Home Warranty and Homeowners Insurance

Ever wondered what is the difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance ? Are they not same? Let’s find answers for these questions.

While home warranty and home insurance products may come across as same, they are totally different. The coverage, cost, terms and conditions vary greatly. Home insurance is compulsory in some cases whereas home warranty is a recommended choice.

Difference Between Home Insurance And Home Warranty

difference between home warranty and homeowners insurance

Home warranty offers protection for your major appliances, as well as plumbing and electrical units. It covers the cost of repairing or replacing major household appliances in case they break down, provided they meet the terms and conditions of the home service contract.

Home insurance covers your home in the event of damage due to natural calamity or man-made disasters and offers you liability protection from lawsuits in case of a third party involvement. If your neighbor came visiting you and accidentally fell and got injured and decides to sue you, then home insurance will take care of the claims. Home insurance is mandatory if you have a mortgage on your home.

What Does A Home Warranty Contract Cover?

Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:

  • Heating, ventilation and air conditioning system (HVAC)
  • Electrical system
  • Plumbing system
  • Water heater
  • Kitchen appliances such as refrigerator, stove/oven/range, built-in dishwasher, built-in microwave, garbage disposal, built-in trash compactor
  • Clothes washer and dryer
  • Garage door opener
  • Coverage for pools, spas, well pumps and other items may be available for an additional fee.

Benefits Of Home Warranty Coverage

To The Homeowner

  • Placing a claim and getting your appliance repaired is lot more easier.
  • Helps save up huge costs.
  • You can get repaired as many appliances you want provided they are covered.

To The Seller

  • Home may sell faster and at a higher price.
  • Protection from after-sale legal disputes.
  • Increases marketability of home.

To The Buyer

  • Warranty coverage on major systems and built-in appliances.
  • Protects your cash flow.
  • Access to network of qualified service technicians at your fingertips.

Home Insurance

In case of an uncertain event like fire, theft, vandalism, or certain natural disasters, the cost of damages are covered. It also covers your personal items and gives you liability protection. Liability insurance will protect you from lawsuits in the event that someone is injured on your property. Home insurance will only insure your personal items in case they are stolen or ruined in a disaster. Repairs and replacements due to wear and tear are not covered.

What Does A Home Insurance Policy Cover?

The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.

  • Structure and contents of the house.
  • Personal property such as indoor and outdoor furniture, clothes and home electronics such as computer, TV, stereo, etc.
  • Jewelry may be covered up to a certain value, or itemized for its full value, or excluded entirely.
  • Living expenses if your home is uninhabitable as a result of a natural disaster.
  • Events like theft, vandalism, fire, windstorm, lightning, hail, falling objects such as a tree.
  • Liability claims such as someone got hurt while in your property and decided to sue you. The policy will take care of it.

Benefits Of Home Insurance

Home is the most prized and cherished possession any individual can have and nobody anticipates damages to this, therefore a home insurance provides you the following benefits when you cover your home.

  • Covers accidental damages to your interiors and exteriors as well.
  • Easy to renew all you have to do is pay the premium on time.
  • Processions are covered regardless of new or old.
  • Assures you peace of mind and gives you a feeling of safety and security.
  • Pays for loss and minor damages like broken glass of a window.

Cost/Pricing For Both

A standard warranty runs $300 to $500 for a year of protection, which covers the cost of repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances. Home sellers typically pick up the tab for the first year of coverage. Extended coverage plans for pools, spas and washers and dryers can be purchased at an extra cost.

Insurance cost varies from state to state and depends on the extent of coverage and the location of the property but a standard insurance can cost any homeowners insurance is between $300 and $1,000.

How To Choose A Home Warranty?

When you are planning to buy a home warranty, make sure that you do some research. Check our home warranty reviews section that provides pricing, comparison, quotes and consumer reviews of all major companies. When you are getting price quotes, inquire to look over a sample policy. Bear in mind to understand the entire policy, together with the fine print.

Another advantage of home warranty policy is that it is transferable. That means when you sell the house the warranty would be passed to the new owner. This has proved to be a well-liked feature amongst home buyers as homes having home warranties are selling at increased prices and in much shorter times. This in itself could make it sensible to get a home warranty policy.

How To Make A Claim?

When a covered appliance breaks down you need to contact your warranty company. A warranty company already has business ties with different service vendors. They will in turn contact a service repairman to come to your home and repair the appliance. The repairman will fix the item or recommend replacing it. The service repairman will bill your warranty company directly, but you have to pay a service charge when the repair person visits your home.

How To Choose Home Insurance?

With any kind of insurance, it is always a good idea to shop around and evaluate benefits and prices as most insurance companies will provide you a policy discount. Ensure you read the policy before writing a check and ask any queries that you have in mind.

So, the conclusion is that home warranty and insurance are complementary to each other. You can choose to protect everything you own, provided you can afford to. Keep in mind that these insurance products do cost a bit more, but compared to the benefits they provide and the peace of mind you get, it seems like a very small amount. Insure your home as well as buy a home warranty all within your budget.

 





Vacuum Cleaners
A close aide who can effortlessly assist your cleaning, mopping, sweeping and other allied activities is the mighty and powerful vacuum cleaner. In the era of ever increasing pollution and grime levels, an automatic cleaner can be your friend in keeping homes and equipments clean and thus your loved ones, hale and hearty.

Types of Vacuum Cleaners

There is an assortment of models available in the marketplace. Ask yourself a few questions before making a pick!

  •  Do you intend to replace conventional methods of cleaning with the appliance?
  •  Would you be at ease using huge machines? Or, if you need a compact machine?
  •  Do you or your family/community members have allergy?
  •  Should you be looking for an easy to maintain appliance or one with elaborate features?

Depending on your requirements, you may choose from the following types.

  •   Upright Vacuums – Upright vacuums usually have larger vacuum cleaner bags/containers than canister vacuums so changing/emptying these is less frequent.
  •   Canister Vacuums – Many manufacturers make both upright and canister models (not to mention a host of other specialized vacuums). Historically canister vacuums have been better than uprights on hard floor surfaces and less effective on carpet.
  •   Steam/Carpet Cleaners – These look like an upright and use steam and detergent to clean carpets. They also have water tanks to hold the clean water and dirty water. These use rotating heads that “massage” the carpet and then use suction to lift out the dirty solution.
  •   Stick/Broom Vacuums – These are essentially very thin and light upright vacuums and they do not have rollers or beater bars. They are often cordless and bagless (but not always).
  •  Handheld Vacuums – These are usually for small cleanup jobs and are small, handheld, light and mainly cordless. Almost all of these are bagless and use a dirt cup.

Maintenance and Cleaning

Now that we have an insight into the World of Vacuum cleaners, here are a few tips and tricks on maintenance and care of your appliance. Your due diligence is very important in enhancing longevity and durability of the product. The primary detachable parts in a standard vacuum cleaner would be the wires, bags, filters, brushes, canisters etc.

Now, let us go through each of these vital components to understand the preservation techniques.

Wires

Vacuum machines come with a drawn out chord to help you clean around with ease. This may be a pain every so often with the tangling and unwinding task which can be behemoth at times. Leaving it the way it is may result in cracking or splitting of the chord exposing you to the risk of electrocution.

Quick fix

Make sure that there are no tangles or loops and if you sight any, unwind it straight away to avoid any further disorder. Cracks or openings in the wire cover should be wrapped with insulation or duct tape to steer clear of further deterioration. And if you see any copper strands exposed, it may need replacement or repair.

Bags

The storehouse of all the dust and debris, bags are a vital element of the cleaner. Monitor the bag regularly to make sure that the debris is not at the brim. There are various theories on ‘when to’ replace. In most cases, a 2/3 fill is a signal for replacing the bag. Allowing the bag to nearly exhaust its capacity may result in reduced suction or motor performance.

Filters

Depending on the model and make, cleaners may come with a HEPA or non – HEPA filters with sponge components attached.
Periodically, filters need cleaning too! Read instruction manual (that comes with the product) to find directions on cleaning filters. Not all HEPA filters can be cleaned, some need replacement. Washable filters and sponges can be cleaned using mild detergent and water. Use a soft brush to an extent to remove the dirt (if required). The filters need to be dehydrated completely before re-installation.

Brushes

Roller bars or simply brush rollers need attention as well. All those strands of hair, carpet threads and pet mane tend to get lost in the bristles of the brush. Read the instruction manual on “how to” unfasten the brush. Once out, pull & pluck all the foreign particles.
If need be, use a blunt apparatus like a scissor to get rid of the adamant dirt. After prolonged use the bristles wear out and may need a replacement.

Canisters

The trash bin looking, see-through component needs intermittent cleaning. Canisters come with  a few internal sub apparatus.

Key observations and meticulous care will help you to safeguard your vacuum cleaner for years. Since Vacuum cleaners are generally not covered in a home warranty plan, this article might come in handy. Here is a list of appliances which are covered.

But there is an epoch when your machine would break down and manufacturer’s warranty has expired!  The dilemma continues when your neighborhood service guy quotes a bomb for service or parts replacement can be a catch 22 situation! You will be further annoyed if the machine needs to be transported to a distant location for servicing!

On homewarrantyreviews.com, get quotations from various home warranty companies, compare them and even interact with company representatives. You can also find elaborate reviews, feedback and informative articles.
Sign up with a home warranty company and benefit from the professional experts.
Hassle
It’s not just about warranty but a hassle free life!




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

Warranty Plans for Household Items

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

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

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

Let’s begin with the list

#1 Home Warranty

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

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

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

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

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

#2 Manufacturer’s Warranty 

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

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

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

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

#3 Seller’s warranty

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

#4 Extended Warranty

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

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

#5 Home service contracts

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

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

Getting the best

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

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




When it comes to appliance warranty protection plans, the choices are plenty. Should you buy a comprehensive home warranty or extended warranty at the point of sale? While home warranty is like an umbrella insurance that covers all major home appliances, extended warranty is purchased for each appliance separately.

extended warranty

Home warranties will charge annual premium and deductibles per repair incident but they can be purchased anytime during the life-cycle of the product. Extended warranties will charge up front fees, but no deductible per incident and these protection plans are generally sold during the initial stages of product’s use, although there are exceptions.

Generally, home warranties cover all used appliances, but extended warranties cover new items only. Recently, Warranty Week ran an article that questioned whether there is an overlap between the two. They interviewed several executives from home warranty and extended warranty companies. The general consensus appears to be that, there is some overlap, however two types of warranties serve different purposes.

Mike Frosch, president of The Warranty Group, North America, said “Home warranties are great, when you’re buying or selling a house and want to cover used appliances immediately. Service contracts are great, when you’re shopping for new appliances and want to extend the manufacturer’s warranty for additional years. So in a sense, the coverage may overlap, but the offers don’t really compete. When you buy a home warranty, for the sake of argument let’s say it’s $450. It’s a one-year coverage on used equipment. It’s providing some coverage on some amount of appliances, but it’s really about heating, air conditioning, plumbing and electric”

In our view, they do overlap if you are talking about big ticket appliances, but there is no need to buy both. If you are buying a new appliance, chances of it failing in the first 3-5 years is far less assuming you have researched the product before buying. So, there is no real need for extended warranties.

However, if homeowners still want peace of mind coverage, then they should simply go with home warranty as it covers all appliances in your home not just one specific product. The home warranty costs are higher than the extended warranty, however it covers far more items and you have a single point of contact for all repair needs.

Extended warranty companies argue that they provide better service and offer more economic protection plans. The argument is compelling on the surface, but keep in mind home warranties are useful where there is frequent need for repair such as old appliances.

We wonder what would be the service level if extended warranty companies offer maintenance service of 10-15 years old appliances such as heaters and air conditioners. The repair needs are much higher and their profit margins are much lower. Generally extended warranties are bought for new electronics items and repair incidents are much lower. For this reason, we think it is a wise decision not to buy extended warranty at point of purchase.




The intensive cultivation of plants in small living spaces, growing a micro-garden has become an urban phenomenon in the past decade. Using gardening tricks like vertical gardening and hanging planters, you can optimize the space at your disposal to garden away from your worries and reap rich health benefits out of it!

What To Do To Have A Micro-Garden?

  • The best the space can give                                       

Growing a micro-garden is all about the management of space – be it a little strip of soil at the base of your porch or a few feet of a landscaped garden on your terrace.

Creating depth and dimension by using mounds, tiny hills and valleys can add to the surface area, and provide for different plant types at the same time.

Give the carrots and beets a little extra room to grow below the surface, allowing for the daisies to flourish in the shallow end.

How to grow a micro-garden in a urban jungle?

Micro-gardening also requires you to plant in tandem with what the space can handle. Planting broccoli and cauliflower in pots for example, narrows down the yield to one plant per pot, each only giving you crop once. On the other hand, salad leaves, peas, peppers or vegetable creepers can last a whole season and feature at the dining table pretty much every meal.

  • Edible yards

Choosing to landscape your yard, however small, with only grass uses up the nutrients in the soil and requires way too much water to maintain. Hit two birds with one stone – aesthetics and fresh organic produce, and all from your own garden.

It doesn’t have to be all about the produce, and along with chemical-free homegrown vegetables can be great for your health, the lush maroons of beet leaves along with dwarf lemon trees and even cherry tomatoes can make for a beautifully landscaped micro-garden – a decorative landscaping strategy!

  • Bees, birds, and butterflies

For your fruit bearing plants to flourish and the plants – both edible and flowering – to retain their strength and reproducing ability each year, pollination cannot be ignored. Herbs such as rosemary and basil act as great pollinators, as do flowers of plants such as squash and eggplant with their bright shades of yellows and violet calling for attention.    

  • Nutritional needs

Gardening in limited yard spaces, pots and containers confine the availability of soil nutrition to a great extent, making it all the more important to consciously fertilize the soil during the planting process with compost and then keep it up with regular top soil additives.

Making sure that the plant grows to its fullest though the space available is restricted, fertilizers can not only boost the speed of fruit bearing but also keep the plant healthy and pest-free.

Nutrition can be kept at its optimum by using companion planting as well. A technique known often as soil real-estate, planting pairs of creepers and trees with tubers – potatoes under tomatoes, or carrots and onions under herb bushes for example – can not only save space but also allow the soils nutrients to cater to the different needs of different plants, often even replenishing itself.

Where To Do Your Micro-Gardening?

  • Anywhere with a little sun

Not all plants require yards and balconies, in fact, those precious kitchen spices and herbs can grow right at the kitchen window sill, as long as they get a daily dose of sunlight. From thyme and parsley to even ginger and tender garlic and pepper, windows work as just the right bridge between the elements outside and the comfort of your home.

It doesn’t have to be herbs in the kitchen, pretty much any window which is east facing can act as an active decorative space – full with pansies, gardenias, and purple passion, amongst many others.

Look at every space with a new perspective, and you can extend your micro-garden to creepers on the mailbox posts, cacti in broken crockery, lettuce along the walkways and even grapevines on the gate.

Hanging gardens aren’t off the table either – containers hanging on fences and railings or even simple hooked pots from the ceiling can overflow with creepers, maybe even some fruit bearing. The added benefit of hanging gardens, as opposed to those rooted in the soil, are that they can be moved around, making them easy to clean and shift according to season or sun exposure.  

  • Creative Upcycling

The fun of micro-gardening is its perfect balance between creativity and good-old landscaping. Don’t think of it as just a conventional utilization of your green thumbs; you can grow your garden in anything from old tires to broken tanks and fish bowls!

Cracked vessels make great containers as well, especially since the crack acts as a ready drainage system.

Decide which plant to pot according to your container size, a large plant will not grow in a small container and the other way round is just a waste of space. Also provide enough water to your container garden, as containers that have soil in them dry out faster and those nutrients flush out sooner.

  • Grow up!

Everyone’s heard of the famous vertical gardens scaling up walls in Hong Kong and Singapore, but they can just as easily be recreated right at home. With vertical gardens, there is a range of methods that you could employ; from the use of a traditional trellis to a recycled pallet planter or hanging hydroponic window gardens.

Accommodating everything from tomatoes and strawberries to squash and melons, these micro-gardens function just the same way as any others do, as long as the plant isn’t one that has very deep roots.

  • Upside down Planters

We’ve explored possibilities flat on the ground, scaling walls and even creeping up poles and pillars, but we have one last treat for you micro-gardeners – upside down hanging gardens.

Provided you choose plants with a dense root structure and support them well, upside down planters can hold and nourish anything from cherry tomatoes to strawberries and even kale – all with the added fun of seeing your garden head first!

  • Just off the ground

For those of you who have space for soil beds, raising the bed a few inches or even a couple of feet off the ground can greatly help the gardening process. Giving the roots more space, allowing the excess water to drain and letting you restrict the soil to only where you want it, raised soil beds maximize space and minimize effort.

Having the plants a couple of feet off the ground reduces your need to hunch as well, a sure blessing for your spine.

Repairs And Maintenance

Besides the weekly dusting off of topsoil, checking for cracks in the containers and weeds strangling the plants, micro-gardening is too close to your living space for you to not keep an eye on its possible repercussions.

None that can cause serious immediate damage, any micro-gardener must know that a part of the job is to keep a check out for seepage on the walls and possible weight bearing issues related to rooftop gardens and heavy planters.

Not allowing these concerns to come in the way of you keeping your green fingers busy, HomeWarrantyReviews.com acts as a threshold for you to enter the world of Home Warranty. A simple, quick and reliable escape from service and repair related errands and coordination. Home Warranty Reviews ensures peace of mind for you by providing with the vast knowledge base of research, ratings, and free tools so that your home never runs out of home warranty coverage according to your specific needs by calculating what exactly you want!

Just as we have discussed the various aspects of micro-gardening, what to do and what not to do when you garden at home and all tips and tricks on how to get the best out of it, HomeWarrantyReviews.com gives you a chance to explore the world of home warranty from the inside, with tips and tricks of its own. With access to reviews from professionals as well as customers, consumer research based articles give you the best of both worlds – the technical aspects as well as the personal experiences of users and agencies.




Buying a home is a cherished dream for many first time home buyers, a sort of milestone if you will. A home will probably be the most expensive purchase you ever make in your lifetime, which is why a lot of thought and consideration is given to it. For most home buyers, especially, first timers, the financial cost alone is monumental. If you are someone who is planning to buy a home for the first time, we’d like to warn you about some of the biggest challenges that you will face.

First time home buyers

For convenience, we’ve sorted the challenges into two categories – Financial challenges and maintenance challenges. Let’s begin with the financial challenges.

Major Financial Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers 

Down Payment

Most buyers cannot afford to pay the entire price in one go. They will typically opt to get a home loan. However, even if you do opt for a home loan, you will still have to pay the down payment, which is a lump sum anywhere between 3%-20% of the sales price of the house. This is often a rather big amount which you will have to arrange yourself. The rest can be paid off with a house loan.

Credit Score

Your credit score is a numerical representation of your creditworthiness. It is often used to estimate risk involved in lending money or resources to a person. Credit scores also decide at what rate of interest a loan should be given to you. So if you do have a house loan, your credit score will be hugely affected. Should you require a loan before your home loan is paid off, the chances are high that such a loan would either be difficult to get or would come at a high interest rate.

Tight budgets

It goes without saying that purchasing a house will take up a huge chunk of your savings. Since you’ll also be using up money to furnish/decorate your new home, you’ll most probably be left with a very tight budget leaving very little room to afford holidays or other recreational activities. You’ll also be paying monthly installments to the bank to pay off your house loan for the next decade or so which would mean that the tight budget will remain tight for a very long time.

Home Maintenance Challenges: For The First Time Home Buyers

Maintaining a home in good condition is no easy task. It is not pocket friendly either, especially when the home is 4+ years old. First time home buyers find home maintenance very taxing, mostly because they are new to this. So, if you are one among the first time home buyers, then here are some things you should worry about-

Leaks and Squeaks

Leaking plumbing is a messy and inconvenient event. It could also cause further damages to the house. Fixing one requires skill and sometimes hefty sums of money. Leaks are one of the most common issues reported by first time home buyers and handling it will require the services of a skilled plumber.

Appliance Breakdowns

Possibly the most expensive kind of maintenance challenge that you will encounter is an appliance breaking down. Big appliances like built-in refrigerators or the HVAC units cost a lot and replacing them could cost you heavily. Sometimes a repair job could fix the issue, but even that requires the skills of an experienced technician and some amount of money.

Preparing Yourself For That Big Purchase

Houses or any kind of property are often considered as solid investments with a very little scope for depreciation. Hence, buying a home is often positively encouraged. Although they are expensive, they could be an asset unlike any other in the long run.

If you did buy a home, your homeowner duties don’t end there. Home maintenance, like we said before, is not an easy or cheap task. This is why most American homeowners swear by a home warranty plan. For older homes, an appliance warranty plan is your best bet for budget protection. They are affordable and come in wide range of coverages. All you need to do is alert your home warranty company when there is a breakdown and you can get the repair done at a nominal fee! Also, it is strongly recommended that you get a home inspection done before moving in to reveal potential damages with the house. It will also help you in deciding whether you need to look for another house if the damages are too many. We also recommend that you read up on whether your need a home warranty or not.

If this article got you worried, we would like to sincerely apologize. We were merely giving out pointers on what to expect when you don the shoes of a homeowner. And like we said, buying a home is a serious step and it comes with an immense sense of accomplishment for many. So if you’ve found your dream home, go ahead and get it! We wish you all the very best with your new home. Cheers!




As a father of small children I’ve spent lots of time fighting in the house cleaning trenches. Many a Saturday and Sunday have been spent reversing the enemy’s advances, the barricades of dirty laundry, the diversions of dirty dishes and the assault on my allergies from dust.

I’ve learned a few things, many of which I think make housework easier and faster to tackle. You may have just as many techniques, or maybe you’re a new recruit in the battle against the mess. If the latter best describes you then suit up and grab your broom. We’re going in!

Make a list

Nothing helps with a big day of work around the house like a good list. If you don’t know what you’re supposed to be doing you’ll probably forget things and maybe even waste time on tasks that should be left for another day. It’s easy to get lost or distracted in a messy house.

How to Clean Your House Faster

Start easy

If you hate doing housework then the hardest thing to do is to start.  It’s best to pick the easy tasks and knock them out first.  Loading the dishwasher might be the task you hate the least.  Or you might think starting a load of clothes in the washing machine is easiest.  Whatever you like to do (or least hate doing) should be put first.

Work smarter, not harder

When you enter a room it’s best to go in prepared to finish it in one trip. You burn valuable energy when you run around the house. Work your way through the house, room by room, taking only what you need to clean each one. Trash bags, dust cloths, disinfectants and cleansers can usually be carried in a small utility bucket. Leave filled trash bags in a hallway or other common area adjoining the rooms you’re cleaning, and save the trash disposal for the end if possible. If you’re worried about trash bags leaking then it’s better to double bag than to make lots of trips back and forth, especially if you have a two or more story house.

Don’t give yourself a headache

If you prefer to or need to use harsh chemicals be sure to avoid inhaling the fumes. Weather permitting, you should open windows and close doors to contain and remove the vapor of chemical cleaners such as bleach, ammonia and others. If you are cleaning surfaces you will be standing on, such as shower floors or bathroom floors, with bleach then it pays to have some old shoes that you can change out of when you leave the room you’ve just cleaned. Tracking bleach around the house can be a disaster.

Be sure to only clean each thing once

If vacuuming is part of your list then ensure the vacuum is not already full of debris from the last time you used it. An empty vacuum bag or canister and a suction opening that is free from obstructions will ensure that you only need to vacuum one time and that the floor will be very clean. When dusting, be sure to use the right cloth for the job. Dusting with paper towels or other cloths that are not suited for dusting will make a bigger mess than you started with. And if you must use a spray cleaner for dusting try spraying it on the cloth rather than on the surface you are dusting. Some surfaces get clean faster and look better in the end if you stick to using a dry dust cloth.

These are general tips, it’s true. But if you combine them with your own specific preferences and tricks you should find that the housework goes by faster and more smoothly. Organization is key. And avoiding making yourself tired or sick is important too. What you want is to find ways to keep the house looking the way you like it without making the labor involved so back breaking that you will avoid doing it at almost any cost.

House keeping is not always an easy task but you can get better at it if you keep yourself well read and informed. More information about how to maintain your home in perfect condition is available on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. You could take a look at it and start applying it to your home! And while you are at it, take a look at 10 most innovative home maintenance smartphone apps.

About the Author

Kevin Wallach is a freelance writer and marketing professional. His focus is on performance based marketing services for the home warranty and home service contract industry.




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

Life Insurance Policy

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

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

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

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

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

Types of Life Insurance

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

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

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

 

Term Life Insurance Policy

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

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

Types of Term Life Insurance

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

 

Permanent Life Insurance Policy

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

Types of Permanent Life Insurance

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

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




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

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

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

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

1. Appliance is not covered

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

Home Warranty Claim Denials2. Appliance is not maintained properly

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

3. The damage is pre-existing

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

4. Unusual wear and tear

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

5. Code Violations and improper installation

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

What should a customer do when claims are denied?

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

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

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




HomeWarrantyReviews.com caught up with Gary Serbousek, the founder of HomeOneWarranty. This is an excerpt from that interview. HomeOneWarranty (HOW) provides its software solution to home warranty companies. In this excerpt Gary discusses the company, their product and their aspirations to bring changes to the industry.

Tell Us about HomeOneWarranty and why you decided to start the company?

HomeOneWarranty is a software company focused exclusively on providing a solution for home service providers. The company was founded to provide home service providers a comprehensive solution to automate and streamline their business. We have nearly 30 years’ experience in the warranty business and are committed to providing the industry a superior solution. Virtually every industry has access to systems designed specifically for their needs, we felt that the time was right to provide home service contract providers the time and cost saving advantage of a commercially developed application.

HomeOneWarranty

How many clients do you have currently? Which companies use your services?

We currently have six customers and are in conversation with several other companies. We believe our rapid growth validates that the solution meets the needs of the industry. What is particularly exciting is that our customers range from companies managing 10’s of thousands of transactions a month to “start-ups”  managing a few hundred transactions. The investment is structured to make the solution affordable for any size company. We plan to announce a few more customers shortly but are purposefully managing the company’s growth to ensure that all our customers get great customer service.

What features are you planning to add in the future?

Our customers and the market really dictate what additional functionality we add to the product. For example, we saw that many companies were struggling with the policy renewal process so, in our latest release, we included functionality to automate that process. The results have been fantastic. Many of our customers have doubled their renewal capture rate.

The Agency portal, a vehicle that allows Brokers and Agents to create new policy orders, was the result of our customers requesting functionality to help tighten their relationship with agents.

Currently, we are working on a Customer portal so that the end consumer can buy policies, request services, and track status of either claims or repairs. We are especially excited by this new capability as it will add further process efficiencies and, like renewals, we anticipate that it will result in increased revenues.

The ability to consistently deliver game changing capabilities “out-of-the-box” is why our customers have abandoned costly development efforts and instead rely on HOW. We offer our customers a more cost effective solution and significant time to market advantages.

What are some features of the product your customers like the most?

The HomeOne solution is a very comprehensive, end-to-end system that, we believe, provides value to every stakeholder. So, the features “liked best” is dependent on the role(s) one has within the company. The call center agents like that they have immediate access to homeowner and policy data, including history. Claims likes the ability to immediately determine coverages and entitlements. Marketing likes that they can create targeted outreach efforts, for example, notifying a customer of a pending renewal. Accounting likes that all critical financial data is captured and integrated to back-office financials. Owners and Executive Management especially like that they have immediate access to reliable information to easily measure the health of the business and what programs are performing or underperforming.

Home warranty software company

We are most proud of the fact that our customers have a single, comprehensive solution that enables them to manage their entire business enabling them to focus on providing great value to the customer. Most of the companies that we speak with are reliant on multiple systems that aren’t connected. We help companies streamline their business and to benefit from the efficiencies inherent in a well-designed solution. It is tremendously satisfying to hear our customers tell us “you have really made our lives easier.”

The Home Warranty industry doesn’t have the best reputation, why is that and can a company like HOW help?

Unfortunately, like any industry, there are the few whose goals and objectives might not align with the overall purpose of the industry, and the home service industry is no exception. Overall, we have been tremendously impressed by the integrity and honesty that the vast majority of home service providers deliver to their customers. We also believe that the complexity of the industry has caused some of the negative perception. It is extremely difficult to provide superior customer service when relying on antiquated systems or manual processes. There will also always be a few bad apples. For the vast majority of companies that truly strive to provide great product and customer support, HomeOne can help.

Where do you see the market going?

We are definitely seeing more companies expressing interest in the space outside of the traditional service contract companies. For example, utilities companies, while not new to the industry, are becoming increasingly active in offering home service contract options. This might create some concern especially with local service contract providers since utility companies have a captive market and are already communicating with, and marketing to, the home owners. Ultimately though, competition is good, It creates more product awareness and, we expect, will result in higher premiums. Generally, that should be a good thing for the local service contract providers. The challenge for the local companies is remaining competitive. A system like HomeOne will help them to reduce cost inefficiencies by streamlining their internal process while delivering a better customer experience. We think that’s how we can help ensure that all companies can compete successfully.

What’s unique about what you are doing and why should it matter?

We hope to make a difference in the industry, and the fact that we are the only company, that we are aware, exclusively focused on the home service contract business makes us unique. We have a long history in the market and have had the opportunity to meet with and speak with a countless number of business leaders. No one has ever told us “we went into the home service contract industry so that we could build software.” We believe that by enabling our customers to focus their time, effort, and people on growing their business and providing exceptional customer service, we can make a difference.

home warranty software

Select Screen Images of HomeOneWarranty Software

 

home warranty software

Select Screen Images of HomeOneWarranty Software

So HOW provides a benefit to the home service contract company but how does the homeowner benefit?

Providing a better solution to our customers enables them to provide better services to the home owner. Many of the complaints from homeowners are that claims and requests for service aren’t being addressed in a timely manner or to completion. Most home service contract companies don’t have solutions that give them easy visibility to a homeowners policy to determine entitlements, what claims should be covered, and the status of a service request.

With HomeOne a company can quickly determine whether a claim is covered and easily track the corresponding service request, including which company the work order has been assigned so that they can quickly follow-up to make sure that the work is performed. With the Customer Portal, we expect that many homeowners will track their service request without having to place calls to the home service company.

Anything else you would like our readers to know?

We have been very pleasantly surprised by the response that we have received. Typically, the first thing we hear when speaking with a company for the first time is “we had no idea that there was a company focusing exclusively on providing a software solution for home service providers.” Almost unanimously the comments on the system are extremely positive. Whether they end up as a customer or not, the comments after seeing the solution is that we clearly know the market and that it is reflected in the product. The best part is receiving a heartfelt “good luck, the industry has needed a solution like HomeOne.” We encourage people to take a look at the software. Even if they are not currently in the market for a new solution, we always appreciate the feedback on what we can do to deliver a better system.

About Home One Warranty

Home One Warranty software addresses the specific needs of Home Warranty providers. Founder, Gary Serbousek, has more than 15 years’ experience in the extended warranty and service market and has worked with many leading home warranty providers as well as a variety of industries that provide warranty and extended service contracts.

Web:      www.homeonewarranty.com

Email:   [email protected]

Phone:  (720) 381-2408


Would you like to see your company featured in one of our upcoming interviews? HomeWarrantyReviews.com is committed to bringing U.S. homeowners and industry experts the news and topics that mean the most and are most timely.  If you think your company has news or a story that home warranty consumers or the industry itself would be interested in reading then please contact us.




Can a Contractor benefit from the Home Warranty Companies? There may be universal consensus on the subject which is why this article is dedicated to show how work can be extracted and also examine the full scope of benefits a Contractor can draw from a Home Warranty Company.

Contractor looking for job

Why Work With A Home Warranty Company?

The better the reviews for a Home Warranty Company (New York, Virginia, Texas, California, etc.), the better your chances of earning and saving more at the same time. What makes it so attractive is the almost nullification of advertising costs for the contractor. All companies that work along with Contractors offer free referrals to Contractors, to all their home warranty customers.

In order to make the most of the significant market that exists, it is never enough to know the technical know-hows of how to repair electronic appliances but you should also be ready to expend a part of your revenue into marketing your brand.

Another reason it is beneficial to work with a Home Warranty company would be because it guarantees continuous work, and you are less prone to be out of work on a not-so-profitable season. With increasing work calls from the Home Warranty Company, the more chances you have at expanding your brand, either by hiring new technicians or buying new work-enhancing technology. With this sort of reliability, you could be fixing an AC and heater at any time of the year.

This can also prove beneficial to the Home Warranty company too as the contractors provide good reviews of the companies they are working with, increasing their chances of contacting them again or even spread goodwill by word of mouth.

When you decide to take on this relationship with a Home Warranty Company, it is also important for a Contractor to remember that he/she must be efficient in receiving calls from customers, who are directed from the Home Warranty company itself. Customer service is the lifeline on which the success of Contractor business can rely on, especially in the case where you are working with a Home Warranty Company where all your customers are directed from the contact number you provide the company.

Joining bigger Home Warranty Companies can give you a form of exclusivity if one outperforms all the contractors a company has hired. This will allow you to appear at the top of their list of contractors, especially if they provide reviews’ section.

How To Work With A Home Warranty Company?

Almost all leading Home Warranty Companies offer online applications which you can fill up in your leisure time and submit with all the relevant information typed in.

Some of these leading Home Warranty Companies include,

  1. American Home Shield
  2. Select Home Warranty
  3. Home Warranty Of America
  4. Choice Home Warranty
  5. One Guard Home Warranties  

The customer reviews’ section within our own website can also be found for some of the top rated Home Warranty Companies like American Home Shield, The Home Service Club, Secure Home Warranty, America’s Preferred Home Warranty-APHW, Select Home Warranty and First American Home Warranty (also picked as 2017’s Editor’s Choice, a brand new category introduced this year).

However, all contractors are requested to review the home warranty companies they’ve worked with on an exclusively dedicated space called the Vendor’s Area. Here, one can dish out all the good and bad experiences one’s had by taking up the jobs given by the home warranty companies.


Some of the benefits to the contractor by working with a Home Warranty Company like above, in addition to the ones already mentioned, would be:

  1. Phone claim approvals
  2. Detailed information of their employers / the company
  3. Administrative support
  4. Online invoice
  5. Ability to review payment history
  6. Cancel or resolve service fee
  7. General management of claims online

Renowned Home Warranty Companies also help their contractors in times of need, which include an experienced support team and a high limit on calls. Companies like Home Warranty of America also helps Contractors claim costs.

What To Remember Before Becoming A Service Contractor?

Before filling up your application form to become a Service Contractor, it is a necessary step to license your contractorship. Every Home Warranty Company expects the Service Contractor they are about to work with are certified contractors with a license and hence you are required to fill up your license ID in the application form.

Also you are required to fill in your Auto Insurance Policy Number, and your General Liability Insurance Policy Number (optional). Insurance Policies are in your own interest, hence even if some of them are optional we recommend you create one if absent.

Diversifying your skills can also be very beneficial before applying for a Contractorship with a Home Warranty Company. As you fill up your application, you are asked of your specialization and hence learning new skills can help you strike off more blanks, increasing your popularity among the reviews and consequently help increase your revenue.

Consistent work can be guaranteed when you are able to juggle with different kinds of repairs be it plumbing, garbage disposal, weed/lawn mowing, ceiling fans, gas fireplace or septic system. These numbers can go up to a hundred so a little bit of extra skill can only put you so much ahead of the rest of the contractors.

If you are looking to expand your presence in contractorship, applying to work with a Home Warranty Company is the best as it can get. You can save and earn more at the same time, a chance usually deprived for those working outside of these companies. There are many ways you can utilize such an opportunity, more so as there are numerous Home Warranty Companies and your chances at getting in at any one of them aren’t nearly dim. Go ahead and fill your applications now!

Our portal also lets you access some of the most sophisticated lists of best home warranty companies, ranked on a various different criterion. This is, in addition to the Complaint Resolution Program (CRP) and Home Maintenance Calculator. Be sure to check them out!

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Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch.  You have home buyers.  You have home sellers.  You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries.  Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty.  The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with.  Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!

Differences in home warranty and home service contract

What’s in a name anyway?  Well, sometimes a lot.  Take a home warranty, for example.  In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract.  And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers.  You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty.  Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract?  If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.

The letter of the law

No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract.  Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty.  A homeowner typically needs a home service contract.  Knowing the difference is important.  Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.

A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant.  Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer.  A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold.  It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame.  In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship.  The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.

Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty.  And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company.  If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.

So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it.  Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.

Covering breakdowns that occur due to normal wear and tear

A home service contract is NOT a warranty!  Why the emphasis on “not?”  Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased.  And it’s really not their fault that they are confused.  When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable.  But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is.  Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers.  And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.

If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket.  But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract.  The purpose of a home service contract is twofold.  Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.

  1. When something breaks in a house it usually is completely unexpected.  We all have lives to deal with, and few of us have time for unexpected things that take us away from our jobs, our families, or our other commitments.  So time is a big, valuable thing for us.  And a home service contract is supposed to help homeowners avoid wasting time.  The idea is that the home service contract company has relationships with a lot of professional repair technicians.  And because they work with so many technicians, they can afford their customers access to licensed, bonded, pre-screened professionals in less time than the homeowner could have found them.  Instead of spending a whole day making calls, reading reviews from other consumers, and getting estimates, the homeowner with the home service contract is supposed to be freed to go on with his or her daily life.
  2. Cost!  Nobody likes dealing with the cost of fixing things that break.  We already pay a lot for our houses, and in some cases, we’re already strapped cash-wise.  This is the another big advantage that home service contract companies offer to their customers.  Instead of paying every penny of a home repair, the home service contract company is meant to cover some or all of the cost of a repair or replacement job.

So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers.  Let’s break that down into some detail.  Bear with us.  It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.

What parts of a house does a home service contract cover?  

In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered.  But it varies greatly from one company to another.  So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty.  Do NOT fixate on the price alone!  Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.  

Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things.  But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same.  In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework.  At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.

Sometimes the biggest difference is in the fine print

The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes.  These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not.  Here are some loopholes to watch out for.

Pre-existing conditions

It’s exactly what it sounds like.  A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown.  And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers.  But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.

Excluded parts

It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered.  Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded.  Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.

Maximum amounts the company will pay

This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract.  Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period.  Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract.  Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company!  And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract.  That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests.  It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way.  If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract.  And “in writing” is the most important part.

Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!

HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts.  If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below.  Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers.  If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question.  Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?




Do you possess a home warranty program? Chances are, if you are a new homeowner, you likely do. But after you have been in your home for a year, you are likely speculating if you should renew your home warranty or not. So many families get themselves in the same situation and expectantly this article will be able to offer you some help.

Renew Your Home WarrantyIn all possibility, when you bought your home you obtained a home warranty covering a range of items in your home, i.e. roof, air conditioner, appliances, heating and plumbing systems, possibly your spa/pool etc. If you had a great Realtor he or she can get the seller to pay for the warranty. So here you are approaching date and questioning if you should renew it or not.

Consider Your Options

Firstly all you should ensure that you inspect your situation properly. This means that you must be careful not to purchase too much insurance or procure coverage for items that you don’t have. So many times, people buy coverage for things like home telephone wiring when they don’t even have a home phone or landline any longer.

How much peace of mind do you require?

For some people, they do not have sufficient money in their savings to pay for a major system repair like a HVAC system. That’s the same thing as a heating or cooling system. You also require making sure that you only purchase coverage for your heating and cooling system if you don’t need for your kitchen items and refrigerator covered as well. Or in case you are not bothered about the AC going out, you may only require coverage for your other major systems and appliances.

Should you renew your home warranty program?

Majority of first time home buyers get to the end of that first year and feel like they want to take the chance on not having a system to be unsuccessful. And the reality is, many of them won’t. But for some people anything that can happen will happen if luck is involved. So for them making the choice to renew is a no brainer.

Things to Consider When Renewing

Consider Several Factors for RenewalWe all are familiar in these economic times coming up with $350 to $600 is a lot of money for most of us. If you certainly did not have to pay for the initial coverage, then there is a doubt that you paid much attention to the cost of your home warranty. No doubt, you had to pay the $50 – $55 service call if you had one and that likely felt like a fine deal, particularly if you had something major go wrong like your hot water heater going bad. Maybe you didn’t have any service calls at all and now you are faced with this renewal expense and there’s a good chance you’re saying “I don’t think so”.

For people who reside in older house, age is definitely a factor to consider. How old are your appliances, your AC and heat pump, the filter motor for your pool, hot water heater, your roof, garage door opener and some of many other things that a home warranty can cover.

You must also factor in the additional costs of the service calls; they have a means of adding up if you have 3 – 4 of them in a year. These certainly are costs over and above the cost of the warranty itself. Study the fine print of your policy before you renew to be sure the items that you may be worried about are really covered. Some of the items you desire to be covered are not in the standard policy but are considered “optional coverage and have supplementary fees. You may have more than one surprise and can be very disappointed if you find out the warranty did not cover “that specific” item.

The additional thing, as a homeowner, you must know that if you don’t have an existing home warranty you can always acquire one. These companies don’t just cater to the new home buyer of a resale home. You can procure a home warranty any time, but you recognize that there will be a 30 day waiting period for it to go into effect.

So how do you approach the renewal question if you are about to purchase a new home warranty?

One way to deal with the query of your right to renew is to just ask the contractor you work with, whether it’s a real estate professional or a home warranty company. If the home warranty that is being offered to you for consideration does not permit you to renew without the company’s consent then you must compare that service contract to others which would allow you to renew freely. It is never a benefit to have a home warranty contract that does not guarantee your right to renew. Actually you risk a lapse in service coverage if you purchase a home warranty that does not guarantee you the permission to renew. Your next home warranty might not provide you instantaneous coverage after buying it, which would leave you with a period which any repairs required, would be 100% out of pocket.

It might appear like you are getting ahead of yourself by distressing about the renewal of contract you might not be interested in renewing. Although you just give yourself the choice of renewing you are better off than being refused or canceled renewal. Never let your policy lapse.  You can continue renewing your policy for the period of time in which you own your home, except if you have had lapses in coverage.




American Home Shield (AHS), a leading home warranty company in the United States, appoints Mark Barry as new president of the company.

Mark Barry as New PresidentBarry most recently served as president of United Technologies Automation and Control Solutions, a $3.2 billion Hartford, Conn-based unit of UTC’s climate, control and security business. He previously served as the president of GE Security-Americas before it was acquired by UTC in 2010.

He spent seven years at Tyco International, including five years as the president of Tyco’s fire and security services Asia division, based in Singapore. He led a multinational team of 11,000 employees in 12 countries, growing the division to $1 billion in annual sales of its electronic security systems, fire-protection, detection and suppressions systems, and related services.

Barry succeeds David Crawford, who is retiring from the post after more than 25 years with American Home Shield, a servicer of home warranties with more than 1.3 million customers in 49 states. Crawford has been AHS president since 2006.

AHS is a pioneer in the home warranty industry, serving more than 1.4 million customers across 49 states of America, and is one of the best service provider in America.

The company offers home protection plan, a service contract which covers the repair or replacement of home appliances and components. It also offers home care advices in the areas of maintenance, tips and also guides towards aspects involved in buying and selling of homes, inspections etc.

It was founded in 1971 and is headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee with service centers in Georgia, Iowa, and Tennessee. American Home Shield Corporation operates as a subsidiary of The ServiceMaster Company. It employs 1,700 employees and has over 11,000 approved, independently insured service contractors nationwide.

The ServiceMaster Company is one of the world’s largest and most versatile service networks. The company’s network includes TruGreen, Trugreen Land Care, Terminix, AHS, ServiceMaster Clean, Merry Maids, Furniture Medic and AmeriSpec.

Barry said in a recent phone interview, in his career he saw the penetration of household-alarm systems jump from about just 2 percent in the early 1990s to close to 30 percent.

“The (home-warranty) industry has the same potential to do that,” he says, “We are passionate about our commitment to grow in the real estate space, but we also know that we have the potential to grow beyond that niche and reach even more households.”

“He says a key to growth is getting the message to prospective customers on the value of American Home Shield warranties.

Last month he visited Carroll, Iowa and received inputs from department representatives and also visited city mayor Adam Schweers and Area Development Corporation executive director Jim Gossett.

Barry says he’s impressed that AHS’s employees are “incredibly well-focused” and the business is a “well-operating organization.”

The company has added more employees and with a promising president it is all set to grow and take the home warranty industry to a new level.




When you compare “promise contracts”, such as home warranties, you must first comprehend exactly what is being assured. You can then evaluate attributes. Fraction of the research should also be aimed at comparing customer’s ratings of the companies that offer the warranties.

Comparing home warranty companies facilitates you to find the policy that suits your budget and needs. A home warranty is an individual policy you can procure to provide coverage for your home’s important appliances and systems. The precise prices and coverage obtainable to you varies by each home warranty company functioning in your area, so comparing the exact rates and services from each company is a significant step when picking a policy for your home.

When buying a home warranty, you are not only giving capital to the supplier, you are also giving your belief that they are going to cover you when you need it most. That’s why it’s so imperative to verify into a company’s history, see how they function and what they ought to offer, plus learn how they entertain their customers. It’s worth exploring before you purchase.

Six Steps to Choose a Home Appliance Warranty

  1. Determine the Coverage: Jot down the kind of coverage you need. Include exact items you want to be covered. Electrical systems and plumbing are typically covered under a basic home warranty, but you have to shell out for coverage for some other main appliances such as spa or garage door opener.
  2. Shortlist companies:  Visit Compare Home Warranties section to make a list of companies that you like. You can also check with your friends and family members or with a local real estate agent for a list of suggested home warranty providers.
  3. Research Providers and Pricing: Note down the pricing and ratings info for each company. You can also get price estimate of appliance warranty policy in the same section. Visit the official website of each warranty company if you desire.  Jot down the overall annual price for your preferred policy from each company.
  4. Talk to Companies: Contact home warranty company and inquire more about pricing information and a quote if the information isn’t available online or to verify data you received online. Ask how much fee they charge for a service call, and make a note of prices for each company next to policy price information you already listed. Ask about the typical wait times for a technician to know if there will be someone available promptly to help you when you need it. Also inquire if emergency and 24-hour service is available. Observe how they handle their customers.
  5. Read the Fine Print: Evaluate policy and service fee prices as well as service terms offered in the contract. Don’t assume anything. Pre-existing conditions are generally not covered. Few companies also require you to get maintenance & inspection done on HVAC units by a professional every year. But some  companies add lots of fine print clauses so as to exclude coverage on many things. This is the MOST important step among all.
  6. Customer Service: Finally, remember to check the customer service of the company you choose. When you call to inquire, observe how they treat you. Are they well mannered and kind or intolerant and impolite? Do you have to waste a lot of time on hold before getting through to speak to someone? Realize what their hours so you can make out whether there be someone accessible to help you when you call for it. Also, discover who the company employs for repairs. Ensure it’s a company individual you are happy with, and that they are near enough that they will be able to facilitate your repairs in a timely manner.

This video will help you compare home warranty companies.




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

Fake Reviews

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

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

Penalizing Companies Posting Fake Reviews

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

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




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

Qualities Of A Good Real Estate Agent

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

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

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

Analyzing Your Real Estate Agent

 Real Estate Agent

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

1. He/She is a part-time agent

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

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

2. Charges very low commission

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

3. Lack of or difficulty in communication

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

4. No, or negligible experience

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

5. No online presence

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

The Final Word  

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

Hope you enjoyed reading this. Cheers!

 




Just the decision to take the task of building a home into your own hands can be daunting, keep aside the fact that liabilities are now yours alone to deal with. The joy of being there every step of the way and having a say in every brick, beam, and wall comes with a lot of responsibility. The smallest of injuries on site to a worker, accidental falls, natural disasters and other unforeseen circumstances can put your budget off by thousands of dollars.

Time is a factor as well, having the plan pushed back by weeks, if not months; time and money that you cannot get back. Such accidents are what makes it prudent for you to invest in structural insurance, warranty and legal coverage for all the essentials.

What is Structural Insurance?

Structural insurance functions within the parameters of Builders Insurance and Site Insurance, covering claims regarding the foundation and architectural framework of the building, as well as the integrity of the site it is built on.

Structural Insurance & Home Warranty

As the percentage of self-built homes increase in the US, numerous companies now offer a comprehensive list of structural insurance for homes built without the assistance of building agencies.

If narrowed down to just structural claims, structural insurance covers the claim of any structural defects in a home for a fixed number of years after it is built. Often certain companies have a secondary set of rules, pertaining to the fact that the claim will only kick in 7 to 10 years after the house is completed.

That being said, structural insurance usually comes hand in hand with site and builders insurance as well, both essential and usually synonymous with structural insurance.

Site Insurance

Site insurance is offered to builders as well as individuals who have purchased land and intend to construct. It not only covers any natural disaster-related damage – fire, storm, flood – to the land, but also the temporary structures on it. The coverage puts aside a certain sum to take care of any unforeseen circumstances that may cause huts, caravans, tools and the building under construction itself to be partially or wholly damaged.

Certain insurance companies not only take care of the monetary side of things but also offer services to clean, repair and bring back the space to its former state.

Builder’s Insurance

In recent times, Builder’s Insurance has become a must for self-built structures, especially since it establishes a sense of trust between the homeowner and the bank or builder who is offering monetary assistance.

Builder’s insurance acts as the umbrella under which site and structural insurance fall, but often companies do cater to individual needs by offering them separately. These insurance policies even accommodate for theft of tools and valuables from the site, but usually, put a limit of the claim. That being said, it is important to pick appropriate coverage plans and not under or over-insure your property.

Allowing delays and pushbacks, any building or structural insurance for individuals who are constructing on their own extend to 18 months, as opposed to the usual 12-month coverage given for builders.

Why Insurance During Construction is Essential

Building a home isn’t only about the structure and integrity. Along each step of the way, you have to be aware of not only accidents and loss that are beyond your control, but also any harm that the process may cause to workers, the public and adjacent private and public property.

Structural Warranty for self built homes

As a homeowner, you are liable if any of your workers are injured during the course of construction, or even if they fall ill due to toxic substance exposure while they worked for you.

Even a trespasser walking into property can have a legal claim if he or she is injured due to any improper construction methods.

Damage to surrounding property can be another reason you are faced with a very large bill for compensation. Everything from a falling tree branch to heavy machinery vibrations that may cause harm to adjacent structures can be seen as cause for a lawsuit. Most often, such damage is seen to happen during the time when your foundation is being set, causing worry about underground water sources and support extending below the ground of other buildings in the area.

Home and Structural Warranty

Besides structural and builder’s insurance, warranty extends the coverage, claims, and care for years after the home is built – taking care of issues and damage that insurance does not address. While insurance deals with unforeseen circumstances and matters that were out of your control, Home Warranty offers solace when you need to deal with maintenance, repair, and replacement due to general wear and tear.

Usually put in place for a period of ten years, Structural Warranty covers defects in the foundation, load-bearing walls, beams, pillars and sometimes even wiring and plumbing systems. Not only does it keep you worry free, it also assures that any negligence on the part of the contractor is covered for without conflict.

 




There is no question that a large number of people would give anything to live in California. This is one of the greatest states in the US because no other location in the entire country has ever been able to become the capital of entertainment and dreams. The state that has given life to the largest phenomenon in the entertainment industry and that is of course Hollywood. This is one of the main reasons why so many people choose to move to this state. In this article we are going to talk about the top five warranty companies and how important it is to be able to hire their services if you want to get the best service. These are the top rated home warranty companies in California as of June 2015

1. The Home Service Club

This is a great company that has an excellent service with two main warranty plans available. They have the standard and comprehensive plans. Once covers the primary systems and appliances and the other covers basically everything in your household. The reviews are generally very good and their services are known to be very efficient. They have fewer plans than others, but their current plans are quite good.

2. American Home Shield

This is the company that basically founded the home warranty industry. They offer a wide variety of home warranty plans that have a wide range of costs that can fit most budgets. The general opinion in the reviews about this company are quite good, so you can definitely trust their services to be good. They have been in the business longer than anyone else and they have learned how to get things done properly.

Home Warranty Companies in California

3. Home Warranty of America

This is another company that has been providing excellent services to millions of Americans in every state of the country. They have been providing some of the most cost effective plans that are available in the industry. The reviews for the business are very positive and their customer service is their greatest strength. This is one of the companies with the largest reach in the country.

4. Select Home Warranty

This company has plans that truly fit all kinds of budgets and they give coverage to all sorts of properties and the repairs and replacement that might be needed for their homes. This is the main reason why so many reviewers are saying that this is the home warranty service.

5. Total Protect

There is no question that customer services is the most important thing that the staff at Total Project wants to be able to provide to all of their clients. They have a very special method of helping with home warranties by giving homeowners better tools in order to maintain their own homes much better. The reviews say that this is the one company that seems to get involved the most and this is the reason why they have gained so much respect in the business. The reviews are generally quite positive too.

Conclusion

There is nothing more important than being able to get the right kind of service when it comes to your home warranty. This is going to allow you to maintain your home in top condition at all times for a very reasonable cost. The use of this kind of service has become extremely popular in California and now you have plenty of choices that will allow you to decide which one is going to be the best decision. You can research all of the companies that we have just mentioned and decide which one will be best for your needs.

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