[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]www.nahb.org and www.newhomesource.com

Before a homeowner goes to settlement on the purchase of a newly constructed home, you and the homebuyer should do a walk-through to conduct a final inspection. This walk-through will provide an opportunity to spot items which may need to be corrected or adjusted, educate the buyer about the way the new home works and what their responsibilities are, and answer any questions the homebuyer doesn't understand.

How Things Operate

When you buy a new appliance such as a washing machine, you usually have to read the instructions before you understand how to use all of the features. With a new house, the buyer will be overwhelmed with new appliances, systems, and maybe even ‘smart’ features. Not only will it help immensely if someone takes the time to show them how to operate all of these components and gadgets, but it shows that you care about the home and take pride in your finished craftmanship.

Maintenance Responsibilities

Part of your walk-through should be educating the buyer about maintenance and upkeep responsibilities. When you provide your buyers with a ten-year warranty, workmanship and materials are covered for one year. However, such warranties do not cover problems that develop because of failure to perform required maintenance. RWC/HOME of Texas provides a clearly written warranty booklet explaining what’s covered, what’s not covered, the responsibilities of new homeowners, and actions required citing specific guidelines and standards.

Builder Visits During the Year

Each builder is different, however, typically builders schedule two visits during the first year — one near the beginning and the other near the end — to make necessary adjustments and to perform work of a non-emergency nature. Explain to your client that you won’t be rushing out immediately for a problem such as a nail pop in your drywall. Such problems occur because of the natural settling of the house and are best addressed in one visit near the end of the first year.

Your Inspection Checklist

Creating a checklist when inspecting the house is key to organization and cognizance. The list should include everything that needs attention, and you and the homebuyer should agree to a timetable for repairs. Explain to the buyer that it’s best to remedy problems before they move in, because it is easier to work in an empty house. However, some items may have to be corrected after move-in. For instance, if the walk-through is in the winter, landscaping adjustments may be delayed until spring.

It is important to be thorough and observant. Examine all surfaces of counters, fixtures, floors and walls for possible damage. Sometimes disputes arise because a buyer may discover a gouge in a countertop after move-in, and there is no way to prove whether it was caused by the builder's workers or the buyer's movers. Many builders ask their buyers to sign a form at the walk-through stating that all surfaces have been inspected and that there is no damage other than what has been noted on the walk-through checklist.

In preparation for the walk-through and to ensure everything goes smoothly and efficiently, educate your homebuyers with these walk-through “Dos and Don’ts”.



On that note, the homebuyer will most likely ask a lot of questions during the walk-through and take notes on the answers. Be patient. This is the dream home they’ve been anxiously waiting to move into for months and they want to make sure everything is up to par and in perfect working order. It is important to view the walk-through as a positive learning experience that will enhance the enjoyment of your client’s new home for years to come. And furthermore, a genuine, caring and thorough home builder will get all the praise and kudos through word of mouth - the most powerful (and free) form of advertising![/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Due to advancements in technology and the increasing demand for affordable homes, modular construction continues to increase in popularity. In fact, modular home construction can often go toe-to-toe with, or in some cases even out-perform, site-built homes.

There are several benefits of modular construction for both the contractor and the homebuyer. Speed is a big factor. Since each phase of construction is carefully planned out, there are few last-minute problems or conflicts that will result in delays or plan revisions. Modular homes are typically built 33% faster with greater efficiency than a site-built home. Think about the countless individual pieces of material a site-built home needs from start to finish. Of course, the prefabrication phase uses many of these same materials, but once out of the factory, a modular home requires only connecting several large-scale components. At this point, delays including supply and delivery issues, are often kept to a minimum.

Prefabrication can also reduce the cost and time to build a home by a significant amount in several ways. First and foremost, factories are climate controlled, which means there are no weather-related construction delays adding time and money to the project. Secondly, there are also no cost over-runs from “no-show subs”. Subcontractors are already there in the factory, eliminating the need to find reliable skilled tradesmen. And third, materials are generally bought from suppliers through volume purchasing, thus getting better prices all the while controlling inventory with less waste.

Speaking of wasted materials, stick built homes tend to be less environmentally friendly than their modular counterpart. According to a National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) study, an estimated 8,000 pounds of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000 square foot home. The majority of that is wood, cardboard, and drywall and almost all of that waste ends up in landfills. Conversely, any extra materials or waste from a modular home is recycled.

There is however one thing that both modular and stick built homes have in common, and that is the need for a written insured new home warranty. As an RWC/HOME of Texas member, you know first-hand the benefits of providing a warranty on your homes. The construction industry comes in all shapes and sizes and so do warranties. Be sure to check out all of our risk management services and warranty products or call your Account Executive for more information.

You and your crew have been working hard these past few months. In fact, you’re ahead of schedule. Then, you get a call from one of your jobsites. A woman tripped over a piece of scrap lumber and fell on the sidewalk in front of one of your nearly finished houses. None of your crew saw it happen since they were working inside. Your jobsite supervisor offered to call 911, but the lady seemed more embarrassed about what she described as her “accident proneness” and politely refused the offer. After that, she went on her way. No one bothered to get her name or contact information. You heave a sigh of relief and think all’s well that ends well. Still, you can’t shake the feeling; is there anything more you should have done?

Unfortunately, there isn’t much you can do. What’s the use reporting that an unknown woman fell at one of your jobsites, refused medical attention and disappeared. However, that doesn’t mean this isn’t a Premises / Operations claim under your General Liability policy. Many injuries take time to manifest indications of how serious they really are. The person can be in mild shock and truly believe they aren’t hurt. As they begin feeling pain, sometimes days later, they go to the ER and file the claim under their medical insurance. The medical insurer discovers where the injury happened and eventually seeks reimbursement against your general liability company.  Now you may have to explain why nothing was reported. This could impact your renewal pricing. If the claim spirals into a really large loss, you may even face nonrenewal.

All this can be avoided by establishing and following a simple procedure for dealing with incidents involving the public. Whether they happen to a person or their property, the following suggestions may serve as a general guideline to assist you in setting up an Incident Reporting Procedure:

As soon as you learn of any accident or incident involving the public find out if anyone is injured.

• If someone is hurt, call 911. Stay with the person until first responders arrive and follow any instructions they may give.

• Don’t move the person unless you have to in order to protect them from further injury.

• If you administer first aid, make sure you, or someone you know is competent to do so.

• Don’t admit guilt or accuse anyone.

• Your focus is to keep the injured person calm and make sure they get the emergency medical attention they need.

• If the person refuses medical aid, don’t try to force them. Try to get their name, phone number and address, but don’t insist if they prefer not to talk to you.

• If someone’s property has been damaged, call 911 if first responders are needed to prevent the accident from getting worse - such as a fire spreading.

• Try to get the names and contact information of any witnesses. Keep in mind these may include neighbors or passersby.

• Without putting yourself or others at risk, do what you reasonably can to prevent further injury to people or damage to property.

• Contact your general liability insurance company as soon as you can. Give them all the information you have gathered.

• Put your Incident Reporting Procedure in writing. Make sure everyone in your organization is aware of it. Review it often at periodic safety meetings.

To sum up, a premises/operations claim is a claim under general liability when a member of the public is injured or their property is damaged at any place related to your business over which you have direct, or indirect control.* The extent of injuries or damage may not be apparent at the time of the accident, but knowing as much as possible as soon as possible can be critically important when and if the accident develops into a claim.


If you are insured with the RWC INSURANCE ADVANTAGE, having a written Incident Reporting Procedure as part of a formal safety program can qualify you for significant discounts.**

For more information, visit our website: rwcinsuranceadvantage.com. Or if you’d prefer speaking to one of our licensed agents, give us a call at 1-866-454-2155.

*This generally describes a claim for premises/operations third party liability damages. The various terms, conditions and exclusions in the General Liability Policy must be established to determine if a claim is, in fact, a covered loss.

 **Discounts are subject to all other underwriting criteria and are not guaranteed.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Do you know your Account Executive? Are you aware of everything that your Account Executive (A.E.) can do for you? If you answered no to either of these questions, it is time to get acquainted!

Each state is assigned a specific A.E. who is more than just a product salesperson. You may have only interacted with one another when you initially signed up to become a member. Since you may have discussed your initial enrollment process with them over the phone, it is not always easy to recall with whom you spoke. To find your specific representative, you can call into our main office at 800-247-1812 (Texas: 800-445-8173) to inquire or visit our website and click the "Find Your Account Executive" link within the Builder tab's drop-down menu.

Your A.E. serves as more than an initial contact to guide you through the process, they are also your liaison and program concierge. Their role is to help you develop a suitable program for your business. As a member, you have access to a full array of programs and options. For example, if you desire to obtain a quote for liability insurance, wish to offer appliances coverage, or need additional training set up for your team, your A.E. can make these arrangements.

As the end of the fiscal year approaches, common practice dictates that a performance evaluation analyzing the prior year will be completed. Ultimately, it is a time in which new methods or ideas may be slated for implementation with the intention of improving the overall corporate health. Setting aside time to review your warranty coverages and comparing how your business has developed or changed can be a vital part of this process, the purpose of which is to aid in ensuring that a thorough evaluation has been considered. Since businesses can fluctuate from year to year, RWC/HOME recognizes that your initial warranty options may no longer work as a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution. This is where your Account Executive can work with you to develop the best plan which complements these fluctuations.

If the timing for this sort of evaluation is currently not quite appropriate, keep in mind that your A.E. will periodically be reaching out to you via phone, email, or mailings. However, you do not have to wait for them to contact you to initiate the line of communication. When something from RWC/HOME passes over your desk, let it serve as a reminder to get in touch. Once it is time to think through all the ways in which your business may have developed or changed after your initial enrollment, your A.E. is your best resource. Setting a meeting with your RWC/HOME Account Executive will allow you the opportunity to review each of the servicing options at your disposal. Of the tools in your arsenal, the relationship you develop with your representative is a key component. Remember that they are your partners, meant to serve as a support system for your company, now and into the future.

Wide angle shot of a Domestic kitchen with modern appliancesKey Estates Warranty is a new affiliate of Residential Warranty Company, LLC,  HOME of Texas and MHWC is now offering extended warranties for homes involved in real estate transactions across the country. Offered exclusively through a network of approved Real Estate Professionals, the Key Estates Warranty program provides extended warranty protection on a variety of appliances, systems and even structural components in existing homes.

Homeowners understand that eventually, most things break down. Extended warranties are a cost-effective way to deal with expensive and unexpected repair bills after moving into a newly purchased home. The package approach of Key Estates provides the homebuyer with the security of more comprehensive coverage but at a substantially lower rate than if they were to buy individual extended warranties on each item of equipment. Through Key Estates, homeowners are protected against potential financial burdens for one or two-year terms on covered items. Without an extended warranty, homeowners may have to pay hundreds – or even thousands - of dollars for repairs. With Key Estates, homeowners are responsible for only a small service fee.

Key Estates personnel will conduct a remote visual inspection of the appliances and mechanical systems that are eligible for coverage. We will visually inspect photos /videos of the appliances for “trouble spots” that could indicate an imminent failure and search for recall notices. When the appliances pass the inspection, Key Estates certifies the home as warrantable and an insurance backed warranty is issued. This certification should add an additional layer of peace of mind for everyone involved in the transaction.

Major Structural Defect Coverage

With the average cost of major structural defect repairs in this country exceeding $35,000, Key Estates offers valuable protection from financial disaster should a structural defect develop in their existing home. Under Key Estates, a homebuyer may opt for major structural defect coverage – similar to the coverage provided to new home builders under our 10-year warranty plans – to be added to their plan for 1 or 2 years. No other resale warranty plan in the country offers this type of tried and true structural protection on existing homes! In addition, a structural home inspection conducted by a professional, licensed engineer, is part of the requirement to verify the structural ‘health’ of the home. This optional structural coverage is available everywhere except for Colorado and certain areas in Texas that have been designated as active soils areas.

 Flexibility & Control

In addition to the never before offered structural coverage on existing homes, setting this program apart from others is the level of flexibility built into our system. Homeowners have the freedom to choose their own repair provider when a covered appliance or system breaks down. Additionally, they can select optional coverage for many of the ‘extras’ such as swimming pools, spas, freezers, etc. to further customize their plan.


Real Estate Professionals benefit from Key Estates in a variety of ways. Exposure to customer service issues is dramatically reduced since the Key Estates’ administrator takes over complaint handling for problems with covered appliances, systems, and structural components. An administrative fee may be paid to the real estate professional for every warranty sold, generating extra revenue to make the program profitable and benefit that important bottom line. Ultimately, Key Estates provides a unique marketing tool that will set the Real Estate Professional apart from the competition.

Contact Us

For availability and more information about Key Estates or any of the other plans RWC and Affiliates have to offer, go to www.KeyEstatesWarranty.com, call 866-394-5135 ext. 2149 or email us at Sales@KeyEstatesWarranty.com.

house with shield in front of it with RWC logoIt takes many components to build a home, and as a builder, you have to make many decisions to make. The homes you build need to be of quality construction, attractive and offer inviting features to pull in buyers. Though not a physical characteristic such as a large kitchen island or crown molding, a new home warranty is an equally impressive detail that proves to be advantageous over and over again.

If you haven’t ever thought about offering a warranty on your homes or are wondering “What’s in it for me?”, Residential Warranty Company, LLC (RWC) has the answers.

1. Opens the Door:
Homeowners looking for assurance that they have picked a quality builder are more confident in their choice when the RWC warranty comes with their home. And RWC’s approval by FHA and VA can assist you with your sales and help eliminate inspections and facilitate settlements.

2. Levels the Playing Field
Customer service can be a tricky issue. Homebuyers today can be demanding and unfortunately, too often unreasonable. Yet your reputation and future referrals often hang in the balance. You can provide an implied warranty (increase your exposure) and take a chance. Or you can provide the RWC written warranty (limit exposure) and enjoy its benefits. Specific warranty standards help you manage customer service problems and reduce costs. The RWC warranty puts “reason” back into the equation and lets you provide fair customer service. And when disputes arise - as they certainly will - RWC offers effective mediation and binding arbitration.

3. Marketing Tool
Hammers...saws...nails...it takes lots of tools to build a house. It also takes lots of tools to build a business and RWC provides you with some great marketing tools. Buyers today want choices and RWC offers more choices in warranty plans than any other warranty company. Convincing a buyer that you have what he wants or needs is the surest way to a sale. We want to help you convince that buyer. Not only does RWC offer a 10 year new home warranty, but a variety of other warranties are available as well. Other options include remodeling warranties, detached garage, building systems, HUD-code warranties, and customized state warranties... just to name a few. See our entire menu of choices here.

Don’t hesitate ~ RWC is a great addition to your toolbox! Talk to an RWC Account Executive today about the benefits of being an RWC Member or click here to get a warranty quote.


RWC marketing materials Warranty signsOne of the many advantages of your membership in the RWC Warranty Program is the marketing support available for your use. You can enhance your sales strategy for today’s competitive marketplace by taking full advantage of RWC’s marketing essentials. Best of all, they are FREE!

Below are a few examples of what is available, but feel free to browse our marketing materials page to see what best suits your needs. Consumer brochures are also available to pass onto your homeowners so they can better understand the warranty on their home.

- Electrical Box Sticker (form # 204): This self-adhesive sticker makes it easy for your homeowners to find their warranty validation number. Affix this sticker to their electrical box during your final walk-through inspection.

- Small vertical Easel (form # 509): Sometimes space is limited on countertops. When that’s the case and our full-size easel or brochure holder doesn’t fit, try this smaller version. Works great in sales offices and model homes!

- Static Cling Window Decals (form #533): This cling is perfect for windows in model homes, sales offices or even homes under construction. This static cling decal will let your prospective buyers know that their home will be protected with an RWC warranty.

Order Online through Warranty Express (top right corner of webpage). Call us if you still need a password to login.

Email: info@rwcwarranty.com and let us know which items you are interested in.

Phone: 800-247-1812, Ext 2459

We ask that you please order only a 2-3 month supply to ensure that you receive the most current materials.

orange safety coneIf you’ve been a builder for more than a few years you’ve been through a lot. When the housing bubble burst; you survived. Now that the market is better and your business is growing, you’re starting to realize the rewards of surviving. There are still plenty of challenges and one of them is to find qualified subcontractors.

Recently, you started a new subdivision and hired a flat concrete contractor you’ve never worked with before, to put in the sidewalks. This morning you got a call from your new sub; the kind you never want to get. A woman was walking her dog next to your project around dusk last night. She tripped over a mason’s line that was left across a section of sidewalk that had been poured earlier that day. The new flat work guy left the site without setting up any cones, fencing or signs. In fact, he did nothing to warn the public of what is commonly referred to as a “trip & fall hazard.” The woman suffered fractures to both wrists as well as lacerations to her face when she fell. Her injuries will require surgery and she’ll be unable to work for several months. Her pain and suffering have yet to be determined.

Your new sub has his own general liability insurance that should respond to this claim. You required him to have his insurance company add you to his policy as additional insured. That way they will defend you if and when the woman’s attorney sues you as well as your sub. The certificate of insurance you required your sub to provide shows all of this. Everything should be fine. But, trip & fall claims can spiral out of control.

Disputes can arise over who should have protected the worksite. Subcontractors or, their attorneys, can argue that’s the general contractor’s job. You feel that you don’t have time to hover over every job site making sure each sub is placing the proper emphasis on safety. Besides, you hired them to do a job and that includes doing it safely. Doesn’t it? All your subs understand this, don’t they?

In most states, you as the general contractor, are ultimately responsible for worksite safety. That doesn’t mean the subs get a free pass. But it usually means the general contractor has to do more than just assume everyone is being safe. That means holding periodic safety meetings, making sure new subs understand what you expect from them before starting work each morning, during the workday and after shutting down for the night. Active worksites are dangerous places even when they are nothing more than a partially completed sidewalk in poor light where an unsuspecting woman takes her dog for a walk.

Holding regular safety meetings doesn’t have to take a lot of time or cost you much money. Meetings don’t have to be held every day; just regularly enough to make it clear to everyone concerned that you are committed to preventing accidents involving both the public and anyone else at your worksites.

The RWC Insurance Advantage is dedicated to loss prevention. To prove it, we offer up to 25% off your new general liability premium if you provide us with a copy of your written safety program. If you’re already insured with us, we’ll even offer the same incentive on your next renewal if you haven’t already received it.

Call us today at 866-454-2155 to find out if you qualify and receive a free, no obligation quote.

Today’s home buyers are tech-savvy shoppers who routinely turn to the internet when searching for new homes. As a successful builder, you understand the vital importance of maintaining a solid presence on the internet so potential buyers can find you, learn about what you offer, and discover what makes you better than “the other guys”.

A young couple looking at a laptop researching new home warranties and construction builders.RWC has an entire section of our website dedicated to educating the homebuyer on everything from how to choose a home builder to understanding what a new home warranty is all about. The following resources can help explain the value of your decision to provide an RWC warranty on your home:

Something ‘extra’ you provide which sets you apart from the competition is the fact you offer a 3rd party insured warranty – and not just any warranty – but the RWC warranty. The sales process is complex with a variety of topics to discuss with potential home buyers. Our goal is to make the warranty explanation easier for you by expanding our online resources for your homebuyers. Hopefully, this section will become your “go to” resource for warranty information for your staff and your buyers.

Obviously, it makes perfect sense to provide your buyers with information about your warranty. Simply link your site to the RWC Homeowner section to point them in the right direction and we’ll tell the story for you! We suggest linking to www.rwcwarranty.com/homeowners as your starting point. Your buyers will learn about the extra mile you travel to demonstrate your professionalism and customer service by providing them with this written RWC warranty.

new home construction, building a roofDid you know that as a member of RWC or HOME of Texas you may be eligible for our General Liability Insurance Program through RWC Insurance Advantage? If you would like to learn how we might meet your general liability coverage needs, call RWC Insurance Advantage today at 866-454-2155 or click here to get a quote. Plus, be sure to read on for some helpful hints about certificates of insurance, subs and staying on top of policies.

Insurance agents hear it all the time; are certificates really that important? If my subs’ certificates aren’t current, am I on the hook for what their policies don’t cover? What about exclusions on my policy? Maybe a hypothetical claim will help provide some answers. Let’s say you contract with a roofer. He’s not the roofer you usually work with but, he has a good reputation and he gives you a certificate of insurance that shows he has his own General Liability policy. It has the same limits as your policy with the RWC Insurance Advantage program. No worries here. His policy will respond first to injuries or damage to others that he might cause while working on your behalf. However, you also notice his Workers Comp is due to renew in about a week but, he assures you the renewal is going to happen and he’ll provide you with an updated certificate just as soon as he gets it from his agent. You need to get your latest project under roof as soon as possible because the weather has been uncertain; so, you decide to take a chance. Besides, it shouldn’t take a week to do a roof. What could go wrong?

The weather takes a turn for the worse. By the time the roof is started it’s been over a week. Then you get the news one of the roofer’s employees has been injured. He didn’t fall but, he hurt his back. Only then do you remember the promised certificate hasn’t appeared. Then your roofer admits his policy was not renewed because he failed to make a payment. Your policy doesn’t cover injuries to the employees of subcontractors. That’s because workers compensation insurance is available to them and is designed to cover the medical bills and lost wages of his employees. As it turns out, waiting for a renewal certificate of insurance might have avoided you being held liable for a loss that isn’t covered under your policy.

• Make sure all your subcontractors provide you with up-to-date certificates of insurance.
• Ask them if they have any open or, unreported claims.
• Be aware of what your policy does and does not cover.

Don’t let someone else’s lack of planning become your problem.