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Insurers freed to give flood victims quick cash

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Insurers can apply to make immediate $5000 emergency payments to consumers impacted by the current catastrophic flooding in Queensland and NSW after the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) issued legislative relief.

The relief was granted following an application from the Insurance Council of Australia.

The new process allows insurers to give emergency payments to consumers in certain circumstances without first giving them a Cash Settlement Fact Sheet (CSFS), which outlines the options available, for example having their goods repaired or replaced, or receiving a cash payment.

“Having to provide a written CSFS when a cash settlement of up to $5,000 is offered may delay payments to consumers who need immediate access to small amounts of cash in urgent or emergency situations,” ASIC said.

The relief applies where the consumer has expressly stated they need immediate financial assistance, and the verbal cash settlement offer has been made within 14 days of the insurable event.