Commonly asked questions about Direct Offshore Foreign Insurers (DOFI).
What is a DOFI?
A DOFI is an overseas insurance company. Being a New Zealand insurance company Western Pacific Insurance Limited is what is known as a Direct Offshore Foreign Insurer.
DOFI’s play a very important role for Australians, and your insurance will be placed by an authorised Australian Insurance Broker with Australian Government approved professional indemnity insurance, which is there to protect you.
A DOFI is at all times required to meet the minimum capital and solvency requirements under its home Insurance Act.
Are there many DOFI’s?
Absolutely, in fact there are almost as many DOFI’s doing business with Australians, as there are Australian insurance companies.
Why do we have DOFI’s?
Because, Australia is an important part of the international financial community and recognises the importance of competitive pricing and consumer choice. Otherwise insurance premiums might be prohibitively expensive.
Why use the word “unauthorised”?
The word “unauthorised” can be a bit misleading because most DOFI’s are required to be authorised in their home jurisdictions. Unless authorised as an Australian insurance company no matter how big it might be, the company is considered a foreign unauthorised insurer (DOFI). Indeed, many of the biggest insurance companies in the world would be considered foreign unauthorised insurers (DOFI’s) under Australian law.
Why not be registered in Australia?
It would be uneconomical to be registered in every country the insurer does business in. In some ways it would be like a shopkeeper being registered in every suburb their customers live in.
Are my claims subject to Australian law and will they be handled from Australia?
Yes, policies issued in Australia will be governed by Australian law and be handled in Australia.
How will claims in regard to Western Pacific Insurance Limited be handled ?
Western Pacific Insurance has engaged Robert Scally & Asscociates Limited (RSA) a professional Claims Manager to manage any claims on it’s behalf.
Details of contacts at RSA & claims procedures generally are available on this website.