Welcome to Netrider ... Connecting Riders!

Interested in talking motorbikes with a terrific community of riders?
Signup (it's quick and free) to join the discussions and access the full suite of tools and information that Netrider has to offer.

VIC Insurance claim (theft) woes

Discussion in 'Politics, Laws, Government & Insurance' started by titus, Aug 13, 2010.

  1. 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).
  2. Firstly, write a nice, polite but firm letter to the Insurance co, laying out the sad saga and including the incident number.

    Finish the letter with words to the effect of:

    Now that you have the incident number you expect the matter to be settled within 7 days, and you expect confirmation of this by return mail.

    Give them 7 days. If no resolution / response, lodge a formal complaint with the insurance ombudsman, and include the chronology and the letter.
  3. Wait, did you have to pay the police to do their job, or am I reading this wrong?
  4. Yes Grue, you have to pay them to do anything for you. Welcome to Victoria.
    What really worries me is that they can fail to find your incident on the system and you have to pay for them to look again. So it's actually in their interests to fail to do the job properly. (Insurer complained to me about that). Remember we are talking about clerical work here though.

    Regardless of that, the insurer has admitted on one occasion that they could pay me out without a written report (because all the information is available to them online). They are just avoiding doing so.

    Thanks Tramp, you're pure gold. Will get onto that today.
  5. Update, I should at least confirm that VP have in fact now told me that my report is on the system and will be processed today. The finger of blame is now pointing squarely at the insurer (unless they were genuinely being told a different story).
  6. I would suggest it's the insurance company playing games.
  7. And 'they' wonder why so many dont bother with insurance??](*,)
  8. Insurance companies hate paying for the police reports. I don't blame them but they try all manner of shite to try and not have to do it - including ringing individual police officers to try and get them to violate privacy laws and pestering other accident witnesses etc.

    My eye would be squarely on the insurance company trying to dick you around for some reason.
  9. Go back and read your policy. It reads like you've been sucked into an artificial administration vortex.

    If there is no requirement for you to chase the Police report then include that in the letter, that Tramp suggests, and demand your money. Just because they are having problems doing their job, doesn't necessarily mean they have the right to delay your payment.

    Also who is the insurer? (betting QBE)
  10. I bet it's QBE too as that's exactly the same stunt they pulled on me when I wrote a bike off in 2007.

    They needed the police report but seemingly weren't prepared to obtain it in any great hurry. The police were no help at all.

    Only way I got them to act and finalise the case was to throw an almighty tantrum with their state manager. He must have some pull because I was on the road on my new bike a week later.

    Get angry and get noisy.
  11. Then you would do well as a gambler, ibast.

    Anyway, I've now paid for the report, should have it today, and will hand deliver it to the insurer, along with a letter as per our learned friend's suggestion. If that doesn't do it, there WILL be great veangeance and furious anger, oh yes there will.
  12. You see this a lot with QBE. I've formed the belief they push cash flow KPIs onto their middle managers.

    so in this case their underwiter will be paying for your bike later in the month and they are stalling you until after that. I've read/herd/experienced similar stories to yours that support this theory.
  13. Ha! Shook the tree and they fell right out of it!

    I got the police report, sent it through with a demand for immediate action and they replied with a release form. Should have the funds in about 5 days.

    Thank you Tramp, thank you contributors. When I get they replacement I'll do a mono in your honour. :D
  14. Sorry to hear this miserable saga, Titus, but I can only say that experiences with insurance companies vary greatly; I've never had anything but good service and feedback from QBE. Mind you I have my bike and car Green Slip, AND my bike and car Full Comp with them; they SHOULD be nice to me :LOL:
  15. With your letter to the insurance company can I suggest that you send it via registered post with delivery conformation that way ensuring that you have them over a barrel in regards to receiving your correspondence.
  16. I'll do better than that, I have already faxed it but also I'll hand deliver it (and get name signature and date on the spot). I'm really sorry it has come to this. I was thinking I had a good relationship with them until this happened.

    Now the obvious question is - who can you trust? Can anyone cite a good experience relating to a claim, and with which insurer?
    (your response noted Hornet)
  17. Shannons for me. It wasn't a theft claim, but pretty major damage. No forms needed filling in, all done over the phone. They called me and asked how the process was going and if they could do anything. They told me to take the bike to any repairer and suggested the dealer who serviced the bike 'as they'll look after you'....no need to get 3 quotes, no approved repairer bullshit, basically whatever it costs is whatever it costs. And when I failed to have my gear assessed at the same time (my fault), they just told me to get a quote for equivalent replacements and paid a cheque within 5 days from submission without even needing to see the damaged jacket and helmet. You might be able to save a few dollars by shopping around, but the only time you actually need insurance is when you need it! So chose wisely. I'll happily pay a few dollars more if it means it's a pain free experience if I ever have to claim (they insure the Aprilia, the Subaru and the SV650 for me now. The Suby, for business use, costs around $500yr for a $40k car. I thought that wasn't too bad)
  18. what policy do you have with shannons? After all, they are for motoring "enthusiasts" whos tyres see more tyre shine than they do bitumen. I've always been a bit cynical of shannons.

    Hornet, given how many claims get made, I'm sure the number of jerk arounds is minimal. But whenever someone does have issues with a claim its almost certainly qbe with aami pulling a second.
  19. I'm with RACV and have nothing but superb service to date. I rode my bike off 2 weeks ago and the assessor was at the mechanics 3 days after the smash and assessed the bike and then got it picked up the same day. Communication between RACV staff and myself is fast and easy. I've had my fair share of dealing with insurance companies and as my old man was an assessor himself, I have heard the good, the bad and the ugly stories. To date, all of mine have been good.
  20. When I tried to get a quote with Shannon's the requirement was to ride less than X number of days a week, can't remember what X is.

    Since I'm planning on, and have been, riding up to 7 days a week, they're a no go for me I'm afraid. I wound up purchasing insurance through the dealership. God help me if I ever have to claim, I don't even know WHO I'm insured by.