VIC Reporting Scam of Insurance Company?

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457Visafraud

Well-Known Member
16 April 2017
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389
I've been scammed by a big car insurance company (not sure if I can publish the name) for several years. The windscreen replacement is an option while the excess policy is around $700.

So the scam is if replacing the windscreen costs around $300, why I should pay the insurance? The contract also states that the windscreen was already damaged so the policy states no damage would be paid, then why I should pay the insurance?

Some of you guys will ask why I didn't understand this thing, let me say that I'm a pensioner doing my best surviving day by day also I'm not confident with papers.

Is there a governmental office under Insurance Law that I can report this scam company so that they will be investigated?
 

Rob Legat - SBPL

Lawyer
LawTap Verified
16 February 2017
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There's other factors here - some may apply, some will apply:

- Excesses can often be elastic: take a higher excess and get a reduction in premium. Your excess of around $700 may indicate this;

- Some policies that cover windscreens allow for 'one free windscreen'. I can't say I've investigate this, but it's something that may apply;

- Coverage for windscreen damage may be relevant in circumstances greater than simply damage to the windscreen. For example, if you're involved in an accident which damages the whole front end of the car and the windscreen - you'll want to know that the windscreen is covered in the insurance for total replacement; and

- You may find that the insurance premium without the windscreen coverage is the same as the premium with the coverage - in which case you're no worse off. Of course if it is different, you can possibly drop the windscreen coverage, but read my previous point and make sure you're happy with your coverage; and

It's important to note that contracts of insurance are a peculiar beast and insurers are allowed to get away with things lawfully that other contracts can't. There is a movement to get this changed, but it has been unsuccessful so far. Insurers are not your friends - they are businesses to make money, and they make money by taking premiums and not paying out claims. Expect them to act accordingly.

Lastly, if your windscreen is damaged - get it fixed. If you are in an accident and your insurer is aware that the windscreen is damaged (which it appears they are), this may be a basis for them to deny a claim if the damage to the windscreen is a relevant factor in the accident occurred. Even if it isn't, see my last paragraph - it wouldn't be the first time an insurer has tried to use any excuse to deny a claim.
 

457Visafraud

Well-Known Member
16 April 2017
115
4
389
Excesses can often be elastic: take a higher excess and get a reduction in premium. Your excess of around $700 may indicate this
Thanks for trying to help.
Before complaining (and changing insurance company) I already compared the prices with 4 major insurance companies, they all offered similar car value (in some cases I could choose the value and adjust the premium) AND the one I chose even offered a cheaper insurance cost with the same windscreen option or not.

Some policies that cover windscreens allow for 'one free windscreen'. I can't say I've investigate this, but it's something that may apply
Unfortunately that wasn't my case as there was nothing about this bonus and this time I with the help of friends read the contract very very carefully.

You may find that the insurance premium without the windscreen coverage is the same as the premium with the coverage
It was an added cost and that is why I call it a scam since the insurance (scammer) company would never pay for it due to the misleading contract.

Lastly, if your windscreen is damaged - get it fixed. If you are in an accident and your insurer is aware that the windscreen is damaged (which it appears they are), this may be a basis for them to deny a claim if the damage to the windscreen is a relevant factor in the accident occurred
Good point but I already changed the windscreen when I was still insured by the scammers and I paid fully with my money because of the policy in the contract stating and excess of $700 while the job cost $280!!
 

Zerojay

Well-Known Member
12 March 2017
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All comprehensive policies cover windscreen damage. It is the application of a claim excess to windscreen claims that can vary. Some policies automatically include excess free windscreen cover in the premium cost and with others it is offered as an add-on option - pay say an extra $40 per annum to have your excess waived on a claim solely for a windscreen repair or replacement. You say that you did pay the additional premium but the policy wording indicates that an excess still applies, so you paid for a new windscreen yourself because the cost was well below your excess of $700.

Did you ask the insurance company clarify your cover? Usually your insurance schedule/renewal invitation will clearly state if you are paying additional premium for excess free windscreen cover. Keep in mind that whatever is on the schedule over-rides the policy wording(PDS).

Although you have now insured elsewhere, you can still claim for a refund of the $280 from the old insurer if you are entitled to that cover and provided the windscreen was damaged during the time that policy was current.

I am happy to check out the policy wording for you if you say which company it is, but please check your insurance schedule/renewal advice first or make enquiry with the insurer.

I do not give legal advice, just my opinion based on working for an insurance company for over 20 years.
 

457Visafraud

Well-Known Member
16 April 2017
115
4
389
Although you have now insured elsewhere, you can still claim for a refund of the $280 from the old insurer if you are entitled to that cover and provided the windscreen was damaged during the time that policy was current.
The scam was that in the contract the windscreen was declared as already damaged (my declaration) and so the insurance company's policy stated that no compensation would be paid due the existing damage (of course) BUT the contract still contained the increased insurance bonus by around $80 for windscreen protection at the excess of $700!
I am happy to check out the policy wording for you if you say which company it is, but please check your insurance schedule/renewal advice first or make enquiry with the insurer.
From my understanding the contract is fraudulent (I hope I used the proper wording) and so it nullified itself because the contend mislead me.

The matter is already out to the Ombudsman after a failed attempt to "make an enquiry" with the scammers so at least they get a record and will have to refund me.
 

Zerojay

Well-Known Member
12 March 2017
90
12
319
So I am understanding now that your excess is not the issue. Your insurer would not pay for a new windscreen because it was already damaged before the policy cover commenced. You are saying that if this is the case the insurer should not have taken your money to waive the excess on any future windscreen claim as they were made aware at the outset it was damaged.

FOS, now AFCA, will look at the circumstances surrounding the sale of the policy to you and issue a determination in due course. Good luck with that.

In view of the moderate amount involved I am a bit surprised your insurer let this progress to AFCA as AFCA fees, which the insurer pays, will be much higher. They must think they have a good chance of winning.
 

457Visafraud

Well-Known Member
16 April 2017
115
4
389
They must think they have a good chance of winning.
No, they are just typical arrogant insurance company governed by nobody and everybody as this is the aim of a corporation.

The way they made this scam let me believe they are doing it to many pensioners too, people who have no real understanding of legal documents due also to the age and everyday ongoing health problems.
 

457Visafraud

Well-Known Member
16 April 2017
115
4
389
So the insurance company is targeting pensioners with damaged windscreens?
Are you trying to put words in my mouth?

Anyways, it seems you're not an old pensioner and you don't have health problems and seeing your GP twice a week or going to this hospital or another hospital etc. etc.
 

Scruff

Well-Known Member
25 July 2018
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129
2,389
NSW
... the windscreen was declared as already damaged (my declaration) and so the insurance company's policy stated that no compensation would be paid due the existing damage (of course) BUT the contract still contained the increased insurance bonus by around $80 ...

I think that explains what the OP's issue is. If my understanding is correct, then:
1. The OP declared existing damaged to the windscreen.
2. The insurer provides windscreen cover as an addon (extra $80 p.a. on the premium).
3. The insurer states that they won't payout on windscreen claims because of the existing damage.

In other words, the insurer is charging for an "add-on" that they openly state will not be provided. I don't see how the insurer can legally do that.

Financial advisors are currently being taken to task for charging for services that weren't provided and I fail to see how this is any different.

If they are not providing windscreen cover, then they can't charge for windscreen cover.
 
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