COVID-19 FAQs

Information for ClearView life insurance policies

Does ClearView cover me for pandemics?

ClearView life insurance policies provide a range of insurance covers to protect against financial loss if an insured person dies or becomes disabled due to sickness or injury.

There are no specific exclusions for claims arising from a pandemic event.

For any new applications for insurance or reinstatements, we may request additional information to decide whether we are able to offer cover under standard terms while the COVID-19 pandemic is carrying additional risk.

 

Am I covered overseas?

All of ClearView’s life insurance policies provide worldwide cover, which means you are covered if something happens to you while outside Australia.

The only exception is if you have a special exclusion applied to your policy (which you have agreed to) that restricts your cover in specific countries.

 

Are health workers still eligible for life insurance?

Frontline healthcare workers are not prevented from obtaining ClearView life insurance cover purely through exposure, or potential exposure, to COVID-19. In line with the Financial Services Council’s recent announcement, ClearView is committed to ensuring that the vital work Australia’s frontline healthcare workers are doing will not prevent them from accessing life insurance.

 


Am I still covered while I am unemployed?

ClearView life insurance will not cancel due to unemployment, and in most cases there is no change to the terms of your cover should you need to claim.

If you have Income Protection, there may be a change of terms after 12 months of unemployment. And if your Income Protection is held wholly within superannuation, you are only able to claim while you are gainfully employed.

ClearView’s life insurance policy terms already provide protections for unemployment in most cases. As a member of the Financial Services Council (FSC), Clearview also supports the FSC initiative whereby total and permanent disability cover will not be affected if you are working in your usual capacity as at 11 March 2020 but as a result of COVID-19, subsequently lose your job or have reduced working hours between 11 March 2020  and 27 September 2020. This applies for claims made before 1 January 2021.

If you would like more information about your cover how it may be impacted by unemployment, please contact your adviser or call us on 132 979 to discuss how this applies with your policy and cover type, and what options are available to you.



Am I still covered if I am a casual or part-time worker?

Working on a part-time or casual basis will not change the terms of your cover or cause your cover to cease.

Where cover is intended to replace your income in the event of sickness or injury, you may wish to review your insurance and benefit amount with your financial adviser.
 


What can I do if affordability is a problem?

LifeSolutions policies allow monthly premiums to be waived for up to three months if you lose your job, and we are extending this provision to all ClearView life insurance policy holders who have lost their job due COVID-19 restrictions. Limitations apply and you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for full details.

Longer term, there are a number of ways to reduce your premiums without giving up your insurance. For example, you may be able to reduce cover or remove extra cost features. Your financial adviser can explain these options to you.
 


Can I put my cover on hold?

You can put your ClearView insurance cover on hold by using our Suspending Cover Benefit. No premiums will be charged and you will be unable to claim in respect of any event, sickness or injury that occurs during the suspension period.

Limitations apply and you should refer to the Product Disclosure Statement for full details.
 


How can I make a claim?

If you have any questions about what you are covered for, or if you are lodging a claim, please speak to your financial adviser or contact our Customer Service Centre on 132 979 Monday to Friday between 8am and 7pm (AEST). Alternatively you may email life@clearview.com.au.

Early access to super

Can I get early access to my super?

Individuals affected by COVID-19 will have the opportunity to access up to $10,000 from their superannuation between now and 1 July 2020 with a further $10,000 available if needed from 1 July to 24 September 2020.

Eligibility: One of the following requirements must be satisfied for the early release of super:
  • You are unemployed; or
  • You are eligible to receive a job seeker payment, youth allowance for jobseekers, parenting payment, special benefit or farm household allowance; or
  • On or after 1 January 2020:
    • You were made redundant; or
    • Your working hours were reduced by 20 per cent or more; or
    • If you are a sole trader – your business was suspended or there was a reduction in your turnover of 20 per cent or more.
Australian citizens, permanent and temporary residents and New Zealand citizens are eligible.

Please note that withdrawing your super early will reduce the amount of super you will have when you retire and there may be a more significant impact on your superannuation balance over the longer term.

 

How do I apply to access my super?

You can apply directly to the Australian Taxation Office (ATO) for early release of your superannuation from 20 April 2020 until 24 September 2020 at my.gov.au. You will be required to certify that you meet the eligibility criteria. After the ATO has processed your application, they will issue you with a determination and provide a copy of this determination to your super fund so they can release the money directly to you.

When you apply, you will need to elect which of your super funds the payment is released from and provide the ATO with the bank details you would like the release of funds paid into. These bank details need to be entered at time of application, the ATO will not use bank details they may already have on file.  This information will be provided to the super fund. 

To avoid any potential delays, please provide your super fund with your current email and telephone details in
case they need to contact you to check any of your payment details.
 

What if I don't have a myGov account?

You can create a myGov account by following these steps: https://www.servicesaustralia.gov.au/individuals/online-help/create-mygov-account. If you are unable to access online services, call the ATO and they will assist you by telephone.

Talk to your adviser or contact us for more information.

Minimum pension payments

Have minimum pension payments changed?

As we saw during the Global Financial Crisis (GFC), a temporary reduction to the minimum payment rules has been put in place to assist retirees who may otherwise be forced to sell down assets to meet their minimum pension.

 

How do I change my minimum pension payment?

WealthFoundations and ClearView Pension Plan
To change a pension payment or move to the new minimum payment, call 132 977 (opening hours 8am-6pm, Mon-Fri, AEST) or email us (no forms required).

WealthSolutions
To reduce your pension payment, call 1800 023 549 (opening hours 8am-7pm, Mon-Fri, AEST) or submit a ‘Change of account details’ form for pension accounts by email.

Important notes
  • The new temporary minimum payment is half the minimum previously calculated. If you reduce your pension to the new temporary minimum you are likely to receive no further payments for the 2019/20 financial year if you have already received the minimum requirement. If you would like to continue to receive pension payments for the remainder of the 2019/20 financial year (at a reduced amount), you will need to nominate the dollar amount of each payment.
  • Where you have already exceeded the new minimum payment for the 2019/20 financial year, you are not able to reverse the payments already received.
  • Changes must be received 5 days before the pension payment is made or the changes will apply from the following payment date.

 

Will my pension automatically change to the new minimum pension payment?

If you were receiving a pension prior to 23 March 2020, you will stay on your existing payment rate if no changes are advised. Your minimum pension payment will not change automatically at 1 July 2020. If you would like to change this, please see ‘How do I change my minimum pension payment?’ above.  

From 23 March 2020, if you start a new pension, or move from a different pension rate to the minimum, the new minimum payments will apply.

Talk to your adviser or contact us for more information.

Coronavirus and Market Volatility

The coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, but it has also drastically impacted the economy and the financial system. As the spread of the virus continues, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures. This has resulted in major disruptions to economic activity across the world which is likely to remain for some time as efforts continue to contain the virus.

The severe economic disruption and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has resulted in high levels of financial market volatility. Equity prices have experienced large declines and the Australian dollar has fallen sharply. Government bond yields have also declined to historic lows and there have been significant liquidity issues in global bond markets.

However, it’s important to remember that when investing, it’s the long-term results that matter. Capital values are going to fluctuate over shorter-term periods. The vast majority of large companies which people own in their share portfolios are likely to get through this difficult period and recover to a huge extent. As a result, the share prices of these companies should, in time, retrace their falls. Hence, it is highly likely that this current circumstance is a transitory period of volatility and not the end of the world.

Believe it or not, big falls of 30% to 50% are actually not that uncommon in share markets. If you look at the table below you can see the history of the US share market, which is the world’s largest share market.
 
Bear Market % Fall
Dec-1968 -36%
Jan-1973 -48%
Nov-1980 -27%
Aug-1987 -34%
Jul-2000 -49%
Oct-2007 -56%
Mar-2020 ???
Average -42%


The coronavirus is first and foremost a public health issue, but it has also drastically impacted the economy and the financial system. As the spread of the virus continues, countries have restricted the movement of people across borders and have implemented social distancing measures. This has resulted in major disruptions to economic activity across the world which is likely to remain for some time as efforts continue to contain the virus.

The severe economic disruption and uncertainty caused by the coronavirus has resulted in high levels of financial market volatility. Equity prices have experienced large declines and the Australian dollar has fallen sharply. Government bond yields have also declined to historic lows and there have been significant liquidity issues in global bond markets.

However, it’s important to remember that when investing, it’s the long-term results that matter. Capital values are going to fluctuate over shorter-term periods. The vast majority of large companies which people own in their share portfolios are likely to get through this difficult period and recover to a huge extent. As a result, the share prices of these companies should, in time, retrace their falls. Hence, it is highly likely that this current circumstance is a transitory period of volatility and not the end of the world.

Where can I get more information?

For more information, contact us, talk to your financial adviser, or refer to one of the official Government information sources below:

Treasury
Australian Tax Office
ASIC’s Moneysmart website
Australian Government