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.
There are quite a few things you need to consider before you decide whether or not you need an appliance maintenance plan.
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.
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
Now let’s take a look at the advantages separately
Advantage of HVAC maintenance plans:
Advantages of Home Warranty plans:
Who needs an HVAC maintenance plan?
The U.S Dept. of Energy advises having your HVAC systems checked at least twice a year. This could be expensive for some.
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:
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.
Most homeowners agree on the fact that older homes need some kind of home warranty protection. While this fact couldn’t be more, most folks are unaware about which appliances to include under coverage. For those who can’t afford to purchase an elaborate home warranty plan with extensive coverage, this article will give an idea about which appliances need protection the most.
For those of you new to this topic, let’s discuss in brief about home warranty plans before we go any further. A home warranty or an appliance warranty is a service contract that agrees to provide you with discounted repair and replacement services. When you purchase a home warranty plan, it will cover certain fixed appliances in your home which would be clearly mentioned in the contract. As and when any such appliance breaks, you can contact your warranty provider who in turn will arrange a service technician to visit your home to fix the damaged appliance. You will not have to pay for the actual repair, but only for the service.
This arrangement ensures that you save quite a bit as you don’t have to pay for the actual repair which may run into hundreds or even thousands of dollars, if part replacements are involved. So not only are home warranties an excellent form of budget protection, they are also time-saving!
Anybody with a home that’s older than four years or who lacks money for frequent and costly repairs should get a home warranty. You may want to look into our guide to buying home warranty plan for more information on this topic. Here’s who needs a home warranty-
If you are someone who does not want a plan with extensive coverage, you’ll want to know which appliances to include in your coverage. This is a subject that does require some thought and it will need an understanding of which appliances break most often in a typical American household.
Generally, major systems and appliances are the most expensive to maintain and repair. So naturally, they are prime options when it comes to considering what to be included in your home warranty. You might also want to consider appliances that are more likely to get damaged frequently. While most basic plans provide coverage for major appliances and systems, here is a list of things that must be included in your coverage for optimal results-
These are among one of the largest appliances found in any homes and with that size, comes difficulty in maintaining. Most HVAC units require a monthly cleaning and an annual check-up from a professional. If they crash, the cost to repair/ replace them could be in thousands and it is not something you want for your budget. Plans that cover HVAC units alone are available in the market today. However, it makes more sense to buy a plan that includes HVAC units along with other major systems. You may want to look into HVAC maintenance checklist to ensure that you are keeping your unit in prime condition.
Yet another system that requires protection under home warranty plan. Plumbing issues can be difficult to diagnose and fix, and may require exceptionally skilled and licensed technicians. Finding such a technician on short notice can be difficult which is why including plumbing under your coverage is a wise idea.
Refrigerator repairs are expensive and it’s not just that, if your fridge breaks down, you’ll also lose several hundred dollars worth of food which is just too awful to think about. Most home service contract companies offer plans that cover kitchen appliances alone. If you have an HVAC plan or you do not require other appliances, a kitchen appliance could be the ideal choice for you.
Especially, the main board. If the electrical system malfunctions, not only will all your appliances face the possibility of damage, your entire house might catch fire. This is something that needs to be given serious attention. Luckily, electrical systems are included under most basic plans. Some plans allow you to pick additional items from a pre-select list. So if electrical systems don’t fall under standard coverage, it would be a wise step to expand your coverage to include this.
If you decide to go ahead with a home warranty, give some serious thought to what appliances you want covered and how much you want to spend on your plan monthly. Fortunately, there are many providers out there that allow homeowners to customize plans to suit their needs. It shouldn’t be difficult to find one that meets your requirements. You may also want to look into our home warranty company comparison page and maybe get a free quote for a plan in your area.
In case you have bumps or hurdles when it comes to raising claims with the warranty provider, our guide on how to handle claim denials will help you immensely. We hope you found the article informative. Do share it with your friends and help them out too!
Home protection plans, commonly known as a Home Warranty or appliance protection plan is a service contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of your household appliances. It means that if any of your covered appliances breaks, the home warranty company shall provide you with a qualified technician who will repair your device and cover the cost of repair as well.
Ideally, appliance protection plans are best suited for people who have appliances that are fairly used and above 4 years in age, as this is the time where most of the functional issues arise. It is highly recommended that you purchase a home service contract if any of the following are or all are true.
If you were to ask if these plans are worth the money, then we would have to admit that there is no straightforward answer to that. There are quite a lot of happy customers out there who swear that purchasing home warranty was the best decision they ever made and yet there are people who think otherwise. It is up to you to decide if you will benefit from a home protection plan. If you are in need of more guidance, please read the Home warranty buyer’s guide.
You purchase the appliance protection plan from a home warranty company for a certain amount of coverage. This coverage could be vast and cover almost all the outside and inside appliances or it could be the basic version. If a device covered by the plan fails to operate properly, you simply place a call to your home service contract provider. They will then call up a service vendor with who they have contracted and tell them about your issue. Service vendor then collects your contact information and contacts you to fix an appointment.
He/she then comes to your home to take a look at the damaged gadget. If the repairs needed are minor, they will oftentimes be fixed on the spot. Major repairs and part replacements need approval from the home warranty company. If parts are to be replaced, the home warranty company shall procure them for you and get the appliance fixed. Sometimes, if the technician determines that the device can’t be repaired, depending on your coverage, the home warranty company may replace your device.
Hence, one can say that the benefits of Home warranty are the following:
As mentioned before, there still exists a school of thought that home warranty plans are not worth the money. Hence, we must discuss the drawbacks of these plans.
Because of these reasons, we suggest that folks who fall under the following categories, don’t purchase a home warranty. This is only a suggestion, if you believe that you shall benefit from a home warranty plan, you should go ahead with it.
You can consider an extended warranty to protect your new devices. You can read about the differences between home warranty and extended warranty to clear your doubts.
If your devices are new, chances are low that they may need repairs often. Also if they are still covered by the manufacturer’s warranty, any damage will be covered by them, provided it is not an excluded case. And all of this is unnecessary if you are a repair vendor yourself!
Home warranties can be a great way to protect your budget and your appliances. As mentioned before, if you fall into the former category where your devices are old and so on, we highly recommend that you purchase a home warranty. Otherwise, you can do without one.
A lot of unpleasant instances occur due to lack of understanding of the working of the plan. Hence, we urge you to read the policy booklet and the offer document carefully before you make a commitment. These documents are highly significant and have to be studied and preserved carefully. If you are certain that you want to purchase appliance warranty, please go through our reviews section to choose the best provider out there. Good luck!
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!
Warranties for newly built homes guarantee to replace or repair certain elements of the home, if needed, within a definite time. If you are bearing mind a new home warranty, it is significant to realize what it covers, how to make a claim, and the procedure for resolving disputes with the builder or warranty company.
A new home warranty can offer peace of mind for homeowners, assuring that if something goes wrong in the early stages of a home’s life, it will be covered. Many appliance service contracts sold to homeowners are backed by the builder; others are procured by the builder from an independent company that presumes liability for certain claims. For added protection, homeowners may pay for coverage on their own from third party warranty companies in order to supplement the coverage their builder offers. The Federal Housing Authority (FHA) and the Department of Veterans’ Affairs want builders to buy a third-party warranty as a way to defend buyers of new homes with FHA or VA loans.
New home warranties usually offer limited coverage on workmanship and materials relating to different components of the home, such as heating, windows and air conditioning (HVAC), electrical systems, and plumbing for definite periods. A warranty also normally defines how repairs will be made.
The length of coverage differs depending on the component of the house. Coverage is offered for workmanship and materials on most components all through the first year. Coverage for plumbing, electrical systems and HVAC is usually two years. Some builders offer coverage for up to 10 years for “major structural defects,” sometimes defined as problems that make a home insecure and put the owner in danger. For example, a roof that could crumple is a “major structural defect.”
Nearly all warranties for newly built homes, however, do not cover costs an owner may acquire as an outcome of a major construction defect on warranty repair, similar to the expense of having to move out of one’s home while repairs are being made. Nor do they in general cover:
To know more about coverage, look into what’s typically covered in a home warranty plan.
If you have a flaw in your new home that may be covered by your warranty, first study the warranty or service contract cautiously to ensure that your problem is covered. Give particular concentration to the length of specific types of coverage.
Specialists suggest that its owners pursue the matter with both the original builder and the home warranty company. The builder possibly will defer to the warranty company, but at least they have been alerted.
Homeowners must make a list of the troubles that they want to get resolved and should make sure that the problems are covered under the home warranty. Pay attention to the “performance standard” section of the document, which records common problems and explains to what extent the builder is liable for fixing them.
Next, file your claim as per the instructions in your warranty, and put your application for repair in writing, even though the company offers a hotline for urgent needs. Ask for a return receipt, and keep a record of your correspondence and conversations with the company. Probabilities are your claim will be managed to your satisfaction, but if a dispute occurs, it’s good to have a record of your dealings with the builder and the warranty company.
In best-case scenario, the builder or the home warranty company will fix the problem. If issues continue, however, the problem could go to settlement.
One way to safeguard against future problems is to appoint a home inspector to inspect the house before taking custody. Many new homeowners think that they don’t need a home inspection since municipal building inspectors have signed off on the work done in the home; the house is new; and it is covered by a home warranty.
New homeowners should also bear in mind to keep a maintenance file comprising documentation of everything done on the home, including regular and special maintenance. The paperwork will come in handy if a claim is required.
In filing a claim, homeowners must keep in mind to be persistent. It may take a while. In the end, diligence pays.
Frequently, a dispute occurs between a homeowner and a builder or third party company over whether a defect is covered or whether repair was finished appropriately. Many warranties provide for meditation of disputed warranty claims on newly built homes, followed by compulsory binding arbitration. In meditation, a unbiased third party – a mediator – assists the homeowner and the company resolve the problem by making the discussion easy between both parties. It is up to the homeowner and the company to settle an agreement.
In case meditation does not work to resolve the dispute, it is possible that the homeowner would be needed to put forward any claim to arbitration, instead of going to the court. In this procedure, an “arbitrator” or panel makes a decision or award once the participants present their cases. Some warranties let the homeowners pick an arbitrator from a list acceptable to the builder or the third-party warranty company.
Arbitration is less formal than court. Most warranties want that both parties obey the arbitrator’s decision, without appeal. If your loan is funded through the FHA or VA and you file a claim against the third-party warranty company, you can opt between arbitration and going to court. If you pick arbitration, realize that you are bound by the verdict.
Even though arbitration is normally less pricey than going to court, home owners can anticipate shelling out several thousand dollars so as to take their claim through the process, based on the complexity of the arbitration. Understand your warranties carefully to decide what arbitration outlays or costs the homeowner is liable for and what expenses the builder must pay.
A few companies provide homeowners the option of arbitration or going to court. Sometimes builders disburse all costs related with arbitration to support a homeowner to agree not to take the issue to court.
You can also use our absolutely cool tool to get a free home warranty quote!
To discover more about warranties on newly built homes, get in touch with your state or local builder’s board. If you have loan insured by FHA, call the closest U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development field office for additional information. In case you have a VA loan, you can contact the nearest VA office.
Further, you can also compare and choose home warranty companies depending upon your requirements.
As mentioned on this website, home warranty policies will not cover everything in your home. At some point you will really have to get your hands dirty. By learning more about your home appliances and maintenance needs, you can increase the life span of the appliances and avoid the pain of dealing with home warranty company for repairs and maintenance. Of course, you will save quite a bit of your money. But more than anything, it is a very satisfying experience to fix something on your own and become more knowledgeable!
Here is a collection of good resources about home maintenance.
Every home owner should maintain a checklist of home maintenance needs. Just like your car, all your home appliances need to maintained to avoid malfunctioning. Use the templates from here that would suite your situation. Set a reminder using your email or other scheduling systems so that you won’t miss your “inspection”
|Printable checklist and quick tips|
|Helps you develop your own inspection system.|
|From Art of manliness||Very handy home maintenance checklist|
|Maintenance schedule (by season).|
|Home caring guide (by month)|
Here is a collection of good maintenance guides for your reference
|Maintenance instructions for home appliances|
|Instructions with video and images. Minnesota Building Industry Foundation
has created this web site to help homeowners
|From James Dulley||Appliance maintenance tips. This site is a good resource for a homeowner|
Here is the list of best guides that I have found so far. Most of them have demonstrations with images and videos. Youtube.com is another resource of course.
|ACME How To||Very thorough guide that covers almost anything you ever want to fix at
home. Simple and quick fixes.
|From Repair Clinic||Repair guides with drawings and demonstration of appliances|
|From ORHP||Useful quick fix tips covers major appliances|
It is always fun to take on some home improvement projects at your spare time. It takes some time and effort, but the satisfying experience and the joy you will get after you finish a project successfully is worth it.
|From Hometime||Many projects available with detailed photo assisted instructions|
|From DIY||DYI Network has easy to follow guides. Each steps explained with actual
Here is a list of useful resources for homeowners. This list will be updated as and when we find useful websites. Please feel free to suggest your favorites!
|Homeowner Insurance Lowdown||This website contains many resources such as homeowner insurance reviews, warranty, and financial info essential for a homeowner|
Want to suggest a new resource? Please provide your feedback about home maintenance and remodeling links here
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Americans buy home warranty to protect themselves from repair and replacement costs of home appliances that fail due to normal wear and tear. Unfortunately a lot of policy holders feel let down by the result after filing a claim with their warranty company. Some people are ignorant that they have the power to dispute the outcome of a claim when one is filed; others are conscious that many customers succeed when they dispute a claim correctly. The procedure involved in disputing a claim can be extensive, but can be worth time investment.
A home warranty is a service contract that covers systems and items in your home that are usually not covered by homeowner’s insurance. Furnaces and outside air conditioning units, plumbing and electrical systems are items commonly covered under a home warranty protection plan. The homeowner requests a claim with the warranty company when a covered item requires repair. Some home warranty providers repay the homeowner for the cost of the repair while others send a contractor directly to the home for repairs.
You should look at these factors carefully for any items that you estimated to be covered by the home warranty contract you aim to procure. Make sure you read the contract one more time and understand the reason for denial. In some cases, even courts cannot help you if the claim was denied for a reason clearly stated in the contract.
So what are some of the common reasons for denial of claims on home warranty?
Always be polite and be friendly with customer service professionals. They will go an extra mile if they like you. The first step should always be that you speak to customer service supervisors and their bosses who make the decision. Assuming those steps did not result in a favorable outcome, you can follow these escalation steps:
When HomeWarrantyReviews.com asked me to write an article about Colonial Home Warranty’s recent announcement that it was closing its doors my first thought was what will happen to all their customers? As a marketer and blogger who works in the home service contract space I’ve seen a few companies go out of business and it never worked out well for the customers.
As of March 17th, 2014 the New Jersey headquartered company, Colonial Warranty Group, Inc., closed its doors and filed for Chapter 7 bankruptcy protection from a New Jersey court. But the protection it is seeking from creditors probably doesn’t include all of its customers, those unfortunate souls left holding worthless home service contracts. So I set out to get some answers to the questions I was asking and those the consumers were asking on HomeWarrantyReviews.com.
Since HomeWarrantyReviews.com specializes in compiling consumer reviews about home warranty companies in the U.S., also referred to as home service contract or residential service contract companies, I started by asking what they had heard directly from their readers. One customer of Colonial Home Warranty who asked to be identified only as Mike M. from Ashburn told a member of the staff at HomeWarrantyReviews.com about his three year contract, signed in 2012, which should have been in effect until February 2016. Colonial had enticed him to pay for all three years upfront in exchange for three free months of service. Mike also shared that leading up to the news of Colonial’s closing the more expensive of his repair claims were already being denied for reasons he did not feel were in keeping with his contract.
Mike’s experience was certainly not unique and the customers of Colonial were not just voicing their complaints on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. A search on Google led to a number of consumer websites with complaints from Colonial Home Warranty’s customers. On one such website I read a testimonial from a consumer who purchased a contract from Colonial Home Warranty less than a month before the bankruptcy filing in New Jersey. With that sort of story the obvious question came to my mind. What was Colonial thinking when they sold new contracts so close to their bankruptcy filing? Unfortunately HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s request for comment from the bankruptcy attorney for Colonial went unanswered.
A few readers who wished to remain anonymous purchased three year contracts from Colonial and had received one year or less of the service promised by the company. The testimonials on HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s Colonial Home Warranty page and on other websites tell similar stories. But some customers claim in their online testimonials that they are taking their complaints further than Internet testimonials. Whether or not any customer of Colonial Home Warranty has filed suit against the company or made any type of plea to the bankruptcy court was not clear at the time of publishing this article though. I did request comment or information from the bankruptcy court in New Jersey but was informed that they do not comment on cases or offer legal advice. Their advice to me was to seek guidance from a consumer advocacy group.
A reader who emailed us with her story, Kristi from Texas, tried to reach a company she believed to be the parent company of Colonial Home Warranty called XPD Warranty Group in order to find out if that company was servicing claims from Colonial Home Warranty’s customers. She is not alone in asserting that XPD Warranty Group is a parent company or holding company for Colonial Home Warranty. Her attempts to reach XPD Warranty Group by phone were unsuccessful but she did learn that her state is starting an investigation into the dealings of Colonial Warranty Group, Inc. with residents of Texas. Texas’s entity which regulates what it calls residential service contract companies is called TREC or the Texas Real Estate Commission. Kristi wrote that those she has spoken with at TREC have been very helpful and she recommended other Texas residents with complaints against Colonial Home Warranty contact that office for more information. I contacted TREC to find out about the association between Colonial and XPD. I was able to confirm that XPD Warranty Group is licensed to operate as a provider of residential service contracts within the state of Texas. I was also told that in 2012 Colonial Warranty Group, Inc. entered into a written agreement with the state of Texas to stop selling, renewing and servicing residential service contracts for Texas residents. After that point Colonial was to relinquish control of its contracts with Texas home owners to XPD Warranty Group. Finally I confirmed that TREC is following up on at least a few complaints lodged against XPD Warranty Group by Texas residents relating to issues with contracts originally issued by Colonial Warranty Group.
I also gained some insight into the relationship between Colonial Warranty Group and XPD Warranty Group thanks to another reader of HomeWarrantyReviews.com, Lanny Teague from Sanger Texas. Lanny’s story gave credence to the assertion other readers have recently made that Colonial and XPD are, in fact, working together, if not the same company. Lanny told me about the 13 different contracts which were purchased from Colonial Home Warranty, each contract having a three year coverage term and each one being paid in full upfront. Lanny also informed me that Colonial didn’t handle the claims associated with the contracts. Whenever a claim was filed it had to be addressed to the company acting on behalf of Colonial in Texas, XPD Warranty Group. And when Lanny asked to cancel the contracts covering Texas properties the cancellation was handled through XPD, not Colonial. Sound strange? Well, it gets stranger.
When Lanny requested a refund for the unused years of the 3 year contracts that had been purchased XPD Warranty Group did agree to issue partial refunds amounting to more than half of what had originally been paid per contract. That sounds awfully strange for a company that has allegedly told others that it is not associated with Colonial Warranty Group. For readers interested in the timing of these refunds, these refunds were very recent. The refunds, according to Lanny, were issued on April 10th of this year.
I attempted to reach someone from XPD Warranty Group, Inc. but at the time of publication of this article I had not received any response from that company. If that should change then this article will be updated. Readers are encouraged to check back regularly here and also email [email protected] with any questions they would like posed to the company.
Another reader, Manishee Gupta, told HomeWarrantyReviews.com how he purchased not just one but three separate three year service contracts from Colonial Home Warranty about two years ago. Purchasing multiple home service contracts as in the case of Lanny and Manishee is not as unusual as it may sound. Many owners of investment properties choose to cover those homes with a home service contract in order to make the work of managing rental properties easier. Mr. Gupta told us how his tenants were even able to report problems with covered items in the homes to Colonial.
In theory this can make life simpler for a landlord but only if the company keeps its promise to customers. But now that Colonial is seeking Chapter 7 relief from its debts Mr. Gupta wonders “if there will be any recovery” for customers like himself. The overall sentiment of readers who have communicated with me and with HomeWarrantyReviews.com is pessimistic though. Most believe that nothing will be done to address the possibility that Colonial acted with criminal intent to defraud consumers, signing multi-year contracts even on the eve of filing bankruptcy.
The main concern of the readers who have contacted HomeWarrantyReviews.com is a common one. These are consumers who paid in advance for something they now will not receive. They’re upset and rightfully so. But let’s step back for a moment and ask why this happened. Why did Colonial Home Warranty make what seems like a sudden decision to file for bankruptcy protection? The answer to that question may start with the state of California.
I contacted the regulatory entity that oversees insurance companies selling to residents of California and requested information about any open or resolved legal matters regarding Colonial Warranty Group, Inc. In their reply I learned that on November 8th, 2013 Colonial was ordered by the California Department of Insurance to cease all operations selling and renewing home protection agreements. Colonial, according to the order issued by the California Department of Insurance, had been selling such contracts to California residents without required licensing since not later than January 23rd, 2012. For California residents who did business with Colonial Home Warranty this means that any contracts sold to them by the company were not legally issued. Whether or not this could lead to any recovery of customer fees paid to Colonial I don’t know. But one thing was very clear in the order to Colonial. For every day Colonial did business illegally in California it is liable for $5,000 in fines. If you do the math that total fine liability comes to millions of dollars. Was this the cause of Colonial asking a New Jersey court to protect it from its creditors? The answer to that question should become clearer when Colonial’s Chapter 7 request is handled by the court.
California’s insurance regulator was not the first to take action to stop Colonial Home Warranty from selling home service contracts to its residents. In August 2013 the state of Florida Office of Insurance Regulation ordered the company to cease doing business with Florida residents due to violation of a state law which requires a license in order to sell home warranties. And of course Texas had already told the company to stop selling contracts to its residents prior to issuing the order in 2012.
There are two options to consider:
1. Readers who wish to submit a petition or claim to the court handling the Chapter 7 bankruptcy proceedings for Colonial Warranty Group, Inc. should strongly consider retaining professional legal assistance in order to do so. I asked the appropriate Clerk of Courts for information regarding submitting such petitions or claims and was informed that their office is not in a position to provide comments on pending cases or legal advice. Colonial Warranty Group, Inc.’s Chapter 7 Bankruptcy filing will be handled by Judge Donald H. Steckroth of the New Jersey Bankruptcy Court and is identified as Case number 2:14-bk-15949. A representative of HomeWarrantyReviews.com also tried to reach the attorney for Colonial Warranty Group, Richard Honig of Hellring, Lindeman, Goldstein & Siegal, for comments or information about the bankruptcy case but at the time of this article’s publication had not received a reply.
2. Before issuing business license, many states require such companies to pledge bonds. If you are one of the customers that lost money, you may want to approach your State Insurance Department. If the State has collected pledge bonds, you may recover a portion of your money paid to the company.
While I cannot say that any actions taken by state regulators directly led to the closure of Colonial Home Warranty or the Chapter 7 bankruptcy filing there may still be a lesson for home warranty customers to learn from all of this. Doing business with a company that has operated without proper registration or licensing in your state could be your problem as much as the home warranty company’s problem if they are caught. It is worth your time to be sure that any company you purchase a home service contract from is doing business legally in your state.
If you have been affected by the closure of Colonial Home Warranty or have other experiences with this company you’d like to share please email [email protected] The team at HomeWarrantyReviews.com will be happy to receive your stories as well as helping with any requests for information from readers.
Kevin Wallach writes a blog about the home service contract industry in the United States, HomeWarrantyWiz.com, and works in a marketing capacity within the home warranty industry. He has followed the industry for five years and has worked just as long to help bring customers and companies together through Internet marketing. He also is the administrator of an industry group on Linkedin called “Home Warranty and Home Service Contract Professionals”.
Undoubtedly, consideration of best home warranty is the first step towards feeling confident about your purchase on
safeguarding your appliance.
Many things contribute to a great service experience.When insured and covered appliance breaks down or any item needs to be repaired, then a home warranty contractor comes into the picture to provide the best service.
These home warranty contractors have pre-arranged agreements with home warranty companies to provide the services.
Home warranty is a service contract which promises to repair or replace your appliances once a contract is made and certain amount is paid. It is a protection plan for all your aging appliances provided they meet the pre existing conditions specified in the contract.
Home Warranty coverage policy covers all major appliances like heating, air conditioning, plumbing, electrical, kitchen appliances or any other expensive units. Either seller, real estate agent would buy the warranty and provide it as additional benefit or the home owner alone can purchase the warranty which is worth having.
If you are not sure what kind of coverage you want, check out the article – how to choose a home warranty protection plan
Generally speaking outdoor items such as sprinklers, faucet repairs are not covered under all plans check with it, not all plans pay for refrigerators, washers & dryers or garage door openers, spa or pools unless specific coverage requested.
Contractors are required to get the approval of the warranty company before carrying out the repair work. Sometimes the home warranty company may decide to deny the coverage due to pre-existing conditions clause or due to maintenance negligence reasons.
You have rights to negotiate the coverage, but sometimes small print clauses in the contract puts you in difficult situations. Hence you need to be aware of what your home warranty should cover and also very important to know what is excluded or not covered under the policy.
Your claim may be denied if the insurer determines that you have not maintained your home properly. Improper installation, code violation or any unusual pattern of wear and tear may lead to rejection of your claim.
To get contractor assistance for service, you need to contact the warranty company to arrange for a service call. Once it is processed, service team will arrange one of the contractors on their list and ask them to contact you and schedule a convenient time to come and resolve the issue which involves a service charge.
If the service provider is unable to fix the problem, then it is Warranty Company’s duty to replace the item. Replacing the item normally depends on the coverage plan of the policy.
Communicate with your home appliance warranty company in case of any dispute with the contractor. Home warranty contractors are being paid by the insurance company and work as per their instruction. Hence check with the contract policy terms and conditions.
Note the name of the person you spoke with, the date and a summary of what was discussed. Your notes should include the date and time of the communication, whom you spoke with, and your understanding of what was discussed regarding the denial of your claim which will help you in future correspondence and quick resolution of the issue.
In some rare cases, home warranty companies do not pay their dues to contractors. While reputable companies always honor their commitment, there are some shady companies that operate in the grey area. In such cases, contractors may approach the homeowner for payment. As your contract is with the home warranty company, you are not obligated to pay the contractor. However, make sure you do not sign any agreements with the contractors to cover such payments.
Purchasing warranty plans for household items has become a common thing these days. Over time, it has become one of the best ways to protect your budget against unexpected repairs and replacements of damaged household devices.
A Home Warranty, sometimes called an Appliance Warranty is a contract that agrees to offer discounted repairs and replacements of the covered devices. They cover damages resulting from wear and tear and hence are ideally suited for houses whose appliances are over 4 years old.
Home warranties differ from homeowner’s insurances in the fact that the latter covers damages and losses resulting from natural hazards or crimes while appliance warranty covers damages due to regular wear and tear. You can never replace a homeowner’s insurance with a home warranty. It is generally considered that home warranties are best suited for the following people who –
So naturally, they are not suited for people who
There are a lot of home warranty companies offering a range of packages to suit your requirements. So never feel that you have only one option. In fact there are so many options out there that you may want to read a Home warranty buyer’s guide before you make a decision. In general, home warranties are affordable, with the annual premium ranging anywhere between $250 to $1000. The premium usually depends on the amount of coverage you are purchasing.
The advantages of owning a home warranty are many. And also, it is the closest thing you can get to peace of mind when it comes to protecting your budget. Let’s take a look at the pros.
If you have doubts about the devices that are covered and omitted, you can go through What is covered under Home Warranty plans to get a clearer picture. If you are still not sure if you need home warranty or not, we suggest that you read an article on “Do I need home warranty?”, this will certainly give you some guidance.
Home warranty works in a very simple way. An appliance crashes and you call up the warranty company and inform them about the damage. They will ask you to give them all the necessary information like device name, manufacturer’s details, model no, batch no, and other relevant matters.
Once they collect this info, they will call up a service vendor with whom they maintain business ties. The vendor then collects your contact details to talk to you about fixing an appointment. A qualified and experienced technician then comes over to look at your device. If the repairs needed are minor, he will do them right away. However, if major repairs are needed or if parts need to be replaced, the technician waits for the approval of the home warranty company. Parts needed will be procured by the company. You will pay the service call fee to the technician when he comes to your home.
This is not a free of cost arrangement. In addition to the annual premium, you will be paying a service call fee (around $50) each time you place a claim. Like a coin with two sides, home warranties too have a few drawbacks. Let’s discuss them.
Home warranties are indeed a great way to insure your household devices. It protects your budget too. It is necessary that you make a wise decision regarding the choice of company and warranty plan so that you make the best out of the deal. The policy booklet and the contract are vital documents and they must, without fail, be studied and preserved carefully.
You can go through reviews about various companies and their plans on our website to compare and choose the best.
Freddie Mac has started offering free home warranty coverage for 2 years when you buy bank owned or foreclosed real estate property. The “Smart Buy” program was started in late August and is expected end at the end of October.
The promotional program applies to real estate owned homes sold through the agency’s HomeSteps unit, which deals with foreclosed properties that have been turned over to the lender. Called SmartBuy, the program seeks to address one of the major concerns homebuyers have about buying foreclosed property, namely, the potential cost of repairs on a home that may have been poorly maintained or allowed to deteriorate.
A typical home owner’s warranty costs anywhere from 300 to 600 dollars and will have a deductible per incident. There are several companies (AHS home warranty, Old republic home warranty, First American home warranty etc.) that offer home protection plans.
Freddie Mac will also pay closing costs of up to 3.5 percent of the purchase price. For example, on a $200,000 home, the program would pay up to $7,000 in closing costs, however it does not cover down payment.
Freddie Mac plays a critical role in the mortgage industry. Serving as one of the nations largest agencies that securitises conventional home loans, they have been in a precarious financial position over the last two years as home foreclosures have swept over the housing markets. Freddie Mac, along with Fannie Mae, another large national agency covering the mortgage markets, have both received billions of dollars of capital from the U.S. government in the last twenty four months. The companies financial problems escalated as they were leveraging the value of their loan portfolios in multiples over ten percent
Second and vacation homes, investment properties or property purchased solely for rental purposes are not eligible. There is a minimum purchase price of $25,000. More information on the program, including localized listings of eligible HomeSteps properties, are available through www.homesteps.com web site. Local real estate agents can also provide information on which properties are offered through the program.
As an advice, if you are buying a home make sure you hire a professional home inspector. They will inspect appliances, backyards, plumbing, electricity etc. to make sure everything is in good and working condition.
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.
Life is certainly unpredictable, you cannot control the outcome but surely can prepare yourself through careful planning and minimize the risk and be on the safer side. Insurance is one such protection mechanism which covers major expenses with an understanding that you will pay a smaller fee as a premium.
An insurance is a contract in which an individual receives financial protection or reimbursement against losses from an insurance company against the payment of a premium.
We have an inherent need to protect ourselves and our family, so why not buy insurance and secure the unknown future. According to needs you have various insurances. Some are a must while others are worth. Here is a quick tour into the world of insurance policies.
As the term suggests you are insuring your life with a certain amount. It is an insurance that pays out a sum of money either on the unfortunate death of the insured person or after a set period.
It is a type of insurance coverage that pays for medical and surgical expenses that are incurred by the insurer. Health insurance can either reimburse the insured for expenses incurred for illnesses or injury or pay the care provider directly.
It is an insurance for all your automobiles against theft and accidents.
A home warranty is a contract for repair and replacement of major home appliances such as refrigerator, washing machine, garbage disposal etc. on payment of a premium.
This insurance covers the home including the structural elements as well as the valuables inside the home. However, you can claim this insurance only where there is a natural disaster such as flood, fire etc. Please note that this does not cover the appliance repair and replacement costs.
Often Home warranty and insurance are thought to be similar but they are completely different in the coverage they provide. Home insurance is a must to have whereas home warranty you can choose to get.
When it comes to insurances you have a plethora of options to choose. From travel insurance to disability insurance etc, you can choose and plan according to your needs. All insurances have advantages and disadvantages but insurance no matter which protects your peace of mind. While buying insurance always make sure to do a background check of companies you are dealing with and read the reviews and fine print thoroughly.
Click here to check for Home Insurance and warranty companies.
Future is unpredictable yet securable therefore get insured stay assured.
Here’s a funny pictorial story that gives a peek into how does a Home Warranty work. Mr.Fox here is our friend who purchased a home service contract. His beloved washing machine crashed one day while the contract was still valid.
Now, back to the story.
Mr. Fox had an appliance warranty, so he did not have to
Mr. Fox simply called the home warranty company who in turn called up a service contractor with whom they maintain business ties. The warranty company sent a technician to Mr. Fox’s home to take a look at the appliance. The tech fixed the issue right there as it was a minor problem. You see, if the problem was big and if parts needed to be replaced, the tech would have had to wait for the approval of the warranty company before doing it.
Once the problem was fixed, the tech collected the service call fee and departed his way. Mr. Fox lived happily ever after resting assured that if his appliances crashed, he would always have his home warranty company to rely on!
Real estate transactions are always approached with caution. They often involve large amounts of money so being careful is a wise step. Having a skilled real estate agent may help you a lot in achieving a deal that’s perfect for you, especially if you are new to real estate dealings. But the questions is, how do you choose a real estate agent that suits your needs?
Irrespective of whether you are a buyer or a seller, there are certain things that you can do to ensure that your real estate agent is quite good. You can ask your friends and relatives in case if they have used the services of a real estate agent before for referrals.
But before you decide about an agent, understand why exactly do you need an agent. There are many benefits of hiring a real estate agent.
So our checklist for picking the right real estate agent involves doing the following things-
Some say that like doctors, real estate agents too have specializations. A certified real estate agent often belongs to any of the three categories-
Also, if an agent calls himself a Realtor, it could mean that he/she is a member of the National Association of Realtors (NAR). Based on what your requirement is – buying, selling or renting, pick an agent with the right credential.
Check with your state’s regulatory body to find out whether the agent you have in mind has a license to be a real estate agent or not. Most states have a board from whom practicing real estate agents are expected to obtain a license. This board also oversees the discipline of such agents. Such a regulatory body would be the best place to find out if there are any existing complaints, disciplinary actions or lawsuits against a certain real estate agent or not. This information could be available online.
This information can be obtained from the regulatory board in your state. The state licensing authority often gives more precise answers than the agents themselves. As you want someone who’s on top of their game, an agent who has not been active in the last few years may not be a good choice.
Keep in mind that you want someone who is familiar with your target location and price range. Someone with a bad market presence may not be a good choice.
These days most agents have a website through which they invite in potential clients and also display their current listings. If you are a seller, you should be ware that most buyers begin with the Internet. So you want someone who makes use of the Internet effectively, as being web savvy definitely has its advantages.
If the real estate agent’s website has a database of current listings and its details, it is definitely a good sign.
If a real estate agent is good, he/she would’ve closed many deals and would have many clients who recommend them strongly. The greater the number of closings, greater is the agent’s experience. Make sure that you call up most of the references provided by the real estate agent. Clients are often the best people to give you feedback.
While we have given you really cool tips, we strongly suggest that you do ample research before you pick an agent. Ideally, meet several real estate agents and shortlist the ones that meet all the above mentioned pointers. You can then pick one from that list. If you are a seller, we would also like to remind you that offering a home warranty with your home may increase the sales price of your property. And if you are a buyer, if a property comes with home warranty, it could mean that your budget could stay protected if major appliances and systems require repairs.
We hope you found this article useful. Do let us know what you think. Cheers!
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.
Home warranties, or home service contracts as they’re more correctly called in Washington and elsewhere in the nation, covers the costs of some repairs that are needed around a house each year. These repairs are often small things, but even small costs add up. And then there’s the time taken away from work and family life to deal with the arrangements for the repairs. So the point of a home service contract is to help save time and money when things around the house stop working properly. But there’s a catch to the whole thing. That catch is the quality and availability of professional contractors to do the work required.
Most established home warranty companies have huge networks of home repair contractors, ones they regularly check for customer satisfaction and overall quality of work. So customers of big home service contract companies can typically count on there being an abundance of good repair contractors in their areas. But this does vary when you consider small towns, states with highly rural populations, or crowded metro areas with more customers per square mile than in suburban or rural areas. With all this under consideration, it pays for home warranty buyers to understand which companies are the top ones in their local areas. In short, it pays to understand the market for qualified contractors before buying a home warranty.
Today we will cover the state of Washington. What’s the home warranty market like for people living in the state of Washington? That’s today’s topic in our top companies series!
Residents of the state of Washington live close to the heart of the U.S. home warranty industry. The western part of the country is home to some of the largest and oldest home warranty companies. And the homeowners out west are typically more knowledgeable about using home warranties too. Between the savvy consumers and the abundance of choices, there is a thriving market for these service contracts for homeowners.
Among the most popular companies in Washington are ones you’ll find in our top ten companies list. But there are also companies such as Fidelity National Home Warranty which fall outside of HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s top ten companies, by our website’s users’ ratings. According to Google, one of the most searched companies in the home warranty space among search engine users in Washington is Fidelity National Home Warranty. And though search volume is not an indication of sales volume it’s still worth noting that we don’t necessarily capture all the data needed to say for sure which companies are selling the most home warranties in individual states. So as you read on, please keep in mind that these top companies are a reflection of what you’ll find in our website’s users’ reviews and company ratings.
According to HomeWarrantyReviews.com’s statistics, ratings and reviews accumulated for many years now, homeowners in the state of Washington overwhelmingly prefer American Home Shield. We reached out to the company for comment after discovering this to be the case.
Mike Clear, VP of Operations at AHS weighed in on what he believes is behind American Home Shield’s success in Washington.
|“Homeowners in Washington expect and deserve outstanding service and value. At American Home Shield, our employees and network of local service contractors proudly provide both, each and every day. When things break down, we solve problems, plain and simple. This means being there when you need us most; making sure you have convenient access to technicians who have the expertise to diagnose and repair covered items; and protecting your budget against unexpected repair costs. We founded the home warranty industry 45 years ago, and no one pays more in servicing claims or protects more customers than American Home Shield.”
AHS is by far the largest company in the industry today. So in some ways it makes sense to see them on nearly every top companies list we publish here on HomeWarrantyReviews.com. But there’s something to keep in mind when you consider that the company that’s the biggest also has the most customers. And that something is customer satisfaction. Though no company keeps every customer happy all the time, AHS has done an extraordinarily good job pleasing its customers who post reviews here on our website. So whether you’re in Washington or elsewhere in the U.S., American Home Shield is one you should probably include in your list when comparing home warranty companies.
Based in Colorado, 2-10 Home Buyers Warranty has been serving American homeowners for almost four decades. Like American Home Shield, 2-10 is one of the top companies in the industry in terms of longevity and number of customers. In addition to providing home service contracts, 2-10 also sells home warranties in the true legal sense, meaning the contract covers defects in the builder’s work or materials.
As one of the original companies in the home warranty industry, 2-10 has a presence across the U.S. and an expansive network of professionals serving its customer’s repair needs.
As part of the Direct Energy family of companies, Home Warranty of America brings its home service contract offering to the western U.S. via its network of regional sales representatives. HWA assists real estate professionals and homeowners with many different scenarios in which coverage of home repairs are important. This includes periods in which a house is listed for sale or has just been purchased, as well as longer periods of time in which an owner of a home would want to offset the costs of repairs due to an unexpected system or appliance breakdowns.
We reached out to them for a comment about their service to Washington residents, and Monica O’Neill, HWA Product Manager, had this to say.
“Home Warranty of America has experienced tremendous growth in recent years and we are very grateful for our loyal customers. We truly enjoy providing reliable solutions and being a home warranty partner to real estate agents and homeowners across the great State of Washington.”
Customers of Home Warranty of America have the security of working with a home service contract provider backed by a big parent company, well known in the energy space. And financial stability is one of two of the most important things to look for in a home warranty provider.
That wraps up our short list of top companies in the state of Washington. Come back here soon for new articles about companies providing home service contracts in other parts of the country.
Readers in Washington, if you have a company you’d like to give a shout out to, please do so in the comments below! If you represent a home warranty company doing good things in Washington, please feel free to mention your company in the comments below as well.