Allianz Insurance Stall Tactics
This all started with a routine trip to pick up a couple of storage containers from Richmond (Vic) that I acquired of Marketplace. Allow me to backtrack a few weeks and say I just got my car back from the panel beaters after a truck decided to take my lane with me in it, leaving me no where to go.
I was driving down a small suburban street in Richmond and was coming to a stop to perform a legal U turn, when out of no where, a little white car reverses out of its parking spot right into my new left guard installed and replaced only a few weeks ago.
I must admit, I thought I would be pretty annoyed but I just took a deep breath and was rather chilled. The Indian driver apologised and we exchanged details. The road rules Victoria state that drivers involved in a motor vehicle collision are only required to exchange and provide:
c. Vehicle registration
If you choose to exchange any further information like phone numbers, emails, insurance details, that’s on you.
A summary of what you need to do if you are in a crash.
From my understanding and knowledge of the law, a reversing driver out of a car park spot, driveway or similar has the onus not to do so, unless it is clear, safe and able to do so.
ROAD SAFETY ROAD RULES 2017 - REG 296 Driving a vehicle in reverse
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This gave me the assurance that I was not at fault and that my Insurance Company, REAL would cover me.
At the time I gave the at fault driver my required information and also exchanged phone numbers as he was pleading with me on the spot to not file an insurance claim as he had third party coverage only with his insurer, Allianz.
He wanted me to get a quote and he would cover the cost. I ventured back down to the smash repair place where I had got my car fixed only a few weeks before and they quoted around $990 to have fixed. Upon sending this to the at fault driver, I heard nothing for three days and decided to file with my insurer.
The process of filing with Real as I had learnt a month earlier was simple and fast, and with supplying them the factual details, my claim was approved in 24 hours.
Oddly enough and as things often play out, after I made that submission, the at fault driver started to call saying he will only pay half, and begging me not to go through insurance. Too late, already done, despite his several other processes.
Now, as my car would be in repair for the week, Monday to Friday, and last time I used my Union discount to secure a hire car at my expense, I was aware of companies that provide hire cars for non at fault parties. To do this, they file with the other parties insurer, have the claim accepted and then bill them, and arrange your hire car.
How does this work: https://acornrentals.com.au/how-it-works/
On contacting Acorn which I did via the website, a easy process, I received a call some minutes later indicating that they have reviewed my information and summary and can see I wasn’t at fault, and happily accepted my case.
It was then the smooth running of everything started and it all centred around one organisation, yes, Allianz.
You see of the record reps from lets say Acorn told me that Allianz will stall and delay and try to get out of it as much as possible.
After about a month I received an update from Acorn indicating that Allianz does not feel their driver is at fault and is awaiting CCTV from the incident. Now coming from a job that requires me to have a great deal if situational awareness, for the better or worst, I have been trained to take in environments and in this situation back at the original impact, I surveyed the near by premises and did not locate any CCTV. Nor was I fussed as I knew I was not at fault.
Another two weeks went by and still Allianz was refusing to accept fault now saying that they require more time to investigate properly.
With nothing to lose I decided to make my own submission to Allianz, which indicated:
i. The circumstances;
ii. The relevant law;
iii. The admissions of the at fault driver
iv. The physical evidence, indicating how only the way that I described could have resulted in the impact occurring.
By this time I had some spare time and decided to arrange to get my car fixed, and forgo the hire car as after all there was a viral pandemic and if I had to go somewhere I would utilise Uber of Public Transport.
During the week of no car, I incurred expenses of $62.00 in Uber and Public Transport, (40 being for the Uber ride from the smash repair place and back).
I also decided to lodge a complaint with https://www.afca.org.au/ who are the governing body of Insurance company complaints.
They off the record of course told me that they have encountered similar complaints with one particular insurance company who employ delay and stall tactics to not take fault, and yes that was Allianz.
Anyway, I got my car fixed, and oddly enough after picking my car up on the Friday, the following week, received this email:
Thank you for the complaint you raised with us on 17 July 2020 in relation to the liability decision.
At Allianz our aim is to provide you with consistently great products and customer service. I am sorry to hear that this was not your experience on this occasion.
I have reviewed the claim in full and determined that our client is the majority at fault as the reversing party. I have contacted Acorn today advising that we accept liability. We will await the demands for your Hire Car costs.
I apologise for the delay in determining liability.
When our customers raise a complaint, we are committed to providing a fair and timely outcome. If you are not satisfied with our response, you have the right to have the matter reviewed by our Internal Dispute Resolution team (IDR). Please let me know if you wish to raise this matter with IDR.
We trust that the above liability decision resolves your complaint.
If we do not receive a response by close of business 27/07/2020 we will assume you are satisfied with the outcome of the complaint and will proceed to close the Case.
Too little, to late…
Just a few weeks ago I received a follow up from AFCR, who advised after all this, that this particular incident does not meet their criteria, as explained:
I also refer to our discussion on 10 September 2020 when I advised you that:
- AFCA Rule B 2.1 (f) dictates the types of complaints we can consider against another person’s car insurance policy.
- Our criteria under Rule B 2.1 (f) is as follows:
- You must make a claim under another person’s vehicle insurance policy;
- Your claim must be for damage caused to an uninsured vehicle;
- You believe the person driving the insured vehicle was at fault for causing the damage; and
- The owner of the insured vehicle must have lodged a valid claim with their insurance company.
- Because your vehicle is insured, we cannot consider your complaint.
- I have contacted Allianz to request they compensate you $60.00 in transportation charges, but Allianz have refused the request.
I am sorry that we are unable to assist you in this instance. I have now closed our file on your complaint.
I should also add that before I spoke to anyone from AFCA, that I did receive a email from them indicating that Allianz had advised that they had contacted me and resolved my issue and as such, my complaint has been closed.
a. Allianz can employ what ever stall and delay tactics they wish, the AFCR did indicate they will make a further note of this;
b. If you own a car, have full comprehensive insurance;
c. If involved in a collision, just exchange your required information;
d. If you have your comprehensive insurance, use it, don’t settle for alternate negotiations;
e. If you do not have hire car replacement on your policy, consider companies like Acorn.
If you have had similar issues, let me know.