I am a New Zealand Citizen and have a policy with OnePath

A New Zealand family moved to Australia, took out an OnePath policy which only provided cover for Australian Citizens and Permanent Australian Residents. This product was a Direct Life policy and was not the retail product that you currently have (and this is the policy we currently use for our clients wanting OnePath Cover) which is the OneCare policy range which is a fully underwritten policy.

The Visa that the family was on at the time the policy was taken out was a temporary Visa, and as such, the policy was deemed to be invalid. A complaint was lodged, and now a full refund of premiums paid was provided to the customer (approximately $20,000). The customer however has taken a complaint to the New South Wales Anti-Discrimination Board.

The main thought we should take away from this is that the reported NZ clients bought this product directly without any recommendation or advice from an adviser.

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The general benefits of “Retail Policies” which are generally purchased through an Adviser:

  • Applications are assessed by the underwriting team, who consider residency status at application time.
  • Therefore, a policy won’t be issued unless the customer is deemed eligible.
  • Generally customers can apply for OnePath OneCare cover without restriction due to their nationality, if they reside in Australia at the time of application and are either an Australian or New Zealand citizen or hold a visa that entitles them to reside permanently in Australia.
  • Once a policy is issued, a customer can move overseas and continue their cover. That policy will provide worldwide insurance cover 24 hours a day in accordance with the Policy Terms
  • OnePath generally will not require the customer to return to Australia for claims assessment

The disadvantages of “Direct Polices” that are bought online can be the following:

  • These policies are not assessed by an underwriter, so the eligibility requirements are clearly set out in the PDS and application form. It is up to the customer to read & understand these before applying
  • Up until 2009, most direct products offered by OnePath (Formally ING) required the customer to be either a citizen or Permanent Resident of Australia, and currently residing in Australia. A small number of products were also available to New Zealand citizens residing in Australia.
  • From 2009 onwards, the Direct Life products were available to new Zealand citizens residing in Australia. (i.e. if you  applied for the policy after 2009)
  • Once a policy is issued, a customer can move overseas and continue their cover.
  • OnePath generally will do not require the customer to return to Australia for claims assessment.

As your particular policy was a Retail OnePath OneCare policy and you informed them of your residency status and visa status at the time your took out the policy you have nothing to worry about as this information was assessed at the time the policy was started. I hope this answered your question around this article you read, if you require any further assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Author: Russell Cain
Published: March 10, 2017

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2 Comments

  • Davo |

    I am a new Zealanders and need to take out life and funeral insurance for my wife and I. We have resided in Perth for 6 years. How do I best find suitable cover?

    • Brett Lenertz SPECIALIST
      Brett Lenertz |

      Hi Davo and thanks for making contact. First of all to take out a policy with one of our providers you must be a Permanent Resident of Australia or have the intention to permanently reside as the Insurer may place limitations around this with a policy which you would be made aware of at the time of accepting the cover. Secondly, most Life Insurance policies generally will have a ‘Funeral Advancement Benefit’ built in, which means that on notification to the Insurer of the death of the life insured and on providing initial evidence in the form of a medical or interim certificate confirming the Life Insured has passed, the Life Insurance Company will release fairly quickly a percentage of the full death benefit or a set amount to the beneficiary/s depending on the sum insured. Alternatively, Funeral Insurance Cover is available as a stand-alone product. You are welcome to call one of our Life Insurance Specialists on 1300 135 205 who can explore the options for you and importantly we can compare up to 11 x Providers in the Australian Market.

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