Tracey was at home cooking dinner one night when she heard a 7NEWS segment about junk insurance.
Months later, she would receive a $90,000 refund she had no idea she was owed.
“When I heard the segment I went ‘oh my goodness’ and quickly wrote all the information down,” she told 7NEWS.com.au.
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The mother of two contacted Claimo, who assist Australians in junk insurance refunds.
Junk insurance refers to coverage that is either unnecessary or worthless.
Following a banking royal commission finding in 2019, financial institutions were ordered to set aside $10 billion to refund people who had purchased junk insurance.
Tracey says she had been unwittingly paying a large amount on insurance premiums for income protection insurance.
“I got a new credit card and I kept getting phone calls and was constantly offered this insurance … and they made it out like it was something I had to have,” she said.
“So in the end, I just agreed.”
Over time Tracey’s insurance bills stacked up, and it wasn’t until she heard about the junk insurance royal commission that she discovered she may be owed a refund.
“I reached out via Claimo’s website to see what the deal was … and they were just so helpful,” she said.
Tracey’s bank originally calculated the return at $25,000.
Millions of Australians are believed to be eligible for junk insurance payouts. Credit: Getty Images
However, the Australian Financial Complaints Authority ruled in favour of Tracey, and she received a huge $90,000 refund.
“I was gobsmacked,” she said.
“That amount of money… it’s just life changing.”
Tracey said she plans to use the money to go on her “dream” holiday.
“My entire life I’ve wanted to go to Europe… so next year I will be going for a few weeks to Italy,” she said.
“I can also help out my boys, as well as fix up a couple of things around the house that I haven’t been able to afford with the rising cost of living.”
The Australian Securities and Investments Commission says remediation is still available for millions of Australians for “fees for no-service misconduct or non-compliant advice” as well as “junk insurance” cashback payments.
A Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry 2019 report revealed millions of people had been duped into buying junk insurance.
“Our guidance puts the onus on industry to get on with fair and timely remediations – returning the money they owe to wronged consumers,” ASIC deputy chair Karen Chester said.
“To date, ASIC has needed to oversee large-scale remediations, to ensure affected consumers were treated fairly and received the compensation they were entitled to.”
Claimo CEO Nathan Mortlock said the most common reason people bought junk insurance was because they were told it was necessary.
“A lot of the time they were told they had to have that insurance to get that home loan back in the ‘90s and also the ‘00s, and we know that’s actually not the case,” he said.
How to claim
Australians are urged to keep an eye out for any correspondence from their banks, super funds, or any other financial institutions for more information about ongoing remediation programs.
Those who are unsure about any fees are urged to contact the financial institution which charged them to find out if they have been incorrectly charged.
For those customers who had policies with Freedom Insurance, there is a specific call to action. Anyone who has been with the insurance company at any time between 2010 and 2018 is urged to come forward to see if they are eligible for a refund.
More details about the refund can be found on the ASIC website here.
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