Department of Justice is now the Department of Communities and Justice. Find out more >
This page has information about what you can do if you are not happy with a decision made by an insurance company.
You should check your insurance policy to find out what you are covered for. Your insurance company might refuse your claim if:
If you are not happy with your insurance company's decision you can challenge their decision. You have a number of options:
You should first make a complaint to your insurance company's Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) section. The complaint should be made in writing. Most insurers have a complaint form you can lodge online through their website or send by post. Ask your insurance company for the contact details of their IDR department.
If you are not happy with the decision of your insurance company's IDR section, or are having difficulty dealing with the IDR section, you have the option of lodging a dispute with the:
AFCA can consider some disputes about an insurance company where the insurer has refused the claim or delayed the claim.
A determination made by AFCA is final and binding on the insurer if you agree with the decision. If you disagree with the decision, you can apply to the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) or start a court case.
For more information on lodging a dispute, go to the AFCA website.
There are time limits for lodging a dispute with AFCA. Make sure that you do it within three months of the date the insurance company's IDR department rejected your claim.
If you are not satisfied with the outcome of either an internal review by your insurance company or a decision of FOS, you can make an application to have the dispute decided by the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) within three years.
Consumer claims are limited to disputes under $40,000 (as at July 2017). For more information on making an application to NCAT go to the NCAT website or get
If you want to start a court case against an insurance company, you should get
If the other driver was at-fault and they (or the owner of the car) made a claim on their insurance policy, the insurer will make a decision and should contact you. If they refuse your claim and the cost of repairing your car is less than $15,000, you may be able to make a claim through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). This is a free service and is cheaper than taking the other driver to court. You should try this option before going to court. For more information, go to the AFCA website.
If you want to make a claim through AFCA you must be uninsured. The other party must be insured and have made a claim on their insurance policy. You may still be able to make a claim to AFCA if the other party has not made a claim and they have died or cannot be found. If you are not sure whether the other party has made a claim on their insurance, you should contact AFCA. They will contact the other party's insurance company to see if a claim has been made.
If the dispute is more than $15,000, you will need to decide whether to start a case in court against the other party. If you cannot claim against the other driver, in some limited
circumstances you may be able to claim against their insurance company. If you
are considering this, you should get legal advice.
For more information on starting a court case, see Going to court.
If the other party's insurance company believes you were at-fault and makes a claim against you, you may wish to negotiate with the insurer and try and resolve the dispute. If you cannot agree, the driver, owner or insurer may decide to start a court case against you. In that case, you will need to decide how to respond. For more information, see Going to court.
An insurance company can take the place of any person that they insure and do whatever that person can do, such as make a claim in court. This is called the 'right of subrogation'.
It is a good idea to try and resolve disputes without going to court, as court cases take time and cost money.