Crisis averted as surveyors granted flammable cladding indemnity exclusions

Last month, the Australian Institute of Building Surveyors (AIBS) released a member communique warning that “the situation around Professional Indemnity (PI) Insurance has reached crisis point” with “a real possibility that without government intervention… private building surveyors may be forced out of work and the construction industry across Australia will be significantly impacted”. The situation arose after some surveyors had failed to gain PI because of risks surrounding flammable cladding, which has been widely used across Australia’s high-rise, unless cladding-related claims are excluded.

Today, The AFR reports that the Victorian government has announced that it will allow building certifiers to practice with cladding-related exclusions on their professional indemnity insurance, following a similar move by Queensland. Victoria does not normally allow certifiers to practice unless they have professional indemnity insurance without exclusions. New South Wales is also expected to follow Queensland and Victoria in allowing such exclusions. From The AFR:

“We have listened to the building industry and looked at how other states have been dealing with insurance,” said a spokeswoman for the Victorian government.

“By allowing insurers to write policies with cladding exemptions, we’re making sure building surveyors and inspectors can maintain their insurance and keep working”…

Clearly this is a stop gap only and a national solution is still needed. The federal government must step up the plate.

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