Financial Hardship

From the General Insurance Code of Practice.

Overview

We are not required to display this though suggested by the NIBA Code of Practice (for brokers) Compliance Committee. This is a service which is offered by insurers and not brokers however is available as awareness for clients should they have the need for any assistance.

This section will provide overview of the financial hardship provision in the code. 

It is recommended that anyone seeking financial hardship review the financial hardship section in the code for full details (Section 10). 

Financial Hardship” means you are having difficulty meeting your financial obligations to an insurer.

If you owe money to a general insurer and/or are experiencing financial hardship, you may ask an insurer to assess whether you are entitled for assistance. 

NOTE: The Financial hardship provisions in the Code of Practice do not apply to unpaid general insurance premiums. 

If an insurer determines that you are entitled to financial hardship assistance for a debt owed, they will work with you on a payment arrangement, for example, extending a due date for payment, paying amount in instalments or paying a reduced lump sum. 

More information

An insurer will provide you with more information about its Financial Hardship process, which will include an application form for assistance and information about their privacy policy relating to the use and disclosure of your information. 
Your Gallagher Broker will assist you with the process throughout and with contacting the insurer to request a Financial Hardship application form and for details on where to send your application.

The following information may be of use to an insurer when assessing your request for Financial Hardship assistance: \

Personal Details (required for your application)

  • Policy number / claim number / reference number;
  • Name of insurer;
  • Your full name;
  • Your address and contact details;
  • Marital status;
  • Number and age of dependents;
  • Occupation;
  • Employment status (Full-time, Part-time, self-employed, unemployed);
  • Employer; and 
  • If you would like to nominate a representative to handle your application on your behalf (including their details).

Financial Details

A. Income you receive per fortnight

  • Wages after tax
  • Centrelink benefits
  • Rent received 
  • Child maintenance/support
  • Other

B. Expenses you pay per fortnight

  • Rent and/or mortgage payments
  • Other loan payments
  • Credit card payments
  • Child support payments
  • Motor vehicle expenses 
  • Living costs
  • Hospital/medical
  • Other

C. Total Income – Total Expenses per fortnight (A-B)

Supporting Documentation

You may be required to provide documentation to support your application for Financial Hardship including a description of your financial circumstances. 
The following documents may assist with your application if you choose to attach them: 

  • Bank Statements;
  • Centrelink Statements;
  • Payslips;
  • Letter from doctor confirming inability to earn income due to disability, injury, illness or caring for sick family member
  • Overdue medical bills/medical expenses
  • Bank notice re: unpaid overdraft or repossession of mortgaged property
  • Eviction notice
  • Copies of unexpected bills/payments
  • Pending disconnection of essential services
  • Letter from former employer confirming loss of employment
  • Letter from charitable organisation re loss of employment or inability to provide for basic necessities
  • Repossession notice of essential items, eg car, motorcycle
  • Funeral expenses
  • Notice of impending legal action

Complaints

If you are unable to reach an agreement with an insurer about Financial Hardship assistance, or if you are unhappy with any aspect of the application process, you may make a complaint to the insurer.
The insurer will make available to you information about the complaints process.

More information can also be found at Code of Practice (COP) - Insurance Council of Australia

Links and further assistance

You may obtain free, confidential and independent financial advice that is available to you via Financial Counselling Australia or contact the National Debt helpline on 1800 007 007.