Looking for Life Insurance or Income Protection? Let us help you find suitable cover by comparing 12+ insurance brands.
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I think my mortgage is next to go under the Finder Microscope…”
Aaron S. Bowral, NSW
What cover are you looking for?
Receive a lump-sum payment if you pass away. This cover can be combined with TPD/Trauma and joint cover discounts with spouse are available
Cover up to 75% of your income if seriously ill or injured and unable to work. Premium payments are tax deductible
Receive cover for the loss of key workers in your business or cover fixed business costs if you suffer serious illness or injury
finder.com.au is a Free, Australian Owned Life Insurance Comparison Website.
Compare policies from up to 15 Australian insurance companies and brands. Quotes are provided free of charge and there is absolutely no obligation to sign up for a policy.
Need life insurance or income cover but not sure where to begin?
It’s easy to feel slightly overwhelmed when thinking about taking out life insurance or income protection. finder.com.au wants to make the process of purchasing or reviewing cover easier by breaking these products down so you can feel secure that you have enough cover in place and are not paying for cover you don’t need. This guide will provide answers to the questions many of us have when looking for cover.
Every day living expenses
Other outstanding debts
Everybody’s situation is different so theres no perfect answer to this question but generally you want to determine an amount that will cover the immediate and ongoing costs in the event of your death or terminal illness so that your family or other financial dependents can continue their current way of life. This may include;
1. Outstanding debt you don't want to leave behind
- Cover your outstanding mortgage payments
- Cover any personal debt you still have (personal loans, car loan, credit cards)
2. Your families ongoing living expenses
- Rental repayments
- Vehicle and transport costs
- Food and other everyday expenses
- Education/child care costs
- Entertainment and vacations
- Any other expenses
3. Cover you already have your family can fall back on
Determine how many years you would need to cover these living expenses and offset it against any savings/assets that could be used in the event of your death. This may include;
- Savings you have accumulated
- Assets that may be sold i.e. second car
- Investments (property, shares etc.)
- Life insurance you already have in your superannuation
4. Length of cover to choose
Some things to consider when determining the period of time to take out cover include;
- Your age and the age of your partner
- Earning capacity of your partner now and in the future
- Number of children and their ages
|Type||Payment Type||Main Purpose||Key Features||Minimum Entry Age||Maximum Entry Age|
|Life Cover||Lump-sum payment||Provides a lump-sum payment in the event of death or terminal illness to the insured’s beneficiaries.||18||79 (Age next birthday)|
|Income Protection||Monthly benefit of 75% of income||Provides ongoing monthly benefit of 75% of regular income if forced to take time out of work due to accident, illness or major trauma. Some policies will provide over 75% if additional amount is contributed to super.||18||64 (Age next birthday)|
|Trauma Cover||Lump-sum payment||Provides a lump-sum payment on diagnosis or occurrence of specific illness such as stroke, cancer, heart attack so that you can focus on your recovery||18||64 (Age next birthday)|
|TPD||Lump-sum payment||Provides a lump-sum payment to clear debts, cover medical costs and provide an annual stream of income so that you can maintain your current way of life.||18||64 (Age next birthday)|
|Funeral Insurance||Lump-sum payment||Lump-sum payment (usually up to $30,000) to cover the cost of your funeral.||17||80 (Age next birthday)|
|Accidental Injury Insurance||Lump-sum payment||Provides a lump-sum payment in the event of accidental injury. There is no cover provided for serious illness and generally no medical or blood tests will be required.||18||64 (Age next birthday)|
|Accidental Death Insurance||Lump-sum payment||Provides a lump-sum payment in the event of accidental death.||18||79 (Age next birthday)|
Most superannuation funds will provide members with a default level of cover which can be increased, decreased or cancelled altogether. If your employer is making super contributions through a default super fund, you most likely have a default level of cover for you.The cover provided in your super may be sufficient for your situation but you need to weigh up the benefits and drawbacks of this option and whether you require an additional level of protection;
Benefits of funding through super
- Generally cheaper as cover is purchased in bulk by super fund.
- Premium payments may be tax-deductible if paid with pre-tax dollars.
- Self-employed workers under the age of 75 may be eligible to claim a tax deduction for personal contributions.
- In some cases can arrange for employer to make contributions directly to their fund of an amount that will include the premium of life or disability cover.
- Payments made automatically direct from your super and not your after tax income.
- Reduced requirement for health checks.
Drawbacks of funding through super
- Types of cover available is limited. Trauma insurance is no longer offered through superannuation.
- Usually reduced level of cover offered to retail policies.
- Benefits paid to non-dependents can attract tax.
- Payment of benefit can be more complicated/drawn out as benefit is paid to fund trustee first who then distributes funds.
- Cover is generally more comprehensive/flexible for policies outside of super.
- Cover expires at age 70 (most policies outside of Super will continue to provide cover until age 90 or 100).
Are you looking to switch life insurance policies from that offered by your superannuation fund but still continue to pay for your premiums through your super? There are a number of life insurance brands that offer superannuation rollovers by working with eligible super funds to allow existing members to transfer the cover provided from their existing super fund to a new policy and keep paying from their super funds.
- Greater access to insurance tailored to your needs while still funding premiums through your superannuation.
- Can keep funds invested in same superannuation fund and rollover funds to insurance company when required.
- Insurer will pass on superannuation rollover tax benefit to reduce premium that is rolled over.
- Some insurers will let you choose how much you rollover i.e. 2-3 years worth of premium.
Nobody wants’ to pay too much for cover but going with the cheapest possible policy you find could leave you severely under protected. Here are some tips to get quality cover that won’t send you broke;
- Buy young and lock in a competitive rate. Taking out cover when you are younger and likely to be in good health means you can lock in a more competitive rate as oppose to when you're older and more prone to pre-existing conditions. Cover is guaranteed renewable so you don’t have to worry about being knocked back further down the track.
- Find out how much cover you actually need. Take the time to properly assess what will need to be covered in the event your death/serious injury and how this figure could change in the future.
- Find out what cover you already have. You may already have some cover in place from your superannuation or employers superannuation fund. Find out what you stand to receive in a claim and if extra cover is necessary.
- Take the time to shop around. Comparing policies with a consultant from a range of insurers will give you a better chance of finding something tailored to your needs that is well priced.
- Already covered for salary continuance insurance? Salary continuance has a benefit period of two-years so it could be worth taking out income cover with a two year waiting period to save further.
- Keep an eye out for special offers. Competition among insurers has resulted in an increase of special offers to help you save further on your cover. This may include free cover for the first year, access to health rewards programs and premium discounts.
Most life insurance brands will offer the choice of Stepped or Level premium structures when applying for cover.
- Stepped premiums will start off cheaper before increasing each year with your age. The final amount you pay may be much more in the long run with this option. Stepped premiums are generally a better option if your not sure how long you will have cover in place for and if you are looking to spend less in the early days of your cover.
- Level premiums will start off higher than stepped but remain the same over the life of the policy and will not increase each year with your age. Level premiums might be more suitable if you don't plan on switching to another policy in the future.
See the example below of how stepped and level premiums may change over time. Please note that this should only be viewed as an example and may not reflect the actual annual pricing available;
|Level Premium/Annual Payment||$800,000||$740.25||$740.25||$740.25||$740.25||$740.25||$740.25|
|Stepped Premium Annual Payment||$800,000||$451.20||$496.40||$711.744||$1296.45||$2465.56||$4988.92|
- Getting married
- Buying a house
- The birth of their first child
That said, life cover and other types of living insurance can certainly be worth considering even if these events don't apply to you to ensure there is cover in place if you are forced out of work following serious illness or injury. Other types of cover worth considering include:
- Income protection: Provides an ongoing monthly benefit of 75% of your income if you can't work due to serious injury or illness.
- TPD Insurance: Pays out a lump sum benefit if you suffer permanent or partial disablement.
- Trauma Insurance: Pays out a lump sum benefit if you suffer a medical condition that is specified in your policy.
If your looking for a total protection package, you can take out bundle your policy to include TPD and Trauma Insurance. Bundling your cover is not only convenient but can also generate discounts.
Is there any benefit to taking out cover when I am younger?
Many adviser recommend taking out cover at a younger age so that you can lock in a more competitive premium rate. Putting off taking out cover until your later years can mean you have higher premiums because you are more likely to suffer from pre-existing medical conditions and are considered a higher risk to insure.
The table below shows the average age that users of lifeinsurancefinder.com.au applied for cover from different Australian states.
From these results we can see that many Australian's are really putting off getting cover until much later in life. While nobody's the same, many people face serious financial obligations from their late 20s to late 30s. A 2013 survey from Life Insurance Finder showed that 46.5% of survey applicants applied for cover when they were over 35 years of age and likely to pay a higher premium.
|Type||Premium payment outside super||Benefit payment outside super||Premium payment inside super||Benefit payment inside super|
|Life Cover||Not tax-deductible||Payment is not taxed||Generally tax-deductible||May attract tax if paid to non-dependent|
|Income Cover||Generally tax-deductible||Payment is tax-assessable||Generally not tax-deductible||Payment is tax-assessable|
|Trauma||Not tax-deductible||Payment is not taxed||N.A||N.A|
|TPD||Not tax-deductible||Payment is not taxed||Only fully deductible to a complying super fund if the payment relates to a current or contingent liability by the fund to provide a ‘disability super benefit||Payment is tax-assessable|
|Funeral||Not tax-deductible||Payment is not taxed||N.A||N.A|
When taking out any type of insurance, you want to feel secure that the company you choose will actually honour your claim. It’s easy for the mainstream media to cover all the horror stories of claims not being paid without actually looking at the facts;
- Over $5 billion across 85,329 claims were paid by the life insurance industry in 2013.
- Over $27 billion in claims paid in life insurance industry since 2004 (The Risk Store)
- Insurer AMP paid more than $850.4 million in claims across life, trauma, disability, tpd and income protection plans.
Provided you are within the terms and conditions of your policy, there really is no reason that your claim shouldn’t be paid. Some steps to ensure your claim is paid include;
- Tell the truth when applying. Don’t leave out any details of any pre-existing conditions that might impact your policy.
- Tell your insurer as your situation changes. Such changes could include changes to health, employment or hobbies
- Know what you will and will not be covered for...taking the time to actually read the PDS before taking out cover could save you a nasty surprise later.
- Choose a reputable company;
- Financial strength
- Reputation in market
- Straightforward claims process
- Flexibility to update cover
- Registered under life insurance act and approved by APRA
Purchasing cover with an adviser
- Access to wide range of products to give you greater choice.
- Can use their knowledge of the market to help you find cover suitable for your situation.
- Can help you assess your situation to determine what type/how much cover you require.
- Can offer advice around life insurance inside and outside superannuation.
- Advice-based products generally offer higher cover levels and greater range of features.
Purchasing cover direct from the insurer
- Usually no medical required on direct products
- Cover can be put in place entirely online or over the phone.
- You know straight away if your application is successful.
- Immediate death cover once application is received.
- Direct products are beginning to become more and more competitive with some cover amounts up to $15 million.
- Number of general insurance products now offering cover for involuntary redundancy.
- I am a non-Australian resident? There are a number of insurers willing to provide cover if you are a non resident provided;
- You will need to come from countries recognised as Level 1 and 2 by the Australian Government including South Africa, Malaysia, Thailand and India
- You have already lived in Australia for a period of 6 months and are intending to apply for permanent residency
- Your Visa permits you to stay in Australia for a period of at least 2 - 4 years
- I am over 70? Yes. Most insurers provide cover to applicants up to age 75 (age next birthday). There are a number of insurers that offer cover for applicants up to age 80 (age next birthday). Most brands will reduce the level of cover that older applicants are eligible to receive.
- I have a pre-existing condition? It will depend on the nature of the condition and any treatment you have or are currently receiving for it. The insurer will either exclude the condition from cover, request you submit more details about the condition or automatically accept it. Requirements for how long ago you experienced the condition will vary between different companies so it can be worth speaking with consultant to find options suitable for your situation.
- I work in a high-risk job? Yes, you will probably be required to pay a higher premium for cover than an office worker but it is still possible to get cover. Again, it’s worth discussing your occupation with an insurance consultant to give yourself the best chance of finding an insurer willing to offer competitive cover for your occupation.
It can be easy to get bogged down in complicated product documents and insurance jargon when comparing policies...here's some tips to help you choose:
- What is the minimum and maximum cover amount? Find out what you can actually be insured for and what you stand to receive in the event that a claim is made. Some insurers will allow for an unlimited amount of life cover to be taken out while others will cap it for certain occupations and age groups.
- What is the maximum entry age and expiry age of the policy? If you are a senior looking for cover, age limits and when your policy will end can vary between insurers.
- Can I increase my cover without having to take another medical check? Some insurers will offer what is known as “Guaranteed Insurability” which, lets you increase your cover without having to take another medical exam.
- Policy features? Look at the range of features provided automatically and those that can be purchased for an additional premium. It might be painful but actually taking the time to get an understanding of these and whether they actually apply to your situation is extremely valuable.
- Can I combine the policy with other types of insurance? Most insurers will let you combine your life cover with TPD and Trauma to ensure you have adequate protection for “living events”. Combining cover should result in a premium discount.
- How is your occupation covered? Conditions on the cover that is provided can vary between insurers based on your occupation. There may be insurers specialising in cover for your occupation i.e. if you are a high-risk worker.
- How flexible is the policy? Find out if there are any restrictions to adjusting your level of cover, who is covered on your policy and if you can remove certain features.
- Considered speaking with a consultant? An insurance consultant can help you assess your situation and find a policy to match your cover requirements. They can use their knowledge of the insurance industry to help you find discounts and insurers willing to work with your situation.
Whether you need it
Q. I’m young, single and no one is dependent on me...why get cover?
- A. You may not want to pass on outstanding mortgage debt, personal debt or final expenses i.e funeral costs to your family and friends. What about income protection or TPD? If you suffer a serious injury and can’t work for a few months or ever again, what would you do then?
Q. Am I better off just putting funds into a high interest savings account?
- A. Most people are not fortunate enough to have adequate funds invested in a high-interest account that would be enough to cover their outstanding debts and give their family support for the future. With some life and disability claims reaching up to $2 million … it’s a fair wad of cash to just have sitting around!
Q. Aren't I already covered by my health insurance for illness and injury?
- A. Not exactly. Health insurance covers medical expenses that are associated with sickness and injury but does not provide support for bills, debts or loss of income if you can’t work for an extended period or ever again. Life insurance covers the gap between the expenses covered by health insurance and additional costs of ongoing treatment, rehabilitation and loss of income.
Q. Why get TPD Insurance if already covered by the Disability Support Pension?
- A. There is financial support from the government for those that suffer a disability but there are rules around who is eligible to receive the benefit and it is not likely to be enough to cover your annual expenses. Consider the table below showing maximum payment for those over 21 with children.
Status Payment per fortnight Total per annum Single Over 21 $782.20 $20337.20 Member of Couple $589.60 $15329.60
Receiving a life insurance quote
Q. How do I receive a quote?
- A. You receive a quote for cover by entering your details in the form above. A certified insurance consultant will then call you to discuss different policy options and provide you with a preliminary quote based on these details.
Q. Why can't I receive a quote online?
- A. Life Insurance and Income Protection are not straightforward types of insurance and the cover that is available to you and what you will pay for it is greatly impacted by your own personal characteristics. Based on your Gender, Smoking Status, Age, Type of Protection, Occupation, Income and Level of Protection required a consultant can provide you with a preliminary quote for cover.
This preliminary quote can then change based on a number of factors including;
- Any pre-existing medical conditions that you may have.
- Nature of activities carried out in your occupation.
- The policy you choose.
- Style of premium you choose.
- The policy fee charged
- Stamp duty that is charged
Q. What companies can I receive a quote for?
- A. The insurance consultants that finder.com.au work with have access to major life insurance brands in Australia and may have access to smaller specialist insurance groups as well. You can view the main panel of insurance brands that you can receive a quote for here.
Applying for cover
Q. Who can apply?
- A. Australian and New Zealand Citizens, and Australian permanent residents (those residing in Australia at time of application). Age restrictions vary between brands and cover selected.
Q. What if I already have cover in place?
A. An insurance consultant can help you review your current policy to help you decide whether you can benefit switching to another option or increasing/decreasing the level of cover in your current policy.
Q. When will I be classed as a smoker?
- A. Insurers class anyone that has smoked tobacco or any other substance in the last 12 months as a smoker.
Q. Can I take out cover with my spouse/partner?
- A. Yes. Generally, two people can be covered under a single policy. Discounts for multi-policies are offered by some brands.
Q. Can I add my partner later?
- A. No, generally they will be required to take out a separate policy.
Q. Do I need to do a medical or blood test when applying?
- A. Most insurers will only require medical or blood tests at application if the insured has a pre-existing condition that needs to be assessed further. Additional evidence may be required in the event of a claim.
Q. Can I get cover if I have a medical condition?
- A. It depends on the condition and treatment. Every insurer has different conditions for pre-existing conditions so it is best to check the PDS before taking out cover. If the insurer decides that your pre-existing medical condition presents to great a risk for them, they will generally exclude it from cover. As an example if you are applying for cover and have a history of back problems, your insurer may exclude all claims related to back conditions from your policy.
Q. Is there anything I can do if I have taken out cover and my condition is not covered?
- A. There are generally two options available to you:
- It might be worth speaking with an insurance consultant to see if there are any other companies out there that are willing to provide you with cover. Assessment criteria is not the same for all insurers so it's always worth looking around if you have struggled to get cover due to a medical condition.
- You may also be able to have your current insurer review your condition when it comes time to renew your policy to see if the exclusion can be lifted if your situation has changed.
Q. When won't I be paid for life insurance?
- A. Generally all deaths are covered except for suicide within the first 13 months of the policy. Accident only life cover will only provide cover for death that is the result of an accident. Some policies may exclude death related to pre-existing medical conditions for a set number of years from the start date of the policy.
Q. When won't I be paid for TPD, Trauma or Income Protection Cover?
- A. Most policies will not pay a benefit for claims arising from;
- Intentional self-inflicted injury or self harm.
- Acquiring HIV, AIDS, Hepatitis B or Hepatitis C unless if through performing duties of the your occupation.
- Disablement caused during engagement in armed forces of any country.
- Claims related to pregnancy, uncomplicated childbirth or miscarriage.
- Claims caused by your engagement in unlawful acts.
- Claims from aviation activity unless you are a fare paying passenger on a scheduled flight.
Q. Can I increase or decrease my level of cover?
- A. Yes. You can apply to increase or decrease your cover at any stage to meet your needs. It’s worth noting that you will be required to undertake another round of assessments with your insurer.
Q. Can I add/remove beneficiaries from my policy?
- A. Yes. You can update beneficiaries at any stage.
Q. Can I cancel my policy?
A. Yes. Most policies offer 30 day cooling off period whereby premiums paid during this period will be refunded. No premiums will be refunded if you cancel your policy after the cooling off period.
Q. Do life insurance brands still offer surrender value for policies?
- A. No. Life insurance is not an investment product and is designed to pay a benefit for death, terminal illness, injury or illness.
Q. Am I covered overseas?
- A. Yes. Most policies provide cover 24 hours a day anywhere in the world. Countries that have been advised against travel are generally not covered.
Making a claim
Q. If I pass away, how is my claim paid?
- A. In the event of your death, your life insurance brand or super fund trustee will pay out the nominated death benefit to one or more of your financial dependents or to your estate. A “binding nomination” can ensure the benefit from the cover in your super is paid to the beneficiary of your choice. You should make sure your estate has the necessary documentation so that they can claim on your behalf (see below).
Q. How can I make sure that cover from my super fund is paid to my beneficiary?
- A. If you have life insurance through your superannuation and are concerned about who will receive the benefit payment, you can make what is known as a binding death benefit nomination. A binding nomination allows you to nominate exactly who will receive what in the event of your death, essentially making your Estate Planning more certain.
Q. Who can be nominated with a binding nomination?
- A. A binding nomination can be taken out on;
- Your current spouse.
- Child of any age.
- People that are financially dependent on you at the time of your death.
The benefit payment can be distributed among the different beneficiaries provided you give details of the share you wish to be given to each beneficiary.
Q. What does a beneficiary need to provide to claim a benefit from a deceased policyholder?
- A. Generally, the beneficiary will need to provide:
- A completed claim form.
- Original policy document and policy schedule.
- A copy of the deceased’s birth certificate.
- A certified copy of the deceased’s will.
- Probate or letters of administration.
Q. Do I have to keep paying premiums if I make a claim for injury or illness?
- A. If you claim for injury or illness on a life cover policy, your benefit will be reduced by the amount paid and your premiums adjusted accordingly.
Q. How many people can I nominate to receive a benefit on my policy?
- A. Most policies allow you to nominate up to 5 beneficiaries on your policy.
Q. What happens if I don’t nominate anyone to receive the benefit?
- A. The claim will be paid to your estate.
Disclaimer: Please read our Terms and Conditions to understand the services we provide and how we will use the information we hold. The product information on this website is not intended to imply any recommendation or opinion about a financial product listed. Consider your personal circumstances and obtain professional advice before you commit to, or purchase, any particular product.