FSC extends life code to bushfire victims

16 January 2020

The Financial Services Council (FSC) announced life insurers will treat people making a claim related to the bushfires as vulnerable customers requiring additional support under the FSC Life Insurance Code of Practice.

Sally Leone, FSC chief executive, said the announcement was in addition to the individual commitments already made by life insurers to support people affected by the bushfires.

“This means affected Australians will have their claims assessments and decisions prioritised and people may have access to advance payments to help alleviate financial hardship,” Loane said.

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“There are no general exclusions in life insurance which would stop an insurer from paying claims after a natural disaster like a bushfire. Australians can rely on their life insurance. 

“The code requires that all customers are treated with compassion, respect and empathy, but also recognises that some vulnerable people may have unique needs when making a claim on their life insurance, and if so, additional support will be provided.”

The FSC had previously launched a service to help Australians find their life insurance details if they had been lost in the bushfires.

Australian life insurance companies had also made additional commitments when handling bushfire related claims.

They vary by company, but included prioritising of bushfire claims, waving premiums for volunteer firefighters and bushfire victims, leave days for staff who are emergency service volunteers, reduction of evidence for related claims and allowing more time for document submission.

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