The Financial Rights Legal Centre welcomes the Australian Government’s 2022-2023 Budget commitment of $2.5 million over two years for the centre’s Insurance Law Service.
Financial Rights Legal Centre Chief Executive Officer Karen Cox said the funding came at a critical time as without it the Insurance Law Service would struggle to remain viable.
“This funding will enable the Insurance Law Service to rebuild and grow its specialist legal team to meet an increasing demand from consumers for legal assistance in insurance matters,” Ms Cox said.
“The Insurance Law Service assists thousands of Australians to understand complicated insurance products, navigate claims and resolve disputes often during times of great distress.
“It is vital that the work of the Insurance Law Service continues and the skills and experience of its specialist solicitors is not lost.”
Ms Cox said demand had consistently outstripped the organisation’s ability to respond to community needs with use of the Insurance Law Service rising by more than 900% since its inception in 2007.
This service has responded to more than 65,000 calls for legal advice and represented more than 1,400 clients in the past 15 years.
“Insurance plays an important role in supporting Australians in the face of everyday risks and increasing catastrophic weather events,” she said.
“The service also plays a vital role in assisting victim-survivors affected by family violence to negotiate the challenges related to maintaining and claiming on their insurance, and countering the impact of harmful abuse.
“Suitable and affordable insurance cover is integral to protecting consumers’ most valuable assets and to maintaining and protecting the living standards of all Australians.
“The Insurance Law Service strives to ensure insurance products are delivering what they promise to consumers and are effective in building community resilience after extreme weather events.
“The Insurance Law Service produces unique research and data concerning consumer experiences of insurance claims and disputes that informs government and industry about ways to improve standard practices and reform law. “