VMIA Building Insurance backlog impacting locals

The collapse of another Victorian building company has resulted in eastern Victorian families caught up in an insurance backlog plaguing the Victorian Managed Insurance Agency (VMIA).

Raising the issue in state parliament, The Nationals Member for Eastern Victoria Region, Melina Bath called on the Andrews Government to conduct an urgent review into the VMIA and expediate support to families caught up in the crossfire.

“The overwhelming backlog of domestic building insurance (DBI) claims swamping the state owned VMIA is leaving families stranded in severe mental and financial distress.

“Fulfilling their dream to live in Gippsland, Bill and Bridget Schultz were watching with anticipation as their forever home was moving forward in its construction, when their builder suddenly went into liquidation, halting their build.

“Bill and Bridget are now in shocking state of limbo unable to get an VMIA insurance assessment and settlement due to the backlog – it’s causing them unimaginable stress.”

The VMIA is the Victorian Government’s insurer and risk adviser and the largest supplier of Domestic Building Insurance in Victoria.

By law, Domestic Building Insurance (DBI) must be purchased on behalf of the homeowner for all building projects over $16,000 to provides insurance cover to homeowners in the event of incomplete or defective building work.

Ms Bath said the Victorian building industry is in crisis in Victoria due to failed Andrews Government policies.

This financial year ASIC insolvency data shows Australian construction companies had hit a nine year high with 1753 companies going into liquidation – Victorian based companies are overly represented making up 40.2 per cent of all construction company collapses.

“A tradie drain and the spiralling cost of materials caused by Labor’s city centric Big Build has created a perfect storm in the state, placing unsustainable upward pressure on Victoria’s building and construction industry.

“Labor sudden closure of the sustainable hardwood timber industry is also exacerbating cost and supply of materials as the state becomes increasingly reliant on imported materials.

“The VMIA is being smashed with a deluge of building insurance claims and it doesn’t have the resources to cope, and it’s leaving Victorian families building a home in limbo and in distress.

“To date the Andrews Government has failed to take any meaningful action to protect consumers – no legislate changes were made when advised last July to reduce the risks to consumers.

“The Andrews Government must investigate the VMIA and see what actions can be implemented to support the fast-tracking of insurance assessments so that Schultz’s and others like them can move forward and complete the building of their dream home,” said Ms Bath.