Process of Submitting A Claim
The process for submitting a structural claim is clearly presented in the warranty booklet. One of the primary functions of Warranty Administration is educating homeowners about that process, as well as discussing with the homeowner the issue they are observing to determine if submitting a Structural claim would behoove them. But occasionally, the situation arises when a builder contacts Warranty Administration and wants to know if they can submit a structural claim.
This begs the question: Can a builder submit a structural claim?
Structural Defect Issues
Before we get to the answer, let’s take a look at the situation this question typically grows out of. The homeowner has noticed something they think might be a Structural Defect beyond the first year of coverage, and has asked the builder to take care of it. The builder, as they rightly should, informs the homeowner that according to the warranty contract, possible Structural Defects are investigated by the Warranty Insurer, and the homeowner should submit a structural claim and the $250.00 claim investigation fee to 2-10 HBW. If the builder is contacting us, it is typically because the homeowner does not accept this answer and they threaten to escalate the issue.
The escalation can take many forms, but two common ones are:
- The threat of filing suit
- Negative exposure
Can the builder file a structural claim in an effort to avoid such escalations?
The answer is yes and no.
The builder cannot unilaterally initiate the structural claims process without the consent of the homeowner. However, if the builder submits a structural claim on behalf of the homeowner, the $250.00 claim investigation fee is waived. This is a small detail that can have a large impact. When a builder contacts Warranty Administration looking for help, one of the first things we recommend they do is offer to submit a structural claim for the homeowner, thereby saving the homeowner $250.00. On the face of it, $250.00 may not seem like a large amount, but the gesture of the builder trying to save the homeowner money can go a long way in easing the situation and getting it into the warranty process, where expectations and outcomes become more predictable.