Building certifiers are reeling at their new insurance bills, with insurance companies charging them tens of thousands more as they try to renew their policies.
Certifiers are wearing the fallout from the crisis sparked by faulty apartment buildings and fire risks in aluminium cladding.
Steve Monkhouse, from Capital Certifiers, paid $24,000 18 months ago, but his premium soared last year to $108,000. This year, he has received an insurance quote for $185,000.
His excess has jumped from $20,000 to $50,000.
"If we can't find cheaper insurance we've got two options. I have to pay it or close the company. There's not much you can do because you are legislated to carry insurance," he said.
"It's just typical 2020 - anything that can happen to us is happening to us. We've had the bushfires, we've had the hail, we've had COVID-19 and now we've got insurance."
Livi Krevatin's premium jumped from $5000 to $11,000 last year. This year, the premium is $55,400. It comes with more exclusions, including for aluminum cladding, adding an increased risk of no insurance cover if something goes wrong.
His excess has jumped from $5000 to $25,000.
"It's way worse than expected," he said. "It's going to mean price increases, and especially in this stressful time where people are all struggling...
"I often ask myself what am I doing this job for in the sense of our audits, with the government on our back all the time, and the risk. Is it worth it at the end of the day?"
The building surveyors' industry group says personal indemnity insurance should be extended to all building professionals, spreading the risk and increasing the pool of people with insurance.
"What the cladding issue did was highlight that the building regulations which the insurers thought were there to reduce the risk of things happening weren't actually all that effective - and because certifiers are the only ones required to have mandatory PI we're bearing the brunt of it," Institute of Building Surveyors chief executive Brett Mace said.
"If something goes wrong, everyone goes looking around for who they can get money out of and building surveyors are there holding insurance so they're an easy target."
While government ministers claimed the increase in premiums was a market correction, Mr Mace said that correction was "due to lack of rigour in their own regulatory systems that is now being found out".
Some certifiers had already gone out of business and more would close again this year, he said.
"I dare say if it keeps going you're going to lose more and more."
Two years ago, Peter Shergold and Bronwyn Weir made a long list of recommendations including a new set of standardised rules, training and standards. But building ministers have implemented only some of the recommendations, inconsistently, across the country.
The Insurance Council communications head Campbell Fuller said building regulations should be made uniform across all states and insurance should cover all industry professionals, sharing the liability for construction more fairly across designers, project managers, suppliers, builders and certifiers.
He called for action on the Shergold-Weir report.
"Piecemeal action and promises are not enough," Mr Fuller said.