The insurer behind Budget Direct, Virgin Money and ING says it is making changes after being slammed for failing to fix unfair fire definitions in home and contents policies.
More than a year since the devastating bushfires of summer 2019/2020, most major insurers have updated their home and contents policies to address fire definitions previously dubbed by Choice as “confusing, unfair or unclear”.
Auto and General Insurance was the last major insurer to act, Choice insurance campaigner Dean Price said, so was “shamefully lagging behind”.
“When you buy insurance from brands like Budget Direct, Virgin Money or ING, there’s more wriggle room for Auto and General Insurance to get out of paying or rebuilding if the worst happens to your home,” Mr Price said.
“Their definitions mean that damage caused by melting, smouldering or smoke doesn’t have to be covered by their policies.
“Our homes should be covered regardless.
“It’s simply unacceptable to leave your customers with such confusing policies.
“Australians need to be confident that their insurer will have their back.”
Since contacting the lagging insurers, Youi had committed to changing its definitions, Choice said, but Auto and General Insurance had not responded.
After issuing those statements to the press, however, the company said it was making changes.
“As part of Auto & General’s normal product development process we regularly review our product disclosure statements to ensure we are making insurance easy and fair for all of our customers,” it said.
“We confirm we are in the advanced stages of making changes to our home insurance PDS in relation to the items raised in the Choice article and anticipate these changes will be applied this year.”