It’s easier to make a claim on your life insurance if you gather the right information for your insurer.
Who to contact to make a claim
To make a claim on your insurance, speak to the person or company you bought the policy from.
If you bought insurance through:
- an insurer — contact the insurance company
- an insurance broker or financial adviser — speak to them first
- a superannuation fund — contact your fund
- an employment arrangement — speak to your employer
Ask how the claims process works and what forms you need to fill out. Make sure you have your policy number available. If you’re struggling physically or emotionally, ask a trusted friend or family member for help with the claims process.
What information you need to provide
The insurer will ask for information to support your claim. Depending on the type of insurance, you may have to provide:
- medical reports and medical test results from your doctor
- details of your work duties, including physical requirements, and the number of hours you work each week
- payslips and tax returns, or financial statements if you are self employed
- if a person has passed away, a death certificate or medical report listing the cause of death
Your insurer may ask for permission to contact your doctor about your claim. You may also have to go to an independent medical examination with a specialist, who then reports to the insurer.
If illness or injury continues to affect your ability to earn an income, you may need to have regular assessments and complete progress claim forms.
How long the claims process takes
Depending on the circumstances, an insurer will let you know their decision for:
- income-related claims — within 2 months of being notified about your claim, or 2 months after the waiting period has expired
- other claims — within 6 months of being notified about your claim, or 6 months after the waiting period has expired
To find out the average time your insurer takes to finalise a claim, see the life insurance claims comparison tool.
The Life Insurance Code of Practice sets out what insurers should do when handling your claim, including timeframes for making a decision and keeping you updated. If they do not meet these standards you can complain to the insurer.
Complain about an insurer’s claims process or decision
If you’re not satisfied with the claims process or decision, make a complaint to the insurer or super fund. Do this as soon as you can.
If you can’t reach an agreement, contact the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) to make a complaint and get free, independent dispute resolution.
Urgent financial help
If you need urgent financial help while a claim is being assessed, speak to the insurer or super fund. They will consider your circumstances and may be able to:
- speed up the assessment and decision about the claim
- make an advance payment to help you
You will have to provide your insurer with documents that support your need for urgent financial help. These could include bank statements or Centrelink statements. Payments for urgent financial help may reduce your claim payout.
Please contact us on 1300 79 80 38 if you seek further assistance on this topic.
Visit our Financial Knowledge Centre where you will access educational videos and articles, plus join our monthly e-Newsletter to help improve your financial knowledge.
If this article interested you and you would like to speak to Pat Casey on the phone, select a time to speak Pat – Financial Planner Sydney.
At Assure Wealth we specialise in helping busy, successful families structure their finances to achieve greater wealth and financial peace of mind.
Disclaimer: The information provided on this website has been provided as general advice only. We have not considered your financial circumstances, needs or objectives and you should seek the assistance of your Walker Lane Pty Ltd Adviser before you make any decision regarding any products mentioned in this communication. Whilst all care has been taken in the preparation of this material, no warranty is given in respect of the information provided and accordingly neither Walker Lane nor its related entities, employees or agents shall be liable on any ground whatsoever with respect to decisions or actions taken as a result of you acting upon such information.
Assure Wealth Pty Ltd ABN 31 965 466 780 Corporate Authorised Representative no. 1244817, Patrick Casey Sub-Authorised Representative no. 1244748 of Walker Lane Pty Ltd ABN 70 626 199 826, an AFSL holder No 509305.