Crash repair and insurance industry to be investigated by Parliamentary Inquiry!

Public news

The Economic and Finance Committee will examine the motor vehicle insurance and repair industry in South Australia.

This is a significant next step for BRD members as the MTA has been lobbying very hard for a Parliamentary Inquiry to examine the costs and benefits of a Repair Industry Code of Conduct.

It is important for members that a Code is mandated to ensure there is a better co-operative relationship between collision repairers and insurance companies and that your business is protected from unjust pressure from insurance companies.

Mandating a Code of Conduct similar to the current voluntary Code of Conduct will provide the necessary powers of enforcement.

Economic and Finance Committee Chair, Sam Duluk MP and Member for Waite said, “With over 1.8 million registered vehicles and 1.2 million licence holders across the State, most South Australians are affected by the motor vehicle insurance industry. The Committee will investigate the business practices of insurers and crash repairers and assess consumer choice for South Australians.”

“This inquiry will examine the effectiveness of the voluntary Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct in regulating the relationship between repairers and insurers and in protecting the interests of South Australian consumers.”

“Following recent changes to the South Australian compulsory third-party insurance scheme and closure of the Motor Accident Commission, it is timely for the Committee to examine these important issues.”

The Terms of Reference for the inquiry will be:

  1. whether insurers and repairers respectively authorise and carry out repairs with the objective of restoring safety, structural integrity, presentation and utility of the vehicle, complying with relevant Australian law and fulfilling their obligations to the policy holder;
  2. the 2017 Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct (the Code), its governance structure, the application of the Code’s dispute resolution process, in particular the overall effectiveness of the dispute resolution mechanisms in regulating the relationship between collision repairers and insurers and in protecting consumer interests;
  3. consumer choice, consumer protection and consumer knowledge in respect of contracts and repairs under insurance policies in general, but with particular regard to choice of repairer, cash settlements, transparency and fairness in assessment of non‑partnered repairer estimates and the efficacy and safety of web-based assessments;
  4. the business practices of insurers and repairers, including the effect of lessening competition through vertical integration into the market, the transparency of those business practices and implications for consumers; and
  5. any other related matters.

The MTA will be making a submission addressing the Terms of Reference, which is due by Friday 6 September this year. We strongly encourage you to contact our Industry Engagement Specialist, Paul Back about how you can help contribute by clicking here.