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.
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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.