Life insurance policies may help you to recover, at work and at home

Some policies issued by life insurers will trigger a benefit if the insured person has an illness or injury as defined by the policy terms.  Policies known as Income Protection Insurance, Trauma Insurance and Total and Permanent Disability insurance are specifically designed to be triggered by an illness or injury as opposed to the extremity of death, which is the primary purpose of a life cover policy.  These policies will typically pay a benefit based on a nominated sum insured that is selected by the life insured.  In addition, if the insured is on claim for an illness or injury, some policies may also offer access to specialist support  to help improve the quality of life and, if possible, return to meaningful work. Where offered, this is generally a service provided by the insurer at no additional cost to the insured, while they are on claim.

Where offered, the benefit may be referred in a number of different ways, such as a “Recovery Support Service”. These may help improve a recovery from a long-term illness or injury, by assisting with financial support for day-to-day functioning, health and wellness. It may also help with a gradual return to work if that is appropriate. Work can give many people a sense of purpose and identity, which can be impacted if they are off work for a long period of time. A recent study from the University of Pennsylvania in the US suggests there is a link between high levels of free time each day, and lower levels of wellbeing.1

The Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ Health Benefits of Good Work initiative also points to the importance of ‘good work’ – in a healthy, safe workplace – in boosting your wellbeing.2

The kind of services that can be accessed are dependent on your insurer and the policy terms.  In general if you’ve made a claim for a serious illness or injury, your insurer may be able to work with you to help prepare an individualised recovery plan that aims to assist with improving your health, wellbeing and return to the workforce.

This plan may include a combination of:

  1. Exercise physiology programs
  2. Pre-vocational support or ‘pre-habilitation’
  3. Return to work planning
  4. Business and executive coaching
  5. Specialist support for your condition (such as cancer, mental health or fatigue-related conditions.

A recovery plan will most likely be developed in consultation with any medical professionals you’re currently seeing for your illness or injury, to make sure the right approach is taken for you and your health.

Too much free time may be almost as bad as too little. American Psychological Association, 9 September 2021

Health Benefits of Good Work. Royal Australasian College of Physicians 2022

Life Insurance is different to health insurance and Life Insurance policies do not offer the same benefits as health insurance policies. This article should not be considered as health advice, and you should always obtain advice from a relevant health provider where relevant. The information above is general information only. It has been prepared without taking into account any particular person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. You should seek independent financial advice and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) before making any decision about a product.