January 09, 2020
January 09, 2020 | Media Releases
Zurich’s immediate bushfire response
The impact of the current and unprecedented Australian bushfires has devastated communities across Australia, and our immediate priority is to help our customers, employees and distribution partners. Many have been impacted by loss, displacement from homes, separation from family, as well as business disruption. Volunteers have also stepped out of their day-to-day lives to help protect and support affected communities.
In recognition of Zurich’s Australian customers and employees, and our global position on climate change and sustainability, Zurich’s immediate bushfire crisis response includes financial relief, charitable giving and leveraging our mental health program. This is in addition to managing related general- and life insurance claims in an expedited and empathetic manner.
Our immediate pledge to the Australian bushfire crisis includes:
Financial relief for those impacted or involved
Life insurance premium waiver
Zurich is extending a two-month premium waiver for Zurich and OnePath Life customers who are impacted or experiencing hardship. This includes those Zurich and OnePath life insurance customers who (a) have been directly impacted by the fires, or (b) are volunteering in fire impacted regions or are with emergency response teams, to the detriment of their own financial wellbeing.
The waiver already in place for NSW and QLD fire-affected customers, which was introduced in November 2019, now applies nationally. The waiver will extend to at least 30 March 2020, with ongoing re-assessment as the situation unfolds. More information can be found here.
Donation and dollar matching for the Red Cross
Zurich, via our Z Zurich Foundation, is donating an additional $60,000 to the Red Cross immediately, on top of $40,000 provided to the Red Cross and the Rural Fire Service in November 2019, bringing our bushfire donations to $100,000 to date.
Zurich is pledging up to $500,000 in support of the crisis. Donations received to the Red Cross via this link https://www.redcross.org.au/zurich will be 50% matched by the Foundation up to the value of AU$500,000.
Leveraging Zurich’s MindFIT mental health initiatives
As part of its MindFIT program, Zurich and OnePath have a range of resources and programs available to customers, financial advisers, employees and the community depending on the context and requirement.
Given the human and economic cost of the fires will be long term; we are engaging with our various mental health partners to support our communities-of-influence. This includes:
- Providing additional mental health support to customers at claim time, where appropriate
- Promoting the resources available via Zurich’s e-wellbeing hub, offered by MindStar - https://courses.mindstar.com.au/inspire-ewellbeinghub,
- Reviewing the distribution of grassroots programs to support communities in re-build. This includes through our Tackle Your Feelings program and Mr Perfect BBQ series.
Expedited claims handling
Our specialist claims teams are mobilised to support customers as quickly as possible.
- General Insurance claims can be lodged online at any time via https://claimsonline.zurich.com.au/efnol/ or by phone on 132 687.
- We have engaged with our network of suppliers and are ready to deploy assessors and builders once access to impacted areas are available.
- We are also ready to issue emergency and interim payments and to quickly settle claims.
- Life insurance claims can be lodged as follows:
Over the long term, we will continue to assess how we can apply our resources and skills, and work as a part of Australia’s insurance industry, to address the aftermath of these bushfires, and to address the significant societal and environmental risk that climate change poses.
About Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich)
Zurich Insurance Group (Zurich) is a leading multi-line insurer that serves its customers in global and local markets. With about 54,000 employees, it provides a wide range of property and casualty, and life insurance products and services in more than 210 countries and territories. Zurich’s customers include individuals, small businesses, and mid-sized and large companies, as well as multinational corporations. The Group is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, where it was founded in 1872. The holding company, Zurich Insurance Group Ltd (ZURN), is listed on the SIX Swiss Exchange and has a level I American Depositary Receipt (ZURVY) program, which is traded over-the-counter on OTCQX. Further information about Zurich is available at www.zurich.com.