Skip the waiting period on your income protection

Looking for income protection without a waiting period? Find out how a day 1 accident benefit can help.

Day 1 accident cover is an option available under some income protection policies that allows you to access benefits before the waiting period on your policy expires. This form of cover gives you protection in case you need money during the initial waiting period.

Note: There are various names for this feature

Different policies will use different terminology. Day-1 accident cover is often referred to as:

  • Accidental Injury Option
  • Accident Benefit Option
  • Day Four Accident

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Provides a lump sum payment if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to return to work.
Provides a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious medical condition. Cover can be taken out for 40-60 medical conditions depending on the policy you choose.
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Which brands offer day-1 accident cover?

Although brands will offer cover from the first day you take out cover, there is usually a minimum you will have show you are disabled before there is any payout.

BrandsMinimum length of disability before payoutPayout
AIA3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
AMP3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day
Asteron72 hours1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
BT3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until your waiting period is over)
ClearView3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
Comminsure3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
MLC4 daysNot stated
OnePath14 days1/30
TAL Accelerated Protection3 daysA proportion of your overall Benefit Amount is paid
Zurich Futurewise4 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
Zurich Wealth Protection3 days1/30th of your monthly benefit per day (until the waiting period is over)
NobleOak3 days (Nursing care bed benefit)A daily proportion of your monthly benefit is offered if you are disabled during the waiting period
TAL Lifetime ProtectionNot stated1/30 of monthly benefit is offered per day if claim is made for disability within less than one month of cover being taken out

Data taken from brand product disclosure statements on May 2017. Benefits, conditions and amounts are subject to change at anytime.

What are the pros and cons of this type of day-1 accident cover?


  • Gives you flexibility. This is an ideal option if you believe you will struggle to make ends meet during a lengthy waiting period.
  • Quick access to income in a tough time. It is useful if you can’t work and need quick access to cash due to a drain on your savings.
  • Beneficial in the following circumstances:
  • You don’t have enough disposable income for daily necessities and ongoing bills.
  • If you’re self-employed or aren’t entitled to sick leave benefits


  • Comes at an additional cost. Day-1 accident cover usually requires you to agree to a higher premium.
  • Overlap with other benefits. Options such as a specified injury benefits may also pay out in the same situation where day-1 accident cover pays out. Unfortunately you’ll only receive one payout both benefits despite paying an additional premium for both.

What benefits can overlap day-1 accident cover?

Beware, some of these benefits may provide the same type of cover as day-1 accident cover

  • Scheduled injury benefit
  • Paralysis benefit
  • Crisis benefits
  • Bed confinement benefits
  • Loss of limb benefits

What are the requirements for day 1 accident cover?

  • Proof of impairment. You must prove that your disability is due to an accident
  • Threshold. You'll need have been disabled for a minimum amount of time e.g. 3 days.
  • Specific waiting periods. You are typically eligible if you have a waiting period of 14 to 90 days.

What's considered an accident?

An accident is usually defined as an injury to the body caused by an external source outside your control e.g. being hit by a car.

What's considered disablement?

Under income protection, total disablement is defined by the following:

  • You can no longer perform one or more duties outlined in your normal occupation.
  • You are under the care and guidance of your general practitioner.

How much income protection will I receive?

If you select day 1 accident cover, you’re typically eligible to receive a portion of your monthly benefit, each day. This is usually around 1/30th of the benefit.

Day 1 accident cover on a $5,000 benefit

If your policy has a monthly income protection benefit of $5000 as well as a 45-day waiting period, you will be eligible for over $166 a day (for 45 days).

When will a payment start and end?

Payments begin as soon as you show you have been disabled for three days or continue to suffer from a disability due to an accident. You must prove the following:

  • When the incident or accident took place
  • When you received medical attention and aid

Payment usually ends

  • When the waiting period is over
  • When you recover

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Maurice Thach

An insurance researcher and writer for who loves finding an answer to the question "Am I covered for ________?" Maurice has also completed a Tier 1 Life Insurance and a Tier 2 General Insurance Certification under ASIC's Regulatory Guide 146. This means he can confidently provide general advice for life insurance and non-life insurance products.

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