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Minister briefed on Canberra bushfire crisis.



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C001/03

20 January 2003

MINISTER BRIEFED ON CANBERRA BUSHFIRE CRISIS

The Minister for Revenue and Assistant Treasurer, Senator Helen Coonan, today travelled to Canberra and met with the Insurance Council of Australia to discuss the insurance industry's response to the Canberra bushfires.

Senator Coonan said the fires had taken a terrible toll on the National Capital, and the scope of the devastation was truly horrific.

"The fires that swept through suburbs in Canberra at the weekend have had a terrible impact on many, many families and on public infrastructure in the capital," Senator Coonan said.

"The response from firefighters and the Canberra public has been commendable, with the Australian spirit of compassion and community once again shining through at a time of adversity."

"I have called on the insurance industry to also be compassionate in its response to the tragedy."

"This afternoon I have been assured by the ICA that insurance companies stand ready to assist those who have had their homes and property damaged or destroyed.

Senator Coonan said Canberrans and residents in surrounding NSW who had lost property as a result of the fires, should contact their insurance company as soon as possible.

"Alternative accommodation is generally covered by insurance policies, although people should check with their insurers about the limits and procedures which apply.

"For those with policy documents destroyed in the fire, I am assured that they will not be required, although claimants may need to provide some documents to identify themselves and their property.

"The ACT Government has advised that identity and land title documents destroyed by the fires will be replaced free of charge.

"Individuals who are not sure who they are insured with or are not sure if they had a valid insurance policy should contact Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Ltd (IEC) who can assist in tracing their policy.

IEC can be contacted on toll free 1300 78 08 08.

INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS HOTLINE CONTACT NUMBERS

CANBERRA BUSHFIRES

INSURANCE COMPANY CLAIMS HOTLINE NUMBER

AAMI 13 22 44

Allianz Australia 13 10 00

CGU Insurance 13 15 32

Commonwealth Insurance Limited 13 24 20

Insurance Australia Group (NRMA) 13 11 23

Lloyds Australia 02 9223 1433

Lumley 02 6279 0333

QBE/MM 02 8275 9999

Royal & SunAlliance 13 888 073

Suncorp

GIO

AMP

13 25 24

13 14 46

13 14 37

Western QBE 1300 361 516

Westpac 1300 369 989

Zurich 13 26 87