TAL Life Insurance Review

With TAL life insurance, you can get a comparatively high funeral benefit of $25,000 and there's a wide entry age of between 16 and 75.

Our Verdict:

  • TAL offers impressive flexibility: you can apply at any age between 16 and 75, and you could waive your premiums if sickness or injury mean you are unable to work for at least three months.
  • What’s more, you can add TDP, Trauma and Child benefit to your cover if you wish – most of the 19 brands we reviewed didn’t offer all three cover add-ons.
  • Recent data from Moneysmart showed that TAL had a claims acceptance rate of 85% for death cover bought directly through an insurer. This was below the industry average of 90%.

Review by our life insurance senior writer James Martin

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Product NameTAL Accelerated Protection Life Cover
Maximum Cover No limit
Funeral Benefit $25,000
Guaranteed Renewability
Online Quote
Cooling-off (days)30

TAL insurance is one of Australia's biggest insurers with over 4 million members and over 150 years of insurance experience. Learn about the key features you can expect from a TAL life insurance policy, and how it stacks up against other leading brands.

Maximum cover amountNo set maximum sum insured. Your sum insured will be determined when you apply.
Age of entry16–75
How do I apply?With an adviser over the phone or directly with TAL*

Based on TAL Accelerated Protection plan.

Pros Cons
  • Award-winning provider for customer satisfaction and quality of cover
  • Premium rates can be changed at any time (applicable to all policies)
  • Wide range of cover types offered which can be bundled to suit your needs
  • Policy fee applies on top of premium
  • Choice of getting cover with an adviser or directly with TAL
  • Most Satisfied Policyholders, Best Policyholder Advocacy 2016 , AFA and Beddoes Institute Consumer Choice Policyholder Awards

TAL's industry recognition and awards

TAL Australia has a growing list of awards for its innovative products and enjoys a 11% market share – a third of the total Australian market in life insurance business alone. Some of the awards TAL received in 2016 include:

  • Most Satisfied Policyholders. AFA and Beddoes Institute Consumer Choice Policyholder Awards
  • Best Policyholder Focus. AFA and Beddoes Institute Consumer Choice Policyholder Awards
  • Best Policyholder Advocacy. AFA and Beddoes Institute Consumer Choice Policyholder Awards

These awards show that TAL is succeeding at being the foremost specialist life insurer in the Australian market. They are achievements to be proud of and go to prove the company’s ability to deliver innovative and competitive life insurance, risk, superannuation and retirement solutions to the Australian public consistently.

TAL's objectives are to deliver the right products, service and information to all its customers to help them make informed decisions regarding the risk they carry as well as their superannuation needs. TAL efficiently delivers these services to clients mainly through its network of insurance consultants.

What products are offered by TAL?

TAL offers two core types of plans – one that you can buy through an adviser and its direct offering. These are:

  1. TAL Accelerated Protection. Through an adviser.
  2. TAL Lifetime Protection. Directly with TAL on its website.

1. Accelerated Protection plan

Accelerated Protection offers five types of life insurance products to its customers: life insurance, critical illness insurance, total and permanent disability insurance, income protection and business expense insurance. TAL also lets you tailor your policy to suit your needs by either choosing a standalone policy, choosing one or more policies and then adding benefits and linking to other plans, or choosing to structure your life insurance through a superannuation plan.

Types of cover

Accelerated Protection life insurance will pay out a lump sum in the event of the policyholder’s death or the diagnosis of a terminal illness. The main purpose of this type of cover is to help provide for your family after you’ve gone, taking care of your family’s finances so they can focus on dealing with their loss.

TAL Accelerated Protection life insurance includes the following features and benefits:

  • Death benefit: A lump sum payment of the nominated benefit amount if the policyholder dies.
  • Terminal illness benefit. The nominated benefit amount can be paid out early if the policyholder is terminally ill and not expected to live longer than 12 months.
  • Advanced payment benefit: 10% of the benefit amount (up to a maximum of $25,000) can be paid in advance to help your family deal with day-to-day finances.
  • Repatriation benefit: The advanced payment limit is increased to $35,000 if the policyholder dies overseas.
  • Inflation protection benefit: Your cover automatically increases every year in line with the Consumer Price Index.
  • Premium freeze benefit: Your premiums stay the same by reducing your cover each year. This is available on stepped premium policies only and only after the policyholder’s 30th birthday.
  • Guaranteed future insurability benefit: This means you’ll be able to increase your cover after significant life events (for example, getting married or having a baby) without having to provide additional health information.
  • Other benefits: These include a financial planning benefit, a grief counselling benefit and a child’s critical illness benefit.

TAL also offers the following optional benefits:

  • Premium relief option: This option lets you waive your premiums if sickness or injury mean you are unable to work for at least three months.
  • Business insurance option: This option lets you increase your insurance without providing additional health information after a valid business event, such as an increase in your share of business ownership or an increase in the level of a business loan for which you are a guarantor.

TAL Accelerated Protection critical illness insurance pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with a specified medical condition like cancer, heart attack or stroke. The benefit will be paid even if you’re still able to work, and there are two types of plans available: Standard and Premier.

Some of the key benefits of the Premier plan include:

  • Advancement benefit: This benefit provides cover for immediate expenses if a certain event happens, for example if you lose hearing in one ear or are diagnosed with partial Alzheimer’s disease.
  • Female critical illness benefit: This benefit will be paid for conditions like pregnancy complications and congenital abnormalities.
  • Needlestick benefit: This benefit is available if you work in certain occupations and suffer occupationally-acquired hepatitis B or C.

Benefits featured in both the Standard and Premier critical illness insurance plans include:

  • Critical illness benefit: This benefit is a lump sum payment of up to $2 million for a range of conditions, such as heart attack, stroke, dementia, blindness, cancer and kidney failure.
  • Paralysis support benefit: The lump sum payment is doubled to a maximum of $2,000,000 if the policyholder becomes paralysed.
  • Death buy-back benefit: You can repurchase your life insurance after the payment of 100% of the critical illness benefit, paralysis support benefit or TPD benefit (if applicable). This benefit only applies if critical illness insurance or TPD insurance (if applicable) is attached or linked to life insurance.

Optional benefits on critical illness insurance plans include:

  • Critical illness reinstatement benefit: This lets you repurchase your critical illness insurance after you’ve been paid a critical illness benefit, advancement benefit, needlestick benefit or female critical illness benefit.
  • Double critical illness option: When critical illness insurance is attached to life insurance, this benefit means that payment of the critical illness benefit will not reduce your life insurance and future premiums will be waived.
  • Premium relief option: This option lets you waive your premiums if sickness or injury mean you are unable to work for at least three months.
  • Business insurance option: This option lets you increase your critical illness insurance without medical underwriting after a valid business event, such as an increase in your share of business ownership or an increase in the level of a business loan for which you are a guarantor.

TAL Accelerated Protection TPD insurance pays a lump sum benefit if you are totally and permanently disabled. Benefits of this type of insurance include:

  • TPD benefit: A lump sum payment of up to $5 million if you become totally and permanently disabled.
  • Accommodation benefit: TAL will reimburse the cost of accommodation for your immediate family member of up to $250 per day if the policyholder is confined to bed more than 100km away from home.

TAL’s TPD insurance policies also feature the following optional benefits:

  • Death buy-back option: You can repurchase your life insurance after the payment of 100% of TPD insurance. Only available when TPD insurance is linked to life insurance.
  • Double TPD option: Available when TPD insurance is attached to life insurance, this benefit means that payment of the TPD benefit will not reduce your life insurance and future premiums will be waived.
  • Premium relief option: This option lets you waive your premiums if sickness or injury mean you are unable to work for at least three months.
  • Business insurance option: This option lets you increase your critical illness insurance without medical underwriting after a valid business event, such as an increase in your share of business ownership or an increase in the level of a business loan for which you are a guarantor.

Income protection cover is designed to provide a replacement income when sickness or injury prevents you from working. It ensures you still have money coming in and you can keep on providing for your family when times are tough.

TAL offers three types of income protection policies: Super, Standard and Premier. In addition to the benefits offered under the Standard policy (listed further below), the Premier option includes features such as a childcare benefit, a child’s critical illness benefit and a rehabilitation benefit. Benefits included in Standard and Premier policies include:

  • Total disability benefit: A monthly payment that covers up to 75% of your regular ongoing income if you are totally disabled.
  • Partial disability benefit: A monthly payment when you are only able to work in a reduced capacity due to sickness or injury.
  • Death benefit: A lump sum payment of six times the benefit amount (up to $50,000) if the policyholder dies.
  • Concurrent disability benefit: If disability results from separate injuries or illnesses, your benefit payment will be calculated according to the injury or illness that offers the highest payment.
  • Recurrent disability benefit: If a disability occurs from the same or a related cause within 12 months of a claim ending, it is treated as a continuation of the original claim so no waiting period applies.
  • Waiver of premium benefit: Your premiums are waived while you receive a payment for total or partial disability.
  • Other benefits: These include an elective surgery benefit, an extended care benefit and a blood-borne diseases benefit.

Optional benefits available on Standard and Premier policies include:

  • Increasing claim option: This ensures your benefit payments keep pace with inflation.
  • Accident benefit option: A proportion of your overall benefit amount is paid for each day you are injured if you are totally disabled for at least three consecutive days during the waiting period.
  • Critical illness option: A lump sum payment of six times the benefit amount may be provided in addition to any total or partial disability payments for a range of conditions including cancer, heart attack and stroke. This will help cover the cost of medical treatment and expenses.
  • Other options: These include a needlestick benefit, a retirement protection option and business expense option.

2. Lifetime Protection plan

This cover includes life insurance, permanent disability (TPD) insurance, recovery (trauma) insurance and income protection insurance. You can take out any of these as standalone policies, or bundled with life insurance. With each, you can add up to three types of cover – accident only, illness only and extra. By choosing both accident and illness, you are covered for both. The extras you can choose are:

  • Life: Adventure sports cover, with accident cover.
  • Disability: Sports cover, with accident cover.
  • Recovery: Cancer cover.
  • Income protection: Sports cover, with accident cover.

Compare direct life insurance policies below

Name Product Maximum Cover Maximum Entry Age Fully Underwritten? Terminal Illness Benefit Optional Extras
NobleOak Life Insurance
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get your two months free when you buy NobleOak Life Insurance policy. Offer ends 30 June 2021. T&C's apply.
ahm Life Insurance
TPD cover, Trauma cover
ahm Health members can save 10% off premiums.
Real Family Life Cover
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™ .
Zurich Ezicover Life Insurance
No optional
Get the first month free and a 10% discount if you take out a second life insurance policy (discount applies to second policy). T&C’s apply.
Insuranceline Life Cover
Trauma cover
Get a $100 bonus gift after 2 months. Offer ends 30 September 2021. Plus get 12 months cover for the price of 11 if you pay for life insurance annually. T&Cs apply.
Medibank Life Insurance
TPD cover, Trauma cover
You could win a $2K EFTPOS gift card when you get a Life Insurance quote by 20 July, 2021. There is a new winner every fortnight. Plus, Medibank health members save 10% on premiums every year. T&Cs apply.

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Types of cover

This policy pays out a lump sum of up to $2 million in the event of death or terminal illness and an advance funeral benefit of up to $25,000. Cover is guaranteed renewable up to the age of 100 and you can increase your cover without reassessment following a wide range of life events to maintain the right sum insured.

Pays out a lump sum of up to $2 million in the event of you becoming permanently disabled and unable to work. You can choose between any occupation or own occupation cover. This type of insurance is also available for homemakers who aren’t working full-time.

Pays out a lump sum of up to $500,000 in the case of specific medical events such as Alzheimer’s, cancer or heart attack. When you choose cancer cover, you can also get an advance payment in some situations of up to $50,000 or 25% of your benefit amount.

Features offered by TAL Lifetime Protection policies

  • Build your own cover: Choose your accident and/or illness cover, and extras, to customise your cover and find premiums to suit your needs. You can get each type of cover as standalone, or can bundle any of them with life insurance.
  • Future life events cover: With life, TPD and recovery insurance you can increase your cover amount without reassessment of your health or pastimes for specific life events. Life events includes a wide range of situations like marriage, divorce, becoming a parent, your child starting or finishing secondary school, taking out a mortgage and changes to your income or business situation.
  • Inflation protection: By default, all cover types include inflation protection, where your sums insured will increase in line with inflation. You can choose to decline increases or turn it off as desired. When TPD and recovery insurance are bundled with life insurance, you need to turn it on or off for all cover types.
  • Choice of stepped or level premiums: You can choose level premiums, which generally remain the same other than cover changes and are based on the age you were when taking out the policy. At a certain age level premiums will convert into stepped premiums, which are recalculated annually based on your current age.
  • Guaranteed renewability: This is designed to be cover for life, and as such is guaranteed to be renewable, provided you’re up to date with premiums and haven’t broken the policy conditions, up to the age of 99.
  • Cover buy-back: When you bundle TPD or recovery insurance with life insurance, you can buy back cover following claims. This is essentially a way to “top up” your cover again without reassessment of health or lifestyle.
  • Premium relief: You can add this option at the time of taking out cover. With it, your life, TPD and recovery insurance premiums will be waived while you're unable to work for at least three months due to accident or illness.

Am I eligible for cover?

PlanEntry age*
Life coverBetween 16 and 75
Income protectionBetween 19 and 60
TPDBetween 16 and 62
Critical Illness insuranceBetween 16 and 62
PlanEntry age*
Life insurance18 to 74
TPD insurance18 to 59
Recovery insurance18 to 59
Income protection18 to 59

How do I pay for cover?

All premiums are payable in advance by the policy owner and must be paid by the due date shown in your policy schedule. Premiums can be paid either yearly, half-yearly, quarterly or monthly and a frequency discount may applies to yearly and half-yearly premiums.

Premiums can be paid by the following methods:

  • Direct debit
  • Credit card (Mastercard or Visa)
  • Rollover where structured through superannuation (yearly payments only)
  • Cheque (available for quarterly, half-yearly and yearly payments only)
  • BPAY (available for quarterly, half-yearly and yearly payments only)

Finally, the cost of your premiums will be affected by a range of factors, including your age, gender, health, smoking status and occupation. It will also vary based on whether you select stepped or level premiums.

What happens if I need to make a claim?

TAL aims to make the claims process as easy and stress-free as possible. Before submitting your claim, remember that the process involved will differ depending on where you purchased your policy.

To submit a claim, follow these simple steps:

  • Inform TAL that you wish to make a claim by emailing or phoning them
  • TAL will then give you the forms you’ll need to complete your claim
  • Make sure you fill out all the forms you receive as this will help them to assess your claim as quickly as possible. Return your completed claim forms and any supporting documentation to TAL via email or post
  • Once TAL has received your completed forms, a case manager will be appointed and will start to assess your claim. If your claim is approved, you can nominate to have your benefit paid into your bank account or you can receive a cheque

The key Steps to a Successful life insurance claim

Are there any charges that I need to be aware of?

As well as the cost of your Accelerated Protection policy, the premium amount also includes government duties and charges and also a policy fee. The policy fee amount varies depending on the premium payment schedule you select. For example, on the Accelerated Protection plan, charges are outlined in the table below and increase each year in line with inflation.

Premium frequencyFee per premium instalmentAnnual equivalent

If you select stepped premiums, your premium payment will generally increase each year. If you choose level premiums, the amount you pay is based on the life insured’s age when the policy starts and premiums will remain the same until your policy reverts to stepped premiums at either 65 or 70 years of age.

What are some of the key exclusions of TAL?

This will depend on the policy – below are some of the exclusions you will find. Note: this is not an exhaustive list.

Exclusions under the Accelerated Protection plan

A range of general exclusions apply to each Accelerated Protection policy from TAL. Your Critical Protection life insurance claim will not be paid if the claim is caused by an intentional self-inflicted act by the life insured:

  • Within 13 months of the policy start date
  • Within 13 months of cover being increased (but only in respect to that increase)
  • Within 13 months of the policy being reinstated

No Accelerated Protection critical illness insurance claim will be paid if:

  • It is caused by an intentional self-inflicted act by the life insured
  • The condition was diagnosed or became apparent within three months of the policy starting, or of cover being increased or reinstated (this exclusion does not apply to all critical illness events)
  • The life insured does not survive for at least 14 days following the critical illness event

Your claim under Accelerated Protection TPD insurance will not be paid if:

  • It is caused by an intentional self-inflicted act by the life insured
  • It is caused by pregnancy, unless disability continues for longer than three months after the pregnancy ends

Other specific exclusions apply to income protection and business expense insurance, so read the Accelerated Protection PDS for more information.

Exclusions under the Lifetime Protection plan

  • No benefits payable for suicide within the first 13 months of taking out or reinstating cover, or if you don’t have illness cover in your life insurance
  • No cover for adventure sports accidents unless you have added it to your accident cover
  • Life insurance cover expires at age 99
  • When not bundled with life insurance, no benefit is payable unless you survive for at least 14 days following a disabling injury or illness
  • No cover for disability resulting from self-inflicted harm, suicide or attempted suicide within 13 months of cover beginning
  • No cover for sports injuries unless you have included sports cover alongside your accident cover
  • TPD insurance cover expires at age 64 when standalone, or age 99 when bundled with life insurance
  • When not bundled with life insurance, no benefits are payable if you don’t survive for at least 14 days following an event
  • No cover if the event was caused directly or indirectly by self-harm within 13 months of taking out a policy
  • No cover for certain health issues if they were apparent, or reasonably apparent, as pre-existing conditions before you took out cover
  • No cover for critical injuries occurring while undertaking high-risk pastimes, such as rock climbing, scuba diving or hang gliding
  • Recovery insurance expires at age 69
  • No cover for any disability resulting from self-inflicted harm
  • No cover for disability resulting from pregnancy or birth, unless you are disabled and unable to work for more than 3 months following the event
  • No cover while visiting a country where the Australian Government has issued a “do not travel” warning
  • Benefits payable for mental illness-related conditions are limited to 2 years
  • No cover for disability sustained while undertaking sports or hazardous pastimes unless you have chosen to add sports cover
  • No benefits payable for more than 90 days while you are residing outside of Australia
  • Income protection insurance expires at age 64

Why consider TAL protection plans?

TAL is a trusted insurer with a long history in the insurance industry. The company has been helping people get the insurance cover they need since 1869, and currently protects more than 2.5 million Australians.

TAL began life as the insurance company of the ordinary people with the backing of the New Zealand government. It has never forgotten its roots as it continues insuring the most vulnerable in the community who recognise it as being a friend, not just a business.

As a specialist life insurance insurer, TAL has a range of policies to suit people from all walks of life and aims to help make the often-confusing subject of life insurance more accessible to everyday Australians. The company’s core purpose is simple: to meet the life insurance needs of as many Australians as possible.

TAL offers customers certainty of cover, clearer communication, and convenient access online and over the phone. If you’re looking for a life insurance protection plan, TAL’s range of insurance products offers the security and peace of mind you need.

TAL company history

TAL is a leading life insurer backed by more than 140 years of history. It started as the Government Life Insurance Office in New Zealand in 1869, and today TAL provides cover to more than 3.7 million Australians. In 2015, TAL reached the milestone of having paid out $1 billion in claims.

TAL has six offices around Australia and employs 1,600 people. Its parent company, Dai-ichi Life, is one of the largest life insurers in the world and has total assets of AUD$578 billion (as at 31 March 2016).

TAL Australia: FAQs

Q. What is a waiting period?

  • A. A waiting period is the amount of time before your insurance benefits begin to accrue.

Q. My income protection claim has been approved. When will I start receiving benefit payments?

  • A. You will start receiving payments one month after your waiting period ends.

Q. Can I receive other income while I’m receiving income protection benefits?

  • A. Yes, if your policy includes a Partial Disability Benefit clause, which allows you to receive some salary continuance benefits as well as your income if you are totally disabled.

Q. Do I pay tax on my benefit payments?

  • A. Any benefits you receive from your policy are usually assessable for tax purposes. Check with an accountant or the Australian Taxation Office to be sure.

Q. What is an independent medical examination and why have I been asked to attend one?

  • A. TAL may ask you to attend an independent medical examination to help assess your claim. Your case manager will give you plenty of notice of any examination so you can make travel arrangements. TAL pays for this examination and will also reimburse you for all reasonable travel costs.

Q. What can I do if I don’t agree with TAL’s decision about my claim?

  • A. In cases where there is not enough evidence to support a claim being approved, the case is put before TAL’s Decision and Review Committee for further consideration before a final decision is made.

If you don’t agree with TAL’s final decision, you can write to its Complaints Resolution Department and ask that your case be independently reviewed.

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