8 February 2009

Victorian Bushfires

The Insurance Council of Australia expresses its deepest sympathy to those people in Victoria who have been tragically affected by the bushfires yesterday.

For insurance policyholders who have been impacted by the bushfires, when it is safe to return to their properties and make their own initial assessment, if damage has been suffered they should immediately make contact with their insurer so that the claims process can commence as quickly as possible.

“Insurers already have call centres operating to assist policyholders to get the claims process underway quickly. As access to affected areas is opened, insurance assessors will be on the ground. At this stage it is too early to provide an estimate for the expected insurable recovery cost,” said Insurance Council, Chief Executive, Kerrie Kelly.

“The Insurance Council has established an Insurance Taskforce and is working closely with the Victorian Government as well as the Master Builders Association in order to start the rebuilding process as soon as possible."

The Insurance Council encourages policyholders to:

• Make contact with your insurance company and seek advice about the claim process under your policy.
• Not be concerned if insurance documents have been lost or damaged. Insurance companies keep records electronically and only require the policyholders’ name and address in order to locate a policy.

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

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