New Home Structural Warranties always provide warranty coverage on the structural or load-bearing components of the home for a specified period of time (usually either 10 years or a set number of years that correspond to a state’s statute of repose law).
With RWC, 2 types of structural warranty coverage are available:
Additionally, coverage may be provided under some plans for:
Generally speaking, the types of things covered under a New Home Structural Warranty are not covered and may be excluded under an Extended Warranty for Appliances & Systems and vice versa.
The typical New Home Structural Warranty DOES provide structural coverage for a foundation but EXCLUDES appliances like refrigerators.
The typical Extended Warranty for Appliances & Systems DOES cover certain working parts of a refrigerator but EXCLUDES load-bearing components of the home like foundation systems.*
Extended Appliance & Systems Warranties provide coverage on the working parts of many household appliances as well as parts of the various mechanical systems for a specific period of time, usually one year.
Appliances: Extended warranties provide coverage for specific covered components in various household appliances including items such as refrigerators, dishwashers, ovens, and water heaters.
Systems: Extended warranties provide coverage for specific covered mechanical components in various mechanical systems like the AC unit, a central heating system or wiring or circuit breakers in an electrical system.
Structural Coverage* for load-bearing components: Generally not available.
*The exception to this format is the Key Estates warranty. Under Key Estates, true major structural defect coverage is available for either one or two year terms.
Under a New Home Structural warranty, the entity responsible for repairs depends on the type of warranty and the time when the defect occurs.
Under an Extended Warranty for Appliances & Systems, the entity responsible for repairs is the issuer of the warranty itself.
*The exception to this procedure is the Key Estates warranty which allows homeowners to select their own service repair provider.
New Home Structural warranties are often insured. RWC’s insurer is a company that has been rated “A- (Excellent)” by A.M. Best since 2001; our Insurer currently maintains a surplus equity position in excess of $112 million (as of Dec. 31, 2019).
Extended Warranties for Appliance & Systems are most often uninsured products relying solely on the strength of the issuing company.
*The exception to this insurance backing is the Key Estates warranty which is insured by a company rated “A-(Excellent)” by A.M. Best.
RWC’s New Home Structural Warranties all come with a specific procedure for resolving disputes. This procedure includes FREE mediation. If mediation doesn’t resolve the issue, binding arbitration is available which adheres to Federal Arbitration laws. Arbitrators are neutral third parties with experience in arbitrating residential construction matters.
Most extended warranties are issued strictly from the issuing warranty company. In other words, you have to work it out with them directly with no recourse for arbitration if an impasse is reached.***
***The exception to this procedure is the Key Estates warranty. Under Key Estates, if there is a controversy regarding coverage, formal binding arbitration with a mutually agreed upon arbitrator is available and will be conducted in accordance with Federal Arbitration laws.
Many new home structural warranty companies have some kind of screening process for members. RWC screens applicants thoroughly for initial approval and then rescreens them on an annual basis. Minimum acceptable criteria must be met for financial stability, quality construction and ethical business practices.
Homes must be enrolled through a Member in the warranty program. Homeowners may not buy a new home structural warranty directly from the warranty company.
Homes may be enrolled either by a real estate agent or mortgage lender as part of a real estate transaction or they may be purchased directly by the homeowner.
The standard new home structural warranty term in the industry is ten years. RWC however offers a variety of other structural warranties with varying terms ranging from 4 years to 15 years depending on the state. Once the home is enrolled, it is covered for the entire warranty term. No renewal fees apply.
Extended warranties for Appliances & Systems are generally issued on a one year, renewable basis. Some plans may be purchased for 2 year initial terms. Renewal fees apply at the end of each warranty period for coverage to continue. Coverage may or may not be renewed at the discretion of the issuing company.
Eligible Home Type
Generally speaking, only newly constructed, unoccupied homes are eligible for coverage under New Home Structural Warranty plans. Home types can include new single family detached, townhomes, duplexes and condominiums. Older, existing homes tend to be ineligible for this type of coverage. Warranty options may exist on a company by company basis for remodeling projects, detached garages, commercial projects, etc.
Generally speaking, any existing home or any home involved in a real estate transaction may be eligible for coverage.