Find out what income protection options are available to you during pregnancy.
While most insurers will not pay claims relating to pregnancy, giving birth, miscarrying or having a pregnancy termination you do have the option of pausing your premiums.
Pausing your premiums
- There are a number of insurers that offer a 'Pregnancy Premium Waiver' so you don't have to pay for cover while on maternity leave.
What does income protection cover?
Income protection insurance can help you stay on top of your finances if you’re unable to work due to illness or injury. Income protection will ensure you still have money coming in for you and your family while you're out of the workforce.
What is the 'Pregnancy Premium Waiver' that's offered by some income protection policies?
Some insurance companies now offer a pregnancy premium waiver benefit to their income protection policies to help tailor this type of cover to suit women. This feature acknowledges that the birth of a child is accompanied by significant financial pressures.
The waiver ensures that your cover will remain in place while you’re off work during your pregnancy, eliminating the hassle of re-applying for cover when you return to the workforce. It also guarantees continuity of cover, as most life insurance providers will pay your premiums for a period of up to six months. Even if you’re on maternity leave, you have the peace of mind knowing that full cover is still in place.
In order to be eligible for the pregnancy premium waiver:
- You must not be currently working;
- You must be in the second trimester; or
- No more than six months can have elapsed since you gave birth.
Which providers have pregnancy-related features in place?
Asteron Life and CommInsure are two Australian life insurance providers that offer the pregnancy premium waiver with their income protection policies.
Pregnancy feature from Asteron Income Protection
Under Asteron Life’s policies, you’re eligible for this waiver if you become pregnant while covered, but not within six months of the commencement or reinstatement date of the policy.
You must notify Asteron Life in writing when you wish to waive premiums under this benefit and also provide the company with a certificate of your pregnancy from a registered doctor. Your premiums can then be waived for a period of up to six months without affecting your cover.
Pregnancy Waiver available from Comminsure Income Care
Under CommInsure Income Protection cover, premiums can be waived for a period of up to three months. You’ll need to notify CommInsure within 30 days of commencing your maternity leave in order to qualify for this feature.
Will Income Protection cover me for pregnancy complications?
It is possible to get cover for pregnancy complications through your income protection policy. In 2010, CommInsure removed post-natal depression from its list of full exclusions, meaning cover is available for this condition which affects 16% of women.
You can also receive a benefit before the end of pregnancy or childbirth for a pregnancy-related condition. Such conditions include:
- Pre-eclampsia and eclampsia
- Placenta previa
- Hyperemesis gravidarum
- Uterine rupture
- Gestational diabetes
Antenatal depression, which Beyond Blue reports affects 10% of pregnant women in Australia, is also covered.
Be clear on any pregnancy exclusions on your income protection policy
There are some pregnancy exclusions on income protection policies that you will need to be aware of. Generally speaking, policies do not cover uncomplicated pregnancies or childbirths, even if they lead to you being temporarily disabled for less than three months. The reasoning behind this is that there are other types of insurance or even employment perks to cover you in this situation. Once you’ve been disabled for the three-month waiting period your cover can kick in.
Of course, some income protection policies will exclude any claims arising from pregnancy, giving birth, miscarrying or having a pregnancy termination altogether, so make sure you know exactly what your chosen policy does and does not cover.