WBI stands by its principals of authenticity, simplicity, drive, mindfulness, appreciation and people over profits.
When WBI Home Warranty Ltd (WBI) started in 2011, little did the organization know that it would go on to have such a great reputation in the warranty business and be recognized as truly a great company to do business with. Today, WBI and its team of experienced new home warranty, insurance and construction professionals continue to have the expertise and resources required to suit virtually every clients needs.
WBI’s main business is to provide the provincially mandated new home warranty insurance to builders in Alberta and British Columbia; however WBI also provides new home warranty insurance in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. The home warranty company is part of the Wilson M. Beck Insurance Group – a major insurance broker in the construction business since 1981 specializing in all kinds of insurance for the construction industry from bonding to course of construction, and wrap-up insurance as well as a full personal lines division.
Royal and Sun Alliance Insurance Company of Canada (RSA) has been WBI’s insurer since the spring of 2011 and has underwritten and insured all the policies issued in the four western provinces that WBI does business in. In April of 2019, The Guarantee Company of North America (The Guarantee) agreed to insure and underwrite new home warranty insurance policies in Alberta and British Columbia.
WBI stands by its principals of authenticity, simplicity, drive, mindfulness, appreciation and people over profits. “Our aim is primarily to provide the mandated 2/5/10 new home warranty to builders along with many of the other products and services that the builder will need,” says Gordon Houston, Executive Vice President of WBI. “For the homeowners our mandate is to be at all times honest and fair with our assessments of potential warrantable items in their home; and to work with the builder and the homeowner to assist in solving issues or problems in a reasonable time frame.”
In layman’s terms, a new home warranty is a limited policy of insurance covering defects in a new home. It protects the homeowner in case certain types of defects arise after construction is complete. As per the Homeowner Protection Act, homes built by Licensed Residential Builders must have 2/5/10 new home warranty insurance. The new home warranty insurance coverage includes: 2 years on labor and materials; 5 years on the building envelope, including water penetration; and 10 years on the structure of the home.
“The Homeowner Protection Act and Regulations are 100 per cent driven for consumer protection. If there is a legitimate defect as described by the legislation, it is the responsibility of the warranty company to ensure that the defect is repaired in a timely manner,” points out Houston. WBI works jointly with the homeowner and the builder to assist in facilitating a timely repair. In cases where the builder is ignoring the consumer’s needs or does not fix the legitimate defect, Houston and his expert team take control of the situation and arrange for the repair of the defect. In a span of only eight years, WBI has created a powerful and loyal clientele that boasts of major builders and developers, such as Royale Properties, Hayer Builders Group, Platinum Group, Apex Custom Homes, Bosa Development Corporation, Quantum Properties, Epic Homes, Mortise Group, Executive Group, Appia Group of Companies, Thind Properties, Am-Pri, Maskeen, Apcon, and approximately 500 more clients.
Though WBI’s main focus is on new home warranty insurance, the organization understands the overall needs of builders and developers, thus providing other types of insurance, like :-
Construction Insurance: Primary types of coverage include Commercial General Liability (CGL), Course of Construction Insurance, and Wrap-Up Liability. “We have the availability of offering our clients construction insurance and wrap-up insurance on all their projects, big or small, with a good a rate as anybody. Because of our long-term relationships with the insurance companies and our superior application submissions we are able to get very competitive pricing,” asserts Houston.
Deposit Insurance: Deposit Protection Insurance enables a developer to insure and access the deposits on a project as a low-cost source of construction financing by insuring the funds. Houston states that the Deposit Insurance “can help the multifamily developer reduce their construction costs by tens of thousands of dollars versus conventional new construction financing.”
Home Deposit Bond: Home Deposit Bonds ignite a developer’s pre-sales by helping purchasers with the minimum deposit requirements.
Houston reveals that WBI is also working on an additional product called Universal which will extend the warranty on the five major appliances (washer, dryer, fridge, stove and dishwasher) and the homeowner’s hot water tank, furnace and air conditioning – all for approximately $400-$450 a year. Additionally, through Wilson M. Beck Insurance, WBI can offer clients and homeowners all kinds of insurance just like any other brokerage operation. “We’re able to get better rates in most cases. We have many of our clients who take advantage of that one-stop shopping at WBI,” adds Houston, who has been in the new home warranty business for over two decades.
Houston and his team of 24 members take pride in calling themselves a customer-oriented organization. “We treat our clients with dignity and respect. We recognize that without our clients we wouldn’t be in business. We understand that long-term relationships are built on a solid foundation, which is why our mission is to work with you every step of the way. We strive to be a company that you can trust and rely on,” says Houston, who proudly adds that most of his staff is highly experienced in the new home warranty business. He mentions that his number one staff member is Jennifer Yu, Senior Vice President at WBI. “Jennifer has worked with me for over 12 years. She is unbelievably loyal and extremely knowledgeable on all aspects of the business. She goes out of her way to look after builders, any time of the day. She is the most perfect example of customer service,” shares Houston.
Indeed, WBI’s superior customer service and professional assistance is second to none. From carefully assessing that the builders are qualified to carry on the project to ensuring that the homeowners’ needs are met, WBI is with the client from start to end, providing unfailing advice and service. “We are also flexible in our business arrangements with relation to the provision of other requirements that might be needed for a home construction project. We will never be the cause for a delay on a building permit,” Houston affirms.
WBI’s fair, prompt and courteous service has greatly contributed to the organization’s success and good reputation in the community. Also, WBI’s recent move to a Surrey location is another way the team has made itself available to the thriving construction industry in the Lower Mainland. “We recognize that we have a tremendous number of builders and developers in Surrey, Langley and the Fraser Valley. The new location is much easier to get to and much more convenient for those builders,” says Houston.WBI Home Warranty also plays a pivotal role in educating new and established builders and developers on the latest developments in the insurance industry. “We have seminars and webinars through which many builders can acquire Continuing Professional Development (CPD) credits to renew their license with BC Housing. We are also going to be having small monthly meetings for builders where an expert will deliver a presentation relating to home construction or insurance protection,” informs Houston. WBI has plans to include webinars in Punjabi and Mandarin on its website in the near future.
Whether you are a builder or homeowner, WBI Home Warranty has the expert knowledge and products you need. “Our belief is to assist our builders or developers at building a better quality home without any problems,” states Houston in conclusion.
Key pointers for builders & homeowners:
• Ensure that you’re using quality trades and materials for the home. “I always tell my builders that everybody that shows up at your job is ultimately spending your money. Make sure that they’re spending it wisely,” adds Houston.
• Before giving ownership of the house to the buyer, get a WBI inspector to do a final walkthrough with you and the site supervisor. Have the inspector take a look at your finished product from a homeowner’s perspective and give you advice on what you can repair or do differently before the homeowner moves in.
“With the WBI Construction Assurance team you can rest assured that we are watching out for your best interests at all times. Our experienced inspectors work for you. They help ensure that your sub trades are providing you with the quality work that you deserve. They work hard to protect your firm from costly callbacks and deficiencies,” says Houston. And when a claim does arise, the WBI staff will ensure that it is dealt with fairly and that you get the support you need to solve the issue quickly.
• Recognize that there is no such thing as a perfect house. “You cannot build a house that is totally 100 per cent defect-free. Especially with wood frame, the house is continually drying, settling and changing dimension,” states Houston.
• If you notice anything that you think is a defect, notify your builder and the warranty company as soon as possible. Identify very clearly what the concerns are. Most builders are very positive about dealing with issues.
• If for any reason, your builder is not reacting in a timely fashion, then put it down in writing and let the warranty company know. “We will work jointly with the homeowner and the builder to try to get the legitimate defects fixed and dealt with,” assures Houston.
• Be patient and stay in touch with your builder. Don’t be shy of following-up and asking what the builder’s plans and intentions are. Also, there’s no harm in following up with the warranty company as well.
What Clients say about WBI Home Warranty
“Gordon Houston and his team at WBI provide us with exceptional service for our warranties and deposit insurance. They are responsive, professional and a pleasure to work with. I highly recommend them!” - Diane DelvesPresident & CEO, Quantum Properties
“Hayer Builders Group has had the pleasure of working with WBI for numerous years on multiple innovative commercial and residential communities. During this we have always received prompt service from a personable and professional staff and we look forward to continuing our working relationship for years to come.”- Rav Hayer, President & CEO, Hayer Builders Group
“I have had an excellent working relationship with WBI Home Warranty for many years. WBI provides reliable service with quick turn-around times. You can call them anytime and you always speak to someone who is capable of helping. They understand the Builders view point but never forget that the Buyer is just as important.” - Steve Ratzlaff, Special Projects Coordinator, Diverseproperties.com
“We are a Builder of multi-family projects throughout the Lower Mainland and have used WBI Warranty since their formation in 2011. Success in our industry comes through the creation of strong relationships to achieve the ultimate goal of providing buyer satisfaction and confidence. In this regard, we have enjoyed our relationship with WBI Warranty and appreciate their integrity, professionalism and dedication to provide exceptional customer service. WBI Warranty has also been able to expand their services to include general insurance and deposit insurance in addition to Home warranty which provides seamless convenience. We welcome WBI Warranty to Surrey and look forward to a continued long term relationship.” - Avtar Johl, President, Platinum Group
WBI Home Warranty Ltd.
9639 - 137A Street Suite 211 Surrey, B.C. V3T 0M1 firstname.lastname@example.org
Executive Vice President