Snowdon Developments Pty Ltd

The below information is for homeowners building with Snowdon – who are insured with VMIA.

What’s happened?

Melbourne-based builders, Snowdon Developments and Pivot Construction Group, went into administration on Friday, 1 July 2022. The appointment of the administrator means the DBI policies have been triggered, potentially entitling homeowners to make a claim.

On Wednesday 13 July a court ordered Snowdon Developments to go into liquidation.

Your claim is very important to us and we appreciate your patience as we deal with this large loss event and work to resolve your claim as soon as possible. We ask that you please don’t call to get a status update on your claim. You will be contacted as your claim progresses.

Please note that VMIA is unable to provide legal advice.

Please note that if you engage a builder to complete your works without our consent, you do so at your own risk. We only pay for reasonable costs of completion.

For those interested in understanding more about how the implied licence arrangement with another Victorian construction company (reported to be Mimosa Homes Pty Ltd) could affect your next steps, we are working through all the information and further updates will be added to the website within the next week.

 

I’m impacted. What should I do?

  • Read the guidance on this page
  • Check your certificate of insurance to see who has insured your building work. VMIA is not the only domestic building insurer in the Victorian market.
  • Register for the relevant homeowner information session which best describes the stage your building work is at. These information sessions will take place through Zoom, and will provide you with information about the claim process and give you an opportunity to ask general questions.

  Session 1 - 9am, Friday 9 July - for homeowners whose homes are incomplete

  Session 2 - 11am, Friday 9 July - for homeowners who have paid their deposit but work hasn't started

Session 3 - 1pm, Friday 9 July - for homeowners whose home is complete but has defects

  • You can access additional information to assist you by selecting the relevant option below which best describes the stage your build is at.

No work has started on my build, but I’ve paid a deposit

  • Register for this homeowner information session and send your questions in advance if possible
  • Make a claim via the DBI claims portal
  • Provide proof of payment of your deposit money - such as your receipt of payment (not just a bank statement)
  • Providing us with the required information when lodging your claim will allow us to process your claim more quickly
     

Work has started but hasn’t been completed

  • Register for this homeowner information session and send your questions in advance if possible
  • Make a claim via the DBI claims portal
  • Provide us with your contract, building permit, specifications, plans and invoices and receipts of payments you've made to the builder (bank statements will not suffice) and any expert reports 
  • We will appoint an assessor to visit your property to assess progress of the building work - this means we will need access to your property
  • Once the assessor's report has been finalised, we will obtain quotes from builders to determine the cost of completing the building work
  • To help your claim progress faster, you are encouraged to source alternative registered builder quotes yourself, based on your original contract's plans and specifications, which you can provide to us
  • If your property is at the frame stage or is suffering water entry, you have a legal obligation to minimise your loss – try to protect your home while it is out in the elements or minimise any damage internally due to water entry or theft

The work is finished but has defects

  • Register for this homeowner information session and send your questions in advance if possible
  • Make a claim via the DBI claims portal
  • Provide your contract and your occupancy permit and any expert reports on defective works
  • You must list each defect you are claiming separately to ensure it is inspected and assessed
  • You can claim for defective building work for up to 2 years for non-structural and 6 years for structural defects from the issue of the occupancy permit
  • This category of claims tends to take longer to process, we ask for your patience and understanding as we triage claims in order of urgency
  • You are required to minimise the damage. Please refer to our emergency works procedure found in our help centre.

How do I contact you?

  • First, please make sure you’ve read the guidance on this page.
  • Please note, we are experiencing a very high volume of claims and queries. We ask that you don’t call to get a status update on your claim. You will be contacted as your claims progresses. Please attend one of our homeowners sessions listed above.
  • There are three ways to contact us:
  • Log into the DBI claims portal and send us a message – that is the most efficient way to interact with us, especially with regard to your specific claim. Please be patient as we deal with a high volume of queries at this time - your claim is important to us. 
  • Bring your most urgent general questions to one of our three homeowner sessions.
  • Our Snowdon/Pivot hotline (03) 4707 3060 was made live from Monday 4 July to answer your general queries. Please note that claim-specific queries are best directed to the DBI claims portal.
  • Please help us to ensure the quickest possible outcome of your claim by only using one of the above methods of contact per query
  • If you have portal login issues, try the portal troubleshooting section of our help centre.

I’m having trouble logging into the portal.

Visit the portal troubleshooting section of our help centre.

Is VMIA responsible for all DBI policies in Victoria?

No, there are at least two other DBI providers in the market. Check your certificate of insurance to see who has insured you. 

Who is the administrator for Snowdon and Pivot?

The external administrator is Shane Deane from Dye & Co and can be contacted on 9818 8800.

What is VMIA's role in this process?

If your builder has taken out a policy with us, then we are your insurer. It’s our job to receive and assess your claim and make a decision. As an insurance company we are unable to provide you with legal or financial advice.

What happens immediately after I make a claim?

We have engaged suppliers to progress your claim. Our suppliers will be in touch to inspect properties under construction. Once they have gained access to and assessed your site, a report will be produced and provided to VMIA. VMIA will then make a decision on your claim. 

What can I claim?

As an affected homeowner, you may be able to claim for unfinished or defective work under the builder’s domestic building insurance and some related other expenses. Homeowners with a VMIA issued DBI policy can claim up to 20% of their contract price for costs to complete their home if an occupancy permit has not been issued. You can also claim for the rectification of defects. The total maximum amount of all losses covered under the policy is $300,000. 

The DBI policy covers homeowners for non-structural defects for up to 2 years and 6 years for structural defects from the completion of the work by Snowdown or when Snowdown last completed works on site, whichever is earlier.
Some other losses are also claimable including:
The cost of temporary fencing
The cost to amend your building permit
The cost of alternative accommodation for up to 60 days* 

*Note: These costs can only be claimed where the agreed completion date or timeframe for completion of the work under the building contract has expired. 

VMIA has confirmed I do not have insurance - what can I do?

Please contact the administrator.