Are there restrictions for part-time or casual workers looking for income protection?
Income protection covers you if you are unable to work due to injury or illness by paying you a portion of your regular earnings until you’re able to return to work. If you're a part time worker, some of the key conditions include:
- Minimum hours worked in a week. Most policies will require you to work at 20 hours a week to qualify for cover.
- Minimum weeks worked in a year. Some policies will require a minimum of 48 hours per year worked.
- Age restrictions. Some policies will enforce a stricter age limit e.g. 18-59.
If you have only a part-time or casual job you need to consider taking action to protect your earnings. This is important, because you may have less savings to fall back on than a full time worker.
Who covers part-time or casual employment?
|Advised providers||What types of employment statuses are covered?||Minimum hours*|
|AIA||Permanent part time||20-25 hours|
|AMP||Permanent and part time||30-40 hours|
|Asteron||Permanent and part time||30-40 hours|
|BT||Not stated||Not stated|
|ClearView||Gainfully employed||20 hours|
|Comminsure||Permanent and part time||20 hours|
|MLC||Permanent and part time||40 hours|
|OnePath||Permanent and part time||20-30 hours|
|TAL||Not stated||Not stated|
|Zurich (advised)||Permanent and part time||26-40 hours|
|Policies bought direct from the insurer||What types of employment statuses are covered?||Hours*|
|NobleOak||Not stated||Not stated|
|Virgin||Permanent and part time||20-30 hours|
|Zurich||Permanent and part time or technically casual||20 hours|
|Woolworths||Permanent and part time, technically casual|
*Can vary depending on the type of occupation. Always consult the Product disclosure statement (PDS) if you are unsure.
Can part-time workers take out income protection insurance?
Yes, part-time workers can take out income protection insurance policies in Australia, but different types of coverage have different employment requirements. For example:
- AIA: Engaged in permanent part-time work for at least 20 hours per week for 48 weeks per year.
- OnePath: Be currently working at least 20 hours per week in main occupation and be continuously employed or self-employed for 12 months in Australia or 24 months in New Zealand.
While these requirements may vary for part-time workers in Australia taking out income protection, insurance companies will generally require you to work for at least 20 hours per week.Back to top
Can I get income protection insurance when I work less than 20 hours per week?
Yes. While it is typical for income protection policies to require one to work at least 20 hours per week, there are still other options available. Zurich Ezicover, for example has a special level of cover for those who work less than 20 hours per week, and Onepath Living Expenses Cover can cover those who may not be working enough hours to qualify for standard income protection insurance.
If you work less than 20 hours per week, you may be able to get cover under "homemaker" income protection policies, but should make sure that working on a casual basis does not disqualify you from "homemaker" status with a certain policy.Back to top
Depending on your job, your income protection insurance will have different benefits and requirements. Insurance providers categorise occupations based on risk level and it’s important to know which category your job falls into. Some occupations such as farming are also susceptible to unpredictable income fluctuations, and you should ensure that you have good income protection insurance to help cover these unexpected shortfalls. Learn more about income protection insurance to make sure you have the best cover for your job.Back to top
Can I get income protection as a homemaker?
Homemakers can also claim income protection. A growing number of insurers in Australia are recognising homemakers as eligible recipients for income protection benefit payments. Insurers recognise the financial strain of losing a homemaker as it often results in needing to pay for the services of a professional worker to carry out day-to-day tasks. For single parents, injury or illness can mean that they can’t care for their children.
The BT Income Protection plan, for example, provides a benefit payment of up to $5,000 per month for up to two years if the homemaker is unable to perform normal home duties as a result of serious illness or injury.The BT Protection Plan also allows homemakers to take out a Children's Benefit under the income protection plan for homemakers. This insures their children for a lump sum amount in case of major medical events. In order to qualify for the Home Duties benefit which covers work around the house, applicants must be engaged in at least 20 hours of work per week.Back to top
Find the right income protection as a part-time worker
There are a number of things that you need to consider when you are looking for income protection as a part-time worker. Make sure you cover all the following steps:
- Look at the cost of the plan and make sure you can afford the premiums
- Check to see which providers offer cover for part-time workers and how many hours you need to be working to get it
- Compare the maximum coverage levels available with different providers to find a plan that offers you a good level of security. You may have a preference for a lump sum payment, or for ongoing payments
- Compare the benefit periods and the waiting times available with different providers to find one that works for your savings and income
- Consider cover from a range of different providers. Rule out the insurance companies that don’t have plans you’re eligible for
- If you’re having trouble finding the best option, use the Income Protection Insurance Finder to compare a wide range of options and find the best cover for your situation.