Q. What is life insurance? Life insurance provides a benefit payment if the person who is insured dies. This can be used to help you cover the mortgage, any debts and ongoing expenses.
Compare Australian life insurance brands
31 August 2018 update
A word on life insurance in Australia
Life insurance sold directly through an insurer has been in the news recently for 'poorer claims outcomes'. These situations however, don't represent all life insurance policies and are avoidable in most circumstances. When you buy a policy here's what you should know:
If you apply for a policy that is ‘automatic acceptance’ and there is no medical or lifestyle questionnaire then you should understand that:
These policies are better designed for people without pre-existing medical conditions.
'Riskier' lifestyles e.g heavy drinkers, dangerous occupations are excluded.
Life insurance protects more than just your life: it protects your way of life. Finding the right mix of death, income protection and total permanent disability coverage can make a real difference to both you and your family’s futures.
Why are you taking out insurance?
September 2018 cost estimate: For a policy with a lump sum of $500,000 you could pay this much per month:
Use the calculator in the next tab to estimate how much you need insured.
*Prices are an estimate based on a 35 year old non-smoking male office worker. Quotes last checked on September 2018 and are subject to change. The actual cost is different for everyone as it's affected by factors like sum insured, medical conditions and lifestyle factors.
Answer three questions to see the coverage we recommend*.
Life insurance calculator: Find out how much cover you need.
1) How much debt do you owe? Include mortgages, credit cards, car loans, student loans and other debt.
2) How much do your loved ones need each month? Start with how much you take home monthly, adding rent, food and necessities.
3) How many months will your loved ones need the income? Indicate how long you think your loved ones need before they can sustain themselves in your absence
Unlike some other comparison services, finder is independently owned and operated (not owned by an insurer or bank). Our guides and articles are written in accordance with our strong editorial principles and guidelines. Any life insurers we partner with do not approve our content or editorial direction.
No phone calls unless you actually apply
You won't need to enter your contact details to compare the prices and features of different policies online.
The only call you’ll get will be from an adviser once you’ve decided on the cover you want. Try it out.
The process of finding the right cover involves asking yourself a few simple questions:
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 of a claim. 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?
Consider age limits e.g. when you can no longer apply and when your policy will stop covering you.
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.
What are the 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.
Level premiums. Start off your policy at a higher rate but pay the same rate as you get older.
Find out how much cover you actually need. Take the time to assess what needs to be covered in the event your death/serious injury.
Find out what cover you already have. You may already have some cover from your superannuation fund. Find out if extra cover is necessary.
Take the time to shop around. Comparing policies from a range of insurers gives you a greater chance of an affordable quote.
Consider salary continuance insurance. Salary continuance maybe more suitable if you don't have any financial dependants.
Keep an eye out for special offers. Many insurers have special offers so you can get extra value. This may include free cover for the first year, access to health rewards programs and premium discounts.
Direct or through an adviser: Which is the right way for you to buy cover?
Both options have benefits to consider so it really comes down to your own personal preference. As a general guide:
You may prefer to take out cover with an adviser if you want a more customised package to fit your personal circumstances e.g. more than one cover type, funded by super for instance.
You may prefer to take out cover directly with an insurer if you are looking for convenience and don't need too much customisation e.g. if you are healthy and are only looking to cover your family if you die
Most superannuation funds have a default amount of cover that's standardised for its members. This means in some cases the amount and type of cover you have may be too much or not enough for you. For instance if you are younger with no dependants you might not need death cover.
The amount of cover can usually increased, decreased or cancelled altogether. Check with your superfund to find out how much cover you have and what you're paying for.
I work in a high-risk job? You will probably be required to pay a higher premium for cover than an office worker. It’s worth discussing your occupation with an adviser to give yourself the best chance of finding a willing insurer to cover you.
I have a pre-existing condition? It depends on the nature of the condition and any treatment you are undergoing and the insurer themselves. The insurer will usually either exclude the condition, ask for more details or accept it.
Still need help? Check out these answers to common questions
Whether you need it
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?
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!
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.
Receiving a life insurance 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.
Applying for cover
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.
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.
A. Insurers class anyone that has smoked tobacco or any other substance in the last 12 months as a smoker.
A. No, generally they will be required to take out a separate policy.
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.
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.
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 varies between 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
A. No. Life insurance is not an investment product and is designed to pay a benefit for death, terminal illness, injury or illness.
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
A. In the event of your death, your life insurer 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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
A. If you're premiums are becoming to expensive or if you're going through financial hardship, there are options to freeze premiums for a short period of time. You should contact your insurer to discuss your options. If you don’t reach out to your insurer and your premiums go into arrears, you run the risk of your policy being cancelled.
A. Most policies allow you to nominate up to five (5) beneficiaries on your policy.
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.
How likely would you be to recommend finder to a friend or colleague?
Very UnlikelyExtremely Likely
Thank you for your feedback.
Our goal is to create the best possible product, and your thoughts, ideas and suggestions play a major role in helping us identify opportunities to improve.
Important information about this website
finder.com.au is one of Australia's leading comparison websites. We compare from a wide set of major banks, insurers and product issuers.
finder.com.au has access to track details from the product issuers listed on our sites. Although we provide information on the products offered by a wide range of issuers, we don't cover every available product. You should consider whether the products featured on our site are appropriate for your needs and seek independent advice if you have any questions.
Products marked as 'Promoted' or "Advertisement" are prominently displayed either as a result of a commercial advertising arrangement or to highlight a particular product, provider or feature. Finder may receive remuneration from the Provider if you click on the related link, purchase or enquire about the product. Finder's decision to show a 'promoted' product is neither a recommendation that the product is appropriate for you nor an indication that the product is the best in its category. We encourage you to use the tools and information we provide to compare your options and find the best option for you.
The identification of a group of products, as 'Top' or 'Best' is a reflection of user preferences based on current website data. On a regular basis, analytics drive the creation of a list of popular products. Where these products are grouped, they appear in no particular order.
Where our site links to particular products or displays 'Go to site' buttons, we may receive a commission, referral fee or payment.
We try to take an open and transparent approach and provide a broad based comparison service. However, you should be aware that while we are an independently owned service, our comparison service does not include all providers or all products available in the market.
Some product issuers may provide products or offer services through multiple brands, associated companies or different labelling arrangements. This can make it difficult for consumers to compare alternatives or identify the companies behind the products. However, we aim to provide information to enable consumers to understand these issues.
Providing or obtaining an estimated insurance quote through us does not guarantee you can get the insurance. Acceptance by insurance companies is based on things like occupation, health and lifestyle. By providing you with the ability to apply for a credit card or loan we are not guaranteeing that your application will be approved. Your application for credit products is subject to the Provider's terms and conditions as well as their application and lending criteria.