Builders Warranty

Moray & Agnew has the largest and most experienced builders warranty practice in Australia. Headed nationally by Partner James Collier, the practice has acted for builders warranty insurers since 1998.

Our team’s knowledge of the governing legislation and case law is unrivalled. The team have handled hundreds of instructions involving over a thousand claims, acting on behalf of all Australian builders warranty insurers and a number of government insurers. This makes Moray & Agnew the leader in this niche field in Australia.

Our builders warranty services include:

  • Policy advice and interpretation
  • Litigation of building disputes in all Tribunals and Courts
  • Strata title property disputes
  • Recovery actions
  • Pre litigation and pre claims technical advice
  • Mediation and other informal dispute resolution methods.

We have defended a number of claims to hearing, including many which have set favourable precedents for builders warranty insurers. These include:

  • Complex issues of law relating to repudiation of building contracts
  • Whether insurers are on risk for contracts entered into outside the policy period
  • The application of the 20% cap on non-completion claims
  • The definition of ‘domestic building works’ in various states for which builders warranty insurance is required.

Beyond litigation matters, our team have:

  • Drafted insurance policies for a number of insurers
  • Advised on underwriting issues and commercial matters
  • Prepared detailed claims handling booklets for claims officers to facilitate interpretation of the relevant policies
  • Drafted submissions for builders warranty insurers to State Government and relevant committees and interest groups
  • Presented papers to a number of industry groups on builders warranty insurance and in-house to the staff of builders warranty insurers.

Our builders warranty team have also advised insurers in relation to numerous issues concerning policy coverage, including:

  • The application of the developer exclusion
  • The entitlement of an owner who has on-sold an insured dwelling to indemnity for loss arising from defective works
  • The entitlement of a purchaser of an insured dwelling to indemnity in respect of defects evident at the time of purchase
  • The entitlement of lot owners to indemnity for damage to their premises caused by defects in the common property of a strata plan and in particular, whether such claims are excluded under the consequential losses exclusion
  • Whether policies remain triggered where the insured building company was, but no longer is, insolvent within the meaning of the policy. This required an analysis of whether the claimants were precluded from bringing proceedings against the building company for the relevant defects by virtue of the deed of company arrangement entered into by the builder.

Case Study

Limitation period issues

The insurer did not have time to determine and quantify the claim before the limitation period for the strata plan to…

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Meet our Team

The practice is also widely acclaimed for being particularly good to work with, one interviewee calling it "very approachable," another characterising it as an "incredibly accommodating and very responsive" source of "good results," and a third reporting: "They know our products, how we work and how we like our reports."

Chambers Asia Pacific, 2020

For more information on Moray & Agnew's Builders Warranty experience please get in touch...

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