Obituary: Fred Dodds
Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

Partners remove occupation class restriction and mental health questionnaire, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that the automatic COVID-19 occupation class restriction that were previously applied to disability benefits will be removed. The disability benefits that had this restriction include Income Cover, Mortgage Repayment Cover, Household Expenses Cover, TPD Cover and TPD Covered Condition under Trauma Cover. The change will automatically be applied to all new business regardless of the date the application was received. For customers who have the restriction in place, Partners Life will remove the restriction on all claims made after 9 November 2020.

“We are removing the automatic blanket COVID-19 Occupation Class Restriction applied to disability benefits, including Income Cover, Mortgage Repayment Cover, Household Expenses Cover, TPD Cover as well as the TPD Covered Condition under Trauma Cover.

This restriction will be removed immediately for new business and will be removed instantly for all existing customers to whom it was applied in respect to claims arising from today’s date.

This simply means our policy wordings will apply once more without an endorsed restriction, allowing clients who have been unemployed prior to the date of disability, to have their normal occupation class apply for 12 months after the date of unemployment.

So, from today all disability policies issued will no longer have this automatic blanket endorsement applied to them, irrespective of when the application form was received. Meaning for any business currently in the pipe-line, you don’t have to do anything for this to happen.”

Similarly, the emergent mental health questionnaire requirement will be removed as a requirement for all disability benefit applications. If an applicant is assessed as being at risk of developing a reactive mental health issue an emergent mental health exclusion will be applied during the underwriting process.

“We will no longer be requiring a mandatory blanket emergent mental health questionnaire to be completed for all disability benefit applications.

Please note, however, if an applicant for disability benefits is assessed as having a significant risk of developing a reactive mental health issue in the near future as a result of their individual employment situation, our underwriters may still use an emergent mental health exclusion as one of the special terms to be offered to that customer. This provides us a tool to accept cover, which otherwise might be considered too risky.”

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