AFCA establishes dedicated support for bushfire victims
AFCA has established a dedicated online bushfire support information hub for individual and small businesses impacted by the ongoing 2019-20 Australian bushfires.
With devastating bushfires currently burning across NSW, South Australia, Queensland and Victoria, AFCA has established a dedicated online bushfire support information hub that explains the financial recovery support it can provide to impacted families and small businesses.
Rob Guest, executive general manager, customer service and resolution, said that AFCA is committed to ensuring appropriate information is in place for consumers who need to access its services during the ongoing crisis.
“The devastating nature of these fires is horrifying, and our thoughts are with the consumers and small businesses impacted. It’s important that we ensure these communities have timely support and relevant information about financial recovery, and can get financial issues addressed quickly,” said Mr Guest.
“We know right now the focus is on ensuring the safety of yourself, your family and your property. If you’ve been impacted, the first step is to contact your insurer or broker to start the claims process.
“It’s also a good idea to document damage when it’s safe to do so, by taking photos or making notes. If there’s a problem with your claim, it’s important to have evidence you can use to back it up.”
Mr Guest advised individual and small businesses experiencing difficulty in getting their claim assessed to come to AFCA.
“We have special processes that identify and expedite complaints from people in the impacted communities, and we can assist you to resolve any complaints with your financial firm as quickly as possible,” he explained.
Beyond problems relating to insurance and claims, AFCA is expecting that many people will suddenly be facing financial hardship.
“Many thousands of people have been affected – homes destroyed, people who can’t access their cash or who have lost their credit cards, or who can’t make loan repayments because they have no job to go to anymore. Small businesses will have been lost or be currently inoperable,” said Mr Guest.
If you’re experiencing financial hardship due to the fires, you can contact your bank or financial provider to ask for assistance.
Mr Guest said he wants to make sure people are aware of AFCA and its service and that they know to reach out to AFCA if needed.
“If you find yourself having trouble with your insurer or financial provider about your claim or request for hardship assistance, you can talk to AFCA to get help,” he said.
AFCA’s bushfire support information hub is online at afca.org.au/bushfiresupport. It is also providing this information over the phone on 1800 931 678.