HBCF premium guidelines

We use risk-based pricing, meaning builders will pay a premium based on their insurance risk profile.

HBCF insurance premiums for your project are calculated using:
  • the type of project
  • the total contract value for the project
  • your individual loading or discount rate
  • the location of the project.

Each builder is allocated an individual loading or discount to the base premium.

The loading, or discount, is based on each builder's insurance risk profile as assessed using actuarial guidelines. It is not a reflection of the quality of the work of the building contractor.

As announced during 2017, reforms to the Home Building Compensation insurance scheme have been implemented to ensure that it regains financial stability so it can continue to protect NSW homeowners now and into the future.

Premium rate changes occurred in April and October 2017 and October 2018. As foreshadowed, following a premium filing submission to the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA), a further premium rate change will come into effect on 1 August 2019.

Premium rates have been adjusted to reflect the latest assessment of break-even premium rates for all construction types.

Multi-dwelling construction types will move to break-even premium rates through four rate increases across Financial Year 2019-2020 and Financial Year 2020 -2021 to alleviate the impact to building activities.

Premiums for New Duplex/Triplex construction type will be aligned with the New Single Dwelling premium rate. 

The risk-based rating structure used to determine builder risk factors is unchanged. 


Premium calculator

Minimum premiums

A minimum premium of $200 applies to all projects. 10 per cent GST and a 9 per cent stamp duty are applicable to HBCF premiums. Where the contract price for a residential construction project is not known, the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved in the project is used to calculate the applicable premium.

How risk-based pricing works

Based on HBCF insurance claims data, some characteristics have greater potential to increase the incidence of insolvency.

These characteristics are weighted for each builder to provide the premium loading or discount, which is then applied to the base premium for the type of work being undertaken.

For example, incorporated entities (companies) have a significantly greater frequency of claims over sole traders and partnerships. This is reflected in the premium icare charges.

Other attributes taken into account as part of the risk-based approach include the period the entity has been licensed, retained (adjusted) net tangible assets and net profit.

Premium rates from 1 August 2019

Base premiums rates by construction type - Non multi dwelling constructions

 Construction type Metro  Rural  

Excl. GST & stamp duty (%) Incl. GST & stamp duty (%) Excl. GST & stamp duty (%) Incl. GST & stamp duty (%) Base rate change % 
C01 New Single Dwelling 0.95 1.14 0.76 0.91 0
C04 Single Dwelling Alterations 0.68  0.82  0.55  0.66 13
C05 Swimming Pools 0.67  0.81 0.54  0.65 0
C06 Renovations 0.32 0.38 0.26 0.31 -11
C07 Other - Not included above 0.37 0.44 0.29 0.35 -11
C09 New Duplex, Dual Occupancy, Triplex, Terrace 0.95 1.14 0.76 0.91 -62

Premium increases for multi dwelling constructions which will occur in 4 tranches/stages

 Construction type Tranche I
1 August 2019
Tranche II 
1 January 2020

Tranche III
1 July 2020
Tranche IV
1 January 2021

Excl. GST & stamp duty (%) Incl. GST & stamp duty (%) Incl. GST & stamp duty (%)
C02 - Multi Dwelling Alterations  1.22  1.46  2.23  3.00  3.77
C03 - New Multi Dwelling Construction up to 3 Storeys  2.29  2.74  3.43  4.11 4.79 
C08 - Multi Dwelling Renovations  0.60  0.73  1.04  1.36 1.68 

Base premium rates by construction types - multi dwelling constructions

 Construction type Base rate change %

1 August 2019 1 January 2020 1 July 2020  1 January 2021
C02 - Multi Dwelling Alterations  111  52  34  26
C03 - New Multi Dwelling Construction up to 3 Storeys  33  25  20  17
C08 - Multi Dwelling Renovations  78 44   30  23

    Premium guidelines

  • C01 New Single Dwelling Construction
    The rates in this category cover new construction of a house, including the addition of a granny flat or secondary dwelling to an existing dwelling.
  • C02 Multiple Dwellings Alterations / Additions - Structural

    The rates in this category cover structural alterations/additions to

    • existing blocks of units, flats, apartments etc. (any number of storeys); and
    • existing duplexes, triplexes, terraces, villas, townhouses etc. (other than where the work is being undertaken exclusively within one dwelling and does not involve common property – in which case category C04 applies). 
    A policy is issued for the project with an individual Certificate of Insurance issued for each dwelling where the average is more than $20,000 per dwelling (i.e. contract price divided by number of dwellings).
  • C03 New Multiple Dwellings Construction

    The rates in this category cover construction projects involving new multiple dwellings (three storeys or less), for example blocks of units, flats etc.

    A policy is issued for the project with an individual certificate of insurance issued for each dwelling.

    This category doesn’t include the construction of free-standing dwellings on individual sites without any shared services or structural components (for example, common walls or roofing) other than developments that are intended to be subject to strata and/or community title on occupation.

    Refer to C09 New Duplex, Dual Occupancy, Triplex and/or Terrace (attached) construction not intended to be subject to strata and/or community title on occupation.

  • C04 Single Dwelling Alterations / Additions - Structural
    The rates in this category cover for work involving structural alterations/additions to an existing single dwelling (including such work undertaken exclusively to one dwelling within a block of units, flats, apartments etc. or to one dwelling forming part of a duplex, dual occupancy, triplex, terrace, townhouse etc. complex which does not involve common property).
  • C05 Swimming Pools
    The rates in this category cover the following types of pool construction/work:
    • New In-ground Concrete
    • New In-ground Fibreglass
    • New In-ground Vinyl Lined
    • New Above Ground
    • New Pool Inside dwelling
    • Alterations/Repair to existing Pool
    • New Spa
  • C06 Single Dwelling Renovations - Non-Structural

    The rates in this category cover work involving non-structural renovations to an existing single dwelling, including work undertaken exclusively to one dwelling within a block of units, flats, or apartments; or to one dwelling forming part of a duplex, dual occupancy, triplex, terrace, townhouse etc. complex that does not involve common property.

    This category may include contracts for the following structural work types, which are priced as non-structural renovations for premium purposes even though a six (6) year period of insurance may apply under the hbcf policy:

    • the erection of prefabricated patios, garages and sheds
    • bathroom and kitchen renovations that may include projects involving window replacement and water-proofing membranes
    • replacement of roof coverings without alteration to roof structure
    • timber decks (including timber slatted balconies) and pergolas
    • landscaping – where retaining walls do not exceed 25% of the contract price
    • driveways and other paving
    • solar panels
    • swimming pool servicing, renovation and minor repair projects

    The C06 category also covers specialist contractors (e.g. electricians, plumbers, gasfitters, and air conditioning installers) and single trade projects involving single dwellings.

  • C07 Other - Not included in other construction types due to unusual circumstances
    When a building contractor specifies this construction type in the policy submission or when using the pricing calculator, there will be a prompt to specify if the building is single or multi-dwelling.
  • C08 Multiple Dwelling Renovations - Non-structural 

    The rates in this category cover work involving non-structural renovations to existing blocks of units, flats, apartments etc. (any number of storeys) and existing duplexes, triplexes, terraces, villas, townhouses etc. (other than where the work it being undertaken exclusively within one dwelling and does not involve common property - in which case category C06 applies). 

    A policy is issued for the project with an individual Certificate of Insurance issued for each dwelling where the average is more than $20,000 per dwelling (i.e contract price divided by number of dwellings).

    The C08 category also covers specialist contractors (e.g. electricians, plumbers, gasfitters, and air conditioning installers) and single trade projects involving multiple dwellings) 

  • C09 New Duplex, Dual Occupancy, Triplex and/or Terrace (Attached) Construction

    The rates in this category cover work involving the construction of a new duplex, dual occupancy, triplex &/or terrace/townhouse (attached).

    This category covers the construction of a new single dwelling with a granny flat. A policy is issued for each dwelling.

    Refer to C03 category for developments which are intended to be subject to strata and/or community title on occupation.