Guardian Income Protection Insurance Review
Guardian Income Protection Insurance offers flexibility thanks to a number of policy add-ons, but some other brands do offer higher cover limits.
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- Guardian's maximum income benefit of up to $10,000 per month is competitive – 7 of the 12 brands we reviewed offer this limit. However, HBF and Qantas both go up to $12,000.
- Add-ons such as rehabilitation benefits and homemaker insurance can give you added peace of mind.
- Guardian wasn't one of the four finalists in Finder's most recent awards. Compare more income protection options here.
Review by our life insurance senior writer James Martin
Guardian Income Protection provides an ongoing monthly benefit of 75% of your income up to $10,000 if you have to time off work due to illness or injury. Guardian also offers an impressive range of built-in and additional cover options including homemaker and child cover for your family. Applying is straightforward and can be completed over the phone with no medical or blood tests required.
|Maximum monthly income||$10,000 (Up to 75% of your monthly pre-tax income)|
|Age of entry||18-59|
|How do I apply?||Online with the insurer|
Note: Conditions apply, always consult the Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)
This cover might be suitable if:
- You are under 59 years of age
- You want the option of premiums that don't increase based on your age
- If you're monthly income is less than $10,000
Apply carefully if:
- You have a pre-existing condition - make sure you can declare your condition during the application for assessment. Otherwise, it could be excluded at claim time.
Don't get this cover if:
- You are over 59 years of age
- You want a shorter waiting period e.g. 14 days
Note: The following is based on the Income Protection Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd. Hannover Life Re of Australasia Ltd is the insurer behind brands like Guardian Income Protection and a few others.
|Claims data||Guardian||Industry Average|
|Average claim time (months)||1.4||1.6|
|Claim disputes (per 100,000 lives insured)||192.5||218.6|
We looked at APRA data for claims over 2017-2018. The statistics above reflect 'Income Protection' claims.
What does the policy cover?
- Income Benefit. If you are disabled and unable to work due to an illness or accidental injury, Guardian Income Protection Insurance pays a monthly benefit to replace up to 75 per cent of your pre-disability income. The policy pays an ongoing benefit of between $1,000 and $10,000 per month to help you continue to pay the mortgage or rent, pay bills, buy groceries and maintain your standard of living.
- Choice of benefit periods. When you apply for cover, you can choose from the following benefit periods: six months, one year, two years or five years.
- Choice of waiting periods. You can choose a waiting period of 30 or 90 days. You will need to be continuously disabled for this period for your policy to start paying a monthly benefit.
- Recurrent Disability Benefit. If the same injury or sickness recurs within six months of you receiving an Income Benefit, this will be treated as a continuation of the previous claim and the waiting period will be waived. However, your claim will only be payable for the remaining benefit period not already used.
- Premium waiver. You will not have to pay any premiums for your policy while you are receiving an Income Benefit.
- Easy application. It’s simple to apply for Guardian Income Protection Insurance over the phone. There are no forms to fill out and no medical examinations or blood tests to undergo.
Thinking of increasing your cover with these additional options?
- Rehabilitation Benefits. When you add this option to your policy you can receive an additional income benefit to help cover the cost of rehabilitation program costs. A benefit is also paid to help pay for return to work costs, such as a workplace modification or special equipment to help you get back into the workforce. This option is only available if you select a benefit period of two or five years.
- Homemaker Insurance. If you’re a homemaker and, due to injury or illness, you are unable to perform three domestic duty tasks, this option pays a benefit of up to $1,000 a month for six months.
- Final Expenses Insurance. This additional-cost option pays a lump sum benefit of up to $50,000 if you die while cover is in place. The proceeds can be used to cover funeral costs and any other immediate expenses that arise.
- Children’s Insurance. Adding optional Children’s Insurance to your Guardian Income Protection Insurance policy entitles you to a lump sum benefit if the insured child suffers accidental death or paralysis, blindness, deafness, total and permanent loss of use of two limbs, encephalitis, meningitis or major head trauma.
Other benefits of taking out cover with Guardian
- Tax deductible. Premiums for Guardian Income Protection Insurance can generally be claimed as a tax deduction.
- 30-day money-back guarantee. A cooling-off period of 30 days applies to this policy. If you change your mind about cover within the first 30 days of purchasing your policy, you can cancel your cover and receive a full refund of any premiums paid.
- Guaranteed renewable. As long as you pay your premiums when they are due, Guardian Income Protection Insurance is guaranteed renewable every year until you reach your 65th birthday.
- Benefit indexation. Your Guardian Income Protection Insurance benefit amount is indexed to protect against inflation. It automatically increases by 5 per cent each year, and this increase to the sum insured is factored into your premium costs. You have the option to choose not to accept an increase in any given year.
- Health and lifestyle questions. You will have to answer some simple health and lifestyle questions when you apply for cover. However, there are no medical or blood tests to complete.
- No financial evidence. No financial evidence is required when you apply for Guardian Income Protection Insurance. However, you will have to provide proof of your income when you make a claim.
- Changing cover. You can apply in writing at any time to increase or decrease your level of insurance cover. Any changes are subject to approval from the insurer.
- Worldwide cover. As long as you remain an Australian resident, Guardian Income Protection Insurance provides cover if you fall ill or are injured overseas. Cover is provided 24 hours a day, seven days a week anywhere around the world.
- Premium payments. You can choose the premium payment schedule that best suits your budget: fortnightly, monthly or annually. Premiums can either be paid by direct debit from your bank, credit union or building society or by automatic charge to your nominated credit card.
How much will I pay?
The following factors will impact the cost of Guardian Income Protection Insurance premium:
- Your age. The older you are, the higher your risk of suffering a range of health problems.
- Your gender. Income protection insurance premiums generally cost more for men than for women.
- Your smoking status. If you smoke, you’re exposing yourself to an increased risk of myriad health problems and therefore must pay more for cover.
- Your health status. The insurer will examine your medical history to determine the likelihood of you making a claim on your policy.
- Your family history. Your family’s medical history will also be taken into account when your insurance application is assessed.
- Your occupation. White-collar jobs generally expose you to a lower risk of injury than blue-collar jobs.
- Your pastimes. If you participate in dangerous or risky sports or adventure activities you can expect to pay more for cover.
- The monthly benefit amount. The higher the income that needs to be replaced, the more your income protection insurance cover will cost.
- The benefit period. The longer your policy will pay a benefit, the higher your premiums will be.
- The waiting period. The shorter the waiting period you serve before you can receive a benefit, the higher the cost of your premiums.
- Any additional options. Adding any of the extra-cost options listed above to your policy will increase your premium.
Who is eligible to apply?
In order to qualify for protection under a Guardian Income Protection Insurance policy, you will need to be an Australian resident aged between 18 and 59 years. You will also need to be working at least 15 hours a week and have been employed in this capacity for at least 12 months prior to cover commencing.
When will you not be covered?
Your Guardian Income Protection Insurance claim will not be paid if the sickness or injury occurs because of:
- A mental disorder or illness
- An intentional self-inflicted act or attempted suicide
- The consumption of drugs (unless taken as prescribed by a medical practitioner)
- The consumption of alcohol, including driving while over the legal blood alcohol limit
- Normal pregnancy, childbirth, miscarriage or termination
- War or war-like activity
- Your participation in a riot or civil commotion
- Your involvement in any illegal or criminal acts
How do I claim?
If you need to make a claim under a Guardian Income Protection Insurance policy, you can notify the insurer in one of two ways:
- Phone 1300 709 431; or
- Write to Guardian Customer Service, PO Box 6728, Baulkham Hills NSW 2153
You will sent a claim form that will need to be completed, signed and then returned to the insurer. In some cases, you may also need to ask your treating doctor or specialist to complete a form.
In order to qualify for a benefit, your policy will need to be in force when the insured event occurs. You will also need to be continuously disabled for the duration of the waiting period you have chosen.
You’ll need to notify Guardian Insurance of your claim as soon as possible after the insured event occurs. If you fail to notify the insurer within 120 days of the event that gives rise to the claim, your claim may be reduced or refused.
Finally, you may be requested to provide proof of your claim, such as test, examination and laboratory results. The injury or illness must also be confirmed by one or more medical specialists nominated by Guardian Insurance.
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