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May 15, 2021

Insurance Council declares bushfire ‘catastrophe’ to speed up claims processing

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The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) has formally declared a ‘catastrophe’ for bushfires that have damaged or destroyed homes and property in northern New South Wales, meaning priority is given to these claims.

RFS volunteers fighting the bushfire near Tarragon. Image: Ewan Willis

ICA CEO Rob Whelan said claims would be triaged by insurers to ensure support was directed to property-owners impacted by these fires.

‘The Catastrophe declaration is intended to help alleviate some of the emotional and financial stress experienced by property owners affected by these bushfires,’ Mr Whelan said.

‘Insurance companies are standing by to help their customers. I encourage anyone who has suffered property damage to contact their insurer as soon as possible to seek guidance on the claims process and the assistance they are entitled to under their policy.’

More than 70 bushfires are still burning across southern QLD and NSW.

The fires fanned by high winds have resulted in multiple property losses since September 5, with the focus today on the area around Stanthorpe as well as locations in the Gold Coast hinterland.

The extent of property loss is still to be determined, as is an estimate of the financial loss.

Under the declaration the ICA has activated its disaster hotline – 1800 734 621 – to assist policyholders if they are uncertain of their insurance details, or have general inquiries about the claims process.

For bushfire recovery tips visit: http://understandinsurance.com.au/types-of-disasters/bushfires


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