Only Suncorp Can Fix Assessment Delays: VACC

The Victorian Automotive Chamber of Commerce (VACC) has hit back at Suncorp Group’s response to the chamber’s claim of systematic motor vehicle assessment delays, saying it is not up to repairers to fix the insurer’s alleged operational problems.

In response to a VACC media statement last week, Suncorp said it was disappointed to hear of the issues raised by the chamber, adding that they had not been raised directly with the insurer.

“We take our obligations to our customers, repairers and the motor repair code very seriously,” a Suncorp spokesperson said. “We hope to work constructively with VACC to address their concerns as a matter of urgency.”

However, the VACC rejected Suncorp’s reply, claiming the issue does not relate to motor repair code disputes, nor is it a matter of “a few individual claims”. Rather, it is a “broader systemic issue, severely affecting automotive repairers and consumers” that must be addressed within the group.

As such, discussing its concerns directly with Suncorp would be unproductive, the chamber saying that if the insurer examines its own claims list, it “will see thousands of claims with unreasonable assessment delays”.

Geoff Gwilym, CEO of the VACC, said that Suncorp’s response “did not deny the delaying tactics, only that it wishes to work with industry to create better outcomes”.

“I remind Suncorp Group – whose after tax profit for the first six months of the 2024 financial year is $582 million – that motorists and small business owners are not in a position to fix their issues. Suncorp’s executives must do that work,” he said.

According to Gwilym, the solution requires Suncorp and its associated brands to significantly change the way they do business.

The chamber said it is willing to meet with Suncorp executives but not until the group decides how it will address the alleged “broader systemic assessment delays through its policies and procedures”.

Additionally, the VACC said it will engage with relevant regulators to “bring about a fair outcome”.

Following the VACC’s latest media release, Suncorp reiterated its desire to discuss the matter to understand the chamber’s issue. “It’s disappointing the VACC continues to address these concerns via media release when we are trying to work constructively with them,” a Suncorp spokesperson said.

“Their concerns weren’t raised directly with us before they issued a press release last week and we have since tried to gain further information from them to be able to understand what the issues are they’ve raised.

“We take our obligations to our customers, repairers and the motor repair code very seriously. We will continue to try and work constructively with VACC to address their concerns.”