‘Most consumers have motor vehicle insurance, and many will make a claim at some time,’ ASIC Commissioner, Peter Boxall, said. ‘Because no insurer-specific comparative data exists for claims handling performance of Australian insurers, it is difficult for consumers to shop around on the basis of quality, efficiency or fairness of claims handling.
These comments resulted after the commission’s review of 1.2 million claims related
The review also makes a number of recommendations including that insurers should record information relating to both denied and withdrawn claims, and should regularly analyse and review that information. In addition to the very small percentage of claims that were denied, more than 7% of claims made in 2009 were withdrawn.
‘We think that recording and reviewing information about both denied and withdrawn claims is important, as it may assist in identifying issues relating to disclosure, advertising, sales processes, product design or internal procedures,’ Dr Boxall said.
‘We also think it is important to understand the circumstances in which claims are withdrawn, to ensure that policyholders are making properly informed decisions that operate in their best interests.’
A further recommendation calls for insurers to provide written responses to consumers who complain about the outcome of their claim, both after any initial review of the complaint as well as when a dispute is finalised. A written response should set out the reasons for the decision, the availability of further review and information about the Financial Ombudsman Service.
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