Frequently asked questions about Life Protection Insurance
Many of your general questions can be answered here.
If you have a specific question regarding your own policy, please contact us
No, Suncorp Life Protect only covers death or terminal illness. If you are looking for insurance that covers accidents and injuries, take a look at our Suncorp Accidental Injury Plan and Suncorp Income Protection, as they may offer exactly what you need.
We try to make our claims process as simple as possible. When you (or your beneficiary) need to make a claim, simply call us on 1800 604 689. We’ll discuss the claim and then send you out a claim pack. This claim pack will ask you to put some documentation together and return it to us. This could include medical reports, a copy of your will or a death certificate.
No, we don’t offer multi-policy discounts, however, we do offer a family discount. If one of your immediate family members has a Suncorp Life Protect policy with us, you can benefit from a 10% family discount on your cover when you take out a Suncorp Life Protect policy. When you apply, simply let our operator know, and we will arrange the discount.
Yes, you can increase your lump sum benefit by up to $100,000 each year without having to provide further evidence of your health or lifestyle if you are under 60 and go through a significant life event e.g. getting married, have or adopt a child, have a child start school for the first time, purchase a home or suffer the death of your spouse. You can increase your lump sum to a maximum of $1,000,000 in total depending on how much your original sum insured was. If your sum insured was $400,000, you will be able to increase your sum insured using this benefit by a further $400,000 in total over the life of the policy.
Find out how Suncorp can help.
At Suncorp we believe in the importance of helping to provide you and your family with financial reassurance and security when you need it most. If the decision to cancel your cover is the result of a change in your lifestyle or financial situation, it's worth knowing we're looking out for you.
Questions regarding the Health and Lifestyle section
No. We calculate your premiums before you answer our health and lifestyle questions, so they will not decrease after completing the Health and Lifestyle section. However, those calculations are based on “standard lives”. If your health and lifestyle answers put you outside the standard lives category, we may apply exclusions or loading to your premium, or we may decide that we are unable to offer you cover under the policy you applied for.
You just need you to tell us the truth. When it comes to providing you with insurance, it’s incredibly important you give us the correct information. If you keep something from us or lie about something in your application, your policy may be voided later on, or your claim may be denied. If you have any questions about this, please refer to Your Duty of Disclosure.
You may find that in some of our health and lifestyle questions we will ask you something that has a specific timeframe attached to it. For example, we could ask you if you have been a smoker “in the past five years” or “ever”. When answering each question, just keep an eye out for any specific timeframes and make sure you answer correctly.
During our life insurance application process, we ask certain questions to allow us to determine your health and lifestyle risks. If those questions put you outside our “standard lives” category, we may not be able to offer you cover.
General questions regarding life insurance
Life insurance can be thought of a financial safety net for your loved ones. You pay regular premiums, and in return, your beneficiaries will receive a lump sum payment when you die. If you are diagnosed terminally ill after 12 months of having cover, you may receive an early benefit payout.
Life insurance can offer a lump sum payment to your loved ones when you die. If you have anyone who depends on you financially – whether it’s your partner, your kids, or other members of your family – it’s worthwhile thinking about how they would cope if your financial support were no longer available. If you were no longer around, the lump sum payment from your life insurance could help them cover everyday expenses, pay off the mortgage or pay for the kids’ education.
We know this part can get tricky. Working out how much life insurance you need is never easy. You don’t want to get too much – or too little.
The easiest way to work out how much life insurance you need is to start with a list of all the things you currently pay out, for yourself and/or your family and all your debts. Things such as:
- Your home mortgage
- Your personal loans
- Your credit cards debts
As long as you are an Australian citizen aged between 18 and 60, you can apply for life insurance. If you want to apply for life insurance with Suncorp, simply apply online or call us on 1800 177 549. It only takes a few minutes to apply, and you don’t have to worry about taking a medical test or filling out any complicated paperwork.
As long as you have had your policy for at least 12 months, you can apply for an early payout of your lump sum payment if you are diagnosed terminally ill. Should this happen, contact our claims department to discuss which steps to follow, and we will proceed with the claims process as quickly as possible.
Our 30 day cooling off period allows you to cancel within 30 days of us confirming the purchase of your policy. Unless you have made a claim within that time, we will refund any premiums you have paid to us, and the policy will be cancelled.
It’s up to you! You can choose who you would like to benefit from your life insurance policy. All you need to do is tell us, and we will arrange it. You can nominate up to five beneficiaries, who will receive the proceeds of your lump sum payout in the event of your death. This could be your partner, or your partner and your kids, or it could be friends or a charity. If you have any questions about this, just ask!
We know that dealing with death is never easy. To make our part somewhat easier, we ensure our claims process is as simple as possible. When your beneficiaries need to make a claim, they just need to call us on 1800 604 689. We will then discuss some of the details of the claim and send out a claim pack.
Yes, Australian and New Zealand Citizens and permanent residents, residing in Australia at the time of applying for the insurance policy can apply.
Whole life insurance is the simplest form of permanent life insurance. It features lifelong protection for you and your family, with guaranteed premiums, death benefit and cash value. While popular in the 1970s and 1980s, whole life insurance is no longer available in Australia. The most common and widely-used form of life insurance now is known as 'term life insurance'.
Whole life insurance is characterised by:
- Lifelong protection, unless you cancel the policy
- Level premiums that don’t increase with age
- A guaranteed death benefit
- Guaranteed earnings (at a certain rate) that will increase the cash value each year
- The possibility of dividend earnings, which can be withdrawn or used to increase the cash value of the policy or reduce premiums.
The main features of permanent life insurance include:
- It provides risk protection for you and your family for your entire life, providing you keep up the premium payments. Therefore, unlike term life insurance, the insurance company will eventually need to make a payment in one form or another.
- It builds equity in the form of a cash value, which the policy owner is able to access during their lifetime to spend on whatever they choose. For example, if you’ve paid premiums for a number of years and your children no longer rely on you financially, you might choose to withdraw a portion of your cash value to spend or invest elsewhere, while leaving an appropriate balance as your death benefit.
- It’s more flexible than term life insurance and the policy owner may be able to choose and adjust their payment terms, sum insured and investment allocation.
Permanent life insurance was often used in combination with term life insurance. For example, policy owners might supplement their permanent life insurance with a certain amount of the cheaper term life insurance during their child raising years, particularly if they had a significant mortgage.
Life insurance companies maintain a schedule of premium rates with premiums paid on a periodic basis, usually monthly or annually.
The premium you’ll pay as an individual can depend on a range of factors including your gender, age and smoking status. Generally, applicants who are older or who smoke are likely to pay higher life insurance premium rates. Life insurance companies will often allow smokers to re-apply for cover at standard rates once they have stopped smoking for a period of at least 12 months.
If you have pre-existing health issues when you apply for cover, you may need to pay a higher premium rate than normal (known as a ‘premium loading’). The life insurance company may need to charge this loading in order to cover the additional risk.
How do I know I’m getting a good deal?
If you’re in the market for life insurance, you’re probably aware that premium rates can vary between insurers. That’s because there are hundreds of different policies on the market, many of which offer different features, benefits and levels of service.
Raising kids is an expensive business at the best of times, but imagine the burden if your child suffered an illness or injury that required expensive medical treatment.
It’s not something we like to think about, but many families across Australia are faced with exactly this predicament every year. Aside from the emotional stress of a child’s illness or injury, parents are often hit with financial stress resulting from out-of-pocket medical expenses and travel costs – particularly if they’re from remote areas or need to travel overseas for treatment.
Child life insurance is a relatively new type of insurance that’s designed to ease the financial pressure on families. It can provide you with a lump sum payment should your child die, get diagnosed with a terminal illness, or suffer a specified medical condition or procedure. Each insurance company will maintain their own list of illnesses and injuries, but common examples include brain damage, cancer, paralysis, burns, blindness and deafness.
It's a common misconception that insurance is expensive, when in fact not having insurance could cost you and your family everything. Most people are surprised to learn that life insurance is cheaper than they think.
When it comes to seeking out low cost life insurance, it pays to do your homework. After all, not all insurance cover is the same and a product may appear to be cheap simply because it offers a limited range of features and benefits. While saving a few dollars a week may seem attractive now, it may lead to disappointment later on when it really matters – at claim time.
Variable life insurance, also known as 'variable universal life insurance', is a form of permanent life insurance with flexible terms and investment options. This type of insurance is no longer available in Australia, where the main type of life insurance is known as 'term life insurance'.
The difference between variable life insurance and other permanent life insurance is its flexible terms, including the opportunity to:
- Reduce or increase your death benefit, within prescribed limits.
- Change the timing and amount of your premiums. For example, you may choose to pay premiums annually, or increase or decrease premiums within prescribed limits.
- Choose the way your cash value is invested among the available funding options (including growth options such as shares).
In the event of your death or terminal illness, term life insurance provides a lump sum of money which can be used to clear debts and provide financial security for your family.
When taking out term life insurance, you should consider how the loss of either you or your partner would affect your family’s future. It’s important not to underestimate the value of a non-working or low income-earning partner, particularly if you have children or other dependants.
Term life insurance works by allowing you to nominate an amount that you’d like to insure your life for. This amount can be used to cover things like children’s education, debts, ongoing income for your partner and funeral expenses.
Total and Permanent Disability insurance (TPD) provides a lump sum if you suffer an illness or injury that leaves you totally and permanently disabled. TPD insurance benefits are often used to eliminate debts, pay for medical expenses or fund any permanent lifestyle changes resulting from disablement.
TPD products vary in their definitions of what 'totally and permanently disabled' means. It is important to do your research, speak to a financial adviser, and be sure you have a product that allows you to claim under one of the following four definitions.
With rapid advancement in medical diagnosis and treatment, many illnesses that were once a death sentence are now curable. Critical illness insurance is a relatively new form of insurance designed to provide financial support during recovery from major illnesses.
Also known as 'trauma' or 'recovery' insurance, it provides a lump sum of money on the diagnosis (or occurrence) of one of a list of specified medical conditions and procedures. The most common of these include cancer, heart attack and stroke, but your critical illness policy will state exactly which conditions it covers. Be sure you understand what you’re covered for and what the benefits are.
This information is a summary and general advice only and does not take into account your personal situation or needs. You should consider whether the product is appropriate for you. Please refer to the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) for a product for further details about the terms and conditions that apply. Refer also to the Suncorp Financial Services (SFS) Financial Services Guide for details about what financial services may be provided in relation to the product.