Two related insurance companies have agreed to refund customers and pay costs of $20,000 for engaging in price exploitation and misleading and deceptive conduct, following proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
The court found that between July 2013 and May 2014, Mecon Insurance Pty Ltd and Mechanical and Construction Insurance Pty Ltd:
- had unreasonably high charges in their insurance contracts, which also included a Fire Services Levy charge after 1 July 2013, even though insurance companies could not charge the levy after this date
- falsely claimed in their insurance contracts that part of the premium was for payment of the Fire Services Levy, when this was not the case from 1 July 2013.
As well as the $20,000 in costs, the two companies were ordered to:
- notify affected customers and provide refunds
- conduct an audit of affected person and provide refunds
- provide the Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria with evidence that the above steps have been completed.
The matter related to the companies’ issuing of insurance contracts covering Victorian property, with about 60 affected customers.
The orders were made in February 2016.