As a provider in the NSW home building compensation scheme, icare HBCF provides a safety net for homeowners in NSW faced with incomplete and defective building work carried out by licensed builders and contractors, for residential building work over $20,000.
Once a builder or contractor has eligibility with a provider, they can apply to that provider for a Certificate of Insurance for individual projects which they contract to do.
Home Building Compensation scheme cover is compulsory
Reference to builders and building work includes and applies to work done by trade contractors and other building contractors such as electricians, plumbers, carpenters, swimming pool builders etc.
Builders and contractors are required to provide evidence of cover (for example, icare HBCF will issue a Certificate of Insurance) to the homeowner before starting any work or accepting any money, including a deposit.
Applications to icare HBCF for a Certificate of Insurance can only be made once a builder or contractor has a certificate of eligibility. 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. It also certifies the maximum contract price for each type of construction work you’re eligible to do.
Information for your customers
The fact sheet (below) contains essential information every homeowner needs to know about icare HBCF. It explains who we are, what we do, what a homeowner is covered for and the claims process.
We suggest you print this fact sheet and give a copy to your homeowner customers when you start a new project with them.
Applying for eligibility through a broker distributor
When a builder or contractor applies for a Certificate of Eligibility or a Certificate of Insurance for a building project, they must use a broker distributor who icare HBCF has approved. Only icare HBCF approved broker distributors can act on behalf of builders and contractors for eligibility and insurance applications.
Approved broker distributors act as a builder’s advocate to ensure that they submit complete and accurate information on your behalf. This enables icare HBCF to make a fully informed decision when undertaking its risk assessment.
Applying for a Certificate of Insurance through a broker distributor
Once icare HBCF has approved and issued the Certificate of Eligibility, the distributor can process Certificate of Insurance applications for individual projects on your behalf.
You must obtain a Certificate of Insurance for each project that you undertake before it begins, and before you receive any payment (including a deposit) under the building contract.
You need to submit your project application to your broker, who will issue you a Certificate of Insurance on behalf of icare HBCF (assuming all requirements are met).
Eligible builders and contractors can also make an application online through our Builder Self-service Portal.
Your role as an icare HBCF approved broker distributor
Since 1 October 2017, icare HBCF has had a fixed panel of broker distributors selected based on an open tender process.
A broker distributor's primary role is to manage the application process on behalf of a builder. You must also communicate icare HBCF’s requirements and decisions with builder clients clearly and in a timely manner.
You are required to:
- at all times, act towards icare HBCF with the utmost good faith
- assist in obtaining information that is necessary to conduct risk assessments
- avoid unnecessary disruption to projects due to commencement and identify such concerns to icare HBCF as required
- provide clients with clear requests for further information and ensure that they have the understanding as to why further information is required
- disclose all matters material to an eligibility assessment in your possession and knowledge.
You should not:
- knowingly advocate to builders to seek a lesser amount of eligibility, which may later require an increase.