Thousands of Victorian business owners are experiencing rising costs and lost productivity due to increased disputes with vehicle insurance companies, because of a lack of compliance with an instituted voluntary industry Code, says the Victorian Automobile Chamber of Commerce (VACC).
The Motor Vehicle Insurance & Repair Industry Code of Conduct was developed by industry stakeholders with a view to bringing the insurance and crash repair industries together in greater cooperation for the betterment of motorists and the business community.
But the workings of the Code have proved disappointing, says VACC Chief Executive Officer, Geoff Gwilym. “The lack of consistency in participant’s conduct, along with minimum Code definitions and the continued use of confusing and ambiguous clauses within the national voluntary Code imposes a significant cost to small businesses, especially when it comes to resolving disputes with insurers,” said Mr Gwilym.
“The non-regulatory nature of the Code in Victoria means that the purpose, principles and intent of the Code stand in contrast to the direction and sustainability of vehicle body repair businesses and insurer-repairer relations.”
VACC believes a mandated Code in Victoria would have clear objectives, helping to clarify the purpose and benefits of healthy relations between insurers and repairers. This would be to the advantage of Victorian motorists and build consumer confidence. It therefore calls on the next Victorian State Government to support regulation of the Motor Vehicle Insurance & Repair Industry Code of Conduct.