bushfire member assistance response
In Victoria during February 2009, members and staff were affected by the devastation caused by Black Saturday. Nine mecu members died at Callignee in Gippsland, Marysville, Strathewen and Kinglake. Member insurance claims as a consequence of fire loss exceeded $6.07m.
Many mecu staff contributed to the support effort for members impacted by this disaster. Some were impacted themselves. In particular, staff at mecu's Traralgon Service Centre and mecu's insurance team responded with a high level of care to member requirements in the face of their personal tragedy and shock. mecu's insurance partners and underwriters Allianz and CGU also demonstrated high levels of professionalism and compassion as they worked to directly and promptly assist mecu members affected by the fires.
On the 20th February the mecu Board held a special meeting and passed a formal expression of thanks for the efforts of mecu staff who assisted members in need. At this meeting the Board approved a donation of $10,000 to the Red Cross Bush Fire Appeal, to be made via the national mutuals association Abacus. This donation was in addition to a $300,000 provision mecu had previously set aside to offset any loss associated with the impact of significant natural disaster events on members.
Around the same time Queensland members were impacted by floods. The Board resolved to review outcomes from the tragedies over time to ensure appropriate assistance is offered to mecu members and their communities when they are impacted by natural disaster.