Victoria facing huge backlog of insurance claims

Australians call for government action

Victoria facing huge backlog of insurance claims


By Roxanne Libatique

Victoria is currently grappling with a significant backlog of insurance claims, particularly those related to domestic building insurance managed by the Victorian Managed Insurance Authority (VMIA).

According to a report by ABC, the situation stems from a noticeable increase in builder insolvencies across the state, leaving many homeowners in precarious positions.

The VMIA, which provides insurance to protect homeowners if their builder cannot complete the project due to insolvency, is at the centre of this crisis.

Domestic building insurance claims in Victoria

Recent data revealed a marked uptick in claims, reflecting the growing scale of the problem. In the last year, the agency received a record 4,849 domestic building claims, more than double the average of previous years.

According to ABC, this surge has been attributed largely to the collapse of prominent builders, including Porter Davis Homes, which has significantly contributed to the strain on the VMIA's resources.

The backlog of claims has resulted in prolonged delays for homeowners awaiting settlements. Documents obtained through Freedom of Information requests showed that, as of the end of last year, the VMIA had over 1,300 domestic building claims pending resolution. These delays have profound implications for affected homeowners, many of whom are facing financial strain due to ongoing mortgage payments on uninhabitable properties, alongside the emotional and physical toll of living in uncertainty.

VMIA's response to backlog of insurance claims

The VMIA has stated that its priority is to resolve these claims as swiftly as possible, emphasising the importance of thoroughness in processing to ensure the safety and security of homes for both current and future owners.

“Where claims are more complex, it's important to be thorough so that claimants – and any future owners – have a safe and secure home that lasts,” a spokesperson for VMIA said, as reported by ABC. “That's why we have scaled up our claims processing capacity since the Porter Davis Homes insolvency.”

Calls for effective measures to boost claims processing

Despite these efforts, the backlog highlights a broader issue within Victoria's building industry and insurance framework. Homeowners, many of whom have been left in limbo, are calling for more effective measures to expedite claims processing and for the government to invest in solutions that address the root causes of these systemic delays.

The situation has also attracted political attention, with calls for increased government intervention to support affected families and reform the insurance claims process.

Nationwide, many Australians are in limbo following the 2022 floods, as rising insurance costs and recovery uncertainties cast long shadows over their rebuilding process.

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