Insurance claim cost triples

THE COST of insurance claims against builders who failed to complete work in the region stretching from Gympie to Agnes Water more than tripled in the past financial year.

Non-completion claims in the area including Bundaberg jumped from 34 valued at $714,000 in 2008-09 to 55 claims worth $2.7 million in 2009- 10, according to Building Services Authority.

Statewide non-completion claims leapt from $12.4 million in 2008-09 to $21.3 million in 2009-10.

Public Works Minister Robert Schwarten said 2009 was unstable for the building industry, due to the global financial crisis.

He said under the Queensland Home Warranty Scheme, homeowners dealing with licensed builders were insured for incomplete or defective work.

Mr Schwarten said the BSA had reduced the average time taken to approve claims from nearly three months to less than two months.

HIA Sunshine Coast-Wide Bay branch manager Adrian Langford said the tightening of credit restrictions by banks had increased pressure on the building industry and there had been some high-profile failures.

But he said it still only represented a minute fraction of the work done.

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