by Pania Watt
Life insurance is a policy of insurance intended to protect you, and your family, from suffering financial difficulty after a certain event – for example, if you get sick, suffer an injury, or pass away.
Types of Life Insurance
1. Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance is to provide financial support to you if you suffer an injury or illness which permanently prevents you from working to your normal retirement age. The funds paid to you are intended to help you to cover the cost of rehabilitation, including medical expenses, debt repayments and your future cost of living.
2. Income Protection insurance (also referred to as temporary salary continuance) is to replace your lost wages if you cannot work for a certain amount of time due to being sick or injured. The funds paid to you, normally on a monthly basis, are intended to help you to manage your day-to-day expenses whilst you are not working and receiving your normal wage.
3. Trauma insurance is to pay a set amount if you are diagnosed with a specific illness (for example, cancer, a specific heart condition, kidney failure). The funds paid to you, normally in a lump sum, are intended to help you manage the cost of medical treatment, specialised therapies, debt repayments, and also to provide an income stream (in circumstances where you do not also have Income Protection insurance).
How can you get a Life Insurance policy?
You can obtain a life insurance policy through your superannuation, as part of a “Group Life Policy”. It’s usually less expensive to hold a life insurance policy in this way, because superannuation funds purchase the policies in bulk. You also often don’t need to undergo any medical examinations in order to obtain insurance through your superannuation fund.
You can also purchase a life insurance policy:
1. From an insurance broker; or
2. From your financial adviser; or
3. Direct from the insurer.
How to claim
The first thing you need to do is find out whether you have any life insurance policies. At Bourke Love Lawyers, we often receive enquiries from people who have suffered an injury or illness affecting their capacity to work, who want to know if they can claim TPD or income protection, but aren’t sure whether they actually have a policy.
Bottom line – you can’t claim on a policy you don’t have.
Call your superannuation fund. Ask if you have any policies of insurance upon which you could claim. If you have more than one superannuation fund – call them all and ask the same question. While you generally cannot claim income protection on more than one policy at the same time, if you have more than one policy for TPD, critical illness, or trauma, you may be able to do just that.
Each policy of insurance is different, and understanding the definitions by which your entitlements will be determined is no easy feat.
You should be wary of organisations without legal training, certification or experience offering their advocacy services.
If you are looking for assistance, support and advice regarding your entitlement to claim on a life insurance policy, Bourke Love Lawyers can assist. We charge for the work that we do, not a flat percentage of your benefit, and all initial consults with our firm are free of charge.
The information in this blog is not intended to be legal advice, and should not be taken as such. If you have any queries, contact us now on 1300 15 15 45 to discuss your specific circumstances.
All of our services are No Win, No Pay, with the exception of NSW workers compensation claims, which are funded by WIRO and therefore free to all non-exempt workers covered by the NSW workers compensation scheme.