In Victoria it is mandatory for builders to purchase domestic building insurance (DBI) for all domestic building projects, where the contract price is over $16,000.

DBI does not provide any cover for the builder; it only covers work that the builder undertakes.

DBI provides cover for homeowners where their building project is incomplete or defective and it cannot be completed or rectified as their builder has:

  • died, disappeared or become insolvent; or
  • failed to comply with a Tribunal or Court Order where DBI was issued by VMIA on or after 1 July 2015

Homeowners must be provided with a copy of the Certificate of Insurance and policy wording that applies to their building project.

VMIA offers DBI exclusively through our agent QBE

Need DBI cover?

Contact your insurance broker who will assist you with the DBI application process and liaise with our agent QBE on your behalf. If you don’t have a broker, the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) can help you find one.

Please note that VMIA’s existing arrangement with QBE will end on 30 June 2017. From this time, QBE will no longer provide access to VMIA DBI. As at 1 July 2017, VMIA’s panel of DBI Distributors will provide builders with access to VMIA DBI. Builders must choose a DBI Distributor from which to obtain VMIA DBI, or work with their current broker to choose a DBI Distributor. For more information see here

Before you can purchase DBI from us you must undergo an underwriting assessment which will determine your ‘eligibility’ to purchase DBI.

Eligibility is the term VMIA use to describe a builders’ approval to apply to purchase DBI for specific building projects. It sets out the specific building projects the builder has approval to apply to purchase DBI for.

An overview of the underwriting assessment process can be viewed in our Assessment of eligibility for DBI Guide [PDF, 144KB].

You will be sent a ‘letter of eligibility’ confirming you have been approved to apply for specific DBI building projects. The terms of approval are set out in the letter.

Once you have approved eligibility you can apply to purchase DBI for your specific building projects.

View current DBI base premium rates [PDF, 185KB] (exclusive of brokers’ fees and statutory charges).

The premium calculated is based on a number of factors, including:

  • builder rating (this is an underwriting rating, not a capability rating)
  • type of building work being completed (structural, non-structural or swimming pool)
  • value of the building project.

If you need to apply for eligibility or would like to purchase DBI, contact your insurance broker. Your broker can contact QBE on 133 723 or

Check that you’re searchable

Homeowners can search online to check if their builder is eligible for DBI with us. Confirming that their builder is eligible for DBI is an important part of the decision-making process when it comes to choosing a builder. If you have current eligibility for DBI with VMIA and your details are incorrect or missing from the builder search  listings, contact your broker for assistance.

  • If you are operating as a sole trader or partnership, you will need to sign and return this consent form [PDF, 481KB] to us before your details will appear in the builder search