A Closer Look At TPD Insurance In Australia And Whether It Represents The Right Choice For You

A Closer Look At TPD Insurance In Australia And Whether It Represents The Right Choice For You

Total permanent disability cover, or TPD insurance is a form of cover more and more Australians are acquiring each year and certainly bears closer inspection. As with most voluntary types of insurance, there are many details to consider and varying conditions to assess before making any decisions. Let’s start by securing a definition of the term in the form of an answer to the question:

What is TPD insurance and do I need it?

TPD insurance is specifically designed to provide the policyholder with financial support should they become totally and permanently disabled. There are several exceptions to this that we will examine in detail below. However, caveats aside, TPD insurance represents the perfect way to dramatically improve your financial situation when disaster strikes and you find yourself permanently incapacitated.

If a claim is successful, the subsequent payout will be deposited as a single lump-sum payment. This can be used and distributed in any way the policyholder wishes but is often welcomed as a helpful way to pay unavoidable medical costs and those of any ongoing rehabilitation. 

Who is eligible for TPD insurance?

There are several key factors affecting an individual’s eligibility for TPD insurance:

  • Mandatory employment — TPD insurance is only available to Australians in ‘gainful’ employment.
  • Age — TPD insurance is generally available to individuals between 19 and 62. Premiums usually increase with higher ages. 
  • High-risk occupations — Any individuals at higher risk of experiencing total, permanent disability as a result of their dangerous occupation should expect to pay higher premiums. In some cases, TPD insurance coverage may be refused altogether. 
  • Lifestyle choices — Any individual wishing to obtain TPD insurance in Australia must give an honest overview of their lifestyle. This will include but is not limited to recreational drug use (including nicotine and alcohol), fitness regimes, dangerous pastimes, and any other activities deemed to be hazardous to health. Failure to disclose a proclivity for bouldering your way around Mt. Arapiles in Victoria is a surefire way for your policy to be declared null and void.
  • Health record and pre-existing conditions — Any pre-existing conditions or hereditary conditions in the wider family may be deemed relevant. TPD insurance premiums may increase or coverage may be denied altogether.

Changes in circumstances

Any TPD insurance policy will contain a section referring to future changes in your circumstances. They need not necessarily be negative ones; you are also entitled to enquire about premium adjustments in your favour if your situation improves. For example:

  • The cessation of unhealthy behaviours
  • Tangible improvements in health and fitness regimes
  • Abandoning risky professions or dangerous pastimes

Reasons a TPD insurance claim may be denied

The following contingencies are fairly standard in the insurance industry but some minor differences may be experienced. Any TPD insurance claim in Australia will almost certainly be denied if:

  • The injury is a result of a self-inflicted action
  • Terminal illness coverage is already provided through a separate life insurance policy 
  • The policyholder does not survive longer than two weeks

Is TPD insurance the right choice for you?

There is no one answer to cover every individual and scenario, but it is reasonable to state that TPD insurance represents a sensible option for most working Australians. If the worst should happen, medical and other associated bills can skyrocket, making the injection of a substantial amount of cash very welcome and stress-relieving.