Before licensed builders and trade contractors can apply for home building compensation (HBC) cover, they need a certificate of eligibility.

The certificate of eligibility means they have been assessed by an eligibility risk manager as entitled to obtain insurance from icare HBCF (home building compensation fund).

To apply for a certificate of eligibility you need to have

  • a contractor licence for building, trade or specialist work
  • an ABN/ACN.

Applying for a certificate of eligibility

To apply for a certificate of eligibility you'll need to:

  1. Find an insurance broker distributor from icare HBCF’s list.
  2. Complete a builder eligibility application – PDF (your broker will help you with this).
  3. Gather the information your broker requests. This may include, but is not limited to:
    • your personal and business financial details such as assets and liabilities
    • tax returns and/or profit and loss statements
    • the likely number, type and value of proposed projects at any time
    • your contractor licence details.

Your broker then:

  • applies for the certificate for you
  • updates you on the progress of your application
  • tells you the outcome and gives you the certificate of eligibility.

Note: If you're deemed to be a high risk your application may be refused, or if granted, may come with special conditions.

Eligibility risk manager

When assessing eligibility applications the eligibility risk manager takes into account the following criteria:

  • financial performance
  • equity exposed to the building operations
  • technical capability
  • claims history.

Download HBCF Eligibility Manual – PDF for more detailed information.

Your certificate

Your certificate of eligibility will tell you:

  • the maximum contract price for the types of jobs that have been approved
  • the number and value of jobs that you can have open at the one time.

Where appropriate, other conditions may also be included such as:

  • maintaining or increasing capital levels
  • providing specified levels of financial security
  • frequency of financial reporting.

Note: If you want to start doing more jobs or bigger jobs, you’ll need to apply to change your eligibility.

Eligibility review process

Under HBC insurance guidelines, icare HBCF must not grant eligibility to a builder for a period greater than 3 years or less than 12 months.

Within that time frame you will be subject to eligibility reviews.

The frequency of your eligibility review is determined by 2 factors:

  • the outcome of the eligibility risk manager's previous eligibility assessment
  • HBCF programmed periodic review requirements.

You'll be notified of the frequency of your review.

The eligibility risk manager may also undertake a special eligibility review if it appears a builder’s circumstances have changed.

Related information

Last updated: 8 April 2024