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
Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance provides cover if
you are totally and permanently disabled. It helps cover the costs
of rehabilitation, debt repayments and the future cost of
Your insurer will define TPD as either when you:
Always read the fine print so you know how your policy defines
- can't work again in any occupation, or
- can't work in your usual occupation.
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 would need to live if you
- 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 you could
be eligible for.
Choosing total and
permanent disability cover
You can buy TPD cover directly from an insurance company 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:
It's important to shop around before you choose TPD cover to see
what options are available.
Compare how long it takes different insurers to pay a TPD claim
and the percentage of claims they pay out.
insurance claims comparison tool
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 any things that happen between the time you apply and when
the insurance cover starts that might affect your
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, which 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
to understand your TPD policy, you can protect yourself and your
family when you get sick or are permanently injured.
Last updated: 29 Mar 2019