The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has announced dedicated support for bushfire victims across New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria and established bushfire support information hub.
Through the hub, AFCA said it would explain the financial recovery support AFCA could provide to families and small businesses impacted by the Australian bushfires.
“The devastating nature of these fires is horrifying, and our thoughts are with the consumers and small businesses impacted. It’s important that we ensure these communities have timely support and relevant information about financial recovery, and can get financial issues addressed quickly,” AFCA’s executive general manager, customer service and resolution, Rob Guest, said.
He encouraged the bushfire victims to contact their insurer or broker to start the claims process and document damage when it was safe to do so, by taking photos or making notes.
“If you have any difficulty in getting your claim assessed, you can come to AFCA. We have special processes that identify and expedite complaints from people in the impacted communities, and we can assist you to resolve any complaints with your financial firm as quickly as possible,” Guest added.
Beyond problems relating to insurance and claims, AFCA said it was also expecting that many people would suddenly be facing financial hardship, stressing that small businesses had been lost or were currently inoperable.
Guest said he wanted to make sure people were aware of AFCA and its service and that they knew to reach out to AFCA if needed.
“If you find yourself having trouble with your insurer or financial provider about your claim or request for hardship assistance, you can talk to AFCA to get help,” he said.