direct-life-insurance

Direct life insurance

Looking for life insurance straight from a provider? Get cover without the hassle of a financial planner.

Direct life insurance is different to traditional retail cover: it's purchased directly from an insurer, as opposed to buying through an adviser or broker. Buying direct usually only requires a limited level of medical underwriting or non at all. Direct term life insurance can be obtained:

  • Online
  • From an organisation’s branch office
  • Over the phone

Compare direct life insurance policies below

Name Product Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Minimum Sum Insured Guaranteed Future Insurability Expiry Age Short Description
$1,500,000
65
$3,000
No
80
Choice of cover options and flexible premiums to suit your budget. No lock-in contracts and fast application.

$1,500,000
65
$100,000
Yes
99
Tailored life insurance so you know what you're covered for upfront. Take out a policy and get a $100 bonus gift after holding cover for 2 months. T&Cs apply. Ends 31 March 2019.
$1,000,000
65
$100,000
No
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Receive one month's premiums off every year if you pay annually upfront. T’s and C’s apply.
$1,500,000
65
$100,000
Yes
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get life cover up to $1.5 million. Plus, Medibank health insurance members can save 10% off premiums.
$1,500,000
69
$50,000
Yes
99
Receive a 10% discount on the second person when two applications are submitted at the same time, and both policies are issued.
$1,000,000
64
$100,000
No
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Get a refund of 10% of the premiums you've paid (in the first 12 months) with The Real Reward™.
$1,500,000
64
$100,000
No
No expiry age as long as premiums are paid
Cover up to $1.5 million with Guardian Life Insurance.
$1,500,000
69
$50,000
Yes
99
Get your first month free when you buy HBF Ezicover Life Insurance.
$15,000,000
69
$0
Yes
99
Get a quote for up to $15 million in life insurance cover. Cover can be tailored to meet your personal needs.
$2,000,000
74
$100,000
Yes
99
Join Qantas Life Insurance and earn up to 100,000 Qantas points. T&CS apply including minimum premium and policy hold periods apply to earn points.
$2,000,000
59
$50,000
Yes
99
Get flexible life insurance up to the sum of $2,000,000.

Compare up to 4 providers

31 August 2018 update: A word on direct life insurance

Direct life insurance policies have come under scrutiny recently for poor claims outcomes and high cancellation rates. These situations however, are avoidable in most cases. When you buy a policy here's what you should know:

online-direct (1)

Should I buy direct (without a financial planner)?

Direct life insurance vs buying with an adviser

When deciding which method of getting cover suits you, it's important to weight the pros and cons of both options and then deciding what's right for you.

Pros and cons

Direct Adviser
  • You can save time getting covered
  • Automatic acceptance on most policies
  • Lot’s of competition which means you can often find discount offers e.g. one month free
  • Can compare prices on most comparison websites
  • You can tailor your policy to your personal needs
  • An adviser help you understand the policy you are signing up for
  • Better claims outcomes
  • You can’t compare prices side-by-side (you’ll need to get a quote on the insurers website)
  • If the policy offers automatic acceptance then pre-existing conditions are excluded
  • Poorer claims outcomes than buying through an adviser
  • Your policy might not be explained clearly to you
  • It takes longer to get cover
  • Some advisers also receive commissions from specific insurers

Making a claim: Direct vs Advised

Direct

When it comes to making a claim, you will need to do all the legwork yourself, liaising with doctors and chasing up your medical records. And even if you have no pre-existing conditions, the time involved can be weeks or even months, during which you will be without finances.

Advised

A financial adviser takes care of the legwork for you, dealing directly with the insurer and advocating on your behalf. So when considering buying your life insurance direct, be aware that the time saved when applying for cover can often be spent many times over at the other end of the process.

Which method of buying cover is right for me?

How to decide

Direct life insurance works as the name suggests. You'll compare policies directly either on a comparison site or on the insurers website. When you make a purchase, it will be directly from the brand without any commissions going to an adviser. Here's how buying direct compares to the options you have:

Direct vs using an adviser (example): How do the policy features compare?

Provider

How they compare? Direct policy Policy provided with advice
Medical questions No detailed medical examination, just simple questions Fully underwritten - you will need to go through a detailed medical and lifestyle questionnaire
Occupation Not asked for Full disclosure
Is advice provided? No Yes
Is a statement of advice provided? No Yes
Will an adviser advocate for me in the event of a claim No Yes
Can you claim with more than one policy from the same insurer? No, premiums will be refunded for an extra policy If disclosed, additional cover can be included
Exclusions Direct policy Policy provided with advice
Suicide or intentional self-inflicted injury or illness Excluded Excluded in the 13 months
Under the influence of drugs or alcohol Excluded (unless under the direction of a medical practitioner) Not excluded
Working underground or over 10 metres Excluded Maybe excluded (details are assessed when you apply)
If you mountaineer, rock climb, scuba dive or participate in dangerous activities. Excluded Maybe excluded (details are assessed when you apply)
Flying an airplane Excluded (unless as a passenger on a regularly scheduled flight). Not excluded

Note: The table above is purely for illustrative purposes and not indicative of a real policy. Source: Life insurance Industry Submission 64

Video: Should I consider an adviser?

'71% less likely' was calculated using figures from ASIC's Report 498: Life Insurance Claims: An Industry Review. The report states that the average declined claims in a non-advised policy is 12% in comparison to an advised policy at 7%. 12% (non-advised) is 1.71 times the amount of 7% (advised) hence a 71% less chance of an advised policy claim being declined.

Direct life insurance in detail

Are pre-existing conditions covered?

While direct life insurance is fast and easy to obtain, with few questions to answer and no need for medicals, this very lack of information could become a problem at claim time. That’s because direct insurers don’t ask many questions when you apply for cover, but many reserve the right to perform underwriting retroactively when you make a claim.

So if you have neglected to inform them of a pre-existing condition (quite possible, unless you have studied the fine print and are aware of the exclusions and conditions that must be declared), they are legally within their rights to deny your claim.

Consider a tailored policy from an adviser

A financial adviser knows what is and isn’t covered and would have asked you the important questions upfront. This allows you to tailor cover to your specific circumstances. Before you obtain a direct life insurance quote, make sure you do your homework.

Do any direct brands offer tailored cover?

There are some brands that offer a more tailored policy, with a more detailed questionnaire upfront.

Provider Details
Virgin Virgin offers two types of cover: Quick & Easy and it's Tailored cover. On it's tailored option you'll need to answer extensive health and lifestyle questions when you apply.
NobleOak Life Insurance from NobleOak is full underwritten. This means you go through an extensive health and lifestyle questionnaire then your premium and cover is tailored according to your answers.

How has direct life insurance grown in Australia?

Direct life insurance is growing in popularity in Australia and is only expected to continue, with a Plan for Life report predicting that direct insurance will account for up to 40% of new products bought in the next 10 years.

Why are more customers looking at life insurance directly?

Direct life insurance is relatively new to Australian consumers and although some companies do include options such as income protection and total and permanent disability insurance, many others don't. Despite this, direct life insurance is easier to obtain and simpler because no financial planner is involved, it has fewer medical restrictions, can be obtained online, or over the phone and the cover is immediate.

Could direct cover threaten traditional purchase channels?

Despite this growth, there is a strong belief that there will always be a place for advisers in the Australian insurance industry. While the convenience of direct cover may appeal to many, there is still a number of people who would prefer to purchase through an adviser. At the end of the day there is benefits in both avenues and it really comes down to the type of buyer looking to purchase the cover.

Increased competition across market

The increase in popularity of direct insurance products means an increase in competition in the Australian market, bringing a greater selection of products to consumers each offering the most competitive premium possible. Australians are fortunate to have such a diverse market of products to choose from.

Common questions people ask about direct life insurance

Review featured direct life insurance products

* The offers compared on this page are chosen from a range of products finder.com.au has access to track details from and is not representative of all the products available in the market. Products are displayed in no particular order or ranking. The use of terms 'Best' and 'Top' are not product ratings and are subject to our disclaimer. You should consider seeking financial advice and consider your personal financial circumstances when comparing products.

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2 Responses

  1. Default Gravatar
    DebbieNovember 18, 2016

    Price of life insurance for 21 year old student and 21 year old apprentice looking for lowest cost at this age thanking you

    • finder Customer Care
      RichardNovember 21, 2016Staff

      Hi Debbie,

      Thanks for getting in touch. If you would like to get a quote for life insurance, you can do so by entering your details into the quote calculator.

      All the best,
      Richard

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