Many Builders join a warranty program for the market appeal or the clearly written warranty standards – both great reasons – but those reasons alone don’t tell the whole story. The HOME Warranty provides real value to builders and homeowners when major structural defects occur. Major structural defects are expensive – the industry average is over $35,000 to repair. With HOME, warranted structural defects are covered and resolved!
An enrolled home was the subject of 3 different requests for warranty performance. The first was made in Year 4 by the original homeowners and alleged that the foundation was cracking and the rear of the house was sinking. They complained that they were unable to close and lock interior and exterior doors as a result of the movement. They also complained of diverse distress occurring in various other areas of the house. The Warranty Company again hired a professional, licensed engineer, and scheduled an inspection. The engineer reported cracks in the basement walls, racking of door frames throughout house and failure in the northeast portion of the foundation. We granted the claim and obtained a repair plan from the engineer. The proposed repair required stabilizing the area of the foundation that had failed using hydraulically-driven steel piers for the foundation generally and a helical steel pier to stabilize the vertical settlement of an associated load-bearing column. We obtained an estimate based on the engineer’s repair plan and offered a monetary settlement to the homeowner who accepted the offer and executed the required Full and Final Release.
The home was sold to a second homeowner who filed a claim in Year 7. Our investigation of that claim revealed that the first homeowner did not make proper repairs to the foundation and that the area of the foundation covered in the original claim was still in a failed condition. The claim was denied on the basis of the release the original homeowners had signed. The second homeowners did not dispute our determination of that claim, but in Year 10 they filed another request for warranty performance, this time listing several other areas of the home that they believed showed evidence of structural defects. We hired the same engineer we had hired on the first file, who performed another fact-finding inspection. The engineer concluded there was failure and physical damage at the front foundation wall and the front door was not operating properly. Since this was an area of the foundation different from the one covered in the Year 1 file, coverage was granted on the front foundation wall. A plan of repair was obtained from the engineer along with a contractor’s estimate, and an offer of settlement was made to the homeowners. The homeowners accepted the offer and signed the Full and Final Release.
This case is a good example of how HOME’s coverage continues to benefit the homeowners during the full term of the warranty and of how HOME’s release language protects against future claims and liability.