icare announces program to enhance access to builder's warranty insurance

Insurance and Care NSW (icare) is undertaking a two-year program to enhance the way we offer builder's warranty insurance through the Home Building Compensation Fund (HBCF).

The program includes implementing a future service and distribution model allowing builders to choose direct engagement with icare, in addition to a broker, and incorporating upgraded technology to streamline and simplify the experience.

Throughout the process, we will continue to seek input from builders and brokers. We anticipate implementing the new model by September 2025.

Continually improving the process

Historically, the process for being assessed for eligibility and purchasing HBCF policies has been largely manual and, at times, complex. It also requires builders to use an authorised broker to engage with icare on their behalf.

Last year, icare launched an Automated Scorecard Review to simplify the eligibility process of applying for insurance and to reduce decision waiting times.

Through the implementation of the proposed service and distribution model, icare will enhance the process further by offering more distribution choice for builders and an even simpler, streamlined experience.

"icare is committed to supporting the home building industry and the proposed model will give the majority of builders choice between continuing to use a broker, engaging with us directly, or a combination of both," said Britt Coombe, icare's Group Executive for HBCF.

"The model is designed so regardless of how builders choose to engage with HBCF, their experience is simple, responsive and intuitive."
Britt Coombe icare's Group Executive for HBCF

"Obtaining eligibility will be instant for 94% of builders, removing the current two-day turnaround. The other six per cent will experience a refined digital process that is straightforward and simple to navigate."

"The technology upgrades that support the new model will give builders a modern, streamlined customer experience with better data, enabling improved analytics and cybersecurity," said Ms Coombe.

Meeting regulatory obligations and maintaining scheme sustainability

As well as meeting regulatory obligations, these changes will position icare well for the future. They will enable us to better respond to statutory and benefit reforms that are currently being considered by the NSW Government.

Once implemented, these changes will complete all recommendations made in the 2020 Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) review of HBCF, as well as recommendations from our Customer Advocate's engagement with builders.

Implementing these improvements will also help us to reduce costs and maintain the scheme's sustainability so it can continue to protect homeowners well into the future.