HANGING UP ON "CLAIM FARMERS"
Have you ever received a random, unsolicited call about a car accident you’ve had?
Have you ever questioned how those people obtained your personal details – usually suspected to come from confidential data – to make that nuisance call?
It’s a disturbing and insidious trend that has affected an estimated 1.5 million Queenslanders, and has resulted in over 1600 complaints to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission (“MAIC”).
According to the MAIC, these scammers often pretend to represent government, insurers, law firms and well-known businesses in order to gain your trust and induce (and sometimes pressure or harass) you to bring an insurance claim.
This is known colloquially as “claim farming” or “car crash scamming”.
On 14 June 2019, the Queensland Government introduced the Motor Accident Insurance and Other Legislation Amendment Bill 2019 ("the Bill") to the Queensland Parliament. The Bill was passed by the Parliament on 26 November 2019 and came into force on 5 December 2019.
The legislation now prohibits people from approaching or contacting members of the public for the purpose of soliciting or inducing them to make a CTP insurance claim for personal injuries. It also bans the giving and receiving of financial incentives to those who refer claims or potential claims.
Moreover, the legislation has introduced additional information and requirements for the Notice of Accident Claim Forms and associated Medical Certificates for CTP claims, making the claim application process more complex. These important changes affect the obligations of claimants, medical practitioners and legal practitioners alike.
If you received contact from a “claim farmer”, ensure that you immediately hang up and report it to the Motor Accident Insurance Commission, via their website: https://maic.qld.gov.au/hangup/.
If you would like any further advice about these legislative changes, please feel free to contact us.