TPD Insurance

TPD insurance can help cover the costs of rehabilitation, loan repayments and bills if you become permanently disabled and can no longer work.

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Total and permanent disability (TPD) insurance offers protection in the form of a lump-sum payment – potentially as high as $5m – if you suffer a permanent injury or illness during your policy term and are no longer able to work.

Compare TPD insurance in Australian life insurance policies

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FundMaximum CoverMinimum CoverMaximum Entry AgeExpiry AgeStand Alone or Add ONApply

NobleOak Life Insurance Nobleoak

$5,000,000Not Stated5975Add onGet quote
Real Life Insurance Logo Real$1,000,000$50,0005965Add onGet quote

Medibank Life InsuranceMedibank

1,250,000100,0006065Add onGet quote
OnePath Life Insurance LogoOnePath$5,000,000$50,00075100Add on or Stand AloneMore info
AIA Life Insurance Logo


$5,000,000$100,0006370Add on or Stand aloneMore info
Allianz Life Insurance Logo


$1,500,000$100,0005565Add onMore info
AMP Life Insurance Logo


$5,000,000$50,0006099Add on or Stand aloneMore info
Asteron Life Insurance Logo


$3,000,000$25,00062100Stand aloneMore info
Australian Super Life Insurance Logo

Australian Super

$3,000,000Not stated65Not statedStand aloneMore info
Bendigo Life Insurance Logo


$750,000$100,0005969Add onMore info
BT Life Insurance Logo


Not StatedNot Stated5999Add on or Stand AloneMore info
ClearView Life Insurance Logo


$5,000,000$50,0006099Add on or Stand AloneMore info
CommInsure life Insurance Logo


$750,000$100,0005965Add onMore info
Guardian Life Insurance Logo


1,000,000$50,00059Not StatedAdd onMore info
HCF Life Insurance Logo


$50,000$7,50074Not StatedStand AloneMore info
Kogan Life Insurance Logo


$1,000,000$50,0006465Add onMore info
Metlife Life Insurance Logo


$5,000,000$25,00060Not StatedAdd on or Stand AloneMore info
MLC Life Insurance Logo


$3,000,000$50,00060100Add on or Stand AloneMore info
Picture not described


$3,000,000$50,0006099Add onMore info
RAC Life Insurance Logo


$5,000,000not stated5975Add onMore info
Picture not described


$750,000$100,0005965Add onMore info
St. George Life Insurance Logo

St. George

Not StatedNot Stated5999Add on or Stand AloneMore info
TAL Life Insurance Logo


$2,000,000$100,0005965Stand Alone or Add onMore info
Westpac Life Insurance Logo


Not StatedNot Stated5999Add on or Stand AloneMore info
Woolworths life Insurance Logo


$1,000,000$100,0006065Add onMore info

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What is TPD insurance?

TPD insurance is protection for you if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to work due to those disabilities. It is designed to help replace income, cover medical expenses and ongoing debts and bills that you'd struggle to pay if you can no longer work.

According to ASIC, about 9 million Australians hold TPD insurance and more than 4 in 5 (86%) do so through their super fund.

In simple terms, the way TPD cover works is: you pay your insurer a monthly or annual fee and in return, receive one large payment from it if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work.

What are the main types of TPD insurance?

There are two main types of TPD insurance to know about:

  1. Own occupation. You can claim if you're unable to work again in the job you did before your disability.
  2. Any occupation. This cover can be claimed if you can no longer work in any jobs suited to your education, training or experience.

If you take out "any occupation" TPD cover, you get a payout if you can no longer return to any form of work related to your experience. "Own occupation" TPD insurance pays a lump sum if you can no longer return to your usual occupation.

Here's when TPD insurance is needed and how it is used:


1. A situation forces you to stop working.
Common examples include loss of sight or hearing and mental illness.

Check list

2. Your insurer assesses your claim.
It'll look at your injury or illness and confirm that you can't return to work.

Dollar sign

3. Receive your benefit payment.
In addition to your income, payment can help towards debt and medical expenses.

How much does TPD insurance cost?

The average cost of TPD insurance is $15.29* per month. However, the fee you pay will depend on factors such as your age, gender, occupation, lifestyle choices and health. If you're a "blue collar worker", your premiums are typically a little more than "white collar workers" because your job generally involves more risk. Similarly, women typically qualify for lower premiums because they live longer than men.

TPD insurance costs will also depend on how big a TPD benefit you need. For instance, someone looking for a $500,000 lump sum will pay a larger fee (premium) than someone with a $200,000 payout agreement.

$500,000 coverMaleFemale
Lowest costing policy$21.42 per month$21.19 per month
Medium costing policy$26.89 per month$26.89 per month
Highest costing policy$29.12 per month$29.12 per month
AVERAGE$25.81 per month$25.73 per month
$200,000 coverMaleFemale
Lowest costing policy$10.16 per month$10.03 per month
Medium costing policy$16.86 per month$16.84 per month
Highest costing policy$18.85 per month$18.85 per month
AVERAGE$15.29 per month$15.24 per month
$500,000 coverMaleFemale
Lowest costing policy$35.98 per month$31.78 per month
Medium costing policy$40.37 per month$40.37 per month
Highest costing policy$55.97 per month$55.80 per month
AVERAGE$44.11 per month$42.65 per month
$200,000 coverMaleFemale
Lowest costing policy$16.26 per month$15.04 per month
Medium costing policy$23.68 per month$23.68 per month
Highest costing policy$30.64 per month$30.34 per month
AVERAGE$23.53 per month$23.02 per month

Average prices were taken from a sample quote of all policies available on Finder's quoting engine. Details of the quote were for a 35-year-old non-smoker.

Factors that affect the cost of cover

*Average prices were taken from a sample quote of all policies available on Finder's quoting engine. Details of the quote were for a 35-year-old non-smoker.

What are the benefits of TPD insurance?

Some TPD insurance benefits and features you should be aware of include:

  • Total disablement benefit. This is the benefit that's paid if you're disabled due to an injury or illness and are unable to perform work duties.
  • Partial disability benefit. This is the amount that is payable in the event of partial disablement e.g. loss of one arm, one leg or sight in one eye.
  • Buyback option. If your TPD cover is part of your life insurance, when a TPD claim is paid, the amount will be deducted from your life cover amount – a buyback option lets you reinstate that amount.
  • Death benefit. A benefit amount may be payable in the event of your death, even if your TPD cover is a standalone policy.
  • Loss of independence feature. In some cases the lump sum payment available with TPD insurance can convert to a loss of independence payout, based on the insured's ability to care for themselves.
  • Guaranteed future insurability. This feature allows you to increase the coverage of your policy during important life events, such as marriage, children or mortgage, without needing to undergo another medical examination, even if your health situation has changed.
  • Indexation benefit. Sum insured will increase annually in line with the Consumer Price Index (CPI) to keep up with inflation.
  • Premium freeze option. This option allows you to choose to retain your current annual premium under a stepped style when you reach a certain age and it will reduce the insured amount gradually.

Is TPD insurance included in my super fund?

Yes, it often is. However, it's not available with every super fund so it depends on which one your employer uses. If you want to check the level of cover provided by your super fund, you can look at your member statement or contact your super fund directly.

While TPD insurance inside super is usually cheaper than standalone TPD cover, you often get what you pay for. TPD cover inside super can't tailor a policy to your personal needs so it more than likely won't be able to cover all outstanding debts if you do become permanently disabled.

Pros and cons of TPD insurance inside super

TPD cover is sometimes included in the superannuation you receive from your employer. However, there are a few pros and cons of getting TPD insurance inside super.



  • It eats into your retirement savings
  • There's a tougher, and often more drawn out, approval process for claims
  • You can't get "own occupation" cover, which can restrict your ability to make a successful claim

TPD insurance definitions

TPD is defined as being totally and permanently disabled and unable to work as a result. Insurers further define their interpretation of TPD inside insurance policies. These definitions impact when, or if, a TPD claim will be paid out.

As previously mentioned, the 2 main definitions of TPD are 'Any occupation' and 'Own occupation. You may also come across 'Activities of daily living', which is a rarer and more restrictive type of cover.


Any occupation.

This pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work in your own occupation or any occupation to which you are suited by education, training or experience.


Own occupation.

This pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to work in your own occupation. This is the most expensive form of TPD insurance because the terms are very specific and a payout is more likely.


Activities of daily living

This ignores your occupation and pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to independently conduct two or more of the five listed Activities of Daily Living (e.g. eating, bathing, dressing etc.)

TPD insurance tips

When taking out TPD insurance and calculating the cover you need, you should consider:

  • Your debts. If you have a mortgage, loan or any debt, you need to factor that into the amount of TPD cover you need.
  • Your level of health insurance. If your health insurance won't cover all the medical bills should you become permanently disabled, factor the costs into your TPD coverage.
  • Your super fund. If you have TPD insurance inside super, you might be able to receive a small payout through your super as well.
  • Family assistance. If you or your partner become disabled, who will take care of the home duties? You might need to consider budgeting for family assistance.
  • The level of coverage you want. Are you willing to sell your home and move somewhere cheaper? If not, then you want enough coverage to pay for all your debt repayments.

Frequently Asked Questions about TPD insurance

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4 Responses

    Default Gravatar
    JimDecember 16, 2018

    How much on average do lawyers charge for a successful TPD outcome, worth about $200,000?

      Avatarfinder Customer Care
      MayDecember 20, 2018Staff

      Hi Jim,

      Thanks for getting in touch.

      Not actually sure though how much the lawyers will charge for a successful TPD outcome as that would entirely depend on the level of service they provide. You’d be best to confirm this directly with the lawyer you go with and confirm their up-front legal fees.


    Default Gravatar
    JillJuly 12, 2017

    Can a TPD payout be used to cover medical expenses in a private hospital when the person is in pain and the public waiting list is 18 months long?

      Default Gravatar
      JonathanJuly 16, 2017

      Hello Jill,

      Thank you for your comment. :)

      Most TPD insurers have a 3-12 months waiting period and pre-existing exclusions set (e.g. suicide or attempted suicide related injury). As long as you have fully disclosed the conditions, meet the waiting period, and the “definition” of the cover you took, it may be qualified for a claim as most TPD products are fully underwritten. Meaning, all terms, and other “special clauses” should have been agreed on before it was issued to you.

      You may want to speak to your insurer or insurance agent about this matter. Also, you can refer to the Product Disclosure Statement of your actual insurer’s product for details.

      Hope this helps.


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