Team Spirit profile: Jane
Born in Portsmouth on England’s South Coast, Jane relocated to Hobart with her family in 1969 when she was just eight years old. Now an Insurance and Claims Administrator for Spirit Super, Jane always knew she wanted to help people.
After earning a Bachelor of Education and then working in recruitment in a training capacity to support job seekers, she jumped at the chance to move into superannuation.
Starting her super career as a temp with Tasplan in 2001, Jane moved into insurance in 2014 and now feels privileged to be helping people get through tough times.
'We look after, and I do see it like that - as looking after - our members who are going through a very hard time. Due to the nature of the insurance products we offer - death, total and permanent disablement (TPD) and income protection cover – the process of going through a claim can be daunting for members, particularly when they’re unwell.’
Insurance is an essential part of any financial plan and can provide financial protection if you die, get injured or become disabled and can no longer work. Most people receive insurance when they join a super fund without realising the full benefits they’re receiving.
Jane sees the role of an Insurance and Claims Administrator as much more than processing claims.
‘Having a connection with people is just as important as getting the paperwork done. We have a lot more mental health claims these days, and for a lot of people, talking through the details of their claim can bring up more anxiety. In those cases, it’s really important to be able to connect and show empathy.’
For members, going through an insurance claim can be a lengthy process and, at times, confusing.
‘We’re often asked, “How long will this take?”. Every situation’s different. I’ve seen claims accepted within two weeks, but I’ve also seen them stretch out over twelve months. So, it’s important to provide a realistic time frame, explain the process clearly, and let them know that we’re here for them when they have any questions.’
Making a claim usually begins with a call to the Spirit Super contact centre. This is followed up by an insurance claim pack that is sent through the mail or email.
‘The packs ask for a lot of information, and if a member isn’t very well, it can be difficult to even make a start. So, when we send an insurance claim pack out, we follow up with a phone call. We’re here to make the process as easy as we can. We walk through it with them step-by-step.’
After years of helping members through the claims process, Jane says she has learned to never make assumptions about what members do and don’t know about insurance.
‘There are a lot of terminologies used in insurance that everyday people don’t understand. Assuming a member understands insurance terminology is dangerous. Putting things into layman’s terms is really important.’
When asked what’s the one thing she wished that members knew, Jane doesn’t hesitate.
‘I wish that more members would read their Member statements. Our contact centre finds that a lot of members aren’t aware that they even have insurance. They’ll have members on the phone who mention that they haven’t been able to work for a couple of years. The contact centre asks the member, “Do you know you have income protection?”. In a lot of cases, they don’t.’
Not only is it good to know if you have insurance, it’s also important to review your level of cover to make sure it fits your needs. This is especially important if your personal circumstances have changed, such as getting married (or divorced), having kids, or changing jobs.
You can check your insurance by looking at your latest Member statement or logging in to Member Online.
Since beginning with Tasplan twenty years ago, a lot has changed in Jane’s workplace.
‘Since the merger between Tasplan and MTAA Super in April this year, we’ve grown a lot. What we’ve brought with us is the best from each fund. Our whole team prides itself on the service we provide. It’s true when we say that we’re big enough to make a difference and small enough to care. We’re here for the right reasons – we genuinely care about our members.’
Jane’s proudest moment of her career was winning the Tasplan Annual Chair’s Award in 2019.
‘It was a huge surprise! I was so taken aback that I didn’t actually listen to the speech by our Chair, Naomi Edwards. It was really special to know that the effort I put in as an employee was noticed by my peers and management team.’
When Jane isn’t working, she enjoys spending time with family. ‘I’m not a big traveller, but two of my four boys now live in Mackay, plus my two grandsons, so that’s my go-to travel spot. Since COVID, though, I’ve enjoyed visiting Freycinet National Park. It’s so beautiful. We’re so blessed in Tassie.’
Are you covered?
Spirit Super offers competitive death, total and permanent disablement (TPD) and income protection cover to protect you and your family. To find out more about cover with Spirit Super, including eligibility conditions and costs, read our Insurance guide. And to check the type, amount and cost of cover you have through Spirit Super, log in to Member Online.
Any advice given in this article is provided by Quadrant First Pty Ltd (ABN 78 102 167 877, AFSL 284443) (Spirit Super Advice), which is wholly owned by Motor Trades Association of Australia Superannuation Fund Pty. Limited (ABN 14 008 650 628, AFSL 238718), the trustee of Spirit Super (ABN 74 559 365 913). A copy of the Financial services guide for Spirit Super Advice is available at spiritsuper.com.au/financial-services-guide or by calling us on 1800 005 166. You should consider the Product disclosure statement and Target market determination available at spiritsuper.com.au/pds or by calling 1800 005 166 before deciding if the fund is appropriate for you.