NSW Car Insurance Claim Dispute - What to Do?

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Wendy_li

Member
19 June 2018
1
0
1
I hit a car (Nissan 370Z, 2009 year car) from behind on 21/5/18 on Old Windsor Rd, Stanhope Gardens NSW 2768.

I’m not insured and the car I hit is insured by GIO. On 29/5/18, I replied a phone call from the car insurance and admitted that I hit the car, but they didn’t tell me how much it will cost. Actually GIO already approved a quote $4,624.03 on the same day.

I rang GIO again on 12/6/18 again to ask for the price but they said they haven’t received the bill yet. The first time I received the bill is 14/6/18, I was shocked because the bill is too high. I rang GIO again and ask them why they didn’t tell me the price when I rang them on 29/5/18 But they can’t give me a proper explanation. This bill charged me $3660.43 on new spare parts, I asked GIO provide me all invoices where they purchased those parts but GIO didn’t provide them to me.

Do I have right to choose other repairers and get a reasonable price? I can see from the picture I took from Old Windsor Road I didn’t cause too much damage, but in the bill I need to pay the whole muffler system, lamps and other parts behind the rear bumper, the total cost is over $3600. I’ll pay if I caused those damages, but GIO didn’t tell me anything when they assessed the car. I don’t know if I caused those damages or they were already there before I hit the car or it happened after I hit the car.

I know GIO is very powerful and I am not able to win if I take them to court. But I really don’t know what I’m paying for and why they don’t tell me the quote before processing the order ? I should have right to know how much it will cost to repair the car and check if those damages are caused by me.

This bill really freaks me out and I’m afraid they will take action against me if I don’t pay the bill.

Do I need to pay the bill $4624.03 GIO sent to me or pay for the damage I can see from the picture I took on 21/5/18 on Old Windsor Road?
 

Adam1user

Well-Known Member
5 January 2018
542
32
2,219
Hi,

I can give you some idea - you state you took a picture on 21/5 which is after the accident, right? if so, find a work shop (panel beater) you trust (try a friend, they may know someone), show them the picture and try to get an indication, from my experience with these, that there may be internal damage which will not show until the car is taken apart, so if you take the invoice (listing of the parts bought/changed) and a photo to a panel beater, you should get a good indication.

If that indication if far from the amount requested, you can contact GIO and ask why? Insist that they provide the invoices (in my opinion this does not help much, they can show you original invoices, but can you ensure that these parts were used for the vehicle you hit?).

If all fails, and you are not happy (after getting a good indication and it varies significantly from the amount requested), then contact financial services ombudsman, they will help you out for sure.

Good luck!
 

Zerojay

Well-Known Member
12 March 2017
90
12
319
Unfortunately you cannot get any help from the Financial Ombudsman Service for this matter. In regards to insurance matters, FOS is mostly there to help policyholders in dispute with their own insurers. There is only limited assistance for uninsured persons and this dispute is not within their terms of reference.

GIO should be cooperative with you and meet your reasonable request for proof that the amount claimed is only for damage caused by the accident. They should provide the quote, invoice and their assessor’s report with photos. It is not unusual for the repair cost to appear high in relation to the visible external damage and your argument that other damage may have been caused prior or after your accident is not strong unless you can provide some evidence in support.

Unless you present a very strong argument, insurance companies will not hold up repairs whilst you dispute proposed costs, seek alternate quotes etc. It is true that you may have been able to obtain a cheaper quote but as long as the quote used was not unreasonable you are unlikely to get anywhere arguing about the cost.

I am curious as to why you were not insured?

This is not legal advice but rather my opinion based on over 20 years experience working for an insurance company.