We are all indeed experiencing strange and concerning times. We have sent an email to all our clients for reassurance of the value of your Personal Insurance Cover, along with other noteworthy items.
The below information handles a number of frequently asked questions (FAQ's) put together by TAL, that are appropriate in these times.
If your insurance is held through another provider we can clarify any concerns that may come to mind.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQ's) ANSWERED BY TAL
Are existing Accelerated Protection & Asteron Life Complete policy holders covered in the event of their death from COVID-19?
Yes. Customers who have an in-force Accelerated Protection or Asteron Life Complete policy are covered in the event of death from COVID-19.
There is no general COVID-19 exclusion in our individual life policies. All claims are assessed according to the terms and conditions of your specific policy. Please note, In some circumstances and on a case-by-case basis, there may be individual customer policy exclusions applied. You and your client will be notified about this during the application process, and it will be outlined in the policy schedule.
As with all claims, your client must have fulfilled their disclosure obligations and meet the terms of their policy in order to be eligible for a benefit payment.
Are existing Accelerated Protection & Asteron Life Complete policy holders covered for any TPD, Critical Illness or Income Protection insurance they may hold?
If your client becomes unwell and this impacts their ability to work beyond the duration of their waiting period, then subject to the terms and conditions of their specific policy, they may be able to claim an Income Protection benefit. Please note that cover is not provided and the Waiting Period does not commence where a life insured is self-isolating and unable to work, but is not suffering from a sickness.
Lump Sum benefits such as Critical Illness and TPD are intended to provide cover in the event of a serious health event that has material financial consequences for the life insured. In the case of TPD, this typically would mean that the health event would need to result in permanent impairment that prevents return to work.
So far, the majority of those who suffer from COVID-19 are likely to recover relatively quickly and with no permanent consequences. Given this, neither Critical Illness or TPD specifically cover COVID-19, however in the event of serious and lasting secondary complications, Accelerated Protection & Asteron Life Complete customers may be provided with coverage in accordance with the specific policy terms.
Will other existing TAL or Asteron policy holders be covered for death or conditions relating to COVID-19?
For other TAL and Asteron Life retail policy holders, customers are covered as long as their policy does not have a special condition or exclusion clause that prevents a claim resulting from COVID-19 being paid (such as any specific exclusions relating to travel, pandemics, epidemics or lung related disease or respiratory-related conditions).
Are existing Accelerated Protection & Asteron Life Complete policy holders covered if they travel to countries that have a Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade ‘Do not travel’ advice warning?
Yes. Customers who have an inforce Accelerated Protection or Asteron Life Complete policy are covered if they travel to countries that the Australian Government has issued a ‘Do not travel’ advice warning for.
Please note, In some circumstances and on a case-by-case basis, there may be individual customer policy exclusions applied. You and your client will be notified about this during the application process, and it will be outlined in the policy schedule.
This is providing your client has fulfilled their disclosure obligations and meets the terms of their policy.
Will an applicant who is suffering from COVID-19, or travelling to another country be able to obtain cover?
Where an applicant is currently suffering from flu-like symptoms or a confirmed case of COVID-19, we will be unable to provide cover until they have recovered. Where an applicant is planning to travel, we will not be able to issue cover.
Can clients still purchase insurance cover from TAL?
Yes. If your clients wish to purchase insurance cover from TAL, then they can still do so, subject to our underwriting requirements.
Clients purchasing TAL policies will be covered in line with their policy and individual underwriting terms. If during the underwriting process it has been determined that customers have recently travelled abroad, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or are in high -risk groups, then they will be individually assessed, and individual underwriting terms may be offered. These matters would be identified and assessed through our normal underwriting process.
Useful links and further resources
With so much coverage in the media about COVID-19, it can be difficult to find the most up-to-date and accurate information to help the your clients understand the situation as it unfolds. My colleagues in our Health Services team have provided a few websites which may be of use to you and your clients over the coming weeks and months:
Important Information: This information has been prepared for use by licensed advisers in their professional capacity only, and is not intended to be provided to nor used by your clients for the purposes of making a decision about any financial product. Any advice is general in nature only and does not take into account your client’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Before acting on it, the appropriateness of the advice for your client should be considered, having regard to those factors. Prior to making any decision to acquire or to continue to hold this product, advisers and their clients should obtain and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement. Accelerated Protection and Accelerated Protection for Investment Platforms is issued by TAL Life Limited GPO Box 5380, Sydney NSW 2001, ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237 848 and the Product Disclosure Statement is available at www.tal.com.au. Asteron Life Complete is issued by Asteron Life & Superannuation Limited ABN 87 073 979 530 AFSL 229880 (Asteron) GPO Box 5380, Sydney NSW 2001, and the Product Disclosure Statement is available at www.asteronlife.com.au. Any health information contained in or available through this document is not a substitute for advice from a qualified medical or other health professional. It is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any health problem. Always consult your medical practitioner or other health professional in relation to any medical issue or concern. While all care has been taken to ensure that the information provided is accurate and complete at the date of publication, neither TAL nor its employees accept liability for any loss or damage caused as a result of reliance on the information. This information is current at 20 March 2020 and may be subject to change.