SUPPORTING OUR VULNERABLE CUSTOMERS

We know our customers may find themselves in circumstances, at different times in their lives, where they need extra support.

Vulnerability is a personal situation, where people are exposed and susceptible to harm or loss. Everyone may experience being vulnerable in their life and its impacts can be experienced differently. Customer vulnerability involves an inter-play of personal and environmental circumstances, market practices and the actions of our organisation.

Customer vulnerability can be caused through many situations such as:

• Low financial literacy
• Age-related impairment
• Mental illness
• Cognitive impairment
• Scams and fraud
• Culturally and linguistically diverse
  backgrounds
• Financial abuse
• Natural disasters
• Serious illness
• Lost a loved one
• Domestic and family violence
• An addiction or behavioural challenges
• Elder abuse
• Disability
• On low income
• Low digital literacy
• Live in a remote location
• Other circumstances causing significant
  detriment

Training

We provide appropriate training to all our staff and service suppliers who:

  • Engage with customers
  • Are managers of staff who engage with customers, and who are responsible for who this engagement occurs
  • Are responsible for the development of products, processes and systems

Our training considers the nature of consequences of your situation, how to identify the signs of vulnerability, how to engage effectively and appropriately with affected customers and how to apply this policy.

We review and update our training regularly and as required.

Private and Confidential Information

We are committed to security of your personal information and will engage with you to determine your preferred methods of communication. We will minimise the need for customers to repeat disclosure.

You can ask a support person to contact us, such as a financial or legal counsellor, your Insurance broker or any one else you deem appropriate. We need your permission to talk to your support person, so if you wish to have them act on your behalf you will need to provide us with a written “Letter of Authority” that confirms this.

WHAT TO DO IF YOU’RE EXPERIENCING DIFFICULTY

The first step is to discuss the matter with your insurance broker or support person and they can contact us for you or with you. You can also contact us direct if you prefer. We have a number of support measures and resources available to support you.

Financial Hardship Support

We understand that financial difficulty can affect anyone. We believe in treating our customers with respect, empathy and in a non-judgemental manner.

We also understand that your circumstances are unique and will work with you to identify the type of assistance that best suits your situation

In addition to the Code’s existing requirements about Financial Hardship, we will fast-track the financial hardship request and provide options for the customer to retain their policy if they say they cannot pay their premium.

For further assistance with financial hardship matters we would refer you to:

Service Number / website About
National Debt Line 1800 007 007
9.30am to 4.30pm, Monday to Friday
Provides access to a local financial advisor.

Family Violence Support

We are committed to managing customers who are experiencing family violence with empathy, sensitivity and with the utmost consideration to customer’s security and individual financial circumstances

We recognise that family violence is a serious and prevalent occurrence in Australian society. We aim to provide customers affected with entitlements to safe, supportive, timely and flexible assistance.

In Australian Law, “family violence” is defined as: “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family….or causes the family member to be fearful” (Family Law Act 1975 (Cth), section 4AB)

Family Violence means more than physical violence. It includes emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial or economic abuse and damage to property.

“Customer” means an individual insured, a third party beneficiary, a potential customer or an individual we are seeking to recover money from.

For further assistance with family violence matters we would refer you to:

Service Number / website About
Emergency services 000 Provides 24-hour access to emergency services such as police and ambulance.
1800 Respect 1800 737 732 24-hour hotline for any Australian who has experienced, or is at risk of, family and domestic violence and/or sexual assault.
Women’s Legal Services Australia http://www.wlsa.org.au/ A national network of community legal centres specialising in women’s legal issues.

Mental Health Support Services

For assistance with mental health matters we would refer you to:

Service Number / website About
Beyond Blue 1300 224 636 http://www.beyondblue.org.au Provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.
Lifeline 13 11 14 http://www.lifeline.org.au 24-hour support for anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide.
MensLine Australia 1300 789 978 24-hour phone and online support and information service for Australian men. Supports men and boys who are dealing with family and relationship difficulties.

Physical or Literacy Support Services

For assistance with such matters we would refer you to:

Service Number / website About
National Relay Service (NRS) https://edgeunderwriting.com.au/compliance/relay-and-teletypewriter-tty-services The National Relay Service (NRS) is a government initiative that allows people who are deaf, hard of hearing and/or have a speech impairment to make and receive phone calls or to access TTY services.
Translation and Interpreting Services https://edgeunderwriting.com.au/compliance/translation-and-interpreting-services 24-hour support for anyone across Australia experiencing a personal crisis or thinking about suicide.

Cultural Background Support Services

For assistance with cultural background matters we would refer you to:

Service Number / website About
STARTTS 02 9646 6800 STARTTS’ services are free for people of any age who have survived torture, trauma or both and are refugees, asylum seekers, or from refugee-like backgrounds.
National Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Organisation https://www.naccho.org.au/ National peak body representing Aboriginal Community Controlled Health Services across the country on Aboriginal health and wellbeing issues.

Claims Support

We are not authorised to handle claims on behalf of underwriters however the claims handlers will handle your claim with flexibility, transparency and care.