icare coronavirus information for Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF)

Supporting you during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

For builders

What should I do if my project hasn't started and won’t proceed?

If your project has not started and won’t proceed then you should seek advice about whether the residential building contract should be terminated by either party. You can cancel a policy and request a premium refund if all necessary conditions are satisfied under the Cancelled Certificates of Insurance (section 20.9.1) of the HBCF Eligibility Manual (PDF 1.0 MB).

What should I do if my project has started but won’t proceed further and the contract has been terminated?

If your project has started but work won’t proceed further and your contract has been terminated, you will need to supply HBCF with a written consent of an Agreed Variation to your policy by both yourself and the homeowner so you can request a partial refund.

If my project hasn’t commenced, can I cancel the policy and obtain a refund even if I plan to proceed at a later date?

If your project hasn’t commenced, you can't cancel the policy with the intention of reissuing it at a later date.

What happens if my contract is terminated during the project and there is no policy trigger for a claim? Do I need another policy?

If your contract is terminated during the project and there is $20,000 or greater of remaining work, you or the new builder will need to take out a new HBCF policy. You can vary the contract value based on how much work is left to complete when taking out the new HBCF policy.

Should I declare myself bankrupt or place my company into liquidation?

HBCF can't advise on this and we recommend you seek expert advice from industry professionals. Your accountant or an insolvency practitioner may be a good starting point. We also suggest that you exercise careful judgement before commencing a project if you have any doubts about your ability to finish the job to the standard you expect.

I am unsure about what support HBCF is offering during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please speak to your authorised Distributor. They will be able to update you on the support HBCF can offer at this time.

What is the NSW Government doing to help builders doing COVID-19?

The NSW Government has introduced new rules allowing construction sites to operate on weekends and public holidays to support the industry during the COVID-19 pandemic. Under these new rules workers can abide by social distancing rules while keeping construction projects progressing by allowing building work to be spread across more days of the week. Read more about extended construction hours.

I am unable to start my project/s due to social distancing requirements and delays in obtaining materials. What are the guidelines around cancelling Certificates of Insurance?

You can cancel certificates of insurance only when the contract has been brought to an end by the parties involved and you have met all the requirements in the HBCF Eligibility Manual (PDF 1.0 MB).

Will HBCF allow the classification of projects under different/incorrect builder categories so that I am charged a lesser premium during the pandemic?

No, you will not be able to incorrectly classify your projects to reduce your premiums. HBCF is required to charge the correct premium for each building construction type.

Will HBCF increase all builder limits for 12 months?

No, we won’t increase builder limits because we note that currently 70 per cent of builders do not use 50 per cent of the approved limits, and we expect usage to fall further.

Will HBCF provide any underwriting and premium relief options?

HBCF is aware of the significant challenges faced by builders due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Relief options are actively being investigated, however our approach to underwriting and premium settings will remain unchanged at this time. We will provide updates to Distributors on any policy changes as they become available who will communicate these to you.

Can I send my Deeds of Indemnity directly to Corporate Scorecard?

No, you should send your completed Deeds of Indemnity to your Distributor for checking and scanning into BEAT. Deeds that have not been uploaded to BEAT should not be sent to Corporate Scorecard.

For homeowners

I am looking to renovate shortly and am not sure if I should start my project during the COVID-19 pandemic. What is your advice?

Unfortunately HBCF can't advise on this. Please talk to your builder about how they are managing the COVID-19 situation and carefully research the situation. For more information, please read the article, how to choose the right builder which may be helpful in asking the right questions.

What should I do if my builder tells me he is going into bankruptcy, voluntary administration or liquidation and will not be returning to complete my project?

If your builder is going into bankruptcy, voluntary administration or liquidation and will not complete your project, you need to lodge a loss notification form with our claims manager Gallagher Bassett, who can then assist you with the claims process (assuming a trigger event occurs). The loss notification form and further information is available on the making a claim page.