For our members who currently have insurance cover included in their super, we’d like to confirm that there are no exclusions for the payment of death or disability insurance benefit as a result of a pandemic.

This means there are no exclusions for the payment of death or disability insurance benefits arising directly as a result of the COVID-19 coronavirus. This also applies to any new members receiving automatic default cover.

Read more of our responses to frequently asked questions from our members about insurance cover below.

Your insurance will be cancelled when your account becomes inactive for a continuous period of 16 months or more. To keep your account active:

  1. Elect to keep your insurance

    If you make an election, you will keep all your cover. If you only want to keep part of your cover, you should make an election and then call us to cancel any cover you no longer need.

    To do this, you have two options: 1. Submit an election request online. Simply log into your account online, select insurance, then click on ‘Insurance express online’ followed by ‘Keep my existing insurance’, or 2. Complete the ‘Opt in for insurance (FSS065)’ form, found at firststatesuper.com.au/forms, and send it to First State Super PO Box 1229 WOLLONGONG NSW 2500.

  2. Make super contributions to your account

    Activate your account by contributing or asking your employer to contribute to your account. If you make super contributions to your account, it will be active for the next 16 months.

    To make a contribution visit firststatesuper.com.au/boost

  3. Consolidate your super into your account with us

    Use our search and combine tool to combine any super you have with another fund into your account with us. If you roll money in from another fund, your account will be active for the next 16 months.

    Go to supermatch.firststatesuper.com.au to find and combine your super.

We will notify you if your cover stops because there’s not enough money in your account to pay the premiums. If we receive contributions (less any tax due) that are enough to pay the premiums for your insurance (and anything owing) within 28 days of our notice, then your cover will be automatically reinstated from the date cover stopped.

Otherwise, if you remain a member of First State Super, you can reapply for cover by providing detailed information about your health, income, occupation and lifestyle. However, your application will be subject to acceptance by the insurer. If your application is accepted, insurance cover starts on the date of written acceptance by the insurer.

If you are unemployed for more than 12 months at the date of your injury or illness causing you to be totally and permanently disabled, the definition of total and permanent disablement changes.

Please see your relevant Insurance Member Booklet Supplement for full details of what this may mean for you.

An income protection benefit is not the same as an unemployment benefit. Unless the reason you are not working is due to your disabling illness or injury, you will not be eligible to claim income protection benefits.

However, if you have income protection insurance and your doctor certifies you are unable to work because you are suffering from coronavirus, you may be eligible to claim, subject to acceptance by the insurer. You will need to satisfy the definition of ‘total disability’ and you won’t be paid a benefit for or during any waiting period. Also, you will only be paid a benefit for as long as your illness or injury prevents you from working.

To check if you may be able to claim, please call us on 1300 650 873 or send an email to enquiries@firststatesuper.com.au.

Yes. The amount shown on your benefit statement is usually the maximum amount you can receive. The actual amount you receive will be calculated by the insurer when you make a claim, based on your income in the period before your disability occurred. If your income has reduced, for example, as a result of reduced work hours, this will be reflected in the calculation of the benefit amount by the insurer.

Also, if you are receiving or are entitled to receive income-like payments from other sources, such as workers’ compensation, Centrelink benefits or benefits from another insurer, your income protection benefits may be reduced by that amount.

Our insurer recognises there may be difficulties for some members to provide the information required to support their claim. In these situations, they will be flexible and pragmatic, and look for simple ways to process claims quickly, in line with policy terms and conditions.

Our insurer’s claims team is guided by five key principles in response to the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. Ensuring they pay claims on time and accurately.
  2. Assessing all claims quickly.
  3. Maintaining high standards in the quality of claims management.
  4. Only requesting information that’s reasonable, appropriate and specific for each member’s claim and being flexible in their approach.
  5. Being agile and responsive as the situation unfolds.

Please call us and let us know. We know some members may find it difficult to collect some information, either due to social distancing, self-isolation or other matters. To alleviate pressures experienced by members, staff and healthcare providers, our insurer will try to access medical information by phone in the first instance.

For income protection claims where our insurer knows a member’s medical condition or capacity is unlikely to change, they’ve started to schedule benefit payments for the next three months. They will schedule benefit payments up to the earliest of three months, the expiry of benefit period, reaching benefit ceasing age and the return to work date.