Income protection insurance waiting periods

Income protection waiting periods can be as little as 14 days.


When it comes to income protection insurance, a waiting period is the amount of time you must wait from when you make a claim, to the time you are eligible to start receiving income protection benefit payments.

You'll often be given a choice when signing up, typically ranging from 14- 90 days. Shorter waiting periods may cost a little more but you can claim faster whereas a longer waiting period may reduce your costs but won't help you out in any sudden claims.

Compare waiting periods on income protection insurance policies

Name Product Maximum Monthly Benefit Maximum % of Income Covered Maximum Benefit Period Waiting Period Options
NobleOak Income Protection
2 years or to the age of 65
30 or 90 days
Get 1 month free Income Protection cover. Offer ends June 30, 2020. T&Cs apply.
Medibank Standard Income Protection
5 years
30 or 90 days
10% discount for Medibank health members.
AAMI Income Protection
5 years
14, 28, 60 or 90 days
Insuranceline Rate Saver Income Protection
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.
nib Income Protection
2 years
14 or 28 days
Get one month free when paying annually. T&Cs apply.
Virgin Tailored Income Protection
5 years
14, 28, 60, or 90 days

Compare up to 4 providers

Request a call from an income protection advisor

Please enter your full name
Please enter a valid email address
It's important to give us a valid phone number
Date of Birth
This is your current income. Everyone‘s situation is different so you might also want to discuss with an insurance consultant. Calculator
Please enter your occupation
By submitting this form, you agree to the privacy policy
Get quotes

How do the waiting periods for different income protection brands compare?

BrandsMinimum waiting period (days)
AIA14 days
AMP14 days
Asteron14 days
BT14 days
ClearView14 days
Comminsure14 days
MLC14 days
OnePath14 days
TAL Accelerated Protection14 days
Zurich Futurewise14 days
Zurich Wealth Protection14 days
ANZ30 days
NobleOak30 days
Virgin14 days
Zurich Ezicover30 days
InsuranceLine14 days
Real30 days
TAL Lifetime Protection14 days

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

How long can my waiting period be?

Insurers offer a variety of options when it comes to waiting periods. The rule of thumb is the shorter the waiting period you choose the higher your premium will be. This is to offset the risk of an increased rate of claims for policies with shorter waiting periods. You can usually choose a waiting period of:

  • 14 days
  • 30 days
  • 60 days
  • 90 days
  • 180 days
  • 360 days
  • 720 days
Choosing a waiting period should not just be about saving money by selecting a longer waiting period (and thus paying lower premiums). The waiting period you choose should be based on how long you believe you can realistically be without an income before you start receiving a benefit. Example of a waiting period in action

  • Date that income protection claim is lodged and medical practitioner certifies that you are unable to work: 10 June 2015
  • Waiting period applied: 60 days
  • Waiting period expires: 8 August 2015
  • First payment made on 7 September 2015 for first month of benefit period (9 June 2015 to 8 July 2015)

What you need to know about waiting periods

As well as charging more for a shorter wait, some insurers attach additional conditions to their waiting periods. For instance, you may be required to be totally disabled and unable to work for at least 7 or 14 consecutive days of the waiting period in order to qualify for the benefit. You should read your product disclosure statement (PDS) carefully for this reason, and seek professional advice if necessary before purchasing your income protection policy.

How long should my waiting period be?

The length of your waiting period is a very important consideration when purchasing income protection insurance. Everyone’s circumstances are different. In the event that you are suddenly left without an income, you need to ask yourself the question: “Will I have enough money to be financially secure until my benefit payments begin?” Some people have mortgages and car payments, and we all have day-to day living expenses. So, unless we have investments or savings in the bank to draw on, we could find ourselves without money to even put food on the table if our source of income were to dry up suddenly. Therefore, when choosing a waiting period with your income protection policy, you need to factor in your weekly budget, any financial obligations you have and how much sick leave and annual leave you are likely to have accrued through your employment. You can then feel secure in the knowledge that you are in a position to choose a waiting period that you can afford and that will allow you to comfortably bridge the gap between the time of your illness or injury and the day you actually receive your first benefit payment.

Risks of a longer waiting period

  • If you change job roles and are not able to transfer your accrued annual leave, you may find you do not have sufficient leave to fall back on during the longer waiting period
  • You may find that leave and savings are insufficient with the arrival of new financial obligations such as an increased mortgage or the birth of a second or third child

Weekend footy gone wrong

After putting it off for years despite the insistence of his partner, Karen, landscape architect Ken finally took out income protection insurance following the birth of their first son, James. After speaking with his insurance consultant, Ken decided that a waiting period of 30 days should be adequate given the sick leave and annual leave he would be entitled to and the savings he could fall back on. Two years later, while playing football, Ken suffered a major double fracture to his ankle requiring immediate surgery and rendering him unable to work. Ken submitted his claim for income protection and was luckily able to draw on sick leave and annual leave payments during the 30-day waiting period. Ken was under claim for a total of three months while his ankle healed before he was finally able to return to work.

Can I get Income Protection with no waiting period?

Some policies offer features that allow policyholders to skip a waiting period.

Specific injury benefit

Many Income Protection policies offer a specified injury benefit which provides an advance payment separate to the ongoing benefit payment for certain conditions. This advanced benefit will usually begin from the date of the injury, regardless of the choice of waiting period. Injuries that may be covered under the specified injury benefit include:

  • Paralysis
  • Loss of one arm or leg
  • Loss of sight in one eye
  • Fracture of thigh
  • Loss of sight
  • Loss of both feet or both hands

Day 1 accident cover

Day 1 accident cover allows you surpass a waiting period if an injury leaves you disabled for more 3 consecutive days. This allows you to access a portion (usually a daily rate) of your monthly benefit before your waiting period.

Some final questions you might have

Receive a quote for income protection

Related Posts

Ask an Expert

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our Terms of Use, Disclaimer & Privacy Policy and Privacy & Cookies Policy.

2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    JoJuly 23, 2017

    Dear Sir/Madam,
    I have 2 lots of income protection through 2 separate super companies with a 1 month and 3 month wait period respectively, with no exclusions and a 2 year benefit period; and I also have income protection outside super with a 2 year wait period and a mental health exclusion (because I saw a counselor for 1 session) but cover until the age of 65. My question is; is it possible to claim for 2 years on one super policy and when that 2 year benefit finishes can I then claim on the second super pllicy for another 2 years before then claiming (after 4 years) on my policy outside of super? Or should I cancel one of the super policies? I am hoping that I would be covered for mental illness for a benefit period of 4 years if I am able to claim on my 2 super policies consecutively without voiding my policy outside super if I develop some other health issue that prevented me from working until age 65.
    Thank you

    • Default Gravatar
      JonathanAugust 3, 2017

      Hello Jo,

      Thank you for your inquiry, you got a very interesting question right there! :)

      Generally, you can. Take note, that there may be some limitations and terms that you need to agree on with your super, so you need to declare the existence of one unto the other. Moreover, some of them may require that your medical documents (to prove your claim) has a certain validity, so you need to confirm this if you’re planning to file a claim for the same medical reasons.

      There are insurers who would require full-recovery in-between your claim on the same policy, so it may be a good idea to check this also.

      If you need professional advice, you may talk to your insurer or talk to an income protection insurance broker.

      Hope this helps.


Ask a question
Go to site