Choice Magazine respond but just do not get it!

In my post of 4 November 2011, I explained that I had written to the CEO of Choice Magazine explaining that it was completely inappropriate that the entire insurance industry should be humiliated by receiving Choice Magazine’s Shonky Award for their performance over flood.

I have now received a formal response, not from the CEO Mr Nick Stance but Andy Kollmorgen who does not show his title. I attach a copy of their response.


I believe they have completely missed the point in a number of issues. The first is that the cartoon that Choice Magazine use to show their reasoning for the award is clearly false and misleading. This has been confirmed by legal advice that I commissioned. Under ever the cheapest policy in Australia, the events as shown in the cartoon would be deemed to be storm and tempest and would be paid as a standard peril.

Secondly, their position is that the actions of a few mean that the entire insurance industry (which includes life insurance and everyone in it should be tarred with the same brush. Using their approach, due to the alleged actions of a few journalists from News of the World illegally tapping phones or the Channel 9 “Chopper gate” affair (I really do not know the facts behind this event) mean that the entire media industry should be branded “Shonky”. My position is that there are highly respected ethical journalists who should not be judged falsely “Shonky”. Neither should all the hard working employees of the insurance industry who gave up so much of their time to assist those effected, nor should the companies that paid out $2.4 billion in claims to assist the home and business owners of South East Queensland or the $4.2 billion paid out at the rate of $12-$15 million a day helping both the Insureds but also the economies of Queensland and Australia.

I for one am deeply offended and distressed by their labelling of my team and I and the thousands of insurance company personnel, insurance brokers and advisers and their staff, the loss adjusters, and claims preparers who did so much for so many none of whom seek recognition but on the other hand under any fair measure do not deserve to be criticised. I know that I am not the only one who feels this way.

My greatest concern is that some home or business owner falsely thinking that all insurance is shonky due to the award and the cartoon elects not to take out insurance and finds that they lose everything when they could have transferred that loss by way of insurance to an insurer. If this does happen, it will be up to a court to decide that the cartoon and/or award are false and misleading.

While I do not realistically expect Choice Magazine to retract the award as it would lose them too much face, I will continue using every legal avenue open to me to have the false and misleading cartoon removed.

I will leave it to you to decide whether based on Choice’s own criteria for presenting the award and the performance of a few journalists such as those at News of the World or the ones caught up in the “Choppergate Affair” in Queensland, and the Choice Magazine’s own ill-advised issuing of an award not to a company or a product but to entire industry, means that we can trust them or you should accept their advice or support their organisation. Perhaps the Shonky Award should be redirected to the Media Industry!


2 responses to “Choice Magazine respond but just do not get it!”

  1. Andrew says:

    Hi Allan,

    Firstly, can I say I am a great fan of your blog, and find it an invaluable resource in my line of work. Thank you for your efforts and please continue to post as much as you can. I beleive there are a lot of people out there who benfit from reading your work, myself included.

    I would also like to know you are progressing in your pursuit to have the cartoon removed? I was really engaged in your post and curiosity has gotten the better fo me, so I had to ask.

    I am actually a Choice Magazine reader & subscriber as their advice on consumer electronics and similar products are usually rather useful, however i think they should stick to that and not get involved in an industry or sector that requires years of tenure and exposure to gain a proper understanding of.

    Thanks again for your work, please keep it up!


  2. Allan says:

    Thanks for your note Andrew. I appreciate your taking the time to write. It gives the heart to keep it going despite it taking a lot of time.

    Kind regards


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