‘Incredibly traumatised’: Small businesses facing bushfire insurance maze

Original article by Emma Koehn
The Sydney Morning Herald – Page: Online : 23-Jan-20

David Keane of Solve My Claim says some small businesses are likely to find that their insurance policy has limited coverage for some bushfire-related losses. He notes that many business owners do not know exactly what adverse events their policy covers, noting that many policies only cover profits rather than loss of revenue. Meanwhile, Australian Small Business & Family Enterprise Ombudsman Kate Carnell says insurers should be "reasonable" when assessing claims from customers who were not directly affected by the fires.

CORPORATES
SOLVE MY CLAIM, AUSTRALIA. OFFICE OF THE AUSTRALIAN SMALL BUSINESS AND FAMILY ENTERPRISE OMBUDSMAN, AUSTRALIAN FINANCIAL COMPLAINTS AUTHORITY

Massive clean-up bill set to top $320m

Original article by Richard Ferguson
The Australian – Page: 4 : 22-Jan-20

Insurers are facing another hit in the wake of the bushfires crisis, with storms wreaking havoc in several states on 20 January. Some 29,000 claims for storm damage have been received to date, including more than 16,000 arising from a hailstorm in Canberra. A hailstorm in New South Wales has also resulted in about 2,900 insurance claims, while storms and flash flooding in Victoria have prompted more than 9,800 claims.

CORPORATES
INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED

Health funds fear surge in fire claims

Original article by Jared Lynch
The Australian – Page: 15 & 16 : 15-Jan-20

Private health insurers expect the bushfire crisis to result in a sharp increase in insurance claims, particularly from customers who have been affected by the smoke haze. However, they say it is too soon to determine the exact impact of the fires. Latrobe Health Services CEO Ian Whitehead anticipates a big increase in claims related to mental health issues arising from the bushfires, as well as physical health problems. Australian Medical Association president Tony Bartone says the longer-term effects of inhaling hazardous smoke will not be known for some time.

CORPORATES
LATROBE HEALTH SERVICES, AUSTRALIAN MEDICAL ASSOCIATION LIMITED, BUPA AUSTRALIA PTY LTD, MEDIBANK PRIVATE LIMITED – ASX MPL, AUSTRALIAN UNITY LIMITED

ASIC puts insurers on notice over bushfires

Original article by Max Maddison, Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 10-Jan-20

Suncorp has estimated that its bushfire claims for the current financial year have cost between $315 million and $345 million to date. Around 9,000 bushfire insurance claims have been made across New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and South Australia since September, while the Australian Securities & Investments Commission has urged insurers to deal with bushfire claims fairly and efficiently. ASIC has warned consumers to be on the lookout for fraudulent tradespeople and repairers offering to help them with insurance claims.

CORPORATES
SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, AUSTRALIAN SECURITIES AND INVESTMENTS COMMISSION, RESERVE BANK OF AUSTRALIA

Bushfire claims could double

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian – Page: 13 & 14 : 8-Jan-20

The insurance industry has received some $700m worth of bushfire-related claims since September, according to data from the Insurance Council of Australia. More than 3,700 claims have been submitted to Insurance Australia Group to date, and CEO Peter Harmer says this figure could rise significantly in coming months. Harmer is among the insurance industry executives who met with federal Treasurer Josh Frydenberg on 7 January to discuss the need for a nationally co-ordinated response to the bushfire crisis. He has described the talks as "very constructive".

CORPORATES
INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, INSURANCE AUSTRALIA GROUP LIMITED – ASX IAG, AUSTRALIA. DEPT OF THE TREASURY, SUNCORP GROUP LIMITED – ASX SUN, QBE INSURANCE GROUP LIMITED – ASX QBE

Wild firestorms to trigger $700m in insurance losses

Original article by Cliona O’Dowd
The Australian – Page: 13 : 7-Jan-20

Australia’s insurance industry is expected to be hard hit by the bushfires, with some estimates suggesting that the total cost of claims could top $700m. The Insurance Council of Australia has advised that the industry has received more than 6,000 bushfire-related claims since September, with the bulk of them having been submitted between November and 3 January. S&P Global Ratings says insurers could ultimately receive more than 10,000 bushfire-related claims.

CORPORATES
INSURANCE COUNCIL OF AUSTRALIA LIMITED, S&P GLOBAL RATINGS

Insurance shambles left homes in danger

Original article by Michael Roddan
The Australian – Page: 17 & 21 : 20-Sep-18

The banking royal commission has heard evidence from customers of budget insurer Youi who had lodged insurance claims for storm damage to their homes. Amongst other things, the inquiry was told that Youi has yet to authorise repairs to a home in Queensland that was damaged by Cyclone Debbie in March 2017. Jason Storey, the chief operating officer of claims handling at Youi, conceded that the insurer lacks sufficient resources to cope with major natural disasters.

CORPORATES
YOUI PTY LTD, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, RAND MERCHANT INSURANCE HOLDINGS GROUP LIMITED, NEW SOUTH WALES. ENVIRONMENT PROTECTION AUTHORITY

High satisfaction with private health insurance claims

Original article by Roy Morgan
Market Research Update – Page: Online : 19-Feb-18

A Roy Morgan Single Source survey of Australians aged +14 with private health insurance has found that overall satisfaction with private health insurance funds was 71.0% in the year to December 2017, compared with 73.6% in 2016. The survey also shows that the satisfaction level of people who made a health insurance claim was 88.8% in 2017. The high level of satisfaction with claims suggests that the decrease in satisfaction is more likely the result of increased premiums rather than problems with claims. Only around 5% of fund members switch private health insurance funds due to problems with claims, with the main reasons given by over 70% for changing funds are the high cost and increased premiums.

CORPORATES
ROY MORGAN LIMITED

Besieged bank vows to improve process

Original article by Michael Bennet
The Australian – Page: 7 : 11-Mar-16

The Commonwealth Bank has promised to thoroughly investigate recent allegations of unethical behaviour at its insurance business. Reports in the media outline allegations of doctors being under pressure to change their diagnoses of life insurance policyholders to match CommInsure’s commercial goals. Superannuation fund HESTA is reviewing its relationship with CommInsure.

CORPORATES
COMMONWEALTH BANK OF AUSTRALIA – ASX CBA, COMMINSURE, HEALTH EMPLOYEES’ SUPERANNUATION TRUST AUSTRALIA LIMITED