Victorian DBI Update - VMIA Initiatives (Amended) 27/05/2015

Last year on 4th June we advised you of some immediate changes, and potential changes, to the Domestic Building Insurance Scheme in Victoria.

Now some 12 months on, the VMIA have introduced an additional trigger that they will be implementing from 1st July this year, which is outside of the Building Legislation Amendment Bill (Victoria)

Effective from 1st July 2014 (under the Building Legislation Amendment Bill (Victoria)):

  • The minimum requirement for Home Warranty cover increased from $12,000 to $16,000
  • The maximum amount payable under the policy increased from $200,000 to $300,000

Effective from 1st July 2015 (VMIA Initiative):

  • An additional ‘trigger’ for a claim will be introduced, whereby a builder has not complied with a VCAT rectification ruling or court order after 30 days.

This means that a home owner will now be able to lodge a claim against a builder’s eligibility policy, even though the builder has not died, disappeared or become insolvent.

Whilst we are not yet privy to the entire process that will be enacted under this claim trigger, we expect that the VMIA, once notified of a claim, will more than likely monitor or even limit your DBI Facility until any rectification or replacement work under the order is complete. At the same time they are likely to request a review of your Facility, and potentially monitor your Facility very closely until they are satisfied with the actions you have taken. This may even extend to limiting your future activity, if the matter isn’t dealt with appropriately in their eyes.

  •  The VMIA are launching a new consumer search portal on their website.

In another change to assist consumers, the VMIA are launching a new online portal that will allow consumers to see if a builder has eligibility in the same name that the relevant building contract has been signed in. In addition to this, consumers will also be able to request details in relation to a specific Home Warranty certificate issued for a particular address, accessing information such as the certificate number; inception date; the building entity who carried out the work, and if previous claims have been made against the certificate for defective or incomplete works.

The VMIA will soon be writing to all sole traders and partnerships seeking your consent to have your details included within this new portal. A sample of this document is attached for you to read in preparation for you receiving this advice from the VMIA. If you are a company, the VMIA does not need to seek your consent. You may opt out of these arrangements, however if a consumer is unable to find your business within this search mechanism, it may impede your reputation as a builder.

All existing DBI application forms will also be updated to incorporate these changes – go to www.mbais.com.au for further advice in relation to these changes.

Greg Koster, National Warranty Advisor, MBA Insurance Services

 

 

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