insurance

Insurance disputes

An insurance dispute occurs when an insurance company denies an insured party’s insurance claim for compensation on the insured’s policy.

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There are many types of insurance so there are many types of insurance disputes. Further, a dispute can arise at any stage of the insurance claim process, from when the incident occurs, through to during a court hearing.

If you’re involved in an insurance dispute, Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers can provide you with professional advice and representation today.

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What our clients say

…turned our crazy situation into positive new beginnings… We would highly recommend their services to anyone who is in need of professional property lawyers who have your best interests at heart. Thank you Mitchell and Melany!

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During the first phone call with Spencer I knew immediately that I was in competent hands. Spencer and his troops moved into position akin to military action… I would strongly recommend contacting Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers…

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Insurance Lawyers

Why insurance claims are denied

Because insurance companies aim to maximise profits, the fewer claims they pay out, the bigger the profits.

There are several reasons a claim may be denied, including non-disclosure, exclusion clauses, fraud, policy cancellation and non-insured loss.

Non-disclosure

When an insured party fails to disclose every matter known to them that is relevant to the insurance company’s decision whether to accept the risk, that failure to disclose material information is likely to be classified as an act of non-disclosure.

Under the Insurance Contracts Act 1984 (Cth), the insured party has a duty to provide all information that a reasonable person would know to be relevant to an insurance company.

However, the duty of disclosure does not require disclosing information that diminishes the insurance company’s risk, that is common knowledge, or that the insurer should know.

Common examples of non-disclosure include not disclosing prior insurance claims or existing damage to property.

Exclusion clauses

The insurance company may claim that certain clauses in the policy exclude coverage for the type of loss suffered or the particular event that caused the loss.

Exclusions may include depreciation, storm damage, intentional damage, government seizure or vermin damage.

Fraud

The insurance company may claim the insured party acted fraudulently in some way.

If only a minimal or insignificant part of a claim is made fraudulently, the insurer may be ordered to pay the remainder of the claim.

Policy cancellation

The insurance company may cancel a policy for a specific reason. A common reason is non-payment of premiums, but cancellation may also be in response to additional information provided by the insured party that raises the insurance company’s risk to an unacceptable level.

Non-insured loss

The insurance company may claim that the particular damage or loss (for which compensation is being sought) was caused by an event not covered by the policy.

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Our approach

How we can help

If your insurance provider is refusing to honour your property or business insurance claim, you may have a legal case to take action against them.

If you don’t have the right representation, your insurer may refuse your claim based on a pure technicality, and you may find it difficult to compel the insurance company to change their decision.

When you’re in desperate need of cash and the insurance company is continuously delaying your matter by denying your arguments and absolving themselves of any liability, you need lawyers who are going to fight for you and fight hard.

If you are involved in an insurance dispute, we are here to assist you anywhere in Australia from our base in Brisbane. Contact one of our experienced solicitors today.

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Insurance Lawyers

Resolving insurance disputes

Options to resolve an insurance dispute include internal review, external review by the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) and court proceedings.

Internal review

Using an insurance company’s internal dispute resolution process should be the first step to resolve a dispute.

Under the General Insurance Code of Practice, when a claim is denied, the insurance company must provide written reasons for the decision, information on complaints handling procedures, and (if requested), reports from service providers that were relied upon to make the decision.

If the dispute is not resolved, the AFCA may be approached.

Australian Financial Complaints Authority

The AFCA is an external dispute resolution body that is free for insured parties.

A decision made by the AFCA is binding on an insurance company if the insured party accepts the decision.

An insured party may take legal action if they do not agree with a decision.

Court proceedings

When an insurance dispute cannot be solved through internal or AFCA dispute resolution processes, legal action may be unavoidable. If a third party has contributed to the loss and damage, the insurance company may be able to run a crossclaim against that party.

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Your team

Our insurance disputes team

Melany Dowse

SENIOR LITIGATION SOLICITOR

Rebekka Hallberg

Mitchell Caldwell

Litigation solicitor

Mitchell Caldwell

Litigation solicitor

Michelle Fanning

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FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an insurance dispute?

An insurance dispute occurs when an insurance company denies an insurance policy claim for compensation, for reasons such as non-disclosure or fraud.

A dispute can arise at any stage of the insurance claim process, from when the incident occurs, through to during a court hearing.

Do I have to engage a lawyer if I am involved in an insurance dispute?

Engaging a lawyer is not compulsory when dealing with insurance matters. However, given the complexity of insurance law and the insurance industry, proper legal advice is vital to ensure that you are protecting your rights, as well as maximising your chances of achieving the best possible outcome.

At Gibbs Wright, our lawyers can offer advice on all options to ensure an effective resolution. Our aim is to ensure you have a clear understanding of your legal rights and options so you can make an informed decision.

Call us for no-obligation, confidential consultation.

What can an insurance lawyer do?

An insurance lawyer can help at every stage of an insurance dispute, to ensure you receive your maximum entitlements.

An insurance lawyer, can, for example:
• assess the validity of a claim;
• make a claim on your behalf;
• dispute a claim on your behalf; and/or
• represent you in court.

Will I need to go to court for my insurance dispute?

Court proceedings can be costly, time consuming and stressful, so our lawyers at Gibbs Wright will always attempt to negotiate a resolution before recommending your matter be litigated in a court.

If you are required to go to court for your insurance policy dispute, our insurance lawyers will be with you every step of the way.

What is the Gibbs Wright process?

At Gibbs Wright, we work closely with you to determine the best plan for your particular circumstances, taking into account your finances and expectations.

We will walk you through the steps of the journey, which begins with a free initial discussion to assess the strength of your case and your legal options.

We will request key documents such as policy documents, employer statements, tax documents and expert reports to assess this. If we determine we can help you, we will provide an estimate of fees, depending on the expected cost and complexity of the matter.

Where can we help you?

We are well versed in insurance issues, and we have an office conveniently located in Brisbane, but we can assist Australia wide. So, if you’re looking for an insurance lawyer Australia, call us today to let us handle your matter.

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Why us

Why choose Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers

Gibbs Wright Litigation Lawyers can provide professional advice about how to approach your insurance dispute, as well as be a powerful advocate for you in an internal review, in an external review through the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and in any subsequent court proceedings.

We are not scared of a fight, and we are ready to fight hard for you!

  • Commercially viable outcomes
  • Dedicated litigation firm
  • Outstanding client satisfaction
  • High success rate
  • Direct contact with your lawyer
  • Brisbane-based litigation team
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