BT Financial Group has claimed a first-to-market initiative in extending its Terminal Illness Benefit provision from 12 to 24 months.
In a release announcing this initiative, the company says it is the first retail insurer to act in response to an expansion of the Superannuation Industry Supervision (SIS) Act terminal medical condition of release, under which the life expectancy provision has been extended from 12 to 24 months.
The enhancement we’ve made… enables those members with BT life insurance to access their money earlier
The new advanced terminal illness payment benefit within the BT Protection Plans product range became effective from 1 October 2015. The company notes this enhanced benefit will be available at no additional cost to existing and new customers who hold BT Protection Plans Term Life cover, whether the product exists as a standalone product, within a platform service or inside superannuation.
BT’s national manager, life insurance products, Scott Moffitt, said that given the recent changes to the SIS legislation, it was important to deliver an advanced terminal illness benefit: “The recent changes to superannuation mean that members are now able to access their superannuation accumulated balance before their life insurance can be paid. The enhancement we’ve made to BT Protection Plans enables those members with BT life insurance to access their money earlier, providing a simpler insurance solution for both customers and advisers.” Mr Moffitt said.
Mr Moffitt noted the advanced terminal illness payment can provide eligible claimants assistance with meeting immediate costs such as:
- Personal and palliative care
- Specialist treatments
- Transport to medical facilities and accommodation
- Daily living expenses for family members who have ceased working in order to provide full-time care
BT has issued a new Supplementary PDS, effective from 1 October 2015, which also includes updates to Total and Partial Disability Benefits for medical practitioners and changes to some cancer definitions.