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Impact of COVID

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How insurers are helping their customers

The Insurance Council of Australia (ICA) continues to work with its member companies, governments and regulators to ensure insurers can continue to provide both support and service to customers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Most insurance business operations and urgent services remain available during sporadic location shutdowns. However, these sporadic shutdowns may lead to delays and interruptions to some insurance services.

Insurers expect emergency repairs will be available during shutdowns to make a building safe for a customer and for motor vehicle claims and repairs.

One of the adverse impacts of  lockdowns and state border closures are delays to insurers’ ability to repair, replace or rebuild damaged homes and other assets.  Covid restrictions and border closures are causing significant challenges for insurers involved in rebuilding and repairing disaster-affected communities, leading to uncertainty and setbacks for families trying to get their lives back to normal.

Insurers are seeking an exemption to border restrictions and local lockdowns that will enable them to move claims assessors, disaster recovery specialists, builders and tradespeople in a Covid-safe way between and within states and territories to undertake essential repairs and rebuilds. 

We appreciate the need for restrictions to mitigate health risks, however these must be balanced against the needs of those requiring critical and urgent repairs to their properties that will enable them to pick up their lives and move on. 

The Insurance Council has written to state and territory leaders and the Prime Minister calling for a nationally consistent approach to this issue.

Travel insurance is available for international travel, and some insurers have introduced cover for various COVID-related travel situations to destinations other than those few that continue to carry a Level 4 ‘Do Not Travel’ advisory.

The introduction of COVID cover has not significantly impacted premium costs, and travel insurance remains good value given the benefits it provides travellers if the unexpected happens.

Travellers should go to DFAT’s smartraveller.gov.au for the most up-to-date information about the status and entry requirements of their stopovers and destinations.

An increasing number of destinations, including Singapore, the UAE and Thailand, require overseas visitors to have cover for COVID-related medical treatment.

Travellers should read their policies carefully to make sure it provides cover for their particular circumstances and destinations.

Click here for an updated summary of the insurance industry’s current efforts to seek clarity on the application of business interruption insurance to claims related to COVID-19.

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