Alberta New Home Buyer’s Protection – What is covered?

As of February 1, 2014 every new home in Alberta must have warranty coverage. As well, every new home must be registered in the Home Buyer Protection Public Registry. The Registry provides information about the home, the name and contact information for the builder and warranty provided.

Minimum coverage required

The minimum required warranty coverage terms are:

One year labour and materials for finishes throughout the home;

Two years for defects in labour and material related to heating, plumbing, and electrical systems;

10 years for major structural. Major structural includes the foundation and framing and parts of an underground parking structure. The frame includes the roof’s structural integrity; and

Five years on building envelope, with a requirement for the warranty provider to offer the option to purchase additional years of coverage. The building envelope is the exterior shell of the home including the roof and the walls.

Be sure to read your warranty policy carefully in order to find out what is covered, including any conditions, exclusions, expiry dates, or claim reporting cut-offs that you need to be aware of.

There are currently 7 warranty providers in Alberta that may partner with your builder to offer you coverage:

Blanket Home Warranty Ltd.

Millennium Insurance Corporation

National Home Warranty Group Inc.

Progressive Home Warranty Solutions Inc.

The Alberta New Home Warranty Program

Travelers Insurance Company of Canada

WBI Home Warranty Ltd

Why is the coverage limit/rebuild amount set at $265,000?

The coverage limits are based on the average cost of rebuilding a home. This includes the structure and does not include the land costs, contents, landscaping etc. A homeowner can choose to buy additional coverage if they want. The limit must not be less than the original purchase price or $265,000 for a single-family home and $130,000 on multi-family units. There is also up to $3.3 million in additional coverage for common property in each building of multi-family projects. This ensures multi-family units have equal coverage to single family homes.

How do I know if the home I am purchasing has a warranty?

If your home has a warranty under the new program, you’ll be able to access warranty information by simply typing in the address of the home here.

What if I am purchasing a renovated home?

The builder will be required to provide mandatory home warranty protection when 75 per cent or more of a rebuilt home is additional new construction as a result of major renovation.

How does this apply to condos?

Condo purchasers have the same warranty protection as that available to single family homes – one year on labour and materials, two years for defects in labour and material related to delivery and distribution systems, five years on building envelope (with the option to purchase additional coverage), and 10 years on major structural. The New Home Buyer Protection Act includes a requirement for a Building Assessment Report that will trigger the start date for common property coverage on condominiums.

If you are building your own home:

If you are building your own home to live in (owner-builder), you have two options: (1) You can get home warranty coverage for your home; or (2) you can apply for an owner-builder authorization, which, if approved, will allow you to build your home without a warranty. If you sell your house within 10 years, you will need to obtain the remaining warranty coverage for your buyer.

How do I make a claim?

If you have an issue that may give rise to a claim this is what you should do:

Get to know your warranty dates to ensure coverage is active for the issue you’re experiencing.

You may contact your builder directly to discuss the issue and attempt to resolve it.
Contacting your builder does not mean you’ve made a claim under your warranty policy.

If you still need to make a claim, contact your warranty provider. Every provider’s process is unique–they will guide you through their specific requirements and procedures.

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