total and permanent disability
The better we protect the people who are important to us, the better our lives are.
Total and Permanent Disability insurance (often called TPD for short) is designed to protect against long-term disability and pay a lump sum(or in some cases by installments) if you become permanently disabled, as defined in the policy.
- Generally, a permanent disability means you can’t work in your current occupation or in a job you’ve already trained or studied for, or previously worked in.
- Importantly the minimum waiting period is 6 months before any payment is available.
- It’s important to carefully read the fine print in these specialty policies because different definitions usually apply to TPD insurance.
Your financial advisor from Unusual Risks Insured is the expert to best help you understand your options and how to ‘sift through the rocks to find the diamonds’.
Practically speaking - "don’t let disability ruin the rest of your life"
Meet Tina and Garry: both parents and positive. Their overseas holiday of a lifetime to the snow turned into a nightmare when a skiing accident left Garry with a serious spinal fracture, two broken wrists, and now facing the possibility of life in a wheelchair.
- Apart from dealing with the shock to the family, the couple had to contend with the cost of multiple surgeries, rehabilitation and completely modifying their home and car for Garry.
Because they had sufficient levels of high-quality TPD insurance cover in place, they were able to pay out the remaining home mortgage, pay for modifications to the house and car, pay for world-class rehabilitation, and even advanced medical gene therapy. There were even enough funds for Tina to reduce her work hours to part-time for a year, and still meet the family living expenses while helping Garry adjust to a new life.
Why you may need TPD cover
Our greatest asset is our ability to continue to earn our income.
Most Australians just don't have enough savings or backup resources available to protect their lifestyle if they suffer a permanent disability.
- If you were unable to work, how would you afford to pay your living expenses?
- How would you afford the new and ongoing medical costs associated with serious illness and injuries?
TPD insurance can provide the funds to pay off debts, pay for medical treatments, and maintain your lifestyle while you focus on adjusting to what may be a very different lifestyle after a significant accident or illness.
It’s especially relevant for:
- people with partners (and dependents) - particularly if you’re a one-income-family
- people who are financially responsible for a special needs sibling, aging parents, or managing a long term medical condition
- people with mortgage debt or paying large rent, who have debts that couldn't be paid out from savings alone
Real Life Statistics
- In Australia, a person suffers a stroke every nine minutes and there are an estimated 475,000 stroke survivors living in our communities. National Stroke Foundation
- Almost half a million Australians are hospitalised each year as a result of injury, and a further 12,000 people die due to injury. Australian Institute of Health and Welfare – Injury, June 2017
How it works together with other insurance covers
This is how Total and Permanent Disability insurance works alongside Income Protection and Crisis Recovery insurance.
- Total & Permanent Disability insuranceis designed to protect against long-term disability and pay a lump sum (after a 6-month wait) if you become permanently disabled, as defined in the policy and you can no longer work in your current occupation.
- Income Protectioninsurance is designed to protect up to 70% of your income after a waiting period of your choice, while you cannot work due to sickness or injury.
- Crisis Recovery insurance is designed to pay an immediate lump sum to help offset short-term unexpected medical expenses and help you maintain your financial liquidity should you suffer a medical crisis specified in the policy, to help stabilise debt obligations and personal cash flow.
Together they can protect you against long-term permanent disability and short-term interruption in your ability to go on earning your income. When you meet the conditions of both insurances you can receive both benefit payments
Questions people ask about...
Total & Permanent Disability insurance (TPD)What is it?
Total and Permanent Disability protection (TPD for short) can provide protection against total and permanent disability by providing you a lump sum of money to make lifestyle modifications in case you become disabled and can never work again.How it helps you
TPD is the ultimate long term peace of mind for you, your partner and your family's continuing financial independence.What's the chance of needing it?
- There is a 1 in 20 chance of needing to claim for Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance
You can use this money to cover your medical and rehabilitation costs, as well as any future expenses, which may also include modifying your home or car.
Do I need Total & Permanent Disability insurance?
Most probably, Yes.
TPD insurance is usually bundled with Life Insurance and usually covers a range of significant disabilities that can include hearing loss, loss of sight, mental health disorders, speech impairment, as specified in the policy.
TPD policies either offer cover if you can no longer work in your usual job (own occupation) or may only cover you if you can't work in any job at all (any occupation).
Premiums, terms and conditions will vary according to the definitions used in the insurance contract, so you'll need professional guidance before making any decision.
How much does Total & Permanent Disability insurance cost?
The cost of Total & Permanent Disability insurance is based on a range of factors: your age, gender, smoking (and vaping) status, current health, lifestyle, and general occupation.
How do you pay for Total & Permanent Disability insurance?
Total & Permanent Disability insurance premiums can be paid monthly or half-yearly and yearly by direct debit and may be tax-deductible.
The premiums for the standard level of this type of policy may be able to be paid from a super fund or an SMSF. Premiums for the advanced level of cover may be able to be paid from a mix of personal funds and super funds, often referred to as a Super-Linked policy.
How much Total & Permanent Disability Insurance cover do I need?
This depends upon your age, financial capacities and level of support or independence and the future costs of making significant life changes due to disability. Many people 'mirror' the amount of life insurance cover with TPD cover. For example, if a person has $1,000,000 (sufficient to pay out a mortgage and retire etc.) of life insurance they may choose to have the identical level of TPD cover too.
TPD insurance can become more effective when it's supplementing your Income Protection cover that can pay an income until age 65 (or whatever is the specified length of that policy). Together they can help provide a backup plan if long term or permanent disability strikes.
Are there different types of Total & Permanent Disability Insurance cover and which is best?
Every insurance company defines Total & Permanent Disability (TPD) slightly differently and that's why you need a specialist Risk Adviser from Unusual Risks to help you get the best version available for you.
There are 4 main definitions available, the most common are referred to as Own and Any, and refers to the types of occupations you could wish to protect. The Best is Own Occupation TPD - the Basic is Modified TPD
- Own occupation TPD provides the most comprehensive cover and is designed for people in more specialised occupations with very specific occupational duties, where an inability to perform all or some of those duties could prevent them from working in the same occupation ever again.
– This might include Doctors, Dentists and Self-employed Engineers.
– This grade of insurance cover is not able to be paid for by a super fund.
- Any occupation TPD is a broader definition, designed for people in most occupations. It allows for a TPD assessment against any occupation to which the life insured is suited by education, training, or experience. This grade of insurance cover isable to be paid for by a super fund.
- Domestic duties TPD is designed for people who describe their main occupation as a homemaker and includes people whose primary focus is maintaining the family home.
- Modified TPD provides a base level of TPD cover which only pays for very severe sickness or injury based on a permanent day-to-day living functional impairment criteria. It is designed for people who meet one or more of the following criteria:
– are unable to obtain more comprehensive cover due to health, high risk occupations, or pastimes
– elect to take a limited level of cover as a way to put some low-cost cover in place – wish to top-up existing cover.
Can they cancel the policy on me if I get sick?
No. A Guaranteed Renewable policy obligates the insurer to continue coverage as long as premiums are paid on the policy, regardless of changes in the policy owner's health or occupation.
Can I upgrade the policy as I need later?
Yes. But be aware that over time many people become more expensive to insure (and even uninsurable). Get your insurance sorted while too can
Do I have to update an insurance company about changes in my future health?
No. There is no requirement for you to update a life insurance company about any changes in your future health.
Once a Total and Permanent Disability policy is in force, any future changes in your health (or even your occupation), will not affect your cover while the policy remains paid up and in force.
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