New online tool brings transparency to NSW home construction projects
HBC Check lets any interested party verify a project's insurance status.
The tool is called HBC Check, referring to home building compensation cover (HBC). To protect homeowners against mishaps like defective or unfinished work, builders are required to take out HBC on any project valued at more than $20,000.
By making this information publicly accessible, HBC Check does more than just give the homeowner a way to validate their builder's HBC certificate. It also offers transparency to other interested parties including prospective buyers, local governments, real estate agents and body corporates.
Visitors to the page can simply enter the builder’s HBC certificate number for validation. If they don’t have the certificate number, they can either enter the address where the construction is taking place or zoom in to the precise location using the street map provided. A valid certificate will return a few key pieces of information including the builder’s certificate number, the certificate issue date, the builder’s name, the builder’s licence number and a short description of the work.
Interested parties can contact the NSW State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) if their online check uncovers any discrepancies they’re not able to clear up with the builder.
HBC was formerly called the Home Warranty Insurance Scheme. Reforms implemented in January 2018 ushered in a new name and other needed changes like better regulation, more competition and increased transparency.
Picture: Service New South Wales