• Can I lodge a claim with VMIA?

    Before making a claim, check that VMIA is the insurer nominated in your Certificate of Insurance. VMIA began providing DBI on 31 May 2010. If your building project commenced before that date and your Certificate of Insurance was issued prior to 31 May 2010, you will need to lodge a claim with the insurer who issued the policy.

    The Certificate of Insurance will say who your insurer is.  If you cannot find your DBI Policy and you’re unable to confirm whether VMIA is your insurer, please conduct a Property Search

    Find out how to lodge a claim here.

  • When can I make a claim?

    You can make a claim if VMIA is the insurer and your building or renovating project has incomplete or defective works and:

    • your builder has died, disappeared or become insolvent; or
    • for policies issued on or after 1 July 2015, your builder has failed to comply with a Tribunal or Court Order in the way described in the policy wording [PDF, 169KB].

    If you think your builder has died, disappeared or become insolvent, you will first need to know how your builder is trading i.e. are they operating as a sole trader, a partnership or as a company.


    A sole trader will just list their name eg. John Smith

    You can make a claim if your builder has:

    • Died - the builder is deceased;
    • Disappeared - the builder cannot be located after due search & enquiry; or
    • Become insolvent - the builder is bankrupt.
    You can search the Bankruptcy register to determine if a sole trader builder is bankrupt. Please note a fee may apply.
    A partnership will usually have two or more names eg. John & Mary Smith

    You can make a claim if ALL of the partners in the partnership have either:

    • Died – all the partners are deceased;
    • Disappeared – none of the partners can be located after due search & enquiry; or
    • Become insolvent – all partners are bankrupt.
    You can search the Bankruptcy register to determine the partners are bankrupt. Please note a fee may apply.

    Note: If there are any partners in the partnership that have not died, disappeared or become insolvent you will not be able to make a claim against your DBI. You may take action against the remaining partner/s for any loss or damages you have suffered.

    A company will usually end with ‘Pty Ltd’ eg. Sample Builders Pty Ltd
    You can make a claim if the company is:
    • Deregistered; or
    • Becomes insolvent - which means it is an externally-administered body corporate (within the meaning of the Corporations Act 2001).
    You can search the ASIC registers to find out if your builder’s company is deregistered or under external administration.

  • What is a policy trigger?

    You can make a claim for loss and damage if VMIA is the insurer and your building or renovating project has incomplete or defective works and your builder:

    • has died, disappeared or become insolvent; or
    • for policies issued on or after 1 July 2015, failed to comply with a Tribunal or Court Order.

    If any of the above criteria are satisfied, this will ‘trigger’ the DBI policy and you can proceed to make a claim with us through our Claim Portal.

    If VMIA is the insurer and you wish to alert us to a notifiable event under the policy, please complete a notification form.

    If VMIA is not the insurer or the DBI policy has not ‘triggered’, you can contact Domestic Building Dispute Resolution Victoria (DBDRV) for free building information and advice. You can also access helpful information on resolving building disputes on Consumer Affairs Victoria's Building disputes, defects and delays page.

    Full details of what you’re entitled to claim, can be found in your DBI policy

    To avoid delays with your claim, please ensure you provide us with as much information as possible and copies of all documents associated with your building project, including the building contract/s, building permit/s, tax invoices and any other supporting information.

  • How do I find out who the insurer is?

    The insurer will be listed on your Certificate of Insurance. VMIA did not provide DBI before 31 May 2010 and VMIA is not the sole provider of DBI in Victoria. If you can’t find your Certificate of Insurance, you can try to contact:

    • the builder (if possible);
    • the building surveyor or your local council to find out the name of the insurer and policy number (this information is also usually listed on the building permit issued for your building project); or 
    • the previous owner of the property (if the building works were carried out prior to you purchasing the property).

    If you still do not know who your insurer is, you may need to contact each of the insurers that offered DBI before 31 May 2010 (some are listed below) or current insurers. You will need to give them the address of your property to find out if they issued the policy for the building works.

    Company Name
    Contact Number
    AssetInsure 9251 8055
    Australian International Insurance Limited (Australian Home Warranty) 1300 300 115
    Australian Unity General Insurance Limited 13 29 39
    Berkshire Hathaway Speciality Insurance (BHSI) 1300 021 415
    Calliden Insurance Limited

    1300 464 895

    CGU Insurance Limited 13 15 32
    Dexta / Allianz 13 1000
    Lumley

    1300 586 539

    QBE Insurance Group 13 37 23
    Vero Insurance Limited 13 18 13

  • How do I lodge a claim?

    To lodge a claim with us, please have your DBI policy available and check that the insurer is VMIA.

    If this is your first time submitting a claim, you need to register to set up your access to your portal to get started with your claim.

    Already registered? Log into your portal to submit further claims or track the progress of your claim.

  • What do I need to do?

    • Submit your claim online.
    • Upload copies of the requested documents.
    • List and number each defect and/or incomplete item you are claiming in as much detail as possible on the claim form, including the date the defect was first noticed by you.
    • Provide copies of all invoices, receipts and proofs of payment, including documents showing payments made to your builder under the building contract;
    • Ensure you read our claims process document [PDF, 232KB]. 
    • If your home is incomplete take steps to secure your property, including securing any building materials on the site. This includes checking with the liquidator or administrator (in the case of an insolvent builder) regarding whether the builder's 'contract works' insurance is still valid for your building works. If not, you should consider taking out this insurance yourself. Contact the National Insurance Brokers Association (NIBA) to find out which insurers offer 'Contract Works' insurance in your area or call (02) 9964 9400.

  • I need emergency works done. What should I do?

    This information sheet [PDF, 518KB] will help you understand what to do when emergency works are required due to defective or incomplete works performed by the builder.

  • I’ve submitted my claim, what happens now?

    What you need to do

    • Check that you have received an email confirmation of your claim submission.
    • Ensure all defects/issues have been added to your claim.  You can manage your claim via our Claim Portal.

    What we will do

    • Verify that the DBI policy has triggered'.
    • Verify whether your builder has become insolvent with an ASIC and/or National Personal Insolvency Index check. 
    • If your builder has disappeared, we may need to make a few enquiries to prove that the builder cannot be found, which can take a little longer.
    • We may appoint an independent building consultant, at our own cost, to visit your property and inspect the work that has been done on your home. It’s a good idea for you to be present when this inspection takes place.
    • The independent building consultant will assess and report on each item you are claiming for. If you notice further defects after you have submitted the claim you can log in to your claims portal, select the claim and ‘add defects’. Any additional defects must be submitted via the portal at least 2 business days before the independent building consultant visits the site.
    • Our team will review the independent building consultant’s report and prepare a schedule of works which sets out all items that will be accepted under the policy.
    • We will ask you to obtain quotes from registered builders of your choice to complete or rectify the items in the schedule of works. We may also get our own quote/s from other registered builders.
    • Once the quotes have been obtained and are agreed to, we can proceed to settlement.
    • Settlement will be made by paying a registered builder to complete or rectify the items in the schedule of works. In some cases, we may pay you directly to arrange the work required yourself but this depends on the individual circumstances of each claim.

  • I am due to pay the next progress payment. What should I do?

    In most instances, you should not make any further payments until your claim has been assessed. Please seek legal advice before making any further payments.

  • I’ve lodged my claim, but I’ve noticed more defects. What do I do?

    You may be required to make a new claim if VMIA has already received the independent building consultant’s report or if the claim has already been assessed.

    If your claim has not yet reached inspection stage, you can login to your claims portal, select the claim and ‘add defects’. Any additional defects must be submitted via the portal at least 2 business days before the independent building consultant visits the site.

  • Do I need to be present when the building consultant inspects my property?

    It is preferable you are onsite when the independent building consultant inspects your property. If you are unable to be there, you still need to make sure the building consultant has full access to your home at the date and time of the appointment.

  • What is the Schedule of Works?

    The Schedule of Works sets out every item that VMIA accepts is covered by your DBI policy. You will then be asked to obtain quotes using the Schedule of Works provided. VMIA may also obtain its own quote/s for the items set out in the Schedule of Works.

  • Why do I need to get a quote?

    VMIA will arrange quotes from registered builders, but requests that you also provide at least one quote in order to ensure that the contracting process for the rectification of the defective and / or incomplete works is fair and equitable.

  • Will I receive the money as settlement or will you pay a builder directly to fix or finish my home?

    Under the policy, VMIA can either pay a builder to complete or rectify the works, or pay you a financial settlement. In most cases, VMIA will pay the builder we choose to complete or rectify the works on your behalf. The option chosen will be based on the individual circumstances of the claim and we can discuss this with you.