Structural Defects: Yes, We Cover and Resolve Them [Case Study]
Yes, our builder warranties cover structural defects! That structural coverage is just one of the many benefits of RWC’s home warranty programs. Providing an RWC warranty on your homes reduces your liability and assures you that your homeowners are protected for covered structural defects for the entire term of the home warranty.
RWC offers two different types of structural coverage: Major Structural Defect (MSD) coverage and Designated Structural Element (DSE) coverage. During the coverage periods when the insurer is the warrantor, the warranty resolution process includes a free fact-finding inspection by a licensed, professional engineer. After that inspection, RWC determines whether the alleged defect is covered. If coverage is granted, then RWC repairs, replaces or pays the reasonable cost of repair or replacement of the affected structural component.
Here is one case study demonstrating the home warranty coverage we provide and the manner in which we handle homeowner complaints.
Major Structural Defect (MSD) Case Study:
This home was in year 10 of coverage. The homeowner claimed that “the garage foundation has failed, causing cracks, sinking of floor and walls.” He also complained that the damage did not allow a door to function properly.
RWC retained a licensed, professional engineer and scheduled him to perform an inspection of the home. RWC uses the observations and opinions of engineers to make coverage determinations when homeowners allege that their homes have an MSD or a defect in a DSE.
The engineer found and reported that there were foundation wall cracks along the perimeter of the garage and indicated that the cracks were particularly obvious in the area of the main door. Elevation readings indicated that the garage had experienced significant differential settlement and that settlement was an ongoing problem. The engineer gave RWC his opinion that the garage foundation wall had failed. The combination of failure of a structural element, actual damage to a structural element in the form of cracks in the foundation wall, and an adverse effect on safety (the garage main door not functioning properly) satisfied the Major Structural Defect criteria. Thus, we granted the claim.
Next, RWC obtained a repair plan from the engineer. The plan called for the placement of seven hydraulically-driven push piers to stabilize the downward vertical movement of the garage’s foundation wall.
RWC then hired a contractor to visit the home to provide an estimate based on the engineer’s repair plan. RWC offered a monetary settlement to the homeowner in the amount of the contractor’s estimate. The homeowner accepted the offer and executed the required Full and Final Release. The homeowner was satisfied and the claim was resolved without requiring the builder to take any action or pay one dollar to the homeowner.
This is just one example from our nearly 100,000 Warranty Resolution files that shows how homeowners and builders alike are protected by RWC’s home warranty coverage.
Homeowners receive assurance that their homes will be fixed if they experience defects covered by the builder warranty, and builders have their customers satisfied by an experienced and capable Warranty Resolution staff at no cost to them – a great value to both parties!