If you are buying a new home, or one that is less than ten years old, it may be covered by a Homeowners' Warranty or HOW. A homeowners' warranty protects a new house against faulty construction for ten years. The warranty is backed by insurance. If the original owners sell the house within the first ten years, the policy automatically transfers to the new owners. If a builder refuses to correct mistakes, insurance covers the repairs. If the builder and buyer disagree on an issue, a built in dispute-settling process determines the outcome. The HOW policy is usually paid for by the builder, but padded into the selling price. The first year, HOW builders guarantee their new houses are free of defective work and materials, major structural defects, and flaws in the electrical, plumbing, heating and cooling, ventilation, and mechanical systems. If the home you are buying is not covered by HOW, you can have the home examined and get a warranty to cover your major systems for several years. For more information on home warranty plans, contact an inspection or real estate professional.