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COVID-19 Update

UBS COVID-19 Update – Victoria 11th August 2020

Further to our previous update and in light of the Stage 4 Lockdown in Metropolitan Melbourne, we offer the following updated information based on advice received from the Insurance Council of Australia (ICA), Business Victoria, the Master Builders Association (MBAV) and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS).

The Victorian Government are looking to reduce the movement around Melbourne metropolitan area. The detail that supports these restrictions has been regularly amended and over the weekend the Victorian Government made further amendments relating to the restrictions regarding construction. The rules outline the restrictions regarding insurance repairs that can be completed in occupied homes over the next 6 weeks. There are three broad categories;

  1. People living in the property – limited to Critical, Urgent or Emergency repairs only
  2. Customers in temporary accommodation – revised work practices and limits 
  3. Commercial – proceed with capacity reduced to 25% of their baseline workforce

It is important to note that these Stage 4 restrictions only apply to Metropolitan Melbourne.

Insurance claim assessments can still proceed, but wherever possible all claim assessments will be conducted by Virtual Assessment technology and not face to face. Only as a last resort, will face to face claim assessment be carried out with a COVID Safe Plan and the mandatory wearing of PPE firmly in place.

The website links below are our current source of guidance information from the relevant governing bodies in Victoria.

Essentially, in terms of the current advice in relation to repair function, only Critical, Urgent and Emergency Repairs will continue where there is a definitive risk to the health and safety of the occupant or the building.

This will mean that we have had to develop a plan to determine whether repairs can commence, are able to continue or need to be deferred.

There is currently no definition or government issued examples regarding what constitutes emergency repairs. In order to help guide us all in in the type of repairs that we can and cannot complete, here are a few examples:

Critical, Urgent and Emergency repairs that should proceed
(examples only)

  • Repairs to ensure security of the home and any external openings – Tarping of roofs following storm, impact from vehicle/trees, break-ins, etc
  • Secure and replace any structure, walls or ceilings at risk of collapse
  • Water damage to flooring requiring removal due to safety
  • Electrical Make Safes
  • Escape of liquid/ plumbing Make Safes
  • Secure and replace broken glass
  • Structural drying and mould remediation to internal areas, including sewerage
  • Replace internal plastering for walls and ceilings, including insulation replacement
  • Roof and external repairs required to prevent further damage
  • Electrical repairs to damaged areas to allow safe operation
  • Repairs to make house habitable and safe with heating, water, power etc
  • Repairs to essential areas including kitchen and primary bathroom

Repairs that will be deferred
(examples only)

  • Painting to ceiling/walls in a garage/external areas
  • Repairs externally and not required to secure main structure
  • Minor damage to flooring that is not presenting a hazard
  • Internal superficial damages e.g. water staining to ceiling/walls only requiring minor painting

Rest assured that we are here for you and we are following all social distancing and hygiene measures to ensure the safety of all. COVID Safe Plans will be implemented on all works that are continuing under the Critical, Urgent and Emergency Repair criteria.

All other work will be deferred until the Victorian State Government relax the restrictions and we are able to return to complete those non-critical repairs.

If you have any questions, then please do not hesitate to contact UBS to discuss or raise any concern you may have.

We are here to help and guide you through this time.