Compare Life Insurance Policies with Cover for Dementia
Dementia can be defined as numerous symptoms that are caused by disorders affecting the brain. People are diagnosed with dementia if one or two cognitive functions are damaged, which may include;
- Language skills
- Ability to take in information
According to fightdimentia.org.au there are over 321,600 Australians currently living with dementia and this number is expected to rise to 400,000 in less than 10 years. Many life insurance companies will recognise dementia as a serious illness eligible for cover under trauma and total permanent disability plans. Eligibility for cover can vary greatly between insurers so it is critical that anyone looking for cover know when they will and will not receive a benefit payment.
What is Dementia?
Definition of dementia
Dementia is an illness that causes people to lose cognitive ability and can affect people in different ways. How one is affected by dementia is dependent on the area of the brain that is affected by the disease. A life insurance company will typically explain ‘significant cognitive impairment’ as deterioration in the life insured’s mental state. The condition is significantly debilitating, leaving severe sufferers unable to care for themselves. The most common types of dementia include;
- Alzheimer’s disease
The most common form of dementia, accounting for around two thirds of the total number of dementia cases. People with Alzheimers disease will experience a decrease in their cognitive abilities suffering from memory loss, lapses of judgement, disorientation, depression and anxiety.
- Vascular dementia
Vascular dementia occurs as a result of damaged blood vessels to the brain, usually following a stroke or a series of mini-strokes. Symptoms of vascular dementia can include lack of motivation, poor concentration and poor planning
- Lewy body disease
Lewy body disease is caused by clumps of protein alpha-synuclein that have developed inside nerve cells. People with Lewy body disease will generally experience attention problems, visual hallucinations, depression, poor problem solving and difficulties with their balance
- Frontotemporal dementia
Frontotemporal dementia is a result of damage to frontal and temporal areas of the brain. People with this form of dementia will often suffer from an inability to maintain socially appropriate behaviour and may be rude or act aggressively towards others.
What causes dementia?
Dementia is caused by faults in the brain. The human brain processes information and does so through nerve cells. Generally people with dementia experience issues with these nerve cells and information is not processes as easily. While the cause of dementia is not exactly known it will generally be irreversible.
Who is at risk of dementia?
Even though the cause of dementia is not exactly known it is more common in certain people. Dementia is generally more common for;
Dementia is generally experienced by older people with approximately 1 in 70 people aged 65-69 experiencing dementia (yourbrainmatters.org.au)
People with a family history of dementia
It has been found that people with a family history of dementia are generally more likely to experience the condition than those who do not. That is by no means to say that someone will suffer it because a member of their family has, just that the risk is slightly increased.
People that live unhealthy lives
The development of dementia has been linked with;
- High blood pressure
- High cholesterol
- Heavy consumption of alcohol
Taking the necessary steps to live a healthy life through regular exercise, a balance diet and drinking in moderation may greatly reduce your risk of developing dementia.
Trauma Insurance for Dementia
As mentioned previously, most life insurance companies in Australia will provide a benefit payment if the insured is given an unequivocal diagnosis of dementia that results in permanent and significant cognitive impairment. The condition must be confirmed by an approved neurologist geriatrician.
What Life Insurance Companies Provide Trauma Insurance with Cover for Dementia in Australia?
|AIA||Will provide a lump sum benefit payment of the sum-insured provided the insured has suffered cognitive impairment with a mini-mental state examination score of 20 or less.|
|AMP||Insured has been given an unequivocal diagnosis of severe cognitive impairment with a mini-mental state examination score of 24 or less.|
|Asteron||Diagnosis of Alzheimer’s disease and other dementia’s that has been confirmed as permanent irreversible failure of the brains function, causing severe cognitive impairment as a result.|
|BT||Unequivocal diagnosis of significant cognitive impairment by a certified medical practitioner. The insured must have a Mini-Mental state examination score of 24 or less.|
|Comminsure||Clinical diagnosis of dementia by an approved consultant confirming irreversible failure of the brain function causing severe cognitive impairment. Insured must return a Mini-Mental state examination score of 24 or less. Dementia that is the result of alcohol drug abuse or AIDs is excluded.|
|Macquarie||Benefit paid for dementia if clinical diagnosis of severe cognitive impairment has been given by an approved practitioner.|
|MLC||Insured must be given an unequivocal diagnosis of dementia resulting in severe cognitive impairment.|
|OnePath||Dementia as confirmed by a medical practitioner due to failure of brain function.|
|TAL||Benefit provided if insured is given unequivocal diagnosis of dementia by an approved medical practitioner.|
|Zurich||Insured has suffered from severe cognitive impairment resulting in a requirement for continual supervision to protect the insured from others.|
Total Permanent Disability Insurance for Dementia
Many life insurance companies will provide a benefit payment for dementia under total and permanent disablement if their condition leads to them being unable to carry out the duties of their own occupation or other occupations for which they have been suited. Insurance companies policies for dealing with claims related to mental illness vary greatly, especially as each insurer will have their own definition for what is considered total and permanent disablement.
It is critical that you clearly read through your product disclosure statement to understand what is required for a total and permanent disability benefit to be provided. Never hesitate to contact your insurer if you are unsure about any of the conditions of your policy.
Compare Trauma and Total and Permanent Disability Policies from Australian Insurers
While life cover is essential for keeping us financially protected in the event of death, Trauma, TPD and Income cover ensure that should we suffer a serious illness or injury, the financial support is there to maintain the our quality of life and that of those we love. Speaking with an insurance consultant can ensure you find an insurance solution that will adequately meet your cover needs at a competitive rate.