Pacific Home Warranty

Pacific Home Warranty

What is it?

The Pacific Home Warranty is a very specific standard for home warranty in BC. It is also known as the 2-5-10 warranty since these numbers refer to years at which your home’s coverage changes. Your coverage at 2 years, 5 years, and 10 years is very specific and non-negotiable. If something covered only until 2 years occurs at year 3, you’re out of luck. While most insurance policies will extend the warranty beyond these guidelines, this is the legal minimum for new home warranties in BC.

Who Does It Apply to?

The Pacific Home Warranty applies to newly-constructed homes only. Whether you opt to custom build your home, purchase a newly constructed home, or purchase a previously owned home less than ten years old, you are covered by this warranty.

Why Does it Exist?

The Pacific Home Warranty was enacted after the devastating leaky condo crisis in Vancouver in which almost no homeowners were protected by their insurance companies. The inadequate insurance coupled with builder liability statuses that failed led to tragic consequences, so this mandatory Pacific Home Warranty program was enacted on July 1st of 1999.

What Does it Do?

The main purpose of the Pacific Home Warranty is to guarantee that someone is accountable for any defects in your home. It holds developers, builders, and contractors accountable for the quality of the home in two ways; they must ensure that the home is built using quality labour and they must be confident in their materials for the job.

Who Administers it?

BC Housing oversees the Pacific Home Warranty program are is responsible for creating the rules of administering the warranty as well as the actual warranty guidelines. However, your actual policy will come from an insurance provider since they are the ones who will write the policy and get involved in warranty claims. Your home builder is responsible for purchasing the insurance policy and it is your responsibility as a homeowner to obtain a copy of that policy.

What is Covered Under the Pacific Home Warranty?

12 Months Materials and Labour Warranty: all materials and labour are covered under the home warranty. This includes appliances, finishes, flooring, hardware, and even paint. Every inch of your home on the inside and outside is covered, so you’re worry free!

15 Months: only strata common areas are covered.

2 Year Mechanical Systems Warranty: at two years less a day, your warranty covers all crucial mechanical systems such as electrical, heating, plumbing, ventilation, air conditioning, as well as exterior windows and doors, cladding, and caulking.

5 Year Building Envelope Warranty: your building envelope is the exterior of your home and is covered until you pass the 5-year mark. Defects such as water penetration, foundation damage, defects in the roof, basement damage, and exterior doors, windows, and walls are covered.

10 Year Structural Defect Warranty: any major structural defects are covered until your home is 10 years old. Your insurance provider will cover any defect in labour or materials that results in the failure of load bearing components as well as any and al structural damage that occurs as a result of that failure. For example, a sinking foundation footing or a collapse in an area of your home.

A couple other provisions apply:

  • Living Out Allowance: your family is reimbursed by up to $100 per day if the home is unlivable due to a structural defect and you must live in a hotel until it is fixed
  • Policy Limit: the Pacific Home Warranty maxes out at $200,000 worth of coverage.

What Isn’t Covered by the Pacific Home Warranty?

  • Septic systems
  • Landscaping
  • Site drainage
  • Other buildings on the property including sheds or detached garages
  • Any materials or labour from the owner
  • Municipal services
  • Forces of nature
  • Shrinkage of construction materials
  • Animal damage
  • Normal wear and tear
  • Water quality
  • Commercial use areas
  • Roads, curbs, sidewalks

*Your home also won’t be covered if it is used for non-residential purposes or if the homeowner fails to reasonably prevent or minimize damage to the home.

How Do I Make a Claim Under the Pacific Home Warranty?

If you have to make a claim under your warranty period, there are a few things you’ll need:

  • A cover letter which states the warranty certificate number, strata plan number, the civic address, and a list of the defects you’re seeking coverage for
  • Copy of the warranty certificate
  • Inspection report if you have one (recommended)
  • Any and all prior correspondence between you, the warranty provider, and the builder relating to the defects identified in the cover letter

Pro Tip: Have an inspection done of your home a few months before each stage of the warranty expiration so that you have plenty of time to make a claim before your coverage runs out.

It is up to you as the homeowner to understand your coverage, especially if it’s been owned previously. It is your responsibility to determine what coverage still applies to you and when the next expiry date is so you can get your home inspected before then to ensure any defects will be covered by your warranty. It would be rip-out-your-hair-and-throw-a-tantrum frustrating if you discover a defect a few weeks or months after the coverage expired, so stay informed about all of your coverage dates to take full advantage of your warranty coverage while you still have it.

Which Homes are Exempt from the Pacific Home Warranty?

There are a few reasons why your home may not qualify for the Pacific Home Warranty. The following homes are exempt:

  • The home is built by owner builders
  • Manufactured home has not been significantly modified or added to a site
  • Social housing
  • Non-stratified motels, care facilities, floating homes, hotels, and dormitories
  • Multi-unit rental buildings that are protected by a 10-year covenant

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