Unisuper has built up the size of its insurance claims team to the point where most applications now take less than two days to process in a bid to reduce the size of claims and to boost the chances of member rehabilitation.
Over the last few months the fund has increased the size of its internal team of claims processors and underwriters to ten. The team works in partnership with insurer TAL.
The move coincides with the fund ending internally provided insurance for members of its Accumulation 2 scheme who will now be covered by TAL.
Kevin O’Sullivan, chief executive of UniSuper, said the intention was to make insurance claims through TAL work as smoothly as possible.
“When they feel disabled or where members have died and their beneficiaries are struggling, they do not want to have delays. So most of the processes now take less than two days.”
He said that only where doctor’s reports took a long time to receive were claims taking longer than two days. He also emphasised that while most claims were processed in two days, this did not mean a full settlement was made in that time frame.
“The more effort the team puts into talking to people who are temporarily disabled to say ‘how are you going?’ the better. We are trying to help the members get back to work.”
The move is one of many actions being taken by funds to reduce TPD and income protection claims by engaging members in rehabilitation programs as early as possible.
Tom Garcia, chief executive of AIST, predicts similar developments at other funds in 2015.
“You will see a lot more work done on the systems behind to make the whole insurance claims process more efficient,” he said.“Funds are becoming more aware that they need to deal with these issues quickly. There is more and more research coming out that the quicker you deal with it, the better it is for everyone. So it will become a big area of focus in the coming areas.”