To ensure Canberra consumers continue to be protected, the ACT Government is working with key stakeholders on a review of the ACT’s home warranty cover arrangements to ensure the cover offered remains contemporary and fit for purpose.
“As we see our city grow and develop, it is essential that we continue to build confidence in our building regulatory system as we progress the important building quality reform work that has begun,” Minister for Sustainable Building and Construction Rebecca Vassarotti said.
“Consumer protection is a fundamental element of a well functioning building regulatory system and a priority as we progress this work.
“The ACT Government approved the establishment of the Fidelity Fund to offer home warranty cover at a time where the market for building insurance had failed. It is now one of the two operating schemes in the ACT, it continues to be an important mechanism to provide insurance to consumers where things go wrong with their builders.
“While other states have seen their home warranty cover struggle to provide protection at times, and face rising costs, the ACT warranty scheme has remained sound. However, it’s timely to review it and ensure we can be confident that the ACT’s home warranty cover provides the right level of protection for people who are building and renovating their homes.
“This was an issue that was explored in the inquiry into building quality conducted at the end of the last Parliamentary term, which provided recommendations on how the fund could be strengthened.
“Members of the community have also shared their experiences of engaging with home warranty cover providers, which has provided key insights on what changes could be made to improve the home warranty cover’s legislative framework and it’s operation.”
The review is examining:
- Current application and approval processes for home warranty schemes, including fidelity funds;
- Insurance settings, for example, a potential increase in the minimum prescribed amount;
- Scope of building matters covered;
- Settings in other jurisdictions;
- Currency of the scheme’s prudential standards; and
- Reporting obligations as an approved scheme.
“I thank the Master Builders Association and members of the community for their input to enable us to properly scope and commence the review. I look forward to ongoing positive engagement as we progress this work, that we expect to be completed in mid-2023.”
The following is attributable to the Master Builders Association CEO Michael Hopkins:
“The ACT’s home warranty system has served the community well and now operates as an exemplary system compared to systems operating in other jurisdictions. It is timely that the ACT Government review the system to ensure that it is responding to increasing contract values and more complex residential building types. The MBA looks forward to working cooperatively on a review of the home warranty system to ensure it remains fit for purpose and continues to provide adequate consumer protection whilst also remaining affordable.”