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Home Warranty Options Sometimes Limited, but Not Impossible

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Mesa, AZHome warranties, whether they be the standard warranty offered by builders or an extended warranty available from a myriad of different companies, can be a complex animal. And aside from a situation affecting a Jefferson County homeowner, who found herself in the unique position of having to launch a lawsuit against her builder for constructing a home that was smaller than that which architectural drawings called for, the home warranty takes some due diligence in order to understand the coverages and limitations.

A question posed to a legal columnist in The Arizona Republic (3/9/14) best illustrates that point. A couple purchased a new home in Mesa, Arizona, in 2010 and has since discovered what was described as “significant” structural problems involving a cultured marble shower in the master bedroom. Apart from aesthetic concerns, any potential for water seepage can have serious consequences.

The homeowners, it appears, did not carry home warranty insurance beyond the initial one-year warranty against building defects that is pretty much standard issue for a new home. Not surprisingly, when contacted about the problem the builder refused to make repairs given that four years had passed since the date of occupation by the homeowner, and the expiry of the one-year warranty.

What’s more, the Arizona Registrar of Contractors whose mandate it is to regulate the building and contracting industry, requires that any complaint brought against a homebuilder over a potential structural defect is filed within two years following occupation.

In view of the foregoing, and the lack of an extended warranty, the prospects for the Mesa homeowners are limited.

To that end, it is not beyond the realm of possibility that even with home warranty insurance, there can be problems pursuing a claim. Many insurance carriers feature so many restrictions that it’s difficult to qualify a claim - and even when a claim meets the criteria of the fault, many carriers have been known to balk in an act of bad faith insurance. Previous legal battles have involved a First American Home Buyers lawsuit and similar litigation involving Fidelity National Home Warranty.

Many homeowners have been met with no other option when facing an insurance claim denied, than to launch a home warranty lawsuit in an attempt to force the issue.

In the case of the Mesa homeowners, Arizona law is on their side in spite of limitations inherent with a lack of warranty. In the state, every new home is covered under an eight-year implied warranty by the homebuilder that the home was constructed properly. Given that the problem with the home’s ensuite shower was discovered within four years, the homeowners are within the eight-year window for a claim under Arizona law.

However, before filling a home warranty lawsuit, the homeowners would have to give the builder a chance to correct the problem.

In all things, it’s important for homeowners to fully understand their home warranty insurance, including limitations and options for pursuing a claim. A home warranty lawyer is always a good option for guidance, when a structural defect comes calling. Even a covered defect can be met with stonewalling on the part of the insurance company.


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I have a home warranty repair account with Choice and the advertising is not true . I had 2 options when choosing a plan the basic and the total plan and you would think with a total plan option concerning a central air unit that total mean total. I found out that I have a Freon leak and Choice said its not covered . If I would have known that I would have continued looking .So now 100% disabled veteran on a strict fixed budget I don't know when my unit will be repaired.


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