Taxi association reports IAG to ACCC

Taxi association reports IAG to ACCC

Taxi association reports IAG to ACCC The Australian Taxi Industry Association (ATIA) has reported IAG to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for “misleading customers” about their coverage when using Uber.

NRMA Insurance, an IAG brand, offers coverage for drivers who “occasionally” work as an UberX driver, which the ATIA believes goes against NRMAs own stance that excludes cover for vehicles “used for illegal purposes.”

UberX services remain illegal in all Australian states and territories but their popularity with consumers continues to increase.

“NRMA Insurance’s position appears completely conflicted,” ATIA CEO, Blair Davies, said.

“On the one hand, NRMA Insurance is saying to consumers that ‘she’ll be right mate, we’ve got you covered for uberX services,’ but then in the actual insurance contract they supply them with, they have a clause that in effect says cover is excluded, ‘you’re on your own buddy.’

“We think that’s downright confusing and that’s why the ATIA has lodged a complaint with the ACCC. While IAG and NRMA Insurance have not given us a straight answer, hopefully the ACCC will have more success.”

Davies also believes that the term “occasional” needs more clarity so consumers know the boundaries of their cover.

“How much is that in terms of vehicle kilometres or hours per week? How would a policyholder know whether their uberX travel fell within the ambit of “occasional” or if they increased it, at what point would they void the cover?” Davies asked.

NRMA Insurance hit back at the ATIA claims saying in a statement that they believe their policies benefit customers first and foremost, rather than represent the “self-interest” of the taxi industry.

“What’s missing in the Taxi Industry’s argument is the customer,” the company said.

“This is a campaign of self-interest by a Taxi industry that has not stayed abreast of changing customer preferences and the adoption of sharing economy services like Uber. The sharing economy is here to stay. We believe as an insurer that we should protect our customers as these changes occur.

“Our first priority is to protect our customers when they need us, so we have made the decision to cover them if they choose to use their car this way. We have robust processes and we will keep paying claims, as we do today. Any allegation to the contrary is patently untrue.”
6 Comments
  • Johnny 19/08/2015 9:45:42 AM
    The sooner these sharing activities warrant an underwriting question the better.

    Then it can be charged for if appropriate or excluded if undeclared.
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  • Michael 19/08/2015 9:54:31 AM
    If the "occasional" Uber use is not against IAG/NRMA's underwriting guidelines, then I dont see the problem - ATIA seem to be forgetting section 54 of the Insurance Contracts Act, in that NRMA would be unlikely to succeed in denying a claim for "illegal use" unless it can establish that the act of being an uber driver directly contributed to the loss.
    Insurance policies are full of contradictory clauses like this, seems ATIA have never read their own PDS.
    Post a reply
  • Robert Cooper 19/08/2015 10:47:21 AM
    It is against Public Policy for an insurance policy to condone an illegal act and cover it for the policy holder unless vicariously. It is one of Berliner's criteria of Insurability.
    So unless Uber is a legal activity in Australia, then NRMA would be ethically in the wrong for allowing such coverage. Be interesting to see if they have a clause saying "where indemnifiable by law", in which case, they will pay such claims arising from the Uber work unless someone challenges them. Who would?
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