What work requires insurance | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

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Definition of insurable residential construction work

All residential construction projects that cost more than $3,300 (labour, materials and GST) must have home warranty insurance.

This insurance must be built into the contract price if you are:

  • building
  • extending
  • adding
  • altering
  • renovating
  • repairing

any residential building, which includes a:

  • new home
  • residential outbuilding that has a roof, e.g. a garage or carport, pool change room
  • manufactured home
  • home in an over-50s village (that is not part of a registered retirement village )
  • townhouse or duplex
  • multiple-unit dwelling up to 3 storeys above a car park.

Home warranty insurance must also be taken out when the project cost (labour, materials and GST) is more than $3,300 for:

  • replacing or refitting fixtures or fittings in a kitchen or bathroom
  • replacing or fixing windows or doors
  • working on a home's deck or verandah
  • restoring or repairing roofs
  • doing any building work that affects the structural integrity of the building
  • working on or in the home or related outbuilding (e.g. painting, tiling, plastering)
  • doing any project that requires building or plumbing approval on anything attached to the home or related outbuilding, which includes:
    • building work for the primary water supply (e.g. installing a water tank for primary water supply)
    • building work for sewerage or drainage (e.g. working on a sanitary drain connecting a residence to the sewerage main)
    • stormwater drainage (e.g. repairing a downpipe or gutter)
  • working on any structure attached to the external part of a home or related outbuilding which has no other supporting structure (e.g. awning, handrail)
  • working on stairs or a ramp which provide access, and are permanently attached to, the home or outbuilding
  • constructing or installating swimming pools (but not renovating swimming pools)
  • building associated infrastructure as part of a bigger project (however, these items are only covered for non-completion claims and not for defective work), including:
    • driveways
    • paths
    • roads
    • fences
    • air conditioning
    • hot water systems
    • security doors and grilles
    • landscaping.

How to check if your multiple dwelling is insurable

You must pay a premium for home warranty insurance for:

  • multiple dwellings that are 3 storeys or less above a car park.

You do not pay a premium for home warranty insurance for:

  • multiple dwellings more than 3 storeys above a car park as home warranty insurance does not apply

How to work out the area of a car park

If your car park covers more than half the full storey do not count it as one of the levels.
To work out the area used as a car park, you must:

  • include all areas used to drive a car into a parking bay (e.g. access lanes, ramp, driveway) 
  • only measure the area which lies within the building's footprint.  

To work out if the storey should be counted,

  • measure the area covered by the car park
  • divide it by the total area covered by the storey
  • multiply this number by 100
  • i.e. (car park area/total storey area) x 100 = x%  

Count the car park as a storey if:

  • x is less than or equal to 50%

Do not count the car park as a storey if:

  • x is greater than 50%. 

Construction work not requiring home warranty insurance

If done on their own (that is, not as part of a bigger building project) you do not need to get home warranty insurance for building or installing:

  • driveways
  • paths
  • fences
  • air conditioning
  • hot water systems
  • security doors and grilles
  • landscaping.

What is not insurable residential construction work

Insurance through the Home Warranty Scheme cannot be taken out for building or renovating a:

  • multiple-unit dwelling of 4 storeys or more above a car park 
  • boarding house
  • caravan park
  • hostel
  • backpackers accommodation
  • guest house
  • hotel
  • school
  • hospital
  • retirement village
  • owner-builder work.

You cannot take out home warranty insurance for renovating, extending or adding to a:

  • caravan
  • tent
  • trailer
  • temporary building e.g. a demountable.

You can't take out home warranty insurance on:

  • projects costing less than $3,300 (including materials, labour and GST)
  • commercial building work
  • work done by unlicensed contractors
  • owner builder projects.

Mixed use construction not insurable

Mixed residential-commercial construction is not insurable.

For example,  if your project has 2 storeys of shops and 1 storey residential you cannot insure it through the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme.


Last reviewed: 27 Sep 2021 Last published: 27 Sep 2021
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