Suncorp Group and IAG have announced a temporary embargo on selected insurance product sales in NSW and Victoria, while the bushfires continue to burn in Australia, according to reports in Australian media.
A spokesperson from IAG told the media: “People are still able to get a new insurance policy when an embargo is in place. However, they won’t be able to make a claim for the specific risk that is included in the embargo until that embargo is lifted.”
“The time period for embargoes varies and depends on the likelihood of the risk occurring. We continually review the embargoes that are in place and will continue to lift them as the risk of a bushfire eases.”
IAG says it has received about 2800 claims so far, arising from the bushfires, whilst Suncorp reportedly is dealing with 2600 claims. The eventual bill for both insurers is a matter of guesswork, but likely to exceed a billion US dollars. Many people may well suffer long term health effects after sustained smoke inhalation, which is just one factor in settling claims.
SUNCORP GRANTS LEAVE TO STAFF WILLING TO ASSIST
Suncorp issued statement yesterday, saying that unlimited paid emergency response leave for employees who are members of volunteer organisations when they are called upon to assist during an emergency or natural disaster.
This follows the current bushfire crisis in Australia which has highlighted the financial challenges faced by those who volunteer for extended periods of time. Suncorp also offers several other flexible leave options for employees who live in bushfire-affected areas, including counselling and special paid leave so individuals are not left without income at this time.
Australian employees who are volunteer members of the State Emergency Services, the Country Fire Authority and RSPCA are eligible for emergency response leave.
Suncorp Group CEO Steve Johnston said the company is committed to supporting employees who have volunteered during this catastrophic bushfire season.