Tasmanian News

Building insurance crisis claims Launceston business


One of northern Tasmania's first building surveyor businesses is permanently closing its doors due to skyrocketing insurance premiums.

State and federal ministers are meeting on Thursday to discuss the nationwide crisis after compulsory indemnity insurance for building certifiers spiked over 300%, bringing the industry to its knees.

It's been sparked a string of huge payouts in Australia and abroad, as the discovery of more apartment building cracks in Sydney and the past widespread use of flammable cladding in Victoria prompts government intervention.

Owner of Protek in Launceston Phillip Connors says seven staff will be out of a job when his business finishes up on Friday.

"For those who have been so loyal to my company over 19 years, it's a terrible thing. I'm ashamed to think that I would have to actually be put into this position. They're projects - they've trusted us to get things done and to have that ability to be able to certify as a building surveyor taken away from me...that's my career gone. Finished. It's a disaster." 

Mr Connors says dubious claims are considered a 'strike' by insurance companies, who then raise premiums the following year.

"Why would anybody in their right mind want to pay $50,000 out of their own pocket for every claim when we're not even the builder, we're only there for that short little window of time." 

He argues this week's meeting is crucial and stakeholders must be heard.

"They've got one little window of opportunity to try and put in place what is necessary to salvage the livelihoods of surveyors, engineers and all the builders out there who need assurance that they can keep their jobs going. The ripple effects would be absolutely catastrophic if the industry starts to slow," he said.   

 Image: Pexels 

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