I don’t agree with the insurer’s settlement offer
If the insurer offers you an amount that you do not agree with you will need to try and negotiate an agreed settlement amount.
If you cannot agree on repair costs, you should consider getting another quote.
If you cannot agree on the market value of the vehicle you should gather as much evidence as you can as to your losses.
You should research car values on online used vehicle websites. You should consider factors that distinguish your car what is considered includes:
- wear and tear,
- pre-existing damage,
When working out the market value, the market is that of your local area. So, if you live in Sydney don’t compare with cars in Darwin or Tasmania, as they represent different markets that have other factors like distance and a smaller market.
When negotiating you need to consider reducing what you are asking for and meeting the insurer at a compromise.
If you believe the offer is still far less then what you are entitled to then the dispute resolution is either:
- commencing action in court; or
- if you are not insured and the damage is under $15,000 lodging in the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA)
REMEMBER: both Court and AFCA will make a decision based on independent, objective evidence.
The usual process you follow is:
The next steps are to:
- send a letter of demand, which outlines your damages and the date in which you want the money paid by; and then
- if the demand is not paid by the demand date commence a claim in Court.
- make a claim in the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) if (and only if):
- You are not at fault (The other driver caused the accident)
- The damage is less than $15,000 (or you are willing to accept $15,000 as your maximum loss)
- The other driver is insured (and claims on their insurance)
- The other driver caused the accident
If you do not meet the requirements for AFCA, you are limited to Options 1 and 2, that is send a letter of demand and commence a claim in court (if the demand is not paid).
If the other driver’s insurer is contacting you demanding payment, this means they think you are at fault for the damages and fault is disputed. You need to read about fault disputes. Click on the “I have a dispute about fault” button below
The following links are only where the amount is in dispute.