A CommInsure Life Insurance Review

CommInsure was launched by the Commonwealth Bank Group (CBA) in 2002. They have since become one of the largest life insurers in Australia, providing income protection and life insurance products to over 4 million customers.

CBA has been operating in Australia for over 140 years and is a leading provider of integrated financial services in Australia, having amassed $971,719 million in assets as of 2016.

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In September 2017, CBA Australia reached an agreement with the AIA Group to sell CommInsure. The deal is expected to be completed during the course of 2018.

As part of the highly respected AIA Group, CommInsure will rely on the backing of the Group’s 40 plus years’ worth of experience in providing Australian customers with life insurance products.

How does the CBA life insurance sale affect CommInsure policies?

If you already have a CommInsure life insurance policy, then your contract will be honoured. This means that your CBA Australia life insurance policy will remain exactly the same. The only difference is that AIA will be the insurer providing you with your benefits and not the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. All your policy terms and conditions will thus be honoured by AIA.

There is a 20-year partnership agreement between CBA insurance and AIA in place. Apart from bringing their experience, stability, and up-to-date processes, one of the additional key changes is that their branding will slowly be replaced with AIA’s look and feel over the next couple of years.

Life insurance products from CommInsure include:

CommInsure Life Insurance Review

A CommInsure life insurance review will reveal all the important details, like their reputation for paying claims, the policies that they offer, additional benefits and features, as well as what they don’t cover and how long you’ll have to wait before you’re able to claim on a benefit. It’s important to carefully read through your product disclosure statement (CommInsure PDS) to ensure you’re getting value for money.

Each policy includes unique features and benefits, as well as the option to purchase additional cover for more peace of mind.

Life Care

Pays a lump sum benefit if you die or if you become terminally ill and will die within 24 months, as confirmed by a medical professional. Your loved ones can use this money to help maintain their current lifestyle, pay for your funeral and any outstanding bills.

TPD

TPD cover pays a lump sum of up to $500,000 if you become totally and permanently disabled due to sickness or injury. This policy type can be purchased as a stand-alone or you can combine it with your Life Care policy.

You can choose between Any and Own Occupation. While the premiums for Any occupation are generally cheaper it only pays a benefit if you are unable to perform duties for which your education, skills, and training or experience has made you suitable.

Own occupation TPD can be more expensive but a benefit will be paid when you can no longer work in the specific occupation or field you worked in before the injury or illness.

Trauma Insurance

Suffering from a trauma condition, like a heart attack or cancer, can be financially devastating and can have a significant impact on your life and those of your loved ones. Trauma Cover from CommInsure is designed to help you cope with your financial obligations when you are diagnosed with a specified critical illness as listed in their PDS.

Please note: There are some conditions listed in the PDS for which you’ll only receive a partial benefit, such as any of the Trauma Plus Cover conditions, early-stage breast cancer, and early-stage melanoma. Additionally, there are also some conditions where the partial benefit will only be paid out once, such as with any of the Trauma Plus Cover conditions.

CommInsure Income Protection

Income Protection will pay out 75% of your income as a monthly benefit if you are unable to work due to illness or injury, for a set period of time. However, if you can work in a reduced capacity then you will only receive a partial monthly benefit.

  • You can choose your waiting period: 14 days, 1 month, 2 months, 3 months, 6 months, 1 year, and 2 years.
  • You can choose your benefit period: 2 years or 5 years, or up to the age of 60, or 65, or 70 years old.

Take note: The shorter the waiting period and the longer the benefit period the higher your monthly premium will usually be.

Business Overheads

If you own a business and are unable to work due to an illness or injury, who will pay your business expenses? To prevent the bills from piling up and potentially causing your business to go bankrupt you can get Business Overheads Cover.

This policy is designed specifically for self-employed people and business owners who don’t work from home and are responsible for paying eligible business expenses. This policy will pay out up to 100% of the regular fixed operating costs of your business, up to $40,000 per month, while you are unable to work and meet these costs yourself.

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Commonwealth Insurance benefits

Income protection and life insurance products from CommInsure are designed to include several additional features and benefits at no additional cost to you. You can also purchase extra cover with your policy at an additional fee for more peace of mind.

  • Life Care Advancement benefit:
    If you take out Life cover, you get the Advance Payment benefit included with your policy. When you die, this benefit pays an advanced part of your total benefit, up to $30,000, to help your loved ones pay for funeral expenses. The amount that is paid out will be deducted from your death benefit lump sum.
  • Child Cover option:
    If you have children and have taken out Trauma Cover, you can purchase Child Cover, which pays out a lump sum if your child dies or is diagnosed with a specific child trauma condition, such as chronic kidney failure or cancer.
  • Accidental Death Cover option:
    A lump sum will be paid to your beneficiaries if you pass away due to an accident. The nature of the accident that can be claimed for is specified in the CommInsure PDS.
  • Choose between stepped vs level premiums:
    While stepped premiums cost less at the start of your policy, premiums increase every year, because as you age and your risk increases. Level premiums are based on the age you were when taking out the policy and start out more expensive, but generally remain more or less constant, excluding inflation and when you choose to increase your cover.
  • Severe Hardship Booster benefit:
    The Severe Hardship Booster benefit doubles your lump sum benefit amount if you die or are likely to die within 24 months from a specified illness. Generally, this benefit is included in your Life Care policy. CommInsure will either pay 100% of your Life Care or Terminal Illness benefit, or $250,000, whichever one is less.
  • Financial Planning benefit:
    This benefit is typically included in a Life Care policy and pays you up to $5,000 if you required the professional services of a financial adviser. You must first provide proof of these costs and then you can claim the cash back.
  • Loyalty Bonus benefit:
    If you’ve had your life care policy for 5 years, without cancelling or claiming, then the payment of the Life Care or Terminal Illness benefit will automatically increase by 5% without you having to pay a higher premium.
  • Buy Back benefits:
    CommInsure generally includes a Buy Back benefit with Life Care and Trauma Cover at no additional cost to you. Under this benefit, your Life Care and/or Trauma Cover will be reinstated 12 months after a TPD or Trauma claim has been paid.
  • Accommodation Benefit:
    This benefit is usually included with Life Care, TPD Cover, and Income Protection policies, and helps pay accommodation expenses for an immediate family member who needs to stay close by if you are terminally ill or injured and confined to bed. Typically, they’ll pay up to $350 a day for up to 30 days.
  • Indexation Benefit:
    Your cover amount is automatically increased every year, usually by 3% or the percentage increase in Consumer Price Index, whichever is more. This helps keep your cover in line with the cost of living. You can choose to remove this increase if you need to keep your premiums more affordable, but you’ll need to phone or write to CommInsure within 1 month of your policy’s anniversary date to let them know.
  • Plan Protection:
    You can add Plan Protection to your policy for an additional fee. This benefit pays for your premiums if you become totally and temporarily disabled for more than 3 months.
  • Guaranteed Insurability:
    If you’ve gone through a major life event, for example, getting married or having kids, you can increase your cover without having to provide additional health information. This option is also available to be purchased for major business events, like business growth or taking out a business loan.
  • Waiving Premiums:
    You won’t have to pay your income protection premiums for up to 6 months if you’re unemployed, undergoing financial hardship, or on parental leave. This benefit is included with your income protection policy, and not business overheads insurance.

Standard Exclusions

As is the case with most life insurance policies, CommInsure has some general and policy specific exclusions under which a claim will not be paid, for example:

  • If your Life Care claim arises from suicide or an attempted suicide within 1 year of your policy starting, the death benefit and/or the terminal illness benefit won’t be paid out.
  • If your Accidental Death Cover claim arises from suicide or an attempt at suicide, self-inflicted injury or infection, consumption of alcohol or drugs that haven’t been prescribed by a medical practitioner, the benefit won’t be paid.
  • If your Income Protection claim arises from any criminal activity or an act of war.
  • If the insured person knew about a physical condition before the policy commenced.

Simple Life Insurance from CBA

Simple Life Insurance is designed to help you protect you and your loved ones from financial loss if something should threaten your lives.

Simple Life Insurance offers 4 types of cover:

Life Cover

A lump sum of up to $1 million is paid to provide financial support to your beneficiaries if you die or are diagnosed with a terminal illness.

Total and Permanent Disability Cover

A lump sum of up to $500,000 is paid to help with the loss of income, medical treatments and other costs in the event that you are permanently disabled.

Critical Illness Cover

A lump sum of up to $200,000 is paid if you suffer from a critical illness, like cancer. It is intended to help with expenses, like lifestyle costs and medical bills.

Bill Protection

A lump sum of between $1,000 and $5,000 is paid to help you with short-term costs, like rent and other household bills if you are unable to work because you are involuntarily unemployed or are disabled.

You can even choose from one of their ready-made packages or customise your cover so that you only pay for the combination that suits your life and budget.

Simple Life Insurance packages:

*Based on the information of non-smoking women between the ages of 18 – 30 years old.

  • Silver Package: This package is their most popular and can cost you around $39 per month for $300,000 Life Cover, $150,000 Disability Cover (TPD), and $30,000 Critical Illness Cover.
  • Gold Package: Costs around $49 per month for $500,000 Life Cover, $250,000 Disability Cover (TPD), and $50,000 Critical Illness Cover.
  • Platinum Package: This package is their most popular and can cost you around $59 per month for $700,000 Life Cover, $350,000 Disability Cover (TPD), and $70,000 Critical Illness Cover.

Please note: Pre-existing conditions (and other exclusions) are not covered by Simple Life from CommInsure.

Frequently Asked Questions

What happened with the Commbank insurance scandal?

The Commbank life insurance scandal unfolded in 2017 after the insurer was accused of rejecting and delaying payments to policyholders based on archaic medical definitions. They were also accused of pressuring medical assessors to reject claims. Following the scandal, Commonwealth Bank sold CommInsure Life to the AIA Group.

What should I do if I have a complaint?

To make a complaint regarding your dealings with CommInsure, you can call their Customer Service Consultants from Monday to Friday between 8 am - 8 pm (Sydney time). Their contact details can be found on the CBA website.

You can also make your complaint in writing to:
Complaints Manager
Customer Relations
Commonwealth Bank Group
Reply Paid 41
Sydney NSW 2001

Remember to mark your letter: ‘Notice of Complaint’.

If you’ve made a complaint and are unsatisfied with how it was handled or the decision that was made, you can lodge a complaint with the Financial Ombudsman Service Limited (FOS).

What’s the difference between Tailored Life Insurance and Simple Life Insurance?

Generally speaking, Simple Life Insurance offers you a simpler approach to life cover specific to Australians aged between 18 and 50 years old, with fewer bells and whistles.

One of the biggest differences is that Simple Life doesn’t offer Income Protection or Business Overheads.

Simple Life offers straightforward products and allows you to choose between their packaged options or create your own package. For instance, Tailored Life insurance policies include several unique benefits and features at no extra cost, as well as the option to purchase additional cover for when life doesn’t go as planned.

How do I make a CommInsure claim?

To make a Tailored Life Insurance claim, please call 13 1056 immediately and to make a Simple Life Insurance claim, please call 13 3982 immediately. You will be assisted by a Case Manager, who will assess the claim and inform you of what information is needed.

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Published: December 7, 2017
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Ask an Expert?

2 Comments

  • Jeff Tyler |

    I have a life insurance policy with CommInsure – Life Insurance Policy 0104****
    I live in NZ, and I am trying to change the credit card that you take the premiums from (the other one is about to expire), but you don’t seem to provide email addresses anywhere.
    Can somebody please email the required form, with an email address to send it back to.
    Thanks

    • SPECIALIST
      Anneke Aswegen |

      Hi Jeff,
      Thank you for contacting us. You can phone CommInsure directly on 131056 or if you want you may want to consider a specialist who can update your credit card details and conduct yearly reviews on your policy to ensure it is still providing you value at your current stage of life. Simply reach out by completing the above form, and you will also be provided with a comparison report from 10 leading insurers.

      If you’ve recently gotten married, started a family or nearing retirement, your policy should be adjusted to meet your unique requirements.

      Have a great day.
      Anneke