10 February 2009

Victorian bushfires - policyholder assistance

The Insurance Council of Australia has today re-affirmed the commitment and focus of the general insurance industry in assisting those policyholders affected by the devastating bushfires in Victoria in recent days.

“The focus of the general insurance industry is on assisting policyholders. This includes provision of interim customer assistance such as the payment of emergency cash to policyholders from the total sum insured,” said Insurance Council Chief Executive, Ms Kerrie Kelly.

When policyholders are able to return to their properties and make their own initial assessment, if damage has been suffered from the bushfires they should immediately contact their insurer or broker so that the claims process can commence as quickly as possible.

Once the claims process has commenced and insurance assessors are permitted to access the affected areas, the insurance assessment process will commence as quickly as possible,” said Ms Kelly.

“As policyholders activate their insurance policies, general insurance industry statistics on the number of claims and insurable costs will be collated and released by the Insurance Council of Australia in line with its Catastrophe Coordination Arrangements,” Ms Kelly noted.

“The Insurance Council has established an Insurance Taskforce and through it member insurers will continue to closely work with the Victorian Government and key bodies involved in the recovery process, including the Housing Industry Association and the Master Builders Association,” said Ms Kelly.

Any policyholders who may be having difficulty finding their insurance documents, or relatives and friends of people affected by the bushfires and have queries about who their insurer may be, can contact the Insurance Council on 1300 728 228 for assistance.

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