Anti Discrimination Appeals
- If your claim or application for insurance cover is rejected, you might be able to lodge a Complaint with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (HREOC).
- Under anti-discrimination laws, insurance companies can’t discriminate against someone with a chronic illness or disabilities unless the discrimination is reasonable or based on actuarial or statistical data that justifies the discrimination.
- This means that if you are refused travel insurance or your insurance claim is rejected because of your chronic illness or disabilities, the insurance company will have to show that there is evidence from past claims that justifies excluding your chronic illness or disabilities and that on the medical evidence, your chronic illness or disabilities are an unacceptable risk.
- Experience shows that insurance companies often rely on data or medical research that is either incomplete or out of date. They often fail to distinguish between various levels of chronic illness and disabilities and haven’t kept up to date with new treatments that reduce the risk of death or hospitalisation.
- If you bring a discrimination Complaint, the onus is on the insurance company to justify the discrimination. That might be hard to do, particularly if you have medical evidence that shows your chronic illness or disabilities are under control and not a significant risk of leading to a claim while you are on your trip.
- Discrimination Complaints are lodged with the Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission (www.hreoc.gov.au) and must be made within 12 months of the rejection of your claim or cover.
- If your travel insurance claim is rejected or the FOS refuses your complaint, you can take your case to Court.
- Unlike the FOS, the loser usually pays for the costs in a court case. However, many court cases win or are settled.
- There is usually a 6-year time limit for lodging a Court Writ from when the cause of the action occurred.
- If your claim is rejected get advice on your appeal rights.
Next Section: Who can I go to for Advice and More Information?