Published 29 May 2018
Many superannuation funds have TPD and Income Protection insurances set up for members, and these are usually automatic and do not require any kind of application. So how can I find out the details of the insurance, and do I have any insurance? While many superannuation funds have insurance, many do not. While some funds have insurances it doesn’t mean every person in that specific fund have insurance – this is analogous to whether a car has comprehensive insurance – it really depends on each person.
Whether someone has insurance or not is affected by many factors. These can include selecting opt in/out on the policy, age of when the fund started, termination age on a policy, fund transfer/rollovers, specific sponsor employer, amongst other factors. There is no general way to know whether there is insurance. The only real way to know for certain is contacting the Superannuation Fund.
However, simply contacting the fund may not confirm whether you have insurance which you can claim. The fund only knows whether you have insurances at a particular points in time, and would not really look into it for you. And there are various scenarios where complicated illnesses and return to work attempts causes a person to become ineligible to claim – or at least sufficient to cause an argument about it. Suffice to say one needs to have insurance at the time of the incident in order to claim.
A very good way to be sure about whether you were insured by, and eligible to claim on, any insurance would be by reference to the Annual Statements (or semi-annual) which outlines your specific entitlements including any insurance. Having the respective statements year to year would very concretely show whether you had the insurance or not. These statements would additionally show that you had insurance over a period of time, rather than just as of a particular date if you were to ask the insurer, for if timing is an issue. Additionally the policies documents for the relevant times would also need to be reviewed – and these are often extensive documents.
TPD and IP insurances is often less straight forward than the Super Fund makes it out to be in their advertisements, especially because it involves an insurer in addition to just the fund trustee. The question of whether there is applicable insurances at a particular point in time can itself often become disputed and end up at court. These can become complicated very quickly and require expertise to properly run the case.
At GMP our lawyers have experience in conducting Superannuation based Insurance Claims, including TPD and Income Protection, and should you have an insurance dispute or query contact us on 1800 004 878 for a free consultation.