Sunsuper has overhauled it’s total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance cover in a move that will see an average premium reduction of 15% for more than 90% of its one million members.
The new product, TPD Assist, will remove waiting periods for a majority of claims as well as a replace lump sum payments with annual support payments. It is part of a wider initiative to encourage members to return to work where possible.
A study of Sunsuper members who had previously been paid a TPD claim found that 36% had returned to work or were actively seeking employment. It highlights that ‘permanent’ is not necessarily forever and many members want to return to work, Sunsuper said.
Sunsuper’s head of product Wanda Britton said TPD Assist focuses on being there for members when they need it most, both financially and emotionally.
Britton added the new tailored product “means that most of our members will see an average reduction of 15% in their combined annual death and TPD Assist premiums.”
This will work by reducing current TPD rates by about 30% and partially offset by an approximate 15% increase in death rates. The increase death rates are from a spike in death claims at the fund and across the entire industry during 2015. If Sunsuper didn’t introduce TPD Assist, combined premiums were likely to increase.
Britton said, as an example, for a member who suffers a back injury, they or their employer can contact Sunsuper on diagnosis to immediately begin the claim process. the member is then referred to a Vocational Rehabilitation Specialist who will work with them, their employer and their treating doctor to support them with a tailored program.
“Once the member is assessed as meeting the definition of being totally and permanently disabled, they will receive their cover in six equal annual support payments over five years – unless they’re able to return to work earlier at which time the payments would have stopped,” Britton Said.
The new product will launch on the 1st of July, 2016, and was developed based on 18 months of research in consultation with more than 1000 Sunsuper members.
[via FINANCIAL STANDARD]