Total and Permanent Disability Insurance

TPD insurance pays a lump sum benefit if you become totally and permanently disabled and can no longer earn an income. However, different life insurance companies have different TPD definitions. Some will provide coverage should you be unable to work in Any Occupation which you might be suited for, while others will pay when you can no longer perform the duties associated with your Own Occupation.

If you are permanently unable to work due to illness or injury you’ll need this lump sum to make modifications to your home, pay off outstanding debts and medical expenses and cover your mortgage.

When comparing Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance policies, read the insurer’s product disclosure statement (PDS) and make sure you know which definition you are covered for and when they will and won’t pay a claim.

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no-1Types of Cover Available

Own Occupation

Pays a benefit if you are unable to ever return to work in your own occupation due to illness or injury.

Any Occupation

Pays a lump sum benefit if you are totally and permanent disabled and it is unlikely that you will ever be able to return to any occupation.

Home Duties

Provides a benefit if you are unable to continue performing regular home duties

Modified (Activities of Daily Living)

Covers you if you are unable to perform at least, two of the five activities of daily living.

no-2What is Total and Permanent Disablement?

Total and Permanent Disablement Insurance pays you a lump sum amount if you become totally and permanently disabled and the following conditions are met:

You have been disabled continuously for a minimum of three to six months, solely because of the injury or illness.

You have attended a medical practitioner and undergone all reasonable and usual treatment, including rehabilitation for injury or sickness, generally for at least six months.

Your insurer has received certification from at least one medical practitioner that you are totally and permanently disabled. Select insurers may ask for a second medical opinion to confirm your condition.

Select insurers may choose to seek other evidence other than medical evidence, in case it is required to conclusively prove you are totally and permanently disabled.

You meet your policies specific definition of total and permanent disablement:

  1. Any Occupation
  2. Own Occupation
  3. Home Duties
  4. Modified TPD

no-3What can the lump sum benefit be used for?

The lump sum benefit can be used in any way you see fit, including:

Debt repayments

Medical Costs

Home Modifications

Providing an income

no-4How much cover do I need?

The level of cover required can often be decided by the combination of your present debt, your family’s ongoing expenses and a rough estimation of possible medical expenses. You will also need to take into account how much cover you can afford.

no-5How do I know if I am covered for Total and Permanent Disability?

If you belong to an industry super fund such as Hesta, Australian Super or Media Super you may have what is called ‘Default Insurance’ as part of your fund.

Default Insurance is automatically applied to your policy and generally includes Life, TPD and Income Protection Insurance. You can find out exactly what and how much cover you have by contacting your super fund. Alternatively they may have sent you paperwork detailing your cover.

It is possible to take out a policy through your super fund. Please contact our specialists to find out how this can be done.

Please note that Default Insurance may not be an adequate level of insurance for you as it is a one side fits all proposition and is not tailored to meet your needs. Even if you have cover through your super fund, you should speak to our specialists about your cover options.

no-6Policy Options:

Double TPD

Double TPD allows you to get your full life insurance amount reinstated following a TPD claim in a combined policy.

Life Cover Buy Back

Only available in a combined policy, Life Cover Buy Back allows you to get your full life insurance amount reinstated 12 months after a TPD claim is made.

no-7Combined polices

Combined policies, also known as linked or bundled policies, are a great way to take out affordable insurance across multiple cover types, including total and permanent disablement cover.

no-8Total and Permanent Disablement Insurance and Tax

Your TPD policy may be tax deductible to your super fund if you take it out through superannuation. Contact us to find out more information or speak to your tax agent.

Published: March 10, 2018
  • TPD vs Income Protection

    TPD or Income Protection which is best or should I have both? Everything you need to know to protect your income and your family’s financial future.

  • Own Occupation

    Own Occupation Total and Permanent Disablement cover provides protection if you can no longer work in your Own Occupation.

  • Are TPD Insurance Premiums Tax Deductible?

    Yes, TPD insurance premiums are tax deductible when an any occupation total and permanent disablement insurance policy is owned by your super fund.

  • TPD vs Trauma Insurance

    Are you not sure what the difference is between TPD and Trauma Insurance? Our comprehensive comparison guide takes you though the two cover types!

  • Modified TPD

    Not sure about Modified TPD? Learn more about this policy including when it is available, when to consider it and how you can use your benefit!

  • Any Occupation

    Find out more about Any Occupation TPD Insurance from Australia’s #1 Comparison Service including comparing quotes, definitions….

Ask an Expert?


  • Cheryl-Sherring |

    My TPD insurance claim has been approved through AIA insurance. This has been deposited to my superannuation fund Rest, can I draw only on the insurance part of this claim without the superannuation part that Rest is still requiring documentation for ? As the insurance part of my claim is un preserved this is the part off the claim I require.


    Cheryl lee Sherring

      Brett Lenertz |

      Thanks for your great question Cheryl. Generally, the process is the Superannuation Fund Trustee will require you to complete a document known as a ‘Cash Benefit Withdrawal Form’ to gain access to the benefit that you have received. This form would be then provided to the Superannuation Fund Trustee who will then confirm that you meet all the requirements for the Condition of Release of this TPD Insurance Benefit for this to be released to you. You will likely find that your Superannuation Fund will have dedicated staff that handles insurance claims that are released to your Fund and they should be able to give you some guidelines around the time frames with this occurring.

  • subra |

    Does this policy cover world wide.

      Russell |

      Hi Subra,

      In general Retail Total Permanent Disablement policies provide worldwide 24/7 cover, subject to underwriting at the time you take out the policy.

      If you need further assistance in finding a suitable policy please reach out to the team on 1300 135 205.

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