CLAIMS

CLAIMS 2018-06-12T21:37:52+11:00

OUR MANAGEMENT OF YOUR CLAIM

Cover under the HBCF is an integral component of the Government’s consumer protection strategy for homeowners having building work undertaken in NSW. Cover provides specific safety net protection where a builder is unable or unwilling to fulfil their contractual obligation to a homeowner.

This includes where the contractor does not begin or complete work under a building contract and/or return and rectify defective work because of death, disappearance or insolvency, including licence suspension for failure to comply with a compensation (money) order of a Court or the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) in favour of the homeowner.

It also protects successors in title.

CLAIMS

Whilst the risk mitigating activities and services of SecureBuild significantly reduce the risk of you suffering a loss, there will inevitably be some instances where losses (e.g. deposits lost when a builder goes into insolvency) occur.

As a result of its risk mitigation activities and services, when losses do occur SecureBuild is in an excellent position to rapidly respond substantially reducing lost adjustment and claims costs.

Suffering a loss as result of your builder entering into bankruptcy, insolvency, dying, disappearing or being unable to satisfy an order from a Court or Tribunal is an extremely traumatic experience.

SecureBuild has designed its claim management processes with the understanding that homeowners are under significant stress and anxiety when the most significant purchasing decision of your lifetime has gone wrong. Accordingly, SecureBuild has designed its claims management process to make it simpler and easier for you to lodge a claim, receive relief under your HBC fidelity fund contract and quickly move forward with your life.

LODGING A CLAIM

You are able to lodge a claim under the HBC fidelity fund contract issued to you by your builder when you have suffered a loss where you builder has:

  • Died;
  • Disappeared;
  • Become bankrupt or insolvent; or
  • Had its licence suspended or cancelled for failure to comply with a money order of a court or the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

If you builder is still operating, but will not complete a project or fix defects after the building project has been completed you can seek our assistance to resolve your dispute with your builder click here.

SecureBuild provides a quick and easy ‘paperless’ claims application experience. You can either complete the online claim form (coming soon) or contact our call centre (13 33 14) to initiate the claims process. A hard copy claim form is also available click here.

SecureBuild does not charge a claims excess fee in relation to claims.

The process flow chart below sets out the steps in our claim management process and the likely timeframes applicable to each stage of the process.

Claims management process flow

Once you lodge your claim you will immediately receive a confirmation letter from us.

(1) Assessment

The first step in the claims management process involves us determining whether SecureBuild is ‘on risk’.

This is a process of where SecureBuild determines:

  1. if there is a valid policy in place; and
  2. whether the builder has in fact died, disappeared, become insolvent/bankrupt or is the subject of a Court or Tribunal money order; and
  3. whether the loss has been suffered within the time period set out in the policy; and
  4. whether the claim has been lodged within the time limitations of the policy; and
  5. whether all the terms and conditions for indemnifying you have been met.

(2) Acceptance of claim

Where the claims assessment process determines that:

  • there is a valid policy in place; and
  • there is evidence that the builder has in fact died, disappeared, become insolvent/bankrupt or is the subject of a Court or Tribunal money order;
  • the loss was suffered within the time period set out in the policy; and
  • the circumstances of the losses claims are not excluded under the policy,

you will be advised by letter that SecureBuild has accepted the claim and will be proceeding to conduct an assessment of the quantum of the indemnification.

We have a guarantee of service commitment to determine our acceptance of your claim within 10 business days

(3) Loss Adjustment (claims assessment)

The next stage in the process involves us determining the quantum or size of the loss that you have suffered.

  1. Loss of Deposits (Construction period fidelity fund contract)

For claims that relate to the loss of a deposit we will obtain evidence from the you of the payment made to the builder.

When evidence of payment has been received, we will notify you of our acceptance of your claim and make an indemnification offer to you.

You will be asked to sign an acceptance, release and subrogation document. Following receipt of your signed acceptance of offer, release and subrogation document we will complete an electronic funds transfer of the indemnification amount to your nominated back account.

  1. Incomplete work claims (during construction period)

Following our acceptance of your claim we will immediately allocate a loss adjustment case to the Building Inspector overseeing the project to carry out the loss adjustment (scoping process).

Generally, the loss adjustment case is to be allocated to the Building Inspector who had carriage of managing the project case file which is now the subject of the claim.

The Building Inspector will contact you within 48 hours of receiving the loss adjustment case file to organise a suitable time to carry out the loss adjustment inspection(s).

SecureBuild’s Building Inspector will to carry out an inspection and develop a scope of work which includes all incomplete or defective work items. The inspection assessment and the development of the scope of work is to be completed within 10 business days.

Should our Building Inspector require the assistance of an expert (e.g. Geotech), SecureBuild will notify you that there may be a delay with the loss adjustment and assessment process. You will be provided with a date for the completion of the loss adjustment assessment process.

Once the loss adjustment assessment has been completed by our Building Inspector, we will issue the scope of works (incomplete & defective elements) together with your original plans and specifications to at least two (preferably three) builders on our rectifying builder panel.

Under their panel agreement with SecureBuild, rectifying builders have 20 business days to respond to the scope of work issued to them.

When quotes are received back from the rectifying builders, we will assess and determine the best quote in terms of value for money and readiness to complete the work.

Within 5 business days of receipt of the final rectifying builder quote, we will notify you of our indemnity offer. This will comprise the amount we will pay the new builder to take over your building project and complete any incomplete items or rectify any defects.

Once the offer of indemnity has been accepted by you and the release and subrogation form is received by us, we will have the rectifying builder enter into a contract with you within 10 business days.

As part of the indemnification, we will provide the rectifying builder with new a new combined fidelity fund contract (policy).

From that point onwards, you will continue to use the funds you hold to pay the new builder to complete your building project.

  1. Defective building work claims (post construction)

Following our acceptance of a claim, we will immediately allocate a loss adjustment case to the Building Inspector to carry out the loss adjustment (scoping process).

The Building Inspector allocated to undertake the loss adjustment process will contact you within 48 hours of receiving the loss adjustment case file to organise a suitable time to carry out the loss adjustment inspection(s).

SecureBuild’s Building Inspector will to carry out an inspection and develop a scope of work which includes all defective work items. The inspection assessment and the development of the scope of work is to be completed within 10 business days.

Should the Building Inspector require the assistance of an expert (e.g. Geotech), we will notify you that there may be a delay with the loss adjustment and assessment process. You will be provided with a date for the completion of the loss adjustment assessment process.

Once the loss adjustment assessment has been completed by our Building Inspector, we will issue to the scope of work to at least two (preferably three) builders on our rectifying builder panel.

Under their panel agreement with SecureBuild, rectifying builders have 20 business days to respond to the scope of work issued to them.

When quotes are received back from the rectifying builders, we will assess and determine the best quote in terms of value for money and readiness to complete the work.

Within 5 business days of receipt of the final rectifying builder quote, we will notify you of our indemnity offer.

Once the offer of indemnity is accepted by you and the release and subrogation form has been received by us, we will have the rectifying builder enter into a contract with you within 10 business days.

As part of the indemnification we will provide the rectifying builder with new a new combined fidelity fund contract (policy) covering the rectification work undertaken by them.

(4) Indemnity settlement by payment

Generally, excluding claims relating to loss of deposits, we will seek to indemnify you by making payments to a rectifying builder who will enter into a contract with you to complete incomplete work and/or rectify defects to your home.

SecureBuild considers this to be a superior outcome for homeowner(s) as homeowners receive additional protection of the new fidelity fund contracts issued to the rectifying builder and sub-sequent owners of the home can be assured that any incomplete or defective work which was the subject of a HBC claim have been attended to.

However, there will be occasion where we may decide to indemnify you by making a payment as means of settling a claim.

Circumstance that may give rise to settlement by the making of a payment include (but are not limited to):

  • Where the cost of incomplete or defective work exceeds the maximum level of indemnification under the fidelity fund contract (policy); or
  • Where it is difficult for SecureBuild to engage a rectifying builder to contract with the beneficiary to complete the building work or rectify the defects; or
  • SecureBuild and the homeowner(s)(beneficiaries) have agreed that the making of a payment to settle the claim is mutually beneficial to both parties.

NB: SecureBuild retains the right to determine whether settlement by payment will apply.

Should we elect to indemnify you by making a payment, you will be asked to sign the acceptance, release and subrogation document.

Following receipt of the signed acceptance of offer, release and subrogation document from you, we will complete an electronic transfer of the indemnification amount to your nominated back account.

Electronic payments are to be made within 48 hours of receipt of a signed release and subrogation form from claimants.

(5) Where you are not satisfied with an indemnity offer made by us

Should you indicate that you are dissatisfied with our indemnity offer, we will contact you within 48 hours of refusing the offer so that we can learn more about the reasons behind your refusal.

Where you remain dissatisfied with our offer you will be provided with correspondence setting out the reasons for our decision regarding the indemnity offer made to you together with your rights to:

  • Seek an internal review of our decision by SecureBuild’s Decisions Review Committee (DRC); and/or
  • Lodge an appeal of our decision with the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the NSW Supreme Court (where your claim involves an amount in excess of $500,000.

Should you believe that our management of your claim did not comply with the NSW Home Building Act 1989, Regulation or Guidelines you may seek a regulator compliance review by the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) by emailing at compliancereview@sira.nsw.gov.au.

To seek an internal review of a decision made by us by SecureBuild’s Decisions Review Committee email at drc@securebuild.com.au.

Should you wish to lodge an appeal of our decision with NCAT click here.

NB: Should you wish to lodge an appeal with NCAT or the Supreme Court you are advised to do so within 45 days of receiving correspondence from us.

(6) Claims that are declined by us

Where we determine that:

  • No valid policy was issued by SecureBuild in relation to the building work which is the subject of the claim; and/or
  • The items set out within a claim are outside the applicable time limits set out within the fidelity fund contract (policy) and Regulation; and/or
  • The items set out within a claim are determined as not being incomplete or defective work attributable to the claimant’s builder/contractor,

the claim will be declined.

When we make a decision to decline your claim, our claims staff will contact you within 48 hours to explain the reasons for our decision.

You will be provided with correspondence setting out the reasons for our decision regarding declining your claim together with your rights to:

  • Seek an internal review of our decision by SecureBuild’s Decisions Review Committee (DRC); and/or
  • Lodge an appeal of our decision with the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or the NSW Supreme Court (where your claim involves an amount in excess of $500,000.

Should you believe that our management of your claim did not comply with the NSW Home Building Act 1989, Regulation or Guidelines you may seek a regulator compliance review by emailing the State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) at compliancereview@sira.nsw.gov.au.

To seek an internal review of a decision made by us by SecureBuild’s Decisions Review Committee email at drc@securebuild.com.au.

Should you wish to lodge an appeal of our decision with NCAT click here.

NB: Should you wish to lodge an appeal with NCAT or the Supreme Court you are advised to do so within 45 days of  receiving correspondence from us.

Further information regarding our claims management process is set out within our Claims Management Policy 2018 Click here