Warranty for Homeowners is Worthless

The 2-5-10 warranty insurance program in BC is supposed to protect homeowners against defects.

What unsuspecting new homebuyers do not know is that the building industry has selfishly, to minimize liability for their own benefit, redefined the word “defect” differently than as recognized by all other global industries and consumers.

According to the HPO 2-5-10 warranty bulletin, claims against a builder are limited to the minimum standards of a building code that is decades old and that has never met homeowner expectations.

This means that the only warranty coverage provided to homeowners is for building code violations not meeting these minimum standards, which seems incomprehensible. Check out the HPO Standards of Coverage for yourself.

According to one dictionary definition, a defect is an imperfection that impairs worth or utility; like in an out-of-square doorframe.

In fact the fix for an out-of-square doorframe was to make a perfectly square quality manufactured door, out-of-square to fit, and the warranty company agreed this was acceptable, which speaks volumes.

Yes, a perfectly good door finished to exacting standards in a controlled manufacturing environment is retrofitted to accommodate the poor standards being practiced and allowed on our new home construction sites.

The Minister of Housing in BC, Rich Coleman, through the Homeowner Protection Act, Homeowner Protection Office, all of the home warranty insurance companies, and all of the builders, continue to consider it okay to build uneven ceilings and floors, out-of-plumb walls, and out-of-square door frames.

Believe it or not, these sub-standard quality conditions, commonly found in residential construction in BC, are not considered defects because they are not building code violations!

The employee of the warranty insurance company who is disqualifying warranty claims (the majority of times in favour of the builder) probably has no qualifications to be offering opinions on what constitutes a defect in a building: National Home Warranty claims to be exempt from Home Inspector Licensing

The National Home Warranty employee who disqualified my claim is not a licensed home inspector but an insurance adjuster.

Like most homeowners who experience problems, I’m now forced into a claims process that is builder-friendly, expensive, seriously flawed and for all of these reasons, rarely used by the public.  So how do we get a fair hearing? Rarely, if at all!

To this day the builder has refused to furnish us with a copy of the original deficiency list, neither will any of the so called “consumer protection” bodies and organizations force them to give us a copy; neither have I signed-off.

HPO 2-5-10, the warranty insurance program is basically worthless to homeowners and allows corners to be cut in construction, just as we saw in the reporting of the Olympic village construction on TV.

The consumer has little protection or recourse. Even the best due diligence by a buyer still presents unreasonable uncertainty.

“Buyer beware” remains a challenge because if there are reputable builders, or buildings, they are difficult to distinguish.

It is important for consumers to fully understand what they are up against with all new construction, and I hope this helps.

5 thoughts on “Warranty for Homeowners is Worthless”

  1. Here is a link to the National Home Warranty Performance Standards. Incredibly, these are the same performance standards of the defunct New Home Warranty published in 1991, and remain unchanged. This is right out of Ripley’s, “Believe it or Not”!

    Almost 20 years later and standards haven’t changed at all, and homebuyers are no better protected.

    This program is so forgiving that conformance itself is sub-standard. I have great difficulty trying to understand how such subjective standards from the 90’s can offer protection to homebuyers today.

    I’ve now incorporated the following link into this post:
    National Home Warranty claims to be exempt from Home Inspector Licensing

  2. Thank you for posting the HPO’s Performance Standards guidlines on your blog so readers can read for themselves what defines a defect according to the HPO. Only Building Code violations have 2 year coverages under the HPO’s warranty guidlines? Wow!

  3. Thanks for posting this. We hope that some changes can come from some of the ridiculous circumstances that are revealed. So far we have found no recourse for a home warranty builder who can’t read a blueprint and mismeasured an entire foundation footprint by 11″ – not 1 or 2 but 11 inches! We hold little hope for compensation from the courts even with several expert witnesses. If something this blatant can be disregarded we will never get rid of “leaky condo’s”.


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