Securian Financial Group has won a contract to administer claims for new total and permanent disability (TPD) provision on private education loans offered by an education lender Sallie Mae.

According to Securian, the TPD program removes the primary borrower’s and cosigner’s obligation to repay the Smart Option Student Loan in the event the primary borrower becomes totally and permanently disabled.

In addition, Sallie Mae will forgive any unpaid balance in the event of a primary borrower’s death. The company also said that the protections for private student loans will be incorporated into existing and new Smart Option Student Loans.

Gregg Hammerly, second vice president of claims at Securian, said: Our long experience and eClaims paperless process enables us to accelerate assistance to families. This gives customers the peace of mind that, in the rare event of a tragedy, their families and cosigners will receive prompt and fair claim reviews.

Sallie Mae manages $176bn in education loans and serves 10 million student and parent customers. Through its Upromise affiliates, the company also manages more than $23bn in 529 college-savings plans.