It’s been 40 years since a delegation of Alberta home builders disrupted a national industry conference by putting forward a motion to allow the establishment of home warranty programs that would be operated by provincial associations and without federal government involvement.
It was 1974, the same year OPEC removed its oil embargo, heiress Patty Hearst was kidnapped by the Symbionese Liberation Army, and U.S. president Richard Nixon resigned, so it’s no surprise this made-in-Alberta, industry-changing announcement didn’t rate front-page coverage. What the fledgling New Home Certification Program of Alberta, the first provincial home warranty program in Canada, did do was forever change the relationship between builder and homebuyer across Alberta.
Today, as the Alberta New Home Warranty Program (ANHWP), it continues to ensure both buyer and builder retain a healthy relationship during and after construction.
John Martin, named vice-president of business development for the builder-funded ANHWP just two weeks ago, has as part of his mandate the responsibility to not only attract new members, but to keep a watchful eye on the two-way relationship.
“I want to ensure the satisfaction level of the builder-membership and quarterback any needs they have,” he says from his Calgary office. “And I also want to be diligent in making sure everyone, builder and homebuyer, is happy.”
Martin, who has 15 years experience in the home warranty sector, mostly with the rival National Home Warranty Program Ltd., was named to his newly created position by John Kozole, ANHWP’s president and chief executive.
“(ANHWP) is very focused on our ability to provide exceptional service to our customers. This position is entirely new to our organization and we are excited to have someone with John’s experience lead the way on this initiative,” says Kozole, who heads up the 700-member organization.
Still settling into his new role, Martin says there is much to do in the days ahead to make sure ANHWP maintains its standing as the “premier provider” of home warranty protection in Alberta and Canada.
“I have always had respect for what this program does for the homeowners, as well as for its builder members,” he says. “The after-sale service provided through the program has always been great, and it will be part of my responsibility to get even better at it by focusing on what we can do better for the homeowner, and for the builder.”
The ANHWP mandate is to provide an array of warranty products that offer comprehensive protection and provide builders and homeowners with the resources to resolve issues, honour specific industry standards, and to become better educated about the new home construction process. Among its services are pre-possession insurance, 10-year protection against structural defects and other coverages ranging from one to five years. It also offers arbitration and mediation services. And with the implementation earlier this year of mandatory warranty coverage, ANHWP played a key role in forming the new coverage levels required by the Alberta government, something Kozole says is “validation of the strength” of ANHWP.
“In the world of mandatory warranties, we continue to thrive, so in that way it’s business as usual,” says Martin, who adds that ANHWP’s products and services being offered exceeds the mandatory levels.