Navigating Unresolved Warranty Issues
A new home is a major purchase, and homeowners will certainly weigh the pros and cons when choosing a builder. Of course, a builder’s reputation, integrity, craftsmanship, and success stories will lay the foundation (um, pun intended), but one surefire way to assure buyers they’re in good hands is to include an RWC new home builder warranty with the home. If unforeseen circumstances should arise and a builder is unable to honor their commitment, a written, insured warranty will be a lifesaver.
So let’s talk about one of the most valuable features of the RWC builder warranty — the resolution process. All Unresolved Warranty Issues have the opportunity to benefit from the warranty’s resolution process. An Unresolved Warranty Issue is defined as, “All requests for warranty performance, demands, disputes, controversies and differences that may arise between the parties to this Limited Warranty that cannot be resolved among the parties. An Unresolved Warranty Issue may be a disagreement regarding:
- the coverage in this Limited Warranty;
- an action performed or to be performed by any party pursuant to this Limited Warranty;
- the cost to repair or replace any item covered by this Limited Warranty.”
Builders often wonder, do I become involved or should I let RWC handle it? The answer is… the Member’s involvement is crucial to a resolution and here’s what’s involved:
Mediation is the first step to resolution. The Member’s proactive communications is critical. Upon receipt of a homeowner’s proper written notice, RWC will communicate with the Member and the Homeowner. We’ll discuss the relevant information, actions taken, and coverage standards that apply. RWC will also explain why an issue is not covered and we’ll secure the Member an opportunity to resolve the issues.
Inspection of the issue is another avenue of resolution. As the Administrator, when the insurer is the warrantor and responsible party under the warranty, RWC will perform an inspection of the issue. The Member’s involvement in providing RWC with all relevant information, such as a copy of the Member’s customer service file is important to RWC having complete data prior to making a coverage determination. The Member is encouraged to discuss the issue with RWC and provide any relevant construction information that would assist RWC with understanding the construction practice that was utilized.
Arbitration is the final and binding step. If the request cannot be resolved through mediation or the Homeowner disputes RWC’s coverage determination, binding arbitration is the next step provided under the warranty’s resolution process. The Homeowner begins the arbitration process by giving RWC written notice for arbitration of the Unresolved Warranty Issue. The decision of the Arbitrator shall be final and binding upon all parties. When the Member is the Warrantor, participation in the arbitration proceeding is essential to the arbitrator understanding the Member’s position and the Member’s warranty obligation. The arbitration shall be conducted in accordance with the Limited Warranty and the rules and regulations to the extent that they are not in conflict with the Federal Arbitration Act.
Mediation, Inspection, and Arbitration……3 fundamental steps to RESOLUTION!
In today’s economy and its effect on the residential home building industry, having the RWC warranty as a source of resolution for homeowners and builders to resolve their disputes is an excellent and proven customer service tool. It also gives homeowners a confidence in knowing that if their builder no longer remains in business there is a dependable warranty standing behind their home.