Lisa, a single parent working part-time, believed passionately in human rights and equality. She was a long- time supporter of Amnesty International, which had planned a fundraising trek of the Inca Trail. Lisa used a small bequest from her father to join the trek. She booked the overseas travel and purchased a comprehensive travel insurance policy.
Shortly before Lisa was due to depart, her mother died as a result of suicide and the travel plans had to be cancelled. Lisa later lodged a claim for cancellation fees and lost deposits. However, the insurer rejected her claim on the basis of a general exclusion in the policy which related to suicide.
Lisa considered this to be discriminatory on the basis of her mother’s mental health, and sought advice from the Cairns Community Legal Centre Inc. The Centre drafted and lodged a Dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service and represented Lisa throughout that process. Following a failure to resolve at Conciliation, the FOS later delivered a Determination in Lisa’s favour that the Financial Services Provider had to accept her claim in accordance with the terms and conditions of the policy, with interest applied as from the date her claim was initially rejected.
Lisa was clearly happy that her matter was resolved, and the matter also serves as a precedent for others.