What is the Default Insurance Hidden in Superannuation Policies?
As most of us will know, superannuation is money set aside either from your wage or by personal contribution to aid in funding your retirement. What many of us will not be aware of, however, is the default life and disability insurance hidden within the fine print of many policies. On the surface this was to benefit account holders; in fact, the government made it a requirement for superannuation funds to automatically include this insurance if you have a MySuper account holding a minimum of $6,000, unless members choose to opt out (which can be difficult if you don’t know you’re paying for it in the first place). But after investigations from large bodies, including corporate regulator the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), this type of cover has various flaws, leaving it to be regarded as another form of ‘junk insurance’.
Why is Superannuation Insurance Considered Junk Insurance?
Findings from ASIC and other agencies have found that, while superannuation insurance is supposed to offer a default, protective product for Australians in need of assistance, the costs and value of such protection varied across the market. Account holders are forking out over $4 billion every year – largely unknowingly – out of their retirement savings, yet individuals will pay from tens of dollars to hundreds on the same insurance policies without any clear, discerning differences, as their default settings offered varying cover. In simpler terms, this means two people sharing identical characteristics in the eyes of super funds could be paying different prices and receiving different amounts of cover, based purely on the superannuation product they have chosen. Young people, those with disabilities, and those in casual or part-time employment appeared to be the most affected by this practice, as they are paying bloated prices for cover that they technically aren’t even able to claim from, due to restrictive eligibility criteria. This is most commonly seen with Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance.
What is Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance & How is it Mis-Sold?
Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) insurance is designed to offer support to members of the public unable to work again due to a form of disability due to injury or illness. As mentioned above, TPD is bundled into superannuation products, and over 10 million Australians will have it included with their policy, paid for by the amounts they have contributed to the fund.
ASIC has since found this to largely be a ‘junk’ insurance policy, due to various funds declining upwards of 70% of TPD claims. This was on the grounds of one of the two tests needed to be passed in order for a claim to be approved.
The standard test is where someone must simply be able to prove they are unable to work due to their injury or illness, which is relatively straightforward.
Alternatively, someone may be assessed based on an Activities of Daily Living (ADL) test, which is much harder to ‘pass’. This requires the demonstration that someone is unable to complete at least two of five physical actions, including talking, walking, self-feeding, dressing, and using the bathroom.
The tests selected and applied to TPD claims cases are often based on the amount of hours worked by the person in question. The ADL test and its more restrictive criteria (and lack of mental health consideration) will generally be prescribed for those with low working hours or who operate hazardous positions. Therefore, due to the nature of these tests, people who are unemployed or in non-permanent employment can find difficulty having successful assessment of their TPD claims, leaving them with no financial security from the insurance they had been paying for out of their superannuation.
How to Obtain a Junk Superannuation or Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) Insurance Refund
Get My Refund’s team have a wealth of experience in the finance and insurance industries. We specialise in helping people mis-sold junk insurance policies or who have incurred fees for no services retrieve the refunds upon which they are entitled. If you have been mis-sold junk superannuation insurance, such as TPD cover to which you are not eligible, we can handle everything for you. Rather than entering the hassle of a class action, we can handle everything for you in order to generate a larger refund owed.
- Provide us with your details, including superannuation & insurance contracts if you can (If not we can help)
- Our team review & analyse your position and contact you to finalise your refund claim
- On your behalf, we then proceed to submit your refund claim(s)
- You receive your junk superannuation insurance refund