Total Permanent Disability

Breathing room to adjust to the impact of a disability.

Personal Insurance

What is total permanent disability?

Total permanent disability insurance pays out a lump sum payment in the case that you become permanently disabled or unable to work.

Most of us can only begin to imagine the impact that a total or permanent disability would have on our lives and our lifestyle. Not to mention how our families or businesses would cope. Total permanent disability cover buys you, and your family, some time as you figure out how to cope and adjust. It can also be used to cover additional expenses that may be incurred as a result of your disability – whether that be special care and rehabilitation, replacing the income of a family member who cares for you, or changing your home to accommodate your needs.


  • Total permanent disability differs from income protection as it is paid as a lump sum, instead of in monthly instalments. Cover can also be extended past retirement age – right up to age 100 if you wish! It can be harder to claim on than other insurance products, however this is reflected in the pricing. Another key difference is that TPD also covers people not in paid employment, like homemakers or students.

  • As with all types of insurance, policies definitely differ here too. You can have cover for your own, specific occupation or any occupation and all insurance companies will have slightly different policy wording. It’s definitely best to talk to your advisor to ensure you understand all the terminology used; they can help you set your policy up optimally.

  • Although some of the insurance types appear to overlap, all perform different functions and provide different sorts of protection for different circumstances. It is advisable to have more than one type of cover in place, to ensure you are protected against all possible life-changing events.