Warranty Companies on Most Complained List again

The leading real estate portal Angie’s list has released its annual list of best and worst rated companies based on member surveys. Home Warranty companies topped Most Complained List for 3rd Straight Year. Thirty-eight percent of the reports for home warranty companies were “F” grades. In addition, architects, structural engineering and solar panel companies made the bottom ten for the second year in a row. Angie’s List collected nearly 300,000 reports in 2007 from members who graded service companies on overall experience, price, quality, responsiveness and punctuality.

Complained

Here is the list. Visit Angie Hicks Blog to read the complete article Angie’s List Top 10 worst grade earners:

1. Warranty companies

2. Home builders

3. Furniture sales

4. Internet service providers

5. Architects

6. Structural engineering

7. Solar panels

8. Taxi/Shuttle service

9. Entertainment/party services

10. Mattresses

Angie’s List Top 10 best grade earners:

1. Veterinarians

2. Dog walkers

3. Piano tuning

4. Animal training

5. Hauling

6. Hair salons/barbers

7. Upholstery cleaning services

8. Animal/house sitters

9. Window cleaners

10. Lighting services






Hello everyone! Father’s day is just around the corner and most of you will be wondering what presents to give to the man you loved more than anyone else, your beloved dad!

Have you ever thought of giving your Dad something more useful than a t-shirt or a coffee mug with photos printed on it?? We are not saying that those gifts are not good, but we think that something more long-term would make your Dad (and your Mum as well) happy.

What’s the best gift?

Team HomeWarrantyReviews.com are huge fans of their Dads. So we reflected upon the needs that ageing dads have and came to the conclusion that nothing can show your care more than a helping hand with the household repairs.

Home Warranty

Home Service Contract as a Fathers Day Gift!

Now most of you may not be living in the same neighborhoods as your parents, so it will be difficult to rush to their help when they call you up complaining about a leaky faucet. What do you do then? Easy peasy, gift with a Home Warranty plan!

Benefits of gifting a Home Warranty

Let’s make a list of pros and cons of home warranty over other regular gifts!

Pros

  • Gives peace of mind to your parents.
  • They no longer have to worry about expenses incurred due to appliance breakdowns.
  • They get reminded of your love for them each time an appliance breaks down :).
  • Experienced technicians arrive at their doorstep which means all they have to do is place a call to the home warranty company!
  • Not a gender specific gift, it’s something your Mums will find useful too!

Cons

  • A tad bit more expensive than regular gifts like cards and t-shirts, still the purpose served is much higher!
  • No other cons

What kind of Home Warranty?

Most of the appliance warranty companies offer a range of plans that serve homeowner’s varying needs. So the happy news is that you too can find a tailor made plan for your Dad’s needs. Depending on the type of residence, frequency of repairs needed, area and age of appliances etc you can pick one that suits his needs.

If you like the idea of gifting a home service contract, we urge you to go through our website and compare trustworthy home warranty companies and their plans. While you are at it, consider getting yourself one if you don’t have a plan already!

Make your Dad’s feel special

Father’s day comes only once in a year, so make sure that you make your old man feel special. They’ve done a lot for you, now it’s your time to do something special for them. Even if you can’t afford expensive gifts or make time to spend the day with him, do give him a call atleast. Let them not feel forgotten and lonely. Remember, our fathers are God given gifts whom we should cherish and love at every chance we get. And if you are a father yourself, find a way to spend some quality time to bond with your kids.

Do tell us how you plan to celebrate Father’s Day. Cheers!!

P.S We’ve shared a pic of a famous father-son duo!




Home appliance protection plans are getting popular these days among homeowners. Such home warranty plans cover appliance repair costs and help homeowners with maintenance and repair services.

Home Appliance Protection Plan

What exactly is home appliance warranty plan?

Home warranty plan is a contract to insure the appliances in case of breakdowns to cover-up the repairs or replacement.

Watch this video to know the basics of Home Warranty –

Why do I need a home protection plan?

Home protection plan relieves you from unwanted stress and buys you peace of mind by providing the confidence that any repairs and replacement of your insured appliance will be taken care of by qualified service providers.

How does a home protection plan work?

In case any of your insured appliances break down, first step is to place a service request by simply calling up your insurance company. Once the request is confirmed the same is sent out to schedule an appointment. Only the service fee will be collected to determine the problem and sort-out the issue.

Are all the appliances in the house covered in the warranty plan?

Only the products listed in the insurance contract will be taken care of by the Home protection plan. Generally all major appliances  like refrigerator, washer/dryer, bathtub, plumbing systems, electrical systems, ceiling fans, water heaters and garage door opener are covered in the insurance plan. If it is determined that your insured item cannot be repaired by a service contractor, then it will surely be replaced.

Before deciding on home warranty plans and policies:

There are lots of home protection plans available in the market today. But it is not really hard to find which plan suits your requirements best, besides you just need to do some basic groundwork before deciding-

  • First you need to find out what your entire plan should cover
  • How much do you prefer to invest on the warranty plan?
  • Find a suitable home warranty company that offers the kind of plan you are looking for at a particular price to invest on.
  • Go through the policy booklet and fine print of the company contracts
  • Do check whether the policy has any pre-existing condition exclusions and if so what those conditions are
  • Does the company add up any additional fee on repair or service charges?
  • Will the appliance be replaced or repaired? Will they replace items with new or used items?
  • Check company’s response time obligations. Generally it is within 24 to 48 hours for non-emergency repairs.

These are all the questions that you need to find the answers to before purchasing a home warranty policy.  Some company policies cover only certain appliances while few are expensive. You need to be clear on all these issues.

Once you are certain about which plan suits your needs, compare the policy premiums and ensure the coverage plan. Finally, make sure the home warranty  company is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, including weekends and holidays, so they are there when you need assistance. You can find such companies in our home warranty company directory. A home warranty company should have a toll-free number so it doesn’t cost money to call. Ensure that the customer support is available on easy track so that it helps in fast communication and service. Sign up with a company that has all the above mentioned facilities.

Planning to buy a Home Warranty policy? Watch this video –

 




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

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

Extended Home Warranty

Before deciding on extended warranty

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

Cost consideration on home warranty

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

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

Importance of extended home warranty

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

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

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




Spring Lawn Care

An appealing lawn counterparts the rest of the garden and makes the whole garden seem fantastic. Spring is the best season to repair your lawn and sort out problems. It is the best time to spend less effort getting it into shape-mowing the grass, nourishing with a lawn fertilizer and dealing with ugly weeds, moss and bare patches.

The most cultivated plant in the world is the grass that grows in your yard. In reality, almost 18 million acres of land is landscaped with grass in the U.S., as per the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency). Americans are so infatuated with keeping their lawns green that they together dump 70 million pounds of fertilizers and pesticides on it every year and use 30% of all obtainable water on the East Coast irrigating it.

In case you have not begun organizing your lawn for the warmer months, now is the time to begin. Prepping your lawn now ensures that your grass will always be greener in the coming spring and summer.

6 Tips for a Healthy and Beautiful Lawn

Here are some handy tips to make sure your lawn is looking its best coming into spring. The secrets of success to a great looking lawn are:

Aerating SoilAerate Your Soil

This will be most imperative the first few seasons when you choose to get your lawn off chemicals and treat it organically. Aerating removes inch-long plugs from the lawn to let air and water into the soil. When you aerate for the first time and inspect the plugs, you will observe that the soil near the grass roots is thick and possibly clay-like when it should be dark brown and crumbly.

Regular Mowing

MowingThe most essential lawn care job for a wonderful looking lawn is correct and regular mowing. You need to cut the grass whenever it’s growing – which is probably to be weekly or even more often as the weather warms up in spring.

The plan must be to keep at the same height all through spring. For most lawns this must be about 2.5-4cm (1-1.5in) high. For lawns that take a lot of wear and tear the height is better raised to 5 cm (2 in). For shaded areas, it is advised to mow at a height of 7.5cm (3in).

Mowing too short and as a result weakening the grass, is the easiest and quickest way of letting weeds and moss to become established and spoiling the lawn.

Lawn Feeding

Lawn feedingNext on the priority list is feeding the grass, and a good range of lawn feeds will produce a lawn to boast about.

A good feed with a lawn fertilizer, not only makes the grass greener, but makes it grow thicker and enhances its strength, vigor and health. Good feeds also make the grass more robust and better equipped to compete with weeds, moss and weather-related stresses. In spring, best results are achieved by making use of a granular feed that supplies a usual amount of nutrients over some weeks.

When using a granular lawn feed it is vital to apply it evenly over the whole lawn at the suggested rate. The simple way to do this is to use a lawn spreader, such as the built-in spreader in the smaller sizes.

If you feed the lawn again in 6 week’s time it will stay strong and healthy all summer.

Treating mosses and weedsTreating Weeds and Moss

Lawn weeds are the main headache that can prevent you getting pleasure from your lawn. A strong, healthy and well-fed lawn will be able to deal with moss and weeds far better than one that is not looked after and fed properly.

You need to deal with weeds and moss promptly. You should do a treatment that builds up the lawn’s resistance to drought, heat and other stresses. Where major moss or weed attack is a trouble, dealing with them with an extra application of liquid weed killer can produce excellent results.

Deal with Bare PatchesDealing with Bare Patches

After the damages of winter, many lawns have bare areas that not only appear ugly, but are perfect places for weeds and moss to occur. Give your lawn a treat by giving it the unique combination of grass seed, coir and slow-release feed that will cover bare patches in no time and produce a thick grass covering of the bare area.

Overseeding lawnOverseed Your Lawn

Each year up to a quarter of the grass in the lawn can die, more after a cold, wet winter. Overseeding- planting new grass seed into the existing lawn – can revitalize the lawn and bring it back to life.

By increasing the density of the grass, overseeding enhances lawn’s appearance and reduces weed and moss invasion.

Few More Hints and Tips for Better Lawns

  • Cut the edges of the lawn whenever you mow to keep crisp lines that evidently show you care for your lawn.
  • Cut lawn edges with a half-moon edging iron to make sure they appear neat and well shaped.
  • Scarify with a spring-tine rake to take out dead grass, thatch and other debris that will or else prevent healthy grass growth.
  • On heavy clay soils, aerate the lawn in early spring with a hollow-tined aerator or garden fork to improve drainage and help lessen water logging issues and make grass grow better.
  • Add a top dressing after aerating to further improve drainage and enhance grass growth.
  • Water the grass thoroughly and ensure that the roots are also watered.

This simple lawn care program will give you a lawn to be proud of, keep it in perfect condition and make friends and neighbors green with envy!




Buying your first home is a daunting thought. This article provides a list of things you need to know before purchasing your first home.

First home

So you’ve saved and saved and now you’ve decided to bite the bullet and try to enter the property market. No matter where you are — Sydney, one of the most expensive cities in the world, or the country, looking for a small cottage — laying down most of your savings, and a large amount borrowed from the bank can be daunting. It’s not just the commitment to pay it off for the next 20+ years that can weigh heavily on your mind in the lead up to signing on the dotted line, it’s the added expenses, like land tax, stamp duty and home insurance that all need equal consideration. Then there are other optional expenses such as appliance warranty that come into play later on. Although they are option, a home service contract and its benefits are totally worth the money. You may want to read about how to determine whether a homeowner needs home warranty.

If you’re preparing to take the big step, have a look at five ‘must-knows’ before getting started.

Time
One of the biggest things people don’t realise when buying their first home, is time plays a big factor in the whole process. From deciding to buy, to getting your keys, to making your final mortgage payment, buying a house is a big investment time.

The first instance where time plays a role is finding a house — not always as easy as you think. The amount of properties on the market at any one tie depends on the time of the year. And even if the property market is strong, and there is a lot to choose from, finding something you’re happy with, and can afford, can take months.

After finding your home, and choosing a bank, settlement — the period after signing the contract, and waiting for keys — is a long stretch. Before and during this period, be prepared to run to the bank a lot,to the agent, to your solicitor and back again.

Your bank loan
This is one of the biggest concerns for most people — borrowing hundreds of thousands and committing to repayments for the foreseeable future. Rest assured, you have some control. Ensure you don’t just go with your bank because you’ve always banked with them, see several bank managers and get several quotes before committing. Ask not just for the interest rate, but the comparison rate, which includes additional fees and is a more realistic Idea of what you’ll be paying.

Your solicitor
When buying a home, you need a solicitor. Buying seems like an easy thing to do, but behind the scenes, there are a lot of actions, searches and checks that need to be performed before you can settle — your solicitor takes care of this for you. The best idea, if you haven’t used a good solicitor before, is to use someone recommended by a friend — then you know you can likely trust them, their advice, and their commitment to your purchase. Ask them as many questions as possible, and determine how much their services will likely cost before getting started.

Property Inspection
Importantly, before agreeing to exchange contracts, have a full building and pest inspection (or a strata report search) conducted on your property. While a property may look good upon inspection, it’s difficult to know any faults of ongoing problems without having a professional look at it first. While this is an additional cost, it could save you a fortune in repairs later, or worst case, paying for a property that can’t be lived in.

Other costs
Don’t be fooled into thinking that paying your deposit, the balance of rates, bank and solicitor fees and building inspection are the last of the costs. Beyond this, you will need home and contents insurance, often mortgage insurance, stamp duty and other fees associated with your loan. Remember to save more than just the deposit to get over the line, and work out completely what you expect to pay before you decide to purchase.




A place to make countless memories in and call your own, if you’re in the market for a new home then you sure know what a task it can be to research, hunt and narrow down to just the right space. From the way the homes you walk into make you feel to the technical details – the plumbing, storage units, materials used and more – the entire process can not only be exhausting but can also take weeks, if not months for home inspection. While the gut feeling is all yours to trust, there is a simple way to get help when it comes to ironing out the value of a space, the cost you will have to add as overhead once you buy it, what to consider and functional tips and points to focus on when you remodel.

Home-warranty-home-inspection

A home inspection is a simple step recommended for aspiring homeowners, a step that comes right after you narrow down on your dream home and just before you sign the papers. We all know never to judge a book by its cover, but the trick here is to find the right people to judge the inside and estimate its condition.

Most often home inspection is a part of all well drafted real estate deals, including a system within which the price and repairs can be renegotiated after the inspection, saving you both time and energy.

Who To Hire For Home Inspection?

Just like any other professional, hiring a home inspector can be a lot easier if you know the right questions to ask.

Just Home Inspection, Nothing More

More often than not, home buyers tend to rely on their contractors for inspections as well, frequently creating a conflict of interest. Raising questions about the authenticity and real need for the repairs that the contractor has pointed out can create unnecessary tension, making it a lot easier if you kept both separate.  

Insurance, Sample Report And Pricing

Of the three aspects to be clarified before hiring an inspector, the first stands to be one that is very often overlooked. Being a profession that has its if’s and but’s when it comes to safety, the responsibility of being cautious and secure during the inspection should be the agencies alone. Be it insurance to assure that any accidents do not come back onto you or the required gear for the procedure, make sure you are free from any legal complications from the first step itself.

In order to understand more clearly what you are getting your money’s worth, and how much you will be actually be spending on this process, start by getting estimates as well as sample reports from three to four consultants or companies. Proceed to judge the inspectors based on how comprehensive their sample report is, and to what extent the price justifies the service they are providing – making an informed decision definitely makes a difference!

References And Specific Expertise

While companies and agencies of repute do exist, if you’re looking to hire an individual consultant then it’s a good idea to get in touch with them through word of mouth or check out their references beforehand. Even when it comes to a company, go through online reviews to get a better idea of who you are hiring.

A general home inspection is quite standard, paying attention to the structural elements of the building as well as to smaller details such as appliances inside and outdoor wear and tear due to weather. Depending on the age, architectural style, materials and problem areas of the home, it may help for you to hire an inspector with a more particular area of expertise.

Being Present

Being a part of the inspection process is essential, and hiring an inspector who does not keep you in the loop is never smart. From getting acquainted with space through the eyes of the professional to firsthand explanations and insight into what is substandard and why, tagging along will give you the chance to clarify any inhibitions you have with space, to begin with.

What All It Includes

Broadly speaking, a home inspector should thoroughly look through all structural aspects of the building and foundation – aspects such as the roof and walls for seepage or termites, possible shifts in the flooring, insulation, age and condition of woodwork and plumbing, the functionality and safety of the electrical system, cooling system etc. Indoor appliances can be a part of the inspection as well, assuming they come with the home.

Specific to each of these issues, the inspector would look at and categorize the defects into –

  1. Safety issues and hazards, minor or major defects and long-term impact if the repair is postponed.
  2. Structural elements, wiring or other items that can be serviced or repaired by contractors and professionals, and those that need to be replaced altogether.
  3. Aspects that are okay to be left as is for now but may need to be re-evaluated in a few years.

Post the inspection – that usually lasts a few hours – the inspector will submit a comprehensive report to you, giving you the highs and lows of the property and maybe even tips on how to maintain the home and retain its condition for longevity and resale in the future.

For Buyers And Sellers Alike

Hiring a home inspector isn’t just for home buyers! The task of putting a home on the market and actually making a sale can be just as daunting as buying one and making it a home, and just as inspection puts the buyer’s mind at ease, it also helps assess the value of the property and gives you the upper hand.

Buyers

Making you confident, well informed of the value and aware of the possible issues within the purchase of the property, home inspection empowers the buyer to have control over their decisions and know what they are getting into. Being an investment of significant sums of money, an inspector’s expertise can be highly beneficial, impartial and yet of appropriate judgment – giving you just the professional intervention you need before taking the leap.

Though home inspection minimizes the possibility of disagreeable surprises regarding repairs and replacements after the home is purchased, it’s not all about the negatives. Alongside what requires attention, an inspector also brings to your notice the crowning jewels of your property and how they can be maintained in mint condition.

Sellers

A quick and economical way to give you the upper hand and have you one step ahead of the questions the buyers and real estate agents will harrow you with, a home inspection from a seller’s point of view can be just as beneficial as that from buyers.

Giving you the chance to know the true value of your home, tidy up areas that are not in the best condition and even repair certain aspects that may exponentially boost the monetary value as well as the salability of the property. Just as a buyer would not want any surprise repair needs after the deal is finalized, it is preferable for the seller to have a clear idea of the pros and cons of the property so as to assure that a deal that seems otherwise perfect doesn’t fall through at the last minute because of setbacks. Being honest about the condition of the property can be a negotiating tactic of its own, giving the buyer a clear picture and allowing for a smooth mediation between both parties. Legally speaking, the inspection can be drawn into the clause itself, exonerating the seller from any further responsibility for the condition of the home as well as assuring that no lawsuits can be filed, considering all the necessary information was disclosed prior to the deal being finalized.

DIY – Be Your Own Home Inspector

Still looking to be your own inspector and have a go at your own property or want to give your new home a good poke before letting in the professional? There are a few things to keep in mind, for your safety and the success of the enterprise itself.

Getting Ready For Home Inspection

Before you get started, make sure you are dressed right for the task – gloves, covered shoes, a mask for when you enter the basement and attic, and basic tools to be able to inspect behind panels of wood and a strong flashlight.

home inspection

What To Look For

  1. Checking wooden joists in the flooring for stability and strength, any holes or missing beams could compromise the flooring.
  1. Rotting wood in between floors, in the attic or basement, and in the parts of the home that are exposed to the elements.
  1. Termites or mold in any part of the building, and if they are there then how extensive the damage is.
  1. Exposed electrical wiring or electrical work that seems not up to the mark.
  1. Water pressure in all the bathrooms and kitchen, as well as the condition of at least the external plumbing and drains.
  1. Condition and age of the appliances – cooling/heating systems, refrigeration, gas inlets etc.
  1. Cracks in the foundation.
  1. Damage due to overgrowth of trees and creepers adjacent to the building, specific to individual homes with a garden.

 

Home Warranty And Peace Of Mind

Just as home inspection can help do away with inhibitions of buying a new home, getting Home Warranty with wide coverage can assure peace of mind for years to come. Having gone through the aspects of inspecting a home thoroughly before investing in it, now comes the trick of making sure that your repair, servicing and replacements costs and tensions are all taken care of!

A service contract that assures the complete fixing and replacement of appliances, plumbing, electrical systems, and cooling systems of your home – saving energy on unexpected repairs and the trouble of looking for the required professional for each product – home warranty covers most major appliances and is yearly renewable without any hassle.

Home Maintenance Calculator

Not quite sure about how far this warranty could really make an impact?

Home-Warranty-Calculator

HomeWarrantyReviews.com brings you the Home Maintenance Calculator, a simple tool to get an estimate of what repairs and replacements can cost without a warranty in place, in comparison to the yearly cost of the home warranty itself.

It’s not always enough to base the decision on the age or the general condition of the appliance, and the Home Maintenance Calculator has been carefully put together so as to not miss any factors. By feeding in basic details of how old the home is, the age of individual appliances and systems and the number of times the home usually requires repairs in a year, the tool uses data to give you a very good idea of the end cost.

Getting your result is simple as well – the charts alter according to the parameters you feed in, and if the sum for maintenance is higher than that of warranty, then it is best to get yourself a reliable home warranty coverage, preferably chosen through meticulous research. In fact, finding the right deal for your home is not much different from hunting for the perfect home inspector! Read reviews, get estimates and make sure the plan covers all the essentials; a little bit of digging around may make all the difference when it comes to the perfect home warranty plan to fit your needs.




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

Home Insurance Premium

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

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

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

Ways to cut down homeowners insurance costs

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

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

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




Since you searched for this online, it is possibly true that you are frustrated beyond possible limits, because your Insurance Company, that you hired to make your life easier, is in fact annoying you. Let’s not waste time, this article explains the strategy that you must adopt in the event that your Insurance company acts tough on your claim.

Let’s take you over the essentials first. The points that follow must be adhered to , otherwise you stand a chance to lose the fight against the Insurance company.

General guidelines

Pursue Insurance Claims

 1. Information

Gather all the information you can regarding your damaged device eg Manufacturer’s name,  model no, batch no, claim center’s details, basically anything that is required. You should have them ready before you call up the Insurance Company. Keep the info that you gathered in the same place, this is will make accessing them easier. Keep your policy booklet and contract ready as well.

2. Maintain Call logs

Once you have gathered all the required information, call the Insurance company. It is suggested that you don’t place your call on Mondays as it is the busiest day of the week. You should keep records of the following:

  • All communication with your Insurance company must be noted down precisely. Details about the following are most significant.
  • Time, date and duration of the call.
  • Name, ID and call center location of the representative you spoke to.
  • Name of the supervisor to whom your call was transferred.
  • Details about the content of your communication.

3. Be nice and pay attention

Remember that being rude is not going to reap any rewards. The Representative on the other end of the line is possibly more frustrated than you are as they have to deal with annoyed customers like you all day.

  • Greet the Representative back, make sure that you have gotten his name and other details right.
  • Politely explain your grievance, ask for their help, give them details that are required.
  • Tell them why you think your claim should be processed.
  • Always keep in mind that your fight is with the Company and the representative has nothing to do with it.

If you follow the above two rules, you might get a positive response from the Insurance company soon. But there are cases where even good manners and genuine claims fall on deaf ears. If you are experiencing something like that, read on.

They still won’t listen- What to do ?

Call them up at a later time:  This may help if the representative you talked to is a kind fellow. Or they may decide to help you just so that you stop annoying them with constant calls. Give it a try.

Speak with a supervisor:  We are not sure how much this would help, but it is still worth a try.

Threaten them: Yes, you read that right. You probably had thought about it already. First, tell them that you had been a loyal customer and that you will be disappointed if your issue is not resolved. If that does not work, threaten them by telling them that you will terminate your contract if your grievances are not solved immediately. When you do this, they will ask you why you want to terminate your contract. Proceed on telling them how your constant pleas and calls were ignored.

Threaten them some more: It might be helpful if you threaten them by saying that you will tarnish their reputation by bad mouthing them. Declare that you are going to publicise the details of how you were treated and you can even tell them that you will announce the same through various social media.

BBB: The Better Business Bureau (BBB) is one such institution that mediates between the customers and the businesses to resolve issues. Place a complaint with them . The BBB is not a government run organization, however they are advocates of integrity and ethics. They do keep records of all the complaints. No institution wishes to be in the bad list of the BBB.

Attorney General’s office: If you genuinely feel that you are being victimized, you can complain to the Attorney General’s office. They will conduct enquiries and try to resolve the issue. If you do not wish to do this, then simply threaten the Insurance Company by telling them that you will complain to the Attorney General’s office.

Last resort: The lawsuit threat. This should not be used unless your case is that compelling. Most biggies in the Insurance field have their positions covered legally and you may lose unless you have a strong case against them.




A home warranty sounds like it is a great form of monetary security against unexpected, expensive home repairs. But you should understand what is covered in a “standard” home service contract. When you are buying a home, there is possibility that you were provided with a home warranty by the seller and you assumed that it will take care of all repairs inside your home. But there are some items NOT covered in a home warranty.

Basics of home warranty –

What Does Home Warranty Cover?

The best answer to this can be found by evaluating your specific contract or by reviewing an on-line contract sample.

Basic coverage includes:

  1. Plumbing stoppages
  2. Plumbing System
  3. Sump pump (permanently installed)
  4. Toilets
  5. Hot water pump
  6. Bathroom whirlpool motor pump
  7. Water heater
  8. Ceiling fans
  9. Smoke detectors
  10. Built-in dishwasher
  11. Built-in microwave
  12. Attic and exhaust fans
  13. Heating and duct-work
  14. Telephone system
  15. Electrical system
  16. Instant hot water dispenser
  17. Built in trash compactor
  18. Oven
  19. Cook tops
  20. Doorbells
  21. Air conditioning
  22. Garbage disposal
  23. Range and oven
  24. Telephone wiring
  25. Central heating system
  26. Range Hood
  27. Humidifier
  28. Refrigerators (does not include ice maker)

Because coverage differs from policy to policy and from state to state, request to see a sample copy of a policy before you commit.

What is Not Covered in a Standard Plan?

As discussed above, the contract covers only those parts, systems and appliances that are mentioned as covered and excludes all others. Remember you can always pay extra premium to cover these items before you sign the contract.

  1. Faucet repairs (unless otherwise stated in the policy)
  2. Spa or pools (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  3. Hot tubs (you can request/add this coverage in some cases)
  4. Not all plans pay for washers and dryers or garage door openers. These come under “Enhanced Coverage”
  5. Outdoor items such as sprinklers
  6. Haul away debris
  7. Hauling away old appliances
  8. Outdoor water systems
  9. Combo ceiling fans
  10. Second air conditioner
  11. Second fridge/freezer
  12. Food spoilage
  13. Icemaker
  14. Well Pump
  15. Central Vacuum
  16. Limited Roof Leak
  17. Septic system
  18. Septic Tank Pumping
  19. Stand Alone Freezer
  20. Home entertainment
  21. Office package
  22. Central AC unit
  23. Wine cooler
  24. Heating system
  25. Septic system
  26. Additional spa
  27. Washing machine

However, for items such as washer/dryer, kitchen refrigerator, air conditioning, spa equipment, pool and roof leak repair, additional or optional coverage are available for an extra fee at the time of contract. Verify your contract to check which optional coverage, if any, were paid for.

Basics of Home Warranty

A home warranty is neither similar nor it is a replacement for homeowners insurance. Homeowners insurance policy covers major unforeseeable events such as fires, theft, property crimes, hail and certain types of water damage that could have an effect on the homeowner’s personal possessions and the entire structure. A home warranty does not cover these hazards but it covers particular components of the home. It covers regular wear and tear defects which may include an older air conditioner break down or requiring certain parts changed in spite of you have kept up with needed maintenance. In simplest terms, a home warranty is an additional coverage for the items in your home which might initially have been covered by a manufacturer’s or builder’s warranty.

When you purchase a home warranty, you are principally signing a service contract. The contract provides for low-priced repair and replacement service on a number of home’s major appliances. Most plans have a basic component that offers all the homeowners who pay for a policy with certain coverages. The contract will spell out which appliances it’ll cover, how much is required to pay per occurrence and what is not covered. For instance, structural aspects of your home are not covered. So if your roof falls down, that would be covered by homeowner’s insurance. In case your water heater leaks, the water heater would be covered but the consequent water damage would be homeowner’s insurance issue. Homeowners are also allowed to procure one or more optional components that give additional coverage at additional cost.

How much does a Home Warranty Cost?

They are quite inexpensive, usually ranging from $259 to $400, based on coverage. Home warranty companies every now and then run special discount policy prices or special sales or provide additional coverage for the same price. The policies are prepaid for a year in advance, at which time they run out or can be renewed.

How Do They Work?

Though specific plans offer for definite types of coverage, most operate in the same way.

  • If a home appliance or a system breaks down, the home owner calls the home warranty firm.
  • The home warranty company calls a service provider with whom it has a business arrangement in order to examine the problem.
  • The provider then calls the home owner to make an appointment.
  • If the provider settles on that the required replacement or repair is covered by the warranty, he accomplishes the work. In case an appliance cannot be repaired and is malfunctioned, based on the contract coverage, the home warranty firm will pay to put back and set up the appliance.
  • The homeowner only pays a small trade service fee (less than $100) plus the money he/she has spent by now to buy the warranty.

Watch this video to know how home warranty works –

Types of Coverage

As all plans differ, you are required to ask specifically what is covered. Inquire with your real estate agent if upgrades are available. Make sure that whether the home warranty company will pay for your repairs to make certain types of appliances or systems compliant with new regulations. Pay close attention and read the home warranty contract cautiously to know the coverage, limitations and exclusions.

What to Expect in a New Home Warranty?

Home warranties may be procured by individuals buying a new or used home, landowner, and persons selling their homes or investors. Each company’s coverage is decided by the terms of its contact, but basic home warranties usually cover the parts and labor on or replacement of chief home systems and equipment.

What’s covered? Most home warranty firms provide a variety of plans, all offering different levels of coverage, so be sure to study the details of any contract before procuring. Even if you decide to renew the contract from your year-to-year, double check the details of your plan as the coverage can change yearly.

Here is a common idea of what a homeowner can wait for to find in each tier of service.

The Bottom Line

A home warranty is not an ideal solution to the risks homeowners face. Before buying one, it’s important that the homeowners read the home warranty contract and consider whether the warranty is probable to pay off. Home sellers who want to provide a warranty to buyers and homeowners or buyers who feel more relaxed having a home warranty should also do extensive research to get a reputable home warranty company that will in fact pay for legal genuine repairs when they are required.

Other home warranty tips –

 




Here is a list of most read articles about home warranty on our site. Enjoy your reading and provide us your feedback!

Articles

Home Appliance Warranty Plans – What is appliance protection plan and how does it help homeowners

Extended Home Appliance Warranty – Things you should consider before buying an extended appliance warranty policy.

FAQs on home warranty plans – This section covers most frequently asked questions about the protection plan

Five Types of Appliance Protection Plans – Covers various kinds of warranties such as appliance warranty, manufacturers warranty, extended warranty, sellers warranty, home service contract etc.

How to choose a home appliance warranty plan – This article explains how to choose a home  warranty plan and the service provider company.

Is home warranty necessary for buyers and sellers – Explains if home warranty is needed for sellers as well as buyers.

Average appliance repair costs – Provides a list of average appliance repair occurance percentages to help you decide whether you need to participate in a home warranty program.

Home warranty quotes – Home warranty quotes, coupons and deals

Is home warranty really an insurance? – Not necessarily. This articles explains why you cannot bank on home warranty for all your repair and replacement needs.

Home maintenance Tips – How to take better care of your sweet home

How to pursue insurance claims – How to pursue a claim when the service provider company is acting tough on your claim.

An Open Letter to Home Warranty Industry – An open letter written by someone who worked in the home warranty industry for a long time. Author provides an insightful view of the industry. The views and opinions expressed are author’s own.




We previously reported about NY attorney general’s lawsuit against National Home protection. On December 15, 20009 NY New York Attorney General Andrew M. announced a court victory in the lawsuit against this home warranty company. NHP’s website is not accessible any more and phone calls are not answered. The company is believed to be defunct and its customers cannot expect any service, although they might get some kind of severance from this lawsuit.

According to the reports published at wivb.com this morning, the court found NHP engaged in false and misleading advertising, made multiple misrepresentations and violated New York consumer protection and insurance laws. Subsequently, the company and its principals, Leo Serrur, David Seruya and Victor Hakim, agreed to pay $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The agreement was approved by the New York Supreme Court on December 14.

NHP sold consumers yearly home warranty plans at an annual price of about $370. NHP’s advertising and contracts promised to repair or replace consumers’ household systems and appliances which failed to work properly due to normal wear and tear. Hundreds of consumers who purchased NHP’s plans complained to the Attorney General’s office and other agencies that NHP did not provide the promised services or replacements.
The Court also concluded that NHP made multiple misrepresentations to consumers via its website, including that it provided “sensible protection against repair costs,” “affordable coverage that could save you thousands,” and that it “will replace your unit with the same or like model.” The Court noted that consumers complained that claims were denied for failure to produce maintenance records and that they were offered inferior appliances or cash back offers that were a small fraction of the actual appliance cost. The Court also ruled that the Attorney General could recover on behalf of all aggrieved consumers, including those residing outside the State of New York, since NHP used New York to complete its deceptive transactions.

Importantly, the Court’s decision makes it clear that a company cannot rely on small print terms and conditions of contracts to disclaim attractive advertising claims that lure consumers to purchase products or services.

As part of its agreement with the Attorney General’s office, NHP and it principals have agreed to pay a total amount of $900,000 in restitution, penalties and costs. The company and its owners are also permanently enjoined by court order from running a home warranty business unless they first comply with the New York Insurance law on demonstrating financial responsibility and with other New York consumer protection statutes, violations of which are punishable by contempt.

Consumers who are eligible for restitution under the settlement
include:
– Consumers who were denied contracted-for, or advertised services from NHP;
– Consumers who did not receive gift cards advertised and offered by NHP as an incentive for entering into the home warranty agreements; or
– Consumers who were denied the right to cancel their home warranty agreements within twenty (20) days of the date of mailing of the home warranty agreement or within ten (10) days if the home warranty agreement was delivered at the time of sale, and have not received a full refund from NHP or any other entity.

Consumers who were harmed by NHP’s deceptive conduct and false advertising will be able to file a claim for restitution. All NHP customers will receive claim forms by mail over the next several weeks and need not take any further action at this time.

Consumers may check the Attorney General’s website periodically for updates on the National Home Protection consumer claims process. Consumers with questions may also call the Attorney General’s Consumer Helpline at (800) 771-7755.




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

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

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

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

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

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

What plan do I purchase?

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

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

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

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

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

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

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

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

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

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

Who needs a Home Warranty?

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

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

Still undecided?

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

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

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

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




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.        Arkidus Home Protection

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.

Tips to prevent you from becoming a victim of similar home warranty and insurance scams

  • Reading about incidents like the ones surrounding Arkidus Home Protection’s brief business in the home warranty space may leave you wondering if there is a way to avoid becoming a victim. Here are some things you can keep in mind when choosing an insurance company or home warranty company.
  • When shopping for home warranty or insurance make sure any company you consider doing business with is properly registered and if licensing or bonding is required by your state be certain those things are in order as well.
  • Check a company’s background, reviews and the companies’ customer complaint records which can found on the company’s local Better Business Bureau website.
  • Never purchase financial products such as home warranties or insurance policies from a company which solicits your business at your door without doing the same homework you would with any other company.  Impulse purchases from hard-sales-tactics sales people are very often regretted by the consumers making them.
  • When dealing with sales people face to face try to develop an eye for details, study the business cards and other documents and verifying that the business address furnished is authentic and not just a P.O. Box, short term single office rental or other temporary type of mailing address.  Though legitimate and not alone a sign of trouble, short term addresses and discreet addresses may be a warning sign that you won’t be able to track anybody down when you run into trouble with the product you bought.
  • Always demand a contract for the services provided, claims and reimbursement, and other provisions and then study the fine print carefully before signing the document or making a purchase.
  • Always ask for a bill or invoice and never pay by cash.  Using a check or a credit card can sometimes help you when you seek reimbursement after not receiving what was promised to you by the merchant.

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.




2-10 Home Buyers Warranty is in the process of launching Green Advantage Warranty as part of protection assurance programs for new and upcoming green building initiatives.

Green Advantage Warranty

The 2-10 home appliance warranty company offers Green Advantage Warranty to builders who meet eco-friendly standards. Builders need to build homes that fulfill the requisites of Energy Star, National Green Building Standard (NGBS), or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) standards.

Green Advantage Warranty includes repairs and replacement of Energy Star certified products and appliances. Coverage includes the replacement of green labeled items, engineered wood products, sustainably harvest lumber, low or no emission finishes and recycled products with accordance of applicable national certification standard.

Scott Cromie, Chairman and Chief Executive officer states that “With one in four homes now certified by green building standards, it is clear that home buyers want a more eco-friendly home, and that offering warranty protection that targets these values offers builders a clear competitive edge,” and also reports “Our new Green Advantage Warranty represents 2-10 Home Buyers’s Warranty commitment to greener business practices, and celebrates the home builders and home buyers who want a greener home and lifestyle. We’re proud to offer a product that meets these standards, while continuing to provide the same leading, trusted protection our company stands behind.”

Builders interested in participating are encouraged to call 877.777.1344 for more information. You can register to 2-10 HBW Green Advantage Warranty, just by adding up a minimal additional fee over the existing standard rate. It is as simple as checking a box next to the certification standard on 2-10 HBW’s Home Enrollment Application.

Green Advantage Warranty is an added policy to the company’s existing home warranty package, including one, two and ten years of coverage offering for new construction home builders. Company’s 10 years warranty covers structural warranty defect. Under the policy of 1-2-10 warranty one year of surety coverage of workmanship and materials. Two years of warranty also covers on systems.

About the company

2-10 Home Buyers Warranty® is in market for more than 30 years, now the company has offered customers and their homeowners the most comprehensive warranty program available. Whether you’re building, selling or buying a home, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty offers a complete line of warranty, service contracts and risk management products. Since 1980, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has provided warranties and service contracts for more than 5.5 million new and pre-owned homes.




Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.

How Does a Home Warranty Work

Share this Image On Your Site

Now, back to the story.

Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to

  • Look for a technician
  • Pay for repairs
  • Carry the device to a service center
  • Do the repairs himself

Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.

Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!

The end




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.

Best-Realtors-and-agents-of-Houston

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-

Paige Martin

Houston-Realtor

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:

  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Fortune Magazine, Reuters
  • Fox News in the Morning
  • Money Magazine
  • Houston Business Journal
  • The Houston Chronicle
  • Downtown Houston Magazine
  • Texas Monthly Magazine

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:

  • 2016: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2016: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly
  • 2016: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015 Q3: #9 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Worldwide (of 125,000 agents)
  • 2015: #2 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Texas
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Southwest Texas (Houston, Woodlands, Katy, San Antonio)
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams, Houston
  • 2015: #1 Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2015: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2015: One of the Top 25 Residential Realtors in Houston, Houston Business Journal
  • 2015: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2014: One of America’s Best Real Estate Agents, RealTrends.com
  • 2014: One of the Top 40 Real Estate Agents in Houston, Houston Chronicle
  • 2014: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2014: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2013: Top 50 Houston Realtors by the Houston Chronicle
  • 2013: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2013: Five Star Realtor, Featured in Texas Monthly Magazine
  • 2012: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2012: Top 5 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2011: #1 Ranked Individual Agent, Keller Williams Memorial
  • 2011: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams
  • 2010: #1 Ranked Individual Agent in the Keller Williams Memorial Office
  • 2010: Top 10 Ranked Individual Agent in the Houston Area with Keller Williams

James Krueger

Houston-RealtorWhether 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:

  • Accredited Buyer Representative (ABR®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)

Lance Loken

Realtor-Houston

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:

  • #3 out of all Real Estate Teams in Houston (Ranked by Number of 2014 Closed Transactions – 662 by the “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #20 out of all Real Estate Teams in The United States (Teams by Transaction Sides in 2014 – 658 – by REAL TRENDS (“Wall Street Journal”))
  • #3 in all Keller Williams agents worldwide (based on units closed in 2015)
  • #1 Best Place to Work in Houston (Medium Companies, 2015, “Houston Business Journal”)
  • #79 (Teams by Sales Volume in 2014 – $137.3 mil) in America by REAL TRENDS (Wall Street Journal)
  • #303 in the Inc. 5000 List of America’s Fastest-Growing Companies

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

Realtor-Houston

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:

  • recognized by Houston Association of Realtors in 2012, 2013 and 2014
  • awarded the esteemed 20 Rising Stars under Age 40 by Next Generation of Realtors (Houston Association of Realtors)
  • named 2015 Top 250 Latino Agents in the US by NAHREP

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:

  • Accredited Buyer’s Representative (ABR®)
  • Graduate Realtor Institute (GRI®)
  • Short Sales and Foreclosure Resource (SFR®)
  • Texas Realtors Leadership Program (TRLP)

Angela Pipes

Realtor-Houston

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.

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Texas is the second largest state in America, regarding the number of people living in it. That means a great number of households that need protection and maintenance. Also, statistics concerning the trends of population evolution are pointing towards growth in the future. Soon, new residences will have to be built to accommodate the growing no. of people. In a state with so many homes, a Home Warranty should be a must. Anything can go wrong and get broken, leaving you with the inability of doing your everyday tasks. Yes, there are companies that take care of these matters, but considering the high number of households that might need their assistance, you may have to wait for a while. As an advice to homeowners, here are five of the most reliable Home Warranty companies in Texas, as of June 2015.

1. The Home Service Club

The most important appliances in your home, in case they malfunction and regardless of their age, will be repaired and handled by the Home Service Club. And in case your appliance cannot be repaired, their solution also foresees a replacement of the malfunctioning device. The company has an extensive network of sub-contractors, meaning that interventions at the client’s house will be done in a short time frame. Customer service is available around the clock, in any day of the week, so you can call them any time you need assistance. Besides phone calling, any customer can access their website in case they need any of the services they provide.

The company is getting great reviews from former clients. They appreciated the short period of solving the matter and the professionalism of technicians. Customers expressed their contentment and stated that company is reliable and trustworthy.

They have two available plans for their services. The Standard plan, which cover some of the most significant appliances and systems within a home. And the Comprehensive plan, which includes almost anything needed in a house, regarding devices and household appliances.

Home Warranty Companies in Texas

2. American Home Shield

A large number of technicians and contractors who compose the American Home Shield team, are ready all the time to take care of any systems or appliances that might get broken in your home. They have built quite a reputation in their extended activity in this branch, earning thousands of satisfied customers, who got their appliances running in the shortest notice.

Customers are happy with the services received from the company, pointing out promptitude, respect and well-trained technicians on the field. Most of them did not wait longer than 24 hours to get their appliances working again, which is extremely important for every homeowner.

Regarding their plans, the company has quite a diversity. The most preferred by clients is the Combo plan, destined to take care of the majority of appliances and systems a house may have, at a very low price. They also offer a customizable Build Your Own Plan, which allows the homeowner to designate his priorities. Shield-Essential takes care of the devices that are most costly to buy and repair. Shield-Plus works the same way as the previous plan, but having a few extras. And Shield-Complete that gathers all the benefits of both of the previous plans, plus a couple of other advantages.

3. Complete Appliance Protection

As the company claims, everything that comes with an outer metal case and gets plugged in, will be covered by their services. They also have a customer service available regardless of day or hours, and there are no fees for calling in each time you have a problem.

Reviews show that customers appreciate the company, some of them using their services for more than 10 years. They appreciate the availability of the customer service, the professionalism with which their issues are treated and the quality of the services.

The Complete Appliance Protection has four plans to offer to their clients. They have the Kitchen and Laundry plan and the Heating and Cooking plan, which both state what their cover in their names. They also have the Full House and Full House Plus plans, with extended covering regarding the type of appliances.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

The services offered by this company regard both homeowners and real estate agents as well. They can take care of any appliance or system that refuses to work properly. Besides the traditional customer service, a client can also visit their website to find out information about plans, services or to become a member. There will also be a call fee of $65, regardless of the plan you chose.

Customers seem to be impressed by the services they receive. They appreciate the high quality of the repairs, fast solving of the matter and reliability at each call for a problem. Being there for the customers and offering the best support is the success recipe for this company.

The company offers four types of plans. Standard, Premier Plus, Value and Deluxe, each having specific coverage and price. From all these, Deluxe is the plan that offers the most coverage and solves most of your issues regarding appliances.

5. Select Home Warranty

Repairs or replacements should never be a worry with the services provided by this company. It doesn’t matter what type of home you have or what appliance gets broken, as long as the terms mentioned in the contract are met, Select Home Warranty will repair it for you. Their network of technicians and contractors is rather large so that they can be at your place in no time.

Customers are quite happy with the services and promptitude, claiming their issues were solved in a relatively short period. Also, they mentioned that the quality of the services is also reliable. Still, there were some customers wishing for some more coverage in the company’s plans.

They have three types of plans available. Bronze Care, Gold Care and Platinum Care, and each plan has a specified coverage and a payment plan. If you wish to get maximum coverage, then you will have to opt for the Platinum care. Also, do remember that there is a service call fee for all customers, regardless of the plan.

To view a complete list of top rated home warranty companies use the link below: