Many people are unaware that their superannuation fund most likely contains an insurance policy that will provide monetary compensation to a worker who is temporarily or permanently unable to continue working.

This superannuation insurance can be paid out to the account holder in the form of disability benefits, which are usually processed as either total or permanent disability payments, or as income protection payments. Both are assessed on whether the injury is serious enough to keep the employee away from work for a significant period of time. The experienced personal injury lawyers at Owen Hodge can help you with all matters relating to your accident, illness or injury.

claiming superannuation insurance

When we talk about superannuation insurance, we’re referring to the insurance that is available through your super fund in the event that you suffer a personal illness or injury and are unable to work. Insurance in super is very common, but the amount of cover may depend on your super account balance.

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Superannuation insurance premiums are automatically deducted from your super balance. Most super funds also automatically provide you with life insurance (death cover), TPD insurance and sometimes income protection.

To find out what you’re covered for, we recommend speaking to your current superannuation fund provider.

Having insurance through your super is beneficial for a number of reasons:

  • Having this insurance would provide you and your family with financial protection if you become unable to work.
  • If you don’t have dependents, the insurance would still enable you to pay for your day-to-day expenses.
  • Your employer’s super contributions and salary sacrificing contributions are taxed at 15%, which is lower than the marginal tax rate for most people.
  • Most super funds will offer some level of cover and default insurance (which is beneficial if you have pre-existing health conditions or a high risk job).

The four most common types of insurance in superannuation are:

  1. Life insurance which can help provide for your loved ones if you die. Life insurance is usually referred to as death cover by super funds.
  2. Total and permanent disability insurance (TPD cover) which can replace your income if you’re injured and can’t ever work again. Often a significant lump sum will be paid out.
  3. Income protection insurance through super usually pays about 80% of your average income, and can usually be paid for up to 2 years.
  4. Temporary disability insurance which usually results in monthly payments until you are able to return to work.

Personal accident insurance vs workers compensation

Workers compensation insurance covers you for any lost wages or medical costs should you become injured during the course of work. Personal accident insurance (otherwise known as broadform liability insurance) covers you in the instance you become legally liable to pay compensation to an individual other than an employee for personal injury or property damage.

The majority of superannuation funds contain an insurance policy of some kind, although the details of the policy are often hidden in the fine print and difficult to find (often done intentionally by the fund). It is also not uncommon for the fund to deny super insurance claims with no valid reason.

If you’re looking at claiming superannuation insurance, it is imperative that you get a lawyer’s advice before pursuing any kind of personal injury claim.

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When can I lodge a claim?

According to most superannuation insurance policies, you are able to lodge a claim in the event that you fall ill, suffer an accident or are involved in any other incident that stops you from being able to work.

The policies vary between different funds, as some funds will stop insurance cover once you have stopped contributing to the fund, while others will continue your cover.

However, the requirement in most of these policies is that you were covered at the time of the incident. This means that you may still be eligible for a claim if you have currently stopped working and are no longer insured.

Learn more: personal injury claim time limits

What am I entitled to?

Your entitlements will naturally vary depending on your superannuation provider and the type of benefit you are trying to claim.

It is also important to note that these claims are usually still available if you are already on workers compensation or another type of disability support. Contact our workers compensation lawyers for further information in this regard and assistance with your superannuation insurance payout.

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