Calling all tradies and construction workers! Do you have TPD insurance with CBUS?

The Construction and Building Unions Superannuation fund (CBUS) is one of Australia’s largest super funds and has been set up to serve the construction and building industry, including construction workers and include tradespeople and labourers. Like most super funds, it provides sickness and injury insurance for workers, including total and permanent disability (TPD), as well as income protection insurance in some instances.

You may be aware that many people who work in the building and construction industry are considered more likely than those that work in sedentary occupations to cease work due to injury. Consequently, they can be charged a lot for insurance – particularly TPD insurance – because their jobs are classified as ‘high risk’. In some cases, super funds even specifically exclude such employees from accessing their insurance products.

At Littles, we think everyone should be able to have cover in the event that they are unable to work because of injury or illness. This is doubly true for tradies and construction workers, some of whom work in dangerous environments and deserve the peace of mind that good insurance cover can provide for them and their families.

This blog takes you through the key things you need to know your entitlements as a CBUS member. If you’re already a CBUS member, thinking about changing funds, or just starting out in the industry and assessing your options, take a look. Remember, your hard-earned super pays for the cost of your insurance cover – make sure it’s working for you!

First things first. What is TPD insurance?

TPD insurance is an insurance product that pays a lump sum benefit if you become sick or injured (or both) and unable are unable work again. Most people will have TPD benefits available through their superannuation fund – they just don’t know it! If you cannot work because of injury or illness, being able to receive TPD benefits will be an important part of ensuring your financial wellbeing. 

Not sure what fund you’re in, or what insurance you’re entitled to? Let Littles help. We are insurance law experts and can do a free super claims check.

What definition of ‘total and permanent disability’ does CBUS use?

Every super fund, and the insurance they offer, is different. This includes key definitions, which can have important impacts on the success of a successful TPD claim. To be entitled to TPD benefits as CBUS member, you will usually have to:

· cease work due to illness or injury, and

· be permanently unable to work in any occupation which you are suited to by education, training or experience.

Importantly, unlike some other super insurance policies, there is no obligation for you to seek re-training – that is, you only need to show that you are unlikely to work again in jobs you can perform without being retrained.

I’m a CBUS member, but I haven’t looked closely at my policy. Are all occupations insured for TPD and income protection in CBUS?

Unlike other super funds, CBUS does not exclude specific occupations from accessing insurance through your super fund. However, the amount of the benefit that you are entitled to claim in the event of illness or injury can differ depending on whether you work in a manual or non-manual occupation. To be eligible for TPD insurance through CBUS, you will usually have to me a member and satisfy eligibility criteria, including that you are:

· at least 25 years old, and

· employed and working without restriction when you first become a CBUS member.

Income protection insurance cover – for illnesses or injuries that leave you temporarily unable to work – is generally only available if you work in a non-manual occupations.

I read recently that if I stop working for a while, I could lose my super insurance. Will reducing my work hours impact on my CBUS insurance?

This is an important point. CBUS places minimal restrictions on changing jobs and working fewer hours. This is different to some super funds that require members to work minimum hours to keep their insurance cover. As you’re probably aware, working in the building and construction industry means that you may only work periodically or sporadically, with extended periods between jobs. CBUS’ approach recognises the importance of ensuring that building and construction workers retain insurance cover that reflects the particular dangers of the industry.

Don’t delay – seek advice now

If you have an illness or condition that prevents you from working, you might be worrying about how you are going to pay your bills and put food on the table. Don’t put your health at further risk. You might be entitled to receive a TPD lump sum, as well as other insurance benefits. Get in touch with Littles for a free super claims check. We can help you understand what your rights are, and manage the process efficiently and sensitively. Know where you stand, and get peace of mind.

Free advice and no upfront fees

Not only do we offer a FREE claims check – we handle most insurance claims on a
no win, no fee basis.

Our Head of TPD and General Insurance, Rowan McDonald, is an insurance law expert. If you think you might have a claim, get in touch with Rowan and his team for high quality legal advice.

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