HBC factsheet for builders and tradespeople

This factsheet updates builders and tradespeople on the progress being made to reform the new home building compensation scheme in NSW.

What is the latest?

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) is currently designing the details for how the reformed home building compensation scheme will operate. We’ve sought and are currently reviewing industry and public feedback on how we should regulate builder eligibility standards and premiums.

Throughout October and November 2017 we will seek comments and feedback on draft:

  • eligibility, premium and prudential guidelines, and
  • home building compensation regulations.

To register to be notified when the draft guidelines are released for feedback please email

What has happened so far?

In June 2017, the NSW Parliament passed laws to reform the home building compensation scheme in NSW.

The laws will take effect early next year to create a financially sustainable scheme that’s open to private competition and product choice, with high levels of consumer protection.

What won’t change?

If you are a builder or tradesperson, you will still:

  • need to get home building compensation cover for residential building work in NSW costing more than $20,000, such as new home constructions (including multi-unit buildings of three storeys or less) or home renovations
  • be able to use a broker to access these products and
  • need to give a certificate of insurance to the homeowner before starting work or accepting any money, including a deposit.

Failing to have cover will continue to be an offence under NSW law.

icare will continue to offer insurance.

What will change?

More choice of providers

Private providers will be invited to apply to join the home building compensation market and offer builders competitive premiums and products. Currently you can only buy one product from a single insurance provider operated by the NSW Government: icare. In future you may have the choice to buy different products from different providers.

SIRA will regulate providers, including premiums and builder eligibility standards

Only providers that have a licence from SIRA will be allowed to offer home building compensation cover. They must comply with the standards we set for the scheme. Providers will submit their proposed premium prices to SIRA, and SIRA will be able to reject premiums that we believe are excessive or inadequate.

A wider variety of products to choose from

The government will encourage licensed providers to offer innovative and alternative products to builders.

Providers will only be allowed to offer builders products we have approved. Products may include insurance or alternative indemnity products such as fidelity fund schemes.

Products must meet minimum standards, but will also be able to include other features. For example, providers will be able to offer products that cover additional risks or allow claims in additional circumstances.

Further information

The reforms to home building compensation will complement administrative changes that are being made by the government’s home building compensation insurance provider icare, as well as other reforms across the building industry, including:

Contact SIRA Home Building Compensation


13 32 20 (NSW Fair Trading manages phone enquiries on our behalf)


State Insurance Regulatory Authority

McKell Building

Level 6, 2-24 Rawson Place, Sydney NSW 2000