Does your life insurance cover your high risk job
11 January 2023
The building and construction industry unfortunately has one of the highest rates of serious workplace injury claims¹. As a worker within this vital industry, it is important that you have the right insurance cover to protect you if you’re involved in a workplace injury.
Super funds generally provide total and permanent disability and life (death) insurance for their members by default when a member joins the fund.
This insurance is usually tailored to the super fund’s industry, for example a retail industry super fund provides insurance tailored to the retail industry and the risks within that industry.
When you’re working in the building and construction industry your job is likely to be classified as high risk or a dangerous occupation and it’s important to be aware that some super funds may not provide insurance cover for dangerous occupations.
The importance of choosing your super fund
From November 2021, all working Australians have been attached (‘stapled’) to one super fund for the rest of their life, unless they choose otherwise. While being stapled to a super fund has potential fee and cost saving benefits for workers, a possible downside includes being unknowingly stapled to a fund that doesn’t provide the right insurance cover for your current occupation, as was the case with Alex.
Alex was a first-year apprentice in the building and construction industry, who only worked in a retail role beforehand. When Alex started his apprenticeship, he didn’t complete a choice of fund form to tell his employer what super fund he wanted his super guarantee (SG) contributions paid into.
As his employer didn’t receive Alex’s choice of fund form, they were required to check if he had an existing ‘stapled’ super fund to make SG contributions to. The employer did find Alex’s stapled super fund, which wasn’t tailored to the building and construction industry, and didn’t provide insurance cover for Alex’s occupation.
One day (many years into his career) Alex experienced an accident on the job, which sadly left him with a permanent disability and unable to work. When he lodged an insurance claim with his super fund (being that same ‘stapled’ fund from his retail working days), they unfortunately rejected his claim because his job in building and construction was a dangerous occupation and not covered under that super fund’s insurance arrangements.
If Alex had changed to a super fund that provided insurance cover for his dangerous occupation when he began his apprenticeship, and told his employer, he may have been covered and able to receive his insurance claim in this instance.
If you’re new to the building and construction industry or haven’t reviewed your insurance recently, check that the insurance you have in your super fund covers you for the job you do.
Unlike some super funds, BUSSQ offers tailored insurance for workers in the building, construction and civil industries. This allows our eligible members to have peace of mind knowing that there’s an insurance option available for dangerous occupations.
See our insurance page for more about our insurance offering or give us a call on 1800 692 877 if you have any questions about your insurance.
1 https://www.safeworkaustralia.gov.au/resources-and-publications/statistical-reports/key-work-health-and-safety-statistics-australia-2021. This is general information only and does not take into account your personal financial situation or needs. Before acting, review the PDS to ensure you have all the information about the BUSSQ product and consider the appropriateness of the information to your needs or obtain financial advice tailored for your personal circumstances. See BUSSQ’s PDSs and TMDs. Issued by BUSS (Queensland) Pty Ltd ABN 15 065 081 281 AFSL 237860, Trustee of Building Unions Superannuation Scheme (Queensland) (BUSSQ) ABN 85 571 332 201.