WE'RE WATCHING: All eyes on the Australian insurance industry

notfullydestroyed Victorian Government sources tell VEXNEWS that authorities fear the death toll from our worst ever bushfires could be much much worse than the confirmed number.

The fire moved as quickly as 120 km/h in some cases, even those who were able to escape to rallying points.

The full extent of the horror is not yet known and will not be known until the fires are defeated. Cooler temperatures offer some relief to the firefighters who are determined to extinguish still out of control fires near significant population centres in Victoria’s north-east and beyond.

It is in that context that Australia’s insurance companies have the eyes of the nation upon them. Despite Australian insurers being reinsured for this kind of risk, investors have assumed the worst brutally marking down the two biggest players in the property insurance market, Suncorp and Insurance Australia Group.

The Deputy Prime Minister Julia Gillard has urged them to be sympathetic.

There’s good reason for her to do so. Those with long memories can remember just how mean and tricky insurance companies have been in these situations.

In the Ash Wednesday catastrophe, some insurance companies disgraced themselves by slow-paying or under-paying claims. Back then we spent a lot of time on Mt Macedon and heard many stories of arrogant insurance assessors strutting the Mount with clipboards and bad attitudes, telling people who’d made claims crazy things like they couldn’t say their home had been totally destroyed because a chimney or carport were left standing.

It was as absurd as it was evil.

Those who had lost everything then found themselves battling multi-billion dollar insurance corporations. It was just too much to bear.

Not all insurance companies were like that though. And the worst of them – FAI – is no longer in business.

The peak body of the industry has taken action already to co-ordinate its response. We can only hope they act quickly, decently and with compassion as good corporate citizens.

If they don’t, they’ll be hell to pay.



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4 responses to “WE'RE WATCHING: All eyes on the Australian insurance industry

  1. Profiteers and charlatans

    We can expect that Insurance Companies will be the next wave of insolvencies that will hit our economy.

    Just like the Commonwealth Bank they are morally bankrupt and will deny obligation and responsibility for their own stuff ups. Loyality to their customers will only extend as far as they can milk their bank balances and accounts.

    The Commonwealth bank still keep charging me for a credit card that I have not had access to or used for four years after the card was stolen. In spite the fact that they told me the account would be closed.

    The Financial Banking Ombudsman is no help.

    In the meantime points earnt on their loyality con goes missing When challenged to honour their committements they deny any liablity or responsibility.

  2. Which Bank ripps you off the most

    The Commonwealth Bank would have to be one of the worst Investment managers around

    In 2000 I invested $30,000 of my own money in a CBA Superannuation fund

    Last year they reported that it was worth just over $50,000.

    As I am planing on moving overseas I inquired as to the balance of my account and withdrawal procedures, I was told that the balance of my account was now just over $40,000. They lost $10,000 in four months!!!

    OK the share market has lost 25%in value BUT not all of my investment was in shares.

    In 9 years of investment with the Bank the value of my investment with the Commonwealth Bank has only increased by 33% or on average 4% per year. I would have fared better in compound interest rates.

    My other Industry based Superfund has performed much better then that.

    It would appear that the bank has been using Superfund to fund the Banks loans made to dodgy Townsville financiers according to the ABC expose last night the Commonwealth Bank has a lot to answer for when it comes to investing your money.

  3. anon

    I bet that greedy immoral corporate crook Gess Rambaldi will contribute $ 0.

  4. Sir Lesley Twentytonneguts HRH

    With all the generosity out there, please don’t forget to support the charity that employs me. I need to be kept in the luxurious five star style I have become accustomed to and besides sinking gallons of piss at Walters does not come cheap.

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