MTA NSW Welcomes Move to Examine Conduct of Vehicle Insurance and Smash Repair Industry

The Motor Traders’ Association of NSW (MTA NSW) welcomes the Federal Government’s decision to examine the regulatory settings in the commercial conduct of the car insurance and smash repair industry, which is potentially transformational.

Supported by MTA NSW, the Motor Trades Association of Australia (MTAA), its Member Associations, and Australian Motor Body Repairers Association (AMBRA) representations to regulators, separate jurisdictional and parliamentary inquiries in three States and the Federal Government have led to this critical national examination of an industry plagued by problems created by influential, dominant market participants.

MTAA CEO, Richard Dudley said Assistant Treasurer Sukkar and the Morrison Coalition Government have not only listened to concerns about significant market power imbalances detrimental to consumers and small businesses but investigated and acted to address them.

‘In the 46th Parliament, the Morrison Government has delivered reform in new car franchising, provided the law and scheme to mandate motor vehicle service and repair information and introduced improved unfair contract terms. Now the Treasury Department has been tasked to examine whether existing regulatory settings effectively address concerns about commercial conduct in the motor vehicle insurance and smash repair industry,’ Dudley said.

The action by the Government follows decades of representations and advocacy for recognition of the impact of constraining commercial conduct and detrimental behaviours by powerful insurance companies on smash repair small businesses and consumers.

MTA NSW CEO, Stavros Yallouridis believes the voluntary code and current regulatory settings do not deter unwanted or unwarranted conduct and behaviours or address the impacts of a significant market power imbalance by some dominant insurance company participants.

‘MTAA and Members, supported by MTA NSW, recently highlighted the lack of recognition and adequate compensation for repairers forced to absorb price increases on materials and supplies,’ Yallouridis said.

‘This examination is an acknowledgement that the current industry settings, with a voluntary code, unfairly advantage large insurers over small business and do not promote a healthy and efficient Smash Repair Industry. The Government has recognised the need for reform, including prescribing a mandated Code of Conduct as a long-term solution,’ he added.

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