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The best income protection. Boring, but worth it.

We did 80+ hours of research and got 170 quotes (don't worry, we get paid to do it). Here are the top ranking policies.

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Get help finding the best income protection in July 2024

Our insurance team has gathered 260+ quotes from 11 of Australia's most popular providers.

The shortlist below is based on 2024 Finder Awards, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA) data, AFCA complaints and customer reviews, plus other factors our team believe are beneficial, such as mental health and pre-existing cover.

All the policies in this guide can pay you a monthly salary if you need to take time off work due to a sickness or injury. Remember, there's no single best income protection policy that suits everyone's needs, since we all have different budgets and priorities.

Why you can trust our research

11 income protection providers analysed

170+ prices gathered

100+ hours of research

Gary Ross Hunter
Expert picks selected by Gary Ross Hunter – insurance and innovations editor at Finder

Best income protection for value: TAL income protection

Budget TAL insurance

Finder Income Protection Award Winner

Our verdict

TAL is our experts' top pick because it's the cheapest policy on average and the 2024 Finder Award winner – you can start receiving 70% of your monthly income within 2 weeks of submitting a claim.


Pros & cons:

  • It's the cheapest income protection insurance policy on average, according to our 2024 research of 11 popular Australian income insurers including NobleOak, Suncorp and AAMI. This is based on 170+ quotes we got for 16 different customer profiles.
  • It's one of cheapest income protection policies on average.
  • It comes with flexible waiting periods of 2, 4, 8 or 13 weeks. So for example, if you want to receive payments sooner, you could choose 2 weeks. If you have some savings you can rely on, you could select 13 weeks and pay less for a policy.
  • It can cover 70% of your income. The industry average is 70% but some insurers such as Insuranceline can cover up to 75%.
  • It can cover you for up to $30,000 per month. This is above the industry average (out of 12 insurers, only 4 others offer this much) but it's only really helpful for very high earners.

Why we like it

We picked TAL because it's the 2024 Finder Income Protection Award winner. To determine the winners, we got 170+ quotes across 11 income protection providers.

To get a fair average, we used 16 different profiles to gather our quotes. These ranged from a non-smoking 35-year-old white collar female to a blue collar 45-year-old male smoker.

Our experts then researched and rated 7 features across 11 policies. The winner was based on a split of the features and price score.

The full methodology behind our awards

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Top pick for mental health cover: AAMI income protection

AAMI income protection

Our verdict

AAMI income protection could be good if you want a policy that covers mental health or pre-existing conditions. It's one of the few insurers that clearly states it can cover you.


Pros & cons:

  • It covers mental health conditions and pre-existing conditions if you meet its health assessment criteria. While other insurers can cover mental health conditions, only 1 other insurer (Suncorp) clearly states that it will cover pre-existing conditions. However, AAMI scored a higher overall score compared to Suncorp in our Finder Awards.
  • Like other insurers, it can pay you income replacement if you're unable to work due to mental health issues for up to 2 years.
  • It's also a very comprehensive policy. It can pay up to 75% of your income, which is more than most, and you get 5% off if you have other policies with AAMI.
  • Other insurers including Insuranceline, Zurich and Suncorp can cover mental health conditions.
  • You won't be able to claim on mental health conditions within 6 months of taking out cover. This is the same as other income protection policies.

Why we like it

We looked at 11 income protection insurance policies and selected our top pick based on the following benefits: claim benefit period, qualifying period and pre-existing conditions cover.

Other insurers including Insuranceline, Zurich and Suncorp can cover you if you need to take time off due to a mental health condition. However, only Suncorp specifies that it will also cover pre-existing conditions. We chose AAMI though because it received a higher score in our Finder Awards. We didn't look at every insurer on the market.

The full methodology behind our awards

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Top pick for features: Insuranceline income protection

Insuranceline

Our verdict

Insuranceline income protection is a good policy if you want cover for a larger percentage of your salary (75%) and access to some sign-up perks others don't offer.


Pros & cons:

  • It can cover up to 75% of your salary. That's 5% more than the industry average and one of the main reasons it scored better than any other insurer for features in the Finder Awards.
  • It comes with flexible waiting periods of 2, 4, 8 or 13 weeks. This could be helpful if you want to receive payments sooner (you could choose 2 weeks) or have some savings you are happy to fall back on for a while (by selecting 13 weeks). The longer the waiting period, the cheaper your monthly payment will be.
  • There are sign-up perks as well. You also get a $100 gift card after your first 4 months. This offer ends 31 March 2024.
  • You can receive payments for up to 5 years. TAL and NobleOak can cover you up to the age of 65.
  • Insuranceline isn't typically the cheapest policy. TAL and NobleOak tend to offer cheaper policies.

Why we like it

We selected Insuranceline because it performed strongly in the Finder Awards for features. This was largely because it is one of the only insurers to cover up to 75% of your salary, comes with several waiting period options and pay you an income for up to 5 years.

The full methodology behind our awards

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tax
Your premiums are tax-deductible
Say you're paying $40 a month in income protection premiums, you can claim all that back at tax time. If you have other types of insurance bundled with your income protection policy, such as personal injury, these won't be tax-deductible.
There's no cover for redundancies
Unfortunately, income protection policies don't generally cover redundancies anymore. They only pay out if you're unable to work because of an accident or illness.

Highly commended: NobleOak income protection

Noble Oak insurance

Finalist Income Protection Insurance

Our verdict

NobleOak income protection is a good option if you want a trusted insurer that offers good cover, including cover for up to 70% of your pre-tax income and tax-deductible premiums.


Pros & cons:

  • It's competitively priced. According to our 2024 research of 11 different income protection policies, NobleOak is cheaper than average, costing non-smokers around $20 less than other policies.
  • It was a highly commended brand in the 2024 Finder Awards largely because it was one of the cheapest policies for smokers and non-smokers.
  • It also comes with lots of features, including the option to receive payments up to the age of 65.
  • It can cover 70% of your income. This is the same as the majority of other insurers we analysed but some, including Insuranceline, can cover up to 75%.
  • It has a maximum entry age of 55. Some insurers, including TAL go up to 60.
  • It comes with 2 waiting period options of 30 days or 90 days. This is fewer options than TAL.

Why we like it

We picked NobleOak because it was a highly commended brand in the 2024 Finder Income Protection Awards. To determine the scores, we got 170+ quotes across 11 income protection providers.

To get a fair average, we used 16 different profiles to gather our quotes. These ranged from a non-smoking 35-year-old white collar female to a blue collar 45-year-old male smoker.

Our experts then researched and rated 7 features across 11 policies. The winner was based on a split of the features and price score. NobleOak came in second place. TAL was first because it was cheaper and has more waiting period options.

The full methodology behind our awards

How can I find the best income protection insurance policy?

Here are 4 features to keep an eye on when choosing the best income protection insurance for you:

One

Benefit period

This is how long you will be paid. Usually, the insurer will give you a few options to choose from – e.g. 1, 2 or 5 years. The smaller the benefit period you choose, the cheaper your policy will be.

Two

Waiting period

Once you're unable to work, you can submit your claim. You'll then need to wait a specific time before your policy begins. This is the waiting period.

For example, say you submit your claim on 1 November and you select a 14-day waiting period, your policy will begin on 14 November. You will receive your first monthly payment on 14 December.

Most policies let you choose from a few different waiting periods – the bigger the waiting period, the cheaper your policy will be. If you think you can get by on sick leave for a while, it might be worth selecting a bigger waiting period.

One

Maximum cover

Insurers will also put caps on the amount you can claim per month. You'll only be able to earn a percentage of your current salary (usually up to 70%).

Insurers also set a maximum monthly benefit, typically around the $10,000 mark. If you earn more than that per month, insurers such as TAL and NobleOak go up to $30,000.

Two

Stepped or level premiums

Stepped premiums go up as you get older but tend to start off cheaper. Level premiums don't increase over time but typically cost more to start off with. If you're worried about payments becoming unaffordable over time, level premiums might be best for you. Otherwise, it's likely that stepped premiums will be cheaper in the shorter term.

Name Product Maximum Monthly Benefit Maximum % of Income Covered Maximum Benefit Period Minimum Entry Age Sum Insured
TAL Accelerated Protection Income Protection
$30,000
Up to 70%
Up to
Age 65
19
$1,305 million
Get up to 70% of your income covered with flexible short and long term benefit periods.
AAMI Income Protection
$10,000
Up to 75%
Up to
5 years
18
$222 million
Save up to 10% on premiums every year for the life of the policy on AAMI Income Protection. Offer ends 30 Sept 2024. T&Cs apply.
ahm Income Protection
$10,000
Up to 70%
Up to
5 years
18
Data not available
Get 10% off your first year of ahm Income Protection when you apply by 31 July 2024. T&Cs apply.
Medibank Income Protection
$12,500
Up to 70%
Up to
5 years
18
Data not available
Save 10% on your first year of Medibank Life Insurance when you apply by 31 July 2024. T&Cs apply.
Insuranceline Income Protection
$10,000
Up to 75%
Up to
5 years
18
$222 million
Protect your family with an Insuranceline policy and you can go into the draw for a chance to win a $1,000 gift card. New Customers only, T&Cs apply. Competition entries close on 31 July 2024.
Zurich Ezicover Income Protection
$12,000
Up to 70%
Up to
5 years
19
$5 million
Get your first month of cover free when you buy Zurich EziCover Income Protection.
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Sarah Megginson

Sarah's saving tip

An easy way to reduce your income protection premiums is to choose a longer waiting period. I have my policy set at the maximum: 90 days. I figure this is for a worst case scenario and if I claim on this policy, I should have enough savings to cover me for 90 days while I wait for benefits to kick in. In the meantime, my premiums are quite a bit lower.
— Sarah Megginson, personal finance expert

Why you can trust Finder's income protection insurance experts

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expert adviceYou save time. We spend 100s of hours researching income protection insurance so you can sort the gold from the junk faster.
independentYou can trust us. We say it like it is. We aren't owned by an insurer and our opinions are our own.

Frequently asked questions

Jason Loewenthal's headshot
To make sure you get accurate and helpful information, this guide has been edited by Jason Loewenthal as part of our fact-checking process.
Gary Ross Hunter's headshot
Editor, Insurance & Innovations

Gary Ross Hunter was an editor at Finder, specialising in insurance. He’s been writing about life, travel, home, car, pet and health insurance for over 6 years and regularly appears as an insurance expert in publications including The Sydney Morning Herald, The Guardian and news.com.au. Gary holds a Kaplan Tier 2 General Advice General Insurance certification which meets the requirements of ASIC Regulatory Guide 146 (RG146). See full bio

Gary Ross's expertise
Gary Ross has written 730 Finder guides across topics including:
  • Health, home, life, car, pet and travel insurance
  • Managing the cost of living

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