Over the last couple of months, we have been pulling apart the Product Disclosure Statement and elaborating on circumstances and events for which you are NOT covered. We received great feedback from all of you on the openness and transparency of that series and they were the most popular articles in the Campfire believe it or not!
Please be aware, these articles intend to give commentary and practical examples for claims time, but should not be viewed as a substitute for appropriately looking through your PDS before deciding to take up coverage with Club 4X4.
Following this feedback, we will now turn our focus to dissecting the claims process and trying to give you a clearer understanding of what you can expect. Ultimately, you pay us for the product to take care of you when you need to claim right? We find most of the anxiety comes from not understanding what the claims process looks like, so hopefully we can clarify things over the next few weeks.
This week we will cover a few topics found on page 23 of your PDS relating to total loss claims, fraudulent and dishonest claims, prevention of loss, and Goods and Services Tax (GST).
What happens if we settle the claim for your vehicle on a total loss basis?
If we declare your rig a total loss, your payout will be the value stipulated on your Certificate of Insurance, this is a given right? Here are some other things that will happen:
- Deduct any excess that may be applicable;
- Obviously if the costs can be recovered from another at fault party and you do not actually claim with us, you will not pay an excess. However, if you are at fault or need to call on us to manage the claim, the excesses applicable on your Certificate of Insurance will be deducted from your total payout. Next week’s article runs through the possible excesses in greater detail, so stay tuned.
- Deduct any outstanding monthly premium;
- Basically, if your vehicle is a total loss – you are utilising your policy to its full value by claiming on it, as such the entire premium is applicable. So, if you pay monthly, the remaining instalments will be deducted from your total payout.
- Deduct any unused portion of your registration fee and Compulsory Third Party insurance premium;
- Once we determine your rig to be a total loss, we remove remaining registration and Compulsory Third Party (where applicable) amounts from your total payout. But don’t fret as we provide you with a letter confirming the total loss and change of ownership. By providing this to the relevant bodies in your state you will be reimbursed.
- Retain your vehicle (including all insured options and accessories) and then;
- The policy comes to an end; and
- There is no refund of any portion of the premium
So yes we will own your vehicle BUT, you always have the first option to buy it back at a price that we determine and negotiate with you. As enthusiasts we spend a lot of time and money on our rigs too and know that for some people prefer to keep the wreck for future builds.
Fraudulent and dishonest claims:
We probably don’t need to explain this point as this is a criminal act in itself. But to be clear, if you or any person acting on your behalf submits any false or intentionally misleading information to us throughout the claims process we do have the right to refuse to pay the claim and cancel your policy as a result. Furthermore, this is also relevant to any information provided to us at quote stage or during your policy period. For more information check out this article we prepared earlier addressing your duty of disclosure.
Prevention of loss:
You are legally obliged to take reasonable steps to prevent or reduce the risk or possibility of loss to your property. This applies if you take action that intentionally causes loss or damage to your vehicle. Basically, you need to take basic steps to secure your rig at all times to prevent damage or loss. An example might be that it has been broken into and you are missing a door lock or window. Leaving it in that state is encouraging more damage, isn’t it? Get it out of harm’s way, store it somewhere safe and give us a call as soon as possible. We have written a previous piece stating that you have the right to transport your vehicle or camper to a safe place following an incident. If you fail to do this and further damage occurs, you may reduce your ability to make a claim.
Goods and Services Tax (GST):
Everyone’s favourite expense, right? Basically, this point addresses the fact that all amounts shown on your policy include GST. When you make a claim under the policy, the amount that we pay you will be inclusive of GST up to the maximum amount payable on the policy.
For business registration – if you are registered for GST purposes, we will reduce any amounts paid to you by the appropriate input tax credit percentage that you have claimed from the ATO. If you do not claim any percentage, then there is nothing for us to deduct. Clear as mud?
Hopefully this has served to increase your understanding of our claims process should you be unfortunate enough to damage your pride and joy. If this has sparked any questions for you, please feel free to comment below and we will endeavour to clear things up.