BC Housing and FICOM work together to strengthen home warranty coverage
VICTORIA - The superintendent of financial institutions at the Financial Institutions Commission (FICOM) and BC Housing have joined forces to make consumers more aware of their rights under home warranty insurance coverage in British Columbia.
FICOM recently signed a consent agreement with one of the major providers of home warranty insurance in B.C. that reinforces industry standards for treating consumers fairly in the handling of claims made under home warranty insurance products.
"Purchasing a home is one of the most important purchases most British Columbians will make in their lives," said Chris Carter, deputy superintendent of market conduct at FICOM. "Consumers have a right to expect that any insurance that is part of that purchase is fairly represented and that claims-handling processes are fair and timely."
The Homeowner Protection Act and regulations require that new homes built in B.C. are built by licensed residential builders and must be covered by mandatory, third-party home warranty insurance. While FICOM regulates home warranty insurance providers, BC Housing regulates home builders and is responsible for administering the act and regulations.
"BC Housing is committed to working together with FICOM to make sure home buyers know their coverage and their rights," said Shayne Ramsay, CEO of BC Housing. "Our Guide to Home Warranty Insurance in British Columbia describes in greater depth how the home warranty insurance system works, what it covers, how to get the most out of it and what to do if you find a possible defect."
In 2016, FICOM sent an advisory letter to all insurers stipulating their responsibilities when selling home warranty insurance in this province.
FICOM has now signed a voluntary compliance agreement with Travelers Insurance Company of Canada to ensure that the company's home warranty insurance meets those expectations. The agreement is available at: https://www.fic.gov.bc.ca
"FICOM regularly receives questions and complaints around home warranty insurance," said Carter. "We welcome these questions from consumers and encourage them to visit our website and the BC Housing website to better understand coverage and their rights."
FICOM will continue to monitor the sales and delivery of home warranty insurance in the province so that any company offering this type of product meets the same high standards.
- BC Housing licenses residential builders, administers owner-builder authorizations, ensures new homes are covered by home warranty insurance and carries out research and education to protect British Columbia home buyers.
- FICOM protects consumers of insurance products by regulating the market conduct of insurance companies operating in British Columbia.
Guide to Home Warranty Insurance: https://www.bchousing.org/publications/Guide-Home-Warranty-Insurance-BC.pdf
2016 FICOM advisory letter: https://www.fic.gov.bc.ca/pdf/fid/correspondence/15-0881-LTR.pdf
Financial Institutions Commission