This page answers a range of questions about Total Permanent Disablement cover.


Am I eligible to apply for Total Permanent Disablement insurance?

You are eligible to apply for AIA Living Total Permanent Disablement insurance if:

  • You are 16 to 55 years of age (or up to age 60 if you work in a clerical, managerial or professional job); and
  • You are a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident or you hold a current New Zealand work permit or a long term New Zealand business visa.
Are all occupations eligible?

No. Most occupations are eligible, however some high-risk occupations are uninsurable due to the nature of these occupations and the risks they present from an insurance perspective. Some examples of occupations that are not eligible for Total Permanent Disablement cover include armed forces personnel, police, prison guards, firemen, coal miners, professional divers and pilots.

Are there any pastimes or activities which cannot be covered?

Yes, there are some pastimes and activities which cannot be covered. If you participate in, or intend to participate in, a potentially hazardous activity and that activity cannot be covered, you will be notified before your policy is issued. If an activity cannot be covered, an exclusion will be specified in the policy at the time it is issued. Some examples of pastimes and activities which might be subject to an exclusion are gliding, motor racing, mountain climbing and scuba diving to depths of greater than 40 metres.


How much cover should I apply for?

We are not able to say how much Total Permanent Disablement cover you should apply for, as this website does not provide financial advice, and it takes no account of your personal insurance needs or circumstances. In particular, this website does not provide financial advice within the meaning of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and it should not be relied upon in making a decision about insurance. If you are unable to (or do not wish to) determine your cover requirements yourself, then read our section about obtaining advice.

Can I apply for more than $2 million in cover?

Yes, you can. Our online quoting tool is limited to a maximum of $2 million in Total Permanent Disablement cover, but if you would like a higher amount of cover, simply contact us. The maximum amount of Total Permanent Disablement cover you can apply for is $5 million.

Can I increase my cover after my policy has been issued?

You can increase your cover in the following ways:

  • By utilising the Special Events Increase Facility in your policy (see What is the Special Events Increase Facility? below for further details); or
  • By utilising the Future Insurability Benefit in your policy (see What is the Future Insurability Benefit? below for further details); or
  • By applying for additional cover online in the usual way.

In each case an increase in cover attracts an additional premium.

Can I reduce my cover after my policy has been issued?

Yes, you can. If your circumstances or your financial responsibilities change, you can reduce your Total Permanent Disablement cover at any time. However you may wish to seek financial advice about what such a change means for you before doing so.

What is the Special Events Increase Facility?

Total Permanent Disablement policies contain a Special Events Increase Facility. This facility is an important policy benefit that allows you to increase your cover, upon the occurrence of any one of a number of ‘special events’ in your life. Special events increases can be made without the need to provide any health information or to undergo any medical examinations or tests. These special events include, but are not limited to:

  • Having a child (by birth or legal adoption);
  • Becoming married or entering into a civil union;
  • Becoming divorced or the dissolution of your civil union; and
  • Taking out or increasing a home loan.

A life insured is only eligible for a special events increase where the special event occurs before age 55. Please refer to the Total Permanent Disablement Policy wording for further details of this benefit and the full terms and conditions under which it is available.

Any increase in cover will attract an additional premium.

What is the Future Insurability Benefit?

Total Permanent Disablement policies contain a Future Insurability Benefit. At every third anniversary of your policy, you can request an increase to the amount of your cover without providing any medical evidence, by up to 20% of your original sum insured (subject to a maximum increase of $200,000).

For example, if the initial cover under your policy was $500,000, then on the third anniversary of your policy you can increase your cover by up to a further $100,000 (20%), giving a total cover of up to $600,000, without having to answer any health questions or provide any health information whatsoever.

Your request must be made within 60 days of your policy anniversary date. Increases can be made up to the age of 55, and the total value of all increases cannot exceed 100% of the original sum insured or $500,000, whichever is lesser. Please refer to the Total Permanent Disablement Policy wording for further details about this benefit and the full terms and conditions under which it is available.

Any increase in cover will attract an additional premium.

Do I have to be unable to work in any occupation to get a benefit?

No you do not. While an illness or injury may prevent you from ever working in your own occupation again, that does not necessarily mean that the illness or injury prevents you from working in any occupation. However, you satisfy the criteria for a permanent disablement benefit payment by being assessed in relation to your own occupation, and not in relation to just any occupation. This means that you could become entitled to receive a permanent disablement benefit while still being able to work at some other occupation which you could perform.

What happens if I change my occupation?

If you change your occupation you will be assessed on the basis of your occupation at the time at which you became disabled, in any future permanent disablement claim you make. You do not need to notify AIA of any change in your occupation. However, if your occupation changes to one of full-time domestic duties, then your cover under the policy automatically changes from an own occupation basis to an any occupation basis.

Am I still covered if I travel or work overseas?

Yes, you are. Regardless of where you travel in the world, the reason for your travel or for how long you are away, you will be covered. This means that you remain covered even if you decide to leave New Zealand to travel or work overseas.

Will my cover expire at any particular age or date?

Yes, it will. Total Permanent Disablement cover expires at age 65.


For questions about our Total Permanent Disablement quotes, please see our Quote FAQs.

Application Process

When should I apply for cover?

You need to determine that for yourself based on your own situation. You never know when you might need cover. If you delay, you run the risk of developing a medical condition which could result an exclusion being added to your policy or a premium loading being applied.

Is it easy to apply for Total Permanent Disablement?

Yes, it’s very easy. Simply get a quote and apply online. It takes most people less than 20 minutes.

Is there a lot of paperwork?

There is usually no paperwork at all. You apply for cover entirely online, and your application can be processed and your policy issued without you having to complete any paper forms.

What sort of questions do I need to answer?

In addition to your name and contact details, the application form has questions about your residency, your occupation and activities, your health, your medical history, any other life or health insurance you might have, and payment details.

Will I need to undergo a medical examination or tests?

No medical examinations or tests are normally required. However, if you are requested to have either, then there would be no cost to you at all. In that event AIA’s HealthScreen service could be offered to you. This consists of a registered nurse visiting you at your home or office at a time which is convenient to you. It’s all very low key.

What happens after I submit my application?

As soon as you submit your application a confirmation email will be sent to you. The email will outline what happens next, and it will have contact details in the event that you wish to contact us while your application is being processed. We will keep you updated at each step, right through to the acceptance and issue of your policy.

How long will it take to process my application?

All applications undergo initial processing right away, and the majority are fully processed within a matter of days. If there are any details missing from your application, or if further information is needed, then that may extend the time required to process your application.


What are my payment options?

All premiums are paid directly to AIA. You can pay your premiums by any of the methods below:

  • Direct Debit from a New Zealand bank account;
  • Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard); or
  • Debit Card.

You can change your payment method at any time.

You can pay your premiums weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually. If you pay your premiums weekly or fortnightly, you can choose which day of the week your premiums are deducted. If you pay monthly, you can choose which date your premiums are deducted each month. You change your payment frequency at any time.

You will be notified before your first premium will be deducted. In any event, your first premium will not be deducted until at least 10 days after your policy is issued.

Do I get a discount if I pay my premiums annually?

Yes, you do. If you pay your premiums annually you will receive a discount of 4.76% on the total benefit cost (everything except the policy fee). This discount is automatically calculated when you get a quote and select an annual payment frequency.

What happens if I miss a premium payment?

Don’t panic. Your cover will not immediately stop if you happen to miss a premium payment. Your policy provides 31 days’ grace for any premium due. If you miss a premium payment you should contact AIA as soon as possible and make arrangements to pay the missed premium. If you do nothing, and the premium remains outstanding beyond the 31-day grace period, then AIA is entitled to cancel your policy by providing notice to you in writing at your most recently advised postal address.


Can I change my mind after I receive my policy?

Yes, you can. You may cancel your policy at any time.

All of our policies come with a 15-day free-look period. If, at any time within the first 15 days of receiving your policy, you do not wish to continue your cover (for whatever reason), you may cancel your policy and get a full refund of any premiums paid.

You may still cancel your policy at any time after this free-look period, but you will not receive a refund of any premiums paid.

Can AIA cancel my policy for any reason?

AIA can cancel the policy if:

  • The premium remains unpaid for more than 31 days after the premium due date;
  • You fail to disclose material information to AIA prior to inception of the policy or any variation or reinstatement of the policy;
  • You made a substantially incorrect statement on the faith of which the policy was issued, renewed, varied or reinstated;
  • You make a claim under the policy that is false or fraudulent in any respect; or
  • You are the subject of any sanction, prohibition or restriction under United Nations resolutions or trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of New Zealand, the European Union, United Kingdom or United States of America, or any of its states and/or any other applicable economic or trade sanction laws or regulations.

Please refer to the policy wording for full details.

Policy Owner

Can I change the owner of my policy?

Yes, you can. You may change the owner of your policy at any time. All existing and any new policy owners must agree to the change. For example, you could change the policy owner from just yourself to joint ownership between yourself and your partner. In order to change the policy owner, simply complete a Change of Ownership Form.


How do I make a claim?

If you need to make a Total Permanent Disablement claim, please read our guide to making a claim.

Are there any exclusions which would prevent a claim?

Yes. If either of the following directly or indirectly causes or contributes to a disability, then no benefit is payable:

  • Deliberate or attempted self-harm by the life insured;
  • The life insured engaging in or being part of any conduct that is criminal; and
  • The life insured dies within three months of the date on which the life insured became totally permanently disabled.
Is any tax payable on any benefit received?

Under current New Zealand tax legislation, ordinarily there is no tax payable on any Total Permanent Disablement benefit which is paid under this policy.


Can I see the policy wording before I apply?

Of course you can. You can view or download a copy of the Total Permanent Disablement Policy wording at any time. If you have any questions at all about the policy wording, please contact us.

What is the Enhancement Pass Back Benefit?

All AIA Living policies contain an Enhancement Pass Back Benefit. This means that if at any time in the future, AIA makes a change to the standard policy wording, and that change would be favourable to you, then the enhanced section will automatically be applied to your policy, subject to the conditions specified in your policy.


Will my policy ever have a cash value?

No. The premiums for your policy provide risk cover only, and any other special benefits as set out in your policy. Your policy does not acquire any surrender or cash value at any time.

Important Information

  • The above provides a summary only of the benefits, terms and conditions of the policy. Please refer to the policy wording, including the policy appendix and schedule, for full details of the policy benefits and the terms and conditions under which they are provided.