The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has formally declared a Catastrophe for bushfire-affected regions in NSW where properties have been severely damaged or destroyed. (Read Press Release) The ICA has set up a disaster hotline for affected residents who are not sure which insurer they are with, or who have general inquiries about the claims process (1800 734 621)
The Insurance Law Service has a very useful Bushfire Insurance Guide that gives advice to consumers on whether their are covered for bushfires, how to make a claim, and who to call if they are in a dispute with an insurance company.
Always contact your insurer first to enquire about how to proceed with your claim. If you require independent advice, now or as the claim process progresses, call the Insurance Law Service. Our phone lines are open Monday, Wednesday and Friday 9:30-4:30 (AEST) – 1300 663 464
Or you can send us an email through our email enquiry form.
People affected by disasters may also experience difficulty keeping up with mortgages and other loans. Most lenders have hardship options available and you should talk to your lender as soon as possible to avoid any default on your accounts, and problems with your credit report later. If you are having difficulty getting appropriate assistance you can contact the Credit and Debt Hotline on 1800 007 007 (for insurance callers, this option is only available for people affected by bushfires, otherwise all other insurance callers must call 1300 663 464).