What is domestic and family violence?
Domestic and family violence can happen to anyone. It generally involves violent, threatening or abusive behaviour enacted by a former or current family member, with the intention of coercion or control, causing fear or harm.
Domestic and family violence can include, but isn’t limited to:
- physical violence
- sexual assault
- emotional or verbal abuse
- psychological abuse or controlling behaviour
- financial abuse, and
- abuse of older Australians.
The cycle of family and domestic violence is complex. Survivors may struggle with acute issues at a point of crisis, or ongoing issues in the longer term.
We recognise that everyone’s situation and needs are different. We’re committed to supporting our customers and employees when they experience domestic and family violence.
The purpose of this policy
This policy outlines our processes to help minimise the risk of harm in our interactions with you if you are experiencing family or domestic violence. It ensures our staff can help provide timely, consistent and targeted assistance.
What we can do to help
If you tell us, or we recognise that you are affected by domestic or family violence, we are here to help.
We will ensure employees, agents, partners, distributors and suppliers are appropriately trained so that we can:
- minimise the number of times that you need to disclose information about your situation
- handle your claims process with the utmost care
- prioritise your safety, by protecting sensitive, private and confidential information
- refer you to specialist services, and
- engage you with sensitivity, dignity, respect and compassion.
We’re committed to respecting your privacy
Privacy can be critical to your safety in any domestic and family violence situation.
Depending on your personal circumstances, we can:
- help keep your contact information on our systems secure and confidential
- help you manage how your personal information is shared with other parties, and
- discuss safe ways to communicate with you.
Precautions we take when communicating may include:
- finding a mutually appropriate time to talk on the phone
- assessing whether it’s safe to send text messages or leave voice messages on the phone, and
- sending information separately — if you’re a joint policy holder, we may need to send information to two different mail or email addresses.
If you’re a joint policy holder
If you hold a joint policy – ie, someone else is named on your policy as well as you – we will:
- consider the potential risks to your personal safety and weigh up our obligations relating to joint policy holders
- help you take out your own policy — if you want to — to protect your safety, and
- ensure we’re paying the appropriate beneficiaries under a policy pertaining to the particular claim and circumstances.
How we handle claims
We endeavour to handle insurance claims with sensitivity, flexibility and care. If you make a claim and we’re informed that you’re affected by domestic and family violence, we train our employees to:
- minimise the retelling of your situation
- not require you to make direct contact with an alleged perpetrator or notify the police about an alleged perpetrator
- ensure that anyone visiting your home or site on our behalf is trained and aware that you may be in danger
- be mindful that events that result in insurance claims can trigger violence, and
- be flexible in our approaches to accommodate your needs.
Looking after our employees
While providing services to customers is our priority, we also recognise that our own employees can be affected by domestic and family violence. Some measures we take to protect our people include:
- encouraging employees to realise the importance of early detection of domestic and family violence issues with customers
- training employees in dealing with vulnerable customers, including domestic and family violence survivors, and
- providing family violence leave and support services to all of our employees.
We also protect the details of our employees and/or our representatives and provide further training if our employees:
- liaise with an alleged perpetrator of family violence
- know an alleged perpetrator has access to their personal contact details, and
- need to interview or investigate a customer who may be affected by domestic and family violence.
Access to other information and support
For a list of organisations that can help you access support and services, please visit our resources page, which includes:
i “We” are AAI Limited, issuer of general insurance products under the Suncorp Insurance brands.
ii For the purposes of these policies “customer” or “you” are used interchangeably to mean an individual insured, a third-party beneficiary, a potential customer, or an individual which we as an insurer are seeking to recover from. A customer may be liaising with us on their own behalf or via a duly authorised representative.