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Financial hardship provisions under the General Insurance Code of Practice

If you hold an insurance policy with the Insurance Provider then:

If you have lodged a claim with your Insurance Provider, and you can satisfactorily show your Insurance Provider that you are in urgent financial need of the benefits you are entitled to under your policy, your Insurance Provider must within five business days:

  • Fast track the assessment and decision process of your claim; and/or
  • Make an advance payment to assist in easing your immediate hardship.

 

If the Insurance Provider is seeking to recover a debt from you then:

  • The Insurance Provider must act fairly and in a considerate manner.
  • If you are finding it difficult to repay a debt that you owe to the Insurance Provider  because you are ill, unemployed or for some other reasonable cause, and you reasonably expect to be able to pay the debt if the Insurance Provider arranges repayment terms, then the Insurance Provider must consider one of the following options:
    • Extending the period of repayment and reducing the amount of each payment due accordingly;
    • Postponing payments for an agreed period; or
    • Extending the period of repayment and postponing payments for an agreed period
  • If you can't reach an agreement with the Insurance Provider about the repayment of your debt, then the Insurance Provider must give you information about:
    • Its complaint handling procedures; and
    • The Australian Financial Counsellors and Credit Reform Association for a referral to a not for profit, free financial counselling service.