliances and save cash in the process. Cheers!




There was a news report covered by HomeWarrantyWiz.com regarding recent developments with regard to fake Internet testimonials, company reviews, and ratings being detected and penalized by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC).  HomeWarrantyReviews.com was involved with the research behind this article, particularly by sharing our experiences with home warranty companies that have attempted to use our ratings system to post fictitious consumer reviews.

Fake Reviews

Home warranty is a highly complex product and many consumers rely greatly on the information they find on the Internet in order to choose a home warranty company.  Fake Internet reviews make finding accurate information about companies more challenging and can sometimes lead consumers to making misinformed decisions.

The recent FTC fine levied on an advertiser outside the home warranty industry for advertising that involved fake reviews posted online is a good sign for home warranty customers and for all consumers who use the Internet to shop and research products or services.  Websites like ours which are actively monitoring the reviews posted on them are an additional resource aside from the FTC and state attorneys, working in the consumer’s corner.

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

There have been instances where we have blacklisted companies for repeatedly posting fake positive reviews. Some companies employed some sort of advanced techniques to make the review look legitimate. But we have built a  sophisticated rating system over the years and will catch any attempt to manipulate the reviews. On top of that we have a team of experienced staff members who make sure the review passes through their litmus test. So, if you are company that relies on such tactics, take a note!

Ensuring that fake reviews and ratings are caught and removed and that the offending parties are warned is just one way in which reviews sites can police reviews and ratings and keep them as accurate as possible.  Consumers also have a responsibility as well. Consumers must be diligent to make their reviews as factual as possible in order to make the fake reviews easier to spot.  Detailed reviews stand apart from general ones and often fake reviews give only the most basic details, focusing more on glowing compliments about the service or product.  Leaving emotion out of reviews is also important because the same companies that post fake reviews or attempt to deflect blame whenever customers post highly emotional testimonials.  Ultimately the task of spotting fake reviews falls greatly upon the consumer’s shoulders but now that the FTC has thrown its hat into the ring things will be much more complicated and risky for companies that prefer false advertising over legitimate customer testimonials.




There are five types of warranties plans available such as manufacturer warranty, home warranty, seller’s warranty, extended warranty, appliance service contract etc. All the above mentioned terms are basically protection policies of your household appliances. All these warranty contracts are slightly different and we will get into them in just a moment. Please note that we do not cover homeowners insurance here but you can refer to the article that talks about home insurance and home warranty differences

Types of Warranties

Home Warranty

Home warranty is a service contract on your home appliances and it covers repairs and maintenance of household machinery. Home warranty plan takes care of repair and replacement of all your insured appliances by the qualified service provider. This plan is also referred as

  • Appliance Protection Plan
  • Appliance Service Contract
  • Home Maintenance Plan
  • Home Protection Plan
  • Home Appliance Insurance
  • Appliance Repair Service
  • Home Warranty Insurance

Manufacturer’s Warranty

One of the basic thing people look for while purchasing any appliance or gadget is the warranty. A warranty is a kind of assurance provided by the manufacturer for the product and if the item does not meet the expectations then the insurance provider is bound to repair or replace the product within the stated warranty period. The standard coverage is generally for the period of one year. A warranty is a legal binding which means if the seller does not stick to their words, then you can legally file lawsuits against them.

These days all the online stores and offline stores are providing manufacturer’s warranty and the original bill along with the purchased product. The products shipped are also completely sealed and as good as what you can get from retail stores. You can extend the warranty for additional years if you desire, although it is not necessary in most cases. Generally, big ticket items such as HVAC units come with 5 years warranty, but the coverage will be limited to parts only from second year onwards. That means you will have to pay for the repair service.

Home appliance warranty companies generally do not cover an equipment when it is under manufacturers warranty.

Seller’s Warranty

Seller Warranty is also known as dealer warranty. The warranty is basically provided by the respective seller or the dealer of the products. Most of seller warranties last for the period of 6 months. In case of any sort of defect of malfunction of the product, you have to take the product particularly to the seller from whom you bought it.

Extended Warranty

You have an option to extend manufacturer’s warranty when it expires. It is recommended only for those appliances that are not covered by home warranty, such as laptop, PC, TV and other electronics.

You can also extend home warranty when your original plan expires. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability. If you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services, extended warranty service just makes things easier

Home Service Contracts

Service contracts are also considered as agreement or protection agreements. Most of these are offered by vendors selling the appliance, a service company, or a third party service provider. Home service contractors are basically local, licensed, and insured team to provide service. The price, terms and coverage choices widely vary as these companies tend to be local service providers. The repair and customer service may also vary depending on the vendor. Make sure you thoroughly understand the contract before you sign it.

Do your homework before buying home warranties, extended warranties, or service contracts for your major appliance. Understand the “Terms and Conditions” of the contract, especially its limitations.

Make sure you know and understand:

  • The reputation of the selling agent or the service provider
  • If the agreement contains a service repair cost “deductible” clause
  • If you must get second opinions or price estimates before repair
  • If you renew annually and what is the cost to do so
  • Any repair not covered such as plastic, glass, rust, corrosion non-functional parts, and installation, wiring or plumbing corrections
  • Costs involved if you have to take the appliance to the repair shop (against being repaired in your home)
  • What happens when the necessary part is no longer available
  • Any other terms and conditions of the contract, especially its limitations

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.




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

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

Offering a Home Warranty

What Is a Home Warranty?

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

What Is Covered?

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

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

What Are the Advantages during the Listing Period?

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

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

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

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

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

Home Warranty Coverage Is Affordable

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

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

What You Should Know about Home Warranty Coverage

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

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

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

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

Bottom Line

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

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

About the Author

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




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.