This is a question I ask many clients in a lot of different contexts and I’m always surprised by how few actually know the answer. It comes up a lot more than you think – I ask about potential death benefits with clients who consult me in relation to their estate planning needs, I ask clients who have been injured whether they might have any income protection benefits available if they cannot work, and if someone is seriously injured or diagnosed with a terminal illness I ask if they have total and permanent disability cover. These are common insurance benefits that are offered by superannuation companies that many people are paying for and don’t even know are there.
To be fair, when I got my first job as a teenager and filled out my superannuation form, I just selected the standard option and didn’t know these benefits were available through my fund either. But doing the type of work I do, I now know how important some of these benefits can be when something awful happens. It’s quite often good news I can give to clients who have been injured, or grieving families, that there may be some additional funds available if we can make one of these claims.
Check your statement, you might be surprised to find that some or all of these insurance benefits are automatically included by your super fund if you haven’t opted out. If you have opted out, do some research, find out if it is something you wish to consider further as the premiums are often lower than taking out a similar insurance policy yourself. Be aware that if you do not make any contributions to your super fund for an extended period, any existing policies could be cancelled, and this can also occur in some cases if your balance drops below $6,000. Each policy will have its own requirements for making a claim so make sure you are familiar with the eligibility criteria as well.