When you think about an injury or illness preventing you from working, you might think that can only happen to people in high-risk jobs, like those working in the logging industry (one of the most deadly in the world) or fishing for lobster off the coast of Alaska (both dangerous and extremely cold).

While there’s no doubt those professions need insurance to protect life and livelihood, you might be surprised by how common it is for people in less-obviously dangerous industries are unable to work for a time.

That’s where the value of income protection and life insurance through superannuation come in very handy. And, if you’re like most people, you don’t realise you need something like this until you actually need to make a claim.

We’re proud to support teachers both through their working life and into their retirement. Anyone who has ever stepped foot into a classroom will tell you that the work is incredibly intense, and people who go into the profession are as dedicated as any you’ll find.

Sometimes, however, illness or injury prevents them from being able to serve their students. What kind of things would keep a teacher out of the classroom? We asked our partners at OnePath about some of the most common claims they see.

The most common claim for income protection and permanent disability is also the one that is sometimes the hardest to see. Mental health claims, like for depression, anxiety or stress can be just as debilitating as a physical injury. While the stigma around getting treatment has certainly lessened in recent years, many people still put off treatment because they may not see a problem. It can compound until it leads to physical manifestations, which we’ll talk more about later.

Other claims we regularly see come from cancer and tumour discoveries. An especially common one, which will come as no surprise to Australians, is skin cancer. While teachers are vigilant about protecting themselves from the sun’s rays, they can have excessive exposure when they supervise students during recess.

Teaching is an incredibly active profession. It’s not just about knowing a lot about your subjects but being able to present that material in a way that’s engaging for students. Our last three common claims directly influence a teacher’s ability to get up in front of students: neurological issues, injuries and back problems.

Some of these issues can be treated, given time. That’s where the value of income protection lies: you’re able to have the time to get well, which can get you back to doing the thing you love the most.  

When it comes to death claims, you likely won’t be surprised. Cardiovascular issues (heart attacks and strokes) top the list, along with cancer. Teaching is a high-pressure, high-stress profession. It can involve long hours and juggling of priorities, which can be taxing on a person. 

Of course, this is never something you want to think about but having the security of your insurance through super can provide a small comfort if you ever face these circumstances.

How to return to work after an extended absence

This might seem odd to hear, but there might be value in insurance beyond money. Some insurers are now focusing on providing a holistic experience, one that includes supporting rehabilitation and a return to the workforce. 

Rushing someone back to the office before they’re ready might lead to a relapse or a worsening of their underlying condition. That’s why OnePath offers consultation services to help people know when it’s right to go back.

Dropping someone back into work full-time after an injury or illness can be a big shock to the system. Some people may handle it well, others may struggle.

It’s important to think about what’s best for you. This could be coming back part-time and gradually increasing the time at work. 

We believe that it’s important to treat people like people, not just a claim number. We want our members to know that they’re supported through every step of their lives.

Get answers to your questions

Planning for your future is confusing. We can help you understand your insurance options and put together a plan that’s right for you. Members of Australian Catholic Superannuation can do it via a phone call with a financial adviser for no additional cost.

Get started by giving us a call on 1300 658 776 or visit us online at catholicsuper.com.au