Home Maintenance Tips

Home Maintenance Checklist, Tips and Repair Resources

As mentioned on this website, home warranty policies will not cover everything in your home. At some point you will really have to get your hands dirty. By learning more about your home appliances and maintenance needs, you can increase the life span of the appliances and avoid the pain of dealing with home warranty company for repairs and maintenance. Of course, you will save quite a bit of your money. But more than anything, it is a very satisfying experience to fix something on your own and become more knowledgeable!

Here is a collection of good resources about home maintenance.

Home Maintenance Tips

Home maintenance checklist

Every home owner should maintain a checklist of home maintenance needs. Just like your car, all your home appliances need to maintained to avoid malfunctioning. Use the templates from here that would suite your situation. Set a reminder using your email or other scheduling systems so that you won’t miss your “inspection”

From Blueribbon
Homewarranty
Printable checklist and quick tips
FromNC
State Univ
.
Helps you develop your own inspection system.
From Art of manliness Very handy home maintenance checklist
From
Family Education
Maintenance schedule (by season).
From
Home Smart
Home caring guide (by month)

 

Here is a collection of good maintenance guides for your reference

From Blueribbon
Homewarranty
Maintenance instructions for home appliances
From
Home Smart
Instructions with video and images. Minnesota Building Industry Foundation
has created this web site to help homeowners
From James Dulley Appliance maintenance tips. This site is a good resource for a homeowner

Repair and troubleshooting of home and appliances

Here is the list of best guides that I have found so far. Most of them have demonstrations with images and videos. Youtube.com is another resource of course.

ACME How To Very thorough guide that covers almost anything you ever want to fix at
home. Simple and quick fixes.
From Repair Clinic Repair guides with drawings and demonstration of appliances
From ORHP Useful quick fix tips covers major appliances

Do it yourself Projects

It is always fun to take on some home improvement projects at your spare time. It takes some time and effort, but the satisfying experience and the joy you will get after you finish a project successfully is worth it.

From Hometime Many projects available with detailed photo assisted instructions
From DIY DYI Network has easy to follow guides. Each steps explained with actual
photos

Homeowner Resources

Here is a list of useful resources for homeowners. This list will be updated as and when we find useful websites. Please feel free to suggest your favorites!

Homeowner Insurance Lowdown This website contains many resources such as homeowner insurance reviews, warranty, and financial info essential for a homeowner

Want to suggest a new resource? Please provide your feedback about home maintenance and remodeling links here






Freon is not as common a word in the American lexicon as it used to be.  And that is greatly due to the phase out of the product that started decades ago. That common household name was once the main chemical component in central heating and cooling systems, but that started to gradually change in 1987 when the U.S. government decided to gradually get rid of the ozone damaging chemical. That chemical, technically referred to as r-22, is only a handful of years away from the end of its U.S. phase out timeline.

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?

Your home’s air conditioner, when it’s working the way it should, does not need added coolant.  But like most machines, the ideal condition and the real world condition of the average central heating and cooling system differ.

Cost of Freon

 

People who have recently discovered leaks in their older HVAC systems will already be aware that it’s getting more expensive to recharge the coolant. As less r-22 is available to technicians and homeowners the costs will probably continue to increase. Here’s what I learned about this trend and what we all may expect in the future.

Some U.S. homeowners are immune to the problem of rising Freon costs. Newer homes, particularly ones built after 2010, typically have HVAC systems that use newer coolants, ones that will be around for a long time and are produced and distributed in greater quantities. But those of us with the older systems face a dilemma. Do we upgrade to a newer HVAC system, a decision that involves lots of out of pocket costs, or do we continue to accept the rising expense of recharging the coolant in leaking systems that regularly require a refill?

How do I decide whether to convert my existing HVAC system to run with the new coolant type, replace the system entirely or just leave things alone?

After researching this myself I concluded that the most cost effective choice is to leave the existing system in place at least until 2020, but that is only true if the system is running well and not leaking coolant. I also believe that a system that requires some component repair or replacement but does not leak is cheaper to keep than replace. I found that to be true after looking at the prices of replacement parts. Long after r-22 is no longer made there will still be new parts manufactured for the older systems. Those parts will not contain any coolant though.  That is the most important thing to consider when making your own decision. At what point is it more expensive and time consuming to find a technician or coolant source still carrying the old coolant type? That will likely vary from one area of the U.S. to another. But keep in mind that some of that coolant will still be available in the form of reclaimed product, taken out of systems and reused, for years to come.

What if the system is leaking heavily or near to failing?

If your HVAC system is in poor condition then you may be better off trying to find a way to afford the cost of replacing the entire system. I arrived at that conclusion after examining the costs of replacing individual components of an older system. And here is the real problem with continuing to fix that old system. The newer coolant type, r410a, does not work with older systems. Trying to convert a system from r-22 to r410a is highly impractical. The system pressure is higher for r410a, the lubricant type is different and overall it’s a throwing good money after bad to even attempt a conversion for most homeowners.

So what is best for someone on a tight budget whose HVAC system is leaking and doesn’t appear to have much time left before things start breaking?

Anyone in this situation who plans to keep the house for more than a few years should think seriously about financing options. Some local utility companies and some HVAC installers offer financing options. And in some instances the monthly payments may be very reasonable. On the other hand a homeowner who does not intend to keep the house much longer can’t look at such a hefty cost as a good idea unless the new HVAC system will result in an equal or greater boost in the sales price of the house.

There’s another thing to consider in all of this. If your system is leaking heavily then it’s not just costing money to recharge. It’s also releasing a chemical into the air in your house and ultimately into the atmosphere.  And there is a good reason that the chemical was marked for phasing out in the first place. It certainly isn’t helping the environment to have it being released into the air from lots of older homes. For some homeowners that, coupled with the greater efficiency of newer HVAC systems from an energy use standpoint, is enough to make the cost of the new system acceptable.




Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.

Home Protection Plans

Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.

  • Your appliances are over 4 years
  • You don’t have a trusted service vendor
  • You don’t have time for DIY repairs
  • You are a first time homeowner
  • You can’t afford frequent repairs and replacements

If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan.  If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.

This is how a home warranty works

You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.

He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.

Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:

  • Discounted repairs and replacements of household appliances
  • Qualified and experienced technicians at your doorstep
  • Protection of your budget against expensive repairs
  • Peace of mind
  • Covers all major appliances and systems.
  • Additional coverage can always be purchased
  • Affordable
  • Covers damages resulting from wear and tear

As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.

  • Not free of cost. In addition to the annual premium that ranges anywhere between $250 to $1000, you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue. The amount is typically nominal, around $50
  • Home warranty companies will almost always try to repair and not replace the damaged gadget.
  • Some may feel that there is no flexibility. You usually cannot select a service vendor of your choice and sometimes conflicts may arise on the diagnosis provided by the vendor.
  • Claims can be denied on vague grounds or by stating fine print from the contract.
  • Pre-existing conditions quite often are not covered

Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.

  • Your appliances are fairly new and are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty.
  • You have a trusted repair vendor.
  • You have time and skill for DIY repairs
  • You have money for frequent repairs

You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.

If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!

The bottom-line

Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.

A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully.  If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!




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

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

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

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

Cost consideration on home warranty

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

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

Importance of extended home warranty

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

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

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




When fixing up your home, the kitchen is a great place to start. This is because the area is one of the busiest rooms of the house – it is the place where meals are cooked, dishes are prepared and sometimes food is also shared. Improving the kitchen area can help you bring about change in other parts of your life, like sticking to a better diet or resolving to be neater in other rooms.

Improve your Kitchen

 

Complete remodeling may not be the perfect solution always as it requires complete renovation and a decent budget too. However, the kitchen can simply be improved by employing few decorating techniques.

Here are a few ways to change the way your kitchen is treating you.

  1. Organize and enhance storage areas: The kitchen is a room where clutter tends o build up. Minimize chaos even in the smallest spaces. Pay for baskets or decorative storage bins to hide rarely used items above cabinets and free up cabinet space. Keep countertops clear, especially if counter space is limited and reflect on wall storage options instead. Shelving comes in different styles – including brackets that can be set up on angled walls. Don’t overlook backside of doors, corners as potential storage areas. Glance through websites for ideas and products to get solutions to the most hard-to-solve organizational troubles.
  2. Do some decorative painting: Decorative Painting Ideas On Kitchen WallsLook through and recognize areas that need spicing up. Don’t undervalue the impact of adding color in unexpected places. Paint the walls of the kitchen in relaxing or light colors. Light and bright colors shall make the room appear large and shall breathe in life to the room. Darker shades are to be avoided as they are known to make the room appear compact.
  3. Get rid of boring backsplashes: A portion of colorful wall next to countertop can brighten up the entire kitchen if painted in a contrasting color. Or, attempt applying textured vinyl-coated wallpaper. There are several other products obtainable to give homeowners the ability to upgrade such as peel-n-stick metal tiles, as well as DIY kits for setting up glass mosaic tile. In case there is an existing monotone backsplash, there are a variety of tile to pick from to create a new look reasonably.
  4. Refinish or paint old wood cabinets: Kitchen CabinetsIf you have old wood cabinets with a dull finish then think about refinishing or painting them. Add attractive trip to plain cabinet doors, or buy new door fonts. Paint or change old, worn hinges and hardware. Put in new hardware back plates – they are functional and will showcase new hardware while hiding defects and holes.
  5. Expand without gutting: Checking with a contractor is a great way to come up with ideas and implement changes to an inefficient, claustrophobic floor plan and is more inexpensive than most homeowners expect. Completely or partially removing a wall, or stealing space from an adjacent room, can make a great difference in the way a kitchen feels and is not nearly as expensive or inconvenient as demolishing the entire kitchen and starting from scratch.

Below is a list of some more efficient techniques to assist you improving your kitchen:

  • Rather than storing food items and other ingredients in the package they come, stock up them in containers or jars. Obtain different types of containers for storing different items. For example, you may choose transparent jars but with different lids or prints.
  • Put in new lighting to produce a fresh dramatic effect in the room. Try to put in different types of lighting in different areas of the kitchen rather than a single bright light. Ascent lights, pendant lights, task lights, under counter halogen are some well-liked options.
  • Add a mirror to the kitchen. Mirrors are wonderful decoration items and generate the illusion of larger space. You may hang the mirror or any idle wall of the kitchen, together with the wall above the stove.
  • Set up hooks or hangers on one of the walls of the kitchen. They can be used for hanging pots and pans, serving spoons and kitchen cloth. Hooks are a sensible option as they shall free up the cabinet space.
  • Buy a kitchen island for your kitchen. Kitchen Island CabinetsIt shall provide an additional work surface to the kitchen. It is suggested to buy collapsible or portable kitchen islands so that they can be removed or folded when not needed.

There are a dozen kitchen improvement ideas which when followed to the latter bring the change you have been wishing for in your kitchen. When settling on which one to begin you should give consideration to the value that it will add to your home. To know more about this check out our Home Maintenance guide.

No matter where you live, kitchens are often one of the most used spaces in a house. Whether you are chef, someone who loves to cook, or the one liable for family meals, having an intuitive, practical kitchen space makes being in that space more enjoyable.

Kitchen area is very important in the house and the health of your family is also lined up so ensure to keep the whole area clean, comfortable and beautiful all the time. Well it is certainly great to work in an area where you feel most comfortable in, so the ways mentioned above can ultimately improve your cooking for the whole family which is a great thing. In case you are planning to renovate your kitchen, you might well reflect on the tips mentioned.




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

Increase The Sale Price Of A Property

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

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

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

What makes home warranty increase the value of a home?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Different types of home warranty in a property sale

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

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

When is a home warranty not ideal?

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

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

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

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

Making the final decision – Sell with warranty or without?

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

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

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




Life throws many unforeseen things at all of us. As we can’t stop these things from happening, we can choose to give our lives a bit of protection. Insurance is meant to grant us some measure of financial protection, when a disaster occurs. There is plethora of insurance options available and it is suggested by many financial experts to have these insurance policies in place. Yet, with so many choices, it can be difficult to decide what kind of insurance you need to get.

Life Insurance Policy

Buying the right insurance is always decided based on your specific situation. There are however, four insurances that are suggested by most financial experts namely life, health, auto and long-term disability. Each of these covers up a definite feature of your life and is vital to your financial future.

Do I Really Need Life Insurance, and if So How Much?

The greatest aspect in having life insurance is providing for those who depart. This is really important when your family is dependent on your salary. Experts recommend that life insurance policy should cover “ten times your yearly income”. This amount would give a sufficient amount of money to cover funeral expenses, existing expenses and provide your family a financial cushion which will assist them re-group after your demise.

When estimating the amount of life insurance coverage you want, keep in mind to factor in not only funeral expenses, but also mortgage payments and living expenses such as credit cards, taxes, loans, child care and future college costs.

Life insurance is something that will be required by everybody at some point. Unless you work in the insurance industry or are familiar to somebody that does, what do you really know about the life insurance types that are accessible to you? The answer to that question probably is ‘not a lot’, and why you be supposed to?

Types of Life Insurance

Many of us think that there is a common life policy for insurance that everybody procures but this is actually not the case and there is a variety of life insurance that can be bought. Each of the types has its own precise features and benefits that may be of concern to the consumers.

Below is the brief explanation as to what these different kinds of life insurance are in order that you can be familiar with the difference between them.

Life insurance comes in several sizes and shapes, but they generally fall into two categories namely Term Life Insurance and Permanent Life Insurance.

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

This is the most affordable life insurance and coverage in this type is bought for a definite price for a specific period of time. After the demise of the insured, the recipient will receive the death benefit. It makes the death benefit longer only for a definite period and if the insured doesn’t die within the term of the policy, he gets nothing in return.

This kind of life insurance makes logic if you have monetary needs that will reduce over time, such as a child’s tuition or a home mortgage.

Types of Term Life Insurance

  1. Guaranteed Level Term Life Insurance: This is the most common type and is well-liked for the reason of the very low cost and long term coverage it provides. These kinds of life insurance policies have premiums that are intended to remain level for a period of 5, 10, 15, 20, 25 or even 30 years.
  2. Return of Premium Term Life Insurance: This is a type of life insurance policy that gives a definite refund of the life insurance premiums when the term period expires, assuming the insured is still living. This policy is a bit more expensive but the premiums are planned to remain level. Significantly less expensive than permanent types of life insurance, this life insurance policy still may give cash surrender values if the insured doesn’t die. Return of premium term life insurance policies can be availed in 15, 20 or 30 year terms.
  3. Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance: This type of term life insurance policy has growing premiums. The premiums rise each year to reveal the possibility of your death in any given year.  Annually Renewable Term Life Insurance is not popular and is only procured when the coverage is required for one year or less which happens most frequently in business deals.

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

Permanent life insurance by definition is a policy that provides lifelong protection. The policy never ends as long as the premiums are paid. In addition, this type of policy provides a savings element that builds cash value over a long period of time.

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

  • Whole Life Insurance:  This is a type of permanent life insurance which is intended to provide coverage for an individual’s whole life rather than a specified term. It is apt to needs that do not decrease over time such as paying estate settlement taxes and costs. Usually, the life insurance rate for this policy remains unchanged throughout the life of the insured. For the early years of life insurance policy, premiums are much higher and these life insurance policies build up cash values which can be accessed by the by the owner of the policy through surrenders or policy loans.
  • Universal Life Insurance: This policy is different from whole life insurance in the fact that this type itemizes and distinguishes the protection element, cash values and the expense element. By sorting out the three elements, the insurance company can put up more flexibility into the life insurance policy which permits the policy owner to amend the face amount or the premium in response to changing circumstances and needs.
  • To age 100 level guaranteed life insurance: This type offers an assured level premium to age 100. In addition, it also provides guaranteed level death benefit to age 100. Most frequently, it is carried out within a Universal Life policy, with an additional feature known as a “no lapse rider”. Some of these plans also incorporate an “extension of maturity” feature, which provides that if the policy owner lives to age 100, having paid “no lapse” premium each year, the complete face amount of coverage will carry on an assured basis at no charge thereafter.
  • Survivorship or 2nd-to-die life insurance: A survivorship policy is a type of coverage that is usually provided either as whole life or universal and pays a death benefit at the later death of generally a husband and wife. It is widely accepted among wealthy individuals since the mid 1980’s as a method of discounting their expected future estate tax liabilities which can take away an amount to over half of family’s entire net worth!A “2nd-to-die” life insurance policy permits the insurance firm to delay the payment of the death benefit until the second insured’s demise, thus creating the necessary dollars to pay the taxes just when they are required! This type of coverage is extensively used as it is less expensive than individual permanent life insurance coverage on either partner.

Once you know the type of protection applicable to you and would like to procure, you can get online rates for the policy you wish. With the help of online life insurance quotes, you are able to examine and compare insurance quotes from various insurance companies.




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.

Claim Denials for Right ReasonsHome Warranty Claim

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.

Claim Denials for Wrong Reasons

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.

Improve your Claim Approval Rates

Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts

  • Always, we repeat ALWAYS pick a company that has a good reputation. Consider multiple options, read online reviews, talk to your friends and family, visit the company’s office if possible before you zero in on a company.
  • Never ignore the documents. Always read the policy booklet and the contract thoroughly. You can get someone to look at it as well, just to be on the safer side. Before you sign, make sure that you understand how the plan works and what is excluded and included in the coverage.
  • Pick a company that has a round the clock customer support.
  • Some companies recommend a home inspection prior to signing the contract. They do so, so that pre-existing issues can be detected. If the company does not conduct an inspection, it could be a potential problem. In future, they may deny your claim saying that it was a pre-existing issue. To save yourself, get your home inspected by a professional inspector even if the warranty company does not recommend one.

The bottom Line

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:

  • Not all feedback and stories provided by customers are completely true
  • Not all companies are rip-offs
  • Most of the unpleasant incidents reported  occur due to a lack of understanding between the customer and the warranty company.
  • Fraudulent companies exist and one must practice caution so that they don’t end up being cheated.
  • Good experiences are often unreported.

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!




Review filed under: National Home Protection
Author: Donald Walker

——————————————
On Aug 11, 2008 I contacted someone named Jeffrey at national home protection located in the city of New York City, NY: 42 West 38th Street 8th floor suite 800 New York, NY 10018. I have two properties in the State of California that I was considering home warranties for. I wanted to know if there were discounts for multiple properties. Jeffrey told me he had special pricing for multiple homes called the “realtor pack “which was 15% off quoted prices with a 45.00 Dollar service call deduction. He told me in order to receive these discounts I had to purchase a minimum three year policy. My main concern was what the policy exclusions were. I call it a policy because that’s how national home protection advertised their service on the internet as an insurance policy.

I asked if I could review the home warranty policy first and Jeffrey told me that once I purchased the policy he would immediately e-mail me a copy of the policy to review and also send me a copy through the U.S. mail that I would receive in about three days, along with 300.00 Dollars in Home Depot gift cards (50.00 per property per year) that were part of a promotional link to their web site and that I had 30 days to review the policy before it went into effect and that I could cancel at any time and keep the gilt cards, and after 30 days I could cancel with a pro-rated refund .I then gave Jeffrey my credit card number over the phone to complete the purchase. On Aug 13, 2008 I checked my e-mail and had not received the policy from Jeffrey, I did receive an e-mail from someone named Victor Hakim Sales Manager at national home protection (nhp) who offered me the same so-called “realtor pack” deal (see attachment #B) that I had just purchased from jeffrey but without the requirements that I was subjected to earlier. I now realized I had been the victim of false and misleading business practices at nhp. On Aug 18, 2008 I finally received the (2) insurance policies. In the mail from nhp and after further review found that Jeffrey misrepresented the facts about their cancellation policies and promotions (I received no home Depot card nor could I cancel the policy at anytime). He clearly committed fraud over the phone. I immediately contacted nhp and spoke to someone who refused to give her name, about cancelling the policies. I was told my request was being forwarded to a manager for review and a decision would take 72 hours then someone would call me. On Aug 20, 2008 I sent two e-mails as a reply to victor hakim about dissatisfaction with nhp and demanded a full refund. I explained that Jeffrey had not explained the terms or conditions to me as stated in their policy, and that as I looked further into their company I found out that it was common for his employees to deceive the public. Further nhp does not make assurances that the public understands their cancellation policies, nor do they provide reasonable time to review or an opportunity sign their policies. My e-mails were never answered.

On Aug 20, 2008 I faxed to nhp a formal notice to cancel all policies and continued to call. All faxes were verified as received. On Aug 22, 2008 I called nhp and again spoke to someone who told me that my cancellation request was still being processed and my final call to nhp was on Aug 25, 2008 when I was told nhp will not accept my request to cancel the policies. It’s very clear based on the sampling of hundreds of complaints which I have enclosed with this letter that National home Protection engages in deceptive business practices to obtain their customers. Consider that fact that a policy that takes seven days to reach a customer via U.S. mail would be impossible to review with three day (72 hour) clause or the fact that nhp employees do not inform their customers of the importance of these conditions and assures that they fully understand them.

Nhp has an extensive history of deception and fraud and has an unsatisfactory rating with every known consumer protection agency, and was doing business under the name of United Home Warranty, and are currently under criminal investigation in the state of New Jersey for consumer fraud. They have now changed their name to National Home warranty and are currently doing business in the state of New York.
Their customers are being denied service for no reason, hundreds of customers never receiving their (Home Depot) promotions and cancellation requests denied.

I hope this information will encourage you to do what’s necessary to protect thousands of Americans from consumer fraud and deception by National home Protection as witnessed at:
1. Complaints.com 6.Abclocal.go.com
2. Scams.com 7.The squeakwheel.com
3. My3cents.com 8.Consumeraffairs.com
4. Complaintboard.com 9.thestuccocompany.com
5. Ripoffreport.com 10.viewpoint.com


Additional advice about home warranty:
Home appliance warranty coverage varies and you should be aware that not all home appliances and furnitures are covered. While Kitchen electronics, and electrical system are covered, storage cabinets, ceiling fans, and furniture repairs are generally not covered




Whether you are shopping for a home warranty or already have one, you may be asking yourself how to tell which companies are legit and which ones are not.  Here’s a quick tip from people who know this industry inside and out.  Listen to your repair contractors!

If you want to know how the weather is going to turn out tomorrow you listen to a meteorologist, right?  If you want to know the best place to get dinner this weekend then you probably turn to your favorite online source of local customer reviews.  But home warranty?  Who is the expert where those are concerned?  Trust us.  Nobody knows home warranty like the people who make the repairs!  These are the people who are on the front lines, serving the home warranty companies’ customers.  They know which companies are good, which ones are great, and which ones are someplace in between.

Listen to your repair contractors or technicians

Trust the people you can count on to tell you the truth

Why do repair contractors get the inside scoop on home warranty companies?  That’s easy.  They get paid by the home warranty companies.  And the ones that are slow to pay or don’t pay at all are probably the ones you should avoid.  If they don’t pay their repair contractors then how can you trust them to do what’s right by you, their customer?

So, how do you get the repair technicians to be your personal guides to the home warranty industry?  That’s a little more of a challenge.  But here’s an approach that might work for you.

Just like looking for a doctor who accepts your health insurance, look for a repair contractor who accepts your home warranty coverage.

If you’ve had health insurance then you already know what it’s like to search for a healthcare provider who accepts your insurance.  This process typically involves flipping through page after page of physicians in your area who appear in your insurer’s provider catalog.  Your home warranty company probably won’t have a catalog to give to you, but that shouldn’t slow you down.  There are two ways to go about finding out who works with your home warranty company in the local area.  One way is to call a repair technician who has a lot of good reviews and ask if the company works with your home warranty company.  Another way is to call your home warranty company and ask for a list of their local contractors.  The key here is to talk with repair technicians who have a good reputation.  It doesn’t do you any good if you get praise for your home warranty company from a technician who isn’t any good at fixing things.  In fact, that might actually be a bad sign!

Repair technicians write reviews too!

Another way to find out what repair contractors think about a particular home warranty company is to read online reviews.  Customers are not the only ones who take time out to share their experiences working with the top home warranty companies as well as the not-so-top ones.  If you skim through reviews, chances are you will find a few written by the people who perform the repairs.  If you see complaints about the company not paying its bills or asking the technician to do things that go against his professional ethics then consider that a red flag.  If you find a pattern of such complaints then that’s a red flag you can’t afford to ignore.  

Aside from the reviews being helpful for the information they contain about the quality of the companies, you may also find contact information for the repair contractors who wrote the reviews.  Following up with contractors in your local area who write reviews can sometimes reveal even more detail about how the companies do business.  Do they ask their contractors to fix things cheaply instead of fixing them correctly?  Do they reject repairs outright, due to the cost alone?  These are things you need to know.

Now that you have valuable insight into the way your home warranty company treats its contractors, what do you do next?

Once you’ve contacted at least one reliable repair contractor who was willing and able to tell you what it’s like working with your home warranty company (or companies you are considering doing business with) then you’ve got some follow-up work ahead of you.  Consider the following tips, even if you’re really happy with what the repair technician told you about his or her experiences with the company you asked about.

When is the time to look for a new home warranty?

If the conversation with the repair technician didn’t go the way you’d hoped then you have to ask yourself whether it makes sense to do business with that home warranty company.  Depending upon how bad the news was, you might want to get quotes from other home warranty companies immediately, rather than waiting to find out the hard way that the company doesn’t do what’s right for its customers or contractors.

When the repair technician has bad things to say about the home warranty company, it may be time to look for a new one.

Getting home warranty quotes is just one of many things you can do right here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com.  We work with many of the top companies in the industry, so we can probably get you the details quote information you need within minutes, delivered to you by a knowledgeable representative of the company you’re interested in.

If the news you got wasn’t good, but you’re not convinced that one opinion is a good indication of the company’s dealings with its customers and contractors then you may want to follow with one or two calls to other repair contractors in that company’s network of service providers.  One bad experience may be balanced out by a good one, or you might get a consensus from a few contractors that they’re usually happy working with the home warranty company.

Can you choose your repair contractors?

When the news is good and comes from a reputable repair technician, you might want to find out if that technician can be the one the home warranty company sends when you request service.

If you had a good experience talking with the technician then you may want to find out if the home warranty company will allow you to choose your own technician when you request service.  If that technician took the time to help you when you called to ask for his or her opinion about the home warranty company then you can probably count on that person being equally helpful and professional when something covered by your home service contract needs service.

Some home warranty companies allow their customers to choose a repair contractor rather than waiting for the company to dispatch one from their network of service providers.  In those cases, it would save you time in the future if you already have contact information for a contractor who accepts your home service contract coverage.  But keep in mind that there are a few situations in which having just one contractor selected ahead of time will not help you.

  • The contractor is unavailable at the time you request service
  • The contractor does not work on the type of appliance, system, fixture or another covered item that you need to be repaired

So if a home warranty company permits you to choose your own contractor you should probably get to know a few different local companies that work with the home warranty company.  Depending on what your contract covers, you might need more than a few experts in various repair fields.

If your home warranty company and your contractors do right by you then please return the favor!

The best way of saying thank you to a repair contractor and to your home warranty company, when they take good care of you, is to write reviews by looking up the companies which have served you.  You not only reward those companies for their good work, but you also help other customers, people just like you, make smart decisions about the companies they choose to work with.  So please share a moment of your time when you have a good experience with your home warranty, and post a review here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com!

 




10 Things You Must Know About Home Warranty

Home Warranty Insurance provides you with protection against expenses that are incurred due to damage of your household appliances. The appliance warranty company shall either pay for repairs or replace your damaged appliance.

Home Warranty is not an ideal choice for customers who have fairly new equipment in their homes. It is ideal for appliances over four years old.

The Great Stuff

The advantages of Home Warranty are many. Its like an umbrella warranty that covers all the appliances in your home. These are the best aspects of an Appliance Warranty Insurance:

  1. If a major appliance or system breaks down, the Home Warranty company will pay for repairs or in certain cases may even replace the appliance.
  2. You need not go around looking for a technician to repair your damaged appliance. All you have to do is call up your warranty company and pay the deductible amount (usually around $50) and they will send a technician to service the appliance or system
  3. If you wish to sell your home, having a Home Warranty Contract adds value to your property. Buyers are often interested in getting an insured home rather than an uninsured one.
  4. It makes you stress free and you can rest assured that if an appliance breaks down, it will not burn a hole in your pocket.

The Not So Great Stuff

As much as there are benefits, like a coin with two sides, this too has a few limitations.

  1. Each repair will cost something as you have to pay a deductible amount anywhere between $50 – $100 for EACH repair incident. You will have to pay a separate deductible amount for each appliance that was damaged.
  2. The annual premium you pay can range anywhere between $ 500 – $ 1000. So if you are confident that you will not need annual repairs for your appliances, it is better that you hire a contractor for the occasional repairs.
  3. If an appliance part needs to replaced, expect delays. Contractors will have to wait for the company to send new parts in the mail and this delays the repair work.

Drawbacks

Being a top home warranty reviews site, we are aware of common problems faced by customers. Let us take you over a few such issues that you may find difficult to deal with:

  1. Often claim processing moves at a snail’s pace with the company quoting clauses from the contract to deem your claim invalid when the costs involved are quite high. Let this not deter you, there are Insurance companies around who provide impeccable service and ensure that you are well treated.
  2. Pre-existing conditions of your used appliances are not covered. Damages due to wear and tear and lack of maintenance are not covered as well. However, there are companies that do cover above criteria.
  3. Then there is  the fact that Insurance companies always opt for repairs rather than replacing the damaged appliance with a brand new one.

Always make sure that you read the Policy booklet and contract thoroughly so that future conflicts are avoided. Also ensure that the Insurance Company you choose comes highly recommended.

Choosing the right Home Warranty Plan

Choosing the right plan and the right Insurance company is a tough decision to make. The market does provide a lot of choices regarding this as well. If you have decided to proceed with your decision of getting a Home Warranty for yourself, check our reviews section for some insights and ratings. We hope that it will help you choose a plan that suits your needs and your budget. If you are still undecided, do check out our Home Warranty Buyers Guide for further help.




By:  Kevin Wallach


One of last year’s most talked about movies, “The Big Short,” got people thinking once more about the great housing market crash of 2007.  The film, based on true events, cut to the heart of the abuses of government regulatory weaknesses that allowed one of the worst market collapses in history to occur.  Though that financial crisis is behind a great many, plenty of U.S. homeowners are still feeling its effects in the form of an upside down mortgages, loans bigger than the value of the houses that collateralize them.  According to NBC News, 13% of U.S. homeowners are still seriously underwater.  This estimate was based on figures provided by RealtyTrac, and the basis for the term, “underwater,” was that the home’s value is 25% less than what is currently owed by the homeowner.

From Buyers Market to Seller’s Market The U.S. Housing Shortage

Imagine what this means for the homeowners.  You face the choice of holding on to a house that may or may not ever reach a value which would match or exceed the mortgage.  For many families, this just is not an option.  The other prospects are not any better, though.  Accepting foreclosure or a short sale can be as damaging to a consumer’s credit rating as a bankruptcy.  The long term effects of having poor credit can be devastating, particularly so for families barely hanging on financially and experiencing long-term decreases in household income.

It’s no surprise then that homeowners who owe more on their homes than the houses are worth should be cheering the current situation facing the housing market.  That situation, of course, is the housing shortage that is being realized nationwide, worse in some regions than others.  In a blog post on Trulia’s website just days ago, the online publisher of real estate industry information broke down factors that are contributing to the shortage of homes and particularly the shortage of affordable ones.  According to that Trulia article, 95 of the 100 largest U.S. metropolitan areas have seen dramatic drops in the number of new starter homes being built.  If you compare these metro areas with various measures of employment opportunities, you begin to see that what’s driving the economic recovery in some regions may also be driving a split between housing that is affordable for the most fortunate among us and that which is affordable for the average worker or for the working family.

Talk of a housing shortage may seem bizarre to those who are still watching their property values hover, stuck in a zone that seems almost permanent.  These homeowners are witnessing a recovery in a housing market that has not been evenly experienced nationwide.  While places like southern California see spikes in prices of even undeveloped land, much of the country is seeing stagnation, except in neighborhoods with premium housing options.  So while inventory nationwide is shrinking, it’s not necessarily translating into big opportunities for owners of homes around the United States to sell at break even or a profit.  And those who do sell their lower-priced houses as such are running into problems finding houses that they can afford at the next price level.

So, what is it that’s really driving housing shortages, if not healthy employment and more people moving from their first house to their second, and more expensive one?  This is where speculation can lead to some pretty grim possibilities.  Back in January of this year, The Washington Post gave some predictions for the housing market in 2016.  Among those visions of the coming year were sunny forecasts of continued rising home values, built on solid ground this time, unlike the lead up to 2007.  But what the Post’s article may be wrong about is how solid the ground is under these increasing housing costs.  According to some market analysts, a new type of real estate investor is largely taking the place of larger institutional investors.  These “mom and pop” investors are, unlike their larger predecessors, using credit, not cash, to make these purchases.  In this article from RealtyTrac about mom and pop investors in the real estate space, the purchase of homes is secondary to the effort to purchase the loans themselves.  And it doesn’t end with small investors who buy distressed houses on credit or who buy non-performing loans (NPL) and usually foreclose, adding to reduced house values in areas already struggling to rebound.  There is evidence, as Fortune reflects in their recent article, that a number of large scale investment factors are directly contributing to overvalued real estate in the U.S., an undercurrent that is buoying sales of overpriced homes, thus leading to a shutout for prospective buyers with budgets that just are not big enough for the market’s demands.

If worst case scenario predictions prove to be true then American homeowners should not expect to see the continued value increases predicted by optimists and eager salespeople.  And if it proves to be true that the shortage is mostly built on speculation, much like the bubble that burst in 2007, then that 13% of underwater mortgages reported by NBC News may, in the not-so-distant future, grow much bigger again and abruptly end the housing shortage.


About the Author:  Kevin Wallach has written about the home warranty industry and other homeowner related topics since 2009.  He is actively involved in the marketing of home warranties, as well as being an active member of the larger industry.  He is the administrator of the Linkedin group for the home warranty and home service contract professionals.

HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to bring our readers editorial articles such as this one. If you would like to see other topics related to home ownership covered in future editorial articles, please let us know. And if you came here today to read about home warranties then please consider one of our recent articles about home warranty companies and their services.




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

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

Zero Deductible

Home Warranty Plans with No Service Call Fee

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

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

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

What is a deductible?

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

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

What is a premium?

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

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

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




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

Stanley Warranty

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

What’s A Nice Homeowner To Do?

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

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

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




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

Types of Warranties

Home Warranty

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

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

Manufacturer’s Warranty

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

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

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

Seller’s Warranty

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

Extended Warranty

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

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

Home Service Contracts

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

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

Make sure you know and understand:

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

Asking the right questions BEFORE PURCHASING will prevent unwelcome surprises.




HVAC Maintenance Checklist

 

Found this useful? Share this with your friends and family, hit the share button and help someone out. Cheers!

Share this Image On Your Site

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

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

Monthly maintenance routine

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

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

Annual maintenance routine

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Found this useful? Share this with your friends and help them too!!




If you’re on the lookout for a home or if you are planning to sell a property, chances are you may have hired a real estate agent. Such agents are the godsend when it comes to real estate transactions as they can help you get really good deals. That said, they can also be a pain in the neck if they are not competent enough. So the question is, is your real estate agent good enough to get you that dream deal? Let’s find out.

Qualities Of A Good Real Estate Agent

When you hire someone to help you buy or sell a property, keep in mind that the money involved is not little by any means. You may want to look for the following qualities in a potential agent.

  • Commendable experience in the field
  • Good knowledge of the locality you are interested in
  • Well organized and the kind who pays attention to detail
  • Hardworking and honest
  • Tech-savvy
  • Has a good network to rely on

Although there is no foolproof way to find out if a potential agent has these qualities, the best approach would be to interview multiple agents and pick the one who reflects most of the above qualities.

Analyzing Your Real Estate Agent

 Real Estate Agent

If you have already hired an agent, here are few things you could check to decide whether your agent needs to be replaced or not.

1. He/She is a part-time agent

You’re not ok with a part-time doctor to treat your illness, then why-oh-why would you let a part-time agent handle your real estate transactions? Most part-time agents are off their game and may fail to get you the best deal.

If the one you have right now is indeed a part-time agent, you may want to consider replacing him/her.

2. Charges very low commission

The typical commission charged by agents for buying/selling a house is 6%-7%, which is equally split by the buyer and the seller. Most agents refuse to sell for a commission lower than that. So if your agent agrees to a lower commission, be cautious. This does not mean that the commission is not a negotiable sum. It’s just that most good real estate agents disagree to go below the typical norm.

3. Lack of or difficulty in communication

If your agent doesn’t return your calls or messages within two days or is, in general, a very difficult person to get through, it could be a bad sign. Competent agents are always on top of their game so they would never keep a client waiting.

4. No, or negligible experience

This is especially true in the case of part-time agents. One way to check for experience is to ask for references. If the references span over many years, well and good or you can directly ask your agent to give you details about how many deals he has closed.

5. No online presence

It wouldn’t have been a bad thing 10 years back, but today, not making use of resources available online to market/sell properties is a bad call. This should be one of the signs that your agent needs to be replaced.

The Final Word  

Like in any profession, there are good ones and there are bad ones. But in this particular case, picking a bad real estate agent can cost you heavily so you may want to interview many agents before you make your final pick. If you are a seller, you should look into some ways to get your home sold faster. And if you are a buyer, you should also be aware of what to look for when you buy a new home.

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Cheers!

 




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

Recommended Articles




If you are a homeowner in Ohio, this is an article that can’t miss! Your home is probably the biggest investment in your life and you know it takes time and money to keep it running well. We’re sure that you would’ve considered a home warranty plan to save yourself hundreds of dollars in repairs and replacements. But are you sure you know about the best companies in your locality? This is why you need to know about the best home warranty companies in Ohio.

Home Warranty Companies In Ohio

Best Appliance Warranties In Ohio

 

Being the 10th most densely populated state in the country, Ohio does have numerous players in the home warranty sector. Yet, some companies have managed to outshine others with exceptional services and great products. You may already be knowing that our website ranks companies based on feedback collected from actual customers. We have also used these reviews to come up with the best home warranty companies in the country. So, based on said reviews, here are the companies that top the list of best appliance warranty providers in Ohio-

  1. American Home Shield
  2. The Home Service Club
  3. Select Home Warranty
  4. HSA Home Warranty
  5. Choice Home Warranty

We’d like to provide you some more details about the companies in this list. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a detailed page for every company listed with us and we also have a statewise list of companies. So if you have friends and family in other states, do tell them to pay us a visit for getting their home warranty needs to be addressed.

1. American Home Shield (AHS)

American Home Shield (AHS) is a company that laid the foundation of the home warranty industry, Since its inception in 1971, American Home Shield has always been a popular choice among American homeowners. AHS has a nationwide footprint with even some parts of Canada being included in their coverage.

Being one of the first companies to sell warranty products, their experience is close to unmatched. All AHS home warranty plans are designed to cover major appliances and systems at reasonable prices. A typical AHS warranty plan would cost somewhere between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit would cost somewhere between $75 – $125. The company maintains a massive contractor network of over 11,000 skilled and licensed technicians who are selected after a careful screening process. AHS, like most of the top players, maintains around the clock customer service facility and also runs an online claims submission program. Backed by strong reviews, this is one company that totally deserves to be on top of this list.

2. The Home Service Club

Home Service Club or HSC, is a company who considers themselves innovators in the field of home warranty. HSC’s primary focus has always been on providing the best possible service to their customers. The company’s coverage spans 48 states across the country. HSC believes that the frequent surveys and customer feedback programs they conduct are the reason why they are able to stay on top of their game.

HSC’s plans do not mandate a home inspection, neither do they place a restriction on the age of the appliances. A standard plan from HSC will cost around $400 and the deductible per service visit is charged between $65 – $125.

3. Select Home Warranty

Yet another company with huge popularity in Ohio is Select Home Warranty (SHW). Select has a vast national network of contractors and is also a company with a commendable tenure in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in New Jersey, this company covers anything from rental properties and condos to mobile homes.

For homeowners in Ohio, SHW provides three types of home warranty plans each varying in the level of coverage. On an average, SHW’s plans are priced between $299 – $599 and most plans have a service call fee of $60. This is yet another company that does not place a restriction on the age of appliances, neither do they mandate a home inspection.

4. HSA Home Warranty

HSA is a company with close to 30 years experience in the home warranty industry and they also have immensely positive reviews from their customers. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA believes that their success is attributed to the problem-solving capabilities and the commitment of their team.

Their primary product, the appliance warranty plan, comes in two variants for Ohio homeowners and they cost between $589 – $619 and their deductible cost ranges between $75 – $100. Customers are also given the option to extend coverage by adding items from a pre-selected list of add-ons.

5. Choice Home Warranty

Choice Home Warranty (CHW) is a company known for providing comprehensive warranty plans to their customers. The company claims that they can cater to the needs of homeowners, real estate agents, buyers and sellers.

CHW offers transferable home warranties to homeowners, buyers and sellers alike. Standard plans are priced between $370 – $450 and the average deductible charge is $60. CHW has a 24/7 customer service facility and also an online claims facility through which customers can manage and track the progress of their claims.

Before You Buy A Home Warranty

While we have indeed provided you with a list of some of the best companies, we recommend that you conduct ample amount of research before you zero in on a choice. Our website would be an excellent place to find out insights about home warranty companies across the country. We suggest that you go through user reviews and go through our statewise list of companies before you decide. We hope you found this useful and don’t hesitate to contact us in case you have a query. Cheers!