Tarion is responsible for ensuring homeowners receive the coverage they are entitled to under the Ontario New Home Warranties Plan Act. Our Homeowner Information Package explains warranty coverage and outlines our role as well as the role and responsibilities of the builder and the homeowner. Builders are required to provide a copy of this booklet to purchasers on or before their pre-delivery inspection. It also includes forms for submitting deficiencies to builders and Tarion. With the launch in 2009 of our new homeowner portal, purchasers are now able to conveniently submit forms online as well as through traditional methods.
After a form is submitted, builders have a set period of time to resolve warranted deficiencies and, if a homeowner is not satisfied with the outcome, they can call Tarion and request a conciliation inspection. Our Contact Centre is open Monday to Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. and the staff is available to schedule inspections, provide information and respond to questions and concerns.
When an inspection is scheduled, a member of our Claims staff may visit the home to determine whether the item(s) in question is covered under warranty. If it is, the builder will have 30 days to make the repair(s). When this period elapses, we will contact the homeowner to determine the status of the item(s). Should the matter not be resolved, we will re-inspect the home if necessary and work directly with the homeowner to settle the matter.
How We’ve Improved the Claims Process
It is our goal to be both helpful and efficient in our oversight of warranty coverage and to ensure that all parties receive fair treatment. In 2009 we held a series of homeowner focus groups to help us understand what we could do to better serve their needs. Many expressed a desire for better communication throughout the claims process and greater flexibility in our processes.
We looked at how we could improve our services and put several new initiatives in place. These included relaxing our form submission timeline to allow for the acceptance of forms that are received one day late. We also expanded a pilot project that involved calling homeowners who had requested an inspection to better understand their concerns and explain the warranty coverage that is available to them. In addition, we have made an effort, wherever possible to try and expedite the resolution of claims, as staff in our Claims, Contact Centre, Builder Relations, and Licensing and Underwriting departments work together to ensure that matters are resolved as frequently as possible without requiring further intervention from Tarion.