Life insurance product & regulatory updates

With several industry initiatives and regulatory changes on the way, we’ve highlighted the key product and process changes that you can expect from BT in September and October 2021.

Product Disclosure Statement & product changes

Our new BT Protection Plans (BTPP) Product Disclosure Statement (effective 20 September 2021) is now available to be provided to your clients in both digital and hard copy formats. Please provide this to your clients with new quotes and applications. 

We have also issued a new Adviser Guide which covers all products currently available to new business from 20 September 2021^. The BTPP Adviser Guide, BTPP Reserve PDS and Reserve Adviser Guide have also been updated on LifeCENTRAL.

As part of the new BTPP Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), our new BT Income Protection (IP) Assured and Business Overheads (BO) Assured products are now available.

BT IP Assured may include the following features for your clients: 

  • Monthly benefit up to 70% of salary
  • 1 Duty Disability definition
  • Home Duties IP
  • Future Insurability Benefit
  • 10% Platform discount for policies funded by a BT Panorama account
  • 5% multi-policy discount*
  • CPI increases on certain benefits
  • Rehabilitation benefits
  • Worldwide cover 24/7

As IP Assured has been designed in accordance with APRA’s Individual Disability Income Insurance (IDII) direction, the terms and conditions of IP Assured are different to our previous income protection products. These new products are now available for quotes and applications in LifeCENTRAL+. 

Please read both the BTPP PDS and Adviser Guide, available in LifeCENTRAL, for more information about our new products and options available.

How to order hard copies

If you require hard copies of the BTPP PDS, please complete the order form on LifeCENTRAL and send it to westpacorders@ivegroup.com.au.

While hard copies are available, we encourage you to go green and always download a copy from LifeCENTRAL to ensure you have the latest version. We know many clients prefer a digital version as it is easier to file and retrieve when needed.

^Please refer to the Adviser Guide dated 5 April 2021 if you would like to know more about the benefits, ownership structures and policy discounts for Income Protection (standard), Income Protection Plus, BT Reserve Income Protection and Business Overheads. Replacements and transfers, alterations and reinstatements may still be available for the products listed and is explained further in the Adviser Guide dated 20 September 2021.

*Only available if the Insured Person is covered by multiple eligible BT Protection Plans policies

Important: We are closing our current Income Protection (standard), Income Protection Plus, BT Reserve Income Protection, and Business Overheads product options in the BT Protection Plans suite to new business from 1 October 2021. However, for customers that already hold these products, alterations continue to be available.

Transition rules

We are closing our current Income Protection (standard), Income Protection Plus, BT Reserve Income Protection, and Business Overheads product options in the BT Protection Plans suite to new business from 1 October 2021. However, existing policy owners of these products can continue to alter, reinstate and cancel & replace after 1 October 2021. We have prepared the applicable transition rules during this period to support any quotes and applications in progress. View our transition rules.

Important: Many of our forms have changed to comply with the new APRA measures and other legislative changes. This includes an updated Application form for BT Protection Plans, and new forms for policy reinstatements and/or cancel and replace. They will be available in LifeCENTRAL and must be used from Monday 20 September 2021.

Application form & Personal Statement changes

With the release of the new BTPP PDS effective 20 September 2021, you’ll see changes to the Application form and Personal Statement on LifeCENTRAL+, tele-interview and paper versions. These changes are related to the Royal Commission recommendation 4.5. This introduces a duty to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to an insurer for consumer insurance contracts.

The new duty requires the insured person to take reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation to us before the contract is entered. The insured must answer all our questions honestly, accurately, and completely to the best of their knowledge. If not, then they may not have taken reasonable care not to make a misrepresentation. A misrepresentation is a statement that is not true. A misrepresentation can include an answer that is only partially true but might not include a blank answer.

To assist your clients in meeting their duty and to help them understand what information we require, we’ve revised our Personal Statement questions to make them simple, clear, and specific. The new form is now available in LifeCENTRAL and must be used from Monday 20 September 2021.

For more information please refer to our RC 4.5 duty to not make a misrepresentation to an insurer FAQs.

Important: Many of our forms have changed to comply with the new APRA measures and other legislative changes. This includes an updated Application form for BT Protection Plans, and new forms for policy reinstatements and/or cancel and replace. They will be available in LifeCENTRAL and must be used from Monday 20 September 2021.

APRA sustainability measures

In December 2019, APRA informed all life insurers of changes required to product design and practices to improve Individual Disability Income Insurance (IDII) sustainability. All insurers must comply with these changes effective 1 October 2021.

APRA’s measures aim to address issues in product design that contravene the principle of indemnity or contribute to heightened risk. These measures impose changes to income at risk and annual earnings at claim time, income replacement ratios, and benefit periods.

For further information and the full direction, visit the APRA website.

Design & Distribution Obligations

From 5 October 2021, all issuers and distributors of financial products must comply with the Design and Distribution Obligations (DDO) under the Corporations Act.

The DDO are intended to help consumers obtain appropriate financial products by requiring product issuers, like us, and distributors, such as dealer groups and advisers, to have a consumer-centric approach to designing and distributing products. DDO places an obligation on product issuers and distributors to appropriately market and distribute their financial products to customers.

We have created some frequently asked questions (FAQs) to support you through these changes and help understand obligations for both issuers and distributors.

For more information about DDO, visit the ASIC website.


DDO impacts reinstatements, replacements and cover continuation

All insurance contracts issued by WLISL after the commencement of DDO are impacted by the DDO legislation. This includes policies which are reinstated, replaced or issued under the Cover Continuation benefit.

From 27 September 2021, WLISL will take reasonable steps to ensure the distribution of its products is consistent with its Target Market Determination (TMD), in accordance with the DDO. To do this, WLISL may need your client to complete a target market assessment (TMA) with some applications. Further information on TMDs is available below.


Target market assessment

A target market assessment is an assessment by WLISL to determine if individual consumers are likely to be within the target market outlined in the TMD for that product. A TMA will only be conducted by WLISL upon the reinstatement, replacement or continuation of specific products to ensure that factors such as changes in employment and income which could result in an individual no longer being within the target market are identified.

For more information about DDO, TMDs and TMAs please read our ‘DDO reinstatement, replacement and continuation’ frequently asked questions (FAQ’s).

Target Market Determination

A Target Market Determination (TMD) is a document produced by the product issuer, in this case Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited (WLISL).

The TMD sets out the target market (that is, the class of consumers for which the product is designed), distribution conditions and restrictions and information related to the review and monitoring of the product. A TMD is required for all WLISL's life insurance products available for issue, reinstatement, replacement, or continuation (using the continuation option) from 5 October 2021.

It’s important that you find out more information from your dealer group or licensee in relation to how they are managing their design and distribution obligations.

Both issuers and distributors have responsibilities. You and your dealer group need to understand your obligations and how to meet these, which at a high level include:

  • Not to distribute a product unless a TMD has been made for the product;
  • To take reasonable steps to ensure that the distribution of the product is consistent with the TMD;
  • Your dealer group representative must notify us as soon as possible, but no later than 10 business days of a ‘significant dealing’
  • Keep complete and accurate records about the product, including the number of complaints.

For more information please refer to our TMD summary page or frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Important: The TMDs for WLISL’s impacted Life Insurance products are now available on both LifeCENTRAL and via our website.

PDS and Enhancements

We are pleased to launch a new Product Disclosure Statements and Enhancements page on our website. The page includes information on enhancements made to BT Protection Plans since September 2007.

This page allows you and your clients to access all relevant documents, so you know what terms apply to their policy at the time of reinstatement. Our Life Insurance Customer Relations Consultants can assist your clients with queries on finding the correct documents if required.

Claims handling information update

We’ve updated our claims website pages to include more information around the following:

  • our claims philosophy
  • steps involved in making a claim
  • information and forms required when submitting a claim
  • claim assessment duration
  • how often claim updates will be provided
  • what to do if a claim is declined
  • the Life Insurance Code of Practice (LICoP)

We have updated our claims kits with claim durations, the LICoP as well as directing customers to our 'make a claim' page on our website.

We're here to help

If you have any questions contact your Business Development Manager. If you are unsure of your Business Development Manager, please call us on 1800 025 127, Monday to Friday, 8:00am - 6:30pm (Sydney). Alternatively, email us and we will arrange a call. 


A target market determination has been made for Protection Plans products. Please visit bt.com.au/tmd for any of our target market determinations.

The Insurer and Issuer is Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited ABN 31 003 149 157 AFSL 233728, except for Term Life as Superannuation, Income Protection as Superannuation and Income Protection Assured as Superannuation, issued by BT Funds Management Limited ABN 63 002 916 458 AFSL 233724 as Trustee of Retirement Wrap ABN 39 827 542 991. They are subsidiaries of Westpac Banking Corporation ABN 33 007 457 141 AFSL 233714, who does not guarantee the insurance. This information does not take into account your client’s personal circumstances. Terms and conditions, and limitations and exclusions apply. Please read the PDS to see if this insurance is right for your client.