If you’re dissatisfied with an outcome, you can have your case reviewed.
As a licensed insurer under the Home Building Act 1989 providing a vital safety net for homeowners undertaking building projects in New South Wales, we take service levels and how any issues are dealt with very seriously. Our relationship with builders is also critical.
It’s important that you detail your complaint – preferably in writing – to the appropriate Dispute Resolution Officer as soon as possible.
There are very strict guidelines for how complaints and disputes are handled, although the process is slightly different depending on whether you are a homeowner (claims dispute) or a builder (eligibility dispute).
Once you’ve made a complaint it will be considered within the appropriate internal dispute resolution process and you'll be notified of the outcome.
You can contact the Disputes Resolution Officer by either email or phone as listed below:
Eligibility Risk Manager
*Since May 2021 icare HBCF directly underwrite eligibility for builders with approved Open Job Values of $10 million or more. Disputes regarding eligibility decisions for these builders should be referred to icare HBCF directly.
How long should you expect to wait?
While response times will be dictated by internal processes, at a minimum we expect:
- Acknowledgement of complaint: three business days for written complaints and immediately for direct telephone complaints
- Results of initial investigation: within 15 business days from the day the complaint was made
- Further investigations: a reasonable timeframe should be agreed between you and the Dispute Resolution Officer.
You should also be kept informed of progress and any outcome fully explained to you in writing, along with information on how to take the complaint further with us.
Bringing a complaint or dispute to us
If you’re unhappy about a scheme agent's decision, you can ask the scheme agent to refer your dispute to us.
We can also be directly contacted by either email or phone as listed below:
We will then investigate the situation and in some cases refer the matter to our claims committee (for claims) or underwriting committee (for eligibility) for consideration. Our underwriting committee, whose membership includes building industry representatives, will make a recommendation to icare HBCF's General Manager, General Lines Underwriting.
The scheme agent will be informed of the outcome and they must implement the decision made by our claims committee or, for eligibility, the decision made by the General Manager, General Lines Underwriting. In turn, they will notify you of the decision and steps that need to be taken by them to resolve your dispute.
For eligibility – the decision of icare HBCF is final and binding.
For claims, if it is a decision made on your claim that you are disputing or you remain dissatisfied, you have the right of appeal against our decision in the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) (or a court, depending on the value of the claim) in the first instance.
Premium determinations – Builders
If you are not satisfied regarding any aspect of a premium determination, you should contact us directly (or via your broker) for internal review and decision. Please provide details of your concerns and any supporting documentation you would like to be considered.
We will acknowledge your request for review within five business days and complete and finalise the review in a timely manner. If you’re still unhappy about the decision, you can ask us to refer it to our underwriting committee for further review. The underwriting committee will make a recommendation to icare HBCF’s General Manager, General Lines Underwriting. We will notify you (and/or your broker) of the decision of the General Manager.
State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) regulatory reviews and other complaints
SIRA regulates the NSW home building compensation scheme.
You can contact SIRA as listed below to request a regulatory review or make a complaint:
Whilst SIRA cannot overturn an individual eligibility decision or premium determination, if you have any concerns about our conduct in dealing with your eligibility decision or premium determination, SIRA can review our compliance with the legislation and guidelines.
If you are not satisfied with the service provided by, or the conduct of our handling of your eligibility decision or premium determination, you can make a complaint to SIRA.
Whilst SIRA cannot overturn an individual claim decision, if you have any concerns about our conduct in dealing with your claim, SIRA can review our compliance with the legislation, guidelines and our policy.
If you are not satisfied with the service provided by, or the conduct of our handling of the claim you can make a complaint to SIRA.