Don’t stop me if you’ve heard this before… having problems with an insurance claim. So about seven weeks ago my bike was stolen. Fully insured etc, thought it would be all OK, as previous issues have been easily resolved. I made an immediate report to the police, kept all the details (it took about a week to get the incident number out of them, though). Of course it wasn’t worth their time to attend. Acknowledgement of claim from insurance company arrives. Insurance investigator came and conducted site inspection and interview, which was all straightforward. And then I wait. And wait. And wait. So I ring the insurers. They tell me the investigator’s report is complete (all OK) and I should hear from them soon (as soon as they get the final police report). Wait some more. Ring back. “Still haven’t got police report”, they say. I ring the police station, and I’m told several times that there is no record of my incident. Until I tell them the incident number (and sub-incident number) and the officer who received the call. Then they ‘find’ it! Then cop says that the insurance company has all the information available to them online and that no report is needed. I call insurers back, who call bullshit on that and say they get police reports every day and that it is just taking a long time. I ring the station back and this time I’m told that as the value places it in the ‘serious crime’ category the report will be dealt with by ‘Crime’ at the ‘Victoria Police Centre’, not the local branch. I do some checking and find the number for VP Public Inquiry Service (Insurance) and see what they can tell me – which is that the incident is logged but no application for a report has ever been made under that incident number! F#$%! Can I make an application myself? Yes I can. $40. So I’ve sent that off and I can only hope and pray that they don’t ‘lose’ all details of the incident the way the local station did. I decide I will personally hand the report to my claim consultant and see what happens then. Heard some gossip from a workmate that she was told in a similar situation that the police are supposedly not issuing reports at all unless a particular crime is ‘solved’. I sincerely hope that’s not true. Dunno how many crimes get solved when the local cops never get off their fat arses or lift a finger to investigate them. Next instalment: The insurers finally return a call, get the incident number off me (why didn’t they have it? I gave it to the investigator AND the insurer four weeks before!)) and they ring back to tell me that – apparently – they have paid two separate applications for the report to VP, at $75 a pop, and been told twice that no such incident is on the system. Now I know they’re lying, or being told lies. The fee for the search is, of course, non-refundable. I was also told that insurer was asked by popo if they wanted to pay for a third non-fundable search… So the insurers are lying about either needing the police report, or having applied for it. Or they are being deliberately scammed. Don’t know which. Make a couple more calls to insurers but my claim consultant is ‘busy’ each time. A week later I call the insurers again and they tell me they’ve still heard nothing from the police and so they will ask ‘management’ (why do I always think of ‘Carnevale’ when I hear that word?) if they can pay me out without getting the police report. Wait some more. No answer, apparently. Still waiting for my police report. So. Any ideas about what I should do, or should have done? Consumer Affairs? Insurance ombudsman? Legal action? Is it even possible to compel an insurer to settle a claim? Never had any problems like this before. (Will get around to naming insurer when I know where I stand).