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Domestic and family violence support

The safety of our customers and their family members affected by domestic and family violence is important to us.

If you’re in an emergency situation or unsafe, please call the police on 111.

The purpose of this page

This page outlines our processes to support your safety and wellbeing and help minimise the risk of harm in our interactions with you if you are experiencing domestic and family violence. We support our staff to respond with empathy and in a way that is safe, respectful, and non-judgemental with the aim of providing timely, consistent, and targeted assistance. It also outlines the support available to our employees who are affected by domestic and family violence.

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What is domestic and family violence?

Family Violence is defined in the Family Violence Act 2018.

Domestic and family violence is violent, threatening, or abusive behaviour enacted by someone within a domestic or family relationship, with the intention of coercion or control, causing fear or harm. Behaviour includes physical, sexual, emotional, social, financial, and psychological abuse. 

Domestic and family violence includes a pattern of behaviour with these intentions or effects, even when acts that make up this pattern do not appear abusive when viewed in isolation. This pattern of abusive behaviour targets the impacted person to limit their freedom and choices and attack their dignity. Over time, abusive behaviours may have a cumulative impact. 

A domestic or family relationship includes intimate partners or ex-partners, any family/whānau relationship, anyone who shares a household such as flatmates, and any two people with a close, personal relationship. 

Economic harm is a specific form of domestic and family violence that controls, restricts or removes someone’s access to money, economic resources, or participation in financial decisions, and which may impact on someone’s ability to access essential services such as utilities. 

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What we can do to help?

If you tell us, or we recognise that you are affected by domestic and family violence, we will listen to you with empathy and non-judgement, explain how we can assist you in this difficult situation, and give you time to consider your options. 

We will train our employees to:

  • treat you with sensitivity, dignity, respect and compassion, and
  • offer you a referral to specialist services

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How we handle claims

If you make a claim and we’re informed or suspect that you’re affected by domestic and family violence, we will endeavour to handle your claim with sensitivity, flexibility, and the utmost care. We will train our employees to:

  • minimise the number of times you need to disclose or retell information about your situation
  • not require you to make direct contact with or notify the police about the person using violence
  • be mindful that events that result in insurance claims can trigger violence, and
  • be flexible in our approaches to accommodate your needs

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Confidentiality and Privacy

We are committed to respecting your privacy. We know it can be critical to your safety and wellbeing. Any disclosures about domestic and family violence will therefore be treated as private and confidential unless we believe there is a serious threat to your own or someone else’s physical safety, particularly if we believe that threat is imminent. In these situations, we will call the Police immediately on 111 to address the immediate threat to safety. 

Depending on your personal circumstances, we can:

  • discuss how we share your personal information with other parties
  • discuss safe ways to communicate with you, and 
  • only ask you questions about the domestic and family violence if it is safe to do so i.e. in a private setting, when there are no other family members or verbal children (who are old enough to repeat what they hear) around

Precautions we take when communicating may include:

  • finding a mutually appropriate time to talk on the phone
  • asking whether it’s safe to send text messages or leave voice messages on the phone, and
  • sending information separately — if you’re a joint policy holder, we may need to send information to two different mail or email addresses

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If you’re a joint policy holder

If you hold a joint policy – i.e. someone else is named as an insured on your policy as well as you – we will:

  • consider the potential risks to your personal and financial safety and weigh up our obligations relating to joint policy holders
  • if possible, help you take out your own policy — if you want to — to protect your safety, and
  • endeavour to pay the appropriate beneficiaries under a policy with regard to the particular claim and circumstances

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Providing you the right support and assistance

If you are experiencing domestic and family violence, the following national organisations can provide specialist support, information, and advocacy, and also provide information about local services such as women’s refuges, domestic violence advocates, and safety or non-violence programmes. 

Shine Helpline

Call 0508 744 633 / Chat online at External Link

Women’s Refuge Crisisline

Call 0800 733 843 / Chat online through the Shielded Site External Link

Family Violence Information Line (Are You OK?)

Call 0800 456 450 / External Link

Good Shepherd (for economic harm)

Call 0800 466 370 / Link

Safe to Talk Helpline (for sexual harm)

Call 0800 044 334 / Text 4334 / Chat online at safetotalk.nzExternal Link

Women’s Refuge Shielded Site

Click on the Shielded Site icon (to the left and in our website footer) to access help and information from the Women's Refuge. The Shielded Site will not appear in your browsing history.

Looking after our employees

While providing services to customers is our priority, we also recognise that our own employees can be affected by domestic and family violence. In 2019 we partnered with specialist family violence organisation Shine to earn the DVFREE Tick. This is a mark of confidence that we have taken meaningful steps to create a domestic violence-free workplace including:

  • Employees affected by domestic and family violence feel safe and supported at work.
  • Suncorp recognises that domestic violence is a significant issue in our society and therefore one which will inevitably impact some of our people, either directly or indirectly. Suncorp has zero tolerance for any form of domestic violence and is dedicated to supporting our people experiencing domestic and family violence.
  • Leaders and employees know what to do if a team member or colleague is experiencing or perpetrating domestic and family violence.
  • We meet our legal obligations under the Domestic Violence – Victims Protection Act 2018 and other laws, including but not limited to offering domestic violence leave, flexible working arrangements, and workplace safety wellbeing planning and support from our team of First Responders.
  • Employees are encouraged to see the detailed guidance on our support outlined on our intranet pages.

Some additional measures we take to protect our people include:

  • DVFREE Training for our Leaders: we provide SHINE training and guidance on supporting a team member experiencing violence and the help-seeking pathways available. DVFREE Training prepares Leaders for a range of domestic violence workplace situations
  • Having specialist SHINE training for our “First Responders” to support those impacted by DFV.

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