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This class action is against AAI Limited (AAI), TAL Life Limited (TAL), and MTA Insurance Pty Ltd (MTAI). Maurice Blackburn filed the class action on 30 March 2021, on behalf of the lead plaintiff, Zoey Anderson-Vaughan. The claim relates to add-on insurance products issued by MTAI, AAI and/or Suncorp Life & Superannuation Limited, now known as Asteron Life & Superannuation Limited (SLSL), and sold through car dealers.

For information about the Allianz Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action, please click here.


Am I eligible to join the class action?

You're eligible to register your interest if at any time between 1 May 2006 and 30 June 2018:

  • you purchased or leased a vehicle from a car dealer;
  • you purchased or leased the vehicle using a loan arranged by the car dealer;
  • in conjunction with the purchase or lease of the vehicle, you purchased at least one of the following add-on insurance products issued by MTAI and/or AAI and/or SLSL. These products were “branded” with MTAI:
    • Loan Protection Insurance or Commercial Loan Protection Insurance (also referred to as “consumer credit insurance”);
    • Equity or Equity Plus Insurance (also referred to as “guaranteed asset protection insurance”, “GAP insurance”, or “shortfall insurance”);
    • Cash Benefit Insurance;
    • Extended Vehicle Warranty Insurance (also referred to as “extended vehicle warranty”, “mechanical insurance”, “mechanical breakdown insurance”, or “extended manufacturers insurance”); and
    • Tyre and Rim Insurance.


About the Class Action

On 30 March 2021, Maurice Blackburn, on instructions from Mrs Anderson-Vaughan, commenced a class action against AAI and SLSL in the Supreme Court of Victoria (case number: 2021 00930). The claim concerns add-on insurance which was issued by MTAI, AAI and/or SLSL and distributed by MTAI through car dealers.

On 18 October 2021, the Court made orders in relation to the next steps in the class action. In summary, the orders provided for:

  • the plaintiff to file a further amended statement of claim (FASOC). Maurice Blackburn, on behalf of the plaintiff, filed the FASOC on the same day;
  • TAL to replace SLSL as a defendant in the class action. This was due to a transfer of the life insurance business of SLSL to TAL, which was approved by the Federal Court in September 2021;
  • MTAI to be added as a defendant in the class action;
  • the defendants to file a defence to the FASOC by 17 November 2021, which has occurred;
  • the plaintiff to file any reply to the defence by 17 December 2021; and
  • the parties to return to Court for a case management hearing in early February 2022.


The claim alleges that:

  1. MTAI and/or AAI and/or SLSL gave “personal advice” to consumers and breached various obligations in relation to the giving of that advice;

  2. MTAI and/or AAI and/or SLSL engaged in misleading or deceptive conduct and made false or misleading representations; and

  3. The conduct of MTAI, AAI and/or SLSL wrongly induced consumers to buy the Add-On Insurance, or MTAI, AAI and/or SLSL knew or should have known that consumers who purchased Add-On Insurance did so under a mistaken belief.

AAI is responsible for the Add-On Insurance contracts issued by MTAI prior to around 1 July 2015. The class action therefore alleges that AAI is liable for MTAI’s contraventions outlined above prior to 1 July 2015. 

In addition, the class action alleges that TAL is now responsible for responding to the allegations against SLSL in the FASOC.

Want to find out more?

Please see below some frequently asked questions.

If you would like further information regarding the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action, please contact us at addonclassaction@mauriceblackburn.com.au or on 1800 497 191, or register your interest now.

Please bear in mind that our phone lines and inbox may be quite busy with queries. We will endeavour to respond to your calls and emails as soon as we can and thank you for your patience and understanding.

 

Frequently asked questions

Add-on insurance products are general insurance policies that are added on to the sale of a vehicle. They are often paid for by the loan that is taken out to purchase the vehicle.

The more common types of motor vehicle insurance such as comprehensive, third party property, or compulsory third-party insurance are not part of the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action.

The common types of add-on insurance sold through car dealers are:

  • Loan Protection Insurance (also referred to as “repayment insurance”, “consumer credit insurance” or “CCI”). This insures a borrower’s capacity to make repayments under a car loan, including insurance against sickness, injury, disability, death or unemployment;

  • Motor Equity Insurance (also referred to as “guaranteed asset protection insurance”, “GAP insurance”, “shortfall insurance”, “equity insurance”, “equity plus insurance”, “cash benefit insurance”, “purchase price insurance” or “value protect insurance”). This covers the difference between what a consumer owes on their car loan and any amount they may receive under their comprehensive insurance policy, if the car is a total loss;

  • Loan Termination Insurance. This covers the difference between what a consumer owes on their car loan and the market value of the car if they return it because they cannot make repayments due to illness or injury;

  • Extended Motor Warranty (also referred to as “mechanical insurance”, “motor vehicle warranty” “mechanical breakdown insurance”, “extended manufacturers warranty”, “extended vehicle warranty insurance”, or “extended warranty insurance”). This covers the cost of repairing or replacing parts of the car due to mechanical failure after the manufacturer’s or dealer’s warranty has expired; and

  • Tyre and Rim Insurance. This covers the cost of repairing or replacing damaged tyres and rims from blowouts, punctures or other road damage.


The Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) has undertaken extensive reviews into this industry. Its reviews suggested that add-on insurance sold through car dealers represents poor value for consumers. 

Where seven or more people have claims that arise out of similar circumstances, a class action can be brought by one claimant on their own behalf and as a representative of others.

The class action process saves time and expense by avoiding the need for the courts to determine common issues of fact or law more than once. Class actions are efficient, enabling disputes and claims involving large numbers of people to be resolved via a single case.

Registering your interest in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action will not expose you to any out of pocket costs. All costs in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action will be borne by Maurice Blackburn unless and until there is a successful outcome.

In the event of a successful outcome in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action, any costs payable to Maurice Blackburn will be deducted from, and will not exceed, any compensation that you are entitled to receive. All such costs are required to be considered and approved by the Court.

Nothing.

As a member of the class (and not the representative, in whose name the case has been brought) in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action, an adverse costs order may not be made directly against you in respect of the determination of the common issues in the class action. All costs in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action will be borne by Maurice Blackburn unless and until there is a successful outcome.

Registering your interest in the AAI Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action is an expression of interest only. If you register your interest, it means that we can provide you with key updates about the class action. It does not mean that you are a group member or that you will be entitled to compensation.

Registering your interest is not required.

For information about the Allianz Car Dealer Add-On Insurance Class Action, please click here.

Otherwise, Maurice Blackburn is not considering any further class actions in relation to add-on insurance products sold through car dealers.

Maurice Blackburn was investigating potential class actions against a number of insurers regarding add-on insurance products sold through car dealers, however that investigation is now closed.

If you wish to pursue your own claim in relation to your add-on insurance product, you should be aware that strict time limits apply. The application of these limitation periods can be complex but in essence the rule is that if you do not make a claim in a court within six years of the date you paid for the insurance product you are barred from making a claim. While you may have a claim beyond the 6 year period for causes of action in mistake or fraudulent concealment, we cannot give you any advice on these causes. If you are concerned that a time limit is soon to expire or may have already expired we recommend that you consider obtaining legal advice from another lawyer.

You can consider pursuing a refund through the Demand A Refund campaign. We cannot assist you in pursuing this option.

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