Three of Australia’s largest general insurers – Suncorp, QBE and Allianz – will provide relief for small businesses experiencing financial hardship as a result of COVID-19 through a package approved by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.

The packages will include enabling small business customers to elect to defer their premium payments for up to six months, with existing insurance cover in place during this period. Continuity of existing insurance cover for policyholders whose business premises are unoccupied due to COVID-19 will be offered with no changes to premiums.

The CEOs of Suncorp, QBE and Allianz said the following in a joint statement:

“Small businesses are the backbone of the Australian economy and as insurance partners for around half this market, the measures announced will provide financial relief, while maintaining coverage under their insurance.

“Together we have laid a platform for the industry to sustainably support the tens of thousands of small businesses who have been impacted by this crisis. We will continue to work closely with our broker partners on a range of hardship measurers and acknowledge the critical role intermediaries play in commercial insurance.”

Below is a summary of the packages on offer by the three insurers:

Suncorp (including Vero, GIO, AAMI and Resilium)

Suncorp’s SME package applies to businesses with aggregated annual turnover of less than $10 million and employing up to 20 workers, or 100 in the manufacturing sector.

The package offers SME policyholders who want to cancel their insurance, refunds on unused portions of cancelled policy premiums with no admin or cancellation fees. It also reduces payment times for SME suppliers and contractors involved in servicing claims to no more than 15 days.

In addition to the SME package, Suncorp will offer travel policyholders who can no longer travel as planned due to COVID-19 a credit or refund for any unused travel insurance premium with no admin or cancellation fees.

Other measures that Suncorp has introduced for business customers includes:

  • Reduced Business Essentials variable interest rates for fully secured lending
  • $0 transaction fees, monthly account keeping fees and international online transfer fees on business deposit accounts
  • Unsecured loans of up to $250,000 from early April with no establishment fees or account keeping fees and no repayments for six months for businesses with less than $50 million in turnover.


QBE is offering the following measurers for SMEs with an annual turnover or asset value of less than $10 million and policies with an expiry date up to and including 30 September 2020.

  • Maintenance of expiring premium where the sum insured has not changed for business packages, commercial motor and individual personal accident renewals
  • Deferred premium payments, excluding Workers Compensation and Accident & Health, for SME customers experiencing financial hardship
  • Continued full insurance cover for vacant business premises
  • ‘Laid up’ cover for commercial motor policies where vehicles are no longer on the road
  • Workers Compensation premium support and mid-term wage adjustments
  • Accelerated cash-settlement process for customers who have a natural disaster claim underway and would prefer to manage their own repairs
  • Changes to claims processes between suppliers and customers
  • Paying suppliers faster
  • Reinstatement of Trade Credit coverage for buyers whose cover has been reduced to nil


Allianz will work with eligible SME policyholders that are experiencing financial hardship to organise flexible payment arrangements by offering payment in monthly instalments or deferring payment by up to six months.

Allianz will also undertake the following initiatives:

  • Reduce payment times to SME suppliers and contractors from the standard 30 days to 15 days or less
  • Refund any unused premium where policyholders wish to cancel their insurance cover with no cancellation or admin fees
  • Maintain full cover for premises even if the policyholder is unable to maintain occupancy requirements under their policy with no additional premium loading
  • Provide cash settlement to policyholders impacted by the summer’s bushfires or hailstorms and would prefer to receive their policy in cash
  • Provide refund of unused premium for travel insurance for trips that are no longer able to be taken