The Fair Trading (Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct) Regulations 2023 (the Regulations) are set to commence on 28 February 2023.

The Regulations will make the National Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry Code of Conduct (National Code) mandatory in South Australia. This means any business operating as a motor vehicle insurer or repairer must comply with the National Code regardless of whether they are a signatory to the Code.

About the National Code

The purpose of the National Code is to promote transparent, informed, effective and cooperative relationships between motor vehicle insurers and repairers. The National Code sets the standards and expectations of both motor vehicle insurers and repairers.

The mandating of the National Code is intended to improve compliance of corporations and businesses operating within the motor vehicle insurance and repair industry through monitoring and enforcement activities.

Dealing with disputes

The National Code prescribes three main alternative dispute resolution processes: internal dispute resolution, mediation and binding decision through the Approved Determination Scheme.

The National Code Administration Committee (CAC) maintains administrative functions to support these alternative dispute resolution processes.

The South Australian Small Business Commissioner is an Approved Mediation Provider under the National Code. If the SASBC is appointed to mediate a dispute, the cost applicable to each party is $195. SASBC will appoint a neutral and independent mediator. The mediator will assist the parties to identify the issues in dispute and explore options for resolving the dispute.

Non-compliance with the National Code

The SASBC will be monitoring compliance with the National Code and can also receive complaints or reports of non-compliance with the Code from any industry participant. An online form will be available on the SASBC website from 28 February 2023 to allow for report of an alleged breach with SASBC.

Depending on the nature and extent of non-compliance, enforcement action could include a written warning, issuing an expiation notice or prosecution.

Failing to comply with the National Code can attract:

  • a civil expiation fee of $1,200 for a company and $500 for an individual
  • maximum penalties of $50,000 for a company and $10,000 for an individual.

For more information about the National Code

See the National Code on the CAC website under the resource centre. A copy of the National Code can also be found on the SASBC website.