South Australia Mandates the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct with enforceable penalties

“In a nation leading step, South Australian crash repairers and motoring consumers have been afforded additional protections through an Amendment to the Fair Trading Act which mandates the Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry (MVIRI) Code of Conduct with enforceable penalties”, Motor Trade Association of SA/NT CEO Paul Unerkov said today. 

“These laws offer the greatest protection in Australia for consumers with choice of repair provisions in their insurance policies. Consumers who want to exercise their rights to decide who should repair their vehicle will now be able to call on the Small Business Commissioner to ensure their policy provisions are upheld.

“The crash repair industry have been vocal in highlighting a number of issues, with a South Australian Parliamentary Inquiry finding:

  • difficulties in consumers accessing their repairer of choice and claims of insurers steering consumers toward their preferred network of repairers;
  • the use of second-hand and/or non-original equipment manufacturer parts in repairs and related safety, warranty and liability concerns when using those parts;
  • a lack of transparency of information, with consumers often not being made fully aware by insurers of all the details related to their repairs and/or insurance policies;
  • disagreements over the methodology used by crash repairers and insurers to assess the repairs needed, and the cost of said repairs, to restore the motor vehicle back to pre-accident condition, and the quote negotiation process; and
  • insurers choosing to provide cash settlements to consumers instead of repairing their vehicles.

“The Parliamentary Inquiry’s recommendations formed the basis of the Amendment which will ensure consumers will have the ability to exercise their choice of repairer.

“This framework provides the strongest protections in the country for consumers, as well as the small and medium businesses in the crash repair industry.

“Small business forms the backbone of our South Australian economy and the crash repair industry is a collection of small and family businesses who have found support in the South Australian Parliament to ensure the best outcomes for consumers.

“I would like to record the MTA’s thanks to our State Parliamentarians, the Member for Waite Sam Duluk MP, the Hon John Darley MLC, SA Labor Party, the Greens, SA Best, other Members of the Cross Bench and of course the Government.”

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