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Home Maintenance

Are Home Appliances and System Insurance (Warranties) Worthwhile?

Homeowners have the opportunity to buy home appliance and system warranties that are also known as Appliance and System Insurance. But, these “warranties” are not insurance policies. They are service contracts that cover your home appliances and systems such as heating ventilation, air-conditioning, hot water, electrical and plumbing systems. There is a great deal of debate among financial advisors and consumer advocates as to whether or not the service contracts make sense. Frankly, the decision is highly personal depending on many factors the most important one being, how risk averse are you?

What Isn’t Covered

These service contracts do not replace homeowners insurance and will not protect you against fire, a tree crashing through your roof or other perils covered by your homeowners insurance policy. Service contracts do not give you any liability coverage in the event that someone is harmed on your property.

Most service contracts require that in order for an item to be covered it must be properly maintained. This means for items such as your furnace and hot water heater you may be asked to produce maintenance records should the system need major repair or replacement.

What is Covered

Homeowners can choose levels of coverage.

Level I may only cover major appliances such as refrigerators and stones.

Level II may offer more protection by covering appliances and heating ventilation and air-conditioning systems.

Level III may provide the most extensive insurance by covering all the items in level II as well as homeowner’s entire electrical system and plumbing system.

When Does a Home Appliance and System Warranty Make Sense?

First let’s discuss when a service contract doesn’t make sense.

Renters never need a service contract

Buyers of new homes where major appliances have warrantees and the structure is covered by a builder’sguarantee do not need to obtain a service contract at this time.

If you’re a homeowner who doesn’t fall into either of the two categories above you may want to consider purchasing a home appliance and system warranty. Assuming you get a full warranty, that is a level III contract, you can expect to pay between $350-$500 per year. If you have a service call you will also pay in the neighborhood of $70 as your deductible. So, if you’re $1600 stainless steel gourmet stove stops working the warranty company will fix it, and if they cannot fix it they will replace it, for a total cost to you of $70 (and of course whatever your premium for the year is).

The warranty company is betting that homeowners will not have major repairs or replacements of appliances or home systems. The homeowner of course is betting that they will. As with all gambling bets one party has the advantage, and in this case it is the home warranty company. Basically the homeowner is protecting himself from a catastrophic loss. The protective nature of the warranty program is often confused with a typical homeowner’s insurance program, again it is not.

Folks who don’t like risk may find comfort with a home warranty program. Homeowners who are not handy may also find peace of mind by obtaining a service contract for appliances and major home systems. Folks in older homes with older appliances have at least an even chance of having to use a home warranty.

If you decide you want to buy a home warranty remember:

It does not replace homeowners insurance

Shopping around is a must

Once you have narrowed your search to a few companies call and ask for references you can speak to–reviews of most home warranty companies are very mixed. If you have questions as to whether your homeowners policy covers certain risks that are duplicated by purchasing a home warranty speak to your independent insurance agent before you make any changes in your comprehensive home insurance policy.…

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Home Repair

What Warranty and Insurance Do New-Build Homes Require?

When you first plan to purchase a new home, having a good warranty with beneficial insurance is key to the future of your living space. No one ever knows when a problem will come about, so taking the necessary precautions will be vital. After all, you don’t want to get hit with an expensive repair when it could have been avoided by having the right warranty and insurance.
However, you will have to have the right type of warranty for your new build home. This means the Solo for Self Build option. Yes, there are residential, rentals and mixed warranties available, but they won’t fit your needs if you’re trying to purchase a new home. The Solo warranty is a 10-year plan that is geared to offer various options in a two phase system.
During the first phase you will be able to get quality cover and during the building process. If you are using a reputable company, they will continually keep you in the loop to the progress that is being made. If by chance something is out of order you will be the first one to know about it. During each stage there will be a completion process that must be approved. It will then receive a certificate of accomplishment.
Obviously the safety issues are the main goal, but there are also many other benefits that come along with a Solo for Self Build warranty. The most important to some families will be the financing department. Without the proper warranty in place it can be more difficult to receive a proper loan without hassles along the way. Since the mortgage lender will have cover as well, it will make the paperwork trail work faster.
Plus, there is a chance that something could happen during the construction. If by chance the sub-structure is defective while it’s being built, you will not have to pay for any of the costs to restructure it. The most common problem usually revolves around drainage issues in case of a storm. If you don’t have the proper cover, this could end up halting the building until you come up with the money.
When you’re looking over the second phase of the warranty, it will explain in detail all the parts of the home that are covered if a problem occurs. This can range from staircases and ceilings to wall plaster and foundations. In all there are over 12 different areas that are covered, which basically takes up the entire home. When you see it for yourself you’ll have a better understanding of it all.
Then again, there are a few things that Solo warranty doesn’t cover. In this case you may look for additional options to have everything covered. Just keep in mind that this will cost you extra money, so if it’s not necessary, you may not want to get it.
If there comes a time when you decide to move, the Solo warranty can be transferred over to the new home owners. However, they will not receive a new 10 year term, but instead have whatever is left on the one you transfer. If by chance it runs out on them, they’ll have to purchase their own. It may not be important right now, but definitely something to keep in the back of your mind if you do decide to sell down the road.…

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Remodeling

Home Warranty Cost – How Much Should You Pay for Home Warranty Insurance?

So how much does a home warranty cost? That is a question that so many prospective home buyers are faced with when they are considering all of the options that are on their plate while searching for a new home. Coming to terms with having to pay for home warranty insurance could save you hundreds or even thousands of dollars, but they are just not the best decision for everybody and that is where I hope to give you a few pointers.
Appliance repair plans, as this type of service is also called, can range in price from a few hundred to several hundred dollars. It all depends on what type of plan that you need to make sure that all of your appliances and systems are properly covered.
What’s not covered by this type of policy?
In most cases, things like neglect and lack of maintenance are simply not covered. For example, if you have an aging air handler for you HVAC system that has never been serviced, this could be cause for claim denial.
Basically you can purchase a policy that will cover most of your major systems like plumbing, electrical and HVAC system for a few hundred dollars. And likewise, if you only want your major appliances covered like your range, oven and microwave, then that should cost you a few hundred dollars also.
Most first time home buyers are looking for a comprehensive plan that will cover most everything that could cause them problems until they are comfortable in their new home. This type of coverage varies from company to company so you should check with each individual firm to read up on their options. Comprehensive home warranties will cost you from a range of $400 to $600 dollars.…

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Kitchen Remodel

Home Warranty Programs – Home Appliance Insurance That Meets Your Needs

When looking for a good home warranty program, which benefits and details are important to you? One of the first things that many people think about is how much the premium will be. Although this is very important, you should be careful to make sure that you are considering all of your options. I have held home appliance insurance for many years now and hopefully I will be able to give you a few pointers on choosing the best one for you.
The first thing that you should consider is how much coverage you need. The basic question that you need to ask yourself is how much risk you are willing to take. If you have a brand new home, you are probably willing to take a lot more risk than someone living in a 25 year old house with an aging heat pump or furnace. The level risk that you feel comfortable with is the basis for deciding on any insurance policy.
For example, if you feel comfortable with fixing small things around the house like leaky faucets or even a broken garbage disposal, then you would probably feel okay with having a policy that does not include small appliances and the like. But many homeowners want the peace of mind knowing that they don’t have to worry about how and when their appliances will get repaired if they have a breakdown.
Another thing to consider is the cost of a repair of a particular appliance. Many of the insurance policies will cover small things like microwaves. If you have a small stand alone microwave, then the replacement cost will be very minimal these days. But on the other hand if you have a built in microwave that functions as a ventilation hood and lighting for your cook top, then the replacement costs could be substantial.
Believe it or not, there are so many appliances and systems in your home that you can repair or replace yourself with very little know how. If I have a problem with something, I always Google it to see if I can fix it myself. Many of the mega home improvement warehouses are also a wealth of knowledge for the do it yourself repair person.
Here is the main reason why people feel that they need to buy a home warranty; the fear of having to replace or repair their HVAC system. Replacement of your heat pump or air conditioner could cost several thousand dollars. The risk of having this type of failure is more than people want to deal with. That is where these types of home warranty programs offer peace of mind and will serve you well.…

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Home Contractors

Essential Tips And Tricks For Homeowners Insurance

There are many companies who want to give you insurance, but it is your job to determine which has the best deal for your family. Protection means having the best policy in place. These tips will help you understand what policies are above average and what options you should avoid.

You can do a couple of things to reduce your insurance premium costs. Start with installing a new security system inside the home. You will enjoy a reduction in your insurance premium of about 5% annually thanks to this. Be aware that you have to show your insurer a bill or contract as proof that a security system is working in your home. Also, put in smoke alarms. That will save you about 10% each year.

Pay out your mortgage if you want a discount on your home insurance. Paying off a mortgage takes time, but you should make this a priority. Insurance companies believe that those who own their own home will take better care of it.

Keeping low annual premiums on homeowner’s insurance is a great concern to homeowners. One thing you can do is raise your deductible. Large deductibles will always mean smaller premiums. All it takes is the initial cash for covering any small claims occurring after the transition. The overall savings are positive and recommended.

As changes in your household size happens, talk with your insurance agent to alter your policy accordingly. For example, you may need to increase or decrease personal property limits. If there are specific individual items that you would like to make sure get covered, you can request an individual rider to make sure those items are protected against theft.

Some of the things about your home are going to impact your insurance premium, regardless of how well your home is maintained. For example, a swimming pool will increase your insurance cost due to the increased liability. The house’s distance from any emergency services, like fire hydrants, is also considered for your coverage. You don’t need to be obsessive about choosing where your home is located to get lower rates, but these are things that you should simply keep in mind.

Get a decent alarm system to lower your homeowner’s insurance. You will have a lower risk of break-ins. The insurer will see your home as being far less risky to insure and will lower your policy price. Remember to send your company proof of your new security.

There are many risks to your home. Fire just happens to be one of them. You must have an insurance policy that covers fire, whether it’s from arson or even because of weather. You must ensure that you have coverage to protect against such damages.

Install additional smoke alarms in your house. Insurance companies will lower your insurance premiums if you have smoke alarms installed in your home. Adding more carbon monoxide and smoke detectors can convince your home owner’s insurance that your house is not as risky.

It may be tempting to go with the company that offers the lowest premiums, however, it’s a good idea to use your best judgment. Put these tips to work toward finding the most appropriate policy for your family’s needs. Never skimp and end up with insufficient coverage.…