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Customer service recommendations for car insurance

Yesterday I got hit by a truck. Stressful, and worse was unable to get through to my insurer, NRMA, on the phone to organise a tow truck and start a claim. Almost an hour. Tried web chat too- there were 28 people in front of me. Then the smash repairer they organised to take my car to wouldn’t accept my car because the claim was ‘pending’ in their system.
So when I renew my insurance my main priority is a company that actually answers their calls in a reasonable time, and the call centre is preferably in Australia. Will pay a premium for that. But can’t find any company that promises this. Any thoughts/recommendations?

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You might find that all insurers may have times where they are busy and to make a claim might not be as timely as one had hoped.

If price isn’t the key driver, maybe consider going through a broker and see if the broker will handle the claim for you. Some do and means that you have the same person within the broker (you have a relationship with) which deals with your account/policies and manages claims on your behalf. We have used such services in the past (and our broker managed storm damage claims for us through Resilium) and found it beneficial, especially where there is an event where that there are many claims occurring at the same time (such as a natural disaster which can affect hundreds, if thousands of consumers at the same point in time).

Brokers will charge slightly more for insurance policies to cover their own costs (this is outlined in their Product Disclosure Statement), and one needs to evaluate whether the additional costs are beneficial based on their own circumstances. They can also have direct access to underwriters, as well as options of going through a retail insurer. A good broker will also be able to provide advice, on their and the industry experiences, of insurance companies and how they deal with claims.

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There are often observations in the community of the lack of transparency across the insurance industry.

Choice provides a comprehensive guide and product reviews. The recent reviews are member only content.

CanStar includes a customer service survey. In any customer survey there is always the risk of some sampling bias. Note too that customer service can change for better or worse at the ‘drop of a hat, aka change in manager/management profit guidance.

https://www.canstar.com.au/star-rating-reports/car-insurance/

The reliability of brokers varies, and many choose to specialise in a particular area or type of client. EG ABN holders, small business, rural clients, etc. From experience it is best to approach 3 or more and seek offers from all as well as several of the retail insurance companies for major policies. Whether it’s worthwhile for a single policy for an average family car, even the professional corporate brokers can get it wrong. EG it’s a long time, but many were happy to recommended insurer HIH 21 years long gone.

One might expect NRMA being the size it is to have an efficient service contact especially for vehicle accidents. As @phb suggested current events (weather) are putting considerable pressure on many everyday services. Can you share which service number you called? I found the NRMA advice to call 132132 for 24x7 accident support, however their general phone list suggests to call this number for all insurance matters.

Frequently asked questions | NRMA Insurance

NRMA Phone Number | NRMA Support Number Directory | The NRMA

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