Who pays home warranty and when | Queensland Building and Construction Commission

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    What work requires a policy

    Contractors must take out home warranty insurance on the owner's behalf for all insurable residential construction work where the value of work is more than $3,300 (including cost of materials even if you did not provide them, labour and GST).

    Home warranty insurance must be taken out for both building and renovating homes, as well as the installation of new residential swimming pools. It does not apply for commercial projects or residential buildings higher than 3 storeys above a car park.

    Check our definition of residential construction work for more information, and find out if your project needs home warranty in our A-Z guide of insurable work.

    Who pays the premium

    The licensed contractor who contracts with the home owner to carry out the work (often called the principal contractor) must:

    • collect the premium from the owner
    • pay it to the QBCC on behalf of the owner.

    Depending on the type of residential construction work being carried out, a principal contractor could be a:

    • builder (e.g. constructing a house)
    • trade contractor (e.g. a carpenter installing new kitchen cabinets).  

    If you are a subcontractor to a principal contractor then you will not need to pay a premium. The principal contractor will lodge one premium covering all work under the contract with the home owner.

    Contracting to an owner builder

    A premium is also not payable for work being performed for an owner builder who has a permit for the work. 

    If the owner builder does not have a permit for the work you may have to pay a premium for any work you do for them.

    Before you start, check:

    • the owner has an owner builder permit
    • the permit covers the work in question.
    If you subcontract to an owner builder and they do not have the right permits for the work you might be legally obliged to take out home warranty insurance.


    When the premium should be paid

    You must pay the premium before the earlier of either:

    • before work starts; or
    • •within 10 business days of signing the contract

    Include the premium in the deposit

    Note that any deposits can only be up to the maximum allowable by law, and should include the cost of the insurance premium as part of the deposit.

    When cover starts

    Insurance cover through the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme starts from the date (whichever is earlier):

    • the premium is paid
    • the contract is signed
    • work starts.

    Does your project need home warranty insurance?

    Check definition of residential construction work and exclusions.


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