woman gets junk insurance payout from claimo
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1 in 10 Aussies are owed money from junk insurance schemes

When Bogden Hulewicz took out a mortgage in 1992, he had no idea the “protection insurance” he had been sold was useless.

The 62-year-old paid $8000 in fees over the years for something he would never need.

“I didn’t realise it was completely worthless,” he told 7NEWS.

Hulewicz is among the one in 10 Australians owed money from junk insurance schemes set up in the 80s.

A 2019 banking royal commission revealed millions of people had been duped into buying junk insurance – coverage that is either unnecessary or worthless.

Financial institutions were ordered to set aside $10 billion to refund people who purchased junk insurance, but customers are not notified about being owed refunds and have to chase up the funds themselves.

Some have gone decades without knowing they are entitled to cashback and are now claiming back money from $1000 to $250,000.

Claimo is helping Australians with the process of getting back millions in junk insurance refunds. Claimo processes the claims by launching an investigation for the customer, taking a 30 per cent cut plus GST for their efforts.

The average refund is about $3400, Claimo says, but some repayments are life-changing.

Founder and managing director Nathan Mortlock said Claimo had one refund pending on a credit card that was worth $250,000.

“If you were sold a home loan in 1991, for example, and were told you had to have mortgage protection, there’s a good chance you’re owed a refund,” he told 7NEWS.

For Hulewicz, this meant $15,000 back in his account.

Gold Coast woman Sharon Hawke is another customer who is getting her money back.

She has received $2500 so far with another $4000 on the way.

“I just named all the previous car loans, creditors I had, sent it to them and they’ve done the work,” she told 7NEWS.

Gold Coast woman Sharon Hawke is glad to be getting $6,500 back from junk insurance refunds.

Gold Coast woman Sharon Hawke is glad to be getting $6,500 back from junk insurance refunds. Credit: 7NEWS

Australian Securities and Investments Commission data released in September estimated a further $1.6 billion is yet to be paid to about 2.7 million consumers for remediation for both junk insurance and fees for non-compliant advice.

Customers can complain to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority to start the refund process after speaking with their lenders.

If they are unhappy with their response after 30 days, they should visit the AFCA website to lodge a complaint.

“We’re free, independent and impartial and when you come to us you don’t need to pay somebody to represent you,” lead ombudsman for insurance Emma Curtis told 7NEWS.

How to check if you're owed money?

The first stage of the process would be to check your loan or credit card documentation. Don’t worry if you no longer have your documents, Claimo will request these for you.

We will send an information request to your banks and financial institutions to see if you have been charged for add-on or junk insurance.

If you have been charged for junk insurance, one of Claimo’s claims specialists will give you a call to discuss your eligibility. When financial firms confirm that you have not been charged for the insurance, we will close that part of your enquiry. We don’t charge if you do not have insurance.

 Claimo will then submit a claim on your behalf and manage the process for you from start to finish. On average, the claims process can take around 12 weeks once your claim has been submitted.

Our junk insurance claims managers will give you regular updates as they come. For more information about junk insurance, please read our full junk insurance guide here. 

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