NSW Fair Trading is able to investigate complaints about insurers approved under the Home Building Act 1989 to provide insurance under the Home Building Compensation Fund (previously called Home Warranty Insurance) in NSW. From 1 July 2010 this also includes the NSW Self Insurance Corporation which took over as the sole provider of insurance under the Fund in NSW.
A complaint means an alleged breach or failure by an insurer (including an intermediary or service provider of an insurer) to comply with legal requirements or its conditions of approval to operate in the market of insurance under the Fund (including the market practice guidelines, claims handling guidelines or any other condition imposed by the Minister).
Insurers are required to have in place effective internal complaint handling mechanisms.
Accordingly, Fair Trading can only become involved in a complaint about an insurer following the completion of the insurer's internal dispute resolution process and where the insurer has been unable to appropriately resolve the complaint.
Complaints relating directly to decisions of insurers not to indemnify a beneficiary are unable to be investigated by Fair Trading. There is a right of appeal to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal available to claimants in relation to a decision of an insurer to decline (in part or whole) a claim.
Discuss your complaint in the first instance with the insurer (or an intermediary or service provider of an insurer) if you are in disagreement with them and you feel that their actions show a failure to comply with the legislation (or the market practice and claims handling guidelines forming part of the insurer's conditions of approval to provide insurance under the Fund). This may clear up any misunderstanding and address your concerns. Keep records of your communication with the insurer.
The role of Fair Trading in investigating a complaint about an insurer under the Fund includes:
Where the matter has been unable to be resolved to your satisfaction through the insurer's internal dispute resolution process, a complaint may be made to Fair Trading. A complaint may be made by a builder, owner-builder, beneficiary or person acting on behalf of another person such as a family member, lawyer, friend or community organisation.
Complaints may be lodged by downloading a complaint form, completing and forwarding it to Fair Trading or your nearest Fair Trading Centre. Or email the details of your complaint to the HBCFSecretariat@finance.nsw.gov.au and attach supporting documentation.
Generally, Fair Trading will not action anonymous complaints.
You can download a complaint form in PDF format from the Forms page on the Fair Trading website.
Please help us handle your complaint by:
If you are from a culturally and linguistically diverse (CALD) background, we will:
If you wish to speak to us over the telephone through an interpreter, you can call the Telephone Interpreter Service on 13 14 50.
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