Q: What is the Australian Financial Complaints Authority and how can it help?

A: If you have made a complaint to your insurer and are dissatisfied with their internal dispute resolution decision, you can contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). It independently and impartially examines general insurance disputes between general insurance companies and customers who hold policies for home and contents, motor vehicle, travel and other forms of general insurance.

AFCA is independent and provides a free service for consumers. It can mediate between the insurer and the consumer, and when mediation is unsuccessful, an ombudsman can make a determination. AFCA decisions are legally binding on the insurance company but you are not bound by its decisions.

Before AFCA can consider your case, your insurance provider must have been given an opportunity to resolve the dispute with you directly. In most cases, your insurer has up to 45 days to respond to your complaint.

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