Press Release

QBE raises its contribution to $500,000 for bushfire relief and recovery efforts and waives policy excess for individual customers

Key points

  • QBE announces an additional $400,000 to support bushfire relief (on top of $100,000 pledged in November)
  • Excess payments for bushfire-related insurance claims for individual customers to be waived
  • Employee wellbeing program extended to all customers in bushfire affected areas, offering free counselling with qualified and experienced psychologists
  • QBE employees who are members of an official volunteer emergency fire service to be provided with paid leave whilst actively engaged in the community response

QBE Insurance today announced an additional $400,000 donation to support bushfire relief and recovery efforts, including $100,000 to support Save the Children’s work establishing Child Friendly Spaces within evacuation and recovery centres for children affected by bushfire. 

These additional funds take QBE’s total commitment to bushfire relief and recovery since December to $500,000 and will support the vital work of our disaster relief partners, Red Cross and Save the Children. QBE also continues to match employee donations to the Red Cross bushfire appeal, on a dollar for dollar basis.

In addition, for the first time ever, QBE today announced it will waive excess payments for bushfire-related insurance claims for individual policy holders. 

QBE Group Chief Executive Officer, Pat Regan, said: “The devastation these fires have brought to many of our customers and their communities is deeply felt by everyone at QBE, both here in Australia and across our global operations.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to anyone affected by these catastrophic fires, as well as our huge admiration for our fire fighters, ADF personnel, relief agencies and the massive army of volunteers for the work they are doing in fire affected communities in this time of crisis.”

QBE Insurance Australia Pacific CEO, Vivek Bhatia, said: “With many QBE customers affected by the fires, our immediate priority is the safety and wellbeing of our customers, and ultimately, the recovery of the communities in which they live.

“It will take some before the full extent of losses are known, however given the obvious scale of the disaster, today we are pleased to announce that we will waive the excess for bushfire-related insurance claims for individual policy holders.

“We have additional resources already deployed to ensure insurance claims can be handled as quickly as possible and emergency assistance payments and temporary accommodation assistance are available to our customers.

“For customers evacuated from their holiday destinations due to bushfire, we can assist in getting them back home and returning their vehicles as soon as it’s safe to access them.

“Our team of dedicated property and motor vehicle assessors are ready to assist with all claims as soon as affected areas are declared safe to access, and we are working with our partners to establish temporary offices around heavily impacted areas to expedite the claims process as far as possible.

“We will also be extending our employee wellbeing program (REACH) to customers in bushfire affected areas, irrespective of whether they are making a claim, to offer immediate support for their recovery and welfare including counselling with qualified and experienced psychologists.

“Recognising that many of our employees are part of an official volunteer fire service, we will be providing fully paid leave for as long as our people are engaged in the community response.

“I would urge any of our customers who need support or assistance at this time, to get in contact with us as soon as possible.”

Mr Bhatia said our thoughts and prayers are with the impacted people and communities and with the valiant firefighters and volunteers who are in the front line of these terrible fires.