Texas AG Greg Abbott filed a suit against a New York-based Home Warranty company for unlawfully doing business in Texas. The state’s enforcement action seeks to prevent National Home Protection, Inc. from doing business in Texas until it is licensed by the state and complies with requirements of the Texas Occupations Code.
According to state investigators, National Home Protection continued selling “residential service contracts” to Texas homeowners even after the company was specifically informed about licensure and other requirements. The defendant ignored the Texas Real Estate Commission’s demand that it stop offering Texas home warranty plans and return any money received from Texans. Meanwhile, Texas customers continued to complain that the company refused to repair or replace various home systems.
The state’s enforcement action charges National Home Protection with violating the Texas Occupations Code by failing to obtain a license, maintain a funded reserve against their liabilities and file annual reports with the state. The company also is charged with violating the Texas Deceptive Trade Practices Act (DTPA) by operating without a license in Texas.
For more information, Texas homeowners can call a toll-free complaint hotline at (800) 252-8011 or go online to www.texasattorneygeneral.gov.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com is dedicated to providing our readers the best and most complete source of real, honest reviews and ratings of home warranty companies. Our reviews come from real homeowners who have firsthand experience with the home warranty companies, not paid writers who only evaluate the companies that pay for advertising. We are the largest, and longest standing source of objective testimonials about home warranties on the Internet.
Home warranties, also called home service contracts, cover the cost of repairs in the home. These contracts also provide homeowners with prescreened contractors, something that is very valuable to anyone with a broken appliance or major systems such as air conditioning or heating. Through reviews on our website readers can really get a feel for the service they might expect from certain companies. But what else can be learned from reading our reviews? Quite a lot actually. For one, you just might learn which covered appliances and systems break down most often.
Recently we asked our team to tell us what appliances are mentioned most often in our reviews. This is a good question, since reviewers on this website usually include some information about their recent repair claims. Here’s what we found out.
We started with 11,000 reviews. We chose words that relate easily to specific appliances and system components. Words like “air” would most often relate to air conditioning. Words like “dishwasher” are even easier to correlate to a specific home appliance. The list also included words like “furnace.” In the end, we had a list of 15 terms that we wanted to look for in those 11,000 reviews. The results were not so surprising.
According to our research, the HVAC system is mentioned in 72% of reviews! Does this mean that you have a greater risk of your HVAC system breaking down than any other appliance or system in your home? No, not at all. What it does mean though is that homeowners who use home warranties and who take the time to review those companies on our website are using those contracts to repair central heating and cooling systems quite often. And that can lead to some inferences that might help you if you’re in the market for a home warranty.
What about dishwashers? Those appliances get used daily in the average home. You might assume that dishwashers would be a pretty commonly reported appliance. The numbers we looked at told a different story though. Only 3% of the reviews we used for this study contained the word “dishwasher.”
Roughly 9% of reviews reported problems with the home’s water heater. Another 2% had trouble with ovens. When you look at ovens, water heaters and dishwashers, those three appliances only account for 14% of reviews. Compare that with HVAC units and you can see what a huge difference there is between that one, a single category of repairs and all the others. While this is not enough data to base a conclusion on, it would seem that anyone who purchases a home warranty and who has an HVAC system should make sure that the HVAC coverage is very good and that the company has a good history of covering HVAC repair claims.
Among the final 14% of reviews, there were many other items listed including furnaces (3% of reviews,) clothes dryers (2% of reviews,) and plumbing, which appeared in 5% of reviews. The remaining 4% of reviews had a range of different appliances listed, including microwaves, both installed and free standing.
The main thing we’d like readers to take away from our findings is that reviewers overwhelmingly described problems with HVAC systems and other cooling and heating systems. No other single category even came close to stacking up next to these major systems. And that makes sense. No other system is worked harder, particularly in homes that experience very hot and very cold seasons. For you, as a reader, this might mean that you should seriously consider opting for a home warranty that covers your heating and cooling system, versus one that only covers the appliances in your home. But there’s a bit more to consider. Having coverage is great, but having good coverage is much better. It doesn’t help you at all to have a home warranty if your claim is denied. To choose a company with a good history of approving claims you need to do your homework. And to do that you should read reviews here on our website until you feel confident you’ve found the best company for the most reasonable price.
“Winter is coming” – Remember this famous dialog by the Starks from Game of Thrones? Well, it is true now. Winter is indeed approaching and that means homeowners have to prepare themselves for the chilly festive season.
While the idea of another Christmas is awesome, the idea of sub-zero temperatures and malfunctioning appliances is not. Fret not! There are some things that you can do to ensure that the chances of your appliances crashing are kept to a minimum. This article will provide you with a list of appliances that needs to be checked before winter sets in and also how to ensure that they don’t breakdown. Wondering why you need to check your appliances in advance? Well, like they say, a stitch in time, saves nine!
So here are some of the appliances that need a thorough check up before the temperature drops-
Let’s take a detailed look at how these appliances should be checked. Don’t worry, the steps are quite simple and only require a very basic examination on the appliances listed above.
This one is absolutely essential. If there is no heating in your home, you’ll probably get sick. Or worse, freeze. HVAC units are large appliances and they may require annual maintenance checks. If you have signed up for a warranty plan or similar arrangement that conducts frequent checks on your HVAC, now would be an ideal time. If you don’t have such an arrangement, worry not. Here’s what you need to do.
While you’re at it, you may want to read about common mistakes HVAC owners make.
Personal safety is always a primary concern. With all the heating devices going in full swing, having a fire, although uncommon, is still possible. Check your smoke detectors to ensure that they are in working order. If they fail, you could risk the lives of everyone in your home.
Here is what you need to do to check your smoke detector –
These are appliances that can get really hot if their vents are blocked, making them prime fire hazard material. Leaving them to function unattended during the cold winter season may not be a bright idea. Make sure somebody checks on them at frequent intervals.
The following steps can help you run a basic exam on your dryer-
While it is lovely to have a fireplace, there are somethings that you just cannot overlook while using them. To ensure that your fireplace is safe for use, do the following –
If you have a gas fireplace, look out for peeling wallpaper and eroding mortar. Ideally, get it inspected by a professional.
First time homeowners may need to do extensive research about making your home safe for winter. Apart from the appliance maintenance checklist we provided above, there are some general safety and wellness practices that you must follow. This would include things like keeping an emergency contact list ready, stocking up on food, check your car to see if it’s winter-safe and finally formulating a fire escape plan.
Also, do keep in mind that outdoor hose bibs may freeze in the winter and to prevent that, they should be shut off at the source or covered on the outside with an insulator. It should not be difficult to find an insulator as they are available at most home goods stores.
If you don’t have a home warranty, now would be a good time to think about one. Such appliance service contracts help you save money on repairs due to unexpected appliance breakdowns. You could also look into our general appliance maintenance checklist to ensure that your home runs smoothly always.
We hope you found this article useful. Let us know your thoughts. Cheers!
Extended home warranty provides warranty coverage for major home appliances after the manufacturer’s warranty period is completed.
Buying the home warranty, avoids unnecessary stress and to assists you in peace of mind. It is truly a best insurance for your investment. The costs are very low compared to repair bills of any of your appliances.
Homeowners are generally provided with home warranty coverage along with the purchase of new house by the seller. But when your original home warranty expires, you have the choice of extending your existing warranty. Before deciding on extension of home warranty it is essential to know whether it is really beneficial to consider the warranty to continue hence let us find the facts on this issue.
The basic home warranties are available at about just $400 per year. Let us assume that the warranty period has expired on any major appliance where the device may have lost manufacturer’s warranty. Just an initial visit may be charged minimum of about $50 to $100. Repair companies will also bill on an hour basis, for the first hour they may charge you about $50 to $70 and sometimes the subsequent hours will be charged less but varies from case to case. Addition to it you are expected to pay for the repair job.
Planning for home repairs is not predictable. Charges on repair job will differ depending upon the system, duration of time since how long you are using the device. In the usual cases home warranty policies covers up the equipments insured for the period of one year once the warranty is about to expire you can just extend the home warranty just by additional payment and renewal of documentation on what all appliances the policy should cover.
Extended home warranty can surely help homeowners in leading stress free life and saves tons of money. It is realistic if you have been repeatedly spending on maintenance and repairs. Usually the breakdown period of appliances starts just before or after your warranty expires because of its usability, if you want to avoid such hassles of contacting repair services. Extended warranty service just makes things easier you are already guaranteed of competent and licensed repair company.
If you calculate, you will surely save thousands of dollars on all the possible repairs, this is quite a big amount of money that you have to set aside if you choose not to opt on warranty. At the end of each passing year you would get a clear idea on how much you need to pay on the renewal of your policy to extend the assurance. There is no need to search for fresh home warranty companies to renew the scheme you can just pay the extra amount and set your life in calm. Any unexpected issue will also be taken care of such companies hence it is truly worth to invest money in affording extended home warranty plan.
Based on your choice, these policies can be extended online or in person. You may be able to find better deals on home warranties online. On the other hand, a benefit of this is that you can take your time to make up your mind without salespeople constantly pestering you. You do not even have to browse the pages of your directory and call them one by one to ask for availability, if you have this service. All it takes is one call to make your life simpler and relaxed.
Are you longing for a home decorated with our green friends? You want a home that is eco-friendly and looks pretty at the same time? You have come to the right place!
Over the years plants have become much more than just a source of food. While being a very nutritious edible species, members of Kingdom Animalia are also very visually appealing. Even the prickly cacti are never an eye sore.
For all you homeowners out there who wish to add a hint of green to your home, this article shall give you all that you have to know about before you decorate your house with plants.
There are indeed a lot of benefits associated with gardening and using plants as decor. Let’s discuss about them.
Norfolk island pine, peperomia, aloe vera, English ivy, peace lily, snake plant, spider plant, bamboo palm, golden pothos etc are the most common varieties of indoor plants. Among them, aloe vera is known for its moisturizing properties and so it can double as an ingredient for homemade face packs. The English ivy is said to be a plant that purifies air effectively, while the most common indoor plant is the spider plant, which is also known for its air purifying properties.
Did you know, the golden pothos has the ability to remove formaldehyde from the air, if you thought plants simply stood lazily in a corner?
You can visit a local nursery or look up on the internet to identify the plants that best suit your lifestyle and home decor.
Window sills, kitchen counters, living rooms and balconies make ideal locations for plants. You can even use an assemblage of different plants to create a great ambiance.
Most indoor orchids require humid atmosphere to thrive well. They’ll make excellent additions to your kitchen or a sunny bathroom.
Bedrooms are not really recommended because, as you know, plants release carbon dioxide at night. This leads to reduced amount of oxygen in the air and that is most certainly not good for health.
Pots and containers for these plants are also decorative pieces themselves. So make sure that the pots you use are not only functional but also visually appealing. If you don’t want to spend loads of cash on fancy clay pots, you can simply buy some normal brown ones and paint them in a variety of colors.
If you have enough space, use big terracotta pots and paint them in a bronze or copper color. It adds a certain old world charm to the whole area. Although metal planters are ideal for this look, they are a wee bit expensive.
As much as possible, place your plants in sunny areas and avoid keeping them in places that are not frequently visited. plants like cacti can be kept in tea-cup sized pots and placed in smaller spaces.
This part is vital. Even though indoor plants require less maintenance as compared to their outdoor counterparts, they will still wither and die if you don’t care for them. Here’s how you should care for your indoor plants.
Plants are indeed a joy to have around living spaces. Having them in your home shall freshen the air and also lift the moods of people occupying that space. If you are someone concerned about environment, you should know about how green landscaping benefits the environment. Hope you found this article informative. Cheers!
Who does not want to own a home? In fact, the sooner, the better! But with the ongoing inflation and increased property prices, buying your own home seems like a far-fetched dream. But owning a home has benefits of its own. From creating a space that defines you to re-doing the interiors without worrying about the landlord. Or be it having privacy, the perks of having your own home are endless.
The increased mortgage interests and the guarantee requirements have also made it difficult to find your own abode. But there are ways can help you earn more, save better and realize your dream sooner than before.
People love to own a big home that’s cozy and have ample space for all their belongings. It becomes difficult to carry things from one place to another while staying in a rented apartment. With your own home, you have the luxury to set your dream closet and fill in the place with the most drool-worthy ideas. Buying a home forms a big part of the great American dream and we tell you ways that can help you realize the same.
We all know that the home of our dreams may take us a little too long to save up for. In such a case, investing in smaller properties and then benefitting on the increased values will not only give you a huge profit but also help you pay a bigger sum as down-payment and hence avail lower mortgage interest rates.
For such a procedure, climbing up the ladder is the way as you cannot expect to buy your dream home right away. Also, there is an added risk of losing money in case the prices drop. So, it is suggested to do your research before investing in such a plan and hire a trusted realtor who genuinely wants to help you achieve your dream.
There are several schemes available in the market that offers added benefits to first-time buyers. These schemes can be backed by banks or the government. Thus, it is important to stay updated of all the available and upcoming schemes in the real-estate market.
Housing schemes by US department of Housing and Urban development could not only offer you lower interest rates but also have the benefit of being a first-time home buyer by offering perks on the down-payment.
There is no easier way to pave your way to your home than saving up each penny possible. It may require a lot of effort and sacrifice but once you are able to book your own home, it will be all worth it.
Giving up on expensive clothing, dinners and parties could be an effective way to kick-start the savings. Renting a home and investing in a car that actually meets your requirement to save a little more is sensible. Finally, investing in gadgets and other valuables that depreciate in value should be avoided to achieve your goals. Enrolling in a trusted home warranty plan will also help you save on regular expenses like repair & maintenance of home and appliances.
Buying a property in collaboration with a friend or a family member and paying off the debt is a good idea to avoid the hike in prices. Buying a home today will shield you from the future increase of pricing. This gives you a sense of deep relief as you know that you handled the loan mortgage terms efficiently.
However, the terms should be clearly discussed and mentioned in the contract to avoid any future disagreement.
This is another effective method to own a home early. In this scenario, you rent a place on lease basis from a homeowner until you find yourself capable enough of making the down payment and can finally transfer the ownership to your name. The same can be mentioned in an agreement detailing the terms & conditions of acquiring the home on a future date.
This way, you will be living in your future home right from the beginning and will have flexibility in terms of renovation and changes in the home. Also, home warranty plans can help you save on those extra expenses by covering it for you.
The family is always here to help us out no matter what. Therefore, seeking a helping hand from parents or siblings who have saved enough is likely to be the best resort to buying a new home for first-time owners. This will also prevent you from all the added stress and assure you of no hidden terms & conditions.
You can also pay them back as per your understanding and can lend a helping hand with their needs.
Everyone has a hobby or a favorite job that they excel at. From cooking to playing guitar, it could be anything. Taking up a secondary job can help you cover that extra mile with ease and buy your dream home sooner than expected. Another good thing about this is that you don’t have to learn a new skill and are making extra money with what you already have.
It is not easy to save enough to buy a home. Following these simple methods, you can not only save better but also realize your dream of a perfect home. You can also save money by cutting down on regular expenses like repairing appliances which failed unexpectedly by intelligently shopping for a home warranty plan. It may seem to be difficult but once you start researching, you will only discover new methods to save more every day. You will always win given the advent of the internet and it is the super highway of information.
The 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.
Now 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.
As 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.
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.
Once 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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Building insurance is a type of insurance most people don’t know enough about. This is the cover that provides for dealing with storm damage, accidents, malicious damage and a range of other things most people understandably prefer not to think about at all if they can help it. Building insurance is a type of “catchall” insurance, which covers damage to buildings which can run into very heavy costs for owners. So how do i insure a building? Read this article to get clear insight about building insurance.
Buildings and risk management
This is a very versatile type of insurance, and it needs to be. Building damage can include some extremely difficult, capital-intensive issues that owners have to deal with quite regularly. It’s a form of investment protection, very common in commercial properties, to deal with the risks of businesses. If you own several million dollars worth of building, you need to know you’re properly covered.
The fact is that any type of building ownership includes a lot of basic risk management by definition. If you own rental properties, you’ll be well aware of the possibilities of damage from various sources, and the fact that premises really need to be maintained. Damage has to be fixed, and if that damage isn’t adequately covered, it’s money out of pocket upfront, a loss in any terms unless you have a very good homeowners insurance policy.
That’s not good business practice, and it’s exactly what building insurance is designed to deal with. For homeowners, the issues may be different, but the principle is the same. If you’re paying off a mortgage, and the budget is looking a bit fragile, the last thing you need is building damage running into thousands or tens of thousands of dollars. That whole scenario has to be covered, and covered properly.
Building insurance basics
The best approach to building insurance is to take a long hard look at your needs and then start shopping around for insurance that covers your needs. You’ll probably be surprised to hear that online buildings insurance is quite easy to get, complete with upfront quotes and adjustable cover, which can be tailored to your needs. This is the new paperless insurance, bureaucracy-free to the extent that it’s possible to be, and it’s getting a lot of market share because it’s highly efficient for both private and business purposes.
The shopping around needs to include:
Buildings insurance is easy to get and easy to manage. Stay in front of the issues, and your cover will do the rest.
While appliance protection plans are always a wise purchase if your appliances are older than 4 years, you still have to make sure that you chose a home warranty company that has a good reputation. It has been noticed that companies sometimes deny our claims on vague grounds, often quoting fine print from the contract. One major such reason stated for denying claims is lack of maintenance.
More than a handful of customers have reported that their claims were denied stating that the device was badly maintained. While it is understandable that customers feel cheated, we still have to realize that since contracts explicitly mention that lack of maintenance issues are not covered, we can’t expect the company to repair such devices.
Let’s take a look at a story that happened sometime back. A lady bought a home warranty contract thinking that she’ll get some budget protection. Her appliances were well over 4 years old. She briefly breezed through the contract and assumed that except for damages due to hazards, thefts and some explicitly mentioned perils, every other damage was covered. One day, her radiator breaks down. She informs the home warranty company and they send a tech to take a look at the device.
The tech finds out that the device was never serviced for quite a bit of time which eventually led to its breakdown. He innocently reports to the same to our lady who gets mad at the tech and the company. The lady then decides to write about this incident on the internet without realizing that the fault could be on her part. She did not get her devices serviced nor did she read the contract carefully. The company’s reputation suffered due to her carelessness.
Now let’s take a look at another story. Yet another lady bought a home warranty contract from a company that was not really famous nor did it have a good reputation. She paid her premium and she was a good housekeeper who regularly got her appliances serviced. She turned to her warranty company when her refrigerator malfunctioned. This company then sends over a tech who diagnoses the issue to be one caused due to lack of maintenance. The lady was distraught. She was sure that the issue was something else but what choice did she have? The company in question here, operated without ethics and refused to repair a damage that was legit. This incident too leaves the lady furious and in a position where she would definitely bad mouth the company.
So you see, like a coin with two sides, the home appliance warranty industry too has a good side and a bad side. There are cases where genuine claims were denied just so that the company can make a profit and there were cases where the denial was genuine and the customer could just not accept it.
We understand that nobody wants to encounter such unpleasant experiences. We can’t make these warranty companies behave themselves, so what we can do is to make sure that we don’t associate ourselves with companies that have a bad reputation or are fraudulent.
Here’s a list of things you can do to avoid any disputes and conflicts
We are a team of likeminded people who built HomeWarrantyReviews.com to provide genuine feedback about the industry to its customers, so we are not here to praise the industry or cover-up their mistakes. In the time that we spent here, which is over 9 years, we have come to realize the following:
If you keep all these points in mind, we’re sure that your experiences with the home warranty industry will be a pleasant one. Cheers!
On our website, we have a host of comparison tools and a good number of informative articles related to home warranty plans.
We don’t want to single out a plan that’s the cheapest out there, but we can help you find one that suits your budget and offers value for money. This website also provides ratings and reviews of all the leading Home Warranty companies, so you can choose the best companies here.
First, compare top home warranty companies in your area and choose the ones you like. Then sort them in the order of annual premium, this will give you the list of companies with lower premiums. You can also sort by Deductible to find out who offers the least amount of Service Call Fee per incident.
May we also suggest that choosing a plan based only on costs is not a great idea. Sometimes, these inexpensive plans may omit a lot of appliances and perils and you may end up paying for something that does not benefit you in any way. On an average, appliance warranty plans range anywhere between $250 to $1000 per year. In addition to this you will have to pay a service call fee each time you raise an issue
So, how do you choose a plan that provides value for my money?
First, select a reputable and highly rated company and then select a plan that best suits your budget.
On the same page, sort companies by Weighted Avg. Rating option. This will give you the list of companies with top consumer ratings.
Selecting a good home service contract company is an imperative as the quality of the company will be reflected in all the services you receive from them. Ideally a good company is one that
More often the company with highest ratings is likely to meet these criteria.
If you choose the right company and plan, it will offer the following benefits:
Although these features are offered by a majority of the Appliance Warranty plans out there, there a few things that you must keep in mind.
Readers here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are a diverse bunch. You have home buyers. You have home sellers. You have real estate professionals, and you even have members of the various professions involved directly and indirectly with the home warranty and home service contract industries. Today’s article is for anybody who is new to the idea of home warranty. The topic is one of the first things that any consumer or professional new to home warranties should be familiarized with. Without further ado, let’s get down to why a home warranty and a home service contract are two completely different things!
What’s in a name anyway? Well, sometimes a lot. Take a home warranty, for example. In the marketing world, a home warranty is a term that’s generally used to describe more than one type of contract. And marketers don’t always make it perfectly clear to consumers whether “home warranty” is just a convenient label that’s used due to the need for a familiar way of describing a home service that isn’t always well known among homeowners and homebuyers. You may have seen an advertisement or piece of literature about a home warranty. Is that “warranty” really a home warranty, or is it a home service contract? If you don’t know the difference between the two then read on and learn something that’s important to know when you own a house.
No matter what it was called when you bought it, if you purchased a “home warranty” then you probably bought a home service contract. Builders are typically the only people who have a need to buy a true home warranty. A homeowner typically needs a home service contract. Knowing the difference is important. Here’s how it works in the simplest terms.
A home warranty, the true legal contract that warranties labor and materials, is passed from a seller to a buyer without cost when a house is new and being sold to the first occupant. Though a builder’s warranty can be transferred to a second buyer during the sale of a house, it still doesn’t involve an added cost to that buyer. A warranty, in the legally defined sense, isn’t something that can be sold. It’s a guarantee, a right afforded to a customer, to expect that a product purchased will function properly inside a particular time frame. In a true legal warranty contract, there is a form of compensation for failures, whether that amounts to failure due to material defect or workmanship. The home warranty typically covers everything between the foundation and the roof, but not items that are not permanently installed, such as dishwashers, refrigerators, or ovens.
Since a home warranty is free of charge and is a legally binding contract, the home buyer has little reason to research the company backing the warranty. And since the warranty is oftentimes purchased from a third party, in order to free the builder from any future liability to pay for repairs of poorly built or defective parts of a house, there is always a risk of a warranty being backed by a financially unstable company. If the builder is the one backing the warranty then there may be an even greater risk than if the warranty was backed by a large company which specializes in providing insurance and/or warranties.
So far we’ve covered a very basic description of what a true home warranty is, what it covers, and the risks that can be associated with it. Now let’s look at what a home service contract looks like by comparison.
A home service contract is NOT a warranty! Why the emphasis on “not?” Well, you might be surprised how many consumers are confused about what they have purchased. And it’s really not their fault that they are confused. When you call a home service contract a home warranty you make confusion almost unavoidable. But when you’re selling something you can’t afford to risk the consumer not knowing what your service or product is. Between the market needing a convenient label for home service contracts, something that consumers will immediately relate to, and the almost inevitable confusion that results from the use of that convenient label lies the need to educate customers. And that’s what we’re about to try to do in this article.
If you are in a house that is no longer covered by a warranty then anything that goes wrong, whether it be electrical wiring, plumbing, fixtures, etc, you’ll probably pay 100% of the cost of repairs or replacements out of your own pocket. But you do have the option of buying a contract called a home service contract. The purpose of a home service contract is twofold. Let’s break down the two reasons for home service contracts being offered.
So we’ve covered what a home warranty is and a bit of what a home service contract is, but we have not covered what a home service contract covers. Let’s break that down into some detail. Bear with us. It’s a bit lengthy, but readers will be glad they read everything that follows before buying a home service contract.
In some cases, a home service contract might cover most of what a home warranty originally covered. But it varies greatly from one company to another. So here’s the best advice anybody will give you about buying a home warranty. Do NOT fixate on the price alone! Pricing may look like the bottom line, but you really have to compare home service contract coverage, the companies’ reputations, and other factors aside from the prices.
Coverage might include structural parts of a house, appliances, system components such as air conditioning and heating, water lines that run from the house to the city’s water lines underneath the street, and lots of other things. But it’s important to be aware that not all home service contracts are the same. In fact, they vary so much that a consumer really cannot afford to buy one without doing a lot of homework. At the very least the buyer should read the contract word for word.
The biggest difference between a home warranty and a home service contract in terms of the way the contracts are written is sometimes in the loopholes. These loopholes can be the difference between a home service contract being worth the money or not. Here are some loopholes to watch out for.
It’s exactly what it sounds like. A pre-existing condition is something that was already wrong or on its way to being wrong, due to neglect, poor installation, or other factors that the home service contract company deems to have caused a breakdown. And this language is so vague that some companies use it as a way to deny any and every claim by their customers. But a consumer can typically spot companies that abuse the pre-existing condition loophole by simply reading reviews from other customers.
It’s not always safe to assume that if a home service contract covers an item that every part of that item is covered. Some consumers find out the hard way that a part or a set of parts in an item, say a refrigerator, for example, are excluded. Nobody wants to find that out the hard way, so it pays to check out every detail of the company’s reputation and the contract before buying a home service contract.
This one is a big, big area of concern for anybody buying a home service contract. Some home service contracts will only pay a maximum amount per contract period. Some have different allowed maximums for different items covered under the contract. Some will only pay a set maximum amount during the lifetime of a customer’s relationship with the company! And some reserve the right to cancel or not renew a contract. That leaves the company an opening to get rid of customers who are making too many repair requests. It’s very important to look for language in the contract that might be taken more than one way. If a consumer does not see every word of a contract as being explicitly clear then it may be necessary to get clarification of some parts of the contract in writing before buying the service contract. And “in writing” is the most important part.
Also, take a look at these important pointers if your claims are denied by the home warranty company!
HomeWarrantyReviews.com wants our readers to be the best-educated consumers when it comes to home warranties and home service contracts. If you found this article helpful please take a moment to tell us what you learned in the comments below. Or email us at [email protected] to tell us how our article helped you and what we could do to make it more helpful to other readers. If you are like most readers then you’ll probably want to keep going from here, on to the next question. Why not read another of our articles or check out companies that you’re interested in knowing more about while you’re here on the website?
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.
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.
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.
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.
IRS allows the following expenses to be considered as tax deductible expenses-
The following are considered as non-exemptible expenses-
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!
As a landlord, legal responsibility is a bigger issue for you. You need to guard yourself against the losses that can potentially crop up to your properties and in general financial health. What if your occupant is hurt on the rental possessions? You want to be sure that if you are prosecuted, you have the adequate insurance to lend you a hand.
As a landlord, you should guard your income stream and that’s your rental income. If the structure is adequately spoiled then it is not possible for the renter to dwell in your property, so you require a protection to your rental income so as to meet your obligations, together with the mortgage on the property, if any. This is where you have to reflect carefully on what your exact needs are and purchase the right coverage.
Take heart! While it may sound scary, insurers have previously designed policies for the landlord’s requirements. Always remember that there will be a dissimilarity in these policies, so you will have to verify the fine print and choose the one that suits your situation. By shopping around, you will get a better idea of what is obtainable in coverage and at what price.
There are some forms of insurance you can take to make your life simpler and less of a burden. Here is a list of essential insurances that a landlord must have:
Landlords most likely take issue with this one, as it appears to take money out of their pockets-especially those with the ability to do repair work themselves. However, you can draw a better class of tenant if they recognize that there’s a warranty in place. (i.e., they won’t have to hunt you down and request you to come by to make repairs). Besides, it will free you up to truly manage your belongings as an owner rather than just a handyman. To end with, a home warranty policy will pay for itself with one or two repairs.
To get an estimate of home warranty costs for your rental properties, visit our home warranty price quote section
If you possess a home then you likely know the significance of ensuring that it is properly protected. Having the correct insurance for your property is a good step towards making sure that you have the guard you require. Landlord house insurance is essential for anyone who possesses a home. The key to home insurance policies is ensuring that you receive the best price for your insurance.
Below is a list of ways by which you can decrease the rate of your insurance policy.
Many landlords believe that they do not require any insurance for the contents in their buildings. They hold the impression that these contents are taken care of by the building insurance they procured. However, that is not the actual case. To get the contents covered, they will have to spend extra in landlords’ contents insurance. Some landlords even feel that the contents will be covered by any insurance policy the tenant holds. But the actual fact is that the policies bought by the tenants will only cover possessions of the tenants and not that of the landlord.
If the landlords truly worry about the contents for which they put in a huge amount of money, they must procure landlords contents insurance. In this way, they can expect to get some reimbursement for the items in case they are damaged. Having no insurance for these items will leave them totally destructed if they face any incident causing damages.
It’s called “umbrella insurance as it is intended to give liability protection beyond when the liability on other policies has been exhausted. Depending on the insurance company, you can obtain an umbrella policy with an extra one to five million in liability protection.
Umbrella Insurance gives an added layer of liability coverage. It’s isn’t just for rich and famous. Whether it’s an incident on your policy or a serious auto accident concerning costly medical bills, you can find yourself liable for damages that exceed the limits on your homeowners, auto or boat policies. A pricey judgment is the last thing you want to be anxious about.
Landlords habitually handle different types of policies, but one of the most significant and frequently unnoticed types of insurance is the umbrella insurance policy.
Consider these factors if you are not sure if you would benefit from procuring umbrella insurance or not.
Taking no notice of these insurance policies is not recommended anytime. The consequence of such ignorance could lead to serious losses that will be hard to recover. On the contrary, landlords are strongly suggested to make an investment in such policies that will save them a lot of money in case of any accidents.
Adding to a long list of home warranty companies which have entered the home service contract space only to quickly exit, Stanley Warranty announced recently that the company is immediately terminating its services. Visitors to Stanley’s website see this message:
The company’s closing may come as little surprise to those who are aware of last year’s announcement of an investigation into the new company’s business practices. In June 2015 New Jersey’s Division of Consumer Affairs announced that it had filed a complaint against Stanley Warranty, LLC, alleging that the company had committed acts contrary to its contractual commitments to its customers. Among the state’s specific complaints against the company were alleged offenses that specifically involved Stanley’s home service contract customers. Stanley also operated a business unit which provided consumers with extended service agreements for motor vehicles, commonly called auto warranties.
Here’s a quick analysis that we can provide to readers seeking more information about Stanley Warranty’s abrupt closure and the precedences set by other companies that pulled this same move in recent years. Come back to HomeWarrantyReviews.com for updates as we learn more about the fallout from Stanley Warranty’s announcement.
Like Sensible Home Warranty did in 2014 when it closed shop, Stanley provided no apparent warning to their customers that pre-paid services would not be provided, though at this time it’s still unclear to HomeWarrantyReviews.com whether the company contacted customers via telephone or postal mail prior to closing its doors. It’s also not known yet whether Stanley’s failure to uphold its commitment to any pre-paid customers will compound the company’s problems with New Jersey’s consumer agency.
Another company in the home warranty space that closed its doors in 2014, Colonial Home Warranty, sought bankruptcy protection. Through bankruptcy, the company appears to have been able to escape financial responsibility for unfulfilled service contracts and repair bills from their contractors. Whether or not Stanley Warranty will seek similar protection is not clear at this time.
Reviews for Stanley Warranty, also known as Stanley Safe Club, here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com are almost entirely negative. The reviews reflect an apparent trend of the company not honoring its promises to customers or contractors who performed repairs on its behalf. Many of the worst reviews mention repair contractors pursuing payments from the homeowners after Stanley Warranty failed to fulfill its duty to make those payments in a timely manner.
On its Better Business Bureau page, Stanley Warranty already had an F rating prior to the announcement of its cessation of services to its customers. On Yelp, a recent review includes a comment about a refund check from the company to the customer, who had canceled services ahead of the expiration of the contract period, being denied due to insufficient funds. That review was created in December of 2015, leading to the obvious question whether or not Stanley was insolvent well before it closed its doors in 2016. Interestingly, reading past reviews on Yelp leads you to at least one claim in 2014 that Stanley Warranty had announced on its company website that it was closing. And no matter how far back in time a reader travels on Yelp, the story seems to be consistently poor, one unhappy customer after another.
Perhaps the most insulting element of this story is that Stanley Warranty sold its service contracts with a promise of zero service fees. Anyone familiar with the home service contract industry knows that most companies charge a fee, paid by the customer to the service provider, at the time of a service call. For a company to offer competitive rates with no service fees is a pretty compelling deal for consumers. And many of the consumers lured in by that deal are now left with every required repair being paid entirely out of their own pockets, despite having paid well in advance for home service contracts from this company.
The home warranty industry has a history of companies like Stanley Warranty popping in and out of the space and taking loads of customers’ money out the door when the companies fold or burning up the money received from customers through mismanagement and unhedged risks. Consumers who have been buying home warranties for years probably recognize some of the company names, ones like Arkidus, Sensible Home Warranty, Colonial Home Warranty, and Certified Warranties Corporation. All of these companies have something in common. They sold home service contracts right up until the day they shut the office lights off and locked the doors.
This may be the single biggest black eye that the home warranty industry has received in the last decade, and it just keeps happening. As if companies being able to enter an industry that is so much like insurance, often undetected by the state agencies that regulate their industry, improperly funded, and perhaps even criminally intent on defrauding their customers is not enough, the end result of the companies is consumers left with financial losses sometimes amounting to thousands of dollars in service contract fees paid in advance. All too often the regulators in the states where the customers live are powerless to retrieve those customers’ funds, and even when bankruptcy courts are involved the individual consumer is usually out of luck when liquidated assets are divided up among registered claimants.
In a nutshell, the chance of Stanley Warranty’s customers seeing refunds is very, very slim. It’s quite likely that this story will end the same way it did for customers of Sensible Home Warranty in 2014 when that company disappeared overnight. But that should not stop consumers willing to do whatever they can to seek justice. Readers who wish to pursue legal action should immediately seek advice from an attorney, preferably one with experience with defunct service contract companies.
If there’s any worthwhile piece of advice we can give to our readers who are shopping for a home warranty company it’s this:
Do your homework! Despite it not always being easy to do, consumers must research companies in the home service contract space before making a purchase. Here’s an example of the kind of detailed reporting available to consumers trying to evaluate the financial health of companies selling home service contracts in the United States. That article by Warranty Week is an excellent resource. Keep in mind that if the home warranty company you choose is using its sales to finance its claims then you can probably count on two things happening. One, the company will do whatever it can to avoid paying your claims. Two, the company will eventually get into hot water and close up quickly in order to try to avoid the owners bearing personal responsibility for the actions of the company.
Be safe out there. And if you are a Stanley Warranty customer who would like to share information with other readers in the same boat as you then please share your story in the comments section below.
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.
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.
Items covered by a home warranty may vary by company and plan, but typically includes the following items:
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.
The insurance policy varies depending on your state of residence and type of policy, but generally it will cover the following.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Purchasing your home was likely the single largest investment that you ever made… and not just monetarily. Homeownership is an emotional investment as well. You care for your home, pouring your heart into maintaining and improving it. Your home is where you watch children grow, create lasting memories, cry a few tears—some happy and some sad—and watch as the seasons of life change.
So, with all that you’ve poured into your home, you deserve to maximize the return on your investment when it comes time to sell. Including a home warranty in the transaction helps protect your investment— monetarily and emotionally—and may even help attract better offers.
A home warranty helps defray the unexpected costs associated with repairing or replacing a home’s major systems and appliances should they malfunction due to normal wear and use. For the home seller, coverage remains in effect while the home is on the market (up to 180 days in most cases). For the buyer, coverage usually goes into effect at close of sale and lasts for up to one year.
Home warranties cover your home’s major systems and appliances when they fail due to normal wear and use. This includes:
Since we all know things happen at the least opportune time, home sellers may avoid Murphy’s Law by purchasing a home warranty. If your water heater springs a leak while your home is on the market, paying the full cost of a repair can erode potential profits from the sale of your home and possibly delay closing until repairs are complete.
With a home warranty plan, home sellers get immediate protection, as coverage takes effect the day your agent submits the application. This is important, as it means there are no delays or waiting periods before you can make a service request, further saving your precious time and resources.
On top of the budget protection home warranties provide, home sellers benefit from access to a network of qualified contractors and the peace of mind that comes with knowing help is just a phone call away (you can even request service online!). Perhaps most important is a greater return on your investment, as your home may sell faster and at a higher price.
No matter how well you maintain your home, potential buyers are taking a perceived risk. The older your home (and its systems and appliances), the greater the risk in their eyes. You can offset the perceived risk by offering a home warranty with the home sale. In many cases, a home warranty could prove to be the differentiating factor for some buyers, giving them enough confidence to increase their offer and more aggressively pursue your home.
In addition, the home warranty continues protecting you beyond the close of sale. One of the last things you want is an after-sale issue because a covered system or appliance malfunctioned in your old home. If you include a home warranty with the home, the buyer contacts the home warranty provider—not you—to have the malfunction resolved.
There are two distinct coverage periods in a real estate transaction, the seller’s coverage period (when the home is on the market, up to 180 days) and the buyer’s coverage period (after the close of sale, up to 12 months). When you choose to have seller’s coverage, you agree to purchase a home warranty contract for the buyer as well. In most cases, the fees for the home warranty contract are paid through the closing process, meaning there is no out-of-pocket cost to you until the home sells.
Depending on your state, the warranty company either includes coverage for the home seller with the home buyer’s contract or provides the coverage for a small fee (typically $60 to $75) in addition to the cost of the home buyer’s contract. That’s a small price to pay for tremendous budget protection!
It’s important to note that home warranties do not cover everything. Read your contract carefully to understand how the Plan works. Every home warranty has terms and conditions of coverage that explain what is and is not covered, the conditions under which coverage applies, and any dollar limits that may apply.
Home warranties provide coverage for the items specified in your contract, which are typically limited to the home’s major systems and appliances.
For home buyers, additional optional coverage is available. In some states, items such as air conditioning, kitchen refrigerator, and clothes washer and dryer may be included in the standard plan or available as options for an additional fee. Optional coverage may be available for other non-standard items, including swimming pool and spa equipment, well pump, septic system, ornamental fountain, and more.
Plan upgrades provide additional protection and enhancements to custom fit the individual needs of your home. For example, some companies offer plan upgrades that cover additional costs for permits, cranes required for repairs, modifications, correction of code violations, and a host of other coverage enhancements. Consider the systems and appliances in your home when choosing coverage to ensure you choose adequate protection to meet your needs.
It’s inevitable that a home’s systems and appliances will eventually break down and usually at the least opportune time. A system malfunction could cause unnecessary financial hardship and personal stress when your home is on the market. A home warranty, however, offers affordable budget protection and peace of mind. It may also help sell your home faster while attracting higher offers from confident buyers.
Speak to your agent to learn more and ensure you realize the full value home warranty coverage can provide.
About the Author
This article was prepared by Old Republic Home Warranty, a leading provider of home warranty plans.
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
The system functions just like Insurance, but covers defects which may occur due to age and wear and tear, not natural disasters or unforeseen circumstances. Like the Home Warranty covers the items in a home – its appliances, wiring and plumbing systems, interiors etc. – Structural Warranty covers elements like the foundation, girders and beams, roofing, and flooring.
Before the purchase of a home, it is advised for either the new owner, seller or realtor to purchase Home Warranty, in order to establish a relationship of trust and confidence in both parties involved. Just as a Home Warranty leaves the new owner knowing that his home and all that is in it is secure for at least a year after its purchase, Structural Warranty establishes the same sense of security in the buyer of a new home straight from a builder.
It is rather simple – all structural defects are now to be fixed by the company that the Warranty has been purchased from or by the builder offering the warranty himself, and as long as the terms and conditions are met, neither the builder nor the new owner is liable.
We see before our eyes appliances, electrical systems and plumbing leaks occur every once in awhile – but most of the time structural damage is noticeable only after it is too late. Given that large parts of the US are known to have soil that expands with seasonal changes, statistics show that more than 25% of all buildings in the country experience some kind of structural damage during the first decade of their life, almost 10% of this being major and often irreversible.
It isn’t always about how reputable the builder is, in fact, the more reliable the builder the higher the chances are of them investing in warranty for the homes they have built. Years after a deal is signed, sealed and delivered, a matter like soil expansion that is out of the hands of both the parties can spring up, making Structural Warranty the only way to guard against massive expenditure out of your own pocket in the future. Studies show that the warranty is most often claimed 4 to 7 years after a home is built to completion.
The chances of an individual investing a sum as large as the cost of a home in anything else in his or her lifetime is very slim, making this purchase one that could develop complications if not done right. Builder’s offering Structural Warranty for the home they have built can not only assure the buyer of their expertise but also give them a legal document to go back to in case frivolous lawsuits or complaints are lodged. Like in the case of any two-way agreement, responsibilities, terms, and conditions are clearly outlined.
If a third party company is used to establish a warranty, then any complaints, disputes or discussions will be handled by them – until the point of reconciliation. This saves time and discomfort for both parties involved, especially the builder.
If you happen to be a builder with larger holdings or varied properties and houses, then the value of each building is sure to increase if Structural Warranty is added to the mix. Use it as a marketing strategy, one that is true to every word and will help you build lasting relationships with your clients.
Structural Warranty functions according to the guidelines of the Housing and Urban Development department of the US, which stipulates particular criteria within which a company must cover damages. Larger builders may choose to provide their own Structural Warranty schemes to the buyer, while builders without a department to handle such claims or smaller building agencies may choose to use third-party warranty companies. Even more so than Home Warranty claims and structures, Structural Warranty coverage and insurance backing vary drastically from builder to builder and company to company. If you happen to be a part of the decision making of who to choose, make sure you do your research and pick a coverage that is extensive and appropriate to your home.
If you go through a Structural Warranty contract or guide, you will notice one important point – the extremely specific and near legal language used to describe what that particular company or builder covers. Structural Warranty owes this specificity to regulations set by the Housing and Urban Development Department of the US, as well as to the builders’ need to protect themselves from futile claims and lawsuits.
Due to each Structural Warranty being unique (much like Home Warranties state-wise laws), we will get into what the warranty covers in general. Know that this isn’t ironclad, and you have to cross check the terms and conditions with your builder.
As a whole, third-party companies offer two kinds of warranty, one which accounts for any damage to the structure of the building from the moment the deal is closed between the builder and buyer. The second stipulates that the company will only begin to cover damage to the home 3 to 4 years post the sale, implying that any structural damage before then is up to the builder to fix.
Each company usually has a base plan and other additional perks that you can choose to opt for.
The basic coverage usually covers the following:
The last of these, load bearing partitions, are often accompanied by the additional coverage of non-load bearing partitions. These claims are almost purely cosmetic, and certain Structural Warranty companies do assure the fixing of these, keeping in mind the original material integrity of the home.
Integral to any warranty and insurance difference, Structural Warranty doesn’t cover any damage due to natural disaster, accidents or unforeseen circumstances; anything that is covered under insurance, basically.
Lastly, any structures added to the original home – an extension, outhouse and detached garage space for examples – would not be covered. If the need is felt, the builder could then purchase a separate Structural Home Improvement Warranty.
Individual state laws in the US tackle Structural Warranty in different ways, making the cost different in each state as well. On an average, if the basic warranty is purchased, then it shouldn’t cost more than 1% of the purchase cost of the home. In most states which are positioned in low-risk areas (minimal soil expansion, etc.), the price is only about half a percent of the home’s price, whereas in high-risk zones the price can go up to 1.5% to 2%.
When looked at it in terms of a median example, while Structural Warranty would cost anywhere between $500 and $1500 for ten years, the repair in case of structural damage could be between $50,000 and $100,000; Structural Warranty being about one percent of the estimated repair budget.
If you are shopping for a home warranty, also called a home service contract, and you live in Florida then you probably know you have lots of options. But how do i find the best home warranty companies in Florida? What are the top rated companies in this state? These are valid questions. Let’s get down to answering them.
Florida is often called the sunshine state, and this is justified by the weather there. Orlando, one of the most popular vacation destinations in the U.S., typically still sees high temperatures near 80 degrees Fahrenheit in November, according to weather website, Intellicast.com. Warm climates like that can really push air conditioning systems to the limit of the systems’ optimal performance standards.
Running the A/C year round results in much greater wear and tear and more frequent maintenance requirements. What does this have to do with choosing a home warranty company? Well, if your home is located in one of the warmer parts of Florida then your air conditioner may be one of the most expensive pieces of equipment covered by your service contract. So it’s important to choose the company that offers you the best coverage for that system.
HomeWarrantyReviews.com ranks companies based on user feedback. And that’s important because it means you’re getting honest evaluations rather than biased ones based on how much the home warranty company pays to the reviewer. In the state of Florida here is the list of top companies based on the current standings on the website at the time this article was written (September 2015).
Chances are you’ve considered some of these companies during your search for a home warranty company. As top companies in the home warranty industry these are names that you’ll see in many states and regions in the country. But yours isn’t just any state. If it was it wouldn’t be a magnet for retirees, beach goers and vacationers of all ages, would it? As a Florida homeowner you need to know that the company you choose will come through for you when the temperature inside your home is equal to the temp outside. Let’s focus on air conditioning for a moment.
AHS has loads of positive feedback in their recent reviews, but two in particular stand out. During the month of September two customers rated AHS five stars for air conditioner repairs. One customer remarked that when AHS found that all of its contractors were booked to help other customers the company told the homeowner to call any local contractor who could do the work on short notice. That sort of customer service could possibly mean the difference between your air conditioner being fixed quickly or waiting days for a qualified technician to be available.
HSC also has some very positive review comments and ratings from consumers who specifically mentioned the air conditioner as the reason for the service call. In one review the homeowner remarked that the repair to the air conditioner would have cost a fortune if not for the service contract from HSC. While this may seem like anecdotal feedback, it’s important to note that not all companies reviewed on HomeWarrantyReviews.com have positive feedback from customers who had problems with air conditioning systems.
This company has some very positive reviews from customers whose air conditioners were serviced recently. Not one of the recent air conditioning related reviews had less than five star ratings.
In recent reviews for HSA Home Warranty there are three extremely positive reviews involving air conditioning system repairs. The customers not only were happy with the repairs but also with the speed with which the repair technicians were sent out by the home warranty company. With air conditioning being so important, the time it takes to get a technician to the home is one of the most important aspects of home warranty services.
Out of six recent reviews which specifically mention the air conditioner being the reason for the service call, five of those are extremely positive. The one dissatisfied customer was upset due to a problem with the expiration and renewal period of the home warranty.
HWA has six recent reviews that involved air conditioning. While it’s possible that even more of the reviews involve air conditioner issues, we will focus on these six. Five of the six reviews were highly positive, all earning the maximum number of stars from the reviewers. The one unhappy customer was a landlord who felt the technician sent by HWA did not make the correct judgement regarding the problem with the air conditioning system problem.
It’s not coincidence that these first three companies have overall high ratings from customers in your state and in other states. And though the companies deserve credit for the satisfied customers it’s important to note that the contractors they work with are also a big part of those good customer experiences. That leads us to the next point to consider. What type of contractor coverage do these companies have in your area?
If you live in a densely populated part of Florida then chances are any of these top rated companies will have sufficient contractor coverage to cover any repair needs that arise in your home. But if you live in a more rural part of Florida you’ll want to keep in mind that each contractor network is different. Be sure to ask about the local contractor coverage when you speak with a company about a home warranty price and coverage quote. And also be sure to ask if the company will allow you to choose your own contractor in the event the company’s network contractors are unavailable to help you or don’t have the right skill set to fix whatever is broken.
The good news is you live in a state with lots of great companies to offer you a home warranty. The bad news is you may have a hard time choosing a company due to all the options available. If that should happen then be sure to come back here to read the most current reviews for each company you are considering.