Builders in Queensland who build high-quality homes and pay their subcontractors properly could be set to receive lower insurance premiums under moves by the government to reward reputable builders but punish those who do not build properly.
In his latest statement, Queensland Minster for Housing and Public works Mick de Brenni has proposed a system which would tie premiums which builders pay for home warranty insurance to their QBCC demerit points history.
Under the system, those builders who construct well built homes and thus do not have any claims made against them under the home warranty insurance would have a better demerit points score and would thus qualify for lower premiums.
In a similar way, those who have a clean record in terms of paying subcontractors would also have a better score and lower premiums.
de Brennis said the proposed changes has arisen out of a consultation process for broader building industry reform in which multiple industry sources had suggested that the government change the home warranty insurance system to reward good builders.
He said the proposal would provide home owners with better information about whom they can rely on to deliver their new home or renovation and would enable builders with a clean sheet to advertise lower premiums for home warranty insurance.
The proposal would also rectify a flaw in the current system whereby reliable builders had to pay the same premiums as those who delivered shoddy work even though it was the latter who were responsible for most of the claims and thus most of the costs in the system.
“It’s an idea that has merit, and as we launch consultation around our Queensland Building Plan, I want to make sure that this idea is part of the discussion.” de Brennis said.
“Builders who do the right thing, and take pride in their work, and pay their bills shouldn’t have to compete with those who don’t.”
“They also shouldn’t have to pay higher premiums to subsidise builders who cut corners.”
The latest proposal comes as Queensland is undertaking a wide-ranging review of its building industry legislation.
A discussion paper last year laid out options for change across areas such as home warranty insurance, plumbing and drainage legislation, the Queensland Housing Code, the Queensland Lot Code, building certification, licensing, sustainability, product conformance, liveable housing and inclusive communities.