In response to the COVID-19 outbreak in NSW, the Government has announced restrictions to construction activities. To assist insureds who have outstanding claims and those whose properties are undergoing works, we have summarised the latest restrictions and what they mean for current construction activities and insurance claims.


From Monday 12:01 am on 19 July 2021, work at construction sites in Greater Sydney (including the Blue Mountains, Central Coast, Wollongong, and Shellharbour), is not permitted unless the work is urgently required, namely:

  • to ensure the safety or security of the construction site
  • to deal with environmental risks
  • to maintain and ensure the integrity of critical plant, equipment, or assets, including partially completed works, that would otherwise deteriorate
  • to receive deliveries of supplies that would otherwise deteriorate
  • to maintain public utilities
  • to ensure the safe operation of existing transport infrastructure
  • by or on behalf of NSW Health in response to the COVID-19 pandemic
  • because of an emergency.

Source: https://www.nsw.gov.au/covid-19/rules/greater-sydney#construction-activity-pause


Renovations or other works to make alterations or additions at a place of residence must cease unless they are necessary for the safety or security of the site. This means that the site of any existing renovations can be made safe and secure, but all work must then stop.

Under the Government’s definition, only emergency repairs are permitted, moving forward. Emergency Repairs have been defined as:

Emergency make safe:  where it is necessary to attend the site to ‘make good’ from fires, plumbing leaks, electrical services, or anything else that can/will cause further harm to the occupants and the dwelling/building.

Plumbing works: if you have a current job where a plumber is required to reinstate running water, connect a toilet or a shower so the insured can use these and remain in the dwelling.

Electrical works: any form of emergency electrical works such as terminating dangerous services or re-connecting ovens so that the insured can remain in the dwelling.

Carpentry or roofing works:  if carpentry works are needed to ‘make safe’ the property or if you have commenced work on a roof and it needs to be completely replaced to ensure it is watertight and will not cause further damage to the property.


NOT considered emergency works, therefore the job must be placed on hold:

  • Where the occupants are not physically living in the property
  • If the insureds have another bathroom or kitchen that can be used on the property
  • The works will not cause any further damage to the property (i.e. the property is vacant and the flooring needs to be replaced, painting works, or gyprock works).

Any repairs that are required outside of the emergency repairs definition will have to be quoted on and performed after the Construction Activity Pause has been lifted by the NSW Government.

  • All new claims requesting a panel builder to report and quote will be sent out to assessors and panel builders as usual. Panel builders will contact the insured, however, will not be scheduling any inspections or repairs until further notice.
  • Assessors or panel builders may attend directly, provided they adhere to the NSW Government guidelines, or they may communicate remotely with the key people on a case-by-case basis.

If you believe you have a claim or you have questions, please contact your Honan broker (03) 9947 4333, or contact Risksmart on (02) 8297 1722 for assistance.

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