Making a claim

Incomplete or defective work to your existing or new home can be stressful but you may be able to claim compensation.

You can claim under a policy issued by the Home Building Compensation Fund if your builder caused incomplete and/or defective work and the builder has:

  • disappeared and cannot be located
  • become insolvent and unable to complete the work
  • died before the completion of the work including defective work
  • had their licence suspended due to non-compliance with an order by Tribunal or court to pay you money.

If your builder has disappeared and cannot be located, you should contact NSW Fair Trading. If the builder cannot be found, NSW Fair Trading will issue you a letter that can be submitted with your HBCF claim.

Check below to understand what you need to consider before making any claim with us. Once you are sure you are within the correct timeframe and have gone through all the necessary steps, you can start the claim process.

    Before making a claim

  • Check your certificate of insurance

    HBCF can only provide compensation to homeowners with a valid insurance policy issued by one of our scheme agents. 

    Your builder should have provided you with a certificate of insurance at the start of the start of the project or, prior to you making a payment under the building contract.

    Your certificate of insurance should contain the name of the building contractor, the homeowner, the building site address, a description of the job, and the total value of the contract. The building contractor’s name on the certificate should be identical to the name of the building licence issued by NSW Fair Trading.

  • Check you are within the claim notification period

    You can claim at any time during the period of insurance.

    If your claim involves defective work, your period of insurance is either 6 years (major defects) or 2 years (all other defects). If an issue becomes apparent during the last six months of the insurance period, you have 6 months to claim. Generally, you must claim within six months of becoming aware of the defective work.

    For incomplete work, your period of insurance is 12 months from the date of the failure to commence the work or cessation of work (if it was started). 

  • Take all possible steps to settle your dispute

    As a homeowner you need to take all appropriate actions to try and have your builder address any incomplete or defective work.

    This can include lodging a complaint with NSW Fair Trading or enforcing your rights through the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or a court depending on the amount involved.

    If you do not explore all or some of these avenues, we may reduce the amount paid under any claim or reject the whole claim as you will not have tried to enforce the statutory warranties (an important requirement for delayed claims).

  • Claims Manager contact details

    You can find contact details for the Claims Manager on our Claim Form.

    Note, that from the 3rd of October 2017, Gallagher Bassett Services Pty Ltd (Gallagher Bassett) will be managing all claims on behalf of icare hbcf.

How to make a claim

You can protect your rights to claim in the future by lodging a Notification of Loss form within the period of insurance.

This must be done in writing using our Notification of Loss form and lodged with the Claims Manager, Gallagher Bassett.

Once you have notified of your possible claim, you need to take appropriate action to try to have the original builder complete and/or repair the work, such as:

  • Lodging a complaint with NSW Fair Trading
  • Lodging a claim with NCAT or a court (depending on value) to have the builder finish any incomplete or rectify any defective work

Once you have checked you’ve got all the necessary information and taken all other avenues to resolving your issues, you can start a claim.

To formally start your claim, download and complete a Claim Form and lodge it with the Claims Manager, Gallagher Bassett.

The Claim form includes a checklist of the information and documents you will need to submit with it so your claim can be assessed without delaying the decision.

When you can claim

You can claim at any time during the period of insurance.

If your claim involves defective work, your period of insurance is either 6 years (major defects) or 2 years (all other defects). If an issue becomes apparent during the last six months of the insurance period, you have 6 months to claim. Generally, you must claim within six months of becoming aware of the defective work. 

For incomplete work, your period of insurance is 12 months from the date of the failure to commence the work or cessation of work (if it was started).

In cases of insolvency, death or disappearance or licence suspension due to non-compliance with an order from a court or NCAT, you can still claim if that order was made after the expiry date of the insurance policy, provided that you lodged a Notification of Loss form within the period of insurance and “diligently pursued” the enforcement of your statutory warranty rights against the builder up to the time that there is a trigger event and you lodge a claim.