Domestic & Financial Abuse Policy

Introduction

 

This document sets out our commitment to victims of domestic or financial abuse. It is regularly reviewed and has been endorsed by our directors. Our Board and senior management receive regular reporting on matters relating to domestic and financial abuse and have ultimate accountability for this Policy.

The purpose of this Policy is to inform all our staff, stakeholders and customers of our approach to identifying and supporting people affected by domestic and financial abuse.

 

We recognise that domestic and/or financial abuse is a serious and prevalent issue in Australian society. We acknowledge that domestic violence means much more than physical violence. It includes emotional abuse, psychological abuse, sexual abuse, financial or economic abuse and damage to property. We consider that the safety of our customers affected by domestic and financial abuse is paramount. 

 

In Australian law, ‘family violence’ is defined as “violent, threatening or other behaviour by a person that coerces or controls a member of the person’s family… or causes the family member to be fearful.”

 

At Swift Insurance Solutions Pty Ltd we aim to provide our affected customers with safe, supportive, timely and flexible assistance.

 

For this Policy our “customers” are an individual insured, a third party beneficiary, a potential customer or an individual an insurer is seeking to recover money from.

 

We have appointed a Domestic and Financial Abuse Officer Norman Chilchik who is responsible for:

  • ensuring that our staff are aware of the contents of this Policy and of our commitment to victims;

  • ensuring that staff undertake appropriate training;

  • monitoring compliance with this Policy;

  • regularly reporting on compliance to senior management and our Board; and

  • reviewing and updating this Policy on a regular basis.

 

The DFA Officer can be contacted at 0433 069 357. 

 

Training

 

We provide training to all relevant members of our staff. The training is designed to ensure that our staff:

  • recognise domestic and financial abuse;

  • understand the consequences of domestic and financial abuse;

  • understand how to engage effectively and appropriately with affected customers; and

  • understand how to apply this policy.


Confidentiality

 

We recognise the importance of protecting the private and confidential information of our customers affected by domestic or financial abuse. We are committed to ensuring confidentiality is maintained.

 

We will work with you to ensure confidentiality. This could include assisting you to change access to our systems, updating your contact details, offering different methods of communication and agreeing to the appointment of a trusted person to act on your behalf.

 

Disclosure

 

We understand the need for us to minimise the information that we require customers affected by domestic or financial abuse to disclose and the number of times they are required to disclose information about their situation.

 

When customers have been recognised as being affected by domestic or financial abuse we have processes in place to limit the extent of disclosure.

 

Claims

 

We do not have any authority to manage claims on behalf of insurers. If you require details of who you should contact for claims assistance please contact our office at 02 9062 4871.

 

Financial Hardship and Collection arrangements

If a customer is identified as being affected by domestic or financial abuse then we will make suitable enquiries with the customer about their financial situation to determine whether they are experiencing financial hardship.

 

We understand that financial hardship can affect anyone. We will treat our customers with respect, empathy and understanding and will work with them to identify the type of support they require.

 

We will assist our customers to complete a financial hardship application form and gather supporting documents. We will fast track any financial hardship request and provide options to retain their insurance policy if they say they cannot pay their premium.

 

Where we become aware that a customer’s debt involves a situation of domestic or financial abuse then will not refer the debt on to a third party debt collection agency. We will consider the risks involved in attempting to recover debts in these situations.

 

Sometimes customers may need extra help to get through a difficult time. Free, confidential, independent financial advice is available from Financial Counselling Australia or call the national financial counselling hotline on 1800 007 007.

 

Assistance

 

Should you require additional assistance help is available from a number of specialist services:

 

1800RESPECT - telephone or online counselling, information on safety planning, and information on how to support someone who is experiencing domestic and family violence. Call 1800 737 732.

 

Lifeline - 24 hour crisis support and suicide prevention services. Call 13 11 14.

 

Mensline Australia - national telephone and online support, information and referrals for men with family and relationship concerns. Call 1300 789 978.

 

Child Protection Helpline – 132 111

Kids Helpline - telephone and online counselling service specifically for young people aged between 5 and 25. Call 1800 551 800.

 

Australian Childhood Foundation- counselling for children and young people affected by abuse. Call 1800 176 453 / 03 9874 3922.

ACT

Domestic Violence Crisis Service

Legal Aid NSW

Legal Aid ACT - 1300 654 314

02 6280 0900 (24/7)

1300 888 529

Domestic Violence Line

Northern Territory Legal Aid Commission

1800 656 463 or 1800 671 442 (24/7)

1800 019 343

Domestic Violence Crisis Line

1800 019 116 (24/7)

Legal Aid Queensland

DV Connect Crisis Support

1300 651 188

1800 811 811 (24/7)

Legal Services Commission of South Australia

Legal Services Commission of South Australia – 1300 366 424

Women’s Safety Services

Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania

1800 800 098 (24/7)

1300 366 611

Family Response and Referral Line

1800 633 937 (24/7)

Victoria Legal Aid

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre

1300 792 387

1800 015 188 (24/7)

Legal Aid WA

1300 650 579

Victoria Legal Aid

Safe Steps Family Violence Response Centre

1300 792 387

1800 015 188 (24/7)

Legal Aid WA

1300 650 579

Women’s Domestic Violence Helpline

1300 792 387

[LC1]There is no requirement to have someone in this position however someone must assume these responsibilities

[LC2] optional