If your claim is not accepted, then Westpac Life Insurance will notify you of this decision in writing along with the reasons for the outcome. If you wish to appeal this decision, you may do so by following our internal dispute resolution process.
If you remain dissatisfied following a review under our internal dispute resolution process, you may wish to refer this further to an external dispute resolution service. Westpac Life Insurance will provide you with information and contact details for the most appropriate external dispute resolution process regarding your particular circumstance. This information is also set out in the Westpac Protection Plans Product Disclosure Statement.
To help us determine if we can continue to pay you a monthly benefit, and how much we should pay, we require you to provide us with ongoing information whilst you are being paid a claim. The monthly progress claim form ensures we capture relevant information to assist us in the ongoing assessment of your claim.
For policies held outside superannuation
The policy owner is entitled to receive any benefits payable on a policy. If the policy owner has a valid beneficiary nomination on a Term Life, Total and Permanent Disablement, or Living Insurance policy, then any benefit payable on death will be paid to the beneficiary.
For Income Protection policies, if the insured person and the policy owner are the same person, any benefit payable on death, will be paid to their estate.
We pay claims by cheque or direct credit to your nominated bank account, in Australian dollars.
For policies held within superannuation
Benefits are paid to the trustee of the superannuation fund. The superannuation fund may then release the benefits to you or your nominated superannuation beneficiaries in accordance with superannuation law.
For Total and Permanent Disablement and Living Insurance policies, if you wish to maintain your policy after payment of a lump sum benefit and your policy has not ceased, you need to continue paying premiums, which will be adjusted to reflect any reduction in cover.
For Income Protection policies, you do not need to pay premiums whilst we are paying you a monthly benefit. After your claim has ceased, you will need to continue paying premiums to maintain your policy.
Tax may be payable on claim payments and how much will depend on a number of variables, including the ownership structure your policy is paid through. You should always seek independent tax advice in respect of your personal circumstances.
Policies held through superannuation
For Term Life as Superannuation policies, tax may be deducted from the lump sum benefit payable under the policy and paid to the ATO on your behalf. The amount of tax deducted (if any) will depend on a number of factors; including your age and the tax components of your superannuation benefit. For death benefits, the amount of tax deducted will also take into account whether the lump sum is being paid to a dependant individual, a non-dependant individual or to your estate.
For Income Protection as Superannuation and other Income Protection policies held through superannuation, except for policies held through a Self Managed Superannuation Fund (SMSF), tax will be deducted from your monthly benefit and paid to the ATO on your behalf.
For all other policies held through superannuation, including Income Protection policies held by an SMSF, we will pay the benefit to the trustee of the superannuation fund. The trustee will then determine whether the benefit can be released in accordance with superannuation law, and if so, the amount of tax that should be deducted from the payment(s).
Policies held outside superannuation
If your policy is held outside superannuation, we do not deduct tax. However, as tax may be payable on certain payments, you should keep any payment letters we send you for tax purposes.
If you have a Term Life policy, this provides a Funeral Advancement Benefit for the reimbursement of funeral expenses of 10% of the death benefit, up to a maximum of $25,000.
If an indemnity benefit type applies to your policy, we require your tax returns to help us assess what monthly benefit you will be paid.
If the insured person dies while we are paying a claim under an Income Protection or Income Protection Plus policy, we will pay a death benefit equal to 6 times the monthly benefit being paid at time of death.