Following a collision that resulted in the total loss of her car, the complainant lodged a claim with Pacific International Insurance. The insurer agreed to cover the loss with a settlement of $7000, based on the agreed value of the vehicle, along with additional excess fees.

The policyholder argued that the insurer's offer did not accurately reflect the worth of the vehicle and would not be sufficient to replace it. The insurer, on the other hand, offered to renew the policy for an agreed value ranging from $6890 to $9330.

When the insured renewed the policy in October of last year, she accepted the $7000 agreed value. However, she claimed that the insurer did not provide any feedback or guidance about the offered amount. She believed that her car's value was between $12,000 and $14,000, and that it was wrongly valued due to the insurer's online sales website failing to identify its unique model.

The Insurer's Obligation

According to the AFCA ruling, Pacific International Insurance was not obligated to advise the complainant on the value she should agree to. The responsibility fell on the policyholder to contact the insurer if she disagreed with the offered range of values.

The insurer's website even offered a "Can't find your car?" option, recommending customers to communicate directly with the insurer should they encounter any difficulties.

The COI (Certificate of Insurance) listed the make and model of the car, along with the insured sum. AFCA stated that if the complainant had concerns about the offered cover amount or believed that the car's model was incorrect, it was her duty to contact the insurer to discuss the matter.

Based on the evidence presented, AFCA concluded that the insurer did not mis-sell the policy or give the complainant the impression that she was purchasing a market value policy. The insurer had offered to pay its maximum liability under the policy.

Application of Additional Excesses

The complainant also accused the insurer of "double dipping" by unfairly applying additional excess fees related to drivers under the age of 35 who had their license for less than five years.

However, AFCA deemed that the excesses were appropriately applicable in this claim's circumstances. The listed driver was born in 2002 and held a provisional license at the time of the collision.

AFCA concluded that it would be unfair to require the insurer to settle the claim for more than the agreed value, considering these circumstances.

For more details, you can read the full ruling here.