Domestic Building Insurance – What You Need To Know

In Victoria, it is mandatory for builders to purchase Domestic Building Insurance (DBI) for all domestic building projects where the contract price is over $16,000.


Domestic Building Insurance does not provide any cover for the builder themselves, but rather the work they undertake. For all works over $16,000 builders will be required to have Domestic Building Insurance that will cover costs of up to $300,000 to fix structural defects for six years, and non-structural defects for two years.


Domestic Building Insurance provides cover for homeowners where their building project is incomplete or defective and it cannot be completed or rectified and the builder has either:


  • died, disappeared or become insolvent; or
  • failed to comply with a Tribunal or Court Order where DBI was issued by Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA ) on or after 1 July 2015.


Homeowners must be provided with a copy of the Certificate of Insurance and policy wording that applies to their building project.


Changes Coming To Domestic Building Insurance in Victoria

Recently, the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA) announced a major change to their Domestic Building Insurance (DBI) service model which is going to come into play on 1 July 2017.


VMIA will be introducing a more flexible DBI Distribution model for Victoria. They will be using a new system to help streamline the process of purchasing insurance, provide better access to information, reduce red tape, offer a better deal for builders and increase certainty for regulators and consumers.


A new portal system called BuildVic will be introduced which builders will be able to access online via multiple devices (computers, tablets, smartphones etc). Builders will benefit from faster and easier access to DBI certificate and related DBI documentation.


Under the new arrangements, builders will have more choice when purchasing Domestic Building Insurance. VMIA have introduced a new panel of DBI Distributors whom will use the new BuildVic portal to process and administer the insurance arrangements. Via the new BuildVic portal, builders will be able to purchase DBI online and choose their preferred DBI Distributor.


The newly appointed panel of DBI Distributors are:



Some builders will already be aligned to a DBI Distributor via their existing broker, while other builders will need to choose a new Distributor.


Builders wishing to continue to purchase and manage their DBI via their insurance broker will still have the option to do so. However, they must first ensure they have a BuildVic account set up with a Distributor.


Brokers that are not a DBI Distributor will still be able to manage DBI on behalf of their clients; however, this process will change. Currently brokers obtain VMIA DBI on behalf of their clients via QBE. VMIA’s existing arrangement with QBE will end on 30 June 2017. From 1 July 2017, brokers will no longer have access to VMIA DBI from QBE. Brokers can work with their client to support them in choosing a new DBI Distributor, as well as gaining consent from them on purchasing and managing their DBI in the future.


For builders it is important to note that any DBI certificates issued prior to the roll out of the new process will remain valid for the period of time stated on the certificate.


For more information on Domestic Building Insurance, visit the VMIA website.



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