FAQ


FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Help Center

What is Home Warranty?

Home warranty protects new homes against construction defects such as materials and labour, building envelope and structural defects. Note that different limits and coverage apply to each province.

What is the BC Housing – Licensing Consumer Services?

Formerly known as the Homeowner Protection Office, Licensing & Consumer Services is a branch of BC Housing. They work to strengthen consumer protection for buyers of new homes in BC. They are responsible for:

  • Licensing residential builders and building envelope renovators, and administering Owner Builder Authorizations
  • Monitoring the provision of third-party home warranty insurance, and
  • Carrying out research and education to benefit the residential construction industry and consumers.

Please refer to their website for more information – https://www.bchousing.org/licensing-consumer-services

What is the New Home Buyer Protection Office?

As of February 1, 2014, every new home built in Alberta must have home warranty coverage. In addition, all new construction must be entered into the New Home Buyer Protection Public Registry. The New Home Buyer Protection Office is responsible for monitoring the provision of third-party home warranty insurance under the New Home Buyer Protection Act.

Please refer to their website for more information – http://homewarranty.alberta.ca/ and http://municipalaffairs.alberta.ca/alberta_home_warranties

What does the home warranty insurance cover?

Under the 2/5/10 home warranty coverage in BC. it covers:

  • 1 year defects in material and labour
  • 2 year defects in building systems, exterior cladding and building code
  • 5 year defects in building envelope
  • 10 year structural defects

Under the 1/2/5/10 home warranty coverage in AB, it covers:

  • 1 year defects in material and labour
  • 2 year defects in delivery and distribution systems
  • 5 year defects in building envelope
  • 10 year structural defects

Under the 1/5 home warranty coverage in AB, MB & SK, it covers:

  • 1 year defects in material and labour
  • 5 year structural defects

*Note that different limits & exclusions apply in each province.

Is home warranty mandatory?

Yes, home warranty is mandatory in BC & AB unless the project qualifies under the applicable exemptions.

What happens if I sell a home that has home warranty coverage?

The warranty remains in effect. There is no need to transfer the warranty into the new homeowners name.

How do I become a member of WBI?

To become a member, you must submit a completed application to us for review. There is a non-refundable application fee of $750 plus GST. Contact our office and speak to an Account Manager.

What type of homes do you accept?

We underwrite single family homes and multi-family projects. We do not accept unconventional builds such as log homes, timber homes, straw-bale homes, container homes, etc. If you are unsure, please contact our office.

Will WBI accept a home that is currently under construction?

We could consider a home that is currently under construction depending on the situation. Please contact our office and speak to an Account Manager.

What are your inspection requirements?

Multifamily projects and complex single family homes are subject to a satisfactory technical review. This review requires the builder to complete an application and submit it along with construction drawings, geotechnical report and building envelope details.

Upon enrollment, the project is added to the inspection list. The project will be reviewed by a Technical Advisor on a rotational schedule.

Key areas of interest and concern are envelope details at every phase of detailing, including the damp-proofing/waterproofing of the foundation. Drainage, geotechnical concerns, interfaces between envelope details and projections such as decks, windows, hose bibs, etc. Surface applied membranes of ALL types are of particular interest, be it peel and stick, deck membranes, or foundation mats. Additionally, the Technical Advisor will look for framing quality that will not adversely affect the fit and finish, sound HVAC design and compliance, potential conflicts between design elements of the home and good construction practices.

Final inspection is the one mandatory inspection that must be requested by the builder once the building has received an occupancy permit and it is cleaned and ready for occupancy. To book your final inspection, please call 604-639-2924 or email inspections@wbihomewarranty.com.

What are WBI’s expectations for inspections?

  1. If applicable, the technical review is forwarded to the technical advisor responsible for the territory in which the enrollment is located in.
  2. Once enrolled, the home or project is added to the technical advisor’s rotational list. The technical advisor will make initial contact with the builder by phone to find out the start date. Usually, homes and projects are reviewed on a 6 week interval.
  3. Key areas of interest and concern are envelope details at every phase, including the damp-proofing and waterproofing of the foundation, drainage, geotechnical concerns, interfaces between envelope details and projections such as decks, windows, hose bibs, etc. In addition, surface applied membranes of ALL types are of particular interest, be it peel and stick, deck membranes, or foundation mats.
  4. Other areas that our technical advisor looks for is framing quality that will not adversely affect the fit and finish, sound HVAC design and compliance, potential conflicts between design elements of the home and good construction practices.
  5. Final inspection is the one mandatory inspection that must be requested by the builder. Fit and finish items constitute the vast majority of claim items for warranty providers and builders.
  6. Call in to arrange for the final inspection once the building has received an occupancy permit AND it is cleaned and ready for occupancy. Cleaning all surfaces is important – a common complaint is paint, glue, grout that has not been removed, followed by fine scratches on floors that only can be viewed when the surface is clean.

How do I arrange a final inspection?

A final inspection must be arranged by the builder once the project has been received final occupancy from the municipality and the unit has been cleaned. To book your final inspection, please call 604-639- 2924 or email inspections@wbihomewarranty.com.

What is a Certificate of Possession (COP) Form?

It is the builder/developer’s responsibility to complete the COP form with the homeowner prior to possession of the home. The purpose of the form is to confirm the homeowner’s information, occupancy dates and walk through details. The builder/developer has 30 days of occupancy to complete the form and send it back to our office for processing. Failure to do so can affect your builder terms including fees and security.

How do I register a new single family home?

Step one
For BC – register the home online via the Builder Portal (BC Housing – Licensing & Consumer Services).
For AB – register the home online via the Builder Portal (MA Connect).
For MB, SK – please contact your Account Manager.

Step two
We will require additional details on your home; therefore please contact our office upon completion of the form. We will confirm the enrollment fee at that time.

How do I register a new multi-family project?

Multi-family projects are subject to different requirements. Please contact our office to discuss it with an Account Manager.

How do I amend the property address?

In order to amend the property address after enrollment, our office will require written confirmation. Usually documentation from your municipality or your lawyer’s office will suffice. Please contact our office and speak to a Warranty Administrator.

I need confirmation of home warranty and the policy number for a project as requested by my bank/lawyer. How do I obtain this information?

We can definitely provide you with confirmation of warranty if the project is registered with WBI. Please contact our office and speak to a Warranty Administrator.

Do you offer Construction Insurance?

Yes, we do. Please contact our office and speak to an Account Manager and we will put you in touch with an Insurance Professional.

Do I require Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits?

If you are a licensed residential builder in BC and building under part 9 of the BC Building Code, you will require the CPD credits to renew with BC Housing. If you require more information on this matter, please contact BC Housing – Licensing and Consumer Services at 604-646-7050.

How many Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits do I need?

During your one-year licence term, you must complete a minimum of 40 points of CPD via a combination:

  • Formal learning
  • Informal learning
  • On-the-job learning through active practice

You can earn one CPD point by completing:

  • 20 hours of active practice, defined as being actively engaged in the construction management of new homes during the year.
  • 30 minutes of formal learning, defined as passing or successfully completing structured courses and training sessions, including exams or assignments, from approved organizations.
  • One hour of informal learning, defined as taking part in conferences, seminars, workshops, industry association meetings, or residential construction research and development.

To reach the minimum of 40 points, you may apply up to:

  • 20 points from active practice
  • 40 points from formal learning
  • 20 points from informal learning

Where can I obtain the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits?

You can obtain credits through us! See our Seminars page for details.

When can I expect to receive a policy for a new home that I recently purchased?

Congratulations on your recent purchase! Prior to possession of your new home, we require your builder / developer to complete the Certificate of Possession Form with you. The builder / developer is expected to provide us with a copy within 30 days of completion. Upon receipt, we will process the form and issue a home warranty policy and mail it to you. If you have been living in your home for more than 1 month and have not received your home warranty policy, please contact your builder / developer first.

I have lost my home warranty package. How can I get a new one?

If you have lost or misplaced your home warranty policy, you can order another copy from our office at a cost of $25 plus GST or an electronic copy of your policy can be emailed to you. Please contact our office and speak to a Warranty Administrator.

There is a discrepancy in the warranty commencement date on my policy. What do I do?

If there is a discrepancy in the warranty commencement date, we will require legal documentation to make the change. Please contact our office and speak to a Warranty Administrator.

CLAIMS FAQS

Claims Center

How do I file a claim?

Within a reasonable time after the discovery of a defect and before the expiry of the applicable home warranty insurance coverage under this Policy, the Owner must give written notice to:

i) the Builder; and
ii) The Warranty Provider.

What information should I include in my claim submission?

Please include the following information with your claim submission:

  • Homeowner name
  • Address of insured property
  • Address of homeowner (if different)
  • Day time phone number
  • Email address
  • Policy number
  • Numbered, itemized list of defects identifying what the defect is and where it is located. One defect per
    line number only, please.

Note that incomplete submissions may cause delays in processing your claim.

Is there a deductible for filing a claim?

There is currently no deductible for filing a warranty claim in British Columbia; however, there is a deductible for filing a claim in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba.

What is the deductible?

Province Policy Single Family Claim Common Property Claim Multi-Family Unit Claim
BC 2/5/10 N/A N/A N/A
AB 1/2/5/10 50.00 + GST* $100+GST (1 Year claims)
$500.00+GST (2,5,10 year claims)
$50.00 + GST*
AB 1/5 $250.00 + GST $500.00 + GST $250.00 + GST
SK 1/5 $250.00 + GST $500.00 + GST $250.00 + GST
MB 1/5 $250.00 + GST $500.00 + GST $250.00 + GST

*$50 deductible (plus GST) per claim submission for all Single Family and Multi-family unit claims to a maximum of $300 (plus GST) per year.

Will the warranty provider send someone to identify the defects in my home?

No, it is the homeowner’s responsibility to identify what the defects are and to submit an claim to the warranty provider prior to the applicable expiry dates.

Do I have to hire a home inspector or engineering firm to inspect for defects?

No, it’s not necessary. However, if you do hire an inspector or engineering firm, it’s important to remember to request that their report also include an itemized, numbered summary indicating where the actual defect is located and what the actual defect is. Each item will have its own number to identify each defect.

Do I have to allow my builder access to complete warranty repairs?

As per your warranty, the first opportunity to complete the repairs will be given to your builder.

I submitted my claim to the Builder prior to the expiry date but not to WBI. Why was my claim denied by WBI?

As per your warranty policy, the warranty provider must be informed in writing prior to the expiry of the applicable home warranty coverage in order for your claim to be considered.

How do I know if warranty repairs completed by the Builder are acceptable or not?

All warranty repairs have to meet acceptable industry standards as outlined in the Homeowner Protection Residential Construction Performance Guide.

Is there a timeline in relation to how long the builder gets to complete the outstanding warranty repairs?

Warranty repairs are to be completed in a timely manner as determined by the warranty provider, with consideration given to the weather and the availability of materials and labour. If after a reasonable period of time your builder has not responded to your claim, please contact the warranty provider and they will schedule a technical assessment.

PLEASE NOTE:
  • The registered owner of the unit is the only one who can file a claim.
  • The Strata Corporation, Condo Corporation or their Property Manager must file all common property claims unless a Strata Corporation or Condo Corporation has not yet been established. Only then is a registered owner allowed to file a common property claim.
  • Claim must be submitted in writing to the builder / developer and warranty provider before the expiry date of the applicable warranty period. If you are close to your expiry date it may be in your best interest to submit a claim even if the builder / developer is responsive.
  • If you are not submitting a claim and have a claim related question, please email claims@wbihomewarranty.com or contact our office at 604-639- 2924.

Still have more questions?
Call us at 604.639.2924