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A number of government and industry organisations provide information and assistance to consumers depending on the type of insurance and type of contract.

General insurance (including motor vehicle, household, travel, sickness) 

If you experience difficulties with your insurance company, first make sure that you have given your insurance company a reasonable chance to resolve your dispute, by using your insurer’s Internal Dispute Resolution (IDR) process. The General Insurance Code of Practice requires that all insurers have an IDR process in place.

If you are still experiencing problems, you can contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) which is a national Service that assists in resolving disputes between consumers and insurers or other financial service providers that are members of the Service. The Service also assists in resolving disputes between uninsured drivers and another person's insurance company in relation to motor vehicle property about any general insurance matters.

Members include general insurance companied and underwriting agents. The FOS can assist customers with a Dispute with a member company and with enquiries about any general insurance matter. A list of members is available from the website.

General insurance matters include: home building; home contents; motor vehicle; travel, sickness and accident; pleasure craft; consumer credit; valuables and personal property; medical indemnity insurance – in other words most domestic insurance.

The FOS can help with some residential strata title policies, small policies and third party motor vehicle disputes if you are uninsured (where the property damage is under $3000).

The FOS does not have jurisdiction over workers compensation, compulsory third party or home owners warranty matters.

Decisions of the FOS are not binding on the consumer, who may take legal or other steps to resolve the dispute.

Postal address: GPO Box 3, Melbourne Victoria 3001
Telephone: 1300 780 808

If the matter remains unresolved, consumers may make a claim with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

To avoid being underinsured in a worst case scenario, such as a natural disaster, check your cover each year when you renew or change your insurance. For home insurance, this would mean that your policy can meet the costs of rebuilding plus any extra costs you could be faced with. MoneySmart - Risk of underinsurance gives advice from the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to help you assess your level of cover.

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Compulsory third party insurance (green slips) 

The State Insurance Regulatory Authority (SIRA) regulates the NSW CTP Scheme. This scheme provides compulsory third party (CTP or Green Slip) personal injury insurance through licensed insurers for motor vehicles registered in NSW. For information regarding insurance claims and disputes and the operation of the scheme contact the State Insurance Regulatory Authority.

Postal address: Level 6, McKell Building, 2-24 Rawson Place, Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: 1300 656 919 (8:30am to 5pm, Monday to Friday)

For more information go to Insurance (motor vehicles) page.

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Third party claims (where you are claiming against another party’s insurer) 

The Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS) can determine some disputes between third parties. The determination of third party disputes is limited to dispute amounts of $5,000 or less and must be in relation to motor vehicle property damage. There is no fee for this service. For matters not considered by FOS please contact your local court.

For all enquiries and disputes contact the Financial Ombudsman Service (FOS).

Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (FOS)
Postal address: GPO Box 3, Melbourne VIC 3001
Telephone: 1800 367 287 (1800 FOS AUS) (9am to 5pm from Monday to Friday)

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For enquiries regarding Medicare, refer to Medicare benefits and pharmaceutical benefits under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme.

Medicare Australia
Postal address: GPO Box 9822, In your Capital city
Telephone: 13 20 11

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Private health insurance 

The Private Health Insurance Ombudsman is independent of the private health funds, private and public hospitals and the government and has been set up to deal with enquiries and complaints about any aspect of private health insurance.  The Ombudsman’s services are available free of charge to all health fund members, people wanting information about private health insurance, hospitals, doctors and some dentists, health funds or people acting as their agents.  For more information please contact the Private Health Insurance Ombudsman.

Private Health Insurance Ombudsman
Telephone: 1800 640 695 or (02) 8235 8777
Postal address: Level 7, 362 Kent Street, Sydney NSW 2000

If the matter remains unresolved, customers may make a claim with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

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Travel insurance 

If you need to claim on your travel insurance, you should check your travel insurance policy or speak to your insurer to determine what your entitlements are.  If you are unable to identify your insurer, you can contact the General Insurance Enquiries and Complaints Scheme.

If you have booked travel through a travel agent, you may be eligible to make a claim through the Travel Compensation Fund (TCF).  For more information contact the TCF.

Postal address: Level 3, 15 Castlereagh Street, Sydney NSW 2000
Telephone: 1300 658 165 or (02) 8227 3500

If the matter remains unresolved, consumers may make a claim with the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT)

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Workers compensation 

SafeWork NSW manages the New South Wales’ workplace safety, injury management and workers compensation systems. They provide information and assistance on occupational health and safety, workers compensation and injury prevention and management. For more information, contact SafeWork NSW.

SafeWork NSW
Postal address: Locked Bag 2906, Lisarow, NSW 2252
Telephone: 13 10 50

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Home warranty insurance 

For further information please refer to the Home warranty insurance page.

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