Leading Australian life insurer, TAL, has today announced that it has provided a record amount of benefits to customers in a half year, paying $2 billion in claims during the six months from 1 April 2023.
Of the 32,456 individuals and their beneficiaries who received payments in the period, 75% were living benefits1—sums paid to customers living with or recovering from an injury or illness—up from 72% in the 2022/23 financial year2.
Living benefit payments were driven by an increase in Income Protection and Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) claims related to mental health conditions including post-traumatic stress disorder and depression (23% of all claims), followed by injuries and fractures and cancer (each 15% of all claims).
Claims for mental health-related conditions have grown steadily over recent years, with mental health conditions surpassing cancer as the leading cause of claims in 2021/22.
TAL Chief Claims Officer, Jenny Oliver said that it was the highest value in claims ever paid by the life insurer in a half-year period and a reflection of TAL’s unwavering commitment to delivering for customers by supporting them when they need it most.
“Paying claims is the most important thing we do. Life insurance provides our customers with peace of mind when making important decisions like buying a home or starting a family, and provides important financial protection during life's biggest challenges.”
“People often think that life insurance provides payments to families when a loved one passes away, but in reality, the large majority of claims are paid to help TAL customers as they recover from an illness or injury.”
“At TAL we strive to continually improve the claims process and experience for our customers, our super fund partners and their members. This includes investing in digitising the right services to increase the speed and efficiency of the claims process, and increasing the integration between super fund partners, administrators and insurers, so claims can be paid faster.”
“Customers need the right tools to help them engage with their insurance cover or make a claim. That is why we have developed Claims Assist where customers and super fund members can easily lodge and manage their claim, and Cover Assist which allows them to check and change their cover,” said Ms Oliver.
Rehabilitation and health services an important part of living benefit claims
Ms Oliver said TAL took a holistic view of health and recovery, and understood the importance of assessing the balance of physical, mental and financial health - proactively and after the unexpected happens.
“Our claims consultants are known for their supportive and empathetic approach to our customers when they are making a claim and recovering from illness or injury, in addition to helping people meet their financial obligations.”
“Beyond a claim payment, TAL provides a wide range of support services to help our customers prevent illness or injury as well as to recover when things go wrong, including pain management, occupational rehabilitation services and cancer support to customers to help meet their health goals,” said Ms Oliver.
TAL General Manager of Health Services, Dr Priya Chagan, who leads TAL’s dedicated in-house Health Services team said life insurers were uniquely placed to help customers live a healthy and full life.
“TAL’s team of doctors, psychologists, allied health professionals and accountants provide expertise across physical, mental and financial health, so we can better support our customers.”
“TAL also partners with experts in the health community to ensure we’re at the forefront of health thinking and industry thought leadership.”
“We are committed to supporting Australians who are unable to work due to an injury or illness. We want to help them on their recovery journey so they can return to work in a safe and healthy way,” said Dr Chagan.
The most common reasons for making a claim with TAL
|Reason for claim||H1 23/24||Full Year 22/23|
|Mental health conditions||23%||19%|
|Injury and fractures||15%||16%|
|Musculoskeletal and connective tissue conditions||12%||11%|
|Conditions of the circulatory system||9%||10%|
|Conditions of the nervous system||6%||5%|
|Conditions of the respiratory system||4%||5%|
1. Living benefits include payments for Income Protection, Involuntary Unemployment, Terminal Illness, Total and Permanent Disability and Trauma Cover.
2. TAL’s financial year runs from 1 April through 31 March.