Over the last couple of weeks we have had a variety of customers, friends, industry mates and a fair share of doubters, message and question us about a couple of different claims.
Far from shying away from the topic, I have always made an effort to respond to these questions, phone calls, text messages, forum posts and Facebook messages personally.
I take these issues seriously and prefer to respond myself or guide a response. Why? Because first, an honest and transparent view is required – and I think that a level of responsibility is required in that process. Second, because the reality is we cannot discuss the specific particulars of any claim publicly. Doing so may contravene various clauses and legislative requirements that we are bound by.
Compounding our inability to talk about the particulars of a claim, we often don’t physically have the opportunity to respond, because many of these grievances are posted in closed groups on social media and alike. As a result, the other side of the story is never aired. Given Aussie’s “love” of insurance companies (yes – it’s a joke) such posts spread like wildfire with no real response.
Now I’m not criticising that – everyone has the right to air a grievance and it seems nowadays the way to do it is through the various social media platforms available. Any business worth its crust needs to accept that and deal with it – bad news spreads quicker than good after all.
“How can I get my issues resolved with Club 4X4?”
Well like any insurance provider we are mandated to have an Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process – which a customer or claimant can enact at any time. This starts a formal and documented process with specific timelines enforced upon us to review and respond to your complaint.
“What happens if you’re not satisfied?”
If the outcomes of the above IDR process are not to your satisfaction. then you have the opportunity to take your case to the Financial Services Ombudsman (FOS). FOS is the overarching body that oversees and enforces the various legislative responsibilities of a financial services provider and is there to provide an independent and expert view on any issues that cannot be resolved using internal processes.
I invite anyone who isn’t getting enough to ask for their case to be reviewed by myself directly – there is a good chance it already is once it gets escalated, but again, if in doubt drop my name!
“Why do I keep reading about this stuff and how can I prevent it?”
Us 4wd-ers are pretty fussy (personally I call myself OCD but I didn’t want to put that on anyone else) – so we really do take the time to get involved and immersed in what’s happening in our world. Spending 5 minutes searching will bring up many more examples of claims and sales issues amongst other financial services providers – but that’s not the point here.
The key is to understand what you are actually buying. With a financial services product you are buying a contracted promise. The process of entering this contract is answering of a set of underwriting questions. The answers to these questions drive what price we offer, or if we even offer to provide you cover at all (yes – we can decline to offer cover based on our underwriting criteria!). This is the process of entering into the insurance contract – and the requirement for any person seeking to enter into a contract of general insurance to answer questions factually and completely is called the Duty of Disclosure.
Fast forward to claim time – if it is found that the information provided at the time of quote was wrong or incomplete and that if we had had the right information at the time of quote we would have declined to offer cover – your contract becomes null and void.
Not unlike any other insurers and not unreasonable – why should anyone else have to bear the load of heavier premiums for those who don’t disclose? If you’re not sure of the answers to the questions asked, then get sure. Stop and think, call your previous insurers, look up your records – it’s your responsibility as a consumer. For a fee you can use http://insurancereferenceservices.com.au/about who will outline all claims lodged by insurers under your name. Further, driving histories can be sought for a fee from your local registry.
Luckily though, the majority of people don’t find themselves in this situation. In fact, in our last Net Promotor Score press release we reported that 67% of claimants scored their claim experience with us as a 9 or higher out of 10. This was a percentage point higher than our inaugural study in mid-2017. Interestingly, the nearest “competitor” to this score was a large brand known for insuring people over a certain age – their last published score was 6; that’s right, our score for claims experience was over ten times higher.
So to those of our customers who have issues, please, give us a call and go through the process – our aim is to make your happy. To those who see the next post splashed all over social media – take note that we cannot respond with our side of the story. Finally, for those who really want to understand and prevent issues – make sure your information is ALWAYS up to date at the start of your policy and at renewal.
General Manager – Club 4X4