Vulnerable Customers and Financial Hardship

SafetyCulture Care Australia Pty Ltd (“SC Care”) recognises that our customers have a broad range of varying needs and, in some cases, will be experiencing vulnerability and/or financial hardship. SC Care understands we have a responsibility to treat customers with respect and compassion, particularly those experiencing vulnerability or financial hardship.

Our Commitment

SC Care is committed to identifying and supporting our vulnerable customers. As part of our commitment, SC Care will;

  • Provide an extra level of care to customers who are experiencing vulnerability,

  • Ensure that our employees are trained in relation to what vulnerability is,  identifying if a customer is experiencing vulnerability, and responding appropriately to the needs of vulnerable customers, and

  • Working with our vulnerable customers to determine a suitable way to proceed with matters, and the kind of support our vulnerable customers may require.


A vulnerable customer is someone who, due to their personal circumstances or due to the actions of others, is susceptible to harm, loss, or disadvantage. We recognise that anyone can become vulnerable at any point in time. Vulnerability may result from life events, such as an illness, natural disaster, loss of income or longer-term factors such as a disability or financial distress.

We support our customers throughout the life of their claim with respect, flexibility, dignity, and care. We will work with our customers to develop and agree reasonable adjustments and appropriate support to help meet their needs.

The following table describes some of the categories of vulnerability.

We encourage you to tell us about your vulnerability so that we can work with you to arrange support.


Category Indicators
Financial Vulnerability

Age related impairment (elderly)

Language and literacy barriers

Socio economic status

Financial and social distress

Health – Physical or Mental

Disability, chronic illness or other physical health conditions

Mental health conditions

Difficulty in understanding our products and services

Require a mix of accessibility options or services

Family or Domestic Violence

Abuse of power between a partner or family relationships

Unable or hesitant to provide personal information

Require specialised staff to manage complex and sensitive situations


Communities reliant on a single economic sector e.g. farming

Susceptibility to natural hazards

Remote or isolated area

Special Circumstances Circumstances such as bereavement, divorce, job loss which may require alternative approaches
Cultural Background

Aboriginal or Torres Strait Islander status

Cultural background expectations and requirements

Lack traditional forms of personal identification


Financial Hardship

Financial hardship occurs when a customer experiences difficulty in meeting their financial obligations to SC Care or one of our supporting insurance carriers.

You may be entitled to support because you are suffering financial hardship if you are:

  • an individual policyholder or a third party beneficiary who owes us money — including an excess or deductible — under an insurance policy we have issued; or

  • an individual and we are seeking to recover money from you because we believe you caused damage or loss to either a policyholder, or a third party beneficiary who we cover under an insurance policy.

We encourage our customers or their representative to tell us about their financial hardship so that we can work with them to discuss their situation and the options available to support them.

In the event of a customer experiencing financial hardship, SC Care will:

  • Have the matter reviewed by our Compliance Manager or Claims Manager.

  • Explore with the customer whether they have any documents to show that they are experiencing financial hardship, e.g. overdue bills reminder. That may involve requesting completion of a Financial Hardship Form.

  • Consider all reasonable evidence of financial hardship provided to us, for example, evidence of serious illness or disability that impairs the customer’s ability to earn an income, Centrelink statements, and evidence of unemployment.

  • Advise the customer of our decision related to financial hardship support within 21 days.

  • Treat all documents and information provided by a customer in relation to financial hardship as sensitive personal information.

In cases where SC Care’s assessment concludes that our customer is experiencing financial hardship, we will work with the customer to implement a suitable arrangement, which may include one or more of the following:

  • Fast-tracking a claim if the customer has an urgent financial need.

  • Suspending or delaying any debt recovery actions related to the customer.

  • Payment of amounts owed by the customer by way of instalments.

  • Payment by a reduced lump sum amount.

  • Reducing the amount of a claim payment payable to the customer by the amount of relevant deductible.

  • Waiving cancellation fees.

If we decide the customer is entitled to financial hardship support, then they may ask us to release, discharge, or waive a debt or obligation. However, there is no automatic entitlement to this. If we agree to release, discharge or waive a debt or obligation, then we will confirm this with the customer in writing. The customer can ask us to notify any financial institution with an interest in their insurance policy that they are entitled to financial hardship support and, if applicable, that we have released, discharged or waived a debt or obligation. If the customer asks us to do this, then we will tell them about this in writing.

If we decide that the customer are not entitled to financial hardship support, we will tell the customer the reasons for our decision and about our complaints process. Where possible, we will tell the customer this in their preferred method of communication.

We will have information about applying for financial hardship support on our website. The information will set out the types of support options that may be available, and how the customer can access financial hardship support.

SC Care’s support in cases of financial hardship does not include the payment of premiums or policy deductibles on behalf of the customer.

Recognising and Responding to Vulnerability and Financial Hardship

SC Care may become aware of vulnerability directly from customers advising us of or via our partners e.g. adjusters and brokers.

Additionally, during our day-to-day dealings with our customers, SC Care employees may observe verbal and/or physical indicators that suggest additional support may be required by the customer.

When SC Care recognises vulnerability or financial hardship, we will:

  • Act immediately, where possible, whenever we become aware of an immediate threat to the safety and wellbeing of the customer.

  • Listen carefully to the customer, and frequently check to ensure the customer has understood information provided to them.

  • Provide additional opportunities for the customer to ask questions.

  • Work with the customer to understand how they would like to communicate and work with us and tailor our service and response accordingly.

  • Ensure we understand what the customer is telling us before we act.

  • Ask the customer if there is anybody that can help them or represent them.

  • Offer the customer the opportunity to have a period of further consideration in which they can decide or respond to matters.

  • Allow our customer-facing employees the flexibility to adapt processes to accommodate the customer.

  • Provide contact details for specialist services which may assist the customer.

Specialist Services

The following table details some of the specialist services that are available to support customers experiencing vulnerability and/or financial hardship.

Where practicable, we will provide access to an interpreter if the customer asks us to, or if we need an interpreter to communicate effectively with the customer. We will record if an interpreter is used or if there are reasons we are unable to arrange one.

We will arrange relevant training for our employees who are likely to be involved in communications requiring an interpreter.


Name Services Contact Details
Translating and Interpreting Service (TIS National) Phone and onsite interpreting service

131 450

Website link

1800 Respect National 24-hour domestic and family violence and sexual assault line 1800 737 732

Website link

Mensline 24/7 support, information, and referral service for men with family and relationship issues 1300 78 99 78

Website link

Lifeline 24/7 counselling and referral service for people in a crisis situation 13 11 14

Website link

Beyond Blue 24/7 support to people experiencing anxiety or depression 1300 224 636

Website link

National Debt Hotline A free confidential financial counselling service to assist people in financial difficulty 1800 007 007

Website link

National Association of Community Legal Centres An independent not-for-profit community organisation that provides legal and related services to the public, focusing on the disadvantaged and people with special needs Website link
Banking The customer’s bank may be able to provide relief for loan repayments or other forms of relief  
Utilities The customer’s utility company may be able to provide relief