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State insurer defends handling of building claims

The Victorian Managed Insurance Authority says it has about 2200 “open” building settlement claims, contrary to figures provided by the state opposition.

Fewer than 390 claims have been open more than a year and are pending action from the VMIA, the state insurer says.

“The figure on the number of open domestic building insurance claims presented by the opposition is incorrect,” a spokesperson told “It was extrapolated from data received under freedom of information which has been incorrectly interpreted.”

Last week the Victorian Liberal Party said the number of outstanding domestic building insurance claims had increased again, from 1359 in January to 2158 currently.

The opposition says homebuyers are paying the price as they wait to have their claims resolved.

“These families simply want the insurance protection they are entitled to, and to get on with making their dreams of home ownership come true,” Coalition home ownership and housing affordability spokesperson Evan Mulholland said.

VMIA says all other claims that have been open longer than a year either have an offer made that the owner has yet to accept or are being appealed in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

About 290 of these long-term claims relate to defects on multi-unit developments and VMIA needs expert technical advice to make a liability decision and inform the scope of works.

It also needs permission from homeowners and tenants to get access for the inspections required, and to find a builder willing to quote on the works. The authority says only specialised builders are prepared to quote on complex rectification work.

The state insurer is under pressure following the collapse of several homebuilders in recent months.

A record number of Victorians have received domestic building insurance settlements over the past 12 months to finish making their new homes.

This month the VMIA announced average premium rises of 53% for its compulsory builders’ warranty insurance scheme, following record claims payments.

The increases will take effect from August 6.