Frequently asked questions

For financial adviser use only

Your questions answered

For TAL and Asteron clients who are experiencing financial hardship because of COVID-19, we’ve introduced additional support options. These options are available for policies that have been in force (with premiums paid) for six months or more, and are in addition to our standard financial hardship measures.

We’ve put together some Frequently Asked Questions on these new measures to help you support your customers during these unprecedented times.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which policy types already include premium relief options?

Some TAL and Asteron Life policy holders have the option to pause their cover and premiums, as this feature is built-in to their cover:

  Involuntary Unemployment Waiver Premium Pause (Premium and Cover Suspension)
TAL Accelerated Protection (AP) Three months, Income Protection Premier only Up to 12 months, Income Protection Premier and Income Protection Super only. Not available for any other benefits.
TAL Accelerate (APP) Three months available with the Income Protection Comprehensive benefit Up to 12 months, Income Plan Comprehensive
TAL Tower Protection policy (TPP) Three months available with the Income Protection Plus benefit Up to 12 months, Income Protection Plan Plus (only available under PDS dated 2 April 2007 and onwards)
Asteron Life Complete (ALC) Six months for Income Protection Plus (Optional for Income Protection Standard) Up to 12 months, all benefits
Asteron Life Guard (ALG) Six months for Income Protector and Income Advantage where Extras package applies Up to 12 months, all benefits excepting Income Shield
Other Asteron legacy business  Please refer to the relevant PDS/Policy Document

Please Note: If your client has one of the above options built-in to their policy, they must use these options where possible before taking up our additional COVID-19 financial hardship measures.


What are the additional measures TAL has to assist my clients to make their policy more affordable due to COVID-19?

For TAL and Asteron Life clients who are experiencing financial hardship because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve introduced additional support options, including: 

Options to temporarily reduce cover

If your client reduces their sum insured between now and 30 June 2020 due to COVID-19-related financial hardship, they can increase their sum insured back to its original level within six months, without medical or financial underwriting. There are some terms and conditions that will apply when the increase is processed, including:

  • premiums will change  in line with the underyling terms and conditions of the policy and may differ from the previous cost of the policy
  • indexation will not be applied to the reduced cover portion if there is an anniversary during the period of reduced cover
  • increased cover will be subject to the same terms that applied prior to the decrease, including any special terms and conditions
  • For cover that is reduced and then subsequently increased, for the increased portion no claim will be paid for certain events that occur, are diagnosed or become apparent within (3) months of the increase.

This offer is not available for benefits with a level premium, or any benefits structured through superannuation, including Linked, Attached, Super-linked and Split covers. Cover increases under this offer:

  • cannot exceed the original sum insured and/or any maximum sum insured applicable to benefits being increased.
  • are limited in accordance with age restrictions. 
  • for TPD and Income Protection, will require the life insured to have resumed work in an occupation that is not higher risk than the occupation they were performing at or immediately prior to the reduction. If their occupation has changed, increases will be subject to application and underwriting.

If this option does not suit your client then an underwritten Application for Increase or Alteration can be made, subject to eligibility criteria.

Importantly, if your client reduces their death cover and then passes away due to COVID-19, we’ll continue to provide that cover at the original sum insured, up to a maximum of $750,000 across all their policies until 30 September 2020. 

Cover and Premium Suspension (available from 27 April 2020)

For eligible TAL customers who do not currently have this facility built-in to their policy, this option allows for the suspension of cover for a period of up to three months at a time, for a maximum of 12 months.  We will automatically reinstate to the original level of cover without any additional underwriting assessment at the end of the agreed period. 

Although premiums will not be payable, no claim will be paid for any event that occurs, or for which signs or symptoms became apparent or were diagnosed, while the cover is suspended, except in certain circumstances where the cover includes a death benefit and death is caused by COVID-19. In some cases, no claim will be paid for certain events that occur, or for which signs or symptoms became apparent or were diagnosed, for three (3) months after a period of Cover and Premium Suspension ends. 

The cover will recommence on the same terms that applied prior to the Cover and Premium Suspension, including any special conditions, and subject to any change in premium. These conditions will be provided to both you and your clients when the application to suspend the cover is made. If this option does not suit your client then an underwritten Reinstatement Application or a new application can be made, subject to eligibility criteria.

In addition, as with our option to temporarily reduce or change cover, while cover is suspended we’ll continue to provide Life cover at the original sum insured, up to a maximum of $750,000 across all their policies, if your client passes away from COVID-19 on or before 30 September 2020.

Cover and Premium Suspension can be applied at different levels for each type of cover the customer holds (subject to rules for Attached and Linked cover), in the event your client wishes to maintain part(s) of their cover.

Please Note: this offer is not available to benefits structured through superannuation, including any Linked, Attached, Super-linked and Split covers.

More flexibility for premium payments

Until 30 June 2020, we’re increasing the auto-reinstatement period to 30 days for policies that lapse due to non-payment. And if your client decides to cancel their policy and then changes their mind, we can reinstate the cover within seven days without underwriting.

How can my clients apply for a sum insured reduction or a cover and premium suspension?

Your clients should contact us to discuss their options. If they wish to proceed with a reduction in their sum insured or a cover and premium suspension under TAL’s COVID-19 hardship offer, we will provide them with a link to a digital application form. 

Please Note:  If your client wishes to utilise  a Cover and Premium Suspension already included with their policy (i.e. not a COVID-19 hardship offer), they will need to complete an additional and separate application. 

What support is available for customers on claim?

As always, we’re committed to treating every client’s claim with understanding and compassion. Right now, for those that are having trouble gathering documentation to support their claim, we’ll ensure that wherever possible we’re flexible and pragmatic about what’s achievable given social distancing, self-isolation and other restrictions. We’ll also:

  • Provide certainty wherever possible, by scheduling up to three months of Income Protection benefit payments when your client’s condition is likely to continue in the short term
  • For policies that include our grief support, we have doubled the benefit so your client’s family can be reimbursed for up to six support sessions (up to a maximum of $2,000) if your client passes away due to COVID-19.

Are there eligibility criteria for the additional financial hardship measures TAL have introduced?

The additional measures of support for your clients who are facing financial difficulty due to COVID-19 will be considered where your client’s policy has been in-force and premiums paid for six months or more and:

  • they experience involuntary unemployment
  • they are eligible to receive the Australian Government "Jobkeeper" or "Jobseeker" payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment (including the single and partnered payments), special benefit or farm household allowance
  • they are required to take leave without pay for a minimum period of three months
  • their income, or hours of employment have been significantly decreased due to workplace restrictions as a result of COVID-19
  • are hospitalised as a result of COVID-19
  • have not gone into bankruptcy/liquidation (for IP and TPD cover suspension)

Please note: These hardship measures may not be available for all products or plans. Where a policy is paid in advance, we will not be able to offer a refund to your clients.

The terms and conditions above are accurate as at 21/04/20.  TAL will continue to monitor the situation and address over time.