What to do next…
If an insurer rejects your complaint, or their response isn’t good enough, you have further options. Here’s what you can do once you’ve made a complaint.
1 Wait for a response
Insurers have 45 days to respond to your complaint. If you’re unhappy with the response or you don’t get a response within 45 days, go to step two. Just because they say ‘no’ or don’t reply doesn’t mean you should give up.
2 Complain to Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS),
FOS is an independent dispute resolution bodies which provide free dispute resolution services to consumers who have not been able to resolve their financial services disputes with their members.
- Check whether or not the business is a FOS member and lodge a complaint through the FOS website here.
- The name of a business on the FOS website might be different to the business’s trading name, so carefully check your documents for the correct name. You can also phone FOS to check if you are unsure.
- Send FOS all relevant documents you have, including your complaint letter and a copy of the insurance policy. If your insurance was paid through a loan, you should also send copies of your loan documents.
What else can you do?
Complain to regulators and your local MP
Regulators are government agencies that are there to ‘police’ the practices of industry. Complaining to regulators is important because:
- It helps regulators keep up to date with problems
- It can help the regulator take action to stop unfair practices and lead to improved behaviour by businesses. If nobody complains, the regulator has no evidence that a business is behaving badly
- If the business you are in dispute with knows you have complained to the regulator, it sometimes encourages the business to resolve your complaint. So when you write a complaint letter to the regulator, send a copy to the business.
If you want to let a regulator know about your dispute with a n insurer or a lender, you can send a complaint to the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) here.
Be aware that ASIC cannot help you resolve your individual complaint. However, they may take legal action against the business to protect the community more broadly. You can also write to your local MP to let them know about the dispute.
This fact sheet is for information purposes only and should not be relied upon as legal advice. This was updated on December 31, 2015.