Life events - a safety net you should know about

Published: 01 Jul 2021

Did you ever do a personal timeline project at school? The one where you drew a line across the page and marked the special moments in your life?

When you were 10 years old, those special life events were probably when you learned to ride a bike, went to big school, broke your arm, welcomed a baby brother – that kind of thing.

Decades later and those little special moments have become big life-changing events: marriage, serious injury, children, divorce, mortgage, overseas travel, education, death.

When they happen, these moments aren’t just life-changing – they can actually derail you financially. There are lots of ways you can deal with that. But there’s one safety net for some of these events you’re probably not even aware of: life events cover in your Death & Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance policy.

Your life events safety net

We can put these life events into two categories: the planned life events and the random ones you have absolutely no control over.

Let’s start with the planned ones. Are you planning to get married or have a baby? What about a divorce? Buying a house even? All these events are costly and rely on your ability to earn a living, which is jeopardised if you become sick or seriously injured.

These planned events are often covered in your Death & TPD insurance cover and are known as ‘life events cover’. Most people have Death & TPD insurance cover as part of their super fund, but may not even know they have it.

If you do have Death and/or Death & TPD insurance, check to see if it offers life events cover. This cover allows you to increase your insurance by a couple of units – without having to provide evidence of health to the insurer.

In most cases, you need to provide evidence of good health to the insurer whenever you want to increase your insurance cover. And depending on your situation there are no guarantees you’ll be covered. Not having to provide health evidence is a bonus worth taking advantage of, especially if there’s any cloud over your health at the time you apply for life events cover.

Now, what about those random life events you have no control over?

Obviously injury, illness and death are kind of out of your control, and that’s where insurance cover comes to the rescue again. Typically, Death & TPD cover gives you a sum of money on your death or if you become totally and permanently disabled and can no longer earn an income. Income Protection insurance pays you an income if you’re temporarily unable to work because of illness or injury.

Naturally there are terms and conditions you need to know about. Insurance policies can differ wildly, so check your insurance policy so you know what you are – and aren’t – covered for.

Your Energy Super insurance safety net

If you’re a member of the Fund, life events insurance covers:

  • marriage
  • taking out your first mortgage
  • the birth or adoption of a child or
  • getting a divorce.

Broadly, you can increase your Death & TPD cover by up to 2 units (or the equivalent amount of fixed-dollar cover) for each event up to a maximum of 4 units in total. You’ll need to be “At Work” on the date of your application and you must provide evidence of the event within 90 days of the event occurring.

There’s also a similar reward for members who’ve been a member for 10 continuous years. For details about life events and insurance cover with Energy Super see the Insurance Guide.

Now, getting back to your personal timeline: if you’re interested in creating one for yourself, there are plenty of online templates that can get you started.

Or you could just start by drawing a line across the page and seeing where it takes you.