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Hockey makes HIH offer to States.

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NO. FSR/037

18 May 2001

Hockey Makes HIH Offer To States

The Minister for Financial Services & Regulation, Joe Hockey, has today offered the services of the newly created HIH Claims Support Pty Ltd to the State and Territory Governments so they can process any financial assistance they have for HIH policyholders.

"This is a bona fide offer. It is a fair dinkum offer that should help those people enduring hardship get support as quickly as possible, from the States as well as the Commonwealth," the Minister said.

Minister Hockey announced the formation of the not-for-profit HCS company yesterday in a joint statement with the president of the Insurance Council of Australia, Mr Raymond Jones.

Four leading Australian licensed general insurance companies are to provide administrative services and experienced personnel to the HCS company on a cost recovery basis only.

The four insurers are Royal & Sun Alliance, NRMA, Allianz and QBE.

"The company will manage the run-off and payment of HIH policyholder claimants who are eligible for federal Government assistance as part of a rescue package announced by the Prime Minister on Monday.

"I am very pleased that the Australian general insurance industry has undertaken this task requiring only cost re-imbursement for their contributions.

"The Government had intended contracting with a private sector provider for these services but does not need to do so as a result of the insurance industry's offer to support HIH victims in this way."

The criteria for receiving federal Government assistance will be announced shortly, after financial data has been provided by the Provisional Liquidator of HIH, Mr Tony McGrath.

Minister Hockey also announced that he will be offering to individually meet State counter-parts in Canberra next week.

18 May 2001

Media contact: Matthew Abbott, Minister's office, 02 9929 9822, 0413 076 213  

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