REPORT: Insurers must lift their game and handle customer claims better especially for vulnerable consumers

new Report from the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC), Navigating the storm: ASIC’s review of home insurance claims (LINK) calls on Australia’s insurers to step up and improve resourcing to make their home insurance claims handling practices much better.

The Report looks at data from more than 218,000 claims lodged between January and March 2022 from six insurers that cover 63% of the Australian home insurance market. It identifies five areas needed for improvement: better communication with consumers about decisions, delays and complications; better project management and oversight of third parties; better recognition and management of expressions of dissatisfaction and complaints; better identification and treatment of vulnerable consumers; and better resourcing of claims handling and dispute resolution functions.

Consumer Action Law Centre Managing Lawyer, Philippa Heir thanked ASIC for the report.

“The insurance process can be stressful, especially in the wake of the extreme weather events that are happening more often, and I am delighted ASIC is telling insurers they must lift their game especially for people who are vulnerable,” she said.

“ASIC is sending a very clear message to insurers about their over-reliance on maintenance and wear and tear clauses when it comes to rejecting claims: Don’t use them as a get out of jail free card!”

ASIC said insurers should resolve complaints earlier on in the process, rather than waiting until a customer lodges a complaint in AFCA to properly deal with it.

“This is consistent with the experience of the people we talk to on our helplines as the complaints process can drag on for months and even years, and cause further unnecessary stress to people already in difficult circumstances”.


Media Contact: Mark Pearce Tel :0413 299 567

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