How to Dispute a Car Insurance Claim Against You

Find out the steps you should take to dispute a car insurance claim made against you, as well as if you disagree with your insurer’s decision, with Savvy.

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, updated on February 16th, 2024       

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Disputing a car insurance claim made against you in Australia can be a challenging process, but it's essential to be aware of, and protect, your rights to help ensure a fair resolution. Because of this, it’s crucial to understand the process of disputing car insurance claims, both those made against you and decisions made by your insurer, which you can learn about right here in Savvy’s comprehensive guide.

How do you dispute a car insurance claim made against you?

If you believe a car insurance claim made against you is unjustified or inaccurate, here are the steps to follow to dispute it:

  • Review the claim details: carefully examine the claim details provided by the other party or their insurance company. Take note of any discrepancies or inaccuracies in the information provided.
  • Gather evidence: collect evidence to support your case. This may include photos of the accident scene, damage to both vehicles and any relevant documents, such as police reports or witness statements.
  • Contact your insurance company: notify your car insurance company about the dispute as soon as possible. Provide them with all relevant details and evidence to assist in their investigation.
  • Cooperate with the investigation: your insurer will investigate the claim. Be cooperative and provide them with any additional information or documentation they may request.
  • Seek legal advice: if the dispute becomes complex or difficult to resolve, consider seeking legal advice from an insurance lawyer. They can provide valuable guidance and represent your interests throughout the process.
  • Dispute resolution process: if the dispute remains unresolved, your insurance policy may include a dispute resolution process. This could involve mediation or arbitration, where a neutral third party helps facilitate a resolution between the parties involved.
  • Lodge a complaint: if you are unsatisfied with the outcome of the dispute resolution process, you may file a complaint with the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). AFCA is an independent body which handles complaints related to financial services, including insurance.
  • Maintain open communication: throughout the process, maintain open and respectful communication with the other party involved and their insurance company. Professional communication can facilitate a smoother resolution.

How do you dispute your insurer’s decision on your car insurance claim?

Disputing an insurer’s decision on a claim you’ve made follows some of the same steps as the previous process, but it’s important to know how to do so. Consider the following actions:

  • Read over the claim decision: carefully review the details of the claim decision provided by your insurer. Make sure you understand the reasons behind its decision and the specific aspects of the claim which are being disputed.
  • Review your policy: familiarise yourself with the terms and conditions of your car insurance policy, especially the section related to dispute resolution. It's essential to understand your rights and obligations under the policy.
  • Gather evidence: collect all relevant evidence, such as those mentioned in the above process, to support your dispute.
  • Contact your insurer and request a review: reach out to your insurance company to express your disagreement with its decision and request a review be conducted. Provide the evidence you’ve gathered and explain why you believe its decision is incorrect.
  • Seek an internal dispute resolution (IDR) process: if your insurer's review doesn’t result in a satisfactory outcome, inquire about its IDR process. This process is designed to handle disputes and complaints within the insurance company.
  • Lodge a complaint with AFCA: if you’re still unsatisfied with the outcome after exhausting your insurer's internal dispute resolution process, you can escalate the matter to AFCA. Ensure you provide AFCA with all relevant information, evidence and details about your dispute. It’ll review the case impartially and may require additional documentation to make an informed decision.
  • Await AFCA's decision: AFCA will investigate your dispute and make a final decision based on the evidence and information provided by both parties. Their decision is binding on your insurance company, meaning it must comply with its determination.
  • Seek legal advice if necessary: if your dispute remains unresolved even after involving AFCA, you may consider seeking further legal advice.

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