Understanding AFCA’s role
If you have been financially impacted by the coronavirus outbreak, the first step is to contact your insurance company or financial provider. If you find yourself in a dispute with your insurer or financial provider about your claim or request for assistance AFCA can help to resolve it.
AFCA’s role is to help you to reach an agreement with your financial firm. We are impartial and independent, and we can award compensation for loss you have suffered because of a financial firm’s actions. Our decisions are legally binding.
Making an insurance claim
The first step is to contact your insurer to find out what your policy covers, and to make a claim. If you run into problems during the claim process that you can’t resolve directly with your insurer, you can contact AFCA.
On 11 March 2020 the Insurance Council of Australia declared COVID-19 an insurance catastrophe. As a result, AFCA has activated its significant event response plan that identifies and fast-track COVID-19 related complaints.
Getting help for financial difficulty
If you’re having financial difficulties or can’t make your loan repayments due to COVID-19, contact your bank or financial service provider.
The Australian Banking Association has announced that banks stand ready to support customers and if anyone is in need of assistance, they shouldn’t wait but come forward as soon as possible.
The type of assistance offered will depend on individual circumstances, but can include:
- A deferral of scheduled loan repayments
- Waiving fees and charges
- Interest free periods or no interest rate increases
- Debt consolidation to help make repayments more manageable.
Australian Banking Association – detailed information about financial difficulty support available.
What to do
- Contact your bank or financial service provider
- Explain your situation and the assistance you’re asking for
- If your request is denied, you can contact AFCA for help
Support for small businesses
If you’ve lost business or had a loss of profits due to COVID-19 you should contact your insurance provider. If you find yourself in a dispute with your insurer or financial provider about your claim or request for assistance AFCA can help to resolve it.
AFCA is able to consider complaints about insurance cover that is designed to cover a business should something happen that causes the company to be unable to operate.
To view our recent member updates click here.
Frequently asked questions
Q: Will my insurance cover me for COVID-19?
This depends on the terms and conditions of your specific policy, as policies differ. When you purchased the policy will affect if you are covered. Most insurers classified COVID-19 as a ‘known event’ somewhere between 21 to 31 January 2020. If you purchased your travel insurance before coronavirus became a known event, you may be covered. Cut-off dates vary depending on the insurer.
Q: I haven’t booked travel insurance for my upcoming trip. Will travel insurance cover coronavirus if I buy a policy now?
Before travelling or purchasing travel insurance, consumers should check with their insurance provider about what their policy covers, as policies differ. Most travel insurance companies will not cover any COVID-19 related claim if you buy a policy today.
Q: How does AFCA approach travel insurance complaints?
AFCA considers each complaint on its own merits and what is a fair interpretation of the travel insurance policy. We will review the wording contained in the certificate of insurance and the product disclosure statement, and consider information provided by both parties. More information about the process we follow