How to Make a Life Insurance Claim in Australia?
Depending on the type of cover, you'll also need a copy of the death certificate and/or an attending medical practitioners report. Find out more.
by Gary Andrews
Last update 15 Mar 2021
Most life insurance claims* sail through with prompt settlements which is reassuring to hear. But traumas such as serious injury or the death of a loved one can leave you floundering and in need of practical help. These are difficult times.
The good news is that where there's a life insurance policy, there's likely to be lots of support. This guide will give you the tools you need to make a claim so that you have enough space to manage your emotions. Here's how to claim on a life insurance policy.
Circumstances and types of cover are going to dictate how to make a claim. If your loved one had term life cover, you'll want to claim a lump sum in the event of their death. As for the other types of living life insurance, you can claim:
Total and Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD) which pays you a lump sum if you find you can't work again due to a lasting disability.
Trauma insurance. This pays out a lump sum if you can't work because of a serious injury or illness.
Income protection insurance. This is an ongoing payment that replaces up to 75% of lost income should you be unable to work because of an injury or illness for a while.
Not all types of life insurance policies are the same. Procedures will vary between different insurers as well. As a general rule, you can expect the following steps in the claims process.
For claims related to disability, illness or injury as opposed to term life cover, gather up all the facts that your insurer is likely to ask for. Be prepared. This can be time-consuming and may require careful research. The information you'll need is likely to include the following:
Certified copies are photocopies of an original document signed by an official. A doctor, solicitor, bank manager, police officer or Justice of the Peace can act as a signatory. You will be able to send off or give the certified copy to a third party and keep the original.
There's no statutory time limit for making a claim. However, there is a typical six-year limitation period applicable to all contract claims across Australia, the only exception being the Northern Territory where there is a three-year limitation period.** Individual insurance contracts can specify a time limit and these can vary. It's always best to inform your insurer that you intend to file a claim as soon as you can.
It's in everyone's interests for the process to be quick. Claimants are often in urgent need of cash. Insurers want satisfied customers. They also want to avoid high interest charges for delaying the payment of claims.***
Most insurers settle in a matter of days or weeks.* Things can get complicated if a person failed to disclose their medical history in full. It's also important to keep across premium payments. If they're missed, a policy may become invalid.
Most policies have exclusions. These can include death as a result of suicide or serious injury due to some form of illegal activity. When an insurer suspects fraud or non-disclosures, even inadvertent ones, the whole claim process can grind to a halt.
One of the best things you can do when making a claim is to get your paperwork in order. Claims can be the result of an unwanted or unexpected serious event. Organising forms and certificates can be a welcome distraction and bring back a sense of control.
Remember, we can help direct you to those who'll be able to process your claim. Get in touch with us today on 1300 904 624 for more information.
This guide is of an informative nature only and not representative of Compare Club products. It should not be taken as medical or financial advice. Check with a financial professional before making any decisions.