HOUSTON (April 30, 2003) - Stewart Title of California has selected Cross Country Home Services (CCHS) as a Stewart Preferred Provider to offer the Home Protection Plan home warranty to its real estate agent and broker customers, as well as to refinance customers. The Home Protection Plan is issued by HomeSure Protection of California Inc., a CCHS subsidiary.
Stewart Title of California is a wholly owned subsidiary of
Stewart Information Services Corp. (NYSE-STC).
"Home warranty plans are increasingly popular nationwide, and especially in California," said Allan Wasserman, president, Stewart Title of California. "Real estate agents working with Stewart for title, escrow and closing services will now be able to offer the Home Protection Plan to their clients and customers. In addition, homeowners refinancing their mortgage loan now will be able to purchase the Home Protection Plan - a unique opportunity for those who did not choose coverage when they originally purchased their homes."
Historically, about half of all home sale transactions nationwide include a home warranty plan. In California, that proportion has been 85 percent or greater in recent years, according to the Home Warranty Association of California.
A home warranty plan is a service contract covering an existing home's major operating systems and appliances for one year, typically after the close of escrow. The new Home Protection Plan offered by CCHS as a Stewart Preferred Provider covers the repair or replacement of covered home systems and major built-in appliances, including the electrical system, plumbing system, water heater and oven/range/cooktop. Some plans offered by CCHS also include coverage for an additional fee for the heating system, central air, refrigerator, washer/dryer, and swimming pool or spa.
"California real estate agents and brokers know that homes with warranty coverage sell more quickly and for a higher sales price than homes listed for sale without this coverage," said Barbara Heitman, Stewart Central California area manager. "We are pleased to be able to make this home warranty plan available for real estate professionals to offer to their buyers and sellers."
"We are pleased to be able to expand our relationship with Stewart Title and strongly believe in the value of offering home protection plans as part of the title and closing process," said Sandi Finn, president, Cross Country Home Services. "Nearly two million people have been protected by CCHS programs since the company's inception 23 years ago. CCHS continues to grow through association with world class organizations such as Stewart Title."
Stewart Realty Services, a Stewart division offering value-added tools assisting real estate agents and brokers to provide extraordinary customer service, handled the agreement with Cross Country Home Services. Stewart will expand the home warranty program to other markets in the next few months.
Cross Country Home Services is a leading provider of home warranty, service contract and homeowner assistance membership programs in the United States. CCHS works with leading corporate clients in the real estate, title, mortgage, insurance, financial services, affinity and other industries to create private-label or co-branded programs to help improve customer acquisition and retention. CCHS manages a nationwide network of over 40,000 pre-screened, pre-qualified independent contractors in the plumbing, electrical, heating, air conditioning, appliance, emergency services and other fields. CCHS is a member of The Cross Country Group, one of the largest privately held providers of private-label service programs in North America.
Stewart Information Services Corp. is a technology
driven, strategically competitive, global real estate information company. Stewart
provides title insurance and related information services through more than
6,500 issuing locations in the United States and several international markets.
Stewart meets the needs of the real estate and mortgage industries through the
delivery of information services required for settlement using e-commerce. These
services include title reports, flood determinations, document preparation,
property reports, background checks and online property auctions. Stewart also
supplies post-closing services to lenders, automated county clerk land records,
property and land ownership mapping, and GIS for governmental entities. Stewart
provides expertise in tax-deferred exchanges. More information about Stewart
can be found at www.stewart.com.