The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has activated its significant event response, after the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak was declared an insurance catastrophe by the Insurance Council of Australia.
The announcement also comes after COVID-19 was declared a global pandemic by the World Health Organization, with the Australian government announcing a $17.6 billion stimulus package to offset the impacts of the deadly disease.
Activating AFCA’s significant event response provides for early communication with relevant stakeholders and a more streamlined, expedited process for the resolution of COVID-19-related complaints.
AFCA said it offers free and accessible dispute-resolution services to consumers and small businesses who were financially affected by COVID-19 but reminded consumers that they need to directly contact their insurance company first. If they are unable to contact their insurer, they may also seek help with the claims process from the ICA disaster hotline 1800 734 621.
“If you encounter difficulties relating to your insurance claims which you are unable to resolve directly with your insurer, you can register your complaint with us using our online complaint form or by calling 1800 931 678,” AFCA said. “More information about the process we follow to resolve complaints is available on our website.”