Date posted: 27/10/2021 5 min read

Life insurance claims: The good, the bad and the average

Whether your life insurance claim experience is bad, good or indifferent depends on a few factors. Brought to you by NobleOak.

During a time of grief, life insurance can soften the blow by providing financial security. The last thing a claimant needs in this difficult period is a bad experience, such as the insurer not paying because of pre-existing conditions.

“The claim period is the moment of truth for the life insurer,” says Matthew Minney, head of operations and claims at NobleOak. “Bad experiences tend to come when people take out life insurance without knowing much about their policy.”

“Bad experiences tend to come when people take out life insurance without knowing much about their policy.”
Matthew Minney, NobleOak

Often, that lack of knowledge concerns policy exclusions. “Some companies advertise insurance with no underwriting,” says Minney. “Sometimes people who invest in these policies don’t realise that if they’ve suffered particular conditions within several years prior to taking out the policy, they might not be covered.”

Underwriting is the process of working with the life insured on an individual level – looking at their unique medical history, family history, activities, lifestyle and so on – to evaluate risks of insuring a particular person to determine the appropriate premium and policy terms.

While all life insurance policies have a number of general exclusions, often associated with an individual’s medical history, underwriting means that exclusions that are specific to you can be specifically identified in your cover.

The gap between average and excellent

A lack of surprises is crucial, says Minney, but the difference between the quality of an experience often lies outside the policy itself.

“An excellent experience is not just a fully underwritten policy delivering on its promise and giving the insured peace of mind, but also one that makes the claims process simple, fast, regular and personal,” he says.

“The client claims experience has to be personalised, with a claims manager who is in regular contact and having proactive conversations with the claimant, explaining the process and letting them know what to expect.”

Rather than feeling as if they’re dealing with a call centre, it’s much better if the claimant has a single point of contact.

“At NobleOak, for example, our claims assessors will introduce themselves to the claimant upfront and explain the process, even if it that just involves helping with filling in the claim form. When clients are informed, it makes the process much easier.”

Ultimately, if life insurance is about anything, it’s about peace of mind.

“The insured needs to be confident in their own depth of knowledge of cover and quality of service. Does the insurer pride itself on customer service, for example?”

Look at Google and Feefo reviews, suggests Minney. Ask your insurer what the claims process is and whether it will be personalised. Finally, never assume fully underwritten policies are more expensive. The opposite is often true.

“They are generally less expensive than non-underwritten products. That’s because the company can better determine the risk it’s accepting, rather than accepting risks with much more limited information about them.”

Find out more:

For an instant quote, visit or phone 1300 108 490 and mention ‘CA – Chartered Accountants’. Cover available for Australian residents only.

NobleOak Life Limited ABN 85 087 648 708 AFSL 247302 issues NobleOak life insurance products. See the Product Disclosure Statement (available at for product details and to consider if the product is right for you. General information only – it does not take your circumstances into account and is not financial advice. Online quotes are indicative only – your premium will take into account your age, occupation, sum insured, health and pastimes. You should not cancel any existing life insurance product until you have been informed in writing that your new cover is in place. 

Important information – The Target Market Determination for NobleOak’s Premium Life Direct insurance is available on our website