Bonded Builders Home Warranty Association recently bolstered its remodeling warranty program to help professional remodelers stand out in a crowded industry that takes collective hits when a few operations do bad work.
"This is a multibillion-dollar-a-year industry, and everybody thinks they can get into it," Bonded Builders vice president Barry Pollock says. "This warranty not only protects remodelers, but it gives homeowners peace of mind because they know they have a third-party company they can go to. It gives credibility to remodelers to separate themselves from the other guys."
The company improved the program by introducing a flat-rate payment structure based on the type and size of job and by reducing the amount of paperwork. After a remodeler sends in the basic information on a project, Bonded Builders customizes a warranty form based on that specific project and sends it directly to the homeowners.
Pollock and Al Freedman, Bonded Builders' director of special projects, say the program gives remodelers the same coverages sometimes reserved only for stick builders. They also point out that selling and/or transferring certain coverages to the homeowners provides a markup opportunity.
In addition, Bonded Build-ers alone serves as the obligator on extended coverages, allowing the remodeler to transfer liability at the homeowners' expense.
"The concept behind the program is not just insurance protection. It's also reputation protection," Freedman says. "Most remodelers are small companies. It's even more important for a remodeler to have this because he lives in the homeowners' house when he works, and to get through the process without having the customer micromanage is why he needs a third party."
Pollock compares the company's selective, annual certification process to the industry's various professional designations, calling it a tool to ensure that companies covered under a Bonded Builders warranty are professional, stable operations.
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