Getting a certificate of eligibility is the first step towards being able to obtain insurance from icare HBCF for residential building work in NSW.

As a builder or contractor, your certificate of eligibility determines the maximum value and number of construction projects you can have open at any given time with icare HBCF. It also certifies the maximum contract price for each type of construction work you’re eligible to do under your approved eligibility with icare HBCF.

A certificate of eligibility with icare HBCF can only be granted by Corporate Scorecard, the Eligibility Risk Manager. Our Eligibility Risk Manager is responsible for assessing the financial viability of your application.

Who should apply for eligibility with icare HBCF

If you’re a builder, speculative builder or trade contractor intending to undertake work requiring home building compensation (HBCF) scheme cover you need to have eligibility (with icare HBCF and/or another provider) before you can apply for cover (in our case, a certificate of insurance) for the project.

It’s important to plan ahead when applying for eligibility as the process can take more than 10 days if the Eligibility Risk Manager requires further information from you. 

Don’t quote or commit to jobs before you have the eligibility to avoid angst and pressure when dealing with homeowners.

What eligibility with icare HBCF means

An icare HBCF certificate of eligibility means that you’ve been assessed by the Eligibility Risk Manager and have been granted the entitlement to apply to us for a certificate of insurance for individual projects.

Your eligibility also refers to the eligibility conditions under which an icare HBCF certificate of insurance may be granted to you.

How to apply for eligibility

All applications for eligibility with us must go through an approved broker distributor.

Your broker distributor will submit your application to Corporate Scorecard, our Eligibility Risk Manager.

Find an approved broker distributor

Eligibility assessments

By providing cover to builders, HBCF takes on the risk that a builder is unable or unwilling to complete the construction of a home (or other residential building project) or return to rectify defective work.

To manage this risk, builders are required to apply for eligibility prior to the purchase of a certificate of insurance. The assessment of your eligibility application is undertaken by the Eligibility Risk Manager.

When assessing your eligibility application the Eligibility Risk Manager takes into account the following criteria:

  • financial performance
  • equity exposed to the building operations
  • technical capability
  • history.

Where builders are assessed as a "high risk", this may result in the eligibility application being declined or special conditions imposed.

Once the assessment has been finalised, approved builders are provided a certificate of eligibility and builder eligibility assessment report which summarise the eligibility conditions. 

HBCF Eligibility Manual from 1 March 2021 (PDF, 1.0 MB) 

Eligibility conditions

Your eligibility profile will include the following conditions:

  • open job limits (number and value); and
  • types of construction and maximum contract price.

Your eligibility profile may also include the following relevant conditions:

  • maintaining or increasing capital levels
  • providing specified levels of security
  • frequency of financial reporting
  • accessing a building contract review program (bcrp) service provider
  • other requirements as may be appropriate from time to time.

Eligibility duration

Under the Home Building Compensation (Eligibility) Insurance Guidelines issued by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) icare HBCF must not grant eligibility for a period greater than three years or less than 12 months to any builder. 

Within the above period builders may be subject to annual (or in some circumstances more frequent) eligibility reviews. On completion of the review eligibility will be issued for a further period of up to three years. 

In the case of builders classified as System Reviewed Small Builders who would not generally be subject to an annual eligibility review 30 days written notice will be provided before the date of expiry indicating that their Certificate of Eligibility will be automatically renewed for a further period of up to three years unless they advise otherwise.

Building contract review program

The building contract review program (BCRP) is managed by hbcf and outsourced to authorised service providers.

Participating in the BCRP program can be a condition of your eligibility with us.

The program aims to assist new entrants to the building industry, as well as existing small to medium builders without demonstrated experience for proposed projects.

The participating builders will have the opportunity to obtain mentored project management experience.

More about BCRP