Today’s topic: Customer Service Success Through an Efficient Contractor Network in Home Warranty Industry
With thanks to the following participants:
Gwen Gallagher, President, Old Republic Home Protection
Dave Quandt, Vice President of Field Operations, American Home Shield
HomeWarrantyReviews.com is proud to offer the first in our new series of home warranty industry round table discussions. In this first issue, we hear from two of the top companies in the industry regarding how each of their organizations meets the growing demands from their customers for high quality, timely service from repair contractors.
We asked each company the following three questions. Their answers bring into greater focus how a very large home service contract provider deals with the challenges of a shrinking labor market while at the same time seeing its customer base increase and the demands of those customers increase as well.
1. Companies in the home warranty industry rely greatly on contractor networks. How does your company approach the job of ensuring quality customer service through a network of contractors?
Gwen: Old Republic Home Protection sets high customer service standards for our Independent Network Service Providers… and it begins even before allowing them to join our network. Coaching service providers and establishing our service expectations begins with the first contact and continues throughout their tenure in our network.
As a standard, Old Republic Home Protection requires Service Providers to:
(1) Provide timely and professional service
(2) Be licensed in the trades they service
(3) Carry General Liability Insurance
(4) Charge fair and reasonable rates for parts and labor
(5) Maintain the requirements on an on-going basis
Prior to signing up, Service Providers receive our Contractor Guide, detailing our operations procedures, service processes, and service expectations. Calls throughout the sign-up process reconfirm our service expectations. We then follow-up each month to reinforce our guidelines, expectations, and commitment to our Plan Holders.
Customer feedback is paramount to the process. We respond quickly and appropriately when our Plan Holders, either through random surveys or interactions with our staff, indicate a potential service issue. We have a team of specialists dedicated to following up on customer feedback, rewarding service providers for excellent performance, coaching them when needed, and removing them from our network when they cannot meet our service expectations.
Dave: We hold our contractors to very high standards of performance and accountability. Last year we reviewed more than 3,500 applications from contractors that wanted to join the American Home Shield network.
Once a contractor joins, that contractor’s service quality is monitored on 15 different performance metrics, including quality and cost factors. Some of the tools we use include:
2. Is your company taking any steps to prepare for the forecast shortages of specialty trade workers, such as electricians, in the U.S. in coming years?
Gwen: We work hard to establish a strong reputation with service providers. We reward service providers who perform well by giving them additional work, filling in the gaps when their retail business might be slow. We pay them quickly and fairly for services rendered and we treat them as part of our team. As such, service providers prefer to work with us and we’ve yet to experience shortages.
Even in regions where there might be shortages from a retail perspective, we seek out experienced tradesmen—those who’ve worked under the guidance of more seasoned professionals for some time—who are starting their own businesses. They find that working with Old Republic Home Protection is a great way to build their client base through word-of-mouth referrals and repeat business from satisfied customers.
We closely monitor every region, ensuring we have sufficient service providers to meet our customers’ needs. We focus recruiting efforts on those areas and trades that dip below our established thresholds. Recruiting can come internally through our team of service provider procurement specialists or externally through referrals from our nationwide sales staff and real estate professionals.
Dave: The biggest shortages we have seen are in the appliance and plumbing trades. We are recruiting in traditional ways, and are even expanding our contractor recruiting efforts using social media and advertising and engagement with trade schools. Getting connected with trade organizations will also help us find and recruit contractors in these areas.
Also, because we’re a business unit of ServiceMaster, we can approach thousands of franchise owners regarding available contractor services.
3. Summers and winters are bringing more extreme high and low temperatures each year. How does your company cope with surges in claims due to weather related strains on systems?
Gwen: Meeting high demands begins with service provider procurement. Based on years of experience and data analysis, we are able to closely predict our service demands by region as the season’s change. We anticipate surges and plan ahead as opposed to reacting when they occur.
In those parts of the country that have weather extremes, we procure more service providers than meets the typical demand. As spikes occur, the higher number of service providers is most often sufficient to meet our needs.
In extreme weather surges, when spikes in demand are at their peak, we put the needs of our customers first. If our network service providers become overwhelmed, we’re quick to offer approval for Plan Holders to use their own service providers from outside our network. This process helps ensure fast and efficient resolution of the customer’s service issue.
Dave: We are strong advocates of customer education and engagement and share a lot of information and tutorials about the importance of regular maintenance on our Home Matters blog and YouTube channel. We also send out pre-season e-mail notifications to our customers about starting furnaces or A/C units early to ensure they catch any issues before temperatures change.
Because we have more than 1.5 million customers—and receive more than 3 million service requests each year—we have a lot of data around weather forecasts that helps us anticipate peaks in the heating or cooling seasons. With this data, we work with our contractors to plan for capacity in different geographic regions and make sure they are able to prepare from a staffing standpoint to handle the volume.
Our contractor relations teams also keep a close watch on customer saturation by Zip code to ensure we have adequate contractor coverage. If the demand is more than our capacity we immediately start recruitment of additional contractors to fill the gap.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com wishes to thank the participants in this first round table discussion. For more information about the representatives from the two companies please scroll down. If your company would like to participate in future round table discussions please click here for more information.
Gwen Gallagher is the president of Old Republic Home Protection (ORHP). For more than 35 years, she has held multiple positions within the company from customer service to financial reporting, becoming president in 1994. Gwen lends her vast experience and industry knowledge to charting the strategic direction of the organization, ensuring production and profit while maintaining its vision of “People Helping People.”
Dave Quandt is the vice president of field operations—and oversees contractor relations—for American Home Shield, the nation’s largest home warranty company. With more than 11,000 contractors in its network, American Home Shield has one of the largest home warranty contractor networks in the country.
Note from HomeWarrantyReviews.com to readers: Would you like your company to be featured in upcoming round table articles? Please contact us here.
Our lives in the twenty-first century are irrevocably bound to technology is one way or another, be it at work, home or for leisure time activities. Our daily routines are punctuated with the usage of machines and home appliances of all kinds, from a coffee maker to wake us up, an oven to heat the morning bagel, washed vessels out of the dishwasher to a carton of cold milk in the refrigerator.
Now that convenient and comfortable living is synonymous with the usage of home appliances, keeping them up and running becomes an absolute necessity – imagine going even a couple of days without a garbage disposal, coffee maker or refrigerator! Adding to the day to day need of these home appliances as a reason to make sure they are maintained, there is also the simple fact that they don’t come cheap, and if a little sprucing up now and then can keep them new, shiny, energy efficient and functional for longer, then why not!
Home appliances are not always sturdy enough to survive rough and constant use without maintenance and require a routine round of cleaning, servicing, and safety measures to be followed to make sure they work right. The unseen side of burnt grease in your oven, deposits in your dishwasher or corrosion of your washing machine coils can lead to your home appliances malfunctioning, and if you wait too long then the only solution left at your disposal may be a replacement.
Another extremely important factor to keep in mind when it comes to home appliances is that they are directly linked to your electrical systems and usually take up a large part of your electrical load. Even if a perfectly functioning washer or air conditioner uses up a considerable part of your total electrical consumption, and as the appliance begins to deteriorate, its efficiency when it comes to energy consumption only drops further. In fact, if the appliance is left too long and is affected by rust, corrosion or damaged internal circuits then it could even cause your home’s electrical system to short circuit or blow out.
Each of the home appliances has its own mode of functioning and requires specialized care and attention to certain details like coils, filters and external switches and controls. Though the general thumb rule is to make sure an overall level of cleanliness is maintained, here are a few things to keep a check on when it comes to individual appliance systems.
The first step to maintaining your home appliances effectively is getting acquainted with its major functioning processes and parts.
Filters and coils are the life of an air conditioner, the former keeping the airflow steady and clean and the latter doing the actual cooling and temperature stabilization within the machine.
A routine cleaning of air filters and replacement them when just cleaning is no longer sufficient is essential to keeping your air conditioner in a suitable working condition. When air filters get blocked with dust, grime and larger particles, the normal airflow is obstructed and the appliance uses a much larger amount of energy to pump in the same amount of air, making it an inefficient use of power. The dust that has settled will also transfer to the coil, creating a layer of insulation that will hamper its capacity to absorb heat. Adding to that, the filter will be unable to serve its primary purpose of purifying the air, and the room will gradually get laden with dust, causing allergies and other respiratory issues.
Depending on the climatic conditions of where you stay, or even if you have furry cats and dogs in the house, the need to clean the filter may become more frequent. Dust storms, humid weather causing the filter to get damp and clogged and a lot of dust being sucked into the filter can have the energy consumption of your air conditioner to drop anywhere from 5% to 15%, if not more. Also, check if your filters are reusable or have to be replaced after a certain period of time, because after a point, cleaning a non-reusable filter doesn’t help.
Dirt and grime aren’t isolated in only the filter; the evaporator coil and condenser coil of an air conditioner collect layers of dust as well. As the whole purpose of the coil is to act as a conductor, when an insulative layer settles on it, its ability to heat and cool reduces, reducing the effectivity of the cooling system as a whole. This, in turn, sucks at more energy to keep down the temperature of the room. Usually, a clean filter helps keep coils clean for longer, but eventually they too need to be cleaned.
Condenser units which are outside must be maintained as well, as they collect dust and debris very easily. Any obstruction to the airflow around them can be the cause of overheating and excess energy usage.
While the maintenance of an air conditioner is dependent on the air around your home, a washing machine’s upkeep is dependent almost entirely on the quality of water. Besides a general use of baking soda and detergent to run empty cycles and keep the machine fresh and smelling good, descaling and cleaning out lint are two essential tasks on your hand.
If you stay in a part of town that gets hard water supply, then cleaning your washer drum with an empty hot water cycle once a month is crucial. You can add a decalcifier right from your kitchen – either baking soda or white vinegar – to the hot water, or use a commercial decalcifier available in any supermarket.
The filter and pores of the washing machine are a part of keeping the drum fresh and dry, so make sure you check for any caught dirt, lint or hair in the filter and clean it out at least once a month.
Once the drum is clean and sparkly, shift your attention to the dryer. Invariably, a normal weight load shouldn’t take more than an hour to dry, at most. If the speed is dropping below this, or the dryer still gives you partially damp clothes after a full cycle, then it’s a good idea to check the vents and get them cleaned or replaced. A damaged dryer vent could be dangerous even when it comes heating up of the appliance, which could cause internal short-circuiting or even fires.
You can choose to call a professional, a vent replacement shouldn’t cost more than $100. If you prefer to check and clean yourself, start by removing the exhaust from the back of the washer-dryer, clean out the clogged lint in the crevices, and inside the tubes and opening in the back. You can use a long thin object to help you reach the narrow crevices, but don’t use anything sharp that can scratch off the film and cause more damage.
Any clogging of coils in a refrigerator directly obstructs the flow of air, making the generator unit of the machine use up more energy and work much harder to maintain the temperature inside the unit. Any debris can cause the coil to clog up, from dirt and dust to pet hair and particle lint. Use a rag to dust off the visible portions of the coil – usually located in a panel beside the door or at the back of the unit – and then do one quick round of vacuuming to make sure all the fine dust is taken care off.
The water filter in the refrigerator serves the purpose of purification as well as temperature moderation of the water in the ducts. If the filter’s working is compromised due to impurities, then there is a chance that you are being exposed to contaminated water. The process of replacing the filter is specific to each model of refrigerator, but it is usually a simple turn on either side to unlock the old filter from its place and lock in the new one. Replacing the filter at least 3 to 4 times a year is usually recommended.
A home appliance that is all about hygiene and is used on a daily basis, a broken garbage disposal can be a very difficult thing to deal with even for just a few days. To keep the foul smells, residue, and grime in check in the chute, a simple home remedy is to use a combination of ice cubes and either salt or white vinegar to sanitize it. Pour in the mixture, wash it down with cold water and then turn it on, adding activated carbon or lime peels and slices to cut out the odor.
Ovens that are self-cleaning are usually easy to maintain, but it is important to run regular cleaning cycles before the inside of the appliance is too caked with grease and food particles. A self-cleaning oven cuts out the need for chemical cleaning agents, using temperatures up to 900 degrees (Fahrenheit) to incinerate the leftovers within the oven and smoke them out.
Regular cleaning, in this case, is necessary to make sure that the smoke production in each cycle is kept to a minimum; it helps to use a soft absorbent pad and dust off the larger particles beforehand.
Ovens that do not have a self-cleaning preset must be maintained regularly and very carefully as well, especially since grease residue can cause fires and malfunctions in the thermostat, especially if the vent is clogged and doesn’t allow for fumes to escape. Warning: commercial cleaning compounds are safe to use but should never reach close to the electrical connections inside, or the heating elements as it could cause disaster reactions.
Microwaves can be maintained by just sponging them down on the inside and out to remove any dirt and spills. Check regularly if the door seal shut tightly, and in the case of an abrasion call for a professional to service it. If you feel the need to handle issues of smells within the microwave, one trick is to use a diluted mix of baking soda and water – keeping it to heat inside the appliance and removing it once it has completely cooled down.
While home appliances come with manufacturer warranties of their own, our usage of home appliances far surpasses the given period during which this warranty serves its purposes. What is more, when we buy a home then often home appliances come with it, many out of warranty or even maintenance.
Both in terms of cost effective servicing as well as hassle free problem solving, investment in a Home Warranty scheme can help you through every step of the process. From identifying the problem at hand to repair and replacement, companies provide unlimited support all year around on all your home’s major appliances and systems, giving you the freedom to delegate.
To know more about how to get yourself warranty, what coverage schemes are available, individual state laws and companies which are highly rated, scroll through the articles, reviews and guides on HomeWarrantyReviews.com – comprehensive information right from the consumer.
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered. They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.
If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –
You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.
There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:
Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.
Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?
Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.
You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.
If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!
Source: CBS News
While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.
Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.
All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.
Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.
A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.
Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.
Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!
Consider this: it’s a lazy Sunday and you haven’t worked out all week, your stress levels are high. And the doctor says you need to get going and get some physical exercise into your daily routine. You have considered your options – hitting the gym, joining that community swimming pool, going for those morning runs that everyone’s been vouching for – but it hasn’t worked out yet and nothing seems to click. Here’s your answer: start gardening.
A chance to not only get some quality time with nature but calm your nerves, work your muscles and burn a few calories as well? Gardening just an hour a day is proven to have far reaching impacts on your life. Especially if your day comprises of concrete jungles, desk jobs and skyrocketing stress levels.
Gardening boosts your metabolism and we have studies to prove it!
Research conducted by the Pennsylvania University of Scranton a decade ago showed clear results in favor of gardening as a way to stay fit. This proves that extended amounts of time spent partaking in light physical exertion is a much more effective way of burning calories than bouts of cardio and gym sessions.
Another study conducted in Michigan State showed that even a mere ten percent increase in greenery in the immediate environment of an individual resulted in a drastic drop of health issues – from lifestyle illnesses to even depression and mental health.
The key to a good workout is duration, not just intensity.
It’s not just about burning calories and toning muscles – a consistent routine of balanced physical activity can have an impact on heart functioning, blood pressure, stroke, diabetes, obesity and its side effects, and even premature death. How does this work? Gardening ranges from low to medium intensity, but the constant monitoring of the garden and the level of involvement is never limited to just a single workout cycle; automatically weaving it into your daily routine and making it a habit!
With the majority of our daily activities involving the maximum use of our arms – and even that not usually in ways good for our bodies – gardening can incorporate the metered use of muscles like hamstrings without adding undue stress to them. Countering the effects that hours of typing on a keyboard or driving a car can have on your back, shoulder, and neck, getting down on all fours and getting your hands dirty can be therapeutic and stretch every muscle in your body all at once.
Another perk to introducing gardening into your lifestyle is eating what you grow. Directly linked to better diets, organic production of food right at home or within a community can encourage you to follow a diet with nutrition as a priority and simultaneously assure the quality of produce.
Having a hard time getting your children to eat their spinach and peas? Give gardening a shot, working it into their play time as a fun way to grow their own lunches and dinners – who wouldn’t want to proudly eat a tomato picked right from their own backyard!
Ranging from organic farming in the backyard of your country home to just a few potted herbs on the kitchen windowsill, depending on your space constraints, the time you have to spare and your physical capabilities, you can choose the kind of gardening that suits you best.
Living in an apartment building which doesn’t allow you space to garden? Community plots are the answer to the space crunch any urban dweller faces today. A great way to catch up with neighbors and blow off steam, all while tilling, weeding and celebrating the earth, community plots give you a chance to delegate and divide responsibilities as well – saving you the worry of who will tend to your precious daisies, trim the hydrangeas and ward off pests from the squash and melons while you’re out on a business trip.
Sky high stress levels and an increase in lifestyles illness in the past couple of decades is evidence enough for the need to go back to our instincts of nature and nurture, and the benefits of gardening seep into areas besides immediate physical well-being.
An equalizer not bound by any hierarchy, gardening is often used as a form of therapy to boost self-esteem as well as inculcate responsibility and appreciation. Giving our nurture gene a space to grow, just the act of giving back can have a tremendous impact on our stress levels and anxiety. Time spent watching each seed sprout and saplings flourish and flower, gardening is a gentle reminder that we humans are not the center of the universe.
What is good for the body is also good for the mind. Exercise, whatever the intensity may be, has a direct impact on not only adrenaline levels but on levels of serotonin and dopamine as well. Both hormones that play a role in fighting depression, the time spent tending to each root and bud isn’t just uplifting in spirit, it literally translates into happy hormones.
Be it an apartment, a duplex with a yard all to yourself, community plots or a country house, the joy of having a garden can come with an added expense and hassle of maintaining tools and machinery, worrying about seepage and waterproofing and even the occasional crack or two when it comes to deep-rooted plants and creepers.
Don’t let the stress of maintenance come in the way of your quality time with your garden – let the happy hormones flow and pass on the responsibility of care for the home to home warranty companies.
Giving you a chance to delegate home and domestic appliance maintenance to a professional, home warranty saves you the effort of having to rummage through websites and newspaper advertisements for service agents and repair contractors. Providing full coverage of repair, servicing and replacements costs, Home warranty is all about planning ahead. HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings to you a comprehensive list of companies to choose from – giving you access to pros and cons, detailed reviews, do’s and don’ts when it comes to warranty and insurance and even a free Home Maintenance Calculator to get on the spot estimates.
Finding the right match for your Home Warranty needs is of utmost importance; just like every insurance coverage plan is tailor-made for different budgets, levels of involvement, age and usage intensity, Home Warranty has its own set of criteria. Research is key, and the best place to start with is the Awards and Reviews section of consumer research based sites. From categorized awards ranging from service, top rated and regional service, HomeWarrantyReviews.com uses consumer review rates of credibility, retention, satisfaction, online presence, and consumer issue resolution to judge companies that provide nationwide Home Warranty coverage, offering all-round information to customers. What’s more, the companies are divided according to a region as well, accounting for state law differences and tweaks in the coverage plans in various geographical pockets.
Stress, anxiety and an ever-growing list of errands are a part of everyone’s daily routines, why add home repairs and maintenance to the mix? Give yourself the peace of mind to tend to your herbs, flowers, and ferns without the worry of repercussions, after all, what is the point of canceling out the mental health perks of gardening by worrying about broken lawn mowers?!
How is a home builder’s warranty different from a home warranty service plan? If you are concerned about protecting your valuable investment with a home warranty policy, but are uncertain about what to select, read on to discover their unique features.
Many different real estate terms cause confusion as they sound like they are talking about the same thing, but in actuality are talking about very different things. Home warranties and home builder warranty are two of those things. They both offer safety for you and your home, but in very different ways. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be a benefit in selling a home.
Home warranties are often supplied by builder. Builder warranties give peace of mind to buyers of newly constructed homes. After all, no one wants to have purchased a home riddled with defects. Sellers of existing homes may take in a warranty with the sale to push a would-be buyer into a purchase. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be an advantage in selling a home since the warranty is movable.
Every homeowner seeks the same thing: peace of mind and the security of knowing that if anything hit in the night, all it will take is one phone call to have it looked after. In an ideal world, there would be one all-complete home warranty to tackle all potential worries; ranging from severe damage brought on by natural disasters to the breakdown of one your favorite household appliances. But the you do not reside in a perfect world. So you have to make a choice and wish for the best.
Two specific types of home warranty services can deal with your needs. You have choices.
The differences between the home builder warranty and the independent home warranty service will deal with two sets of criteria: the main difference is this: a home builder warranty usually provides coverage against major structural defects while the independent home warranty includes plans that cover your household appliances and systems. That said, it’s important to comprehend what that entails. The most important thing you can do ahead of making this investment is to study the terms and conditions of each and carefully understand the significance of their meaning.
If you go through the fine print of most home builder warranties, you will find out that the coverage under the policy is limited to providing protection against key structural defects of the “load bearing” portions of the home. “Non load-bearing” items which are excluded from the coverage include the range from HVAC, certain wall tiles and coverings, appliances, exterior finishing, some plumbing and electrical and others.
When the repair or substitution of an item under the home builder warranty is agreed, matching the repair or replacement to its prior condition will be tried, but there is no guarantee that he item will be returned to like a new condition.
On the other side of the equation is the independent home warranty service. This type of warranty permits the homeowner to select and decide what components they would like to cover, with flexible plan coverage ranging from kitchen and laundry –to home office- to electrical – to-HVAc and others. You can opt for only particular items or select a comprehensive plan that covers all, with the choice of adding individual units as add-ons.
The consumer is usually rewarded for selecting the extensive plan coverage with discounted prices and a lot of many other value-added incentives, like toll-free assistance and advice that is provided 24/7/365. Another trait of the independent home warranty service is found with the service providers who promise like-kind or better replacement. Joining in a plan that makes that promise is recommended.
Taking no blunt approach to upholding your home can prevent lot of problem later on down the road that can charge a bundle. One reason why various home warranty service providers have to include exclusions from coverage into their conditions is to avoid repairing items that wouldn’t be in need of repair if they had been cared for. Fair enough, it is suggested, however, that you carefully take note of any other exclusion from coverage as detailed in the terms and conditions of your warranty policy.
The standard home builder warranty will incorporate a wide listing of exclusions from coverage, far-surpassing the case of owner neglect, which may comprise some of the following conditions:
With the set home warranty service plan, the list of exclusions from coverage is much smaller – covering the basics, such things as insect infestation, neglect or improper maintenance of appliances and improper set up of appliances and household appliances.
Reputable home warranty services are intended to provide convenience and reduce the hassle of filing a claim. Ordinarily, there will be a number to call in order to send out specialized trade service expert to your home to come assess and take care of the damage in one shot.
Filing a claim with a home builder warranty provider can offer some interesting predicaments. When filing a claim, the best thing is to proceed with caution. Expect an inspector or multiple inspectors to show up at your home in order to investigate your claim. The more articles you can present as proof of the problem, the better off you will be. These can take in reports, diagrams, reports and photos. When the determination is made for the homeowner, he/she is anticipated to sign a release giving up all rights.
If your claim is denied and you cannot resolve it through the dispute resolution process with the home builder warranty providers, you may be asked to sign an arbitration provision. By doing this, you will be waiving your rights to a trial in a court of law and you may have to present your claim to an arbitration company from the home builder warranty provider’s list of listed arbitration companies.
Also, take note of the fact that many of these providers accept reports only from a list of approved construction consultants – encompassing contractors, inspection firms and others.
In total, as painful as it can be to read through the fine print of a warranty policy, it is the best way to go about picking the warranty provider who is going to deliver what is promised – and it is the most helpful way to choose either a home builder warranty or an independent home warranty service.
Preserve the quality and craftsmanship of your home and all the adored items within today and it’ll make a world of difference in your world tomorrow!
Nobody likes a cluttered kitchen because there is nothing more unappealing than it. Given how busy everyone gets these days, it is not a surprise that we found ourselves writing this article because, trust us, people are actually looking up ways to declutter their kitchens in the shortest time span possible.
We did some research and we found out that a cluttered kitchen is not only unappealing, it is also unhygienic. God knows how many germs that ignored, uncleaned corner of your kitchen is harboring.
Before you begin, try to harden yourself so that you don’t feel guilty about the things you are going to discard. Or the money (and time) you may have to spend so that future clutter is avoided.
So, let’s begin!
Not all kitchens are loaded with cabinets and storage spaces, so make the best use of what you have. If you do not have much, make it a point to reduce the number of things you have in your kitchen.
Efficient use does not mean cram everything into the space that you have such that you’ll need to move a hundred things before you get your hands on what you need. Neatly arrange everything category wise in your cabinets. Keep the perishable and non-perishable items separate. You may also want to invest in racks or brackets that can be mounted on the walls, if you don’t have enough storage space. They are much cheaper than installing more cabinets or drawers.
Sometimes, one disposal bin may not be enough for a home that houses a family of 2+. Ideally, have two large bins, one for organic waste and one for everything else. Scan your kitchen and chuck everything that is unnecessary or starting to rot. That applies to expired packed goods too. Dispose old cleaning sponges and washcloths if they look dirty.
Also, try to keep your garbage bins away from the stove/part of the kitchen where you cook or store food.
Half the clutter in your kitchen is probably from bulk deals you jumped up at and never paid attention to later. Even if something is on an unbelievably awesome sale, don’t buy it unless you are 100% sure that you cannot avoid buying it.
If you are a victim of bulk purchasing syndrome, you may want to scan your kitchen once again and chuck out some things. Trust us, the amount of space you’ll end up freeing is enormous!
Setting aside the task of cleaning will only make you dread it more and increase your chances of putting that task away further. Make it a point to clean your kitchen or arrange your counters before you begin cooking. Once you are done preparing a meal, there is a good chance that everything will become messy or unclean. So repeat the cleaning routine unless your kitchen is spotless.
This step alone can help you save a lot of time clearing accumulated clutter in the future.
If you are the kind of person who crams everything into the first available spot, you’ll end up with a very chaotic, disorganized kitchen over time. If your kitchen is already like that, you may want to take everything out and rearrange them back into shelves.
Assign places for everything. Spices together, containers and vessels together, and so on. You may also want to label everything so that it will be easier to find them as and when the need arises.
If you found the process tedious, you may be wondering if you could put it away for some other time. We strongly discourage this. The earlier you get it over with, the better you will feel. It may seem difficult at first but if you put on some music and get yourself to start the task, you’ll find that it’s not that hard.
Once you are done, spray some lemon juice or your favorite essential oil to make your kitchen smell heavenly. We recommend that you avoid room fresheners and chemical fragrances as kitchen is a bad place for them.
If you are a lazy homeowner and if your home is more than four years old, you may want to consider getting a Home Warranty plan to protect your appliances and budget. While you are at it, we would also recommend that you go through some awesome home maintenance write-ups for some added info. Thanks for reading!
Next to the so important health insurance each individual should have, there stands as second in line the home insurance. For homeowners, the home insurance is a specifically well tailored preventive measure any damages should happen to their property. The most important fact before you settle for one certain type of home insurance policy, is to ask yourself which kind of insurance do you actually need.
For example, if you live in a high risk area where floods happen quite often, then you should take an extra option for flood insurance. Certainly because your property lies in a high risk area, the flood insurance for your home is an extra option, it will not be included in the policy, and it will cost more. It is you, who should decide whether you need it or not. Bear in mind that it is not only the physical property which needs protection, but also your personal belongings (i.e. jewelry), and don’t forget about personal liability issues. Find the quickest way to get insurance quotes compared online.
The market offers you plenty of choices, and that is why it is so hard to make a choice. Settle your priorities first, see how much you can afford to pay for the insurance premiums and which are those aspects which definitely need insurance coverage. You have to watch out for the advertisements which offer too high discounts, but little or not effective coverage for you. The points where you can save when buying a home insurance is basically if you apply for one online (can bring you up to 15% savings), there are also certain new buyer discounts, plus if you make no claims for a number of years since you have the insurance, that could lower the price of your insurance with as much as 50% in some cases.
Some of the main coverage factors within a home insurance policy should contain:
Certainly the amounts to which the above mentioned situations are covered for, differs from one insurer to the other, but these should be contained in a standard home insurance plan. As for the extra options you may choose, these are plenty, and each homeowner chooses according to his needs and best interest. On the extra options list you may settle for Accidental Damage, which simply means protection for accidental damage of your stereo equipment for example. Then, the personal possessions cover is yet another extra option, which compensates you for loss of money or credit cards up to a certain coverage
limit, or accidental damage loss or theft of personal items. The family and legal protection extra option will offer coverage for almost any legal costs up to a certain amount, disputes revolving around employment issues, or property and inheritance related ones. Plus, the home emergency option will offer a helping hand in case your door lock breaks, your electrical heating fails, so that you don’t have to worry about the incurring costs a professional would charge for an emergency repair to your home. Check and discus with your family all the available options pertaining to home insurance in general, and settle for the one which is the most affordable and efficient regarding your personal needs.
Claim denial is an incident in which a home warranty company rejects a customer’s request for repair service. Sometimes customer claims are legit and fully entitled to receive services stated as per the contract. Claim denials are considered to be a major reason behind spats between service contract companies and the customer.
While some claims are denied for genuine reasons, some customers argue that companies deny claims on vague grounds often stating fine print from the contract. Yet, there are also cases where the companies were falsely accused of unfair claim denial solely because the customer failed to understand the terms mentioned in the home service contract.
What we need to understand is that not all companies deny claims unfairly because doing so will severely damage their reputation. So unless there is a valid reason, reputable companies will not deny a customer’s claims randomly.
Let’s take a look at some common reasons for claim denials
This is often the most common reason for denying a claim. Most service contracts only cover a fixed set of appliances and not everything in your house. If your home service contract provider gives you this reason, go check your contract and make sure that the appliance is indeed not covered. In case you find that it is a covered item, place further calls to the company and let them know that the as per the contract, the item is covered.
No home service contract covers an appliance that has become damaged due to lack of maintenance. Regular wear and tear is not caused due to insufficient maintenance. It is the result of prolonged, proper usage. It is the homeowner’s duty to carry out regular maintenance routines, especially for HVAC appliances. However, if you believe that the damage is not caused due to insufficient maintenance, tell the company that you need to get a second opinion from a different contractor.
Home service contract providers often tell the customer that the damage was one that existed even before the contract was signed and hence it will not be covered. There’s hardly anything you can do about such a denial. However, you can avoid chances for such disputes by making sure that you get a home inspection done prior to signing the contract. That way the home inspector’s report will clearly state about what appliance has what damage. If it is not in the report and if the item is covered, you may be entitled to a repair service.
Wear and tear due to regular usage and wear and tear due to rough handling and careless usage can be distinguished quite easily. If the damage was caused due to the latter kind of wear and tear, your claim stands a chance to be denied. In this scenario too, you can ask for a another contractor to get a second opinion if you disagree on the diagnosis.
If the appliance was not properly installed and if it violates the codes laid down for safe use and installation, chances are high that your claim may be denied.
It goes without saying that the policy booklet, the contract and the inspection report, if any, must be preserved carefully. The moment you realise that your claim has been denied, go through your contract and policy document to make sure that the claim is denied purely based on the terms in the contract. If you have a home inspection report go through that too. If you feel that your claim has been unjustly denied, you can call the home service contract company again and press the issue.
You can also visit review websites and post a review about your experience. HomeWarrantyReviews.com has a feature called the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) which is a platform for companies and their customers to resolve their issues. The customer merely needs to report his negative experience with HomeWarrantyReviews.com, following this, he will be asked if wants to take part is CRP. If he/she chooses to participate in it, the company will be notified about his/her grievance and will be given 30 days to respond/ sort it out. If the company fails to respond or resolve the issue, the customer’s negative review becomes public. Some review websites allows their users to resolve the issues with the contract provider by communicating with them through a specific platform. The advantage of this system is that if the home service provider fails to resolve the issue for the customer or fail to respond within a time frame, the review becomes public, thereby affecting the rating and reputation of the company. Most companies do not want that.
Whatever the reason could be, we request customers to make things clear before they react to a claim denial. It could be that the company is not at fault here and because of a misunderstanding, their name gets tarnished. Most of the unpleasant scenarios can be avoided if the company you pick is reputable. Hence we cannot stress enough on the importance of picking the right company, a good home service contract provider will always put the interests of the customer first. Remember, good communication is often the solution to the biggest of problems.
Premium Home Warranties or a Deductible Home Warranties? Should I include a Home Warranty contract or not? These are just some of the many questions that you are to deal with before purchasing a home.
You may have done a CIA level inspection of your home-to-be, but sometimes despite it, there is no telling when, why or how a machine will break down and force you to interrupt your everyday chores. Isn’t it a nightmare when you are forced to wait for days to simply wash your clothes or dishes? We don’t want a piling heap of clothes in our living rooms or even a stinking kitchen for that matter. Because with today’s employment demands it is hard and even close to impossible to manage work alongside home chores. So without your appliances to lend you a hand, you may never catch up on your housework.
So what happens if they break down?! The effective solution would be to use a home warranty contract to ensure a quick and reliable way to fix them in time, without coming in between your everyday schedules.
Buying Home Warranties are one such intelligent solution to your problems. Given how crucial it is, we want to cover all the mistakes people usually make while buying Home Warranties. In giving you a heads up, we hope to help avoid frustration, as well as cover all topics before an actual machine crisis ensues.
Here is a list of mistakes a consumer might make when choosing a Home Service Contract-
When purchasing a home, make sure you are buying from a builder who has covered the Home Warranty costs. While some states make the payment of warranty compulsory, otherwise, builders don’t usually cover the Warranty prices along with the price of the property/home. And in the states where it is compulsory, the home builders register with their respective regulator, thus escaping the need to make sure your warranty is paid. However, this is how it works only in the states where payment of warranty is compulsory. Hence, always make sure your builder is charging you the warranty along with the price of your home. If not, you may be falsely charged while not really availing a Home Warranty contract.
Not inspecting can be one of the first and worst mistakes you will ever make while buying a home. It should be obvious that home sellers have a tendency to hide defects within the property! Hence, always schedule a home inspection before purchasing a home which could avoid multiple costs later. If you are unfamiliar with the way a machine works or are ill-equipped to do so, rely on someone observant and knowledgeable in this aspect. Hence, with your own interests at heart, an inspection before moving in, i.e., at least prior to a month, have the home and its appliances inspected thoroughly.
If not the first time, do hire a professional Home Inspector before your warranty plan expires. Hence 12 or 24 months into use, some of the appliances might be showing signs of defect which are unrecognizable for a normal person. This will reduce the risk of ever having to spend either for labor and material costs since the defects would’ve been repaired when it has started to show the first signs. Also, since this will cover all the upcoming four seasons, we recommend you always hire a professional Home Inspector, at the expiration of your Warranty term if not at the time of delivery.
This can lead to disasters in terms of price, be it manual labor or material cost. Some Warranty companies don’t cover all the peripheral prices which are mentioned in the contract, which is why not reviewing a contract can lead to miscommunication between the buyers and the builders. While most plans cover all the appliances within, some might not cover the external structures. And if the model contract doesn’t cover the conventional structures, you can contact the contractor to add coverage to other appliances of your wish.
Since the market is flooded with hundreds of home warranty companies and hence, a mind-numbing number of Home Warranty Plans to pick from, it is all the more difficult to choose a Home Warranty plan that suits your home best.
It should be obvious that a Home Warranty plan used for a newly built home won’t necessarily be the right pick for a property that is a decade old. From HomeWarrantyReviews, you can use our Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) to complain or highlight a company based on your previous experience and also compare Home Warranty companies. This will give you a better insight as to which company could be the right pick for you. Since the CRP complaints can be reviewed by the companies themselves, they can immediately rectify it. Also don’t forget to read our reviews, checking out our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator in order to make the right choice.
Sometimes after using our Home Appliance Maintenance Calculator, you might find that Home Maintenance cost could be more without a Home Warranty or vice-versa. Using an unbiased guide on Home Warranty plans which is not sponsored by any Home Warranty company, in particular, can help you give a balanced view without misleading you to purchase from a company. For such an unbiased opinion, it is always important to do your own research to evaluate your needs and costs before buying.
Our Home Warranty Appliance Maintenance Calculator calculates as well as compare the costs of repairing with and without a Home Warranty contract. This will hence give you a complete picture regarding whether or not you should buy a certain plan or a certain part of the plan.
Yes and No. As a leading platform for all of your home warranty needs, including getting your fresh quotes in a jiffy to using our knowledge resource of a wealth of articles and the free tools like that of a home maintenance calculator, we always create value for our readers.
So we always advise our readers to be cautious of not reading the fine print in the home warranty contracts, and we’re also against having predetermined opinions on certain companies or not researching enough on the new companies who’ve joined a long list of companies and who yearn to provide a quality service at your doorstep.
Go ahead and give our features a shot!
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 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:
As much as there are benefits, like a coin with two sides, this too has a few limitations.
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:
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 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.
American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.
Barry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.
He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.
Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.
AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.
The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.
It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.
The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.
Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.
“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”
“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.
Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.
Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”
The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.
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)
Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:
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.
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.
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.
The Illinois department of insurance issued a warning earlier this year to its residents to avoid a Florida based home warranty company Arkidus Home Protection, Inc. Arkidus had been unlawfully advertising home warranty services via the internet to residents of Illinois and in many cases there were documented incidents of these consumers who purchased a warranty not receiving the services promised to them.
The company and its owner, Reinaldo “Ray” Berges has previously been served with a cease and desist order by the Illinois Department of insurance, but continued offering service coverage for household appliances and major system components. The company had its headquarters in Miami though more recent reports suggest that office has been closed for many months.
The company has not been granted any certificate of authority to sell insurance or home warranties to the consumers in the state of Illinois, thus the cease and desist order from that state was issued. This unfortunately may not help recover the money lost by the Illinois consumers who purchased home warranties, also referred to as residential service contracts or home service contracts.
According to the Better Business Bureau (BBB), The consumers have launched over 245 complaints against the company in last three years. BBB indicates in its report that Arkidus conducted its business through a website, www.theahp.net.
BBB is a non- profit organization more than a 100 years old functioning in U.S and Canada. It collects and provides free business reliability reviews on over 4 million businesses. The BBB plays the role of an intermediary between businesses and consumers. Though it is not mandatory for any firm to get accreditation from BBB such accreditation is sought by some companies in order to build faith in their business. Arkidus is not accredited by BBB and thus the amount of involvement BBB may have had with Arkidus’s customers would have been limited to collecting and documenting complaints and then reporting complaints to the company. For further recourse consumers who have complaints against Arkidus would likely need legal representation or assistance from consumer protection entities.
According to publicly available information Illinois’s Department of insurance has also received many complaints from customers of Arkidus who allege they have been tricked by that company and were unable to obtain reimbursements for their claims or their canceled contracts.
The complaints from consumers are also publicly available on various websites. One such complaint posted online was from Jose. E who is a resident of Florida. In his post he said, “This Company is a scam. I started service with them in May, and they will not honor their policy. I keep getting calls from companies that were dispatched by them. I needed a plumber and an electrician, and both have been harassing me with the remainder of their bill, even though I paid my deductible. Do not purchase anything from this company, they are frauds.”
Arkidus appears to have ceased doing business but for a time the company was successful persuading customers to pay long term contract fees, in some cases for terms of two years or more. These customers spent thousands of dollars in some cases, all of which they now face losing forever. If significant legal action isn’t taken against the owner of the company it is unlikely that consumers will receive any reimbursement and this whole story will end sadly. Hence we warn our readers to be cautious about choosing home warranty companies with very little business history, no matter how positive the early reviews of the company may be.
If you suspect you are dealing with the wrong people already or believe you too have been scammed do not delay making a formal report to the appropriate agency or agencies. Both at the state and national level in the U.S. there are free and fast ways to make your voice heard when you feel you’ve been misled by a business or been the victim of a scam. The important thing is to act quickly and not give up if you feel your complaint is being documented but not being acted upon.
Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.
An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.
We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.
As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.
It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.
It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.
A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.
This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.
Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.
When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.
Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.
Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.
In the past year, over 32 real estate agents have helped consumers with more than 13 residential home sales in Houston, Texas. The oil slump can’t hold back Houston’s top realtors as the Houston’s housing market is performing extremely well. Sales have ranged in price from $99,000 to $697,500. Now, homes are available for a variety of price ranges – from about $300,000 near downtown to around $2 million in the best neighborhoods along the city’s Energy Corridor.
Below is the list of Houston’s leading realtors based on their gross sales volume in dollar amounts, the number of transactions and the average price of homes sold-
A Houston-area native, Paige is a proficient and successful partner in any residential real estate transaction. Armed with an in-depth knowledge of Houston real estate market, her skills have marked her as one of the most preferred agents in Houston. With a customer-focused approach, Paige is dedicated to providing brilliant service. After graduation from Baylor University, Paige started her career as a marketing consultant, developing individually-tailored marketing techniques for her customers. She now employs those cutting-edge skills to aid her customers to buy and sell their homes with the least amount of stress. She monitors clients through every aspect of learning about Houston, relocating to Houston and ensuring hassle-free real estate transaction.
Paige Martin, a Broker Associate with Keller Williams Realty and owner of HoustonProperties.com is ranked as one of the top residential real estate agents across the world. Her website HoustonProperties.com features more than 1,200 pages of Houston real estate information on over 40,000 properties for sale in addition to a large number of resources for home sellers. Paige has successfully sold over $250million of homes and is listed among the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston for the second consecutive year in terms of individual gross sales and transactions. She has also been featured on TV and in several publications including:
Paige has been a consistent top producing agent and has won over 198 awards since 2003 for excellence in customer satisfaction. Her recent awards include:
Whether you are buying or selling a home, James Krueger can help you win at real estate! He is the owner of Kruger Real Estate which was founded on a corporate philosophy of devoted commitment to quality service. Upon graduating from Texas A&M University as an All-American archer and economics major, Kruger worked as a business analyst for Reliant and then a consultant for an executive compensation firm. He believes that excellent real estate service begins with personalization – with one agent who listens, learns your goals and helps you accomplish them. Krueger Real Estate agents are backed by a team that keeps you informed through every step of the home buying or selling process while giving you unmatched customer service. As a former litigation, Kruger understands legal contracts and also knows how to value a property to get you the best possible deal.
Krueger Real Estate mainly serves the Greater Houston Area and surrounding areas including Katy, Cypress, Sugar Land, The Woodlands, Spring, and Tomball. Krueger is pioneering an exclusive model to improve agent retention and client satisfaction. Unlike many traditional brokerage firms, Krueger Real Estate pays attention to duties that a realtor at other brokerages is responsible for. It provides a distinct advantage in maximizing the exposure of their listing through online, print, and social media outlets. The local experts assure you of professional photographs, proficient staging and presentation guidance, an online marketing blitz campaign and thorough listing descriptions that will make your home noticeable from the rest. “If I can create an amazing place to work, I can attract super high-quality agents who attract high-quality clients,” said Krueger, broker and owner of Krueger Real Estate.
Krueger Real Estate employs a client relation management system to keep an eye on its clients and has a call center that tries to answer all new client queries within 3 minutes. Krueger’s client focused approach seems to be working and has helped him grow his company. In 2013, Krueger started with 8 agents who made $27 million in home sales and the following year he grew his company to 15 agents who brokered $46 million in home transactions. In 2015, with 45 agents, Krueger’s firm collectively made $65 million in closed and pending sales. Krueger aims to crack $100 million in sales in 2016 and has a dream to grow his company to 250 agents, expand to the four major Texas markets and break the $1 billion home sales mark by 2020.
“I always wanted a fun, cool place to work, so when I started my company, I wanted to make it an enjoyable place to work,” Krueger said. “A company isn’t anything without the people you have on board.”
Krueger has been named the Top Producer by the Houston Association of Realtors for 2012 and 2013. He is a certified negotiation expert (CNE) and has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:
Founder of The Loken Group, Lance Loken strives to be the excellent real estate service provider in all 9 countries in the Greater Houston Area. The group is backed by a team of specialists out of the Keller Williams Realty Signature office who serves real estate buyers, sellers, and investors to make your home buying and selling experience pleasant. By employing the newest technologies, business tactics, and market research, the agents are able to list your home strategically and effectively. Most importantly, the agents listen and find solutions that are tailored to you.
Prior to entering real estate, Loken worked as a C-Level executive for firms like The Wood Group Renewable Energy Service, Francesca’s Collections Inc., and C.D. Johnson Companies which helped him shape the way he approaches real estate. “My goal is to always be your real estate SOLUTION – whether that means helping you buy, sell, invest or rent,” Loken said. Loken is an Accredited Luxury Home Specialist (ALHS) and a Certified Luxury Home Marketing Specialist (CLHMS).
From paperwork to marketing, The Loken Group stand by you in every step of the way, replying to your questions and offering exceptional customer service. They were recently named:
The team of specialists at The Loken Group manages clients in all price ranges. Their luxury division is backed by proficient luxury experts who help clients in more than $650,000 price range.
Alfonso Parodi obtained a Business Administration degree with a Minor in Marketing from University of Lima, Peru. Thereafter, he moved to Houston and lived there for 9 years where he had the opportunity to attain extensive experience and training in Sales including residential lending, real estate, retail, networking, recruiting, marketing and primarily customer service. Parodi is competitive and goal-oriented with a passion for delivering outstanding customer service. In just 3 years, Parodi has become a top agent at Realty Associates in Houston which is home to more than 1800 agents.
Alfonso founded Team Parodi in 2013 whose focus is to bring the best group of agents together with a support team of award winning interior designers, experienced inspectors, proficient photographers and all other experts to help customers buy and sell their homes in areas such as Cypress, Houston, Humble, Katy, Tomball and more. Team Parodi at Real Associates is proud of each purchase or sale that aids clients to attain their dream home!
The technology savvy agents employ the cutting-edge tools and programs to give their clients an advantage in the fast moving and super competitive market for a successful transaction. Currently, Team Parodi is backed by 6 key members and will be adding more agents to be better prepared for a very busy future market. Whether buying or selling a home, Team Prodi is ready to be your trusted resource.
Owing to his excellent communication skills and expertise, Parodi is selected and recommended time and again by his clients. He has been awarded in the top 1% Buyer Agents among 25,000 agents and also:
With professional accomplishments in both experience and education, Parodi maintains the Certified Residential Specialist (CRS) Designee. Presently, less than 3% of 1 million agents carry this designation. Besides, he has the following Professional Real Estate Memberships:
Angela Pipes is a Licensed Real Estate Agent at Redfin Corporation with 17+ years in the Houston Real Estate market representing both sellers and buyers. She is passionate about the relationship with her clients which helps her adapt to their needs and receive referrals. Whether you are a first-time buyer or an accomplished seller, Pipes would guide you through the entire process. A member of the Houston Association of REALTORS, Pipes has established a reputation for being proficient in handling land sales, new construction, investment properties and resales including historic homes in the Heights, Montrose and other neighborhoods such as Katy, Memorial, Spring Branch, Clear Lake, and Galveston.
Pipes mainly works in the urban communities of Houston and keeps abreast of real estate developments and attending community events. She is an advocate for those interested in building better practices, smart growth and energy efficiency. Pipes works closely with her clients to make sure every sale closes without a hitch. She is always accessible, prompt, and thorough with her clients’ requests and her quick response time with emails is appreciated as well.
Angela Pipes has been qualified as a Top Production REALTOR based on 2016 second quarter listing side number of MLS sales transactions of the Houston Association of REALTORS. This certification is given to those who aim to maintain the highest ethical standards and whose production ranks among the highest number transactions within HAR’s 25,000 brokers and agents. As a Certified Negotiation Expert (CNE) and Accredited Luxury Homes Specialist (ALHS), Pipes has proven to be a valuable asset to Redfin and to her clients.
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
Any homeowner who lives in Nevada and is shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, will want to read this article. Why? Well, for one reason, HomeWarrantyReviews.com is one of the most established sources of reviews for home warranty companies in the U.S. And thanks to the thousands and thousands of reviews we’ve compiled on our website, we can offer you fair and objective input regarding the home warranty companies in Nevada that are doing the best job serving their customers needs.
So, which home warranty companies are the best in the state of Nevada? Let’s find out!
Nevada is famous for its desert areas, Las Vegas in particular. And with desert days you can expect several months of daily average temperatures above one hundred degrees Fahrenheit. As if the desert days are not challenging enough, desert nights can be a bit extreme too, temperatures plummeting from the daytime highs. When you push your heating and cooling systems to their limits you increase wear and tear and increase the chance of encountering frequent problems. With this in mind, Nevada homeowners should carefully consider their choices of home warranty companies, assuming the heating and cooling systems will be covered items.
All of the top companies listed in this article have something in common. That common thread is quality service. No matter what appliances and systems you want covered, you primarily want to know that when something breaks down it will be fixed quickly and correctly. And for that reason you can compare one common aspect of every home warranty company, that being the performance of the company when claims are filed by customers. To do that though you need real, accurate, fair feedback from homeowners like you. Luckily, you’re at the right place for that.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback, not based on how much companies pay for advertising. You will find that some other websites that rank home warranty companies do not do the same thing. If you trust a website that ranks companies arbitrarily then you may not be happy with the end result. What we can offer you below is a list of top companies that service the state of Nevada, a list that is only influenced by consumers just like you, people with direct experience filing claims with these companies. So get out your paper and pen. Here is the list of top companies servicing Nevada, based on the current standings on our website.
You may be familiar with these companies. All of these companies advertise their services widely. But what makes them so successful in Nevada? As is the case with nearly any home warranty company, a great repair contractor can make the customer experience much better than it would have been if the home warranty company didn’t have a good network of qualified contractors in the area. Home warranty companies have to work very hard to make sure they have enough contractors in each area they service. The companies also must maintain records of customer satisfaction in order to ensure that the contractors are making their customers happy with each service call. So how do these companies do with regard to customer satisfaction if you focus on the contractors doing the work? Read on to find out.
When you have as many customers as American Home Shield does it becomes a challenge to keep them all happy. But AHS has clearly made a good impression on its customers in recent months. Just scanning through the top ten reviews we found nine of ten reviews with very high ratings and very positive comments specifically mentioned the great service from the repair contractors. In several reviews the comments referred to AHS’s consistent delivery of timely, high quality repair services via the company’s contractor network. And that network is one of the strongest reasons for choosing a top rated company like AHS.
In eight of ten recent reviews we examined we found specific praise for the repair technicians that The Home Service Club sent to their customers’ homes. Though there were two negative reviews in the group we looked at, overall the customer reviews were consistently positive, particularly with regard to the time it took to receive repair services and the accuracy and cleanliness of the work performed. HSC appears to have good contractors working with them in most areas they service and appears to have a very efficient process for dispatching contractors when claims come in.
In the case of Select Home Warranty we found that nearly all of the recent reviews had extremely positive things to say about the claims process, from start to finish. One reviewer contacted Select after 11:00 pm to report an air conditioning problem and had a contractor at his home within five hours. Another reviewer wrote that Select Home Warranty authorized the use of a repair contractor the homeowner picked, instead of asking the homeowner to wait for a network technician to be available. Stories like this are not altogether unheard of in the home warranty industry, but when you see consistently high praise for the timeliness of repair contractors arriving after claims are filed you know you are looking at an exceptional company. And that is the type of company that every homeowner wants to do business with.
Landmark Home Warranty has some very happy customers. Looking through the company’s recent reviews we noticed that all are positive and nearly every one gives specific credit to the customer service representatives and the repair contractors. This sort of applause from customers is important, because when you see that most reviewers are happy with the entire claims process, end to end, you can expect that the company will deliver similar results to any of its customers.
Home Warranty of America, like the other companies listed here, has a very high rate of great review comments and ratings. With only a handful of negative reviews among the many that we examined it’s not surprising that HWA consistently ranks among the top companies on our website in most of the areas the company services. Many of the reviewers indicated that they were introduced to HWA’s services by a real estate professional. In some cases real estate professionals themselves took the time to write reviews. So it’s possible that many of our Nevada readers can learn first hand about HWA from the professionals helping them list or purchase their houses.
Being great in any business means being great consistently. What our readers can take away from this article is the benefit of thousands of consumers’ personal experiences. Knowing that so many customers in Nevada have been pleased with the service from these companies, readers can be much more confident in considering any one of these companies for a home service contract. But don’t just take our word for it. While you’re on our website we encourage you to read reviews about home warranty companies, not only for these ones but for any others you may be considering.