Frequently Asked Questions

General Advice Warning.

The information on this web site does not take into account your personal situation. You should consider whether the information is appropriate to your needs, and where appropriate, seek professional advice from a REPQ registered Engineer's and seek independent legal advice from a construction lawyer with respect to your entitlements before claiming through body corporate and or insurance providers.  

1. Is Underpinning covered under Insurance?


You maybe covered  , if your home is under QBCC Insurance and is under 6 years 6 months old, you may be entitled to claim insurance to the value of  $200,000-00 - $300,000-00 depending on your policy. 

MAXIMUM ENTITLEMENT In general terms, the maximum amount payable under the Scheme is as follows:

 • Prior to practical completion: 

• For non-completion, defects, vandalism and theft: • $300,000 if optional additional cover is in place. • $200,000 for standard cover • Both of these amounts include alternative accommodation and storage costs.

 • For fire or storm: • $300,000 if optional additional cover is in place. • $200,000 for standard cover • Note: this is subject to the non-completion claim being accepted by QBCC. (www.qbcc.com.au)


Steps to take : Queensland 

               A.       Read the QBCC FACT SHEET  " SUBSIDENCE - WHAT TO DO IF YOU NOTICE CRACKS IN YOUR WALLS "  ( www.qbcc.com.au )

http://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/Homeowner%27s%20Guide%20to%20Subsidence.pdf     ( www.qbcc.com.au )

               B.       Contact your builder/contractor in writing: “Act quickly “You must notify your contractor/builder of each of your complaint items and allow them 14 days to respond (not required if they are bankrupt, liquidated, deregistered or deceased). Link to check if builder is still trading/licenced. http://www.onlineservices.qbcc.qld.gov.au/OnlineLicenceSearch/VisualElements/SearchBSALicenseeContent.aspx (www.qbcc.com.au)

               C.       Contact QBCC lodging a claim: Follow this QBCC Link https://qbcc.transactcentral.com/qbcc/landing.htm?formCode=residential-and-com3 and act quickly as insurance is strictly for 6 years 6 months. The time limits of structural defects are covered for 6 years 6 months from the date of payment of the premium, and you must lodge the claim within 3 months of noticing the defect. https://www.qbcc.qld.gov.au/sites/default/files/QBCC_QHWS_-_Product_Disclosure_A4_LR_final.pdf (www.qbcc.com.au)

NOTE : It is best to engage your own consulting engineer, who will be able to give you an independent report regarding the rectification of your property and ensure that the proposed rectification works to be carried out will future proof your property against further subsidence. Any future subsidence after 6yrs 6mths is not covered under the QBCC policy and the expense will become yours.

Attach to your formal claim letter copies of:

  • the insurance certificate
  • the contract you signed with your contractor
  • any document showing agreed variations.

Other helpful documents may include:

  • independent reports itemising defects and necessary rectification or completion work
  • estimates of costs to fix the itemised defective or incomplete work
  • photographs
  • relevant letters or documents supporting your claim.


Steps to take : In NSW 

                       A.   Read the Home Building Compensation Fund ( www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au)

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/sites/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/Home_building_compensation_fund.page (www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au)

                       B.  Contact your builder/contractor in writing : “Act quickly “ A home owner must take action to try to have the builder finish any incomplete work and rectify any defective building work. Where a home owner does not take action to enforce a statutory warranty an insurer may reduce its liability (or the amount paid under a claim), to the extent that the insurer’s interests have been prejudiced as a result of the home owner not trying to have the builder complete or repair the work.

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/Home_warranty_insurance/Home_warranty_insurance_claims.page#Take_action (www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au )

                       C.    Formally lodging a claim

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/ftw/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_building_and_renovating/Home_warranty_insurance/Home_warranty_insurance_claims.page#Formally_lodging_a_claim

(www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au)

If attempts to have work completed or rectified prove unsuccessful you may be able to formally lodge a claim under your insurance policy.

http://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/biz_res/ftweb/pdfs/Tenants_and_home_owners/Home_warranty_insurance_notification_of_a_loss_form.pdf (www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au)

You should read your policy carefully to confirm the period of cover and the time limits for lodging claims and any other requirements of the insurer.

Ask the insurer to send you information on the actual insurance policy and their claims-handling procedures or access this information from the insurer’s website. Some insurers prefer claims made on specific forms generally available from their website. If an insurer refuses to provide you with a claim form, you are still entitled to make a claim in writing and have its receipt acknowledged by the insurer. It may help to send the claim by registered post.

Contact details for insurers and insurance agents can be found on the Approved insurance agents and Past approved insurers pages of this website.

Attach to your formal claim letter copies of:

  • the insurance certificate
  • the contract you signed with your contractor
  • any document showing agreed variations.

Other helpful documents may include:

  • independent reports itemising defects and necessary rectification or completion work
  • estimates of costs to fix the itemised defective or incomplete work
  • photographs
  • relevant letters or documents supporting your claim.

For insurance policies issued before 1 July 2010, all claims (including related claims) must be lodged within 10 years of the work being completed.

Approved insurance agents
Past approved insurers


2. Does my Private home insurance policies cover underpinning? You will need to contact your insurer and they will advise you if you are covered under their policy agreement. It is not common that underpinning is covered under your home insurance unless specified within your insurance policy. 


3. Does my body corporate cover underpinning ? You maybe covered -  You will need to ask your body corporate for a copy of the type of Body Corporate and community Management Scheme  which is in place for your building.  You may also apply online for a copy also . 

https://www.qld.gov.au/law/housing-and-neighbours/body-corporate/roles-and-responsibility/body-corporate-legislation/

Your Scheme will look simular to this attachment.  Body corporate and community Management ( Standard Module ) Regulation 2008 https://www.legislation.qld.gov.au/LEGISLTN/CURRENT/B/BodyCorpStR08.pdf

Legal advice is recommended.  

  • independent reports itemising defects and necessary rectification or completion work
  • estimates of costs to fix the itemised defective or incomplete work
  • photographs
  • relevant letters or documents supporting your claim.


4. Do I need a structural engineer for underpinning.   YES , to ensure your property is  correctly underpinned you will need a structural engineer that is competent in the underpinning and rectification industry to provide a rectification plan.

Contact this office to help engage a structural engineer in your area . 


5. How much does underpinning cost? How much does the injection method cost? How much does screw piling cost?

You can gain a cost estimate for any of these services by arranging an inspection through our office. The cost estimate is subject to the engineer's final requirements for rectification. 

To arrange an site inspection please call ( Mob 0405346006 ) or email  harvie@goldcoastunderpinning.com.au