Updated: 23 December 2020

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has released information and next steps for consumers who have been affected by the recent NSW COVID-19 restrictions.

This information can be found here.

AFCA Chief Operating Officer Justin Untersteiner said travel and hospitality services may be offering penalty-free options for customers to amend or cancel their bookings due to COVID-19.

“If your travel plans have been affected by the recent outbreak in NSW, you should first contact your travel or hospitality provider. You may be eligible for a refund from your hotel, airline or car rental service provider,” Mr. Untersteiner said.

“If you booked travel using a credit card, your credit card provider may also be able to assist.”

If these options do not provide assistance, Mr. Untersteiner said consumers should then contact their insurance firm.

“Next, contact your insurance provider to find out more about what your policy covers, and to make a claim.

“If you find yourself in a dispute with your insurer about a travel insurance claim which you cannot resolve with them directly, you can then contact AFCA.

“AFCA is a free, fair, and independent dispute resolution service for consumers and small businesses who have a complaint about a financial firm, including insurance providers.”

Earlier this year, AFCA published its approach to COVID-19 travel insurance complaints to help financial firms and complainants understand how AFCA handles travel insurance-related complaints about the pandemic.

“The approach document outlines how we apply legal principles, industry codes, and good industry practice to complaints about denied requests for travel credit or refunds and other COVID-19- related claims,” Mr. Untersteiner said.

To find out more about AFCA’s approach to COVID-19 travel insurance complaints, visit afca.org.au/approach.

For information about complaints relating to COVID-19, including information about financial difficulty, visit the AFCA COVID-19 support hub: afca.org.au/coronavirus-covid-19-pandemic-support-hub/insurance.

For the latest COVID-19 financial complaints statistics, visit afca.org.au/news/statistics.

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Media enquiries: media@afca.org.au or 0466 929 659.

About AFCA

  • The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes.
  • AFCA is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation.
  • Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.
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