Across the group insurance sector, mental health is listed as the most common cause for income protection claims for middle-aged workers, new research has found.
According to a review by Rice Warner of the group insurance industry – compiled from data obtained from 16 superannuation funds – mental health featured as the most common cause of income protection claims for workers aged between 30 and 50.
Rice Warner noted that for workers over the age of 50, musculoskeletal problems were the most common cause of income protection claims.
For total and permanent disability, however, mental health claims peak at 20 per cent of all claims for members aged 30 to 39 – the highest for any age bracket.
Musculoskeletal claims represented a third of all claims for members, although this was excluding younger ages where accidents and poisons were listed among the highest claim causes.
Rice Warner also found the faster the claims process, the speedier the return to work for 40 per cent of Australians.
“Waiting period has a significant impact on Income Protection return-to-work statistics,” a statement from Rice Warner said.
“There is a 68 percent higher chance that a claimant on a 30-day waiting period will not be on claim within 12 months, compared with a claimant on a 90-day waiting period,” it said.
The claimant's occupation would be a factor in delaying claims reports, Rice Warner added.
“The delay for hazardous occupations [is] 60 percent higher than that for professional occupations,” the statement said.