Do you understand how your structural warranty coverage works? The process varies from one provider to the next, but if a homeowner needs to use their 2-10 HBW structural warranty coverage, here’s an overview of what the process looks like from your perspective.
Understanding the limitations of structural warranty coverage
When choosing structural warranty coverage, there are a few things to keep in mind:
- Structural defects are only covered by a structural warranty when caused by a defect in the original construction.
- This may include structural defects associated with certain types of soil movement, such as settlement or heave.
- “Distress” and “defect” are not the same. Distress may be an indicator of some movement in the structure, but is only covered by the warranty if caused by a qualifying a structural defect.
We recommend builders protect themselves and their buyers with an optional insurance-backed Express Limited Warranty, which covers workmanship defects for one year and systems defects for two years. These two coverages, when combined with the 10-year structural warranty protection, offer the most comprehensive warranty protection package available in the industry today.
What happens when a homeowner makes a structural claim?
If a homeowner contacts you directly with concerns about a possible structural defect in their home, you should immediately refer them to 2-10 HBW. Homeowners can call 855-429-2109 to start the claims process and get more information.
In either case, our Claims and Warranty Administration (CWA) Specialists can provide guidance to help the homeowner assess the conditions affecting the home. If a structural defect is identified, they’ll also help homeowners navigate the claims process.
If the homeowner doesn’t loop you in, you’ll hear from a Claims Adjuster once the claim is filed. They’ll explain what happened, and you’ll also have an opportunity to assist with the investigation of the claim. Otherwise, the Adjuster will keep you updated about the claim’s developments and will reach out if any action is required on your end.
Resolution of a structural warranty claim
After the claim is investigated fully, the warranty insurer will make a coverage determination. If the claim is accepted, the insurer pays for the costs of restoring the home’s structural integrity. This includes the cost of making cosmetic repairs. The builder isn’t responsible for the costs of the third-party repairs, and this remains true even if a builder goes out of business during the 10 year coverage period. That’s one of the primary benefits of a structural warranty – coverage is reliable even as business conditions and other factors change.
In rare situations, the builder may be responsible for certain repairs and damages that aren’t covered by the structural warranty. In the event of a disagreement between the builder and homeowner, the dispute will be settled through binding arbitration delivered by an impartial third-party. Arbitration is quick and cost-effective compared to litigation, and most disputed claims are resolved swiftly.
2-10 HBW Structural Warranties can protect builders and their buyers from devastating structural problems. But, maybe even more importantly, they give homeowners that all-too-important peace of mind that if something goes wrong, they’re covered.