You only know how good your insurer is when you make a claim – my experience with RACQ Insurance
Update 5th November 2017 – I’m very pleased to advise that my claim with RACQ Insurance has been sorted. After a month of backward and forwards with the claims department, I managed to contact the General Manager of RACQ Andy Johnston through LinkedIn. Andy listened carefully to what had transpired since the theft of my Alfa Romeo on October 2nd and put steps in place with one of his senior claims managers. Shae V contacted me the next day and made things happen. RACQ approved my claim on Friday, November 3rd and paid out yesterday November 6th.
My sincere thanks to those two people for their interest. It’s sad that it had to go as far as it did, but at least I’m confident with RACQ going forward. I have another 4 policies with RACQ Insurance that will remain with them. Thank you, RACQ
Hi, Bob Aldons, The Car Guy with an opinion piece on my recent experience with RACQ Insurance. You may have read in a previous story that my Alfa Romeo Giulia QV was stolen early morning on October 2nd, 2017. The thieves, one of 18 years and the others under 17 broke into two cars outside, doing extensive damage to both a 2005 Porsche Boxster and a 2007 Audi TT, broke into the showroom and stole my Alfa, but not before taking out the showroom windows and doors. Total insurance estimate for this event, providing that the Alfa is written off – $210,000. That’s right, nearly a quarter of a million dollars. So here’s a timeline of my experience with RACQ Insurance.
5th October The Queensland police recovered the Alfa 3 days later at the Albion railway station carpark. It stayed in a Police compound until the forensic people had done their thing. DNA and fingerprints were discovered which led to the arrest and conviction of three of the five who had done the dirty deed. Bring on the claim with RACQ Insurance
10th October On Tuesday before I looked at the vehicle, RACQ Insurance sent an internal investigator to see me. She interviewed and recorded me for about 45 minutes, asking questions as to whether I had arranged to have the car stolen, whether my business was financially sound and how the car had been stolen.
The investigator told me that I had to produce the following documents.
- Invoice evidencing the purchase and price
- 3 months of bank statements
- 12 months of driving history
- Evidence of phone calls from my mobile phone preceding and after the break-in.
All these documents were provided on the day or the day after – I didn’t know that Optus could or would even do this, but they did and promptly. I emailed the investigator from RACQ Insurance regularly until I received a call from the assessment center telling me that the investigation had been concluded and that I should come down and ‘mark up’ the Alfa to indicate the damage. I wasn’t aware that the owner needed to do this – I simply said to Brad Riley, the person who called, that the vehicle was 5 months old, had done 2000 kilometres and was new in every sense of the word. He persisted to advise that I still needed to come in.
12th October The Alfa was released from the holding compound the following Thursday (12th October) and was taken to the RACQ Insurance assessment center at Zillmere. I inspected the vehicle on that day to find it severely damaged by these idiots. Damage to the roof, bonnet, windscreens, front left guard, headlights, and rear vision mirror indicated to me that it would probably be written off. Subsequently, I asked Cricks Alfa Romeo at Noosa (where I bought it in May) to give me some idea on the major parts to be replaced. I was staggered to receive a quote for $49,523.90 for 8 parts that I could remember needed replacing. The carbon fiber roof alone was $9173 but the bonnet, and you better take a deep breath on this one was $28,535 – for a bonnet. And no, it’s not made of gold, but it is made of aluminum.
At this time I suggested to Brad at RACQ Insurance that I’d need to start the engine to which he replied that he didn’t have a key – the same key that I provided to the investigator on October 10th.
October 23rd – I hadn’t heard anything from RACQ Insurance, so I called and insisted I speak to the claims manager. After hearing reasons stories and excuses that I couldn’t I left my number an insisted that I get a call from the Claims manager. A lady name Tyleaha returned my call. She advised that she’d tried to call the assessment person Brad, but could only leave a message. She told me that she didn’t know why the key hadn’t been sent to the assessment center and couldn’t tell me why no-one from RACQ Insurance had called to advise progress
October 24th – Brad Riley rang me at 7.36 to advise that he’d call as soon as the keys arrived. He asked me where I’d want to send the car for a quotation – I suggested the Bump Shop but suggested to him that the Alfa needed to go to an authorized dealer for mechanical inspection. Brisbane Alfa Romeo was chosen.
October 25th – I called Brad from RACQ Insurance again who told me that the vehicle had been taken to the Bump Shop for quotation and to expect a call from him in a couple of days. I asked whether he’d received a salvage value. He told me that this would only happen after the inspection and quote from the Bump Shop.
October 26th – I was talking with an industry colleague this morning and told him about the break-in – he advised that Allianz, a motor industry specialist insurer, would write off a car if the damage bill was more than 20% of the value of the vehicle. In this case, 20% of value works out at $27,200 so reflecting on the parts invoice, I’m still confident that it will be written off.
October 27th – Called Brad Riley from RACQ Insurance again and left a message as to the progress of the quotation from the Bump Shop. Brad returned my call late Friday afternoon to advise that he’d heard NOTHING back. When I suggested that I’d call on Monday – he said bluntly that it was pointless and that he’d call me when he heard anything. And as at 31st October at 12.50pm he hadn’t.
October 30th – It’s now been a month – 4 weeks – and the claim with RACQ Insurance hasn’t been settled. Why is it taking this long? You’d think that RACQ Insurance doesn’t have a good process for dealing with large insurance claims or rather claims where the payout is so substantial
October 31st. A month and a day since my Alfa Romeo Giulia QV was stolen from behind locked doors and my office. I haven’t heard from ANYONE from RACQ, despite promises that this would happen. I’m guessing that RACQ Insurance is trying their hardest to repair the car rather than replacing it.
It’s an interesting thing that not once I have I been proactively contacted regards this matter. It seems that I, as the insured should be contacted by the insurer, shouldn’t I? RACQ seems to have a very poor process for dealing with customer concerns. So, I’m trying to contact them again – I’ve been on hold for 12 minutes waiting to speak to the claims manager, Tyleaha. Let’s see what happens now. Incidentally, I spoke to Malcolm and asked to speak with Tyleaha. I’m thinking that the conversation went this way – Tyleaha, I’ve got a customer on the phone named Robert Aldons – he’s asked to speak to you directly. Tyleaha would say – Oh Shit – “I don’t want to talk to him tell him I’m not available but keep him on hold for a while so at least he thinks you’ve tried to locate me.”
So now, Tyleaha isn’t looking after the claim any longer. Adam (User ID – U006259) has been assigned to look after it. He advises that the Bump Shop, my repairer of choice hasn’t returned a quote and they can’t do anything until they get it. The Bump Shop has had the car for a week – wonder why it’s taken so long for them to do the quote, but I’m thinking the parts list would be VERY long. Adam advised that he called the Bump Shop and they advised that they were waiting for parts prices to come in.
I let Adam know that my Alfa Romeo Dealer (Cricks Fiat Alfa Romeo at Noosa) had sent me a limited parts list within 8 hours of me asking. It’s my thought that when the Bump Shop received their list, they were flabbergasted. Joe told me that Brisbane Alfa Romeo quote was about 7 pages long and that they had been waiting for AR Italy to come back to them. Even then, they were missing about 10 parts that had to be quated.
I’ve just rung the Bump Shop (12.37pm). Joe is on lunch but Vicky will ask him to call me when he returns at 1.00pm. It will be interesting to see how deep into the quote that Joe will discuss with me. Given it’s my car, I’m guessing that it shouldn’t be a problem, but with this, who knows. Joe rang me back at 3.15pm. He’d just sent through the complete quote to RACQ and his estimate was around $120,000 for the repair.
So I know that Joe has sent the quote through to Brad Reilly. It will be very intersting to see how long RACQ Insurance take to come back to me with an answer
So, this is the progress on the claim on my Alfa Romeo Giulia QV so far. It has been an emotional journey so far and I’m guessing it’s far from over. I’ll update this story as we move on
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