Notification of a loss or damage
The period of insurance, the losses and damage covered under an insurance policy for residential building work and the periods for notification of a loss are set out in the insurance policy documents and on Insurance Policies
- Generally, a loss should be notified to the HBCF Scheme Agent that issued the Certificate of Insurance within six months of the homeowner becoming aware of the defective work (or, within six months of the loss becoming apparent where that occurs in the last six months of the period of insurance).
- Notification of a loss in relation to incomplete work should be notified to the Scheme Agent that issued the Certificate of Insurance within 12 months of the contract date, or the date provided in the contract for commencement of work, or the date the work ceased, whichever is the later.
Notification within these periods will mean that the HBCF cannot reduce its liability under the policy, or any amount otherwise payable in respect of a claim merely because of a delay in being notified of a loss.
Nevertheless, a loss resulting from defective work can still be notified to the Scheme Agent at any time within the period of insurance (or within six months of a loss becoming apparent where that occurs in the last six months of the period of cover).
Where a homeowner gives notice of a loss to the HBCF, the homeowner is taken to have given notice of every loss that was caused by the same defect.
Notification of a loss MUST be in writing using the Loss Notification Form
to notify the Scheme Agent that issued the Certificate of Insurance of a loss under your policy. Contact details for the Scheme Agents are given on the form and also available below.
Obligation to enforce a statutory warranty
A homeowner must take appropriate actions to try to have the original builder finish any incomplete work and rectify any defective building work.
Where a homeowner does not take action to enforce a statutory warranty, the HBCF may reduce its liability or the amount paid under a claim, to the extent that its interests have been prejudiced as a result of not trying to have the original builder complete or repair the work in a timely manner.
Examples of where a homeowner might be considered to have taken steps to enforce a statutory warranty would include;
where the homeowner lodges a complaint with NSW Fair Trading,
lodges a building claim with the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and/or,
commence court proceedings to try to have the builder finish any incomplete work or rectify any defective work.
Disappearance of a builder
A homeowner who has a concern regarding defective or incomplete building work and who is unable to locate their builder should, in the first instance, lodge a complaint with NSW Fair Trading
. In the event that Fair Trading cannot find the builder, a letter will be provided to the homeowner indicating that the builder is unable to be located. This letter can be submitted with a claim form to a Scheme Agent of the HBCF.
The provision of the letter will not oblige the Scheme Agent or the HBCF to approve a claim or preclude either from making its own enquiries to try to locate the builder. The letter will, however be accepted as evidence of the homeowner's belief that the builder has disappeared and of the homeowner having made all efforts to locate the builder.
Lodgement of a claim
A claim must be lodged within the period of insurance (or, in relation to defective work, within six months of the loss becoming apparent where that occurs in the last six months of the period of insurance)
However, where the insolvency, death or disappearance of the builder (including licence suspension for non-compliance with a money (compensation) order in favour of the homeowner made by a Court or NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) does not occur until after the expiry of the period of insurance, a claim may be made after the period of insurance.
This can only happen in respect of a loss where written notification of the loss was made during the priod of insurance (or, if the loss becomes apparent within the last six months of the priod of insurance, within six months after the loss became apparent), and since the loss became apparent, the homeowner has diligently pursued the enforcement of the statutory warranty concerned in respect of the loss.
Use of the HBCF Claim Form
to lodge a claim under your insurance policy with the Scheme Agent that issued the Certificate on behalf of the HBCF. Contact details for the Scheme Agents are given below. The claim form includes a checklist of the information and documentation required to be submitted with the form in order to assist in the assessment of the claim.
Disputed claims decisions
If the homeowner is not satisfied with a decision on their claim, in the first instance, they are entitled to request a review of the decision by the Scheme Agent. If the matter is not resolved, it can be escalated to the Scheme Agent’s claims committee and potentially to the HBCF’s claims committee. For further information regarding complaint handling procedure, please refer to the complaints section of this website
Where a homeowner remain unsatisfied with a decision on a claim by a Scheme Agent, option is available for the homeowner to appeal to:
1. the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) where the Tribunal’s jurisdictional limit is up to $500,000, or
2. the District Court where the amount involved exceeds $500,000.
Scheme Agents' contact details
Residential Builders Underwriting Agency (RBUA)
Due to the acquisition of the Calliden Group Ltd by Munich RE through its subsidiary Great Lakes Australia, the underwriting and claims services previously provided by Calliden for HBCF are now provided by Residential Builders Underwriting Agency Pty Ltd (RBUA).
Claims and loss notification under policies issued by RBUA and Calliden for HBCF are handled on their behalf of:
Innovation Group (Claims Services) Pty Ltd
PO Box 7704, St Kilda Rd VIC 8004
Phone: 1300 130 247
Fax: 1300 662 215
QBE Insurance (Australia) Limited
PO Box 219, Parramatta NSW 2124
Phone: 1300 790 723
Phone: 1300 650 503
Vero Insurance Limited
Vero issued Certificates of Insurance as a Scheme Agent on behalf of hbcf during the period 1 July to 30 September 2010. Vero does not handle claims or loss notifications under insurance policies issued on behalf of the HBCF. For information regarding which of the other Scheme Agents (i.e. RBUA or QBE) will handle claims and notifications issued by Vero, please contact:
GPO Box 4052, Sydney NSW 2001
Phone: 02 9216 3224
Claims and loss notifications under Contracts of Insurance (policies) issued prior to 1 July 2010
Contact details for insurers previously operating in the home building insurance market in NSW and other information in relation to the scheme are available from NSW Fair Trading at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au