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SA motor insurance inquiry makes 11 proposals

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The SA Parliamentary Economic and Finance Committee has made 11 proposals aimed at improving the state’s motor vehicle insurance and repair sector.

The proposals are contained in a final report released last week by the committee, which began its inquiry in July last year.

Key suggestions include introducing legislation in SA to mandate the national Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct – at present it is mandatory only in NSW – and adding penalties for breaches.

The report says insurers are complying with the “minimum requirements” of the code by informing customers about their policies through product disclosure statements.

“However, these documents can be improved to provide consumers with greater transparency to make better-informed decisions about their choice of repairer.”

The report also wants the SA Government to provide an annual report on insurance companies that breach the code or have adverse findings against them.

The committee also wants motor insurers to disclose direct or indirect ownership or contractual arrangements they have with specific crash repairers. This disclosure should be made to policyholders who are told to go to a certain repairer, the report says.

The report also suggests the SA Government should review motor insurers’ alleged practice of forcing some customers to accept cash settlements. It says insurers should be made to reveal the number of cash settlements and vehicle repairs they have undertaken.

Click here to access the report.