Dark grey skies above a grey three-story apartment complex, with balconies and trees visible. Cars drive past on suburban road.

PHOTO: This apartment block in inner Melbourne was found to have “high-risk” combustible cladding. (ABC News: Jeremy Story Carter)

FROM the comments … –

-it just means that a certifier can keep working but if ever there is a claim relating to flammable cladding he will have no insurance cover. He will be bankrupted and the unit owners will get nothing from the certifier

-understandable confusion here and everywhere. The exemption was brought in because of the skyrocketing insurance premiums for surveyors (certifiers) solely due to cladding issues, to the extent that they could not possibly afford to maintain that insurance … but given insurance is mandatory under State Laws … the government intervention is to exempt cladding related insurance from that mandatory cover … thus dropping premiums to more affordable levels.

IF you must buy an apartment built since 1998 we recommend you heed this report: ‘Choice: Apartment Building Defects’ … and take an initial free inspection of the building yourself!


One of the many buildings that have used combustible cladding, in this instance in Prahran.

Photo: The Age: One of the many buildings that have used combustible cladding, in this instance in Prahran.CREDIT:JUSTIN MCMANUS

Crisis averted as surveyors granted flammable cladding indemnity exclusions

By Unconventional Economist in Australian Property

July 12, 2019 | 18 comments

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 to the plate.

The Blackburn apartment block.

Photo: The Age: The Blackburn apartment block.CREDIT:JOE ARMAO

Cladding on Docklands Lacrosse building caught fire in 2014.

Photo: The Age: Cladding on Docklands Lacrosse building caught fire in 2014.CREDIT:WAYNE TAYLOR