There are few home warranty companies that do not charge service trade fee or “deductible”. If you are looking for such companies, please read on. Please note that we do not endorse any of these companies.
IMPORTANT: To read most recent list of companies that offer Zero dollar deductible, please visit our Home Warranty Plan Comparison section and sort the companies by Deductible (low to high)
Following are the home service contract companies that offer zero deductible as of this writing:
As a website dedicated to offering honest information about the various matters related to Home Warranty, we have collected the feedback of several appliance warranty customers in the form of reviews. Please check out our tool to find top rated home warranty companies in your area. There, you can sort through the various companies based on their premium amount, deductible amount, ratings and total reviews.
In an insurance policy, a deductible is the sum of money paid by the insured party before an insurer will pay any expenses. It is usually a fixed amount and is a part of most policies covering losses to the policy holder and must be paid by the insured before the insurance company’s own coverage plan begins.
For example, an auto insurance policy may bear a $500 deductible. If the owner of a car hits another car by mistake while parking and both drivers decide that the loss is minimal, he or she would pay the repair bill $500 out of his own pocket. Insurance companies would not support a claim for such small damages. Based on the incident, the deductible may apply per covered incident, or per year. For policies where we can’t restrict the incidences, the deductible is usually applied per year.
An insurance premium is the definite amount of money charged by insurance firms for active coverage. Cost of a premium can differ widely for the same service, which is why experts strongly suggest getting several quotes before committing to an insurance policy. Insurance brokers or agents takes basic information from people and evaluate an insurance premium estimate depending on the answers and other factors.
The lowest quoted cost on a premium may be the better deal, but the level of coverage may also be lesser. Insurance premium is mainly based on statistics, while people’s habits and history can cause the premium to be lower or higher. For example, a 22 year old male looking for car insurance for a sports car can often predict a higher insurance premium than a 45-year old woman driving a mid-size sedan. Both may perhaps have excellent working records, but the insurance company considers the younger driver in faster car to be at more risk for accidents. Thus, the premium quotes will be clearly different.
In general, a faster car will cost more to insure, just because the owners of those vehicles tend to drive faster. The amount of a deductible is typically related to the amount of premium charged by the insurers. That is, higher deductible amount are usually related with lower premium rate and vice versa. Try to find stability between reasonably priced premiums and a fair deductible when buying insurance.
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!
Considering that you are on a website devoted to home warranties, you may already know what a home warranty is. It is essentially a service contract that agrees to provide you with repair/replacement services for appliances or systems in your home. Most homeowners wonder whether annual premiums are put to better use if they are set aside as emergency fund instead of being paid to warranty providers, hoping that they will come to the rescue if a breakdown happens. The question here is, what if the annual premium is paid and no claim is raised in that year? This article will address the question in detail.
A home warranty company maintains a network of technicians and service vendors, who are dispatched to a customer’s house as and when a claim is raised. The customer is often charged only a service call fee and not the entire expense of fixing a damage. Here’s how home warranty benefits the homeowner–
What they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Don’t you think it’s worth?
Many homeowners have expressed concerns about the annual premium that is paid for a year in which no claim was made by them. However, what they fail to recognize is the very real potential that they will spend more than a few years’ worth of home warranty premiums when a major appliance or system component breaks down without any service contract coverage. Minus a warranty, an average repair cost would be around $500-$1000 for a typical household appliance. Replacing would definitely cost more, sometimes several years worth of annual premiums.
As you can see, annual premiums seem like a very small fee in comparison with the amount you would have to pay if an appliance breaks down.
Let’s take an example of a typical homeowner, we’ll call him Mr. Bond. Mr. Bond believed that setting aside $400 every year for emergency repairs would make more sense than purchasing a home warranty plan. Three years into this practice, his HVAC unit decided to call quits. Mr. Bond asks around and finds out (to his dismay) that a high end HVAC system would cost around $5,800. He had saved up around $1200 and all of that wouldn’t help him get a new one.
Had the story been different and if Mr. Bond had opted for a home warranty instead, he could’ve had the replacement done at a fraction of the cost.
The only time it doesn’t make sense to opt for a home warranty over saving that money is when your house and the appliances in it are new. As a rule, home warranty is only recommended for folks whose house and its contents are over four years old. If you belong to this category, then the chances of your appliances or systems breaking down are low. So paying annual premium to a home warranty provider may not make sense, especially when many of the appliances at your house are still under warranty.
If you meet any of the conditions mentioned below, buying a home warranty will likely provide you with budget protection and not to mention, feeling of confidence. Here are the parameters-
If you meet any one of the above mentioned conditions, you will probably benefit from an appliance warranty. As long as you go with a company that is reputable, you should find yourself with nothing but pleasant outcomes.
If you are still unsure, we suggest that you look into our guide for home warranty buyers. Once you do that, you may want to look at some of the best home warranty companies in the country to get things started. Should you have any concerns, don’t hesitate to holler at us. Cheers!
Extended warranty sometimes also called as a maintenance or service agreement, is a prolonged warranty given to customers who wish to insure their fairly new devices. They are not always provided by the manufacturer and are usually procured along with or as and when the manufacturer’s warranty expires.
Such extended service agreements are often purchased for gadgets and appliances that don’t come under Home warranty. Eg. laptops, TV, desktop computers. They can be purchased over an existing manufacturer’s warranty so that damages due to accidents are also covered. They cover repairs and replacements of the insured device for a fixed period of time, which is usually around 2-3 years.
If you are wondering whether you need an extended appliance protection plans or not, consider this –
You have a reasonably new device which cost you a lot. It is still covered by it’s manufacturer’s warranty but you are not certain if that will be enough. You fear that accidental damages may occur and you cannot afford to repair or replace the device if it happens. If this is what is going through your head, we recommend that you purchase an extended warranty.
There are quite a few advantages that make you want to consider buying an extended appliance protection plans. Here are a few of them:
Although, the advantages may seem great, some experts have the opinion that extended warranty is a waste of money. This is because a decent appliance/gadget manufactured by a reputable company stands very little chance to fail in the first 2 years. It has been noted that retailers make huge profits from extended protection plans as very few consumers claim them.
Also, when it comes to electronic gadgets, it sometimes makes more sense in replacing it with a new one rather than repairing the damaged one. These days you can get a DVD player for around $30, so why then would you spend $20 repairing your damaged DVD player?
Technology is advancing at a very fast pace, unless your device is precious and expensive, we suggest that you think twice and explore a few options before you purchase extended warranty.
You may want to look at the repair rates of the various gadgets in the first 3 years of their lives and then decide if you need to go for an extended protection plan. However, the same cannot be said of Home Warranty, which is always recommended for most homes.
If you feel you don’t need an extended warranty as your appliances are 4+ years old, the best option for you would be a Home Warranty. Find out more about Home Warranty and Home Warranty Companies!
Source: CBS News
While you consider purchasing an extended warranty, ensure that you contemplate on all the points that follow.
Make sure that you know how the plan works. Read through the terms and conditions mentioned in both the contract as well as the policy booklet. Understand what damages are covered and what damages are omitted.
All extended warranties do not have the same duration of coverage. The term can vary anywhere between 6 months to 3 years. Be clear on this.
Beware of this one. In certain cases you will have to ship your damaged gadget to some other location. If this happens you will have to pay the shipping charges. Not only this, there could be several cases where you will have to spend extra money in addition to the amount you pay for availing the warranty. You can speak to the retailer to clear any doubts you have regarding this.
A lot of warranty companies are out there that sell extended warranty. Sometimes it makes sense to consider a few options before you jump into a decision and purchase extended warranty from the retailer. Some companies offer plans that cover a group of devices instead of a single device. These may be much more profitable that purchasing one warranty for a single gadget.
Before you purchase an extended warranty, check with the bank issuing your credit card to know if you are automatically entitled to an extended warranty if you make a purchase with the card. In certain cases, platinum and gold cards offer this feature to customers.
Getting an extended warranty is not a bad idea. However we urge you to go through everything carefully before you purchase an extended warranty from the retailer. Extended warranties, like we said are only for a single appliance/gadget. While they are not pricey as such, sometimes, for homeowners with ageing appliances find Home Warranty plans more ideal. They are affordable and cover a host of appliances and not just a single one. If you think, an appliance warranty plan is what you need, take a look at the top 10 home warranty companies in the U.S.A. Good luck!
Getting and staying organized is a bit of a challenge for many of us. This challenge often feels impossible to meet, resulting in the individual getting trapped in an overwhelmed mode. It is probable, however to overcome the overwhelmed feeling and efficiently get your home arranged by breaking the task into smaller steps and following an organized approach to achieve each step.
After a tiring day at work, you require to get to place where you could take enough rest and relax for recharging your energy. No other place can be more appropriate to do that, than your own home. But, first and foremost, you need to get your home organized to make it your favorite place for relaxation.
Your house is not just a place where you take your sleep, stock up your belongings and nurture your body with food and other basic requirements. But, your home is your sanctuary for the reason that whatever happens through the day, you would always go to the place where you could ease your victories and judge your failures.
Those are the reasons why organizing your home should be a main concern if you want to keep its comfort. Since you are too busy at work and usual activities, you would find it a major challenge to get your home organized. Generally, people complain that it is hard to organize the home as there are just too many stuff that are stored in. They are too busy to fix the mess and clean the dirt regularly.
That is why the ability to get your home planned is a must for you and for everyone. Once you gain knowledge of how to get your home organized, you would surely realize that it is not a hard task. Moreover, you would surely develop the practice of being responsible and reliable in keeping your place as pleasant as possible.
After implementing the following organizing tips, you’ll speculate how you or anyone else manages without being organized.
Keep to your goals and get your home organized. You would find that a planned home would surely make you feel good in the future as you would not be messed up inside the premises of your own sanctuary. If you still face difficulty to get your home organized, you need to consult experts.
All the Best with the re-organization!
How is a home builder’s warranty different from a home warranty service plan? If you are concerned about protecting your valuable investment with a home warranty policy, but are uncertain about what to select, read on to discover their unique features.
Many different real estate terms cause confusion as they sound like they are talking about the same thing, but in actuality are talking about very different things. Home warranties and home builder warranty are two of those things. They both offer safety for you and your home, but in very different ways. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be a benefit in selling a home.
Home warranties are often supplied by builder. Builder warranties give peace of mind to buyers of newly constructed homes. After all, no one wants to have purchased a home riddled with defects. Sellers of existing homes may take in a warranty with the sale to push a would-be buyer into a purchase. In fact, if a buyer has a warranty on a house, it can be an advantage in selling a home since the warranty is movable.
Every homeowner seeks the same thing: peace of mind and the security of knowing that if anything hit in the night, all it will take is one phone call to have it looked after. In an ideal world, there would be one all-complete home warranty to tackle all potential worries; ranging from severe damage brought on by natural disasters to the breakdown of one your favorite household appliances. But the you do not reside in a perfect world. So you have to make a choice and wish for the best.
Two specific types of home warranty services can deal with your needs. You have choices.
The differences between the home builder warranty and the independent home warranty service will deal with two sets of criteria: the main difference is this: a home builder warranty usually provides coverage against major structural defects while the independent home warranty includes plans that cover your household appliances and systems. That said, it’s important to comprehend what that entails. The most important thing you can do ahead of making this investment is to study the terms and conditions of each and carefully understand the significance of their meaning.
If you go through the fine print of most home builder warranties, you will find out that the coverage under the policy is limited to providing protection against key structural defects of the “load bearing” portions of the home. “Non load-bearing” items which are excluded from the coverage include the range from HVAC, certain wall tiles and coverings, appliances, exterior finishing, some plumbing and electrical and others.
When the repair or substitution of an item under the home builder warranty is agreed, matching the repair or replacement to its prior condition will be tried, but there is no guarantee that he item will be returned to like a new condition.
On the other side of the equation is the independent home warranty service. This type of warranty permits the homeowner to select and decide what components they would like to cover, with flexible plan coverage ranging from kitchen and laundry –to home office- to electrical – to-HVAc and others. You can opt for only particular items or select a comprehensive plan that covers all, with the choice of adding individual units as add-ons.
The consumer is usually rewarded for selecting the extensive plan coverage with discounted prices and a lot of many other value-added incentives, like toll-free assistance and advice that is provided 24/7/365. Another trait of the independent home warranty service is found with the service providers who promise like-kind or better replacement. Joining in a plan that makes that promise is recommended.
Taking no blunt approach to upholding your home can prevent lot of problem later on down the road that can charge a bundle. One reason why various home warranty service providers have to include exclusions from coverage into their conditions is to avoid repairing items that wouldn’t be in need of repair if they had been cared for. Fair enough, it is suggested, however, that you carefully take note of any other exclusion from coverage as detailed in the terms and conditions of your warranty policy.
The standard home builder warranty will incorporate a wide listing of exclusions from coverage, far-surpassing the case of owner neglect, which may comprise some of the following conditions:
With the set home warranty service plan, the list of exclusions from coverage is much smaller – covering the basics, such things as insect infestation, neglect or improper maintenance of appliances and improper set up of appliances and household appliances.
Reputable home warranty services are intended to provide convenience and reduce the hassle of filing a claim. Ordinarily, there will be a number to call in order to send out specialized trade service expert to your home to come assess and take care of the damage in one shot.
Filing a claim with a home builder warranty provider can offer some interesting predicaments. When filing a claim, the best thing is to proceed with caution. Expect an inspector or multiple inspectors to show up at your home in order to investigate your claim. The more articles you can present as proof of the problem, the better off you will be. These can take in reports, diagrams, reports and photos. When the determination is made for the homeowner, he/she is anticipated to sign a release giving up all rights.
If your claim is denied and you cannot resolve it through the dispute resolution process with the home builder warranty providers, you may be asked to sign an arbitration provision. By doing this, you will be waiving your rights to a trial in a court of law and you may have to present your claim to an arbitration company from the home builder warranty provider’s list of listed arbitration companies.
Also, take note of the fact that many of these providers accept reports only from a list of approved construction consultants – encompassing contractors, inspection firms and others.
In total, as painful as it can be to read through the fine print of a warranty policy, it is the best way to go about picking the warranty provider who is going to deliver what is promised – and it is the most helpful way to choose either a home builder warranty or an independent home warranty service.
Preserve the quality and craftsmanship of your home and all the adored items within today and it’ll make a world of difference in your world tomorrow!
Runs on: Android, iOS
This app is basically your assistant in home maintenance.
It allows you to set a plan for home maintenance and sends you timely alerts to ensure that you stick to the plan! Chores like fertilizing the lawn, changing batteries etc will be prompted via alerts. The app also has a directory of local businesses too!
Runs on: Android, iOS
Falling behind on your insurance, electricity, gas or other utility bills can sometimes be troublesome. It will cause a financial penalty too. Hence this is something that no homeowner wants to forget about. Billminder makes sure that it does not happen. Billminder sorts your bills as per their due dates and alerts you about it. You can even set up for an autopay option. Use this app to make sure that you never have to pay a late fee ever again!
Runs on: iOS, Android
This is an IOS app that assists a homeowner to keep his/her home neat, clean and shiny. The app helps you do home tasks by providing you with a set of simple instructions. It also allows you to a set a schedule for your home maintenance regimes and even alert you to make sure that you stick to the schedule. Be it home decor or cleaning guide, BrightNest provides you all the information you need regarding your home!
Runs on: Android, iOS
This is an award winning and highly effective task management app. Though this was not designed with a homeowner in mind, many homeowners have attested to the fact that they found this app very useful to perform household tasks on time. Use this app if you are someone who often forgets about urgent tasks around the house.
Runs on: Android, windows, iOS
Any color, design, decor needs are tackled by this app. You can find inspiring ideas on how to color your home or style your home by looking through the high resolution photos in the app’s gallery. Famous interior designers from around the world have contributed to the gallery. This can in a way be considered as the electronic replacement for magazine clippings that we carry to convey our point across to the sales representative! The paid version is priced at $2.99.
Runs on: iOS
Price: FreeIf you can access information at the touch of a fingertip, why not do things too? HomeLogic lets you control the lighting, heating, alarm and audio systems through your mobile phone! Working over wifi or Internet, the app is highly useful for controlling already installed HomeLogic products around the house.Pros:
Runs on: Android, iOS
Perfect for homeowners who are new to the area. Like the name suggests, the app tells you about all the local businesses, restaurants, grocery shops and anything important around your new home!
Runs on: iOS, Android, Windows
Measuring your room with your tape and then writing it on paper is so out of style. Do it the cool new way using Photo Measures! Using this app, you can simply take a photo of the room and write in it’s measurements. Hassle free and easy!
Runs on: Android, iOS, Windows
Great to have in case of a peril. Let’s face it, things will go wrong and disasters can happen. And when it does happen, it’s great to have this app on your phone. My home Scr.App.Book lets you take pictures of your home, place bar codes on your possessions and sorts them based on which they are in. Great to use while determining how much insurance you are going to file claim for.
Runs on: Android, Windows, iOS
A very popular money tracking app for homeowners. This is an integrated app designed to make your expense tracking simple. You can input your income and expenditures and and obtain assistance for budgeting.
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.
Recently, there was an interesting review posted at AHS warranty discussions page about dealing with insurance claims. The legal option suggested by the reviewer might be useful to some homeowners, who have difficulties dealing with home warranty insurance claims.
It is not practical and cost effective to take legal route to pursue your insurance claims and you may want to read How to pursue insurance claims article before you go that path. However, if you are fighting an insurance claim on a big ticket item, and you have exhausted all other options, this is definitely an effective strategy. Author of this post himself was an attorney and he effectively used the legal threat to beat the home warranty company.
Here is the excerpt:
I have discovered how aggrieved homeowners can turn the tables on home warranty companies and beat them at their own game. Please share this with everyone you know.
I’m an attorney and after having a problem with my home warranty company, American Home Shield, I decided to investigate whether other homeowners had experienced the same or a similar problem. What I found were web sites devoted to consumer complaints on which numerous homeowners had recounted incidents of fraud, deception, and rip-offs by their home warranty company. I also found a blog written by a former American Home Shield employee and another written by a former plumber for a home warranty company. Both recounted situations that would not pass the “smell test” in a court of law.
I also investigated lawsuits that had been filed against American Home Shield in Georgia, which is where I live. I found about 15 cases. The majority of cases had been filed in small claims court. As I reviewed the cases, I discovered that none of the cases had been litigated. In every instance, the case had been settled to the Plaintiff’s satisfaction although the details of each settlement were not part of the case file. With the knowledge that all cases had been settled to the homeowners’ satisfaction, I realized that American Home Shield would settle with an aggrieved homeowner before allowing a case to go to trial. My conclusion is that the only thing aggrieved homeowners need to do to beat home warranty companies at their own game is to file suit. The last thing American Home Shield wants to do is litigate a homeowner’s claim and the reasons are obvious to me.
The most obvious reason American Home Shield would not want to litigate a claim is that in most instances, the cost to American Home Shield to settle a claim would be less than the cost to litigate. The average amount of a claim in the cases I found was $3,800.00. Two were for less than $1,000.00 and only one was for more than $10,000.00. I’m sure far more than the 15 homeowners who have filed lawsuits in Georgia have had their claims denied. American Home Shield wins when a claim is denied and the homeowner does not sue, which is exactly what American Home Shield is counting on homeowners not doing.
Another reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because the company does not want to have to defend its craftily drafted contract or its questionable business practices, which is exactly what it would have to do if a case went to trial. American Home Shield also does not want such information to become public knowledge, which is also likely to happen. Additionally, a judge or a jury would also be hard pressed to return a verdict favorable to a company that engages in questionable business practices.
The final reason American Home Shield does not want to litigate is because a lawsuit actually places American Home Shield in a precarious situation. American Home Shield would have a difficult time defending any claim by a homeowner because the company has no first hand knowledge about the claim; it would need the testimony of the service contractor who, for its own reasons, may be less than eager to testify. The only knowledge American Home Shield has is what the company has been told by the service contractor. And any testimony from American Home Shield about what it was told by the service contractor is hearsay and not admissible in court.
To defend a claim, American Home Shield would need to subpoena the service contractor who actually made the diagnosis to testify about the claim. If the homeowner has done his/her homework, he/she would subpoena witnesses who could dispute the witnesses for American Home Shield. The homeowner should subpoena one or more service companies who had been called either for a second opinion or to make the actual repairs to dispute the testimony of the American Home Shield service contractor. The homeowner might also consider locating one or more other aggrieved homeowners to testify about their problem with American Home Shield. Another good witnesses for the homeowner to subpoena would be a former service contractor for the home warranty company or a former employee of a service contractor.
Since American Home Shield has at least three significant reasons why it does not want to litigate, the best and easiest way an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game (and most likely any other home warranty company) is to file suit. The one thing for an aggrieved homeowner to keep in mind is that if he/she does not sue, the home warranty company will win. But if he/she sues, the homeowner will most likely win. And that is how an aggrieved homeowner can beat American Home Shield at their own game.
My advice to aggrieved homeowners is not to stress over a denied claim, the denial of a situation as an emergency, repeated “band-aid repairs,” or a delay in authorization or in the repair of an item. I would also advise a homeowner not to waste time arguing with American Home Shield but to set a reasonable deadline for the appropriate action. Upon expiration of the deadline without receiving satisfaction from American Home Shield, the homeowner should then proceed as if they did not have a home warranty and then sue American Home Shield for reimbursement. The homeowner should also remember to document every action or inaction by both himself/herself and American Home Shield. Although the disadvantage to the homeowner is initially having to pay for the repairs, the advantage is that the homeowner can choose the service contractor and the brands and quality of products. I won’t guarantee all aggrieved homeowners will prevail every time but I have good reason to believe most aggrieved homeowners will prevail the majority of time.
For aggrieved homeowners whose claims were denied at sometime in the past, you may still be able to sue for reimbursement. To make that determination, the homeowner needs to research the statute of limitation for suing on a contract in their state. In any event, a homeowner should be safe filing suit for a claim that was denied during the past twelve (12) months.
Within the next six months, instead of reading homeowner’s stories about being scammed and ripped off by their home warranty company, I want to read stories about how homeowners turned the tables and beat their home warranty company at their own game.
If anyone has any questions, I can be contacted at [email protected]
Recently Warranty Week Newsletter published a report on home warranty companies market share in U.S. While it is not clear how the estimates were made and what assumptions were in place, the estimated numbers seem to be in the ballpark and must give an approximate idea where the companies stand.
With 41% market share, American Home Shield leads the pack followed by First American (11%), Old Republic (8.3%), CCHS (6%), 2-10 HBW (5.3%), and Fidelity (4.3%). It is interesting to note that the major service providers account for only 76% of the market. According to the report, remaining 24% of the market is shared by small companies and half of which are Internet scam companies which have no credibility whatsoever.
Here is the breakdown of home warranty companies market share :
|Company Name||Market Share (%)|
|American Home Shield by Service Master||41|
|First American Home Buyers Protection||11|
|Old Republic Home Protection Co. Inc.||8.3|
|Cross Country Home Services (HMW)||6|
|2-10 Home Buyers Warranty Corp||5.3|
|Fidelity National Home Warranty Co.||4.3|
|Dominion Products and Services Inc.||3.7|
|Home Service USA Corp.||3.3|
|American Water Resources Inc.||3.3|
|Home Security of America (HSA)||2.1|
|Service America Enterpirse||2.0|
|Home Warranty of America – HWA||1.7|
|Land America – BHW||1.5|
|Broward Factory Service – BFS||Less than 1%|
|Allied Home Warranty||Less than 1%|
|The Warranty Group (ServicePlan)||Less than 1%|
|Warrantech Home Service||Less than 1%|
|Nations Preferred Home Warranty||Less than 1%|
|American Home Gaurdian||Less than 1%|
|America’s Preferred Home Warranty||Less than 1%|
|HISCO Home Warranty||Less than 1%|
|Blue Ribbon Home Warranty||Less than 1%|
|Home Warranty Inc.||Less than 1%|
|RAM Home Warranty (Rehak)||Less than 1%|
|U.S. Home Protective Association||Less than 1%|
|Nicor Services||Less than 1%|
The $1.5 billion home warranty industry was hit by the real estate downturn and but looking at the growth chart, 2009 was not a bad year. The growth was flat for the last 2 years, but the industry did not experience any negative growth unlike the real estate market.
You can read the home warranty market share report at their website
You can refer to home warranty companies and their offers on our website as well.
Most of us know how to identify a faulty socket, a home appliance that isn’t working right or a leaky roof panel. What about noticing a structural defect before it gets out of hand? By definition, any crack, fault or deviation in the structural integrity of the building is identified as a structural defect, one that requires immediate attention. And here comes the Structural Warranty for your aid, provided if you have carefully chosen the policy after going through the fine print of the contract.
Often these defects are noticed in load-bearing elements of the home – the beams, roof frames, support walls and the like. For example, a shift or crack in the foundation stumps could play a part in putting off balance the entire house, as can a fault line in one the walls along the perimeter that hold up the roofs entire weight.
The first step to identifying a structural defect is knowing what it really is. A structural defect is any element of the building’s structure that shows signs of faulty workmanship or materials that results in or may in the future result in:
The cost of repair is astronomical, as compared to fixing appliances or cosmetic non-load bearing partitions and frames. Accessing the foundation stumps can cost an easy $10,000; double if the house is large. While structural engineers and inspectors can be easily hired for routine inspections, it is important for you to be able to spot defects as well.
When it does come to a hired professional, you have the option between a Licensed Engineer and a Home Inspector, the former being advisable as he or she has the authority to not only notice a defect but also suggest plans of action in order to rectify the issue. If you plan on investing in a Structural Warranty or State Warranty for your home, then it usually comes with an inspection.
In the US, soil expansion and other elements of nature account for an easy twenty-five percent of structural defects, but improperly built structures play a large role as well. Bulges in walls due to temperature expansion or loose brick or wood beams, faulty roofing, slanting walls and their lack of load bearing capabilities, cracks – all add up when it comes to construction methods which did not follow the necessary precision and regulations.
Before purchase, a home inspection is considered mandatory for all practical purposes. For an investment that large, it makes no sense flying blind and taking a risk, especially when it comes to the reliability of the structure itself. Unfortunately, that is not the end of it. All statistics indicate to structural defects manifesting themselves 4 to 7 years post the completion of the building, which leads interestingly to why 10-year coverage Structural Warranties have become so common.
The roots of the building that keep it grounded and steady with an equal distribution of load, a weak foundation can not only be the death of a home but can also be very difficult to fix. Just like a game of Jenga, the home stands firm on its foundation, load bearing frame of walls and roof. If the base shakes, it all comes tumbling down.
Now the tricky part is that faults in the foundation are difficult to identify early on. The first signs of these are seen in the floor – buckling or raised tiles and planks, ruptures, sagging of the flooring materials and crumbling or concrete. Improper sloping and drainage can be markers as well, often caused by roots of surrounding trees that are spreading under your home.
So check if you have a structural warranty in place and that it covers all the mentioned damages so that you can have a worry-free stay at your home!
Unless the fault is rising up from the foundation, defects in flooring usually owe their existence to faulty workmanship. If the inspection shows that the damage is only on the topmost layer – affecting the tiles, wooden planks or stone surface – then you needn’t worry about the integrity of the foundation below.
Any seepages at the floor level, loose tiles due to the grout crumbling and wood warping or raising due to moisture and gaps between tiles are all signs of structural damage. It may seem like a cosmetic issue but left unattended the damage could cause faults in the foundation as well.
No wonder, the recommendation to have a structural warranty makes sense to have, ain’t it?
Homes made of concrete can be easily subjected to expansion and contraction. Due to the increase and decrease in moisture and temperature, ruptures begin to appear on the walls and floor.
Cracks on the surface are not usually a problem, especially if they remain static and do not increase or spread. Known as Hairline Cracks, they are less than a tenth of a millimeter and rarely grow or increase in length and width.
Ruptures that are around a millimeter in width can be more visible, but even these can be treated on the surface for cosmetic reasons. They almost never expand and mean no harm to the structure of your home, though depending on where they are positioned they may cause seepage.
Constant expansion and contraction in states that experience extreme changes in weather may cause cracks that are a lot more distinct, often around doors and windows. Not only do they alter the structure of the wall to a certain extent, they also are a few millimeters wide. This shift can cause windows and doors to jam or not shut at all, which may require attention.
A crack with a width of over 5mm is cause for alarm and needs to be inspected. While they can be fixed by reworking on certain parts of the wall, there is a chance that the crack may have damaged the wiring, plumbing, and service pipes which run through the walls.
More than 15mm and you can be rest assured that immediate attention is necessary. No doubt, there has now been some impact on the pipes and wiring inside the walls, and if it needs to sustain a monsoon then seepage is inevitable. Most often, cracks of this width are difficult to miss, and they cause windows, doors, and woodwork to warp and slant. Walls may bulge in certain parts, and floors may slope and rise, making the weight-bearing beams compensate for the load that the walls should be bearing.
Having a Structural Warranty in such instances is nothing but a big relief. The home is covered and the repair costs for such huge cracks are all taken care by the home builder.
Walking around the outside of your home can tell you a lot about its structure. Keep your eyes open for sagging roof ridges, external cracks, gaps between utilities like chimneys and the adjoining walls, and bulges or recessions in the walls.
Windows and doors must be tested for proper mechanics, as well as for cracks around them due to pressure. It helps to keep a right angle tool ready to check if the corners are clear and without slopes.
Another reason to look both outside and inside for defects in correlation. If cracks and shifts on the outside matchup with defects on the inside, rest assured there is a deep rooted defected that is definitely structural.
It may be a tough decision to make, but when you are hunting for a home then it’s a good idea to check if builder-sold homes come with Builder Structural Warranty to back up their reputation.
Home Warranty focuses on the houses appliances and interiors, while Builder Warranty usually takes care of all the heavy duty structural detail, windows, doors and internal systems. Though both their purpose and choosing a plan that offers both is a good idea, it may be best to have your house inspected before choosing one – Home or Builder.
So, it is always good to have the protection and peace of mind a homeowner gets when the home has a structural warranty in place and the appliances are backed up by a legitimate home service contract or home warranty policy!
When is the homeowner supposed to buy home warranty? A home warranty is not a plan that can be purchased and used for the life of a home, but it is a warranty coverage for home appliances. It is procured before the sale of a home and acts as insurance for the new homeowner. Selling a home can be much easier if there is a home warranty drawn in. Shopping for a new home is a pricey endeavor.
People accept loans to purchase real estate, not wanting or expecting to spend extra on repairs for systems, appliances and things such as roofing. These hidden costs usually leave new homeowners in complex positions. A home warranty protects the new homeowner against these unexpected problems. Sometimes issues with different household features such as appliances come up in the closing days of a real estate contract. This can make a closing tricky and cost the original owner large sums of money they had not intended on spending. These issues might also convince the potential buyer to pull out of the deal, resulting in a failed transaction. The seller must then perform the necessary repairs before putting their home back on the market. A home warranty can only be implemented to working appliances and systems. The age of the item is not taken into consideration as long as it is in working order.
Retailers, installers and manufacturers may provide separate warranties, each of which covers a different part of the home. Inquire for copies to take home and contrast against other packages from other retailers. Ensure that you get a copy of the complete warranty, not only a summary brochure. Glance at the combined terms of all the warranties that cover a home. All new homes must have a warranty but old or used homes may not, or may have a limited warranty. Be cautious of homes sold with no warranty – there may be several hidden problems with the home.
As a consumer, identify what is and is not covered before purchasing any home warranty. Ensure the details are clarified in any contract before you sign it.
None of these aspects should deter a buyer from purchasing a warranty that meets his or her needs but it takes a fair amount of due meticulousness to identify all the hidden costs in buying a home regardless of whether it is new or used.
Texas Energy (TXU) has joined hands in partnership with Cross Country Home Services (CCHS) to provide customized and unique home warranty services for existing and new TXU customers.
TXU Energy is a competitive retailer that provides electricity and related services to over 2.2 million electricity customers in Texas. It is a subsidiary of Energy Future Holdings Corporation founded in 1912 with its headquarters in Dallas (Texas).
Cross Country Home Warranty Services (CCHS) offers home warranties and maintenance plans directly to consumers and through a list of industry partners. The company is a member of The Cross Country Group founded in 1978 and is one of the largest privately held providers of customer services in the US.
Through this new partnership, TXU energy consumers can avail the following services –
“The TXU Energy home warranty program offers superior solutions that let our customers choose the level of service and coverage they need,” said Jennifer Pulliam, director of products and innovation for TXU Energy. “We want to help our customers protect the investments they’ve made in home electronics, appliances and even air conditioning and heating because repair or replacement costs can be high.”
Both companies maintain A+ rating with Better Business Bureau (BBB), demonstrating their commitment to superior business practices which makes the collaboration with each other strong and facilitate enhanced services to its consumers.
This association is sure to benefit consumers as claims are as simple as a phone call to CCHS’s service center, which operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. And all customers who sign up for a home warranty plan receive up to a 15 percent discount on non-covered repairs and savings on name-brand appliances by using CCHS’s exclusive Appliance Buyline.
“A home warranty program is a good idea for anyone who wants to have the security and convenience of knowing that if a major appliance or system in their home breaks, they will be able to have it repaired cost-effectively and without a delay by a pre-qualified expert,” said Sandra Finn, president of CCHS. “We are proud to bring our services and consumer satisfaction commitment to TXU Energy customers, who can rest assured that we’ll always be there when they need us.”
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.
Some of the above mentioned cases can be avoided, while some cannot be. In situations where the company says that the home warranty claim cannot be processed because the item is not covered or that the damage is due to improper maintenance, refer to your contract. If they say that the damage was pre-existing, there is hardly a way out unless you had a home inspection performed prior to purchasing the contract. Likewise for damages due to crimes and natural hazards, one needs a home insurance and not a home warranty. Which is one reason why you cannot replace a home appliance warranty with a home insurance or vice versa.
So now the question is, how do we avoid such incidents of claim denial? Simple, pick a great company. Like the infographic tells us, you have to do rigorous research before picking a warranty provider. This website could be a starting point for that. We have reviews of tens of thousands of customers which can help you choose a reputable company. Once that is done, review the contract or policy document thoroughly. Once you feel that the company is good and that the contract is drawn up pretty decently, you may proceed with the purchase.
In spite of all the research that you did and picking a good company, if you still find that your claims are being denied unjustly, you can dispute the claim. This basically means to go behind them until they set things right and make amends. It’s quite easy, follow the steps mentioned in the last section. Keep in mind that companies won’t give up that easy, so you make have to make multiple calls to convey your point. While disputing claims, keep the following in mind:
Chances are high that the company will come around and accept you claim.
No human need is greater than a home to live in. While not all of us can afford to buy our dream houses, there are people who are not even sure buying is a good idea. The decision between buying and renting is one that has reduced many a strong willed man to tears.
As folks who work closely with homeowners, we have, over the years gathered knowledge about handling such dilemmas. So we thought we’d write an article to help those faced with the doubt that has plagued many of us – Should I buy a house or should I rent one?
We know that it is not a silly decision. So here are some points you should give thought to before you lean towards one decision.
This is something that should be considered before anything else. If you are in that city for an assignment or for a short duration, buying a house may not seem like a sensible option. If you plan to settle there permanently, looking into buying will be wise. Rent is often considered by many as dead money. That money never comes back or turns into an investment. So, give due thought to how long you plan to stay in an area and put that down on your list of things to consider.
Does your bank balance match that of Arab Royals’? You could buy a mansion in that case. Is your balance the typical American average? Well, you could maybe buy a house with some aid from loans then. But if you don’t have enough for a down payment, don’t even think about taking loans from several lenders to buy a house. Also, if you have no source of income, loans will never even be an option.
If you plan to buy a house, redecorate and sell (which is an expensive but rewarding business idea), you could probably look into some options for buying. If you are just looking for accommodation, renting an affordable place might seem sensible.
Believe us when we say this, some folks steer clear of the idea of renting because they are worried that the landlord might be a nightmare. However, don’t let this be the reason that deters from renting. Having a home of your own is indeed a satisfying feel but there is no reason why you should feel small because you stay in a rented house. For many, renting may make more sense financially than buying a home.
Buying a house does have formidable benefits. Here are some of them-
Like everything has two sides, owning a home too has a trying side. Let’s take a look at some common disadvantages of owning a house-
Well, since it’s better suited for the not so well off, financially, renting offers many advantages over buying. Let’s take a look at some of them –
Often called as a dead investment by many, renting comes with its set of heartbreaking disadvantages. Here are some of them-
We can’t decide for you, but we can urge you to strongly consider every aspect before you make a choice. Owning a home is indeed a wonderful experience that is unmatched. If you are already a homeowner and if you are thinking about buying an additional house, we would recommend that you look into easy home maintenance tips & cleaning hacks. You may also want to compare top home warranty companies to ensure that your budget stays protected.
An offshoot of Home Warranty, Structural Warranty is a legal agreement between the builder of the home and you – the owner. Structural Warranty functions basically in the case of new homes, wherein the builder assures that the home he has built will have no structural defects for a period of ten years after its construction. His claim is covered by the company which offers him warranty coverage for the building, at times additionally including workmanship and internal systems.
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.