Insurance giant AAMI accused of underpaying bushfire claim

Insurance giant AAMI accused of underpaying bushfire claim

19 March 2009

published by

Australia —

A Victoria bushfire survivor has accused insurance giant AAMI of underpaying a claim for his family home, which was destroyed during the Kinglake blaze.

RickBottiglieri said that AAMI offered him $100,000 less than what his home was worth.

He is so frustrated by the insurance company he has set up a website,, to publicise his claim and attempt to find other home owners in a similar situation.

“I am also a customer who has (experienced) nothing but stress, insult(s), (and) being told he (was) a liar”, he writes in the website.

He believes that many more survivors will face similar problems when they make their own claim for lost property.

Last month’s Victorian bushfires, which killed at least 210 people and destroyed thousands of homes, is expected to lead to a flood of insurance claims as residents piece their lives back together.

Mr Bottiglieri said that AAMI telephone staff repeatedly called him a liar and told him to “go elsewhere” when inquiring about his home insurance entitlements.

“I’ve been insured with AAMI for six years and they only offered me $170,000 when I’ve had my home valued at $280,000,” Mr Bottiglieri said.

“I’ve got two young children and I still can’t return to my home – it’s just not good enough to try and cheat me out of $100,000.”

“A lot of people have been hung out to dry and are at the mercy of these insurance companies.”

AAMI has denied Mr Bottiglieri’s allegations, saying they have treated him fairly.

“We’re happy to continue working with Mr Bottiglieri to process his home building claim – however we will investigate this matter thoroughly,” said a spokeswoman from AAMI, Emma Watts.

On his website, Mr Bottiglieri complains about the ways AAMI has treated him and asks for other bushfire survivors with similar stories to contact him.

Ms Watts said the company had already paid Mr Bottiglieri’s home contents insurance claim along with one full year’s emergency accommodation.

She added that Mr Bottinglieri had not returned previous calls by AAMI to resolve his claim.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email
WP-Backgrounds Lite by InoPlugs Web Design and Juwelier Schönmann 1010 Wien