Press Release

QBE announces measures to support SME customers impacted by COVID-19


QBE Insurance (QBE) today announced measures to support small and medium business (SME) customers in Australia impacted by COVID-19. The announcement follows industry-wide discussion and regulatory approval for the initiatives from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and is in addition to existing measures to support customers experiencing financial difficulty.

The measures include:

  • For Business Packages, Commercial Motor and Individual Personal Accident renewals, QBE will maintain expiring premium where the sum insured hasn’t changed;
  • Deferred premium payments, excluding Workers Compensation and Accident & Health, for SME customers experiencing financial hardship;*
  • Continued full insurance cover for vacant business premises;*
  • ‘Laid up’ cover for Commercial Motor policies where vehicles are no longer on the road;*
  • Workers Compensation premium support, including premium instalments for SME customers and mid-term wage adjustments for businesses that have material changes in estimated wages;**
  • An accelerated cash-settlement process for customers who have a natural disaster claim underway and would prefer to manage their own repairs;
  • Changes to claims processes to mitigate against infection between suppliers and customers;
  • Paying suppliers faster.

These measures will be available for policies with an expiry date up to and including 30 September 2020 and QBE will reassess their availability as needed.

In addition, with immediate effect, QBE will reinstate Trade Credit coverage for the vast majority of buyers whose cover had been reduced to nil. This is in response to customer and broker feedback and includes key businesses in the construction industry ***

QBE Australia Pacific CEO Vivek Bhatia said the company recognises that many businesses and individuals across Australia are in need of support at this challenging time.

“We have listened to our customers and understand they need support now and will continue to do so over the coming months.

“We are committed to helping them through this challenging time.“The initiatives announced today are focused on meeting the immediate needs of our small and medium business customers and we are working hard to ensure that these can be delivered quickly. These measures are in addition to initiatives already in place supporting all customers experiencing financial hardship.”


* Available to SMEs with an annual turnover or asset value of less than $10 million who qualify for COVID-19 support payments from the Government.
** Available to Workers Compensation SME customers with an annual premium of less than $50,000 or less than $30,000 in Western Australia.
*** Limits to be restored to 50% of the customers’ original cover.

 

For more information:

Paul Dekkers
External Relations
QBE Australia Pacific
Phone: 0418 218 722
Email: paul.dekkers@qbe.com