Frequently Asked Questions

General life insurance information

What does life insurance cover me for?

You may hold different types of life insurance under your Protection Plans Life Insurance policy.

Term Life Insurance (Death cover) pays out a lump sum if you pass away or are diagnosed with a terminal illness. Living Insurance (also called Critical Illness or Trauma Insurance) pays out a lump sum if you’re diagnosed with a specified medical event (such as cancer, stroke or heart attack) as defined in your policy’s terms and conditions. Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) Insurance pays out a lump sum if you become permanently disabled due to sickness or injury and are unable to ever work again.

This is a general guide to the different types of life insurance and the circumstances in which a claim may be payable. You can find out exactly what you’re eligible for by reading the terms and conditions of your insurance policy, detailed in your policy document.

Paying your premiums

Your cover only continues while your premiums are up to date. Life Insurance is an insurance policy, not a savings plan. In this sense, it works in the same way as many other insurances, such as car insurance. Other than if you claim, if you stop paying, your cover will end and there will be no refund of any of the money you’ve paid in premiums. Premiums can be paid monthly, quarterly, half-yearly or annually by direct debits from your bank account, Visa or Mastercard.

In some cases, cover may be subject to conditions such as a premium loading or an exclusion.

What is a premium loading?

A premium loading is an additional charge that is added to your premiums that you pay. It is applied to your policy as a result of your health, your occupation or if you undertake riskier pastimes.

What is an exclusion or special condition?

An exclusion is a circumstance in which you will not be eligible to make a claim on your policy. Special conditions are additional terms or restrictions which may be applied to your policy, and to which you agreed at application.

Some exclusions may automatically apply to the product you hold – if that is the case, they will be detailed in your policy’s terms and conditions (Product Disclosure Statement and/or Policy Document). You may also be subject to an exclusion that was specifically applied to your policy, and to which you agreed at application (likely in relation to a particular medical condition, occupation or pastime).

I’ve changed my address or contact details – how do I let you know?

Having your current address and contact details are crucial as this enables us to stay in contact with you and provide you with communications such as your anniversary letter each year, and any updates that may relate to your policy. Please make sure you let us know of any changes to your address, phone number, or email. You can update your details by calling us on 1300 251 909.

Do I have to notify my insurer if my occupation or health changes?

Once your insurance application has been accepted, you're not required to notify us about changes in your health or occupation. We evaluate your situation at the time of application, and your insurance is established based on your circumstances then. An insurer cannot cancel your life insurance policy if your situation changes.

However, if there's a positive change in your circumstances, like moving to a less risky job or quitting smoking, you might qualify for a reduced premium. In such instances, you can request a policy modification and ask the insurer to consider whether or not your change in circumstances will impact your premium.

For example, consider Jim, who was a carpenter when he initially acquired his insurance. Over the years, he's moved to an office-based role within the construction industry. John can request to modify his policy, potentially lowering his premium, as he has transitioned from a manual to an office-based position.

Is it possible to cancel my policy?

Yes, it's possible to cancel your policy. To cancel, please call us on 1300 251 909.

It's important to carefully weigh the risks involved with cancelling your cover. If you’re seeking to switch to a new insurance policy, consider, for example whether the new policy's terms and conditions differ, or whether there’s a requirement to provide information about your health and lifestyle which may affect your ability to obtain new cover. Additionally, any waiting periods already served might reset. To avoid the risk of a gap in cover, in general you should not cancel an existing insurance policy until the new insurance policy is in place.    

If I move abroad, what will happen to my policy?

Your Protection Plans insurance offers global coverage. Whether you're travelling or relocating overseas, your policy will continue to provide protection under the terms established when you initially purchased it.

It's important to note, though, that if you have Income Protection cover, certain aspects of the cover might be impacted if you’re abroad at the time you need to make a claim. Details of this are outlined in your PDS.

Affordability

Are there any options available to reduce my premiums?

Your Protection Plans policy is designed so that you can change the structure of your cover as your life and financial situation change. We have a range of options for changing your cover to suit your circumstances and budget.

To make your policy more affordable, you could: 

Reduce your benefit amount

Your benefit amount is the amount you will be eligible to receive if you make a claim. Reducing your benefit amount will generally result in a lower premium.

Extend your Waiting Period

Your Waiting Period is the length of time you nominate to wait before you are eligible to receive your monthly Income Protection benefit when you make a claim. Generally, the longer your Waiting Period, the lower your premium will be.

Reduce your Benefit Period

Your Benefit Period is the time for which you will receive benefit payments. This applies to your Income Protection policy, where your benefit is paid monthly. Reducing your Benefit Period will generally reduce your premium.

Remove optional extras

As your situation changes, you may not need all the optional extras you chose when you took out your policy. In some cases, you may have the option to remove some of these extras from your policy to help reduce your premium. 

Complaints

What is an Income Protection Summary?

An Income Protection Summary (IP summary) is a document that details the payments you've made towards your Income Protection policy in the previous financial year, ending on the 30th of June each year. It's advisable to present this IP summary to a registered tax agent when preparing your tax return.

How will I receive my IP Summary?

If we have your email address on file, we'll send your Income Protection summary to you via email. If not, we'll mail it to you through the post.

Who do I contact if I haven’t yet received my IP Summary?

If you haven't received your IP Summary, it could be due to several reasons:

  • Your Income Protection cover is managed through your Superannuation.
  • You did not make any premium payments during the previous Financial Year.
  • You filed an Income Protection claim in the previous financial year. In such cases, we aim to send out your IP Summary by mid-August of the new financial year.

If none of these reasons apply or you have further queries, please feel free to contact us for assistance.

Making changes or cancelling your cover

What changes can I make to my policy?

Life insurance policies are designed to be flexible so they can change with you as your life circumstances change. This may include:

  • Increasing, decreasing or pausing your premiums to suit your current situation.
  • Taking out more cover or reducing your cover as your circumstances change.

To discuss making changes to your cover, speak to your financial adviser or call our life insurance specialists on 1300 553 764 Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.30pm (Sydney time).

FAQs for Advisers

How do I make a claim on behalf of my client?

In the same way you have always been able to. There is no change to our existing claims process as a result of the sale, and the terms and conditions of the policy will be honoured by TAL. Any claims that are in progress already will continue with their dedicated claims consultant. If you need to make a new claim or check the status of an existing one, you can speak with a claims consultant by calling 1300 553 764 Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 6.30pm (Sydney time).

Are there going to be changes to my adviser servicing team? How will we be supported going forward?

You will continue to work with the same BT Life Adviser Distribution team as you have before - either your Regional/National Managers, your Strategic Partnerships Manager, your BDM and/or other members of the Adviser Distribution support team. Similarly, there are no changes to your underwriting, claims or acquisitions and servicing contacts as a result of the sale.

If there’s anything you are interested in finding out more about, please contact your BT Life Insurance team and we’ll do our best to answer any questions.