Impending reforms to NSW Home Warranty

On behalf of insurance brokers, NIBA has participated in further meetings with icare HBCF as the proposed home warranty insurance reforms are being implemented in NSW.

It has been indicated to HBCF that important concerns have been expressed in relation to the terms of the proposed new distributor deeds. The association has stated that they will be raising these matters with HBCF in detail in the near future, and we will keep members informed of the outcome of the discussions.

CEO Dallas Booth has advised that the peak broker body has also requested full consultation on the terms, conditions and processes HBCF intends to adopt as it reviews its distributor panel.

“We understand from previous discussions that HBCF wishes to reduce the number of distributors, and we have expressed a strong desire for transparency on how this matter is to be handled. HBCF is appointing a probity adviser for this process and has undertaken to consult with NIBA in the near future,” Booth said.

Key developments brokers should be aware of include:

  • HBCF has updated its website for the information of all stakeholders. See: www.hbcf.nsw.gov.au.
  • HBCF has confirmed that it continues to work towards the introduction of risk-based pricing on 3 April 2017. From that date, HBCF will cease paying broker commissions.
  • HBCF issued a circular (Bulletin 4) to all distributors on 20 February, containing important information relating to the changes. This includes information about enhancements to the BEAT [Builder Eligibility Assessment Tool] platform that is now available for use by brokers. It is important that brokers review and confirm the information on BEAT regarding the time their builder has held a licence in NSW, as this can have a material impact in the new pricing model.
  • It is understood HBCF has issued virtually all HBCF Builder Letters, although some broker members of the Distributor Advisory Committee believe this may not be the case. Brokers who have not received Builder Letters for all their clients, or have questions or concerns with the letters they have received, should contact the relevant insurance agent or HBCF itself using the links that are contained in HBCF Bulletin 4.
  • Members of the Distributor Advisory Committee have strongly urged HBCF to delay the introduction of the new pricing framework in order to allow builders to apply the new risk-based pricing in their own pricing models. HBCF has indicated that it is not in a position to delay the introduction of the reforms.

If members have any particular issues or concerns they wish NIBA to take up with HBCF, please contact NIBA CEO Dallas Booth on dbooth@niba.com.au.