You Can Benefit From Used Cars And Used Car Warranties

 

Generally, you can receive a better value when buying a used car. This is especially true for later models. Used cars are cheaper to buy and ownership expenses, like taxes and collision insurance, are also less expensive. Also, you can get a car that is better equipped when you purchase one that is used.

Due to an improvement in reliability, there has been a large increase in consumer appeal to buy used cars. Issues that concerned consumers such as exhaust and rust problems are a thing of the past. Studies have shown that these problems have decreased significantly since 1980.

Even though there has been an increase in reliability, it is still important to take into consideration the cost of repairs and maintenance. Many used cars have either a warranty that is almost up, or has no warranty left at all. Therefore, motorists find themselves paying for these expenses out of pocket. However, purchasing used car warranties are a good way to solve this issue.

Overall, buying a used car is a good way to save money. Also, consumers can get a car that is both affordable and has a variety of great features. No matter which car you choose to buy, make sure to buy an auto warranty that can cover the costs of repairs and maintenance.

 

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Life Insurance for a Family of One

 

We spend a lot of time talking about how couples, families and businesses can protect their financial futures with life insurance. But what about if you are single—do you need life insurance, too?

There are those people who have no children, no one depending on their income, no ongoing financial obligations and sufficient cash to cover their final expenses. But how many of those people do you really know? And, more importantly, are you one of them?

I think it’s important, then, to illustrate how a life insurance purchase can be a smart financial move for someone who is single with no children. Asking yourself these three questions can help you get at the heart of the matter:

  • Do you provide financial support for aging parents or siblings?
  • Do you have substantial debt you wouldn’t want to pass on to surviving family members if you were to die prematurely?
  • Did family members pay for your education?

Don’t Take My Word for It

Life insurance is an excellent way to address these obligations, and in the case of tuition, reimburse family members for their support. But don’t just take my word for it. Instead, “do your own math.” This Life Insurance Needs Calculator can help you quickly understand if there is a need—a need you might not be aware of—that could be easily addressed with life insurance.

The most important reason for you to consider life insurance may be the peace of mind you’ll have.

In addition to addressing any financial obligations you might have, the current economic climate has made permanent life insurance an attractive means to help you build a secure long-term rate of return for safe money assets. The cash value in traditional life insurance can provide you with money for opportunities, emergencies, and even retirement.

For young singles, keep in mind that you have youth on your side. I don’t mean to sound trite. Instead, I’d like you to think about the fact that purchasing life insurance is very affordable when you’re young and allows you to protect your insurability for when there is a future need—perhaps, in time, a spouse and children.

While all of these reasons are valid, the most important reason for you to consider life insurance may be the peace of mind you’ll have knowing that your financial obligations will be taken care of should anything happen.

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Three Things To Know About Car Warranties

Any car owner can feel at ease about bringing their car to the shop if they purchase a car warranty. Car warranties can lower the cost of maintenance and repairs performed on your car. Here are three things to know about car warranties:

First off, know where the warranty is coming from. Is it coming from an auto manufacturer or an aftermarket auto warranty company? Also, know who is handling your policy.

Second, be sure to completely read through the entire warranty. This way, you will be knowledgeable about what type of coverage you are receiving and how long the warranty will last.

Lastly, know what specific maintenance that you need to have done on your car because there are some car warranties that will only remain valid if this work is done on your car. Also, make sure that you keep all of your car’s maintenance records in the event that there is a claim.

Car warranties will allow you to have peace of mind each time your car goes into the shop for repairs and maintenance. However, it is important for you to know all of the details of your warranty if you want to get the most out of it.

 

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Do Research Before Buying An Auto Warranty

When most people research auto warranties, they mainly look at price. Everyone is looking to get the best rate possible on an auto warranty. However, though price may be important, it should not be the deciding factor when you make the final purchase.

When you look into buying a warranty, it is important to ensure that you buy one that is great quality. In order to get the most out of your auto warranty and to make a smart purchase, here are two very important things to take into consideration when you do your research:

First off, consider the price. Price is an important factor when you make any purchase. However, when it comes to warranties, it is important that price is not the only thing that you look at.

Secondly, make sure you research the company thoroughly. Is the company reputable? Is it an established company? Are they visible online? Are their contact details easily and prominently located? And lastly, is the company accredited and does it have a high rating with the Better Business Bureau?

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Auto Warranty Scam Warning

 

It has been reported that a variety of companies and marketing firms have been making unsolicited calls to offer customers an automotive extended warranty. When a customer is told that the warranty is about to expire, if they are not educated to the warranty business or their vehicles coverage may sometimes believe anything a telemarketing agent says. Unfortunately, in almost every case they are creating this information out of thin air with the hope that they can scare or pressure a customer into purchasing warranty coverage for their vehicle. This is obviously a dishonest practice but is borderline illegal as well.

It is also been reported that a variety of third-party companies have been sending a postcard a flyer in the mail with the same general information hoping to coax a customer into calling them so they can attempt to sell them warranty coverage. This process is a high-pressure process, usually involving several levels of sales professionals to try and close the deal.

What these companies never tell you is that in many cases, your car may still be covered by an existing warranty as they have no knowledge of the vehicle’s actual existing warranty status.

Also, there are many levels of warranty coverage that are available that are generally not explained in clear detail to a customer. They simply sign you up, collect your money, and then send you documentation later where you find out there are many loopholes that would allow a claim to be denied. This is assuming the company even has a claims department and any legitimacy at all.

In most cases, you may have simply given money for a product that either doesn’t exist or is not an actual insurance company product.

If the company does have any legitimacy, not having an underwriter simply means that in the event that they have any type of claims activity at all, they can easily be wiped out as they very rarely leave much money in a claims fund to protect the consumer.

The bottom line is a customer’s best option is to reach out to a legitimate warranty provider that is directly underwritten by a US-based, “A” rated carrier. The other option, of course, is to visit a local dealership and find out what they are offering. The downside to this is that dealerships are generally 50-100% more expensive the same level of coverage you can get in the automotive warranty aftermarket.

The bottom line is you will almost never hear a radio ad or receive a notice by mail from any legitimate warranty company so buyer beware!

 

 

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Can you get Term Life Insurance if you have Heart Disease Risk Factors?

 

The heart wants what it wants.

As if having a heart condition or related risk factor isn’t unnerving enough, the worry of not being able to provide or afford to provide financial peace of mind for your loved ones could compound the stress of a medical issue.

Naturally, life insurance companies are interested in how healthy your heart is as they assess their risk in granting you coverage. People with or at risk for cardiovascular disease, or even a family history of it, could end up paying higher premiums for their policies. A drop of one rating class (e.g., Super Preferred to Preferred) could mean an increase of 25% or more in the cost of your insurance policy. And under certain circumstances, an insurance company might deny you coverage.

If You're Thinking About Applying for a Life Insurance Policy, Keep These two Things in Mind: 

  1. You need to be completely honest about your current health status and medical history.

Lying, misleading, or omitting crucial information about your health will likely get you rated at a higher premium or denied a policy. And if you’re granted a policy, die, and the insurance company discovers you lied or misrepresented information on your application, it could either lower the benefit your family receives or the company will altogether refuse the claim.

  1. Although you may not be able to help that you have a heart condition or risk factor, doing what you can to keep issues under control will work in your favor. 

For example, if you have blood pressure that’s typically higher than the ideal normal reading of less than 120/80, you might consider seeing a doctor and getting it under control before you apply for life insurance. I have first-hand experience with this one. My blood pressure had been running high, but because I didn’t have other risk factors and was under a physician’s care to keep my BP under control, I still got a preferred plus rating when I applied for term life insurance.

The same goes for cholesterol levels. Total cholesterol (a measure of your HDL, LDL, and other components) of below 200 and a ratio of LDL and HDLs of 5.0 or less are considered ideal. As with blood pressure, if your levels are outside of the preferred levels, getting them under control before applying for life insurance will serve your wallet well.

How do Insurance Companies Check your Heart Health?

When you apply for insurance, you’ll need to share about your medical history (and family medical history) by answering questions on the application. You’ll also need to undergo a paramedical exam that includes blood tests, blood pressure check, and urinalysis. Depending on your age, history, and amount of coverage requested (if larger than normal), the insurance company might also ask you to go through an electrocardiogram (EKG) and/or a stress (treadmill) test to further evaluate your heart health.

Realize that all insurance companies have different policies and procedures so the requirements, considerations, and rates will vary from one to another.

How can you get the Best Life Insurance Rate?

If you’ve avoided looking into life insurance because you don’t think you can afford the cost, you might be pleasantly surprised if you explore the option of term life insurance. You’ll need to go through the same type of health assessments as you would when applying for whole life insurance, but term life policies offer premiums that could be substantially lower. They’re simple, straightforward policies without the bells and whistles that run up premium rates.

You can quickly and easily get a preliminary term life quote online. To find out if a term life policy might be the right choice for you and your family, talk with a trusted insurance professional who can explain how it works and answer your questions.

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Roof Repairs: What to Look For and What's Covered

 

Your roof is your home's first line of defense against the outside elements. Everything from wind, rain, ice, snow and the sun are constantly being weathered by and weathering your roof.

Home warranties, or home service contracts, claim to cover everything under your roof. But do they cover the roof itself?

In the case of roof coverage, there are usually specific repairs the home service contract will cover, or not. With the disclaimer that most home warranty companies offer roof repair as an optional add-on, some cover it as part of their standard plans. The scope of coverage by most service contracts that offer roof repair as an option include leak repairs or shingle replacement, but no home service contract (that we've come across) offers a roof option that would cover the complete re-roofing of a property.

Roof Repair Coverage Options and Limitations

Home service contracts come in a variety of plan options. Oftentimes, they cover specific appliances or systems and exclude most parts of the structure of the home, like windows, the roof and the interior and exterior components of the walls. Some plans cover one or two items, like a dishwasher and garbage disposal, while others are very inclusive to the extent that your roof and other structural elements are covered, however usually with limitations. The key is to read through the details, because the one common denominator in all home service contracts is that they are all very different.

Other stipulations include coverage periods for different parts of the home. For example, the foundation may be covered for a different period of time than the roof or other structural elements. Also, some home service contracts start on an activation date that is pre-selected by the homeowner, which may be different from the date the contract was actually purchased on. Some companies also require a waiting period, such as 30 days after purchase, before claims can be made. Again, read through the details carefully.

Roof Repair Scams to Be Aware Of

Part I: Gaining Access

Roofing contractors as an industry ranked number one on the Better Business Bureau's 2016 Compliant and Inquiry Statistics report for the sheer amount of inquiries made by consumers last year. Out of the thousands of industries ranked, roofing contractors ranked number 22 based on complaints.

To put these figures in perspective, painting contractors ranked number 21 based on inquires and number 120 based on complaints. Home builders ranked number 8 based on inquiries and number 32 for complaints.

When it comes to roofing contractors, be aware of who you entrust your home with, and be especially aware of these roofing scams:

Storm Chasers

Has your area recently been hit by a hailstorm or a rainstorm? If yes, then you may have been contacted by a roofing contractor to fix your damaged or leaking roof at a great discount, or at almost no cost. They do this by helping homeowners claim insurance money for repairs that don't need to be made. This is a kind of scam that is being perpetrated widely across the U.S. A well-dressed professional may knock at your door and offer you a free inspection of your roof, claiming it has most likely been damaged by the recent storm. They may also tell you that your roof is at danger, and share they've recently repaired nearby properties that have suffered similar roof damages. Furthermore, they may offer you cheap construction materials, claiming they recently repaired similar structures nearby and have leftover materials. 

The Flyer

Another method adopted by these roofing contractor cons is to make contact with prospective customers by leaving flyers on doorknobs or in mailboxes. The flyer will typically advertise a 'free roof inspection' or 'roof repairs at zero cost' by offering to assist customers in filing illegitimate claims with their insurance companies for repairs they don't actually do. These people normally target storm hit areas, senior citizens and people with disabilities who cannot climb up to their roofs to inspect them for themselves.

Showing and Creating False Damage

Once contractors gain access to a roof, as part of their 'free inspection,' they climb up to assess the status of the roof. If there isn't any damage they either create damage using tools, or claim the shingles are weak or poorly attached. Even worse, they sometimes show pictures of damaged roofs taken somewhere else and pass it off as the prospective customer's damaged roof. The contractor then insists on fixing it immediately in order to avoid additional damage or will cite forecasted bad weather coming soon.

Part II: Payment Options

Once these faux roofing contractors convince people their roofs are in dire need of repair, they move onto payment options.

Some of the common terms and discounts they advertise are:

Discounted Material

Some contractors will offer discounts ranging from 20–30 percent off the estimated cost for materials by telling customers their supplies are from previous work. The leftover materials are available at discounted prices while their team is in the neighborhood, and they'll pressure customers to act immediately.

Insurance Fraud

This is one of the most widely occurring roofing fraud types across the U.S. Here, the roofing contractor offers to inflate the bill and charge it to the insurance company on behalf of the customer. They'll also offer to reimburse the customer for their insurance deductible, so in the end the customer ends up paying nothing at all. Some people get duped by this free service offering, but what they may not realize is that this is insurance fraud and can be damaging to both the contractor and the customer.

Pay Upfront

The contractor insists the customer pays the full amount for the repairs up front. Some will indicate they need this in order to purchase the necessary supplies, or ask for a minimum of 50 percent down in order to allot the crew for the repairs. Whether it's 100 percent or 50 percent, once they receive payment, some contractors will disappear completely. Contractors who do this frequently avoid detection by moving or operating in different regions or under different business names.

Part III: Protect Yourself

It is crucial for customers to be alert and diligent when engaging roofing contractors to fix a damaged roof, or a roof a contractor is claiming to be damaged.

Some measures homeowners can take to avoid roofing contractor scams are:

  • Speak to neighbors to ask if they have roof damages, and if they've recently had them repaired.
  • Verify the credentials and the business license details of the contractor before signing a work agreement.
  • Ask the contractor for local references or testimonials that can be verified by phone and email.
  • Check with your insurance agent and/or home warranty company to see if roof damages are covered under the insurance policy or home warranty plan, and if the company performing the repairs is valid and in existence.
  • Make sure that all verbally agreed upon points are covered in the written contract with the roofing contractor and that documentation for all repairs is properly noted.
  • Investigate the track record of the roofing contractor you're considering hiring – check online reviews and references personally.
  • Collect a business card from the contractor; if a business address is listed, consider stopping by the office.

In Conclusion

One of the best features of home warranties, especially as it relates to roofing contractors, is that contractors servicing home warranty companies and their clients are:

  • Pre-screened for licensing and insurance as required by their respective states
  • Regularly monitored and evaluated for their performance
  • Graded and rewarded for the quality of their work
  • Backed by the home warranty company on covered repairs

Using a contractor through a home service company instead of someone off the street advising you on repairs you need will drastically mitigate potential scams you may fall victim to by a random roofing contractor soliciting you.

While some home warranties offer limited roof protection and leak coverage, it's important to remember that no home warranty will cover any pre-existing conditions. The roof protection and leak coverage options available through home warranties are rare and fairly limited. Most cover patches for small leaks, and none (that we know of) cover partial or entire roof replacement.

Chances are, if you are purchasing a home warranty solely for its roof repair and protection options, you will not be very satisfied. Home warranty contracts work best when properly used and understood, which is why it's important to compare plan details.

 

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Plumbing Issues

 

Plumbing issues will soon be a thing of the past with these quick fixes you can do at home! Intimidated or don’t have the time? No problem, simply request service with America’s Choice Home Warranty and a couple clicks will get you fixed.

Plumbing Problem 1: Water Trickling Into the Bowl, or “Phantom Flushes”

Periodically, you may hear your toilet begin to voluntarily refill, as though someone had flushed it. Indeed, no one has, but don’t worry, your toilet isn’t haunted. A toilet that cuts on and off by itself, or runs intermittently, has a problem that plumbers call a “phantom flush.” The issue is a slow leak from the toilet tank into the bowl. This problem is almost certainly caused by a bad flapper or flapper seal. The solution is simple: drain the tank and bowl, check and clean the flapper seat and replace the flapper if it’s worn or damaged. 

Plumbing Problem 2: Water Trickling Into the Tank

Do you hear a steady hissing sound coming from your toilet? This is a result of water trickling into the tank via the supply line. First thing’s first, check the float, the ballcock or inlet-valve assembly and the refill tube. The hissing sound is typically caused by water coming through the inlet valve. First, check to see whether the float needs adjustment, or if it’s sticking. Next, check to make sure the refill tube isn’t inserted too far into the overflow tube. (It should extend only about 1/4″ below the rim of the overflow tube.) If neither of these adjustments solves the problem, you’ll probably need to replace the ballcock assembly. 

Plumbing Problem 3: The Bowl Empties Slowly

A weak flush, or a bowl that empties really, really slowly, is usually the result of clogged holes underneath the rim of the bowl. This is the easiest fix of all: use a curved piece of wire to poke gently into each flush hole to clear out any junk and bacteria. Coat-hanger wire works fine, and a small mirror will help you see under the rim. You can also use wire to loosen debris that may be blocking the siphon jet in the bottom of the drain. Be careful not to scratch the bowl, and make sure to use gloves and thoroughly wash your hands afterward.

Plumbing Problem 4: The Dreaded Clog

Clogs are definitely the most common of toilet problems. The good news is several tools can help you clear a clogged drain. A force-cup plunger is more effective for clearing minor clogs. Insert the bulb into the drain, and pump forcefully, careful not to spill waste water all over yourself or the floor. Slowly release the handle, letting a little water in so you can see whether the drain is clear. Repeat if necessary.

For serious clogs, use a closet auger. Insert the end of the auger into the drain hole, and twist the handle as you push the rotor downward. Use caution not to scratch the bowl.

Plumbing Problem 5: Leaky Seals

A standard toilet has at least five seals; each seal has the potential for leaking. The straightforward solution is to identify the faulty seal and tighten or replace it. The seal between the tank and bowl is the largest and most problematic. A break here will cause a major leak, with water shooting out from underneath the tank at every flush. Although it sounds intimidating, replacing this seal involves draining and removing the tank. First, turn the tank upside down for better access. Then, remove the old seal and pop on a new one.

The smaller seals at the mounting bolts and the base of the ballcock may also fail and cause smaller leaks. Replace these in the same way. Occasionally tightening the bolts or mounting nut is usually enough to stop the leak.

The final seal is the wax seal mounted on a plastic flange underneath the toilet base. This is a big deal because if this seal fails, water leaking underneath the toilet base will eventually rot the floor. Caulking around the base of the toilet without repairing the leak will only trap the water, making matters worse. To repair a leak around the base of the toilet, you’ll need to remove the toilet and replace the wax seal. If the leak is caused by a broken flange, request service with E-Exchanreg Home Warranty and we’ll hook you up with a professional plumber if you don’t have your own in mind.

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8 THINGS TO WATCH OUT FOR WHEN BUYING A USED CAR

BUYING A USED CAR

The used car market is a haven for various automotive gems! It is the perfect place where you can look for that odd box-type sedan that brings you back to your good old childhood days, or if you are lucky enough you can get a rare expensive classic that can now be worth millions away from its original price. Regardless of whatever meets your eye as you wander about in the used car center, used cars can become financial liabilities if you do not make it a point to check on them after making your purchase. Whether the vehicle is for you, your brand new teenage driver, your significant other, or a friend/family member, before you jump the gun on purchasing a used car, make it a point to watch out for these elements.

BODY AND GLASS

First impressions last – at least that is how you should think when you start evaluating your used car of choice. Issues such as cracks, dents, and uneven paint should play a significant part in the used car’s pricing, since those can be costly to repair. Moreover, those kinds of damage may indicate that the used car may have been involved in accidents of various degrees under its previous owner. That, of course, may point to further internal damage, so make sure to look at those problems with great circumspect when you think about your used car purchase.

INTERIOR, SEATS, AND ODOR

When canvassing for a used car, do not just look at the outside. In fact, it is even more important that you discern whether the used car you are looking at has an interior that is bearable enough for you to spend most of your time; think about all that time you spend sitting in traffic to and from work. Things like seat upholstery, seatbelts, and overall odor play a huge part in your driving experience with your used car, so make it a point not to neglect those things.

CONTROLS AND SOUND SYSTEM

Watch out for missing dials, malfunctioning light indicators, and damaged interfaces when looking for a used car. A typical secondhand vehicle should have controls that are still working properly, albeit with some parts of it already worn out. Also, make it a point to check the condition of the used car’s sound system. Muffled speakers and a faulty sound system interface may make for an unpleasant driving experience (think about having to sit in silence or forced to listen to an awful radio station during that traffic we already talked about), while faulty electrical wiring for both your controls and sounds may prove to be dangerous in the long run.

LIGHTS

Obviously, faulty exterior lights are a no-no for used cars, and fixing them can be quite a costly ordeal. With that, it is highly important that you check the conditions of the headlights, signal lights, and taillights of the used car you are eyeing first before purchasing it. Moreover, also make sure that your interior lights are also in good shape, so that you would not have to experience inconvenience in the event you need cabin lighting as you drive during nighttime.

TIRES AND SUSPENSION

A good used car has a properly-rotated and balanced set of tires and a suspension set that provides stability and safety, especially during long drives. With that, make sure that your used car of choice has good tires and suspension. Otherwise, you would certainly find yourself flirting with the possibility of encountering unwanted road accidents. You do not want to be that person on the side of the highway waiting for road assistance because your tire blew.

FLUIDS

Before purchasing a used car, make sure to check the condition of its fluids. Watch out for residues, burnt smell, or foamy particles on the dipstick – those typically refer to various problems your mechanic should work on right away. Normally though, engine oil is brownish or blackish in color and residue-free, while the transmission fluid appears pinkish.

RADIATOR

A used car should not have green particles sitting around on its radiator. Otherwise, it shows that leaks may have been made, and that a replacement may be necessary. As long as the radiator does not appear rusty or to have corrosion, then you are in good company.

ROOF

Checking the roof of your chosen used car is actually a no-brainer. Doing so allows you to see whether there is a possibility of water leakage inside the cabin, which you must prevent at all costs if you want a pleasant driving experience. At the same time, make sure to check if your sunroof is working properly, if you have one.

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