Residential building insurance

Home Building Certification Fund (HBCF)

The Home Building Certification Fund (HBCF) stopped issuing new policies on 31 December 2012. It has been replaced by residential building cover in the form of fidelity fund certificates.

This page is for existing policy holders with the fund.

What is covered

The fund covers policy holders in the event that building work at the time of construction was not compliant with the National Construction Code, which includes the Building and Plumbing codes of Australia.

The code sets the minimum standard for the construction of buildings. It does not relate to the standard of workmanship or the quality of products used.

The fund provides cover where the original practitioners of the building work will not or cannot fix identified non-compliant work.

Cover is only available if an occupancy permit or certificate of substantial compliance has been issued for the work. No cover is available for work that is only covered by a certificate of existence.

You may claim for defective building work for 10 years. The period of cover starts from the date the works were physically completed, but no later than the original two year building permit period.

The fund does not cover you for matters beyond the National Construction Code, such as any of the following: 

  • poor workmanship
  • aesthetics such as minor cracks due to thermal movement, paint finishes and floor coverings
  • normal wear and tear - eg: deterioration of timber on balconies, deterioration of solar hot-water systems, loosening of roof and wall sheeting.

Before you make a claim

If possible, contact the original practitioners to give them the opportunity to correct any defective work.

You can only make a claim if:

  • there is a HBCF policy for the building work
  • the building work has been issued with a certificate of occupancy or a certificate of substantial compliance
  • the claim occurs within the period of cover.

If you are an owner builder, you can't claim for non-compliant building or plumbing work. However, new owners of the property can make a claim within the 10-year policy period.

How to make a claim

Follow these steps to make a HBCF claim:

Step 1. Fill in a HBCF claim form (624.8 kb).

Step 2. Submit the form to a Building Advisory Services office.

How a claim is assessed

You will receive acknowledgement that your claim has been received within five working days. 

You will be contacted if access to your property is needed for an onsite inspection.

The assessment of your claim may take time if it is complex or needs to be independently assessed by a building practitioner. 

Contact Building Advisory Services for updates on your claim. 

Successful claims

For each part of your claim that is found to be valid, you must pay a $200 excess fee to a Building Advisory Services office before rectification work can begin.  

How to appeal a decision

If your claim is was found to be fully or partly invalid, you can appeal for a reassessment of the decision.

Write to Building Advisory Services including details of why you consider the decision to be incorrect.

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Last updated: 27 June 2017