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AAMI hits back at claims it is ‘forcing’ small repair businesses out of the market

LATEST: AAMI has hit back at claims it is ‘forcing’ small repairers out of business.

The insurance company has been accused of ‘taking control’ of the market by allocating repairs to companies it has a stake in.

The ACCC told 3AW Drive it had not received any first-hand complaints over the issue, but the consumer watchdog encouraged any concerned listener or business to contact 1300 302 502.

On Monday, 3AW Drive host Tom Elliott explained a poor experience his wife had with one repairer, allocated by their car insurance company.

An independent auditor of panel beaters backed up claims from small repairers that they were being pushed aside unfairly.

But Reuben Aitchison, Corporate Affairs Manager of personal insurance at AAMI, told Tom Elliott that wasn’t the case.

‘No, absolutely not,’ he said on 3AW Drive.

‘The whole reason behind this is to try and raise standards in the industry.’

But International Vehicle Integrity Centre (IVIC) director Tony Murdaca said he was concerned by the trend.

‘I reckon it’s wrong because they are controlling the whole deal,’ he said.

‘They are insuring the vehicle, assessing the vehicle, repairing the vehicle, and they are getting the parts organised for it when they can too.’

Consumer Action Law Centre CEO Gerard Brody said while it was lawful for insurers to allocate the repairer, there were certainly concerns about competition in the market.

LISTEN: Reuben Aitchison hits back on 3AW Drive