Direct life insurance

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Name Product Maximum Cover Maximum Entry Age Fully Underwritten? Terminal Illness Benefit Optional Extras
NobleOak Life Insurance
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get your one month free when you buy NobleOak Life Insurance policy. Offer ends 30 September 2021. T&C's apply.
Medibank Life Insurance
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Medibank health members save 10% on premiums every year. T&Cs apply.
Real Family Life Cover
TPD cover, Trauma cover
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™ .

Compare up to 4 providers

Direct life insurance is different to traditional retail cover: it's purchased directly from an insurer, as opposed to buying through an adviser or broker. Buying direct can only require a limited level of medical underwriting – or non at all.

What is direct life insurance?

As its name suggests, direct life insurance lets you compare policies directly either via a comparison site or on an insurer's website. You make a purchase without having to go through an adviser.

Direct life insurance vs buying with an adviser

When deciding which method of getting cover suits you, it's important to weight the pros and cons of both options and then deciding what's right for you.

Pros and cons

  • You can save time getting covered
  • Automatic acceptance on most policies
  • Lot’s of competition which means you can often find discount offers e.g. one month free
  • Can compare prices on most comparison websites
  • You can tailor your policy to your personal needs
  • An adviser help you understand the policy you are signing up for
  • Better claims outcomes
  • You can’t compare prices side-by-side (you’ll need to get a quote on the insurers website)
  • If the policy offers automatic acceptance then pre-existing conditions are excluded
  • Poorer claims outcomes than buying through an adviser
  • Your policy might not be explained clearly to you
  • It takes longer to get cover
  • Some advisers also receive commissions from specific insurers

Enter your details and one of our partner brokers will call you. They will discuss your quote, options and available products.

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An adviser can help you find cover from trusted life insurance brands.

  • Get competitive quotes from multiple brands
  • Lower rate of declined claims (according to ASIC)
  • Save time and effort

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Making a claim: Direct vs Advised


When it comes to making a claim, you will need to do all the legwork yourself, liaising with doctors and chasing up your medical records. And even if you have no pre-existing conditions, the time involved can be weeks or even months, during which you will be without finances.


A financial adviser takes care of the legwork for you, dealing directly with the insurer and advocating on your behalf. So when considering buying your life insurance direct, be aware that the time saved when applying for cover can often be spent many times over at the other end of the process.

Which method of buying cover is right for me?

How to decide

Here's how buying direct compares to the options you have:

Direct vs using an adviser (example): How do the policy features compare?


How they compare?Direct policyPolicy provided with advice
Medical questionsNo detailed medical examination, just simple questionsFully underwritten - you will need to go through a detailed medical and lifestyle questionnaire
OccupationNot asked forFull disclosure
Is advice provided?NoYes
Is a statement of advice provided?NoYes
Will an adviser advocate for me in the event of a claimNoYes
Can you claim with more than one policy from the same insurer?No, premiums will be refunded for an extra policyIf disclosed, additional cover can be included
ExclusionsDirect policyPolicy provided with advice
Suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury or illnessExcludedExcluded in the 13 months
Under the influence of drugs or alcoholExcluded (unless under the direction of a medical practitioner)Not excluded
Working underground or over 10 metresExcludedMaybe excluded (details are assessed when you apply)
If you mountaineer, rock climb, scuba dive or participate in dangerous activities.ExcludedMaybe excluded (details are assessed when you apply)
Flying an airplaneExcluded (unless as a passenger on a regularly scheduled flight).Not excluded

Note: The table above is purely for illustrative purposes and not indicative of a real policy. Source: Life insurance Industry Submission 64

Video: Should I consider an adviser?

'71% less likely' was calculated using figures from ASIC's Report 498: Life Insurance Claims: An Industry Review. The report states that the average declined claims in a non-advised policy is 12% in comparison to an advised policy at 7%. 12% (non-advised) is 1.71 times the amount of 7% (advised) hence a 71% less chance of an advised policy claim being declined.

Direct life insurance in detail

Are pre-existing conditions covered?

While direct life insurance is fast and easy to obtain, with few questions to answer and no need for medicals, this very lack of information could become a problem at claim time. That’s because direct insurers don’t ask many questions when you apply for cover, but many reserve the right to perform underwriting retroactively when you make a claim.

So if you have neglected to inform them of a pre-existing condition (quite possible, unless you have studied the fine print and are aware of the exclusions and conditions that must be declared), they are legally within their rights to deny your claim.

Consider a tailored policy from an adviser

A financial adviser knows what is and isn’t covered and would have asked you the important questions upfront. This allows you to tailor cover to your specific circumstances. Before you obtain a direct life insurance quote, make sure you do your homework.

Do any direct brands offer tailored cover?

There are some brands that offer a more tailored policy, with a more detailed questionnaire upfront.

NobleoakLife Insurance from NobleOak is an example of a provider that offers a fully underwritten policy. This means you go through an extensive health and lifestyle questionnaire then your premium and cover is tailored according to your answers.

How has direct life insurance grown in Australia?

Direct life insurance is growing in popularity in Australia and is only expected to continue, with a Plan for Life report predicting that direct insurance will account for up to 40% of new products bought in the next 10 years.

Why are more customers looking at life insurance directly?

Direct life insurance is relatively new to Australian consumers and although some companies do include options such as income protection and total and permanent disability insurance, many others don't. Despite this, direct life insurance is easier to obtain and simpler because no financial planner is involved, it has fewer medical restrictions, can be obtained online, or over the phone and the cover is immediate.

Could direct cover threaten traditional purchase channels?

Despite this growth, there is a strong belief that there will always be a place for advisers in the Australian insurance industry. While the convenience of direct cover may appeal to many, there is still a number of people who would prefer to purchase through an adviser. At the end of the day there is benefits in both avenues and it really comes down to the type of buyer looking to purchase the cover.

Increased competition across market

The increase in popularity of direct insurance products means an increase in competition in the Australian market, bringing a greater selection of products to consumers each offering the most competitive premium possible. Australians are fortunate to have such a diverse market of products to choose from.

Questions you might still have

How long does it take to receive an online quote?

In most cases your online quote will be returned within minutes. However, to go ahead with the application you may need to answer further health, lifestyle and occupation questions.

What information is required to complete an online quote?

You will need to enter your date of birth, gender, smoking status, occupation, policy type and the benefit amount you would like to receive from the policy.

How long is it before the life insurance cover is active?

Once you finalise payment online for your life insurance, your cover is active.

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    2 Responses

      Default Gravatar
      DebbieNovember 18, 2016

      Price of life insurance for 21 year old student and 21 year old apprentice looking for lowest cost at this age thanking you

        Avatarfinder Customer Care
        RichardNovember 21, 2016Staff

        Hi Debbie,

        Thanks for getting in touch. If you would like to get a quote for life insurance, you can do so by entering your details into the quote calculator.

        All the best,

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