Total & permanent disability cover
Financial safety net
A serious injury or illness can make it difficult or impossible
for you to continue to work. If this happens, you will need to find
a way to support yourself and your family.
Total and permanent disability cover is almost always purchased
together with life
cover and can provide a financial safety net if you get a
serious injury or illness that stops you from working.
What is total and permanent
Always read the fine print so you know how your policy defines
Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance provides cover if
you are totally and permanently disabled. Your insurer will define
TPD as either when you:
- You can't work again in any occupation,
- You can't work in your usual occupation
TPD insurance helps cover the costs of rehabilitation, debt
repayments and the future cost of living.
Each insurer has different definitions of what is and isn't
considered to be totally and permanently disabled. Being off work
for a year is NOT 'permanently disabled'. Ask lots of questions so
you know exactly what you're getting.
Be cautious of advertisements offering disability cover with no
medical checks. This type of cover can be very limiting - that's
why it is cheap.
Do you need total and permanent
When deciding if you need TPD cover, think about:
- Your level of private health insurance
- Other types of life insurance you have, especially through your
- How much income you and your family will need to live if you
can't work for a while or forever
- What help or family assistance is available to you
- Whether you could sell your home and move somewhere else to
- What government benefits or workers compensation could be
available to you
Choosing total and
permanent disability cover
Consider buying TPD cover through your super fund because it may
be cheaper and you may be automatically accepted.
You can purchase TPD cover from an insurance company directly or
through your super fund, a broker, a financial planner or a
Think about whether you want stepped or level cover.
Many super funds offer disability cover. To see what level of
cover you have through your super fund:
- Check your member statement
- Contact your super fund by phone or through their website
- Read your product disclosure statement (PDS)
Things you need to tell your
You need to tell your insurer anything that could affect their
decision to insure you when you are applying for, renewing or
changing a TPD insurance policy. You also need to tell the insurer
about things that have happened between the time you apply and when
the insurance cover starts.
Some insurance companies need you to give them details of your
medical history. If you don't have the information they require you
can get it from your doctor. If you don't give the insurer this
information they may refuse your claim and this could affect any
life insurance you apply for in the future.
There are lots of definitions and rules to be
aware of when you are researching TPD cover. By doing your homework
through looking at websites and product disclosure statements, you
can protect yourself and your family when you get sick or are
Last updated: 28 Jul 2016