Consider this: it’s a lazy Sunday and you haven’t worked out all week, your stress levels are high. And the doctor says you need to get going and get some physical exercise into your daily routine. You have considered your options – hitting the gym, joining that community swimming pool, going for those morning runs that everyone’s been vouching for – but it hasn’t worked out yet and nothing seems to click. Here’s your answer: start gardening.
A chance to not only get some quality time with nature but calm your nerves, work your muscles and burn a few calories as well? Gardening just an hour a day is proven to have far reaching impacts on your life. Especially if your day comprises of concrete jungles, desk jobs and skyrocketing stress levels.
Gardening boosts your metabolism and we have studies to prove it!
Research conducted by the Pennsylvania University of Scranton a decade ago showed clear results in favor of gardening as a way to stay fit. This proves that extended amounts of time spent partaking in light physical exertion is a much more effective way of burning calories than bouts of cardio and gym sessions.
Another study conducted in Michigan State showed that even a mere ten percent increase in greenery in the immediate environment of an individual resulted in a drastic drop of health issues – from lifestyle illnesses to even depression and mental health.
The key to a good workout is duration, not just intensity.
It’s not just about burning calories and toning muscles – a consistent routine of balanced physical activity can have an impact on heart functioning, blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity and its side effects, and even premature death. How does this work? Gardening ranges from low to medium intensity, but the constant monitoring of the garden and the level of involvement is never limited to just a single workout cycle; automatically weaving it into your daily routine and making it a habit!
With the majority of our daily activities involving the maximum use of our arms – and even that not usually in ways good for our bodies – gardening can incorporate the metered use of muscles like hamstrings without adding undue stress to them. Countering the effects that hours of typing on a keyboard or driving a car can have on your back, shoulder, and neck, getting down on all fours and getting your hands dirty can be therapeutic and stretch every muscle in your body all at once.
Another perk to introducing gardening into your lifestyle is eating what you grow. Directly linked to better diets, organic production of food right at home or within a community can encourage you to follow a diet with nutrition as a priority and simultaneously assure the quality of produce.
Having a hard time getting your children to eat their spinach and peas? Give gardening a shot, working it into their play time as a fun way to grow their own lunches and dinners – who wouldn’t want to proudly eat a tomato picked right from their own backyard!
Ranging from organic farming in the backyard of your country home to just a few potted herbs on the kitchen windowsill, depending on your space constraints, the time you have to spare and your physical capabilities, you can choose the kind of gardening that suits you best.
Living in an apartment building which doesn’t allow you space to garden? Community plots are the answer to the space crunch any urban dweller faces today. A great way to catch up with neighbors and blow off steam, all while tilling, weeding and celebrating the earth, community plots give you a chance to delegate and divide responsibilities as well – saving you the worry of who will tend to your precious daisies, trim the hydrangeas and ward off pests from the squash and melons while you’re out on a business trip.
Sky high stress levels and an increase in lifestyles illness in the past couple of decades is evidence enough for the need to go back to our instincts of nature and nurture, and the benefits of gardening seep into areas besides immediate physical well-being.
An equalizer not bound by any hierarchy, gardening is often used as a form of therapy to boost self-esteem as well as inculcate responsibility and appreciation. Giving our nurture gene a space to grow, just the act of giving back can have a tremendous impact on our stress levels and anxiety. Time spent watching each seed sprout and saplings flourish and flower, gardening is a gentle reminder that we humans are not the center of the universe.
What is good for the body is also good for the mind. Exercise, whatever the intensity may be, has a direct impact on not only adrenaline levels but on levels of serotonin and dopamine as well. Both hormones that play a role in fighting depression, the time spent tending to each root and bud isn’t just uplifting in spirit, it literally translates into happy hormones.
Be it an apartment, a duplex with a yard all to yourself, community plots or a country house, the joy of having a garden can come with an added expense and hassle of maintaining tools and machinery, worrying about seepage and waterproofing and even the occasional crack or two when it comes to deep-rooted plants and creepers.
Don’t let the stress of maintenance come in the way of your quality time with your garden – let the happy hormones flow and pass on the responsibility of care for the home to home warranty companies.
Giving you a chance to delegate home and domestic appliance maintenance to a professional, home warranty saves you the effort of having to rummage through websites and newspaper advertisements for service agents and repair contractors. Providing full coverage of repair, servicing and replacements costs, Home warranty is all about planning ahead. HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you a comprehensive list of companies to choose from – giving you access to pros and cons, detailed reviews, do’s and don’ts when it comes to warranty and insurance and even a free Home Maintenance Calculator to get on the spot estimates.
Finding the right match for your Home Warranty needs is of utmost importance; just like every insurance coverage plan is tailor-made for different budgets, levels of involvement, age and usage intensity, Home Warranty has its own set of criteria. Research is key, and the best place to start with is the Awards and Reviews section of consumer research based sites. From categorized awards ranging from service, top rated and regional service, HomeWarrantyReviews.com uses consumer review rates of credibility, retention, satisfaction, online presence, and consumer issue resolution to judge companies that provide nationwide Home Warranty coverage, offering all-round information to customers. What’s more, the companies are divided according to a region as well, accounting for state law differences and tweaks in the coverage plans in various geographical pockets.
Stress, anxiety and an ever-growing list of errands are a part of everyone’s daily routines, why add home repairs and maintenance to the mix? Give yourself the peace of mind to tend to your herbs, flowers, and ferns without the worry of repercussions, after all, what is the point of canceling out the mental health perks of gardening by worrying about broken lawn mowers?!
Refrigerator maintenance is a vital part of housekeeping that just cannot be ignored. For people who don’t know the first thing about cleaning a fridge, this guide is just for you!
Is your refrigerator running? Well, you’d better go catch it!
If you are rolling your eyes then maybe you’re not a fan of old jokes. That’s forgivable. But that old joke has a tiny bit of truth to it if you own a home. Your fridge may be running away from you in terms of the electricity it’s using.
There are two good reasons to maintain your refrigerator. The first is to keep it running as long as possible, but the second is less obvious. Your home’s monthly electricity costs are directly affected by the way you use and keep up your fridge. It’s easy to forget that, but if you get into a habit of following these tips you will begin to see the savings.
The back of your fridge is almost never seen, but it’s the part most in need of regular cleaning. At least once each month you should pull your fridge away from the wall, preferably without unplugging it, in order to clean the operational parts located near the bottom. The best way to do this is to gently clean the coils and other exposed parts with a vacuum cleaner. But be careful not to press against the parts with the vacuum. Doing so may damage some of the more delicate parts. By keeping these parts clean you can help your fridge to optimize its heat dissipation. And that helps the fridge use less electricity.
Don’t let the areas around or on the door gaskets become dirty or greasy. Keeping the door gaskets clean will allow for a good, tight seal. And the more air you keep inside the fridge the easier it is for the fridge and freezer to maintain ideal temperatures.
Resist the temptation to carelessly load your fridge. Don’t overload it, but also don’t underfill it. An empty fridge is almost as bad as a fridge that is too full. Either way you’re making the refrigerator work harder in order to stay at a constant temperature. If you are the type to keep lots of food around try to make sure the food is distributed evenly and does not obstruct air flow. If you travel a lot or order food regularly then maybe you have an empty or nearly empty fridge. If that’s you then you can use bottles of water to fill the fridge so it runs more efficiently.
Avoid putting food straight into the fridge after cooking it. Even if you are preparing food to eat later it’s best to cover it and allow it to cool before refrigerating it. Hot things do not help your fridge stay cool. And uncovered foods are problematic too. Though it might not be as obvious as producing odors or being a spill hazard, uncovered foods make your fridge work harder. Ideally you want to keep the moisture in foods and drinks sealed in and not allow it to become part of the air that the fridge must cool.
If your freezer is frost free then you should have a drain pan underneath the fridge. If you have one down there then it’s very important to keep it free from debris. You don’t want to block the drain or cause spills by allowing the pain to fill up with dust and other junk. The best time to clean it is at the same time when you clean the rear of the fridge.
It’s best to keep the fridge and freezer around 37 degrees Fahrenheit and 0 degrees Fahrenheit respectively. Usually you can do this by leaving the thermostat at its middle setting. Turning the thermostat in the fridge down too low can not only increase electricity usage but can sometimes result in the freezer not staying at a safe temperature.
If you do not have a frost free freezer then it’s important to regularly remove ice and frost from the inside of the freezer. You don’t need to turn off your fridge in most cases. A nice open container of hot water left inside the closed (and emptied) freezer will usually do the trick.
When you wipe down the inside of your fridge or freezer try to always dry off the surfaces you clean. And if you use disinfectant cleaners to remove meat or egg drippings then be sure to go back over those surfaces with water in order to not leave chemical residues.
Though your refrigerator may not be using as much electricity as your heating and cooling system it still pays off in the long run to maximize its energy efficiency. And if you love to cook it pays off in other ways. Your food will stay fresher, not to mention taste and smell better, if you make these tips part of your regular routine. You can also go through this guide on How to Conserve Electricity At Home And Cut Energy Bills for more information.
If you are an obsessive cleaner, you may also want to look at this elaborate guide on refrigerator maintenance. You’ll know exactly what to do with each appliance once you go through this. Good luck!
Do you have a trusted appliance lying around your household for the past few years that you don’t want to give away or replace? Yet you are worried that it’s going to crash pretty soon leaving you with no other option other than repairing it or replacing it with a new one? Fret not! This article will shed some light on how to insure your household appliances against potential breakdowns
Let’s begin by comparing Home Warranty from the Homeowner’s insurance policy. The primary difference between the two is that Home Warranty covers repairs and replacements of failed appliances and systems, while the the Homeowner’s Insurance covers damages caused to your home and its content by natural hazards or theft. You can always find a contractor to repair your damaged appliances, but more often than not the costs involved in such scenarios are rather high. The other option that you have is to apply for a Home Warranty plan.
The Home Warranty plan is a contract of service that covers repairs and replacement of appliances and systems in your home. Depending on the kind and extent of coverage you wish to avail, the annual premium for the Home Warranty plan can range anywhere between $ 250 to $ 450. In addition, each time you approach the warranty company for a service, you have to pay a service fee usually called as the deductible. This is around $ 50. You can take a look at the table below if you want to know he systems and appliances that are covered under the Home Warranty Plans.
If you have doubts regarding whether or not your appliances need a Home Warranty Plan right now, take a look at the following chart. It tells you what the average lifespan of the common household appliances.
Now lets discuss the most important question.
Let me clear the former first. You have two options, you can either avail an extended warranty for each appliance or you can get a Home Warranty which covers all your appliances. Although, getting extended warranty on each appliance is not a wise decision, the best way out is to get a Home Warranty.It is also suggested that if your appliances are not new and over four years old, getting a Home Warranty will turn out to be highly useful. However, if your home and the appliances you own are reasonably new and still covered by the Manufacturers warranty, you may want to consider taking an extended warranty. You can click here for further details and comparisons between the two.
If you are wondering how this works then here’s the answer. The company offering a Home Warranty plans often sign contracts with vendors offering repair services to appliances. Each time you approach your warranty provider with a claim, they call up these repair facilities which in turn sends a technician to evaluate the condition of your appliance.He shall decide if your appliance needs to be repaired or replaced.Service charges(deductible fee) of the technician shall be paid by you and it is always nominal.
If you have read so far, then it would mean that you are genuinely interested to know as much as possible about Home Warranty plans. Few hiccups that you may encounter are as follows:
It is again stressed that you read your contract carefully and have it looked over multiple times , paying immense attention to the monetary factors.
Despite the issues that were mentioned, it is advised that you insure your appliances by availing a Home Warranty Plan. Costs incurred during repairs and replacements can be considerably reduced if you have a sound Appliance Protection plan. Also, if you choose to sell your home while the Home Warranty plan is still valid, the value of the property is likely to be higher than when it is sold without a Home Warranty. Most buyers recommend strongly in favor of Home Warranty plans. You are likely to do the same if your choice of home warranty provider is good.
Here is the summary of benefits you shall have if you avail a Home Warranty Plan
May it be reminded again that reading the contract well is of utmost importance. You can get a free estimate on home warranty from top rated companies on our website before you purchase the plan.
Builder’s warranty is a written statement by the builder assuring that the house was completed as per a stipulated set of standards. This provides a form of protection to buyer from latent defects.
This form of warranty is also called a Limited warranty and is issued by the builder on their work. This is done either within the sales contract or as a separate document. The period of duration of such contracts are usually between one to ten years.
A Typical Builder’s warranty covers only the material and workmanship issues of various components relating to a new building. This includes
As mentioned before, the duration is largely dependent on the component. For example, material and workmanship issues are covered for a year. This would include paint, drywall, siding and stucco, door and trim etc. HVAC, plumbing and electrical units are usually covered for two years. Major structural defects like a roof that may collapse or any other structural damage that pose danger to the residents are covered for a period of up to ten years.
These warranties do not cover the cost incurred by the owners as a direct consequence of material and workmanship issues. Eg, staying away or moving out temporarily while a repair is being conducted. They also DO NOT cover the following:
If you wish to make a claim for your repair, first and foremost, refer to your warranty contract to ensure that the damage is indeed a covered one. If so, place a request to the builder informing them about the damage and requesting for a repair. It is recommended that you place this request in writing even if the company has a telephonic submission method. Ask for receipts and keep records of all correspondence. These records will help you if a dispute arises.
The builder’s warranty cannot replace the Homeowner’s Insurance or Home Appliance Warranty. All three are very different and have their own unique features.
For your own safety, it is suggested that you ask the following questions about your warranty.
The laws related to enforcing these warranties vary in each state. Therefore it will be a wise step to check with your State’s attorney general’s office or contractor licensing board to ensure that your builder follows all the laws as required by the state law.
Make sure that the contract is thoroughly studied and preserved. Experts say that the longer the contract, lesser the benefits. Such long contracts indicate inefficient builders who use vague clauses to narrow down the possibility of you succeeding in filing a claim. Shorter the contract, better the builder.
You may be asked to sign a “Warranty document” at the time of closing the sales. This is often a way to impose more rules on you and thereby narrow down your chances of making a claim on your warranty. If you have already agreed to sign such a document on your sales contract, you can’t do much about it. But if you have not consented to any such thing, you can and you should refuse signing this.
Towards the end of the duration of your contract, get your home inspected by a professional home inspector. This will help you make the best out of your warranty.
We stated earlier that the builder’s warranty cannot be used to replace a home warranty. Although both these plans cover home and it’s components, they are poles apart on certain matters.
You can also read about Differences between Homeowner’s insurance and Home Warranty.
The builder’s warranty is always a good way to ensure that you won’t have to pay for any repairs caused due to faulty or badly constructed structures. Always remember to clear all questions you have prior to signing the contract. Once signed, preserve the contract and other documents carefully. Should you ever feel that the service you received is not up to your expectation, spread the word. You can visit websites like ours to read about warranties and other topics related to owning a home. Cheers!
The thing is, we at HomeWarrantyReviews.com are so delighted for your continued support in providing useful reviews of the home warranties, along with using our outstanding free get quote tool for comparing various companies and its policies. We bet that the insights gained will continue to grow and remain invaluable, like always.
Home is where the heart is – everybody needs to delve deeper into their comfort zones. What’s going to aide us in this constant search? Technology. slowly, but surely technology is going to overhaul your way of life. You have to wait, til the cows come back home, ain’t it?
It takes constant effort and dedication to keep a home well-managed. (How else could you create that suave impression on your visitors?) You can run through our Ultimate Home Cleaning Hacks for some much needed inspiration. Keeping your home organized in easy steps is also a saver!
Get this into your head, make a habit out of each and every individual of your family. See to it that these handy tips are followed regularly and you’ll thank us later. It’ll be such an invigorating experience for sure.
The information seen here is the impending future, hopefully being materialized at a local store near you, within a couple of years.
Let’s see them all one-by-one over the next couple of engaging minutes-
Imagine the paint on a car self-powering a battery, how cool is that for the automotive industry? Paints on a sidewall of a home silently swindling energy to power lights on your front door, you read it right!
Using thin solar films loaded with minuscule photo-voltaic cells, these solar paints can be sprayed to achieve a superior finish. Look how this mind boggling technology is generating power and maintaining the beautiful aesthetics of a home too!
With due technological advancements, the solar paint is able to generate around 8.1% to 10% of solar energy whereas the traditional solar panel harnesses around 18% to 20% of sunlight into useful solar energy. Isn’t this revolutionizing our current trend? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this remarkable move?
Solar Transparent Panel
Yet another technological breakthrough was seen in the form of completely transparent solar panels. When a normal window pane back home could potentially generate solar energy, undoubtedly skyscrapers can act as a potential source to harness unlimited power of the sun. Further, cities can work on a more self-sustaining energy consumption model. Even our mobile phone screens can be equipped with these transparent panels and according to researchers, these transparent solar panels can reach 50% more efficiency than the traditional solar panels being widely used world-over. Imagine the energy boost you’ll all get and how economically beneficial it can get in the long run! Not to forget the clutter you’d get rid off your rooftops. Ain’t that a charm for any homeowner?
Smart Homes Using Internet-of-Things
This is a huge and promising topic having the most applications under one umbrella. These technological features can relatively be convenient for any homeowner to access and this category gives the kind of satisfaction of comfort, at a deeper level.
Being able to take precautions with the help of a Weather Detection System, you could easily minimize the wrath of nature’s fury. (Probably it’s a good idea for homeowners down south to know which are the best home warranty companies in Florida, for it witnesses the most hurricanes in a calendar year!)
Next comes the state of the art home security systems which manages alarms for break-in, informing the police department to take immediate action at your location. Active surveillance cameras sense body motions and send movement alerts across your smartphones. Smart locks reading your fingerprints can trigger actions which either lock or unlock your front door. Lights can be turned on and off from a remote location, portraying the perspective that the home is not left unattended, even though you’re enjoying a holiday overseas.
The modern kitchen these days are a heaven, since the advent of the IoT, your appliances are more versatile, the age old plain looking front of the refrigerator can now smartly connect online and play your favorite show right on the refrigerator door itself. Yes, imagination can run high and you could potentially see appliances doing more than what they were originally meant to do.
Not only that, the lighting in the living space can be dimmed, music can be played with a flick of the wrist, and the heating and cooling systems can be activated just by the mere presence of a person. Moreover, even the water in your bathtub could be set to a temperature you fancy with nothing but hand gestures. And Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is going to redefine the meaning of super-fast, crossing a whopping 200 gigs per second!
Imagine how wonderful self cleaning clothes sound, just run it with plain potable water! Visualize your home looking new and fresh every time a rain showers down at your place. Exciting, isn’t it! From rooftop tiles, paints on the walls and to the clothes you wear, newer disruptive technologies are making a significant impact and bringing in more types of appliances to the local store near you. And in due course of time, all appliances fail under certain circumstances. Hence, it’s always a good idea to cover for unexpected costs due to failure. So here’s a fair idea on how much you can annually save from a home warranty and as the technological barriers are brought down and implemented on a large scale, so does the price of the product becomes affordable. Since savings is a word not to be ignored in this fragile economic condition, we strongly advise you to protect your budget with home warranties. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, eh Cap’n?
Fastening the seat belts snug around your son when you drive him to school, looking both sides before crossing the road – every individual has been hardwired to keep themselves and their loved ones safe in every circumstance. While we deem our homes safe, secure and padlocked, domestic hazards of fires are rampant, leading to thousands of death every year in our country alone. We, child-proof our electrical sockets and cabinet doors, but what about FIRE SAFETY?
From an aromatherapy candle standing lit too close to a curtain to unchecked damaged wiring systems, residential fire deaths are most often from toxic gas and smoke inhalation. More than the actual contact with flames and first degree burns. Closed domestic spaces with no secondary exits and ventilation can be a fire safety risk and danger to lives involved. So this puts fire safety on every homeowners’ checkbox to deal with.
In order to help you with equipping you and your family, with fire safety measures, we have compiled all of the Precautions, DIY tricks, and checklists to keep you safe, prepared. Never get caught off guard with our 14 tips to fire safety at home:
No one can keep track of every room, store, and gallery throughout the day and night. Step one is keeping an eye out, and the only way to do that right is by installing smoke alarms. An adequate number of suitable spaces, especially the kitchen, attic, and basement, can go a long way when it comes to being aware of the slightest possible hazard. Smoke Alarms are such a pivotal piece of the puzzle in the fighting against untoward incidents of a fire breaking out and are your primary line of defense to have fire safety at home.
Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – and no doubt, smoke detectors are not something you can choose to skip. In fact, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission, and local fire departments in almost every state have passed the installation of smoke alarms in domestic as well as commercial spaces as a compulsory requirement. The government also has extensive fire safety guides online, from precautionary measures to what to do afterward.
Even though having an exit plan is essential for everyone for fire safety at your homes, it becomes ever so important in a home with children, grandparents, and joint family structures. It may not always be possible to find and reach out to everyone at a moment’s notice, not to mention smoke makes visibility a near impossibility. Draw out the best escape route from each space in the home, make sure every member of the household understands it – especially your children. A few drills aren’t a bad idea!
Knowing where to get out from isn’t enough. Rummaging for keys and fighting with a jammed lock or handle can be a matter of life or death in the case of a fire. Keep all the major exit keys handy, if possible make a couple of larger grill windows on each floor openable when needed, and know that a stuck door isn’t only irritating but also could turn out to be dangerous.
It may be obvious, but most of us land up taking a candle or two for granted once in awhile. Check the gas stove in the kitchen, scented candles in the bath and any use of oil burners at regular intervals. Never leave the home or turn in for the night leaving these burning.
It seems harmless, but lint filters in your washer dryer must be cleaned regularly. Lint is highly inflammable, and the smallest electrical spark it may be exposed to can cause a fire.
If you’re a smoker or happen to have a cocktail party at home, a little extra caution is called for. A cigarette butt was thrown without being stubbed out, and that combined with a little spirit spilt on the floor can instantly cause a flame that may not always be easy to control.
It can also be that the cigarette butt can cause a fire in the garden if you have dry leaves on the ground. Remember, a spark is what it takes for a raging fire!
Summer causes overloading of electrical appliances, but the dry winter air and numerous heating appliances are just as dangerous. Heater, fireplaces in the living room and electric blankets all have to be used with caution and preferably given time to cool off for at least a few hours every day.
Overloading electrical sockets, not matching the voltage of appliances with circuits they are connected to, and ill-functioning appliances are some of the most common reasons for domestic fires. Regularly check your wiring system for any wear and tear, break and overloading.
Instilling the simple rule that all implements of fire – match sticks, lighters, gas burners – are not toys for your children to play around with is not just to prevent burnt fingers. The smallest flame around the house can get out of control. So fire safety should be inculcated in the young ones for it keeps them safe from future fire hazards.
Keep chemicals and fuels that are inflammable in your line of sight as far as possible. A forgotten can of fuel in the basement or garage even causes an explosion during a residential fire.
Your garden, porch, and backyard can be prone to fire as well. A pile of dry leaves left unattended or a home next to open areas that are prone to bushfires can be just as hazardous as a can of fuel. Such outdoor spaces, combined with a parked car outside, can often snowball into a full blown fire. So make sure that all of your family members are adhering to the fire safety standards being set, both inside and outside of your home.
Carbon Monoxide poisoning is a big part of toxic gas inhalation during a house fire, and ventilation is the only way to take precautions from it.
Over and above all that, there are a few things that everyone should know in case you are facing a fire. First, smoke in closed spaces hampers visibility to almost nil, making maneuvering through rooms rather difficult. Second, a fire at night requires smoke alarms, as smoke in the bedroom doesn’t wake you up – in fact, it put you into an even deeper state of sleep.
Thirdly, know that you aren’t a trained fireman, and taking matters into your own hands can only complicate things. At any sign of a fire, get out of the building, call for help and wait before you go back in.
Lastly, have fire extinguishers in place. Make sure that all of the family members know where it is and must be ideally placed where everyone can quickly reach at. Also, have regular maintenance on your fire extinguishers so that they don’t fail when you need it the most!
Last but definitely not the least, basic emergency numbers should be kept handy, not only on a mobile phone but also written down and kept visible on the refrigerator or next to the front door. Calling 911 or the local fire department immediately can save both lives and avoid property damage.
If such an event were to occur, and injuries were prevented, property and appliance damage to some extent is inevitable. The financial stress it can put you in can be kept at bay at least to a certain extent through Home Insurance. In fact, investing in Home Insurance can be a precautionary measure as well.
Most often, Home Warranty does not cover fire-related damage to property, wiring systems, and appliances, but having your home secured with Home Insurance as well as Home Warranty can make sure each coverage makes up for the other. Warranty and Insurance have been structured in a way so as to not have overlapping claims, making each unique and essential in their own way.
Going forward, make sure that you also do a thorough research on companies offering home insurances and home warranties. A dollar saved is as good a dollar earned, when you successfully file a claim!
Condos are a great substitutes to renting an apartment or possessing a single family home and they have their own unique insurance needs.
Condo Warranty is similar to appliance warranty and provides condominium owners with coverage for repair of major appliances and home systems.
Appliances are intended to make your lives simple. Refrigerators, dishwashers, stoves, and other kitchen compliments not only assist you in doing everyday chores and prepare food faster, but they take some of the monotony out of your day and allow you more free time, as well.
Unluckily appliances, like any other piece of machinery can stop working. When that occurs, instead of saving your time and hassle, your malfunctioning appliance can actually add to your stress. This problem becomes even bigger when the malfunction occurs soon after you buy an appliance. To avoid the extra stress of dealing with faults of a brand new appliance, an appliance warranty is a brilliant tool to have in your corner.
When procuring an appliance, inquire if the appliance is issued by the dealer or if the appliance is covered by a manufacturer’s warranty. Some retail chains and dealers buy appliances from the makers without a manufacturer’s warranty, so as to lower their costs. There are quite a few disadvantages to this.
In case you buy a product for commercial/store use for a boarding house, townhouse, or apartment building with an ordinary kitchen or laundry room, make sure to study the warranty limitations. The majority of domestic appliance warranties are only meant for single family use.
Bear in mind that the majority warranty companies, no matter at what condition your appliance is, they would still repair it than replace it.
Condo Warranties are there to cover you when a trouble happens due to a defect.
A home warranty is planned to cover repair and replacement costs for major home systems and appliances (like wiring, plumbing etc.). Usually, a home warranty is bought as a contract for a year, with either annual, monthly or quarterly payments.
Even if you might have to pay a small deductible when you raise an issue, with a home warranty, you will have less worries about large, unforeseen bills caused by appliance or home system breakdown. When merged with your dealer condo warranty, a home warranty must ensure that, one way or other, if something goes wrong you will be able to manage it without breaking the bank.
Condominium insurance is a unique insurance intended to fit the detailed needs of condo owners. Similar to renters insurance, condo insurance offers liability and personal property protection. However, condo owners need to consider additional coverage for the building based on their condominium association’s master policy and it’s coverage.
So take a look at this article, you can learn about condominium insurance below, and then obtain a free quote to see if it can help you get the coverage you need to defend your residence and your belongings.
You possess a condo and the association has insurance. So what’s the big deal? Well, your condominium association insurance covers the condominium building, commonly owned property, and liability insurance for the association.
Regrettably there are many instances where that insurance policy won’t cover you or your things – like water damage to your living room walls, break in, or someone gets injured by slipping on your wet kitchen floor. For this reason, you need condominium insurance planned specifically for condo or co-op owners.
If something happens to your condo or townhome, it may be up to you to put back things like flooring, drywall, light fixtures, cabinets and more. That’s where condo liability insurance comes into the picture.
Many condominium associations only insure the building’s structure and general areas, typically leaving each unit’s interior construction to the homeowner. However, condo insurance coverage may also vary by state.
All-risk contents coverage insures the possessions inside your home for the most common types of losses. When you have this coverage, your contents are insured for the whole thing, unless it’s particularly excluded from your policy.
Named-Perils coverage includes a catalog of the most common types of items covered under your insurance. It includes theft, fire and water damage. All the items are clearly listed in your policy booklet so that you have a thorough knowledge of what your insurance policy covers.
A standard home policy usually offers for the Actual Cash Value (ACV) replacement of your possessions. This means you only obtain the value of the item, less reduction. For instance, if you bought a TV 5 years ago for $500, you might only receive $100 for it if it were damaged in a fire. Even if it may cost you $600 to substitute that same TV, your insurance would only give you $100.
Many people opted to add the Replacement Value option to their contents coverage. Replacement value coverage means that the contents of your home are insured for the amount it costs to replace them. When you substitute the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a definite time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s). This means if your 5 year – old TV was lost in a fire, you would obtain the full amount it would cost to replace it.
When you replace the item(s) with a similar kind and quality, within a specified time, the insurer will pay you what it cost you to replace the item(s) not what they were actually worth in their used state. This means if your 5 year-old TV was lost in a fire, you would get the full amount it would cost to replace it, even if that is more than you paid for the TV in the first place.
Detached Private Structure. This type of coverage applies to structures that belong to your property, but that are not connected to your primary residence. For example, a separate garage could be integrated under this coverage. There is normally a definite limit to this kind of coverage, but you can always increase that limit by buying additional coverage options.
Additional Living Expenses. If you are compelled to leave your home because of a loss, this coverage pays for your logical and necessary expenses to momentarily live away from home. Hotel and food expenses would be covered under such circumstances. There is generally a limit on this kind of coverage.
Personal Liability. Liability insurance guards you from having to pay damages to people, if you have been found liable for accidentally injuring them or damaging their property.
Voluntary Payments for Medical Expenses. This covers medical costs if someone unintentionally hurts themselves as a result of your personal activities or the way you have kept your building. It also covers injuries caused by resident employees.
Voluntary Payments for Damage to Property. The unintentional physical damage to the property of others is covered. It may also be caused by your pets or animals, or by actions of your resident employees. This kind of coverage would also comprise the intended acts of other insured persons under a certain age.
Improvements and betterments. Investing money to get your residence better increases the worth of your investment. The Improvements and Betterments Protection recompenses you for all the additional you have put into your condominium – on top of what the builder initially provided for you, up to the limit of your replacement value.
For example, your unit was initially furnished with a $5000 medium-grade carpet. You want to upgrade to a high quality carpet, valued at $10,000. The ‘Improvements and Betterments’ protection will guarantee that you obtain the full value of your new carpet in the event of a loss. So if there were a fire, and the builder only gave you $5000 to cover the value of the original carpet, the insurer would give you the remaining $5000.
Supplemental Coverage. Aside from insuring your betterments, you may also need to insure your condominium unit itself. This will ensure that you are sheltered should the corporation’s insurance not fully cover a loss to your unit.
Loss Assessment. A significant feature of a condominium insurance policy is loss assessment. This is when you share liability with others for common property. The insurer will shell out, up to a set limit, your portion of any particular assessment that’s valid under your condominium corporation’s governing rules:
You are likely finding out there are a lot of decisions to make and details to work out before you make a choice.
The home insurance agents recognize that a condominium is not a traditional home. However, it does need homeowners insurance of a particular type. In case you want to protect your condo, ensure to inquire about how condo insurance differs and what it covers.
Homeowners insurance agents who focus on condo insurance are an exceptional resource. In all reality, you are asking for tailored homeowners insurance quotes, when you ask for condo insurance quotes. So there is guarantee that you are receiving what you actually require in a policy.
All agencies or insurance types are shaped equal. Make sure that when you get condo insurance quotes, you follow up with the insurance agents who offered you with the quotes, so you are alert about all the details before you invest in a policy.
While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.
More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.
Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.
The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.
Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.
So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.
We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.
Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts
We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:
If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!
Posted in – HSA Home Warranty
2 service/repair issues the first year in my 13 year old home in Las Vegas, Nevada (water heater & refrigerator not cold). $55 deductible.
Customer service – contact w/HSA through their website. Not much to report on that.
Timeliness – HSA responded Monday morning when water heater broke on Sunday morning… HSA responded 3 hours after refrigerator service call made (weekday).
Repairs – Replaced water heater 2 days later after technician visit. Had to pay $325+deductible for items not covered under warranty… Refrigerator repaired same day.
Overall – only complaint was that service company had to reschedule service for refrigerator repair (1 day). I plan on renewing w/HSA. HSA is good in the Las Vegas area. (warranty companies are only as good as the service companies they use)
(I noticed the complaints about HSA as well as all the other warranty companies. I work in the a/c service industry and run into the same complaints found on this message board. Problem is that people do not read the contract throughly and thus the complaints. You have to have service done on appliances, like your a/c, pool, heater. Items over 10 yrs old will have to be replaced because of technological innovations and the discontinuation of parts for the old units. i.e. you can’t expect a car over 10 yrs old to run well if you don’t service it, plus the older it is, the harder and more $$$ the part would be.)
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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.
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.
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-
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows several home related expenses to be deducted from income tax. While most homeowners enjoy tax exemption on expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes etc, some are unaware whether home warranty premiums are allowed deductions.
When some of our readers approached us with this question, we realized that this could be a common question among homeowners across the country. We have tried to address that concern up to the best of our ability and we hope that this article will clear up any confusion you had about such tax deductions.
As you may know, a home warranty is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. In the United States of America, homeowners unfortunately do not enjoy the benefit of exemption on a home warranty premium you pay for your residence.
However, warranty premiums can be tax deductible if they are on an income producing building. Which means if your house is something like a home office or if it is a house that you have rented out, the premium you pay towards home warranty will be considered as a deductible expense.
A premium paid towards home warranty is considered as a pre-paid maintenance cost of your home and will therefore be non tax deductible. Which means that repairs and replacement costs, no matter how they are covered, will not be a valuable tax deduction.
If you are a tenant in some house that enjoys the protection of a home warranty plan you pay for, you will not be able to claim exemption on its premium. Only the owner will be able to consider premiums as deductible expense.
Even if you don’t have a home warranty or a home insurance policy, expenses towards repairing and replacing household appliances/ systems will be considered as maintenance costs and hence will not be tax-deductible.
In this case too, if the repair/replacement was needed for an income producing building/home, you may be able to claim an exemption.
Typically, no. IRS allows homeowners to deduct private mortgage interest from federal taxes. But, homeowner’s insurance premiums shall not receive tax exemption. Same applies to flood or title insurance. This is pretty much the way home warranty premiums work. Unless an income is generated by the building like in the case of rental properties or home office, you are out of luck.
IRS allows the following expenses to be considered as tax deductible expenses-
The following are considered as non-exemptible expenses-
We have noticed that it is a common practice to confuse home insurance and home warranty. While homeowner’s Insurance is mandatory for homes with mortgages, a home warranty is usually a choice. Though home warranty premiums may not help you save tax dollars, if your home and its contents are 4+ years old, they are a very wise purchase. Such service contracts provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services if your appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear, such damages are typically omitted by homeowner’s insurance. At the end of the day you save more money if you pay premiums for a warranty than if you pay for a repair/replacement job.
If you are worried that a home warranty is going to be expensive, we earnestly encourage you to use our website to get a free quote. You’ll be surprised to find that there are some companies that sell warranty products at compelling prices, some even at zero deductible rates. You can also browse through our site to compare plans and their features. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a look at top ten companies and our annual home warranty award winners!
Our readers are welcome to reach out to us should they have any questions or concerns. We hope that you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you!
American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.
Barry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.
He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.
Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.
AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.
The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.
It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.
The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.
Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.
“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”
“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.
Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.
Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”
The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.
As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.
As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.
Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.
There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:
Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.
To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section
If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.
Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.
Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.
If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.
It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.
Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.
Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.
Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.
Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.
The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.
The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.
The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued. This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.
BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business. Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company. For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.
According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.
The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites. One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida. In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”
Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever. If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly. Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.
If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies. Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam. The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.
Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.
While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.
Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.
Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.
A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.
Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.
When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.
Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.
When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.
With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.
So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.
Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.
So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.
In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:
Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.
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.
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.
Home warranties cover your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and use. This includes:
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.
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!
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.
It’s inevitable that a home’s systems and appliances will eventually break down and usually at the least opportune time. A system malfunction could cause unnecessary financial hardship and personal stress when your home is on the market. A home warranty, however, offers affordable budget protection and peace of mind. It may also help sell your home faster while attracting higher offers from confident buyers.
Speak to your agent to learn more and ensure you realize the full value home warranty coverage can provide.
About the Author
This article was prepared by Old Republic Home Warranty, a leading provider of home warranty plans.
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
If you’re a resident of Oregon, this is an article you wouldn’t want to miss. Every homeowner worth his salt must be well informed about the best home warranty companies in the state they reside. Being a coastal state in the Pacific Northwest region, Oregon has a diverse landscape which makes it a very popular choice for potential home buyers. All the more reason why you should go through this article because who knows, you may settle down in Oregon one day!
As you know, our website hosts reviews from actual customers of home warranty products from across the country. These reviews form the basis on which various companies are ranked on our site. For your convenience, we also have a list of top ten home warranty companies in the country. And based on the reviews collected from the customers in Oregon, here’s a list of top home warranty providers in this region-
In more detail, here’s the list of top competitors.
Considered as the founder of the home warranty industry, American Home Shield, or AHS as it is commonly called, is a company that has over 40 years of experience. AHS has come to be a company that has a nationwide footprint with many customers praising its services. AHS claims that their plans are designed to help out homeowners, sellers, buyers and Realtors alike.
With plans that cover most appliances and systems in the home that too at compelling prices, AHS has garnered many rave reviews. On an average, a standard plan comes at an annual premium of $249-$500+ and the deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$125. AHS claims to have a massive contractor network with over 11,000 technicians who are selected after a stringent screening process. With positive reviews flowing in from all parts of the country, AHS rightly deserves to be called one of the best home warranty companies.
Serving across 49 states in the US, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another major player in the home warranty industry. HSC, like its counterparts, have designed plans that are suited to cover major appliances and systems in a home at affordable prices. The company believes that they are innovators who constantly come up with new ways to help improve customer satisfaction and the quality of the services they provide.
A standard plan offered by HSC costs around $400 and the deductible charged per service visit ranges between $75-$125. HSC is also one of the few companies that don’t mandate a home inspection prior to purchasing a warranty product from them. The company’s contract network is extensive and like most of their counterparts, HSC too has around the clock customer service facility and also an online claim submission feature.
Yet another tough competitor in the state of Oregon is Select Home Warranty or SHW for short. Select Home Warranty is headquartered in New Jersey and has quite an extensive coverage across the country. And like other companies on this list, SHW too takes pride in its massive contract network with over 10,000 carefully selected technicians.
For homeowners in Oregon, select has three main plans to offer. They come in varying levels of coverage and are priced between $299-$499. Service call fee per visit is on an average around $60. SHW does not place a restriction on the age or the size of the property to be covered, neither do they mandate a home inspection prior to signing the home warranty contract. This is a rare feature and it makes them all the more loved.
Landmark Home Warranty(LHW) is a company that provides services in the states of Arizona, Oregon, Idaho, Utah and Texas alone. Despite the lack of nationwide footprint, LHW has managed to garner rave reviews in states that operate in. They also offer pest control, re-keying and heater tune-up services in certain states.
LHW too provides plans that are designed to provide peace of mind to the homeowners. With most of major appliances and systems being covered, the plans come at reasonable prices, ranging between $425-$625. Deductibles too are charged nominally, at around $60 per service visit.
Home Security of America Home Warranty or just HSA Home warranty, is the final company on our list of top 5 companies in Oregon. With over 30 years of experience in home warranty sector, HSA has grown to become a popular choice among American Homeowners. Headquartered in Cross Plains, Wisconsin, HSA is a company that claims customer satisfaction is their prime area of focus.
Home warranty plans by HSA come in two variants each with varying levels of coverage and priced between $589-$619. The deductible per service visit charge ranges between $75-$100. The company also allows customers to customize and extend their coverage by adding items from a select list of add-ons. The annual premium would then vary based on the level of coverage picked by the customer.
What we have provided you is just a list based on the reviews that we have gathered on our site. There would be other companies in the local market who are equally commendable. So the only way to make a wise choice is by doing ample amount of research. Our site offers profound insights about various companies across the country. You could also take a look at the award winning home warranty companies to help with your decision. As always, we welcome your questions and would be more than happy to help you out. Cheers!