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Home Insurance vs. Home Warranties

Homeowners insurance and home warranties are both designed for one reason: to protect your home and the belongings in it.

But, both cover very different things.

What's the Difference?

Homeowners insurance policies cover your home and belongings in the case of fire, damages from storms – other than flooding, which is oftentimes a separate policy – and damages or losses due to burglary.

Home warranties on the other hand, which are more accurately and often times referred to as home service contracts, cover elements of your home that almost all homeowners will eventually need to repair or replace due to daily or frequent use. Home warranties cover things like a leaky dishwasher, a water heater that's no longer working properly, stoves, furnaces or AC units – anything where normal wear and tear are to blame for malfunction.

Home warranties and the belongings they cover all have one thing in common, and that is the statistical likelihood of needing repair or replacement during the course of their lifetime.

Home Warranties

The "warranty" label when referring to a home service contract is really a misnomer. Home warranties are not a promise from a manufacturer or a builder, so they really do not fit the traditional definition of a warranty, nor are they administered by them. The term home warranty has simply become a convenient label that consumers and people in the industry use.

But, a "home warranty" is, in fact, a contract, not a warranty.

Let's Clarify: Warranty vs. Contract

A product warranty typically comes from a manufacturer and is essentially a pledge that its product will not fail due to design or manufacturing defect within a given timeframe, usually up to a year. If the product fails within that designated time frame, the manufacturer is obligated to repair or replace their product.

But, a product warranty doesn't generally specify a timeframe in which the product will actually be repaired or replaced if it malfunctions. In fact, the manufacturer may require that the product be returned to them in order to decide whether or not to repair or replace the item. Some manufacturers may send a replacement during this time, but not all, and the process can be quite lengthy.

A service contract, on the other hand, typically goes well beyond a standard product warranty. When home warranty companies talk about their service contracts, a large part of those contracts include which items they'll repair or replace and the timeframe they'll do it in.

Read Carefully

It is paramount that consumers carefully read both homeowners insurance policies and home warranty contracts in order to best understand any loopholes and exclusions that exist. This is also important because there's no need for overlapping coverage, which can sometimes exist not just between homeowners insurance policies and home service contracts but also in any pre-existing warranties already purchased for owned items.

Historically, in the insurance and home service contract industries, there are high rates of consumer complaints that can be traced back to disagreements between homeowners and home service contract companies about what is covered and what is not. Consult directly with the authorizing companies about any open-ended or vague wording in their contracts. Clarity, before there's a claim, saves both the consumer and the administering insurance or home warranty company frustration, dissatisfaction and a lot of back and forth.

Curious what your home is really worth?

Claim and Coverage Comparison

All homeowners insurance policies and home service contracts are different. But, below are a few common examples of the difference between what's typically covered by a homeowners insurance policy and what's typically covered by a home service contract:

  • 1.Claim: A tornado touches down in your neighborhood.
  • Coverage: Tornadoes, unlike a flood or hurricane, are generally covered under homeowners insurance and do not require a separate endorsement, or "rider."
  • 2.Claim: A kitchen fire.
  • Coverage: Standard homeowners insurance policies cover structural damage and belongings in your home damaged by fire.
  • 3.Claim: Your washing machine keeps going off balance and doesn't rinse your clothes anymore.
  • Coverage: A competitive home warranty will usually provide for repair work or replacement to appliances like your washer and dryer due to normal wear and tear. But, your appliance must almost always be in good working condition before a warranty is in place in order for it to be covered.
  • 4.Claim: A tree falls through your roof.
  • Coverage: Homeowners insurance covers the cost of removing a tree and repairing the damage it caused due to strong winds knocking it over onto your roof or lightning striking it. But, if a tree falls due to neglect, you may not be covered.
  • 5.Claim: Your dishwasher is leaking.
  • Coverage: A home warranty, or home service contract, will usually repair or replace your dishwasher due to normal wear and tear.

Check your home value

Csezone works with a great variety of home warranty companies in the home protection and residential service contract industry. In minutes, you receive quotes from the top home warranty companies in your area, with plan details and prices.

Our mission is to provide you with the best home warranty companies and options available to you – ones that both meet your family's needs and budget.

To see the top home warranty coverage options available to you in your area – start here, by searching your zip code.

For more information about CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com, visit our home page or Get Mortgage Refinance Info.

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August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month

August is National Children’s Eye Health and Safety Month. While you’re likely focused on back-to-school shopping and planning, this is a reminder to schedule your annual eye exams as well. Eye exams are especially important at a young age since good eyesight leads to better learning.

How can an eye exam help my child?

Eye exams can identify a number of complications that are easily treated early on. Children’s eye exams can not only tell you if your child needs corrective lenses but can also spot astigmatisms and “lazy eyes” and correct them.

When should I schedule my child’s first eye exam?

The American Optometric Association (AOA), recommends that a child’s first eye exam should be at six-months old. At this age, doctors can ensure that your child’s eyes are developing normally.

The AOA suggests school-aged children receive annual examinations, especially outside of school-offered vision screenings. As children grow, their eyes can change quickly, so annual check-ups are a great way to spot and track any changes.

How can I pay for my child’s eye exam?

Paying for glasses and contacts can be expensive. However, vision insurance can help cover the costs of eye exams, as well as part of the costs associated with glasses and contacts.


How can I get the most out of my vision insurance?

There are multiple ways to get the most out of your vision insurance aside from scheduling annual check-ups. At your checkup, ask to try on glasses so a doctor can give you accurate measurements for your glasses size. Consider buying glasses and contacts online rather than at the eye doctor. Purchasing online is most often the cheaper route, and sites like Warby Parker even offer a free home try on the package.

 

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Life Insurance Types Explained Which Type Best Fits Your Need?

Deciding which life insurance types to look at depends on each individual's specific need.

All life insurance does not fit everyone's situation.

Let us examine why a single person would buy life insurance.

What about a single parent, what kind of policy would fit this person?

Sometimes we tend to think only married people buy life coverage.

Why would we think this way? How about business people?

Why should these people consider life insurance policies?

You Choose Life Insurance Types

  • Married People

    Let us look at the needs of married people as this seems to be the main reason people buy life policies. Let us also examine the life insurance types they tend to be interested in.

    You meet your soul mate and you decide to get married. You also have plans to have one or two children. Your partner and yourself work at jobs that yield a good income.

    You both decide it would be wise to buy a home before you have children. As you proceed with that you become very aware that you need some life insurance in case one of you should die.

    You want the home to be left free and clear.

    The life insurance types that you look at are level term policies and decreasing term insurance. With the level term policy, the death benefit remains the same throughout the life of the policy.

    With decreasing term, the face amount of the policy decreases as the balance of the mortgage decreases. You settle on the decreasing term policy as the premiums are cheaper.

    You also become aware that as you plan on having children you will have a need for more coverage. You can buy it now as it costs less or you can buy more and more as the years go by, if you can qualify for it.

    You decide to buy a term insurance policy sufficient to maintain the family at least until the youngest child graduates college. You feel a 20-year term policy would solve that problem.

    You are also aware that your spouse may need to guarantee your income up until age 65, retirement age. One of the life insurance types you look at is probably a 30-year term policy or possibly term to age 65. In some cases, a universal life policy or a whole life policy would fit the bill.

  • Single Parent

    The needs of a single parent are similar in many ways to those of married people. These people have an even more urgent need as if this parent should die there will be no other parent to care for the children.

    After taking the time to make the necessary arrangements for their care a single parent now has to look at life insurance types that would best fit their particular situation.

    As this person has a need to be careful with money level term policies would more likely fit like a glove.

    If the children are young the 20 years, 25 years or 30-year policies, in the right amount, should be sufficient to carry them through from infancy to the end of their college years. If they are older you may want to use a 10 year or 15-year term policy.
  • Single Person

    Does a single person need life insurance? Why? The only real life coverage needs a single person has is one that will provide sufficient cash to pay off outstanding debt, if any, and to pay funeral costs. It would probably be a good idea to use a 10-year term to do these things.

    These people should keep in mind though that coverage is much cheaper to purchase at a young age.

    It would be wise to buy a fairly larger amount of the type of policy that would be useful when they get older, that is if this person plans on marrying and having children sometime in the not too distant future. The types of life coverage types to consider here would be 20 year term or 30 year term policies.

  • Business People

    Life insurance is an important consideration for any type of business. A corporation or partnership would need life insurance on the lives of each shareholder or partner which the survivors would use to buy out the shares of a deceased shareholder.

    Which life insurance types do these executives consider? Level term policies are usually used to fund this initially but they are usually converted to permanent policies later on that is if they intend to keep the business going for a long time.



    Key man or key employee life insurance is very popular with most any business. You buy a policy on that employee whose absence may hurt the company.

    You make certain that if this employee dies suddenly you have sufficient funds to tide you over until a suitable replacement is found. Long term level term insurance policies can be used for this.

    Permanent insurance is sometimes used. This could provide a lump sum or additional income for this employee at the time of his or her retirement.

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Personal Floaters and the Home Insurance Policy

The standard home insurance policy as it’s designed performs very well in protecting the assets of the average homeowner. The policy provides coverage for the dwelling and also the personal property of the residents. Additionally, home insurance policies offer personal liability coverage for protection from third-party claims and lawsuits.

However, because it is a standardized form utilized by the majority of homeowners, the policy will sometimes fail to properly insure risks that are somewhat unique. Nowhere is this more apparent than with unusual or high-value personal possessions that have limited, if any, coverage on the standard home insurance policy. Thankfully, the insurance industry has created personal floater policies to address the problem.

Limitations of Home Insurance for Unique and Valuable Items

In the typical home insurance policy, the dwelling and most of the contents are covered up to the amount specified on the policy. The only limit on items such as furniture and appliances is the total limit insured on the policy with no separate cap on the value of each individual item. Unfortunately, there are a number of other items that have very low limit caps on the amount recoverable from the policy. As an example, the following items usually are limited in the coverage available:

  • Money, coins, and medals, including that are part of a collection – limited to $200 in any one loss
  • Securities, checks, cashier’s check, travelers checks, money orders, and other negotiable instruments, manuscripts, and passports – limited to $1,000 in any one loss
  • Stamps, trading cards, and comic books, including any that are part of a collection – limited to $2,500 in any one loss
  • Firearms – limited to $2,500 in any one loss due to theft
  • Silverware and goldware – limited to $2,500 in any one loss due to theft
  • Electronic data processing equipment – limited to $5,000 in any one loss

The limits may sometimes vary from insurer to insurer, but these items are commonly covered with low sublimits, if covered at all. Many policies completely exclude jewelry and furs, while others may offer a small limit, such as $500 for the loss of any such items. Artwork and rugs are also commonly covered at lower levels than their full value if they are items of any significant cost.

All of the above items can generally be covered on a floater policy that is purchased separately from the home insurance policy. The floater is given its name due to the nature of the items covered, as they are not permanently affixed and may very easily be moved from one location to another. Even though other items in your home may meet this definition, the home insurance policy only shifts items of particular value to the floater policy for appropriate coverage.

Securing Floater Coverage

Most items that are not easily or appropriately insured on the standard home insurance policy can be insured on a floater. Different insurers will offer different types coverage, and often, multiple floaters will be necessary to cover varying items. If you have both valuable artwork and jewelry, you will likely need dedicated floaters for each category of items insured.

It’s unusual to have one floater policy cover very different types of property. When purchasing a floater policy, it’s a good idea to check around, as your standard home insurance company may not always be the best option. Unlike the standard policies (home insurance, personal umbrella, and personal auto), floaters are often unique to the property covered and there are sometimes very limited options for securing coverage. The more unusual your property, the more challenging it will be to find a good policy.

One of the benefits of floater policies is their superior coverage terms when compared to the standard home insurance policy. In many instances, floaters will cover property without any deductibles, and can offer better pricing than the standard home insurance policy. However, terms are less standardized with floaters, so it’s important to fully understand what you are purchasing before securing a policy.

Things to Consider from Your Floater

Some policies provide a blanket limit, which is the most the insurance company will pay in any one loss. Other policies will specify an amount for each and every item being insured. There are advantages and disadvantages to either option, but the decision will come down to cost and risk tolerance. If you want to insure at the lowest price, you will likely have to accept a lower blanket limit and hope that you don’t lose everything in one incident. If you are seeking the maximum coverage, a defined limit per item is the way to go, but will cost much more in premium. A hybrid approach is to have particularly high value items insured for a specific amount with the remaining items falling into a blanket limit.

When setting up your policy, you want to know exactly how you will be paid in the event of a claim. With most high value items, it’s common to have an appraisal of the insured items to pre-determine their value. With the agreed upon amounts scheduled onto your policy, there will be no dispute at the time of the loss. However, you should pay attention to any significant appreciation of your property, as you will need to update your policy with the newer, higher values.

The very nature of items insured by a floater policy presumes they can easily be moved from location to location and, therefore, the policy generally does not set such limitations on coverage. Ideally, policies with worldwide coverage are the best, as you need not worry if your jewelry is lost or stolen while on vacation overseas. Worldwide coverage is not always automatic, so you should inquire prior to purchasing a policy.

Even though your items may be insured on a floater policy, your insurance company would prefer that you not lose them in the first place. Many companies will offer loss control services to help you protect your property. They can offer suggestions and advice on how best to secure your valuable property to prevent loss or damage. These services are generally free of charge and are included in your premium. In some cases, the policy may actually place certain requirements on you to remain insured, such as storing your jewelry in a safe when they are not being worn.

Purchasing a Floater

The cost of a floater policy depends on several factors, primarily the value being insured and the nature of the property being insured. Items that are susceptible to damage or loss can be more expensive to insure. Most companies offering floater policies have established pricing based on their historical experience with loss of the type of items insured and will offer you a premium based on their assumptions. The more unusual your item, the more likely you will pay a higher premium, as insurers have less experience. As with other insurance policies,

If you find that your regular home insurance company can offer a floater policy, you might enjoy a multi-policy discount. Even if you go to a different company for your floater policy, you might still end up with a multi-policy discount if you purchase more than one policy for your many different insurable items.

The first step in purchasing a policy is to check with your current insurance company to see if they offer floaters. If they do, they can help you effectively separate out the values that would otherwise be on your home insurance policy, eliminating any double charges for the same items. If you need to find another insurance company, checking with independent insurance agents can open up the possibilities to more insurers.

For certain items, special interest groups or clubs may be of assistance. You may be surprised to find that there are Internet groups and forums devoted to just about any type of collectible items. These groups are often great sources of information for insurance to cover their specific hobby. Sometimes the manufacturer or retailer of certain products may also offer suggestions or even an insurance program already designed to insure your items. After all, it’s likely that you are not the first person to try and insure your item.

If you have anything that is of particular value, it’s always a good idea to check on the possibility of insuring it with a personal floater. The worst thing to do is to rely on the home insurance policy for insurance coverage on unusual or high-value property. Personal floaters can usually do the job better and cheaper.

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4 SAFEGUARDS FOR DIY HOME SECURITY

The do-it-yourself (DIY) home security market has grown in popularity and sophistication. Some security providers report up to 30% of new product sales are comprised of DIY security products.

DIY home security is an excellent choice for homeowners who want to have total control over security equipment and costs.

Get the Most Out of Your DIY Home Security

While DIY security may seem like the perfect solution, it must be purchased from a reliable vendor and installed properly to gain maximum security benefits. Ignoring vital best practices could result in a security breach.

Let’s take a look at the top four security safeguards for your DIY equipment.

  1. Educate yourself (and your loved ones) on products. Because you’ll be handing installation and setup of your DIY security devices, carefully read product specifications. Know your devices’ capabilities and features, and operation best practices. Improper installation and use will result in ineffective security.
  2. Secure your network. Because many DIY security devices are wireless, ensure protection of your network and security devices from hackers. Strong passwords, antivirus software and basic Wi-Fi best practices will safeguard your network.
  3. Discourage robbers. Even if you’ve implemented DIY security, complement it with tricks to give the illusion that you’re home, even when you’re not. Tactics include putting lights on timers or adjusting them remotely via smartphone, tablet or desktop, regularly collecting mail, and keeping your yard well landscaped. This will discourage anyone who could be canvassing your neighborhood looking for empty homes.
  4. Prioritize monitoring. Some security vendors offer connectivity to a monitoring center, which contacts emergency personnel once they’ve confirmed with the homeowners there’s a crisis. Make it a priority to work with a vendor who provides this service so you can ensure there is always a direct connection to police, firefighters and other authorities.

Above all, it’s essential to connect with your trusted vendor. The best DIY home security equipment meets your needs, and industry standards and best practices. Your vendor can help you assess the latter, giving peace of mind in your product selection.

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Does Your Warranty Include Wear & Tear Coverage?

When purchasing extended coverage for your vehicle is important to understand what the coverage does and does not cover. One of the main items that some “shady” companies will exclude from coverage is breakdowns of covered parts that have failed due to wear & tear. A wear & tear failure is a breakdown of the part has not completely failed but is no longer working the way the manufacturer intended to. This means that if a covered part has not completely failed, but is beginning to fail but has not stopped working completely or broken into pieces they would exclude it from their coverage.

It is important to know the difference between wear & tear items and scheduled maintenance items. Scheduled maintenance items are not covered by any extended automobile warranty. Examples of scheduled maintenance items are oil changes, tune-ups, tires, wiper blades, batteries, etc.

All “reputable” auto warranty companies will include breakdowns of covered parts that have failed for any reason including wear & tear. All Auto Advantage auto warranty programs include breakdowns due to wear & tear.

 

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Does An Extended Auto Warranty Cover Overheating?

When you are choosing an extended auto warranty program is important to look through the various exclusions of the policy you are purchasing. Most reputable auto warranty providers make their inclusions and exclusions clear and concise and have no mixed wording to confuse a repair shop or customer. However, some of the shadier companies out there, typically without a direct underwriter to get out of many different claim situations.
Overheating is a good example of this. Some companies will exclude any repair, even if it has nothing to do with the vehicle overheating if there is any sign that an overheat has occurred. Most reputable providers will cover the failure of any covered part as long as owner negligence did not close the failure. Owner negligence in reference to a vehicle that is overheated would be if a driver would continue to operate the vehicle even after the gauges or warning lights have come on. This would obviously cause additional damage to the vehicle from continued operation after the overheat and would not be covered by any warranty program. So in conclusion, it is not overheating that is not covered by a quality auto warranty program, it is the damage caused to the vehicle by the continued operation after the vehicle has overheated.
To be sure you get one of the highest quality auto warranty is available you can request a quote from Auto Advantage or other A+ rated and BBB accredited warranty companies.

 

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Used Car Warranties & Pre-Existing Conditions

When purchasing a used vehicle is important to be sure that the vehicle is in excellent working order before finalizing a deal or taking delivery. It is obvious that purchasing an auto warranty when you have a vehicle it is no longer covered by the manufacturer is an excellent idea to protect you against any unforeseen repair expenses that might arise. It is not uncommon to have repairs pop up you were not expecting that can cost $500, $1,500, or even $3,000 or more.

However, many consumers are not aware that unlike medical insurance, automobile warranty companies are not obligated to cover a vehicle’s pre-existing conditions. To prevent getting caught off guard with a pre-existing issue with a vehicle is strongly recommended that you have the vehicle inspected by a qualified used vehicle inspection service or dealership prior to finalizing a purchase. If you are purchasing the vehicle from a dealership do not automatically assume that they have fully inspected it themselves even though they might have. It is worthwhile to have a second opinion by hiring an independent inspector to check the vehicle out. If you are purchasing a vehicle privately it is even more important to have the vehicle checked out by a qualified mechanic or inspection service. This will help you avoid getting caught off guard with a repair that may not be covered by your auto warranty.

Auto Advantage not only provides the highest quality car warranties in the industry, but also has a full independent inspection service that can check out your vehicle prior to the vehicle’s purchase or warranty activation. Visit our Auto Advantage’s website to get a quote for the best coverage available for your vehicle. 

 

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Exotic Car Extended Warranties

For many of us purchasing an exotic vehicle such as a Ferrari, Lamborghini, Bentley, Rolls-Royce, Maserati, Aston Martin, etc. is far out of reach. But for those lucky few that can afford to purchase and enjoy these exotic luxury vehicles the joy and exhilaration, they get from driving these cars is unmatched. However, when one of these vehicles breaks down the cost to repairs is also unmatched. It is not uncommon to see repair bills of $5,000, $10,000, $25,000, or more.

Unlike when you own a traditional vehicle, extended warranty coverage is not readily available for these cars. Luckily though it is extremely hard to find, there are two “reputable” warranty providers that do offer coverage for exotic and extreme luxury cars. Auto Advantage Inc., A+ rated and in business since 1979 specializes in warranties for these cars and is a direct distributor for both providers. Coverage available ranges from basic powertrain coverage to exclusionary bumper-to-bumper coverage.

If you are looking for Ferrari warranty coverage, Lamborghini warranty coverage, Bentley warranty coverage, Rolls-Royce warranty coverage, Maserati warranty coverage, Aston Martin warranty coverage, or any other exotic auto warranty contacting Auto Advantage is your best, and perhaps only safe choice.

 

 

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Direct Marketing - Auto Warranty Buyers Beware!

For me, not a day goes by that I do not receive some type of unsolicited telemarketing phone call or piece of mail trying to sell me something.

Unfortunately many of the companies that do direct marketing have a terrible reputation and are generally very poorly rated with the Better Business Bureau. The reason for this is most higher-quality companies do not participate in direct marketing as they generally get enough business through traditional marketing methods. And no business is this more true than in the auto warranty business. There isn’t a single company we have found that direct markets warranty plans that actually has an insurance company underwriting their business. This is the gold standard for determining whether a warranty company is reputable and upstanding. These unscrupulous marketing companies are simply sham companies set up to scam you out of your money. Unfortunately this also goes for auto warranty companies that advertise on the radio or cable television. No “reputable” auto warranty company does any type of television or radio ad.

Purchasing an auto warranty is actually one of the best financial decisions the vehicle owner can make. The way to protect yourself and make sure that you purchase an auto warranty from a company that will be there to pay claims when the need arises is to make sure that you follow certain criteria. Some of the things to make sure of are…
• Be certain that the auto warranty company is in business for 10 years or more to assure that they are successfully paying claims, not just selling warranties.
• Check to make sure that the company is not only A+ rated by the Better Business Bureau but also an accredited BBB company.
• And perhaps most importantly, you want to make sure that the warranty company is backed and insured by a United States-based insurance carrier that has at least an A rating with AM Best. This means that even if the warranty company itself goes out of business your claims will still get paid directly by an underwriter.

The bottom line is you need to do more than just get a quote and assume the plan is a quality auto warranty program. You should always do your research to make sure that you know what you’re getting yourself into. An excellent place to start is one of the most reputable companies in the industry, Auto Advantage Inc. who have been offering automotive warranties and roadside assistance since 1979.

 

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