Income protection insurance brokers

A professional insurance broker can help to shape an income protection policy that will suit your specific needs.

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What you need to know

  • Income protection brokers are industry professionals, often with many years of experience, who can help you find the right policy for your needs.
  • Disputes with insurance brokers are rare, making up only 2.5% of reported insurance-related disputes.
  • Keep in mind that brokers will charge fees for their services, so you should be clear on these before you commit to any policy.

Making an informed decision on what income protection policy is right for you can be confusing at times. This is where an income protection insurance broker comes in. They can break down the key features that come with policies, explain any exclusions and help you through the application process step-by-step.

What is an income protection broker?

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An income protection broker is a qualified professional who can help you manage the end-to-end process of securing the right income protection for you. They can use their industry knowledge to help you find competitive deals, and help you avoid unsuitable products. Also, a broker can recommend to you other insurance products that further serve your needs.

What do income protection insurance brokers do?

Beyond simply getting good policies, insurance brokers can offer a number of other services. They can:

  • Identify risks and help you reduce them. Brokers can help you find everything that your insurance policy needs to cover, and point out ways you can reduce your risks.
  • File claims on your behalf and see them through, negotiating with insurance companies every step of the way.
  • Warn you if you're being provided misleading information.
  • Balance costs vs benefits. A common mistake is to simply get the cheapest policy, which is often inadequate. Insurance brokers will let you know if they think you're falling into this trap.
  • Clearly explain everything in an insurance policy and make sure you're fully informed.
  • Give advice on how to budget for insurance policies.

Life insurance brokers: Pros and cons

Pros

  • Their expertise could help you avoid getting the wrong cover or paying for more insurance than you need to.
  • Brokers can offer ongoing care, helping you stay on the right deal for your needs.
  • Stats show that policy disputes with brokers are comparatively low versus direct policies.

Cons

  • Brokers will charge you a fee for their services, so you'll want to weigh up and potential savings against this cost.
  • Their recommendations might be influenced by partnerships with certain insurers – always ask upfront about how these work and about any commissions involved.

Why should I consider an income protection insurance broker?

Income protection will cover you and your dependents if you’re unable to work as a result of injury or illness. This is usually offered as part of life insurance, but is also available by itself.

It's an important investment because your lifestyle depends on your earning ability. Getting the best income protection insurance available can give you peace of mind. Income protection insurance can cover you and your family with payouts of up to 85% of your income if you’re unable to work, either temporarily or permanently.

Income protection insurance brokers will:

  • Negotiate with insurance companies on your behalf to get better prices and better coverage than you could by yourself.
  • Find a customised insurance plan, or negotiate with insurance companies directly to create a custom plan with everything you need and nothing you don’t.
  • Check on smaller insurance companies that are hard to find and you might not know exist. Insurance brokers know them and consider these alongside the big income protection brands.
  • Answer any questions you have in easy-to-understand ways so you know exactly what you’re getting.
  • Stay impartial. As an independent outsider, in theory their main incentive is to find you the right plan at a competitive price. You can also find insurance brokers that work with a particular insurance company to get you a custom plan, but this must be disclosed to you.
  • Offer professional advice if you’re not sure which features are best for your situation. They can take you through everything from start to finish.
  • Help you make claims by letting you know what you need and liaising with the insurance company on your behalf.

Finally, insurance brokers work directly with insurance companies to get policies that aren’t always available to the general public. These policies may have some favourable terms.

How do fees and commissions work with income protection brokers?

This varies from broker to broker. Generally, fees will work in either of 2 ways:

  1. The broker charges you a fee directly, often on an hourly basis. This can be a one-time payment, and after they find a policy for you there won’t be any more costs until you wish to use their services again.
  2. If you have particularly unique or frequent insurance requirements, you can also retain a broker, or the services of an insurance broker company for ongoing service. This is usually paid for with an ongoing fee.

Insurance brokers may receive a commission from insurance companies for signing you up. Brokers must always disclose their fees to you clearly and answer any questions you might have about the cost. If you aren’t 100% certain on anything, always ask them to clarify.

How much will a broker cost me?

Broadly, fees may set you back between 10% and 25% of the base premium amount, according to Public Liability Insurance, an Australian-owned broker. It states on its website that "broker fees will always be separately listed on your insurance invoice, making the whole process very transparent".

It's likely a good idea to compare a range of quotes and pricing structures from a number of different brokers to get a sense of what using a broker will cost you.

Do I need an income protection insurance broker?

Insurance brokers are a great option for complex or difficult issues. Income protection insurance is very important, and policies can be tailored specifically for you. The broker will take everything into consideration to customise your policy.

  • Do you have dependents? This is different from income protection, which covers you alone.
  • Do you have mortgage requirements, student debt or other ongoing financial requirements? In the event of you being unable to work, there are different ways of handling them. A broker can help you choose the best path.
  • Does your occupation have an unusually high risk of permanent injury or disability? Loss of income must be considered as a serious possibility.

You can always find income protection insurance without a broker, but if none of the policies seem perfect for your needs, you may want to consider an insurance broker.

6 key questions to ask an income protection broker

To get the most out your income protection insurance broker, you should ask them questions regarding anything you’re not entirely sure about, and find out their qualifications. You should never need to ask whether they’re independent or working on behalf of an insurance company as they must disclose this freely.

Good questions to ask include the following:

  • What are your qualifications? All brokers must hold an Australian Financial Services (AFS) licence or be authorised representatives of licence-holders. More highly qualified brokers will also have Qualified Practising Insurance Broker (QPIB) or Certified Insurance Professional (CIP) certifications.
  • What experience do you have with the type of insurance I’m looking for? Many insurance brokers are specialists. For the best income protection insurance for you, find a broker who has a lot of experience with life insurance or income protection insurance.
  • How do you bill for your work? What are your fees? They will explain their fee structure and you should have a good idea of how much their services cost.
  • Who is your typical client? It’s good to find an insurance broker who specialises in clients like you. Some typically represent businesses and others represent individuals.
  • Do you have any references? Ask for references from previous clients and you could also seek out credible customer reviews online.
  • What services do you offer? They should be able to provide a complete list of what they can do in writing, so you can decide how to get the most out of their services.

Get in touch with an income protection broker

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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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Compare income protection quotes from direct brands

Name Product Maximum Monthly Benefit Maximum % of Income Covered Maximum Benefit Period Waiting Period Options
AAMI Income Protection
$10,000
75%
Up to
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days
If you’re an existing AAMI customer, you can save 5% on income protection. New customers can get one month free by paying annually.
Insuranceline Income Protection
$10,000
75%
Up to
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days
Get a $100 bonus gift after 2 months. Plus, and get 12 months cover for the price of 11 if you pay annually. T&Cs apply.
NobleOak Disability Income Insurance
First 24 months: $30,000. Thereafter: $25,250
70% for the first 24 months, 60% thereafter
Up to
Age 65
30 or 90 days
With NobleOak, you can lock in a policy with a benefit period covering you up to the age of 65. Cover limits may go as high as $30,000.
Suncorp Income Protection
$10,000
75%
Up to
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days
Sign up and become a member of Suncorp Benefits. Access savings of up to 15% from major retailers. Existing members can get a 5% discount off their policy.
RAC Disability Income Insurance (Only available in Western Australia)
RAC Disability Income Insurance  (Only available in Western Australia)
$30,000
70%
Up to
Age 65
30 or 90 days
When you purchase RAC Income Protection, WA residents receive complimentary RAC membership which includes access to discounts on fuel, savings on shopping, entertainment and more. T&Cs at rac.com.au.
Commbank Income Protection by AIA Australia
$10,000
70%
Up to
2 years
30, 90 days
Get flexible income protection cover, up to 75% of your income. Including access to the AIA Vitality program's ongoing discounts and perks.
Bendigo MaxLife Income Protect
Bendigo MaxLife Income Protect
$10,000
70%
Up to
2 years
30 or 90 days
Take advantage of a 5% joint policy discount with Bendigo. Also, you can unlock policy savings through the wellbeing programme AIA Vitality.
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Compare up to 4 providers

Questions you still might have about income protection brokers

Is it common to hire an insurance broker or to handle it myself?

Brokers handle about half of all insurance policies in Australia. It's normal to hire brokers for business insurance needs, but also common to hire them for personal insurance.

What if I have a dispute with my insurance broker?

Disputes with insurance brokers are rare, making up only 2.5% of overall insurance disputes. If this happens, you can report it to the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA). All licensed insurance brokers are required to be members of an authorised independent dispute resolution scheme so you will always have someone to turn to.

Should I let my insurance broker know if my circumstances change?

Yes, it's a good idea. Any changes may mean the advice they previously gave isn't valid anymore, and they can notify the insurance company of these changes.

Do brokers always cost more or always save me money?

Sometimes it will cost more, and sometimes it will cost less overall. It depends on how much they can save you in insurance premiums, and how highly you value their advice and other services. There will never be any hidden fees, so you can carefully consider whether or not to use them.

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