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Suncorp New Zealand & AA Insurance Make $4m Worth Of Hardship Funds Available To Customers

Suncorp New Zealand, the majority shareholder of AA Insurance, is matching AA Insurance’s newly established $2m customer hardship fund by establishing a further $2m hardship fund for its Vero and Asteron Life customers.

Suncorp New Zealand and the New Zealand Automobile Association are joint venture partners in AA Insurance, which sells insurance products direct to customers. Suncorp New Zealand also owns the Vero general insurance brand and the Asteron Life insurance brand, whose products are sold through brokers, financial advisers and corporate partners.

Suncorp New Zealand Chief Executive Paul Smeaton says “I’m pleased that AA Insurance customers who may be under severe financial pressure now have access to a hardship fund. I’m equally concerned that Vero and Asteron Life customers facing severe financial challenges have access to similar relief which is why we’ve established a separate $2m Suncorp New Zealand customer hardship fund.”

“We pride ourselves on being there for the moments that matter. Now, more than ever we want to help our customers get through. That’s why we’re putting people first with these commitments to supporting Kiwis under financial pressure.”

In addition to the hardship funds, Suncorp New Zealand made a $100,000 donation to its community partner, Shine, earlier this week. Shine works with families affected by domestic violence and will provide computers, laptops and internet access to families in emergency housing so their children can continue to access online learning and remain connected with school. It will also provide one-on-one counselling to children in crisis.

Suncorp New Zealand has had a comprehensive range of practical solutions in place since the beginning of the lockdown period, to help customers get through. These can be tailored to a customer’s specific circumstances and include:

For Vero general insurance customers

  • Flexible payment terms. This can include adjusting the excess on a customer’s policy or temporarily deferring payment.

For Vero business customers

  • We will consider requests to revise the terms of business interruption cover if customers have experienced a reduction in turnover/revenue.
  • If a commercial vehicle is not currently being used, we can adjust the cover and premium to reflect this.

For landlords

  • Relaxing requirement for landlords to carry out property inspections during the Level 4 lockdown. Claims won’t be affected if it hasn’t been possible to make an inspection.

For vehicle owners

  • If a personal vehicle isn’t being driven, we can adjust the cover and premium to reflect this.
  • Warrant of Fitness’ or driver licences expiring during the lockdown won’t affect the ability to make a claim, though customers still need to ensure that there are no safety issues with their vehicle.

For Asteron Life customers

  • Continue to provide Premium holidays and/or Premium and Cover suspension benefits to qualifying customers on applicable products.
  • Continue to provide cover to existing customers for death or disability arising from COVID-19 related illness, subject to policy terms, conditions and exclusions.

“We understand how important insurance is as part of a customer’s financial resilience toolkit. We want to be able to help them maintain their cover, even when the going gets really tough,” says Mr Smeaton.

“AA Insurance customers should make contact directly with AA Insurance, while the first step for Vero and Asteron Life customers is to talk to their broker or financial adviser.”

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