Lismore City News
Saturday, 2 December 2023

Australian Financial Complaints Authority received 950 complaints from flood-affected consumers

Updated September 12 2022 - 4:58pm, first published September 8 2022 - 4:05pm

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) has now received about 950 complaints from flood-affected consumers about their insurance claims, six months on from the start of the South-East Queensland/northern NSW floods.

Aerial footage of Lismore floods on Wednesday | March 30

In the Lismore area, 215 complaints were made in the 2365-2778 postcodes.

In Lismore, 215 complaints have been made to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority over insurance claims sine the flood. Picture by Gabriel Reguiera
In Lismore, 215 complaints have been made to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority over insurance claims sine the flood. Picture by Gabriel Reguiera

Delays in claims handling are the most common cause of dispute, followed by claim amounts and claim denials, AFCA said.

"The scale and intensity of this natural disaster means it continues to have a significant impact on people," AFCA's Lead Ombudsmen for Insurance, Emma Curtis, said. "Everyone's wish is for those affected to be able to get back on their feet and on with their lives.


"People should always talk to their insurers first about any concerns they have, but AFCA is here to help consumers and insurers resolve complaints when they can't find a way through on their own."

AFCA has expanded its general insurance complaints team in response to the unusually high number of complaints because of the scale of the disaster. It activated its "significant event" response plan after the flooding began in February, giving priority to urgent, flood-related financial complaints.

Ms Curtis said consumers should:

  • talk to their insurer first if they have any concerns or questions
  • make a complaint to the insurer if their concerns aren't addressed
  • contact AFCA if they remain unhappy at the end of that internal complaint process

"Remember that you can come directly to us - you don't need to pay someone to represent you," Ms Curtis said.

"AFCA was designed to be a free and accessible alternative to a court or tribunal. Of course, you can appoint someone like a financial counsellor, family member or someone else assist you, if you'd prefer."

An AFCA representative will be attending Insurance Council of Australia in-person meetings in northern NSW this month.

The Insurance Council of Australia CEO Andrew Hall said last week there were $300,000 million in insurance claims yet to be processed in the Lismore area.

He said there were 7000 insurance claim made in the town after the flood, and $200,000 million had been paid so far.

Mr Hall announced the one-on-one meetings to help people who were struggling to get their claims finalised.

The in-person meetings will be held from midday to 8pm on:

  • Monday September 19 at Ex-Services Club, Mullumbimby
  • Tuesday September 20 at RSM Club, Casino
  • Wednesday September 21 at Ballina RS- Club, Ballina
  • Thursday September 22 at Lismore Workers Club, Lismore.

Appointments are essential for both the in-person and virtual meetings. To book go to

People can also call AFCA's 'significant event' hotline on 1800 337 444 or visit for more information.

About AFCA

The Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) is a non-government ombudsman service providing free, fair and independent help with financial disputes.

AFCA is a one-stop-shop for consumers and small businesses who have a dispute with their financial firm, over things such as banking, credit, insurance, advice, investments or superannuation.

Where an agreement cannot be reached between parties, AFCA can issue decisions that are binding on financial firms.