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You might have heard the terms ‘own occupation’ or ‘any occupation’ in relation to total and permanent disability insurance, but do you know what they mean? In short, these terms refer to how your policy defines total disability, which could make a big difference when it comes time to claim. We’ll take you through the differences between own and any occupation policies and help you decide which is best for you.

Total and permanent disability insurance (TPD) can give you the ability to have financial security for medical or rehabilitation treatment and can provide the comfort of knowing that you and your family can keep living the life you love. With TPD insurance, you may become eligible to receive a lump sum benefit payment if you meet your policy’s definition of totally or permanently disabled after an injury or illness.

When you’re considering taking out TPD insurance, you’ll want to pay attention to each insurer’s definition of disability, as this will significantly affect the likelihood of a successful insurance claim.

There are two main ways TPD insurers define disability in their policies, which are based on your ability to work after a claimed event:

  • Any occupation: You can claim if you’re permanently disabled and cannot work in any occupation you’re suited to by education, training or experience. Any occupation TPD insurance is the only definition available through superannuation.
  • Own occupation: You can claim if you’re unable to complete substantial duties in your regular occupation or your chosen field of employment, but you can continue to work in a new position.

Let’s compare these two types of cover against one another.

Any occupationGenerally less expensive than an own occupation policy.

Available for a wider range of occupations.

You won’t receive a payout if you’re still able to work in another field you’re suited to by education, training or experience.
Own occupationYou could receive a payout even if you were able to return to work in a different occupation, so you could be more likely to receive a disability benefit.You’ll likely pay a higher premium than you would for any occupation cover.

Some insurance companies might not cover you for specific occupations that are deemed high-risk.

Hopefully, the above table can help you decide which type of TPD policy is best for you. If you’re still unsure or want more information, you can call us to talk to an expert and discuss it with them before you take out cover.

Other types of TPD Insurance

In addition to the above, there are three other forms of TPD insurance definitions you may not know about:

  • Activities of daily living. You’re unable to perform certain activities needed for daily living (e.g. showering, eating).
  • Home duties. You’re unable to perform your essential duties as a homemaker (e.g. stay-at-home parent).
  • Loss of independent existence. You’re unable to live independently, you have a cognitive impairment or cannot perform prescribed activities needed for daily living.

Do you need TPD insurance?

If you want the peace of mind that you and your family may be covered if you become disabled and can no longer work, it might be time to consider a total and permanent disability insurance policy. Through our free online comparison tool, you can compare policies side by side to see if you can find one that works for you.

Otherwise, you might be interested in some of the other types of life insurance available to you.

Disclaimer: The information provided here is general only and does not consider your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Before you decide to purchase a product, it’s important to read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS).

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