The $2.7 billion NGS Super has negotiated a new deal with its insurer that will give members the option of income protection to age 65, death cover extended to age 70 and automatic insurance increases for trigger events.
The fund negotiated the enhancements to its insurance offering with Comminsure, its insurer for the last three years, and recently extended the insurance contract for a further 12 months. The changes will take effect from 1 November, 2009.
Under the changes, income protection insurance now has three optional tiers: income protection cover for a two year period (as before); income protection cover for an extended five year period; or income protection cover to age 65. The three levels of cover have different premiums, with the latter the most expensive.
Anthony Rodwell-Ball, chief executive officer of NGS Super, said the changes to income protection reflected the demographic of the fund’s membership.
“They work in education, they work much longer than the average Australian worker so we get them working into their 60s and in some cases even 70s part-time,” he said.
Death cover has been increased from 65 to 70 in line with recent changes to the Age Pension eligibility age, while members will receive automatic aceptance of the lesser 25 per cent of their basic cover for trigger events such as marriage, the birth of a child or taking out a mortgage provided the member informs NGS of the change.
In addition, certain TPD claims will have “day one acceptance”, Rodwell-Ball said, as opposed to the current waiting period of between one and six months, giving all staff immediate acceptance for chronic illness such as motor neurone disease, multiple sclerosis and muscular dystrophy.
“[Members] have had very attractive increases to their income protection cover, both in terms of an additional five years of work life covered, and an additional three years potentially of income covered, and they’ve had their death cover extended from 65 to 70,” Rodwell-Ball said.
“To some extent it’s a result of the insured profile of our members – they are low risk, white collar, generally speaking school teachers and people working in the education industry… they are not working down coal mines or in heavy manufacturing where they could either get serious illness or be subject to serious injury. So with a good claims history, low risk profile and critical mass, we’ve been able to negotiate very attractive enhancements at no additional cost.”