People get insurance for many different reasons, from compulsory 3rd party insurance for the car, to non-compulsory home insurance, travel insurance, life insurance, income protection insurance, or protection against things like sickness and disability under a superannuation fund.
Insurance is designed to protect you, and offer compensation should something happen to you or your possessions through no fault of your own, such as through theft or fire damage. Essentially, you make payments to the insurance company to protect yourself against the risk of loss.
But like any business, insurance companies want to make a profit, and will prefer to pay claimants as little as possible. The law places many restrictions on what can and cannot be claimed, and different time limits apply for different claims. It’s a complicated area of law.
Disputes commonly arise when an insurance company refuses to pay what a policy holder believes to be a legitimate claim. One area where people frequently get into trouble is when they have not completely understood the wording of the policy they signed. Sometimes though, the insurance company bases their decision on an inadequate investigation of the facts. A lawyer will be able to help you get the important evidence together to support your claim in court.
If a claim is rejected, you can make a formal complaint to the insurance company. Failing that, you can go through the courts. The amount of money involved in the insurance claim dispute, and the claim type, will determine the appropriate Court or Tribunal for your matter. Disputes in relation to home warranty (residential building) insurance claims up to the value of $500,000 are dealt with by the Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal in NSW. Generally though, insurance claims up to $40,000 are heard in the Local Court, and claims for over $750,000 begin in the District Court.
Our lawyers are experts in insurance and compensation law. We can help you decipher your insurance policy, and look carefully at the facts relating to your claim to determine your legal rights. We can assist you to negotiate a settlement with the insurance company, or represent you in court.
- Consumer Trader and Tenancy Tribunal – insurance claims for residential building