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

What does this mean for you as a homeowner?

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

Cost of Freon

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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




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.




Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.

Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered.  They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.

Do I need extended warranty?

If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –

You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.

There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:

  • Extended warranty agrees to repair or replace your appliances if it breaks down after the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
  • They cover most of the electrical and mechanical damages.
  • You may never have to claim anything on your manufacturer’s warranty as the chances of a device failing in the first 12 months of it’s life are low.
  • They are easy to acquire and they give you peace of mind.
  • Almost all major appliances can be covered with an extended warranty.

Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.

Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?

Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.

You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.

If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!

Buying Extended WarrantySource: CBS News

Extended Warranty vs. Home Warranty

extended warranty vs home warranty

Things to keep in mind

While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.

  • Contract Terms and Conditions

Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.

  • Term of coverage

All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.

  • Extra charges

Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.

  • Comparison shopping

A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes  it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.

  • Credit card benefits

Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.

Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!




Small is beautiful! And practical, and trouble-free, too! Many of us live in a small home, a small room, or just a small space. Some people live in a small apartment or home as they just don’t want a large home and want to “downsize”. Try this 7 wonderful space saving ideas to make a small home look bigger.

Make a Small Home Look Bigger

No matter what your cause for living in a small space, you will certainly have to make some adjustments in your decorating, get really structured, and make some compromises to your standard of living so as to make everything fit and not feel overcrowded. Home improvement need not be an expensive project

Many of us have extra necessary stuff than we could put up in our apartment and at the same time to save adequate space for pleasant living. Small houses often have insufficient amount of storage space available. This makes a problem when it comes to removing clutter since items that need a cabinet, drawer or other storage end up sitting out in the room. Obviously small houses have less space but it is possible to get rid of shrinking effect of mess with some approaches to make more space. That’s why here come some interesting solutions that could be convenient for small rooms.

Home Improvement: Clever Tips to Fool the Eye

The main idea of this article is to let you know about the clever use of all the available spaces, while making sure that your home looks spectacular.

1. Lighting Tricks
Any room will seem larger if it’s well lit, either by artificial lighting or natural light. Get rid of table and floor lamps as it can occupy the extra space you have. If possible try to make use of track lighting as an alternative. However, closets are one place where you must include lighting. That way, making a room look larger, will free up an unexpected amount of space.

2. Shelving
Shelving can be helpful. Bookshelves may be too heavy and that is why the free flowing shelves must be opted for. These shelves can be eye-catching (“invisible shelves” made of glass) and can hold knick-knacks, figurines, books and pretty much other things also.

3. Create Flexible Rooms
You should learn to use every inch of space you have. Your living room can double as an entertainment area and a family room, provided you make good use of a wall unit.  Your stereo, television and video games can go into the unit, thereby leaving lot of room for seating. In addition, you can also find way to merge your dining room and kitchen in an appealing and economic way.

4. Space Saving Kitchens
The kitchens in the apartments are generally smaller than houses which make it difficult to deal with. The worst part is that once you cook, there are dishes and figuring out how to find space and time to wash them can become a huge task. Downsizing in the kitchen can be useful, particularly when you are trying to share space with a dining room. For example, you can set up a cozy, small bistro area instead of an actual dining room. If you can follow downsizing to a mini- fridge then can be helpful. You can even hang a plastic shoe holder in which smaller boxes and cans can easily be stored.

5. Use Space Saving Furniture with Storage
The kind of furniture you use to equip your apartment matters as well. They can be not only functional but must also look very stylish and modern. For example, you might have an armoire which is large piece of furniture and also versatile. Besides, having ample of room for storage, it can also go almost anywhere in your home. Furniture such as an ottoman that can double as something else and has a storage unit in the middle is also a good idea.

6. Cheat Your Storage Space
The most difficult thing to do in most of the apartments is to find space for storage. You just require cheating with what you have. Along with utilizing the closet space, you can store some things under your couch, chairs or bed. Moreover, you can also allot bureau drawers as storage spaces.

7. Cutting Clutter
Still, there are some items for which you might not be able to make room in a small house. In case you have not used them in a year or cannot store, cut ties. That’s in fact a hard rule for eliminating things when your space is limited. By downsizing the unnecessary and erroneous items in your life, you will be astonished at how much room is left over!

No Need To Be a Slave To Space!

Thankfully, there are many ways to save space in even the smallest houses, homes or apartments. These clever and easy ways help in both saving space and making use of storage options you may not recognize you had. Expectantly, now you have some renovating ideas that will aid you take the necessary steps to make your cozy apartment a spacious home.




The thing is, we at HomeWarrantyReviews.com are so delighted for your continued support in providing useful reviews of the home warranties, along with using our outstanding free get quote tool for comparing various companies and its policies. We bet that the insights gained will continue to grow and remain invaluable, like always.

Home is where the heart is – everybody needs to delve deeper into their comfort zones. What’s going to aide us in this constant search? Technology. slowly, but surely technology is going to overhaul your way of life. You have to wait, til the cows come back home, ain’t it?

Modern Technologies To Homeowners

Trimming The Clutter Down

It takes constant effort and dedication to keep a home well-managed. (How else could you create that suave impression on your visitors?) You can run through our Ultimate Home Cleaning Hacks for some much needed inspiration. Keeping your home organized in easy steps is also a saver!

Get this into your head, make a habit out of each and every individual of your family. See to it that these handy tips are followed regularly and you’ll thank us later. It’ll be such an invigorating experience for sure.

Making Edges Way Smoother

The information seen here is the impending future, hopefully being materialized at a local store near you, within a couple of years.

Let’s see them all one-by-one over the next couple of engaging minutes-

Solar Paint

Imagine the paint on a car self-powering a battery, how cool is that for the automotive industry? Paints on a sidewall of a home silently swindling energy to power lights on your front door, you read it right!

Using thin solar films loaded with minuscule photo-voltaic cells, these solar paints can be sprayed to achieve a superior finish. Look how this mind boggling technology is generating power and maintaining the beautiful aesthetics of a home too!

With due technological advancements, the solar paint is able to generate around 8.1% to 10% of solar energy whereas the traditional solar panel harnesses around 18% to 20% of sunlight into useful solar energy. Isn’t this revolutionizing our current trend? Wouldn’t you love to be a part of this remarkable move?

Solar Transparent Panel

Yet another technological breakthrough was seen in the form of completely transparent solar panels. When a normal window pane back home could potentially generate solar energy, undoubtedly skyscrapers can act as a potential source to harness unlimited power of the sun. Further, cities can work on a more self-sustaining energy consumption model. Even our mobile phone screens can be equipped with these transparent panels and according to researchers, these transparent solar panels can reach 50% more efficiency than the traditional solar panels being widely used world-over. Imagine the energy boost you’ll all get and how economically beneficial it can get in the long run! Not to forget the clutter you’d get rid off your rooftops. Ain’t that a charm for any homeowner?

Smart Homes Using Internet-of-Things

This is a huge and promising topic having the most applications under one umbrella. These technological features can relatively be convenient for any homeowner to access and this category gives the kind of satisfaction of comfort, at a deeper level.

Being able to take precautions with the help of a Weather Detection System, you could easily minimize the wrath of nature’s fury. (Probably it’s a good idea for homeowners down south to know which are the best home warranty companies in Florida, for it witnesses the most hurricanes in a calendar year!)

Next comes the state of the art home security systems which manages alarms for break-in, informing the police department to take immediate action at your location. Active surveillance cameras sense body motions and send movement alerts across your smartphones. Smart locks reading your fingerprints can trigger actions which either lock or unlock your front door. Lights can be turned on and off from a remote location, portraying the perspective that the home is not left unattended, even though you’re enjoying a holiday overseas.

The modern kitchen these days are a heaven, since the advent of the IoT, your appliances are more versatile, the age old plain looking front of the refrigerator can now smartly connect online and play your favorite show right on the refrigerator door itself. Yes, imagination can run high and you could potentially see appliances doing more than what they were originally meant to do.

Not only that, the lighting in the living space can be dimmed, music can be played with a flick of the wrist, and the heating and cooling systems can be activated just by the mere presence of a person. Moreover, even the water in your bathtub could be set to a temperature you fancy with nothing but hand gestures. And Light Fidelity (Li-Fi) is going to redefine the meaning of super-fast, crossing a whopping 200 gigs per second!

Conclusion

Imagine how wonderful self cleaning clothes sound, just run it with plain potable water! Visualize your home looking new and fresh every time a rain showers down at your place. Exciting, isn’t it! From rooftop tiles, paints on the walls and to the clothes you wear, newer disruptive technologies are making a significant impact and bringing in more types of appliances to the local store near you. And in due course of time, all appliances fail under certain circumstances. Hence, it’s always a good idea to cover for unexpected costs due to failure. So here’s a fair idea on how much you can annually save from a home warranty and as the technological barriers are brought down and implemented on a large scale, so does the price of the product becomes affordable. Since savings is a word not to be ignored in this fragile economic condition, we strongly advise you to protect your budget with home warranties. Hope for the best and prepare for the worst, eh Cap’n?




Winter Home Protection TipsThe leaves are starting to turn and the chill is in the air, and now is the time for homeowners to prepare their residence for winter. With heating rates expected to rise this year, winterizing your home could save money on lower heating bills and remove expensive damage to the house from the elements.

The most crucial things to check are testing for leaks around the house and to make sure that heating is efficient. Experts suggest scrutinizing your home and making necessary repairs now prior to that first snowstorm.

During previous year, more than one third of home insurance claims were weather related. Many of those claims have been prevented if the homeowner had some time to prepare their home for the winter months. Here are some simple and helpful tips to get your house ready for the winter so that you can be comfortable, warm, and safe should bad weather hit.

1.Seal the Envelop of your Home

Seal Your Home's EnvelopeNow it is the time to look for cracks and places that need caulking or sealing. It will help you out save money in the summer and winter by reducing air infiltration.

Try to find cracks around windows, faucets, doors, dryer vents, air conditioning vents and any other place that something can come through the wall. Most cracks can be sealed with superior quality exterior caulk – it’s reasonable and comes in many colors to match the exterior. In case you do not find areas with big cracks, you may have to use expandable foam.

It is suggested patching any areas with cracked paint as exposed wood has no hurdle against moisture, which can cause more grave problems. To get warranty for all these appliances check out our Home Warranty Reviews guide.

2.Make sure Doors and Windows are Sealed Properly

Sealing DoorAs half of your energy costs go to heating and cooling your home, you need to make sure that windows and doors are tightly sealed. Confirm that weather stripping is installed and that caulking around windows is not missing or cracked. Make sure that weatherstripping is set up and that caulking around is not missing or cracked. This is also the time to take away screens and put in storm windows.

If by now you have weatherstripping, look whether the foam’s is in good form. If it’s not then take off a small strip and then take it with you to the store so as to match it with new weather stripping as that will give you the best seal.

3.Protect from Critters

While you are walking around, try to find access points for small animals and insects. Closing any holes can put off squirrels and other animals from living in your warm attic all through the cold winter months and causing long-term troubles.

4.Inspect Gutters and Downspouts

Winter Home Protection TipsOnce the leaves have fallen, clean up the gutters and check for any needed repairs. See where the downspout directs the water and ensure water doesn’t puddle and stay near your foundation. Gutters that don’t handle run-off usually create ice dams. Take care of the melting ice as it can pool and cause roof rot.

5.Protect Wood Floors

You mainly want to protect your hardwood floors from winter walking wear and tear as you are most likely to be indoors in winter. Also, with wet weather mud comes, so reduce the amount of dirt and mud as this will scratch up the wood. Try keeping floor mats by the front and back doors and even an outdoor mat for pre-wiping your shoes. Also, for wood floor protection, it is important to not let water just sit on your wood flooring as it will mold, warp and damage the floor.

6.Trim Tree Limbs

Cutting Tree Limbs

Heading into the colder months is the best time to cut down any tree limbs that are touching or are near the roof. These could damage the shingles (shingles guard the roof from water and moisture and prevent roof rot and leaks). Besides, also remove any weakened or diseased trees or else they could fall from bad weather storms.

7.Take care of Faucets and Pipes

You don’t have to do this if you have frost-proof faucets. Wrap any available pipes in your basement or attic with foam pipe wraps. This help prevent any freeze damaged and burst pipes and help you save funds since it will take the hot water for use.

8.Insulate your Attic

Insulate Your Attic

Even though most houses have less than 6 inches of insulation, you need no less than 12 inches. If you can roll insulation, you can get your money back in energy savings within 6 months. Even adding one or two rolls at a time will still have an advantage. When rolling insulation, employing unfaced insulation without paper rather than faced insulation prevents trapping moisture in the insulation down the road.

Lastly, plan an appointment with your heating company. It is good to get an annual tune-up, you need to be sure your homes furnace or boilers are working well. This helps your home be energy efficient and aids prevent carbon monoxide leaking into the air, which can become a toxic gas. This is something that needs to get done in every home; we tend to do ours in mid fall just to ensure with the holiday crazy that we don’t fail to remember.

If you have not planned yours yet, call a professional now!

So there you have it, there are many home improvements from light fixtures to leaky faucets bookcase building and deck finishing.

Paying attention to these important home improvement projects before winter will keep your family safe and your heating expenses down.

==> Click here to get  Price Estimate for Home Warranty.




Your home is the center of your everyday life and possibly your most valued asset. When your home is destroyed or damaged, you want your claim sorted out by an insurance company that realizes this simple fact. A right homeowners’ insurance company best meets your needs and provides you with the most valuable blend of quality service, custom-made coverage, and fair pricing in policies.

Am I Required To Have Home Insurance If I Own A Home?

Depending on where you live – an apartment, house, or condominium – the right home insurance plan can give you peace of mind along with the money you need to replace or repair your home and/or stuff. Home insurance policies vary by the type of coverage you choose, the losses covered and the type of residence you own. You pick a policy that is best for you, whether it’s an all-inclusive policy that covers losses such as smoke, fire, falling objects, and theft of personal property, or whether it’s a policy that covers specified losses.

New age policies for American Homeowner

Your home insurance plan is made up of the precise options you select. The amount you pay for your policy depends on what coverage you buy, how much you want to cover, and where you set your limits. There are many types of homeowners policies available when once you decide to be a homeowner or not. The most significant part of homeowners insurance is the level of coverage. Avoid paying for more than you require. Below are the most common levels of coverage.

  •  HO-1 & HO-2 – Broad policy that guards against 16 perils that are stated in the policy
  •  HO-3 – Covers the structure against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-4 – If you rent or lease your home, you need a renters policy to cover your personal property and liability
  • HO-5 – Premium policy that guards newer, well-maintained homes; it covers against all perils except those specifically excluded by the policy
  •  HO-6 – Insurance for co-ops/condominiums, which includes liability coverage, personal property coverage, and coverage of improvements to the owner’s unit
  • HO-7 – Similar to an HO-3 policy, but for mobile homes
  •  HO-8 – Policy particularly for older homes, with similar coverage to an HO-2 policy. However, it only covers actual cash value. In Florida, many insurers are offering this policy

Comprehending Your Policy

As insurance policies come in many shapes and sizes, the same is true for insurance companies and agents, who can charge different rates for the same coverage. Bigger insurers are not always better and small don’t essentially have the best customer service. So, it’s always good to shop around for the top deals and ask the precise questions in an attempt to know what you are really receiving.

Prior to signing on the dotted line, you should understand that not all homeowners policies are the same. This is always one of the most common misinterpretations about insurance. According to a survey, more than a third of the homeowners said they did not have or didn’t identify if they had adequate homeowners insurance coverage. In 2005, after Hurricane Katrina affected the city of New Orleans, and again in 2012, when Superstorm Sandy damaged numerous communities in New York and New Jersey, thousands of worried survivors got a rude shock when they found their standard homeowners’ policies did not cover flood damage.

Additional Insurance And Endorsements

Many catastrophic events are not covered in the basic homeowner’s policy, but they are still insurable and require additional levels of insurance. In some cases, homeowners need entirely different policies, which are usually several times costlier than the typical homeowners’ premium. Some homes are situated in high-risk areas such as flood, hurricanes and earthquake zones, which make buying additional insurance a top priority for these homeowners. Instead of the usual $250 to $1,000 deductible under basic coverage, you have to shell out 1 to 5% of your home’s insured value (up to 10% in Florida).

Hurricane season is an old threat for many residents living along the southeastern coast of the U.S. Hurricane Matthew, which made arrival on Oct 8, 2016, left an expected $6 billion worth of property loss in its devastation across states such as Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia. If you live in a region that is prone to hurricanes, you must have certain emergency plans in place. Homeowners in hurricane-prone areas need to act fast to file damage claims with their insurance firms. For instance, if your home is insured for $200,000 and your plan has a 3% deductible for hurricanes, you will have to expend $6,000 out-of-pocket on a storm-related claim.

Some Popular Endorsements And Extra Policies Include:

  •  Guaranteed Replacement Cost Coverage – A policy that pays to reconstruct your home completely, even if the cost is above your policy limits. You can expect to pay $400 to $1,000 more in premiums each year for this endorsement
  • Inflation Guard – A policy that automatically raises your dwelling coverage limit yearly in proportion to inflation, so that your limits are at least 80% of its value. Incremental premium increases in relation to the limit are often charged when the policy is renewed
  • Personal Umbrella Liability Insurance – A policy that broadly covers assets. It increases your liability coverage above the limits available in any of your “basic” policies, comprising auto, boat, and homeowners insurance. Umbrella coverage can extend to other excluded coverages, such as the invasion of privacy, false arrest, and slander, which can kick in once your primary coverage is exhausted. Premiums for this coverage begin at around $150 to $300 per year for $1 million in coverage, an additional $75 for $2 million, and $50 extra per year for each additional $1 million in coverage
  • Scheduled Personal Property – A policy that covers high-value objects such as stamps, jewelry, coins, antiques, guns, computers, furs, and other items that could go beyond the limits of your homeowner’s policy

Creating Your Home Inventory

When you buy a homeowners insurance policy, one of the must have insurance policies, you must prepare the latest home inventory to speed up a claim settlement if you ever need to make one. A complete home inventory, help your insurance company verify the property easier, which in turn makes settling your claim easy. Additionally, you can validate losses for your income tax return with the latest home inventory without any hassles.

For many homeowners, insurance is something to be thought of again, i.e., until the worst occurs. Homeowners who wait until they experience a loss before assessing their own policies do not get the full value – may be little value – out of their incalculable premium payments.

Homeowners insurance is a monetary agreement, but it should also be treated as a living entity to be cherished over time. By reading your policy wisely, shopping around for the suitable agent, comprehending your coverage limits, and create an updated property inventory.




Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.

Insurance Claims

It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.

Here is the excerpt:

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American Home Shield – how to beat home warranty companies at their own game

I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.

I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.

I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.

The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.

Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.

The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.

To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.

Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.

My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.

For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.

Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]

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We are sorry that we can’t give you a name, but we will do the next best thing. We will tell you about all the qualities you need to look for in a most reliable Home Warranty company.

For those of you who feel that you don’t know enough about home warranties and matters related to it, we suggest that you go through detailed description about a Home Warranty plan section.

Most Reliable Home Warranty Company

So, you are on the look out for a Home Warranty company that gives you the best plan that suits your budget well. For that, first, lets discuss how to figure out what’s best for you.

Preparation

  1. Plan how much you are willing to spend on a home service plan each year. Home warranties cost anywhere from $300 to $700 per year, while average appliance costs would be over $2000 per year according to some expert estimates.
  2. What kind of coverage do you require? Is is extensive or just the basic offer? Basic coverage will include plumbing, heating, cooling and electrical systems along with major appliances. If you have a second refrigerator, it is probably not covered unless you request for additional coverage.
  3. What are the companies out there that offer services that you can afford? You can compare home warranty companies and choose the best plan, based on reviews, pricing etc. available on our website.
  4. Start comparison shopping!

Once this is done, let’s get to the fun part. Here’s a list of features that describe the most reliable Home Warranty company.

Coverage

Look for a company that offers varying packages based on coverage. The company should be able to provide you with a lot of options on the extent of coverage. If you can find a company that offers a tailor made plan for you, it would be great, provided the plan is affordable. Not all appliances and systems covered, so please understand the coverage terms. Pre-existing conditions may not be covered under some plans and lack of maintenance issues are almost always not covered.

Repairs vs Replacement

Did you know that most companies prefer to repair and not replace damaged devices? And because of this, you must thoroughly understand the companies policies regarding this. Go through the terms and conditions mentioned in the policy booklet carefully. A reliable company will always look out for your appliances and will replace them if it is needed.

Customer support

The importance of this aspect cannot be overstated. Ensure that the firm you choose has a 27 x 7 customer service wing whom you can call up at any time. They are the people with whom you will be communicating in case an issue occurs. So make sure that they are available around the clock and also enquire about the average time taken to get a response followed by filing your complaint. If you prefer filing claims online, check if the company has online claims processing options.

Seamless customer support is definitely part of an ideal company.

Qualified and experienced vendors

Ensure that the company you choose has a local branch or at least a good network of  contractors in your neighborhood. In case they do not have qualified contractors in the area, make sure you are allowed to choose your own vendors.

Your insurance company should always provide you with the service of trained and experienced service technicians. They are the people who are responsible for fixing your damaged gadgets so it is highly important that they have a good record. Speak to an agent and inquire about the quality of vendors that are hired by the company. Vendors must be thoroughly screened by the company.

Clean Record

It is never a bad idea to refer to the record of the State Insurance Commission or BBB to ensure that the company you are planning to choose has a clean history. Picking a company that has a history of lawsuits and bad reviews can never live up to your expectations. You can also ask your friends and family to recommend a company based on their experiences. Always choose a company with good reputation to make the most of the deal.

This article is just a brief description about the qualities of a good Home Warranty company. This is not a rule or guideline. Home Warranty plans can cost anywhere between $250 to $700 per year, so it is necessary that you make an informed decision. You can get a free quote or estimate on home warranty plans before you choose any company.

Happy Home Warranty shopping!




Anybody who has bought a house knows what closing day feels like.  You probably saw the date changed at least once, maybe more than once.  You waited for closing.  The paperwork trail was long.  The bank’s questions had all been answered.  The title had cleared.  Everything was finally in order, and you saw the keys to your new home for the first time.  And the excitement of it all, for many of us, even in memory, is on par with a short list of big life events that we’ll never forget, especially that feeling of being in our own space and to protect our children is something great in itself!

Broken house

But after the newness and excitement are in the past, home-ownership isn’t always the boon of big advantages over renting that we expect.  And these days it’s all too common for buyers of brand new houses to find that the list of half finished, poorly done, and improperly completed work in a new house is long.  If you are one among many homeowners, ones who found their dream home wasn’t such a dream upon closer inspection, then you already know that a home warranty doesn’t necessarily protect you or your finances in the event the builder of your home rushed through the work, committed architectural no-nos, or had teams of employees who failed to communicate well together.

Homeowners who closed on new homes, only to find that the builders had made huge mistakes or deliberately violated building codes, know all too well that many home warranties are only as good as the financial stability of the builders themselves.  And homeowners who attempt to replace a lost builder’s warranty with one offered by aftermarket home warranty providers may find that pre-existing condition clauses free the company from the obligation to pay many claims that are related to the builder’s errors or bad decisions and calls for a better judgement to be made to protect the interests of the end-user.

But isn’t a home warranty supposed to protect home buyers?  Yes, it’s supposed to do that.  But the difference between what is supposed to happen with home warranties issued by builders and what actually happens in many cases these days is as big as the difference between states’ regulations on builders and the enforcement of those regulations.

Printed media have been all over this problem for years now.  There have been dozens of different reports made by reputable newspapers, magazines, websites, industry organizations,  such as The American Institute of Architects, and consumer-facing organizations such as Consumer Reports, each one reinforcing the alarm to consumers that you can’t buy a new house and assume that any problems with it will be remedied by the builder or the home warranty.

What new home buyers and even buyers of existing homes need to understand is that the best protection against huge home repair costs is usually careful scrutiny of the builder.  Since states vary greatly in the way in which they regulate builders and building codes, and since enforcement these days is oftentimes limited by budgetary problems, home buyers should not feel too confident in the long-term structural integrity of a house without doing some serious due diligence.  That includes checking out the builder’s history and financial health, but it also includes putting extra eyes on the construction while it’s in the process.  Home buyers who skip the work involved in ordering inspections of various steps of the construction of their new houses leave themselves open to all kinds of post-closing surprises.  And if the builder files for bankruptcy, as so many have done since the housing market crash of 2007, then the owner of a home that was poorly built may be out of luck, no matter what promises were made in the home warranty. So protect yourselves by conducting a thorough research on the internet and in trusted domains like HomeWarrantyReviews.Com




The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) allows several home related expenses to be deducted from income tax. While most homeowners enjoy tax exemption on expenses like mortgage interest, property taxes etc, some are unaware whether home warranty premiums are allowed deductions.

When some of our readers approached us with this question, we realized that this could be a common question among homeowners across the country. We have tried to address that concern up to the best of our ability and we hope that this article will clear up any confusion you had about such tax deductions.

Home Warranty Premiums Tax Deductible

Tax exemption on home warranty premiums

As you may know, a home warranty is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. In the United States of America, homeowners unfortunately do not enjoy the benefit of exemption on a home warranty premium you pay for your residence.

However, warranty premiums can be tax deductible if they are on an income producing building. Which means if your house is something like a home office or if it is a house that you have rented out, the premium you pay towards home warranty will be considered as a deductible expense.

A premium paid towards home warranty is considered as a pre-paid maintenance cost of your home and will therefore be non tax deductible. Which means that repairs and replacement costs, no matter how they are covered, will not be a valuable tax deduction.

If you are a tenant in some house that enjoys the protection of a home warranty plan you pay for, you will not be able to claim exemption on its premium. Only the owner will be able to consider premiums as deductible expense.

Will expenses toward repairs not covered by warranty be tax deductible?

Even if you don’t have a home warranty or a home insurance policy, expenses towards repairing and replacing household appliances/ systems will be considered as maintenance costs and hence will not be tax-deductible.

In this case too, if the repair/replacement was needed for an income producing building/home, you may be able to claim an exemption.

Are home insurance premiums tax deductible?

Typically, no. IRS allows homeowners to deduct private mortgage interest from federal taxes. But, homeowner’s insurance premiums shall not receive tax exemption. Same applies to flood or title insurance. This is pretty much the way home warranty premiums work. Unless an income is generated by the building like in the case of rental properties or home office, you are out of luck.

What home expenses are eligible for tax exemption?

IRS allows the following expenses to be considered as tax deductible expenses-

  • Mortgage interest payments
  • Taxes paid towards real estate
  • Payments towards mortgage insurance premiums
  • Uninsured losses due to hazards or crimes

The following are considered as non-exemptible expenses-

  • Homeowners insurance or in general any insurance against hazards
  • Payments towards mortgage principle
  • Home maintenance and related expenses
  • Home improvement expenses

Being on the safer side

We have noticed that it is a common practice to confuse home insurance and home warranty. While homeowner’s Insurance is mandatory for homes with mortgages, a home warranty is usually a choice. Though home warranty premiums may not help you save tax dollars, if your home and its contents are 4+ years old, they are a very wise purchase. Such service contracts provide you with discounted repairs and replacement services if your appliances/systems break down due to normal wear and tear, such damages are typically omitted by homeowner’s insurance. At the end of the day you save more money if you pay premiums for a warranty than if you pay for a repair/replacement job.

If you are worried that a home warranty is going to be expensive, we earnestly encourage you to use our website to get a free quote. You’ll be surprised to find that there are some companies that sell warranty products at compelling prices, some even at zero deductible rates. You can also browse through our site to compare plans and their features. While you are at it, don’t forget to take a look at top ten companies and our annual home warranty award winners!

Our readers are welcome to reach out to us should they have any questions or concerns. We hope that you found this article helpful and informative. Thank you!




Weichert Realtors announced the launch of its new Claim-No-Claim Home Protection Plan. This home protection plan, provided through HMS Home Warranty, now includes coverage for unknown pre-existing conditions, lack of maintenance and jetted bathtubs in addition to the coverage already provided by the previous protection plan.

Weichert

Its Financial Services said it is committed to offering its clients ‘best-in-class’ products and services. “The innovative Claim-No-Claim Home Protection Plan is a unique offering within the industry and lives up to the expectations we have for branded products.” said Bill McMahon, vice president for Weichert Financial Services.

Founded in 1969, Weichert Realtors has grown from a single office into one of the nation’s leading providers of homeownership services by putting our customers first. With nearly 18,000 sales associates, Weichert services all key markets in the U.S.

Unlike most home warranties, the Claim-No-Claim Home Protection Plan provides value to homeowners whether or not they make a claim. Buyers can have peace of mind knowing they are covered should something go wrong. However, the plan also provides value to those homeowners fortunate enough to not need any repairs. Buyers who have not submitted a claim during the first nine months of their initial year of coverage are entitled to a heating or air conditioning maintenance visit valued at up to $100. More details can be found at Weichert Gold Services or by contacting your local Weichert Realtor.

A premier upgrade option has also been added to The Claim-No-Claim Protection Plan. This optional coverage addresses disposal or removal of defective equipment, recapture or reclaim of refrigerant, permits and mandatory systems upgrades as a result of size and code violations.




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

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

HVAC Maintenance Plan

Plumber at Work

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

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

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

What plan do I purchase?

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

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

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

Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately

Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:

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

Advantages of Home Warranty plans:

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

Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?

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

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

Who needs a Home Warranty?

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

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

Still undecided?

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

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

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

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




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.




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.

 




No human need is greater than a home to live in. While not all of us can afford to buy our dream houses, there are people who are not even sure buying is a good idea. The decision between buying and renting is one that has reduced many a strong willed man to tears.

As folks who work closely with homeowners, we have, over the years gathered knowledge about handling such dilemmas. So we thought we’d write an article to help those faced with the doubt that has plagued many of us – Should I buy a house or should I rent one?

Buying a house

Buying Vs. Renting A House

We know that it is not a silly decision. So here are some points you should give thought to before you lean towards one decision.

1. How long are you planning to live in that area?

This is something that should be considered before anything else. If you are in that city for an assignment or for a short duration, buying a house may not seem like a sensible option. If you plan to settle there permanently, looking into buying will be wise. Rent is often considered by many as dead money. That money never comes back or turns into an investment. So, give due thought to how long you plan to stay in an area and put that down on your list of things to consider.

2. How are your finances?

Does your bank balance match that of Arab Royals’? You could buy a mansion in that case. Is your balance the typical American average? Well, you could maybe buy a house with some aid from loans then. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, don’t even think about taking loans from several lenders to buy a house. Also, if you have no source of income, loans will never even be an option.

3. Are you looking for an investment or just a roof over your head?

If you plan to buy a house, redecorate and sell (which is an expensive but rewarding business idea), you could probably look into some options for buying. If you are just looking for accommodation, renting an affordable place might seem sensible.

4. Worried about landlord issues?

Believe us when we say this, some folks steer clear of the idea of renting because they are worried that the landlord might be a nightmare. However, don’t let this be the reason that deters from renting. Having a home of your own is indeed a satisfying feel but there is no reason why you should feel small because you stay in a rented house. For many, renting may make more sense financially than buying a home.

Perks Of Buying A House

Buying a house does have formidable benefits. Here are some of them-

  • Tax exemption for all payments you make towards buying a house.
  • A house of your own is a huge asset and can serve as an investment.
  • Mortgage rates are mostly fixed, unlike rent which could go up annually.
  • You could become part of the local community.
  • You’ll be free to do whatever you want in your space – decorate your home as you wish, invite guests as you want and live the way you chose :).

Disadvantages Of Owning A House

Like everything has two sides, owning a home too has a trying side. Let’s take a look at some common disadvantages of owning a house-

  • Maintenance. Or the excess of it. You may want to look into home warranty plans if you want to protect your budget from unexpected repairs.
  • Various kinds of taxes. You’ll have to pay them all!
  • Potential depreciation costs. If a crime/hazard happens in your neighborhood, the value of your home may fall below what you bought it for.
  • Paying for mandatory homeowner’s insurance, if you have a mortgage plan.

Perks Of Renting A House

Well, since it’s better suited for the not so well off, financially, renting offers many advantages over buying. Let’s take a look at some of them –

  • Very little maintenance required. If major systems get damaged, it’s mostly the landlord’s job to get it fixed.
  • No worries about owning a depreciating asset.
  • No mandatory insurances or protection plans, except maybe renter’s insurance.
  • Moving from one city to another or shifting, in general, is easier if you stay in a rented home.

Cons Of Renting A Home

Often called as a dead investment by many, renting comes with its set of heartbreaking disadvantages. Here are some of them-

  • Can’t redecorate/remodel your home as per your desires. Most rental agreements lay down clauses preventing the tenant from making any permanent changes to structures of the home.
  • No tax benefits. The money you pay every month is as good as lost.
  • Not your house, so not your rules. Some landlords are pretty strict about what activities can be done in their house.
  • Most landlords demand a yearly increase in the monthly rental amount.

The Bottom-Line

We can’t decide for you, but we can urge you to strongly consider every aspect before you make a choice. Owning a home is indeed a wonderful experience that is unmatched. If you are already a homeowner and if you are thinking about buying an additional house, we would recommend that you look into easy home maintenance tips & cleaning hacks. You may also want to compare top home warranty companies to ensure that your budget stays protected.




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

Top tips for Structural Warranty for Newly constructed homes

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

What is Structural Warranty?

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

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

Is Structural Warranty Necessary for me as a Buyer?

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

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

The Builder’s Perspective

Settling Terms of the Deal

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

A Middleman

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

Value of the Home

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

How Structural Warranty Works

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

What Structural Warranty Covers

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

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

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

The basic coverage usually covers the following:

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

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

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

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

The Cost

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

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

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Here’s an article to give you a clue about the best home warranty companies in Utah. The state that is defined by vast expanses of deserts and the Wasatch mountain ranges. Utah needs no further introduction. Its capital city, Salt City Lake, attracts many swimmers to its buoyant waters.

Best Home Warranty Companies In Utah

Utah – Best Appliance Warranty Provider

 

If you are a resident of this beautiful state or if you are planning to move to this state, then glancing at a list of the finest home warranty companies operating there is a must! This is what we intend to provide you through this article.

As you may know, we rate companies on the basis of user feedback received from actual customers. So in the order of ratings, here is a list of top warranty providers in Utah –

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

Let’s take a look at each company in more detail, shall we?

1. American Home Shield

Also called as AHS, American Home Shield is one of the most popular home warranty providers in America. They are also the founders of the home warranty industry which means that there are few companies out there that have more experience than AHS. Over the years, they’ve developed plans and products which cater to the needs of buyers, sellers, homeowners and real estate agents alike.

The company offers a wide range of plans suited for most homeowners. All plans are reasonably priced and the annual premiums often range between $249 – $500+ and the deductible per service visit ranges between $65 – $125. The fact that the company is not just backed by experience but also by immensely positive user feedback, makes it one of the top competitors in Utah and the rest of America.

2. The Home Service Club

Considered as an innovator and people friendly company, The Home Service Club (HSC) is yet another popular choice among Utah residents for their home warranty needs. They serve 48 states across the country and have been in business for a very long time. HSC claims that the constant surveys and feedback they collect from customers helps them improve their products and services for the better.

Standard plans offered by HSC are designed to cover major household appliances and systems and are priced competitively. Customers are also free to customize their plans and add items from a list of pre-selected add-ons, enabling them to extend coverage as per their wish. Plans are priced around $400 on average and the deductibles are charged between $65 – $125.

3. Select Home Warranty

With plans designed to prevent any homeowner from losing hair over unexpected repair and replacement costs, Select Home Warranty (SHW), has been a strong player in the home warranty scene of Utah for quite a bit of time. SHW also has a nationwide footprint so their services are not limited for Utah alone. All warranty products offered by SHW are highly praised by their customers and this has led to them being a popular choice among Utah residents.

SHW offers three main plans to their customers each based on different levels of coverage. Annual premiums range between $299 – $499 and all plans have a deductible of $45. Like most other companies on the list, SHW too has a round the clock customer service facility and also an online claims submission feature. All of this along with many, many positive reviews makes SHW a strong choice for home warranty products in Utah.

4. Landmark Home Warranty

Landmark Home Warranty (LHW) is a company which has services in the states of Utah, Arizona, Idaho, Oregon and Texas. Customers have often praised their services to be extremely user friendly. The primary goal of LHW is to provide exceptionally good services to all its customers.

LHW has 4 main plans to offer to their customers, each priced differently and having different levels of coverage. All plans come at a service call fee of $65 charged for each service visit. LHW also offers support to real estate agents to help with their clients. Apart from home warranty services, LHW offers re-keying and heater tune-up services too. The strong feedback from customers and their compelling plans makes Landmark a very sound choice for your home warranty needs.

5. HSA Home Warranty

HSA is a company with over 30 years experience in the home warranty industry. Headquartered in Wisconsin, HSA has quite an extensive coverage across USA. The company has claimed that their primary focus is on nothing other than providing great services to their customers. This is a company that has a wide range of products to offer. From agent programs, E&O insurance policies to live tools like seminars, HSA has more than home warranty plans to sell.

HSA’s primary product, home warranty plan comes in two variants, where the primary difference lies in the extend of coverage offered. Annual premiums range between $589 – $619 and the deductibles are charged between $75 – $100. HSA also has an online claims facility in addition to the 24/7 customer service wing which takes complaints no matter what time it is.

Do Your Research

What we have provided you is a list of companies based on user reviews on our site. We urge our readers to go through some of the reviews and even take a list of Award Winning Home Warranty Companies. It is advisable that you do some extensive research on our website before making a choice.

Should you have any concerns, feel free to holler at us. Cheers!