Can you demand a refund?

If you have a sneaking suspicion that you have been sold add-on insurance or a warranty with your car purchase, or new credit card, you’re not alone. But have you ever thought that it might be worthless?

We call this insurance junk insurance, but you might know it as add-on insurance, including consumer credit insurance (or CCI). CCI is typically added to your loan or credit card to cover some of your repayments if you lose your job, are injured or sick, or pass away.

The problem is, consumer advocates and ASIC have found CCI is often expensive, low value, and full of exclusions and conditions which surprise people when they try to make a claim.

ASIC recently announced that the Commonwealth Bank and insurers QBE and Virginia Surety will repay a total of over $26 million to people who were mis-sold add-on insurance including CCI.

Consumer Action’s website www.demandarefund.com has assisted people in claiming more than $700,000 in refunds on add-on insurance (and extended car warranties) which they did not need or want.

If you have bought add-on junk insurance and want to ask for a refund, visit www.demandarefund.com. If you are not sure, check your loan documents to see if you have been sold one of these products.

CCI – what to look out for
Consumer Action has seen a lot of bad-value CCI. If you are considering buying CCI, here are a few things to look out for:

  • Do you already have similar insurance, such as life insurance, total and permanent disability (TPD) and trauma insurance and/or income protection insurance? Many people already have this in their superannuation.
  • Will it cover the type of work you do? Often, people who work casually or part-time, or who are self-employed, can’t claim unemployment cover under CCI.
  • Is there an age cut off? Most CCI policies won’t cover you once you reach a certain age, typically 65.
  • Do you have any pre-existing medical conditions? If so, you probably won’t be covered if your claim results from that medical condition.
  • Is it worth it? The premiums can be very high and in some cases the amount you can claim will be less than the premiums you will pay.

The Consumer Action Law Centre is an independent, not-for-profit, campaign-focused, casework and policy organisation. If you have a question you’d like to ask, please send it to [email protected]

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Avoiding debt disaster
Do you have junk insurance?
How to deal with overwhelming debt

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