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Driver who lied about accident appeals over his declined claim

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A driver who is alleged to have bought an insurance policy shortly after being involved in a collision complained to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) after his claim was denied.

The man rang RACQ at 11.56am on January 2 last year and took out a policy on his 1994 Landcruiser.

He then lodged a claim at 10.13am the following day, saying he had reversed into the side of another vehicle in a car park. He said the accident took place at 9.30am that day, January 3.

When the insurer spoke to the third party on January 4, she initially agreed the accident happened on January 3.

But later she said the accident actually took place at 9.30am on January 2, a few hours before the policy had been taken out. She alleged the complainant had asked her to lie, but she didn’t know why.

The complainant later admitted the accident happened on January 2, but said it took place “five minutes or so after taking out the policy”.

The complainant was a backpacker with English as a second language, and AFCA accepts that he “may well have been confused” about the claim process.

But it says the insurer was entitled to refuse the claim.

“It is clear the complainant misled the insurer as to the time of the accident,” it says.

But AFCA says it “remains possible” that the incident happened as he now claims, and that there is not enough information to establish “either a breach of the duty of utmost good faith or fraud”.