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Hardship fund gets $8m boost

Companies working together to help car insurance customers get through Covid-19 struggles.
Posted on 31 July, 2020
Hardship fund gets $8m boost

A financial hardship fund available to customers of Autosure Car Insurance experiencing monetary pressures because of the Covid-19 pandemic has been increased from $2 million to $10m.

Autosure is working with Vero, which underwrites its car insurance policies, whose parent company – Suncorp New Zealand – has set up the fund. It has been designed to help people keep their cover in place if they are facing financial stress as a result of the pandemic.

Research has shown about 20 per cent of consumers have been financially impacted due to the coronavirus pandemic. 

“The fund enables a range of support options that can be offered to eligible customers, including a premium waiver to provide short-term payment relief and waiving the excess on claims to help get people back on the road again,” says James Searle, general manager of Autosure.

“It has already been used to help a number of customers and has been extended so that even more people can be supported through this difficult time.

“Vero has television adverts letting people know the team is available to help and is encouraging customers to talk to their dealer or broker for guidance. If you have customers with Autosure Car Insurance who are experiencing financial hardship, the team can be contacted on 0800-227-787.”

Case study

Searle highlights this story from a member of the claims team.

“We had been trying to contact a car insurance customer who had lodged a claim during lockdown to discuss the payment of his $500 excess.

“When he called, he said he hadn’t been actively avoiding us – just that he’d been going through a difficult time of late because his employment had been affected by the lockdown. From his manner and tone, we could tell he had a genuine financial issue, so we let him know we’d be waiving his excess.

“The person who took the call said the man said he was so overjoyed we had been able to do this that he was at a loss for words. He said he was so grateful and that if he could, he would give the person a hug.

“I have to admit the customer’s reaction blew me away so much I actually got emotional too. It really feels great to be able to help someone who not only needs it, but also appreciates it.”