Adventure-loving Australians 'risk life insurance rejections'

Published 01 Feb 2018

Australians may be putting their financial future at risk by failing to read the small print on their life insurance and income protection policies.

One in six people in the country intend to take part in thrill-seeking outdoor activities in 2018, according to Finder.com.au research, but insurance policy loopholes could leave injured Aussies struggling to pay the bills.

The most popular extreme sports in Australia are snow sports, skydiving and scuba diving. The Herald Sun reported that men and women are equally likely to participate in adrenaline-pumping pursuits.

However, Head of PR at Finder.com.au Bessie Hassan warned adventure-lovers of the potential dangers they face regarding insurance coverage.

"Thrill seeking can void your ability to make a claim if something goes wrong," she explained.

"Often exclusions can be hidden in the fine print, so it's important for policyholders to get clear on the Product Disclosure Statement to ensure there's no confusion if it comes time to claim."

Understanding your life insurance policy

Previous Finder.com.au research found that nearly half of Australians wouldn't be able to survive financially within three months of losing their main source of income.

Some insurers will cover extreme sports by charging additional premiums, although certain activities may still be excluded if there is a high risk of injury or death.

Extreme sports led to 995 deaths in Australia between 2000 and 2016, a study published in the British Journal of Medicine recently revealed. Water sports, such as surfing and bodyboarding, were responsible for more than two-thirds of fatalities.

Simon Wotherspoon, director of Wotherspoon Wealth, said it's vital for people with income protection and life insurance policies to understand what they are purchasing.

"When you put in a claim, they're going to dig deep without being too cynical, insurers will try to find ways of not paying if they can," he stated.

Have you had a claim rejected?

Life insurance policies are designed to provide peace of mind, ensuring unexpected injuries or illnesses don't create a financial burden on families.

A rejected claim can therefore be devastating for policyholders, particularly if they are forced to take significant time away from the workplace or are unable to ever return to their jobs.

However, many legitimate claims are turned down every year, which is why it's crucial to seek legal advice on whether or not a payout has been fairly rejected.

Please contact Gerard Malouf & Partners Superannuation Lawyers if you feel an insurer has made a mistake when denying your claim for benefits.

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