Be Informed About New Car Warranties

A warranty is a guarantee made to the consumer by the seller for a product that is sold. When a warranty pertains to a car, it is a contract that will provide coverage for the cost of repair and replacement of specific parts of the car for a certain amount of time.

New car warranties offer a variety of benefits. When a consumer purchases a car from a manufacturer, they receive a guarantee that if there are problems such as mechanical failures or defects, the cost to replace or repair those parts will be covered by the warranty. There are two types of new car warranties. The powertrain warranty covers the parts of the car that make it run, while a bumper-to-bumper warranty covers the parts of the car from the back bumper to the front bumper.

New car warranties provide motorists with peace of mind when they get those daunting repair bills from their mechanic.

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Shopping For A Used Car? How To Make Sure You Don’t Get Burned…

There are many ways to shop for used car. You can go from dealer to dealer and used car lot to used car lot, you can go on many of the used car sites online, or even an auction site online. Regardless of how you go about finding a vehicle it is important you understand what to look out for to make sure the you are not purchasing somebody else’s discarded problems. Here are some tips that might help you to find a high-quality vehicle that hopefully will serve you for many years to come…

1. Take your time when evaluating a vehicle. Take several walks around the exterior of the vehicle noting any imperfections you may find. Open the doors, trunk, and hood and look for anything that does not look like it was original or just doesn’t look right. Don’t be afraid to ask the seller questions and evaluate the answers you received. Do the same with the interior, take your time and sit in the vehicle and make sure you try all of the equipment and accessories to make sure they are operating properly. Shift the vehicle into drive, neutral, and reverse and make sure it seems to shift quickly and smoothly. If not, expensive repairs may be imminent.

2. Ask for a vehicle history report such as Carfax or AutoCheck. Make sure the vehicle has no major negative events in its history and that there are no odometer discrepancies.

3. Start the engine and open up the hood. Your eyes, ears, and nose are your best friends here. You want to look for any visible oil leaks. You want to listen for any unusual sounds. And you want to make sure that there are no unusual smells, for instance something smelling like it’s burning. Check the transmission fluid by pulling out the dipstick and checking the level and giving it a quick smell. If the vehicle was just started the transmission fluid level should be near the cold marker. You want to make sure it does not smell burnt as this could identify a current or pending problem. When the engine is turned off again pull out the oil dipstick and again, make sure it looks like it is not dirty and does not smell burnt. The color of the oil should be similar to dark amber.

4. Now it’s time for a test drive. Before you start moving check the steering system. Open the windows and turned the steering wheel hard all the way to one side, and then the other. You want to make sure there is no resistance and that there are no loud squealing sounds which could signify a problem with costly parts of the steering system. You will also want to jiggle the wheel back and forth a bit from the center position and make sure that it doesn’t have any play. Going from one side to the other. It should feel firm when turning from one side to the other. Once you are confident the vehicle is safe to drive make sure you drive it with the windows open and closed. Make sure you don’t hear any noises that seem uncommon. If you do find any potential issues and you are not sure what they are make sure to have a qualified mechanic look the car over before you complete the purchase. While driving, make sure to pay attention to the brakes. Do they feel like they are working properly and stopping the car efficiently? If not, they may need to be addressed and that could help you as any other problems found, in negotiating a better purchase price.

5. Last, but certainly not least. Asked to have the vehicle inspected by a mechanic or shop of your choice. If there is any resistance to having the vehicle inspected run, don’t walk away from the vehicle as is a telltale sign there are going to be issues found.

Once you have found the right vehicle and have made a purchase it is a sound financial decision and great idea to purchase a quality used car warranty. An auto warranty can protect you from the inevitable major or minor repairs that you will face down the road. There are few reputable companies that will allow you to purchase coverage directly, excluding the dealer and their profit, at wholesale pricing. A great place to start is Auto Advantage Inc.

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How Can a Home Warranty Protect Your Dream Kitchen?

The day is finally here. After hours of research and meetings with contractors, a million pins on interest and only slightly fewer frozen dinners microwaved in your living room, you've built your dream kitchen!

Now — to make sure that it stays up and running — it’s time to protect it with a home warranty.The  E - exchanger Plan covers the repair and replacement costs of more than 20 of your home appliances and system parts. And E-exchange makes it easy — choose from existing plans or customize one that meets your needs without paying for unnecessary coverage.

You might think that because you have homeowners insurance you don’t need a home warranty, this is a common misconception but it's not true. Home insurance and home warranties offer different types of protection. A home insurance policy covers accidental damage to your home and belongings due to theft, storms, fires and some natural disasters. A home warranty is a service contract that provides for repair or replacement of your home appliances and system components that fail due to age and standard wear and tear.

Different Types of American Home Shield Plans

The Systems Plan covers items related to the major systems in your home such as air conditioning and heating (including ductwork), electrical and plumbing, water heaters, garbage disposals, water dispensers, central vacuums, smoke detectors, doorbells and ceiling fans. All things you take for granted, but that can cause major issues when they break down. For example, that new kitchen of yours will lose its luster pretty quick should you AC go out this summer. And it will be pretty hard to entertain should your garbage disposal or water dispenser go out.

The Appliances Plan covers, home appliances such as refrigerators, dishwashers, clothes washers and dryers, ranges/ovens/Cooktops, built-in microwaves, freestanding ice makers, trash compactors, garage door openers and built-in food processors. This plan helps get your household back up and running when one of these critical devices stops working. You don't want your refrigerator to break in the middle of summer, leaving you without cold beverages or frozen treats, right? What's summer without them, anyway?

Choose a plan that best fits what you need

The Combo Plan is our most popular and covers both systems and appliances.

The Build Your Own Plan lets you customize one that meets your needs without paying for coverage you might not need.

Optional Add-Ons

Don't think that you're limited to just standard appliances. You can always add coverage for things such as a pool/spa, water softener, well pump and septic pump. Simply select the plan that best suits your needs and then tack on any of these extras as appropriate. 

You’ve taken great care to build the kitchen of your dreams. It makes sense to protect your investment with an E-exchanger Home Warranty Plan. Explore our plans, see a list of what’s covered and get prices in your neighborhood now. With this kind of peace of mind, you can sit back, relax and start trying cool summer recipes from your favorite chefs!

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The Truth About Home Warranties And Are They Worth It?

When you buy a new home you always have the option of purchasing a home warranty that, theoretically, covers the cost of repairs to various appliances and other home systems. But are these home warranties worth it and what should you be aware of before you actually buy one of these?

Before I get into some of the nuts and bolts behind these home warranty products let me explain that I actually managed the extended warranty program for Circuit City Stores for a period of time and these home warranties are a very similar product. In addition, I've studied the economics of insurance before and home warranties are basically insurance policies. So I know a fair amount about the economics of home warranties.

A Home Warranty Is An Insurance Policy

When you buy a home warranty - and they start around $420 - you are basically buying an insurance policy. The reason this is important to recognize is that insurance companies are in business to make money and that means that they expect to make money on the average policy they sell, which means that on average the people who buy these policies will lose money. Buyers will most likely pay more for the policy than they receive in return over the life of the policy.

Then why would you ever buy an insurance policy? Because you are willing to trade off the certain cost for a very uncertain cost. The insurance company can play the averages game but many consumers cannot or don't want to play that game and they are willing to pay a premium for the certainty. This is especially true as it relates to health care where a catastrophic illness can cost over $1 MM.

But when it comes to home appliances and other systems what is the worst thing that can happen? Maybe you need a new air conditioner or a refrigerator that might cost you a couple of thousand dollars. So for people who can handle that type of expense out of the blue, there is no need for them to buy an insurance policy - they basically "self-insure" from their own savings. But if a new air conditioner would break the bank then you might want to consider getting a home warranty.

How To Beat The Home Warranty Companies At The Averages

There is one advantage that the homebuyer has over the home warranty companies. They know more about what is being insured than the warranty company does and this asymmetrical information allows them to make a better decision about when to buy the warranty than the companies can make about when to sell the warranty. In fact, the companies will pretty much sell a policy on any property to any buyer because they just can't afford to inspect every home before issuing a policy. But a buyer is going to be more likely to buy a policy when they can see that a home has been poorly maintained - e.g. a trashed short sale - and is, therefore, more likely to develop problems. That's what I did when I bought my short sale. I bought a policy from Home Warranty.

This asymmetrical information leads to a problem for the warranty companies called adverse selection - the tendency of these companies to get stuck with bad deals. Consequently, they have to raise their prices to offset this bias, which means that anyone who buys such a warranty on a well-maintained property is overpaying.

Beware The Exclusions

It's important to understand what you are really buying when you get one of these home warranties. The contract is full of fine print which excludes a huge list of situations that you would reasonably expect to be covered such as:

  • Improper installation
  • Plumbing fixtures
  • Whirlpool jets
  • Ejector and sump pumps
  • Doorbells associated with intercom systems
  • Alarm system repairs above $400
  • Security video equipment
  • Central vacuum cleaner repairs above $400
  • The remote components of an automatic garage door opener
  • Ice and water dispenser in a refrigerator. In fact, it's not even clear if they cover the ice maker in the standard policy. I don't think they do.

That's just a small sample of my E-exchanger Home Warranty contract. The entire list is enormous. But you can buy a higher cost policy that will cover some of these excluded items. Like I said...these guys are in business to make money.

Beware The Pre-Existing Condition

Just like in healthcare these home warranties have pre-existing condition clauses. When you call in a claim they will ask you a series of questions and if your answers indicate that you don't know for sure that this item ever worked properly since you owned the home then they will simply deny the claim. Now you can buy a premium plan that will cover unknown pre-existing conditions but, even then, if they somehow determine that you knew the item wasn't working when you bought the plan they will deny coverage.

Beware The Deductible

Just like in healthcare you have to pay a deductible for every claim made. On my Home Warranty contract, it's a trade call fee of $100.

The Warranty Company Does Not Guarantee All The Work Performed

This one really burned me up. The home warranty companies contract with various repair companies to actually perform the work and they will make sure that your reported problem is ultimately solved. However, apparently, and once again I can only speak from my experience with Home Warranty if the contractor's work directly or indirectly damages your home or appliance you are on your own to work out the issue with the contractor. E-exchanger will do nothing to help you resolve the issue other than note a complaint in their system for future reference in dealing with the contractor even if E-exchanger sent out an unqualified contractor in the first place.

For instance, we had a gas leak in our dryer and E-exchanger sent out Bender's Plumbing of Addison to fix it. They fixed the leak but after they left we discovered that the dryer was no longer venting outside. Bender's Plumbing was dispatched again to fix this problem but incredibly they decided it wasn't their problem. Reluctantly we paid an appliance repair guy $80 to fix it and he explained that when Bender's moved the dryer the vent hose disconnected and was then crushed as the dryer was moved back in place. If Bender's had known what they were doing they would have opened a panel on the front of the dryer to reconnect the hose and pull it out of the way as they slid the dryer back in place.

Bender's initially promised to send me a check for $80 but it never arrived and then they wouldn't return my phone calls. And even though E-exchanger should never have sent out a plumber to do an appliance repairman's work they refused to help resolve this dispute.

Your Realtor Gets A Commission For The Sale Of A Home Warranty

And this is a lesser concern because it does not involve a lot of money but your realtor does get paid a small commission to sell a home warranty. It's around $70 I think, which is such a small amount that my company rebates it back to our clients to avoid any conflict of interest however small. But you should still be aware of this because some realtors will do anything for a buck.

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5 Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors

Here is the ultimate truth about life insurance: the only policy that matters is the one that is in force on the day you die. – Tom Hegna, economist, author, retirement expert

Tom Hegna’s quote is powerful. If you have loved ones who would suffer financially should you pass away, you need a life insurance policy that is in force.

Seniors generally have five options for life insurance. We’ll review each type to help you make an informed decision.

When you’re ready to apply, you can be confident that you’re purchasing the best policy you qualify for at the most competitive price.

Five Types Of Life Insurance For Seniors:

1. Term

2. Whole

3. Guaranteed Universal

4. Universal

5. Final Expense

Next Steps:

How To Apply

1. Term

As the name implies, term life insurance provides a benefit for a specific amount of time. Contrary to popular belief, term life insurance is purchased by seniors regularly.

Primary components to understand about term when deciding if it’s a good fit for you:

  • How old are you? At some point, your age can disqualify you from purchasing term. Each life insurance carrier is different, but generally age limits look like this:
    • 80 years old – 10 year term
    • 75 years old – 15 year term
    • 70 years old – 20 year term
    • 65 years old – 25 year term
    • 58 years old – 30 year term
    • Unsurprisingly, term life insurance premiums increase with age.
  • How is your health? Less than perfect health means higher premiums or a possible decline. As we age, it's common to develop chronic health conditions including:
    • hypertension
    • diabetes
    • cardiovascular disease
    • anxiety

Bottom line – your age and health are two main components to securing life insurance. It’s possible you will need to complete a para medical exam that often includes an EKG.  Typically after age 70, many carriers will include a cognitive and physical function test.

One more thing – there is no exam (simplified issue) term life insurance options for seniors, too. At up to age 65, healthy seniors may be able to purchase a moderate amount of term life insurance (up to $500,000). From ages 66 – 75, healthy seniors may have the options to purchase a modest policy of up to $99,000.

2. Whole

Whole (permanent) life insurance provides a death benefit for the rest of your life and also accumulates a cash value. Unlike term life insurance, whole life insurance remains in force as long as you pay your premiums. Additionally, your premiums remain the same amount for the life of the policy.

What is a cash value?

Cash values, which accumulate on a tax-deferred basis just like assets in most retirement and tuition savings plans, can be used in the future for any purpose you wish. If you like, you can borrow cash value for a down payment on a home, to help pay for your children’s education or to provide income for your retirement. When you borrow money from a permanent insurance policy, you’re using the policy’s cash value as collateral and the borrowing rates tend to be relatively low. And unlike loans from most financial institutions, the loan is not dependent on credit checks or other restrictions. You ultimately must repay any loan with interest or your beneficiaries will receive a reduced death benefit and cash-surrender value. – Permanent Insurance, Life Happens, a nonprofit life insurance awareness organization

Whole life insurance has some main characteristics:

  • Not common for seniors to purchase, however can make sense in some instances:
    • Desire to leave a specific amount to a beneficiary (i.e. family member, university or charity).
    • Utilize the policy loan option.
    • As a strategy to minimize estate taxes.
  • Policy lasts a lifetime.
  • Premiums are more expensive than term life insurance.
  • Accumulates cash value.
    • Ability to take policy loans from the cash value.
  • Underwriting guidelines are similar to term life insurance for seniors.
    • Usually the cutoff age for purchasing whole life is 75-80 years old.
    • Your age and health factor into whether or not you qualify for whole life insurance.

Bottom line – whole life insurance isn’t purchased by seniors all the time, but it can make sense in certain circumstances. Underwriting is similar to term life insurance.

3. Guaranteed Universal

Think of Guaranteed Universal life insurance (GUL) as a branch between term and whole life insurance. GUL is regularly recommended to seniors because it has some of the appealing aspects found in both term and whole life insurance.

Key features of Guaranteed Universal life insurance:

  • More affordable than whole life insurance.
  • Tends to be more expensive than traditional term life insurance.
  • GUL is technically not considered permanent life insurance because you select the length of the policy.
    • However, the policy length is routinely expected to outlast your life.
  • Does not accumulate a cash value.
  • Premiums can be level for a lifetime.
    • Premiums are not tied to investment volatility or interest rates.
  • GUL is often often used for:
    • Minimizing estate taxes.
    • Providing a legacy to a beneficiary.
    • Financing end of life expenses.
  • The underwriting process is often the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Guaranteed Universal life insurance is commonly purchased by seniors. Level premiums, a policy term that outlasts your life, and the ability to leave a legacy to your beneficiary(s) are primary reasons many seniors select a GUL.

4. Universal

Universal life insurance (UL) lasts a lifetime. The name implies that it’s similar to a GUL. However, there are some key differences and Universal life insurance is usually not purchased by seniors.

Let’s examine the specifics:

  • Universal life insurance is considered a form of permanent life insurance as it lasts a lifetime.
  • UL does have a cash value component.
    • Cash value is directly linked to policy’s investment performance.
    • Ability to take policy loans against the cash value of the policy.
  • Designed to provide flexibility in your policy:
    • Premium payments must be made to cover the cost of the policy.
    • Additional premium payments can be made to the savings component of the policy.
  • Policy is directly affected by the volatility of its investments.
    • In other words, the investment earnings are not guaranteed.
    • Depending on the policy’s performance, premium payments may need to be increased to maintain the policy.
  • Death benefit is adjustable.
  • Underwriting guidelines for UL are usually the same as a term life insurance application.

Bottom line – Universal life is not usually purchased by seniors. The policy does last a lifetime and provides flexibility, however, there are risks associated with the structure of the policy.

5. Final Expense

Final Expense (FE) life insurance makes all the sense in the world for seniors under certain circumstances. Aptly named, Final Expense works well for those seeking funds to cover end-of-life financial needs.

What you need to know:

  • Final expense is permanent life insurance and lasts a lifetime.
  • FE secures funds for end of life costs:
    • Funeral and burial expenses.
    • Medical bills.
  • Policies amounts typically range between $50,000 – $100,000.
  • Often FE policies can grow a cash value, meaning that you can access funds during the life of the policy (policy loans).
  • Underwriting for Final Expense is different than standard term life insurance:
    • Approval can be instant after you pass the health questionnaire.

Bottom line – Final Expense is a popular life insurance option for seniors. While the policy amounts are modest compared to other life insurance options, it may be the right amount of life insurance needed for your family. Further, the underwriting process is more lenient and instant approval is possible.

How To Apply

Your life insurance needs determine which policy is the best fit for you. Seniors have specific life insurance considerations and as an independent life insurance agency, we’ll collaborate with you to find the best policy at the most competitive price. Independent agents are not held captive to a particular life insurance carrier and you will receive multiple quotes from multiple carriers.

This is important – Some life insurance is better than none. And, the best time to become insured is today.

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Is Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance a Good Option?

We often get asked questions along the lines of “My aging parent is very ill and medical bills have drained his/her savings account, but I cannot afford to pay for the funeral if he/she should pass away.  Can I buy life insurance on my parent?”  In this scenario, we do not advise purchasing “regular” fully underwritten life insurance.  More often than not, term life insurance is going to be ideal for most people, but not in this scenario.

Why we wouldn’t recommend term insurance in this case…

Term life insurance would typically not work in this case because the coverage amount would be too small, the client would likely be uninsurable because of health issues, and the client’s age would be outside the range a life insurance company would approve coverage for.

What we would recommend…

When we get this question, we usually tell inquirers that they have two options:

  1. Take the money you would have spent each month on term insurance and instead put it into a savings account so it can start accruing interest. You can then access these funds later when in need of money for your loved one’s final expenses.
  2. Purchase a guaranteed issue life insurance policy.

What is a guaranteed issue life insurance policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance is a type of life insurance that you cannot be denied coverage on, hence “guaranteed”.  There are a few things you should know about this type of insurance.

  1. Guaranteed issue life insurance is typically known as “last resort” life insurance. It’s meant for those who may have been denied previously and/or are not in good health.
  2. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are designed so that surviving loved ones can pay for your final expenses, such as a funeral, burial, and medical bills.
  3. Guaranteed issue life insurance premiums will never increase.
  4. A guaranteed issue life insurance policy accumulates cash value.
  5. Guaranteed issue life insurance policies have significantly lower death benefit amounts compared to term or permanent policies.
  6. There is no medical exam or questionnaire required for guaranteed issue life insurance. The only factor that is really taken into consideration is the age of the insured.  Because of this, guaranteed issue life insurance premiums are higher per thousand than most other types of life insurance.
  7. Benefits are limited to the first two years. This is called a Graded Death Benefit period.  What this means is that if you die within two years of buying the policy for any reason other than an accident, your beneficiaries typically only receive the total amount of what you paid in premiums.  (This can vary depending on the carrier.)

So, if you’re in relatively good health, fully underwritten life insurance may be a better option for you.  However, guaranteed issue life insurance is a great option for those with a desperate need.

How much does guaranteed issue life insurance cost?

While you can get millions of dollars’ worth of term life insurance coverage, guaranteed issue life insurance coverage often caps at $50,000.  Again, its design is based around simply helping your surviving loved ones pay for your final expenses.

Quotacy works with Gerber Life to provide guaranteed issue coverage options.  Gerber’s guaranteed issue policy is available in all U.S. states except for Montana.  Take a look at the examples and table below to get an idea on what a guaranteed issue policy can cost.

Example #1

 John Smith is 55 years old and has been denied for traditional life insurance because of his Stage IV prostate cancer.  He does not want to burden his children with his final expenses so he plans on purchasing guaranteed issue life insurance.

He’s automatically approved without having to undergo a medical exam or fill out any health forms.  John obtains $20,000 in coverage and his premiums are $91.30 per month.

If John passes away within two years, Gerber Life will refund to his beneficiaries all premiums that had been paid plus 10% interest.  However, if John happens to die because of an accident unrelated to his health within those two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full $20,000 death benefit.  After two years, his beneficiaries will receive the full death benefit regardless of how he dies.

Example #2

 Jane Doe takes care of her 79-year-old mother Sally.  Sally does not have any life insurance and Jane is worried that she won’t have the funds to give her mother the funeral she deserves.  Jane decides to buy a guaranteed issue life insurance policy on Sally.

A $12,000 policy is enough for Jane to ensure she can pay for a proper funeral and burial.  Sally is approved for coverage and the policy will cost $165.70 per month.

Although this type of policy is easy to acquire, it offers less coverage and higher premiums than traditional life insurance, so explore all your options.  If you aren’t sure if guaranteed issue life insurance is the best choice for you or want more information, contact us here at Quotacy and we can help you.

Recap of Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance:

  • If you’re between 50 and 80 years old, you can be accepted for guaranteed issue coverage regardless of your health.
  • There are no medical exams to complete or health questionnaires to fill out.
  • Cash value accumulates within the policy.

Remember, term life insurance quotes are free to run on E-Exchanger.com and there is no penalty for applying.  It doesn’t hurt to apply for term life insurance, then opt for the guaranteed issue if you end up being denied.  The more options you have, the better decision you can make.

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Understanding the Key Terms on Your Warranty

If you're reading through your new car warranty for the first time, or you are considering purchasing a new car, there may be a few terms in there that you don't know. To help you understand your warranty, we've defined a few key terms:

  1. Bumper-to-Bumper: a type of warranty also commonly referred to as a basic or standard car warranty. All automakers offer a basic warranty for a set amount of time or miles. This warranty covers basic, non-engine parts of the car such as the power steering, fuel system, lights, sensors, audio system, brakes, and climate control. If any of these parts malfunction while you are covered with a bumper-to-bumper warranty, your dealer should pay to fix them.
  2. Deductible: the amount of money you pay the repair facility for repairs on your vehicle. Some warranties cover the cost of all repairs and labor, but others require you to pay a set amount out of pocket.
  3. Federal Emission Defect Warranty: a type of warranty that covers repairs your car needs to meet the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards. This includes defective materials and repairs.
  4. Plan Term / Plan Expiration: the length of time or the amount of mileage your warranty covers. When you reach the end of your plan term, for example 3 years / 60,000 miles, your warranty plan will expire.
  5. Powertrain: a type of warranty that covers certain "powertrain" parts of your vehicle. These parts include the transmission, engine, and drivetrain (transfers power from the engine to the wheels and down). If your powertrain components are found defective or damaged before your powertrain warranty expires, the manufacturer will pay for replacements.
  6. Roadside Assistance: provides owners with assistance if the vehicle breaks down. This often includes a number you can call 24-hours a day, 365 days a year for emergency assistance, towing, help with a flat tire, or fuel problems.
  7. Surface Corrosion: rust on the outside of your car. Substances such as salt and iron oxide can make it easy for rust to form on your car. Some warranties do not protect against surface corrosion.
  8. Transferability: when you sell your car and transfer your warranty to the new owner. Car manufacturers may allow you to transfer the entire warranty, half, or none.
  9. Wear and Tear: when components of your car stop working due to external conditions. This means that your air system or radio stops working because of operational error, not because the parts can wear out. Some warranties cover wear and tear.
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5 Ways Critical Illness Insurance Can Be a Financial Life Saver

It was a world-famous heart surgeon, Dr. Marius Barnard, who created critical illness insurance, as he saw how the financial stress that accompanied cancer, heart attack and stroke was killing his patients. This type of insurance typically gives you a lump-sum cash payment if you are diagnosed with one of the illnesses specified in your critical illness policy.

No matter how you’d use the money, critical illness insurance always does one thing: It reduces financial stress.

But one of the challenges of critical illness insurance is understanding the many ways you can use the benefit—the money paid out—if you ever need it. Here are some of the ways I have seen:

1. To pay for deductibles, co-pays and other out-of-pocket expenses related to health care. This is the most obvious use, especially as deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses for health insurance plans continue to increase.

2. Expenses not covered by health insurance like travel, hotels, babysitting, etc. I know a person who had a great health insurance plan. He was diagnosed with colon cancer. His doctor told him, “You need to go to MD Anderson.” Complicating the whole issue, he and his wife had just had a child. So, they took his father-in-law along to watch his son. He had to charge airfare, meals and the hotel costs to his credit card. Several years later, he was still paying off that credit card.

3. Income protection, especially for the self-employed. If a self-employed person has an income-protection plan, including disability insurance, it most likely will have a 90-day elimination period before benefits are paid. One self-employed person I know was diagnosed with cancer. She would take her chemo treatments on Fridays. Then she would use the weekend to recover and try to be back at work on Monday or Tuesday. She did not miss enough days from work to meet her elimination period. Did cancer impact her income? Significantly!

4. Mortgage protection. Many people purchase life insurance so that if anything happens to them, the family’s home will be paid off and the family will be able to stay in the home. But what’s more likely to happen while paying on a mortgage—death or a critical illness? Depending on age, you could be as much as four times more likely to suffer a critical illness while paying a mortgage than to die.

Typically, insurance that covers from two to five years of mortgage payments will help significantly through the transition. A great thought-provoking question is, “Would it reduce your financial stress if you are diagnosed with cancer to know your mortgage will be paid for two years?”

5. Retrofit a home or car. I had a woman tell me that her husband had had a stroke. The couple had to take out a second mortgage to make modifications to their home, including a wheelchair ramp, significant changes to their bathroom, and the widening of doorways to accommodate the wheelchair.

No matter how you’d use the money, critical illness insurance always does one thing: It reduces financial stress. There is always emotional stress for a family with a family member who has a critical illness. Emotional stress increases directly with financial stress. A critical illness plan reduces the financial stress, which then reduces emotional stress. If you’d like to learn more about this important coverage, contact your insurance agent or advisor.

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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.

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.

About CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com

CompareHomeWarrantyQuotes.com 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.

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Why You Should Protect Your Car With An Aftermarket Used Car Warranty

Owning a car is an investment in itself. From the price of the car itself to all attendant costs for maintenance and repair, being a car owner requires you to have a strong sense of financial responsibility even without an aftermarket used car warranty. Brand-new cars these days come with a manufacturer’s warranty, which covers the costs for maintenance and repair within their first few years of purchase. However, you shouldn’t rely on your manufacturer’s warranty alone, given that it only covers the time when your car has yet to sustain damage arising not from carelessness, but from wear and aging. Worse, once your manufacturer’s warranty expires, your car becomes more vulnerable to damage sustained from fortuitous circumstances, given that it’ll understandably be way past its brand-new shape by then. Those reasons provide for the very purpose for which an aftermarket used car warranty for cars is offered – to continuously cover for your car’s well-being if you plan to keep it beyond the coverage period of its aftermarket warranty.

Generally speaking, an aftermarket used car warranty is meant to cover for long-term maintenance and repair costs – say, five to 10 years from the time you purchased your car. An aftermarket used car warranty serves you well since it is designed to provide you with security against the increasing frequency of costly maintenance and repair processes relative to your car’s age. If you wish to be convinced further on the benefits of protecting your car with an aftermarket used car warranty, take time to read through the following reasons.

1: An aftermarket warranty effectively covers high maintenance and repair costs

An aftermarket warranty can save you from hefty maintenance and repair costs, and you’re bound to benefit from it further the higher your car’s value is. Such makes purchasing an aftermarket warranty a great choice for luxury cars, sports cars, and other kinds whose values are way higher than the average family sedan. Those kinds of cars may prove to be highly-polished machines that provide you with irreplaceably pleasant driving experiences, but their high value automatically translates to exorbitant prices for parts and services. Having an expensive car typically means that you’d intend to keep it for the long term, but selling it to recoup returns may prove to be an option if you can no longer afford to cover for maintenance and repair costs. So to say the least, an aftermarket warranty helps strengthen your love affair with your car – the more expensive it is, the more that you’d benefit from having your maintenance and repair costs covered outside the manufacturer’s warranty.

2: An aftermarket warranty takes care of routine check-ups

Performing routine checkups is advisable for keeping your car in top shape. However, it is understandable that you may not have the time to check your car even on a monthly routine. That leaves you exposed to risks related to faults that simply could’ve been prevented had they been detected through routine check up on your car. But time is true of the essence, and you need to balance that with a responsible examination of your car. An aftermarket warranty, therefore, works in your favor in the event your car starts showing problems that are otherwise preventable had you been checking your car routinely. Like a safety net that catches your car’s problems as they emerge, an aftermarket used car warranty provides you with the security you need in the absence of the proper skills and ample time needed for conducting a well-rounded routine checkup.

3: An aftermarket warranty is best for frequently-used cars

More often than not, your purpose for purchasing a car is to have a machine that can bring you from point A to point B efficiently. Given that, you’re more likely to use your car more often than leaving it in your garage to sit, and that may involve long distances and greater time spent for your commute, whatever your case may be. Frequent use of your car may even lead you to clock in more than the industry standard of 12,000 miles a year, and that is possible depending on your circumstances. Such, in turn, would expose your cars more to breakdowns, which may be troublesome for you especially if your manufacturer’s warranty is already way past its duration. To prevent financial headaches triggered by said possibilities, you must purchase an aftermarket warranty for your car. An aftermarket used car warranty provides great financial coverage for when your car begins requiring repairs due to frequent usage. You’d be able to use your car for longer and more frequently with the protection an aftermarket warranty provides.

4: An aftermarket warranty is a practical addition for cars kept for the long term

Most car owners purchase cars with the intent of keeping them for long. As things stand, cars are by no means inexpensive, what with the complex specifications, it possesses to become capable transportation machines. With that, you’d more likely keep your car within your possession for a good number of years, and that would most probably extend way beyond the duration of your manufacturer’s warranty. But along the way, you’d have to brace yourself to cover for your car’s numerous costs for maintenance and repair, which is why an aftermarket warranty simply provides you with a practical option. Although an aftermarket warranty is in itself an investment since it gets more expensive the older your car is, it can save you from going overboard on your maintenance and repair expenses.

5: An aftermarket warranty simply provides the protection you need

The love you have for your car is due to its reliability in taking you to places. Yet, with many uncertainties abounding your car’s well-being, it definitely pays to extend that love you have by purchasing an aftermarket warranty. As your car is frequently exposed to the elements and with its components slated to wear out eventually as you use it frequently, it requires a specific form of protection that extends beyond the one initially provided by your manufacturer. Needless to say, you need an aftermarket warranty to allay your anxiety with peace of mind in the form of continuous protection. Purchasing an aftermarket warranty is, therefore, an investment that enables you to share more memories with your beloved car.

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