Looking for Life Insurance or Income Protection?

Let us help you find suitable cover by comparing up to 12 insurance brands.

Get started

The Beginners Guide to Life Insurance | finder.com.au

Information verified correct on September 30th, 2016

guideConsidering life insurance but don't know where to start? Our guide provides an in-depth explanation of how it all works, to get you on track to finding the right cover.

Life can throw many curve balls your way, so it’s essential you take steps to safeguard your loved ones before tragedy strikes. You never know what hardships the future holds, but the only way you can rest in peace is by knowing your family will have the finances to continue to put food on the table when you’re not around to look after them. Unfortunately, we’ll all pass away at some stage, so it’s vital you have the right insurance in place to secure compensation for your family members, so they can say goodbye without the added stress of finances during a difficult time. If you’re worried about the unexpected, read this guide to see how life insurance can help.

Chapter 1: What's the purpose of life insurance?

Life insurance is critical if you want your family to be able to look after itself following an extremely dark and daunting time. This form of insurance provides a plan to financially aid your loved ones when you’re no longer living. It can also help with costs after suffering a critical injury, accident or illness.

What can life insurance be used for?

Life insurance is a protection plan that provides peace of mind that your loved ones will be looked after when life takes a turn for the worst. The policy has expanded its parameters beyond paying only lump sum payments to family members when you die. It now covers clients in the event of a terminal illness, accident or death. Here’s how it helps.

  • Payment in tragic situations. Pays a lump sum benefit to beneficiaries in the event of a terminal illness, or death.
  • Eases the financial pain.  Benefit can help you pay the mortgage, utilities, loans, debt and daily necessities.
  • Pays for funeral costs. Your family can use some of the lump sum to cover immediate funeral costs.
  • Future costs taken care of. You partner or spouse can use the lump sum for future expenses, e.g. education expenses for your children.

What are the different types of life insurance?

There are varied types of life insurance policies available in Australia. Here’s a list to help you establish a clearer picture of what’s on offer in the current marketplace.

  • Term life insurance. Also known as death cover. It provides lump sum payments to your family when you die.
  • Total and permanent disability insurance. Pays a lump sum if you become disabled and can’t work.
  • Trauma cover. Also called critical illness cover. This insurance provides financial aid if you are diagnosed with specific diseases like cancer, or you suffer a heart attack or stroke.
  • Income protection. Pays up to 75% of your gross monthly income when you can’t work, because of injury or illness.
  • Business expenses insurance. Provides a lump sum payment to self-employed business owners who can’t work. This helps finance daily operations while you’re on the road to recovery.
  • Key person or partner insurance. This aids employers who lose a key worker, vital to the daily running of a business. It helps by paying a lump sum payment if an employee falls ill, or dies. It can also be used to ensure that if your business partner passes away, their estate will be handed to the business, without the hardship of having to borrow cash.

Chapter 2: When should I consider life insurance?

There are a number of reasons why you should weigh up a life insurance policy. Here’s a list of reasons and circumstances where individuals should consider life insurance.

01-living

Maintain your families standard of living

02-mortgage

Pay off the mortgage on your house

03-debt

Pay off any outstanding debts

04-education

Provide for your children's education 

05-tax

Pay off outstanding tax

Young and single workers

While young people often see themselves as invincible, the unexpected can happen. If you fall into one of these situations, you should look to some form of life insurance cover.

Potential situations

  • If you’ve just started full-time work
  • You’re living out of home
  • You have short-term debt
  • Limited financial commitments
  • Studying at university or college
  • You have a credit card/debt

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • Income protection. This will help secure 75% of your gross monthly earnings if you can’t work.

Young couples with no dependents

If you’re married and have no children, running the risk of being unable to provide for your partner is daunting.

Potential situations

  • You’re newly married, and renting
  • You’re working full-time
  • You’re saving for an apartment

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • Life insurance. This is a good option if your partner doesn’t work, or earns less than yourself. This will see them in a better financial position when you die.
  • TPD insurance. This helps by providing compensation if you become terminally or critically injured and can’t work. This could help to finance your care, or allow your partner to become your prime carer.
  • Income protection. This will help finance your road to recovery if you can’t work due to sickness or injury.

Young working parents with children

If you have dependents like children, it’s wise to seek security for their interests.

Potential situations

  • In a sound career, climbing the ladder to success
  • You’ve just purchased a house
  • Married with children

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • Life insurance. This will safeguard finances for your family when you die.
  • TPD insurance. If you become disabled or critically injured, you’re covered.
  • Trauma insurance. This will help to finance times when you can no longer work after being diagnosed with certain illnesses like cancer, or you’ve suffered medical complications like a heart attack or stroke.
  • Income protection. If you have a limited capacity to work or earn an income, this style of cover will compensate 75% of your earnings while you’re off your feet.

Business owners'

It can be a burden to lose your working partner; sometimes this mounts financial and emotional stress, which can see the gates closed or doors shut.

Potential situations

  • Self owner or shared owner of a business that is expanding
  • Employer wanting to look after employees seen as vital assets

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • Key person or partner insurance. This provides a lump sum payment in the event that one of your employees becomes critically sick or dies. It also provides compensation if your partner dies.
  • Business expenses insurance. This will help finance the daily operations of your business if you, as the owner, is injured or ill.

Older workers' with no children at home

This is a time when you could be looking to finance university for your children, or you’re focused on maximising your retirement savings.

Potential situations

  • Looking to increase your savings
  • Paying off a mortgage
  • Financing university for your children
  • Career minded, and in a secure and senior role

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • TPD insurance. This will provide financial security as you’ll be compensated if you become seriously or critically injured.
  • Life insurance. Provides your family with lump sum payments if you die.
  • Trauma cover. Helps to fund medical rehabilitation, and care if you’re diagnosed with a critical illness.
  • Income protection. If you can’t work because of an accident or illness, you’ll be compensated with 75% of your monthly earnings.

You’re an elderly citizen with no dependents

After working your whole life, it’s likely you’re relying on a limited retirement fund to live. You may not have the finances to fund costs like a funeral, which can be a major burden mounted on your family.

Potential situations

  • Retiree with no dependents
  • Limited superannuation savings

What types of life insurance should be considered?

  • Life insurance. Life insurance can help finance the cost of your funeral when you die.
Let’s now take a closer look at the features of each insurance type in chapter three.


Chapter 3: What types of life insurance are there?

Life cover and insurances like trauma, TPD, income protection, business expenses and key person insurance can be bundled together, to secure more comprehensive cover. This could make the difference in safeguarding your family from financial pain going forward. Here’s a list of the features each protection policy has.

Life cover

What’s the purpose of life insurance cover?

Provides a lump sum payment if you die, or become diagnosed with a terminal illness.

What are the key features?

  • Instant cover. You are covered as soon as you commence your policy.
  • Premium waivers. Premiums will be waived on some policies if a serious injury or illness leaves you disabled and unable to afford the costs of you life insurance cover.
  • Rehabilitation benefits. Some policies can include funding for long-term care, and payouts to fund rehabilitation in exchange for a reduced benefit.
  • Joint cover. A number of insurers allow a joint policy for your child or partner.

How long until the benefit is paid out to dependents?

There is generally a waiting period of 30-90 days before payments are made.

Who is life cover suited for?

Life cover is a smart option for people with dependents like a partner, children, or even an ageing parent who requires care.

Trauma insurance (critical illness insurance)

What’s the purpose of trauma insurance?

Pays a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a specific critical illness or injury, like cancer, heart attack or stroke. It helps by covering the costs of rehabilitation while you’re on the road to recovery, or if you lose the capacity to work.

What are the key features?

  • Allows you to take time off work and recover. Trauma insurance can allow you to work reduced working hours, while receiving compensation.
  • Focus on rehab and not the cost of rehab. Pays for rehabilitation and carer costs.
  • Different definitions of “critical illness” between insurers. Make sure you review and compare what’s included and excluded in your benefit structure.
  • Death benefits can be included. You can bundle your trauma benefit with life cover.
  • Policies include a survival period.That is, you must survive a defined period of time after suffering a critical illness or injury before compensation is paid.
  • A buyback option is available to purchase at the start of your contract. This helps to keep your life cover at its original level post-claim.

Exclusion periods

Many trauma insurance policies have an exclusion period after you commence your policy where you can’t make a claim. This is typically 90 days.

How long until the benefit is paid out?

If you suffer an accidental trauma, you’ll receive benefits if you survive a defined period (e.g. 48 hours) and once your claim is assessed.

Who is trauma insurance suited to?

Parents who are unable to purchase income protection, or senior citizens who are close to retirement, and looking to secure their savings in the advent of a critical illness.

Income protection

Who can take advantage of income protection?

All employees can take advantage of income protection. Income protection is also seen as a major safeguard for single individuals, who may not have immediate financial support (from a partner).

What’s the main purpose of income protection?

Also known as income replacement, this type of cover compensates people who lose their capacity to work, due to injury or illness. It provides up to 75% of your gross monthly income.

What are the key features?

  • Income replacement while you’re unable to work. Income protection covers 75% of your normal income if you suffer an accident or illness and can’t work.
  • Stricter age requirements. You typically must be between 18 and 64 to sign on and compensation is paid out up to the age of 65.
  • Additional benefit period paid towards your super fund. Some insurers allow for compensation up to age 70, but the added five years will see benefits paid into your superannuation fund.
  • Flexibility in payout structure. You can choose when you want benefits to start and stop, and what age you want retirement and superannuation benefits to begin.
  • You can be working part-time to receive benefits. However, you must meet the 15 hours a week criteria, if you have lost your capacity to perform your normal duties.
  • Continued payment if you pass away. Income protection continues if you pass away, and compensates your dependents like a spouse or children.
  • Agreed value. Agreed value assesses your earnings and appropriate benefits at the time you sign on to your policy. So any changes to your income won’t be factored in when you claim.
  • Indemnity value. Indemnity value insurance determines your income and benefit at the time you claim. This entails an income evaluation, and means any reductions are taken into account.

How long do you need to wait until income protection benefits start?

You normally have a 30- to 90-day payout period, but the longer the waiting period, the cheaper ywho our premium is likely to be.

What’s the purpose of trauma insurance?

Pays a lump sum payment if you are diagnosed with a specific critical illness or injury, like cancer, heart attack or stroke. It helps by covering the costs of rehabilitation while you’re on the road to recovery, or if you lose the capacity to work.

Total and permanent disability insurance

What’s the purpose of TPD cover?

TPD provides a single lump sum payment if you become disabled, and can’t ever work again. It provides the ability to pay off debts, cover medical rehabilitation and carer costs, so you have a secure income to maintain your lifestyle.

What are the main features of TPD cover?

  • 16-60 years of age are eligible. Cover is available for Australians between this age. However, the policy can be renewed until age 65.
  • Lump sum payment. You are compensated with a lump sum payment if you are unable to return to work due to a disability.
  • Coverage levels of your choice. You must prove you have lost the capacity to ever work again, in any occupation aligned to your education or training. Or you haven’t been able to work for six months, and won’t ever have the capacity to work in your occupation again.
  • Can be bundled with your other life cover. TPD insurance can act as a stand alone, or bundled life cover policy.
  • Can be bought through your super fund. Some superannuation funds offer TPD insurance.

How long before the lump sum payment is paid out?

A lump sum payment will be provided when you become disabled or critically injured.

Who is TPD cover suited to?

TPD is a good option for all employees and single individuals with limited, or no dependents.

Business expenses insurance

What’s the purpose of business expenses insurance?

Business expenses insurance covers the ongoing operational costs of your business if you’re self-employed and are unable to work due to injury or illness.

What are the key features?

  • Full coverage of business expenses. Can cover 100% of your business expenses during the 12-month benefit period.
  • Adjustable policy. Ability to review and update your expenses to reflect your business needs, which will be reflected by your benefit.
  • You can work in a limited capacity. Some policies allow you to work up to 10 hours a week without impacting your benefit.
  • Crisis benefits may be applicable. This allows for compensation to be paid during a period when you suffer a recognised medical condition.

How long does it take for the benefit to be paid?

Business expenses insurance will have waiting periods that can differ from brand to brand.  A typical waiting period can range from 14 to 90 days before compensation kicks in, then benefits continue for 12 months.

Who is business expenses insurance suited to?

Business owners and self-employed individuals.

Key person and partner insurance

What’s the purpose of key person insurance?

What are the main features of key person and partner insurance?

  • Financial support for the business. If a key employee or partner dies, or is no longer able to work, business owners can receive compensation.
  • Covers the cost of replacement. Benefit can be used to help train or hire replacement staff.
  • Cover for the business and the affected employee. Some policies can provide compensation to the family of an employee, or partner.
  • Buy-out options. Some policies can provide you with the benefits to cover the cost of purchasing your partner's shares.
  • Allows you to clear off existing debts in the name of your business partner. You can get covered for the outstanding loans that your business partner has taken out for the business in their name How long does it take for benefits to be paid out?

Like business expenses insurance, there are waiting periods that can differ between policies. Most policies offer you the choice of choosing between a 30- and 90-day waiting period.

Who is key person and business partner insurance suited for?

Business owners.
Life Insurance States Graph

Chapter 4: Getting the best bang for my buck

Comparing life cover policies and finding a suitable option for yours and your family’s future needs is vital. Sadly, research compiled by Rice Warner in 2013 found only 42% of Australian families had a sufficient policy in place to continue the standard of living for remaining loved ones. So, before signing on to a policy, speak to an adviser or insurer about the best options to match your budget, and your family’s future needs. If you’re unsure about what to look out for, here’s a basic guide of what to look for.

Make sure you understand

1. The total level of cover and total cost of the policy

Make sure you find out:

  • The annual premium.
  • The policy structure, e.g. is it a stepped or level premium?
  • What the death benefit includes, e.g. will your family be compensated if you die from either illness, or accidental causes?
  • The types of illnesses and accidents that are included, e.g. heart attacks.
  • If cover can be bundled with other forms of cover, e.g. trauma, TPD and income protection.

2. The types of exclusions in your policy

  • What are the included and excluded benefits? E.g. some policies include premium waivers whilst others won’t.
  • Are there any specific exclusions, e.g. suicide?

3. How much in compensation you will receive after a claim

Make sure you understand:

  • How much is paid out from your sum insured to your family if you pass away.
  • What type of criteria must be met in order for payments to be made.
  • If any criteria affects the amount of payment you’ll receive in total.

4. The total length of cover

Find out:

  • How long you are covered for
  • If you can extend the length of cover later on

5. Waiting periods and cooling off periods

Make sure you understand the following:

  • Cooling off periods = the time after you buy your policy in which you can cancel and get a refund on premiums.
  • Waiting periods = the time after you make your claim before a payment is made (typically applies to TPD, trauma and income protection).

6. The ability to increase cover as your life changes

Find out:

  • If cover can be reduced or increased
  • How it affects your premium
  • If there’s a penalty for doing so

7. If the policy can be switched

Make sure you understand the implications of switching your policy later on. For example:

  • How switching will impact your benefits and premiums
  • If a new waiting period (before you can make a claim) is introduced
  • If the remaining benefit can be transferred if part of the benefit has already been paid
Note. It’s important to have a thorough read of your Product Disclosure Statement (PDS). This is the document provided by insurance funds. It will ensure you’re fully aware of everything that’s included and excluded in your prospective life cover contract.

How do stepped or level premiums work?

When taking out life cover as a stand alone policy, or a bundled policy including trauma, TPD, income protection or business exposure and key person insurance, you have two ways to control the cost of your premium over time. This is achieved by selecting either a stepped or level premium structure. As the chances of you claiming increase as you get older, it’s essential to make sure you can still afford your premiums as you age. To help your future financial and medical situation, understand how premium types work.

  • Stepped premium. Cheaper at the beginning of your policy, but the cost increases as you get older.
  • Level premium. The more expensive option at the beginning, but your premium is fixed, and won’t fluctuate as you age.
  • Hybrid. This is a mix of both structures.


Is a stepped premium the cheaper option?

At some point (depending on your policy) in a stepped premium structure, the annual cost of your policy will equal what you would have been paying for a fixed level premium. The cost will also continue to rise. Stepped premiums do provide greater short-term savings, but for long-term benefits, level premiums are the way to go.

What personal factors influence the cost of my life cover policy?

There are a range of individual and family factors that will add weight to the annual cost of your policy going forward. Here’s a list of what insurers look at when you apply for a policy.

    • Age. The older you get, the more likely you are to suffer a medical illness, or suffer a trauma that could lead to death or a terminal illness. As such, the age you take out your policy does impact the cost of your premium.
    • Gender. Men generally pay more for their life cover policy but women will pay more for other bundled policies like income protection. This is down to the fact that they carry the risk of medical complications through childbirth, and a longer timeframe to return to the workplace due to maternity leave.
    • Weight. Insurers assess your weight using a Body Mass Index. Given overweight people have higher risk of heart disease and stroke, you’ll pay more if you tip the scales.
    • Smoking status. Smokers will pay up to double the premium for a life cover policy, due to the potential of suffering disease and illness like lung cancer.
    • Pre-existing medical conditions. If you have suffered a medical illness, you could pay a higher premium for the risk of the illness recurring. Those with a family history of medical complications may also pay more.
    • Occupation. If you work a dangerous job like underground mining, or you work in the emergency service field (firefighters, police or paramedics) you’ll pay more for your policy, as there are higher working hazards.
    • Lifestyle. High risk lifestyles like participating in extreme sports or even travelling will mean you’ll have an increased premium.

Myths about life insurance to be aware of

There are many misconceptions when it comes to the cost of life insurance, so before you jump on the bandwagon, read this guide to see the truth about the costs.

    • Premiums are tax deductible (conditional). This varies between insurers, but normally only self-employed people can receive tax deductible premiums. Life insurance must also be through superannuation in order for a tax deduction to be received.
  • We all need life insurance. Not everyone needs life insurance. You should consider your individual and family circumstances before signing on to a policy.
  • Life cover is extremely expensive. Not the case. No one policy is the same, and your circumstances are assessed on individual merit. While you’re not able to see short-term benefits, life cover works out cheaper than car insurance.
  • The chance of making a claim is slim. Life insurance is there to protect your family against the unexpected. While it can be a daunting decision to take out the cover, it’s better to have the safeguards in place before it’s too late.

Chapter 5: What are the key features of life insurance?

There are a range of features included in your life cover policy that you need to be aware of. As definitions vary between insurers, it’s important to understand what is included in your policy. Here’s a list to help.

Life insurance that’s provided through superannuation: Do I loose out on key features?

Purchasing life insurance through your super fund is cost-effective, but it’s important to remember that while there’s a financial incentive, your cover is not as comprehensive as a private policy. Given the low cost, there’s often limited benefits and flexibility to change your policy to your changing circumstances. This could leave you and your family exposed if you have specific needs, e.g. higher debt obligations in the future. Here’s a list of the benefits and disadvantages of life cover through your super fund.

BenefitsDisadvantages
  • A cheaper cost. Life cover through a superannuation fund is cheaper, and can be cost-effective in the short term.
  • One standard policy for all members of the super fund. There can be less flexibility and coverage to suit your needs.
  • Automatic acceptance. Cover is automatically included in a super policy, so there’s no need for any medical assessment when you sign on.
  • A lengthy claims process. The claims process can be delayed as your benefit is paid into your retirement fund, and then distributed to beneficiaries.
  • Defined range of people that can be made a beneficiary. This is typically limited to children, legal representatives and spouses.
  • Convenience. As the policy is included with your super you won't need to go through the application process.
  • Strict rules regarding when benefits are tax free. Typically only financially dependent beneficiaries will receive tax-free payments.

Buyers guide: Tips to get the most out of your policy and it's features

Life insurance has a wide-range scope, so it can be difficult to understand exactly what you need to know before signing on to a policy. There are many requirements for buyers to be aware of. Here’s a list of what to look out for.

  • Review your policy. You should assess your policy whenever your circumstances change. This could be for instances when you take out loans, a mortgage, or have children get married.
  • Comprehensive coverage is crucial. Cheaper policies aren’t always the best, despite the financial savings in the short term. Life cover is a security for your family, so be selfless in how much you fork out for their future without you.
  • Buy when you’re healthy! Premiums increase as you age, become overweight or unhealthy, as the risk of suffering medical complications increases.

Click to read more tips

  • Premiums could cost more in the long run. You should research this as all insurance companies will structure the cost of premiums differently.
  • Life cover through your employer may not be enough. If you have a group life cover policy through your employer, check to see if benefits match your needs.
  • Tell the truth. Honesty is the key! You must tell your insurer all relevant information to avoid compensation being canned. Insurers have the power and legal right to suspend or terminate your cover if you lie about circumstances.  
  • Agreed policies for income protection. Your policy premium is fixed and won’t rise as you age. You must provide your employee earnings at the time you sign on to see 75% of your monthly income compensated after you make a claim due to accident or injury.
  • Income protection as an indemnity policy. Appears cheaper in the short term, but the policy will only cover 75% of your taxable income.
  • Stepped premiums versus level premiums. Stepped premiums appear more cost-effective in the short term as they are cheaper, but as you age they increase. Level premiums are more expensive early on, but longer term it’s the cheaper option.
  • Bundled policies could help you save and give wide-ranging cover. Combining policies could see you save up to 15% in annual fees. Bundled policies could also provide a more comprehensive form of cover.

Read through the next chapter to understand how the application process can help you maximise your cover.

Chapter 6: The application process

Life insurance provides a certainty that your loved ones will be covered if you die or suffer a terminal illness that sees you unable to work, or lose all capacity to care for yourself and your family. Insurers will assess your health, occupation and lifestyle before signing on. This helps them devise a contract and terms and conditions surrounding the financial safeguard. To meet the requirements, you’ll need to provide proof of your medical history, and any other relevant information before signing a declaration as a legally binding contract.

Is my information shared with third parties?

You may be wondering what happens to the information provided? In some cases, your information may be disclosed with another party e.g. if your insurer wants to dispute a claim that you make. However, most of the time there’s no need to worry. Your information is simply assessed by your insurer’s underwriting team at the time you apply.

Do I need to undergo a medical exam? What’s does it consist of?

Some insurance agencies will request you undertake a medical examination at the time you apply for your policy, but this varies between certain life cover funds. A medical examination can consist of the following tests:

  • Physical exam
  • Blood test
  • EKG
  • X-ray
  • Height and weight assessment

Should I just get a policy without examinations?

It’s important to understand that there are disadvantages to policies without a current medical examination undertaken.

  • Lower payout benefit. Your compensation is usually lower than when a medical assessment is undertaken.
  • Higher standard premium. The annual cost of your policy is increased.

How do I prepare for a life cover medical exam?

To adequately prepare for a life cover medical assessment, you can follow this seven-day structure to ensure you’ll get the results to find a suitable and cost-effective policy for your personal needs.

Days out from examTips to follow
7 days
  • Eat healthy food, and avoid fatty food.
3 days
  • Avoid drinking alcohol to reduce liver enzymes and falling ill.
  • Avoid caffeine such as coffee or carbonated drinks like Coca-Cola.
1 day
  • Don’t use pain medication or nasal decongestants.
  • Try not to do strenuous exercise.
Day of exam
  • Avoid tobacco products (for heavy smokers, it may take up to 20 days to leave your system).
  • Drink a cup of water an hour before the exam to purify your bloodstream ahead of a urine or blood test.
  • Take your doctor’s or respective GP’s contact details to the assessment.

What happens after I’m assessed?

Following your assessment, you’ll be informed of the outcome by your insurance agency. If successful, your insurer will send you a copy of a Product Disclosure Statement (PDS), which is an outline of your contract, and all inclusions and exclusions aligned to the policy.

What happens if my application is unsuccessful?

Given the concerning statistics surrounding underinsurance in Australia, insurers will send you requirements so you can meet their needs. Here’s a list of what you may be faced with.

  • Higher premium to account for the risk
  • An exclusion linked to a certain medical condition or risk factor
  • Additional options to be included at a higher rate
  • Reduction in the level of cover

What happens when my application is finalised?

Your records are filed until you make a claim. A copy of your policy should also be provided to yourself, and your dependents. This will help ensure your family will be able to work through the claims process without added headaches if the unfortunate time comes.

Chapter 7: How does claiming work?

When you pass away, your beneficiary (person who receives the payout) will look after the claims process. This entails working through all criteria with the funds claim department. Here’s a list showing what is needed to claim.

  • Follow the claims procedure laid out in your policy. If your dependents can’t locate it, they can request a fresh copy.
  • Confirm you’re the beneficiary to receive compensation. Identification will need to be provided.
  • Contact the insurance agency and work with a member of the claims department. If you’re covered through a single agent, they will be your point of call.
  • Fill out essential documentation for the insurance company. This can include documents like death certificates.
  • Wait for your assessment and payment. The timeframe varies between life insurance funds, so be sure to chase this up regularly after a claim is lodged.

Claiming other types of insurance

There are steps you can take to ensure your claim is successful. Here’s how you can achieve this!

  • Verify eligibility. Not all illnesses and injuries are covered, so be sure to check what’s on the list with your fund.
  • Proof of documentation. Doctor’s approval may be required.
  • Stick to claim deadlines. You must make sure your claim is lodged within the deadline determined by your insurer. This could be within 48 hours or immediately after a tragedy occurs.
  • Honesty is the key. Insurance agencies take on a rigorous process before granting compensation so be sure you’re up front and honest about the situation.
  • Cooperate with your insurer. This could entail medical assessment or any further documentation.

Misconceptions that people have about claiming

If you’re a business owner or head of a company, it’s vital you disclose all relevant information to avoid claims being knocked back due to dishonesty in your application. Here are some myths about the claims process.

  • The claims process is difficult. Not if you’re honest. Life cover insurers will pay out compensation if their client has provided all relevant information and is keeping to their part of the policy’s criteria.
  • If your claim is rejected, all insurers will follow suit. Not the case. Each insurer varies on their stipulations for a successful claim.
Always read the fine print
You must remember that conditions and compensation vary between insurance agencies, so be sure to have a thorough read of what’s included and excluded in your policy. Don’t be fooled into thinking that a low cost contract is best for you. Generally, the most comprehensive form of cover is more expensive, but safeguards your family if the worst was to happen.

Questions that everyone asks about life insurance

If we haven’t been able to answer your concern surrounding why you should look to life insurance for financial security, read through some of our frequently asked questions to see if there's an answer for you.

What is life insurance?

Life cover is paid to the beneficiary (this can be multiple people) of the deceased.

What does life insurance cover?

Everything! It ensures your family or loved ones can survive, and continue to live the lifestyle they had when you were present.

What doesn’t life insurance cover?

Suicide within the first 13 months of taking out a policy, and also non-declared medical conditions.

Why would I consider trauma insurance if I have life cover?

Trauma insurance or critical illness cover will provide compensation for specified illnesses and injuries, and times you lose your capacity to work and you’re recovering.

Who can apply for life insurance?

Generally, you must be between 18 and 59, but some insurers offer policies to older people. You must be an Australian or New Zealand citizen, or a foreigner holding a permanent residency visa in Australia.

How much cover do I need?

A good rule of thumb is to calculate 10-13 times your annual income, including your expenses like a mortgage, credit card bills, or any other personal loans.

How much does life cover cost?

There are a range of factors influencing how much you’ll pay for your policy. Here’s a list.

  • Age.
  • Gender.
  • Smoking status.
  • Medical history.
  • Weight and health.
  • Occupation and lifestyle.

What is income protection?

Pays up to 75% of your gross monthly income in the event that you suffer an injury or illness that sees you unable to work. Remember, waiting periods will apply before you’re covered. This is normally between 14 days and two years. Longer waiting periods will mean lower premiums.

If I have income protection, why consider TPD insurance?

Total and permanent disability insurance provides a single lump sum payment if you become disabled and are unable to work again. Income protection will only compensate you with 75% of your earnings until you’re fit to return to work.

Why would I seek income protection if I have WorkCover?

Income protection provides cover if you suffer an illness or injury and are unable to work anywhere in the world. WorkCover will only provide compensation if you’re injured or fall sick at work.

My superannuation provides life cover, so why do I need more?

Life insurance through superannuation funds are cheap, but they provide limited flexibility and inadequate cover.

What is loss of independent existence?

Loss of independent existence is when you can’t perform two of the following day-to-day activities without the help of a carer.

  • Bathing.
  • Dressing yourself.
  • Going to the toilet.
  • Transferring, or the ability to move or walk on your own accord.
  • Feeding yourself.
If you have any other questions, don’t hesitate to contact our team at finder.com.au for more assistance on life insurance.

 

Maurice Thach

Maurice is a publisher for finder.com.au. Daily research of Australia's insurance offerings allows him to breakthrough the noise of the many policies out there to uncover what can (and can't) be covered. Maurice hopes to make finding the right insurance easier for all.

Was this content helpful to you? No  Yes

Related Posts

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on finder.com.au

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • finder.com.au is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Disclaimer: At finder.com.au we provide factual information and general advice. Before you make any decision about a product read the Product Disclosure Statement and consider your own circumstances to decide whether it is appropriate for you.
Rates and fees mentioned in comments are correct at the time of publication.
By submitting this question you agree to the finder.com.au privacy policy, receive follow up emails related to finder.com.au and to create a user account where further replies to your questions will be sent.

Ask a question
feedback