When you purchase a newly built home with Alberta’s new home warranty, chances are you’ll never have to file a claim for coverage. However, it's important to understand the process of how and when to file a claim, and who will be responsible for fixing it.
To help you out with understanding this process, here's what you need to know about home warranty claims.
In Alberta, all newly built homes come with a mandatory warranty under the New Home Buyer Protection Act that provides you with what's called “1-2-5-10” coverage. This will protect specific parts of your home for a defined period:
One Year: Faulty material and labour.
2 Years: Distribution systems – plumbing, heating and electrical systems.
5 Years: Building Envelope – roof and window installation, wall framing and cladding.
10 Years: Structural Integrity – frame and foundation.
It’s important to note that the warranty doesn’t cover excessive wear and tear, or something that has been broken due to incorrect usage. Nevertheless, anytime you think a claim will be required, it’s important to know what to do.
Check Your Warranty Coverage
If you think there may be a problem with your home that's covered by warranty, the first step will be to review your home warranty documents. These warranty documents are given to you when you purchase your home, and will likely be in the same folder as the other important documentation regarding your home purchase.
We recommend you place these important documents in a safe place within the home, such as a filing cabinet or fireproof safe. However, if you’ve lost your warranty documents or purchased a home from its owner, you can refer to the Public Registry to see if your home is covered under warranty. All you'll need to input is your address; if your home is still under warranty it will outline the specifics of what's covered.
Whether your home is still under warranty is based upon the length of time since the commencement date of the home’s coverage. For single-family homes, this is determined by the earliest of the following dates:
- Date when the home was first occupied.
- Date of when permission is granted by authorizing bodies to occupy the home.
- Date when the title for the property is transferred to an owner after the home is built.
For duplex style homes, the commencement date is based only on the first date of possession or when a municipality approved possession.
Contact Your Builder
Your next step should be to contact your builder to discuss the issue that has come up with your home. This will be especially important within the first year of your warranty coverage, as your builder will fix almost all issues you have with your home during this time. Most builders have a team of staff that address warranty issues and will be there to help you.
It’s important to remember that contacting your builder with your issue is not the same as submitting a claim under your warranty. For a claim to be submitted, it must be directly through the warranty provider for your home.
Make a Claim with Your Warranty Provider
Your builder will want to do everything they can to ensure your home is exactly how you want it and that you’ve had a great customer experience. Having said that, most problems with your home after the first year are ones that your builder may not be able to help you with. In this situation, you’ll have to submit a claim to your warranty provider, who will walk you through the process.
Once you’ve submitted your claim, you can have confidence knowing that the issue you are experiencing with your home will be resolved. The coverage limits on a single-family or duplex style home is the lesser of the purchase price for your home or $265,000. This will be more than enough to cover a warrantable issue in your home.
By understanding this process, you know the steps to using your warranty coverage. Although it's unlikely you'll have to file a claim, knowing you're covered regardless is one of the many perks of owning a new home in Alberta.