Owner builders

An owner builder is someone that is not involved in the building industry but takes on the responsibility of domestic building works or renovations carried out on their own property.

If you’re an owner builder planning to sell a home you’ve built or renovated, you must purchase DBI for the domestic building work you carried out if:

  • The building project was completed less than six and a half years ago from the date of issue of your occupancy permit or certificate of final inspection; and
  • The value of the building project was over $16,000

As an owner builder, it is mandatory for you to purchase domestic building insurance before entering into a contract to sell your property. If the property doesn’t sell, you may be able to cancel the policy and obtain a premium refund.

  • Consult your solicitor for advice if you are not sure whether you need to purchase domestic building insurance

If you are an owner builder needing to purchase domestic building insurance, please contact an insurance broker who can assist you with arranging DBI. The National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) can help you find one.

DBI does not provide any cover for the owner builder, it only provides cover for the purchaser of the property in the event that the building project has defective works which cannot be rectified as the owner 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

DBI cover starts once the contract to sell your property is signed. If you require further information you may wish to view our frequently asked questions If you are an owner builder or would like more information about becoming an owner  builder you can contact the Victorian Building Authority and Consumer Affairs Victoria for assistance.