MAIA: s.47(1)(b) & power to request information from the insurer

Faraji v Dambarage & Anor [2012] QDC 137

This decision is an useful example of s.47(1)(b) of the Motor Accident Insurance Act (MAIA) allowing claimant’s to request information about the circumstances of, or the reasons for, the accident from the insurer. The insurer has the power to request such information from the insured pursuant to s.35(1) MAIA, save the insured having a reasonable excuse not to provide the information.

The application of this provision is not restricted by the admission of liability because such admissions, save contractual agreements, are not binding: Lemon v Suncorp Metway Insurance Ltd [2005] QDC 128.

The requirement to comply with the request is mandatory and is not excused by the failure of the insured to co-operate, although the request in this instance was pursued because the insurer had not done enough to ensure compliance by their insured. In other words, the insurer did not satisfy that the requested information could not be found out from the insured.

The rationale for this is the statutory regime to encourage the speedy resolution of claims and the obligation in s.41 MAIA on the insurer to do so.

In making the order Long SC DCJ made specific orders as to the mechanism for doing so, which are useful to bear in mind.

Brisbane Barrister – David Cormack

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