BT Life Insurance and Coronavirus – Frequently asked questions

Does BT’s life insurance policy cover me for COVID-19?

If you have a BT Protection Plans or BT Super for Life insurance policy, there are no exclusions for pandemics. This means that if you took out a policy before you contract the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) and also meet the terms of your policy, you are covered. Income protection, business expenses, living (trauma), total and permanent disability (TPD) and death policies may all provide cover, depending on your circumstances.

New policies are subject to our current underwriting rules and assessed based on our standard criteria at the time. As the situation is always changing, we are monitoring the impact of the virus closely and may need to change our underwriting approach accordingly, if required.

The following should be noted:

  • Total and Permanent Disability, Income Protection and business expense policies cover you if you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury in line with the terms and conditions of the policy, including any waiting period.
  • Trauma (“Living”) policies cover you for defined events, however, COVID-19 is not a defined sickness under the Trauma policy. Severe cases could be covered under other defined sicknesses, such as intensive care requiring continuous mechanical ventilation for 10 days.
  • Accidental Death policies do not cover you for COVID-19.

Does BT’s income protection policy cover me if I need to self-isolate?

An income protection policy will cover you if you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury in line with the terms and conditions of the policy, and depending upon the waiting period selected. The policy does not pay benefits for self-isolation.

Does BT’s income protection policy me if my business shuts down due to COVID-19?

The income protection policy will cover you if you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury in line with the terms and conditions of the policy and depending upon the waiting period selected. The policy does not pay benefits if your business closes down due to COVID-19.

For Westpac customers, a COVID-19 Customer Help Package has just been announced to provide assistance if you have been impacted by this crisis. More information can be found on Westpac.com.au

Does BT’s income protection policy cover me if I’m told I cannot go to work due to a shutdown as a result of COVID-19?

Income protection policies provide coverage if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury in line with the terms and conditions of the policy and depending upon the waiting period selected. The policy does not pay benefits if you’re told you cannot go to work as your workplace has shut down.  

For Westpac customers, a COVID-19 Customer Help Package has just been announced to provide assistance if you have been impacted by this crisis. More information can be found on Westpac.com.au

Can I increase my level of insurance cover or apply for a new policy?

Yes. BT’s standard assessment criteria currently apply for any increase applications received.

As with all policies, this may change at any time, depending on the spread of COVID-19 and other developments. You will be required to go through the full underwriting process, and our underwriting guidelines may also change without notice.

We have not made significant changes to our underwriting practices however;

  • If you are not resident in Australia or intend to travel outside Australia in the short term you may not be offered new or increased cover. We understand that people with longer term travel plans within 12 months of application may not yet know if you will be keeping your travel plans or not; applications for these policies are assessed on an individual basis. 
  • Some limitations to cover may apply for people in higher risk groups. These applications will be individually assessed with consideration of your circumstances.

We are closely monitoring developments and our underwriting approach may change at any time to respond to the rapidly changing situation.  We’ll keep you updated.

I have tested positive for COVID-19 and I need to make a claim

Please get into contact with our claims team who are ready to assist. Our usual processes still apply.

Please let us know if you need any additional support because of these circumstances.

Will there be any changes to the way in which you manage claims in light of the pandemic?

Our Claims Philosophy will remain unchanged and we will continue to pay claims in line with our philosophy, our priority as a business, is our people and you, our customers.

In the event our business is significantly impacted by COVID-19, we have long-standing plans in place to continue managing our claims with minimum delays.

We aim to maintain continuity of care during this time participating in our health support programs. We can continue to deliver support to you through tele-health services with no face-to-face interaction, minimising risks while enabling them to continue to receive the exercise, health coaching and counselling support needed during your recovery, and regardless of location.

How is BT responding to COVID19 impacts?

As a business, we continue to monitor the developing situation and review updated guidance from reputable sources including our own independent medical advice. Our priority is to keep our people, business partners and customers as safe as possible whilst maintaining business operations.  

Measures we have introduced include:

  • Allocating team members to a mix of designated workspaces and working remotely, to enable them to continue to support business critical functions
  • Reviewing priorities of tasks to focus on the most important functions such as helping our operational teams support you.
  • Clear protocols for our people regarding health and safety, including broad self-isolation directives to minimise the spread of any health concerns, adhering to social distancing recommendations, and additional cleaning for corporate sites.

What happens if BT’s offices are shut down?

BT has robust business continuity plans in place which are tested regularly, so we are prepared for unexpected events and disruptions to business. We also have developed a response to the additional challenges of operating in the current environment where so many of our customers, suppliers, and business partners are also impacted.

You can be assured we are working to maintain operations and be available to support you during this time, however we appreciate your understanding with potential impacts on our service levels and response times as we also focus on the health and wellbeing of our people and business partners

What if I’m facing hardship and struggling to pay my premium?

We appreciate many of you may be impacted both physically and through economic impacts of COVID-19. While your life insurance policies do not cover business slow-down and closure, we want to work with you to help maintain your cover where possible. As always, you can contact us to request a premium repayment holiday to assist in the short-term.

For Westpac customers, a COVID-19 Customer Help Package has just been announced to provide assistance if you have been impacted by this crisis. More information can be found on Westpac.com.au

Return to the COVID-19 Update page

This material has been prepared as general advice only and is current as at 23 March 2020. This information does not take into account your personal circumstances. It must not be copied, used, reproduced or otherwise distributed or circulated to any other party. This information is not intended to be the only source of readers’ knowledge and should be read together with the relevant Product Disclosure Statement.

The Insurer of BT Protection Plans and BT Super for Life is Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLISL) ABN 31 003 149 157, except for Term Life as Superannuation and Income Protection as Superannuation which are issued by Westpac Securities Administration Limited (WSAL) ABN 77 000 049 472, AFSL Number 233731 as trustee of the Westpac MasterTrust ABN 81 236 903 448. WLISL and WSAL are wholly owned subsidiaries of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 (the Bank). The Bank does not guarantee the insurance. This information is general advice only and is not to be attributed to any member of the Westpac Group. Terms and conditions, and limitations and exclusions apply. This information is not intended to be the only source of readers’ knowledge and should be read together with the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS) to see if this insurance is right for you. The PDS explains conditions, terms, limits and exclusions and is available by visiting bt.com.au.  

This material has been prepared for BT clients only and is current as at 23 March 2020.  It must not be copied, used, reproduced or otherwise distributed or circulated to any other party. 

©Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL and Australian credit licence 233714