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Terminal illness insurance

Terminal illness insurance is typically included as standard with a life insurance policy.

What you need to know

  • Terminal illness insurance pays out a lump sum if you are diagnosed with an illness which cannot be cured, such as advanced cancer.
  • You typically need to take out life insurance if you want cover for terminal illnesses.
  • To receive the payout, 2 medical practitioners must certify you have less than 12 (or 24) months to live.

What is terminal illness insurance?

Terminal illness insurance is a type of life insurance policy that pays out if you're diagnosed with a severe illness you aren't expected to recover from within a certain time period (often 12 months). Examples of such diseases can include advanced cancer or heart disease. Generally, you'll be eligible for terminal illness insurance unless you have a linked pre-existing condition that may shorten your life.

The payout from terminal illness cover is designed to help with any end of life care you may require, as well as any preparations you may want to make before you pass away.

Compare life insurance with terminal illness benefits

All of the life insurance policies below come with

Name Product Optional TPD Cover Optional Trauma Cover Maximum Cover
Finder AwardBonus
$3 million
(maximum cover)
No set limit
Our verdict: One of Australia's leading life insurers. Automatically includes child critical illness cover. Plus, it comes with a level premium option (e.g. costs remain similar as you get older).

⭐ Current offer: Get up to 15% off your TAL Life, Trauma or TPD insurance policy for life - if you have a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 19 and 28 at the time of your application. Offer T&Cs on insurer website apply.
$1.5 million
(maximum cover)
$2.5 million
Our verdict: Medibank offers a higher payout limit ($2.5 million) than 15 other providers. Get a 10% discount if you're already a Medibank Health Insurance member.
Finder Award
$5 million
(maximum cover)
$25 million
Our verdict: Finder Life Insurance Award winner for the last 5 years in a row. Good value for money, simple application process and a high claims acceptance rate.
$1 million
(maximum cover)
$1.5 million
Our verdict: ahm offers a simple application process. You can be approved online or over the phone. There are no medical or blood tests needed.
$5 million
(maximum cover)
$25 million
Our verdict: RAC’s maximum death cover limit of $25 million is one of the highest limits you’ll find, including $5 million in TPD insurance. You can get an online quote, but you’ll need to call RAC to get trauma cover. Benefit from added peace of mind with fully underwritten insurance. RAC is also WA-based but services all of Australia.
$0.25 million
(maximum cover)
$1.5 million
Our verdict: There’s flexibility with AAMI as you can add another adult to your cover, with a competitive limit of $1.5 million. Easy application process with no medical exams.

⭐ Current offer: Take out a new AAMI Life Insurance policy and get $100 eGift card after your first 4 months of cover. T&Cs apply. Ends June 30, 2024.
$1.5 million
Our verdict: Competitive maximum cover limit of $1.5 million. Suncorp lets you change your cover amount by up to $100,000 after a big life event, such as having a baby.

⭐ Current offer: Take out a new Suncorp Life Insurance policy and get $100 eGift card after your first 4 months of cover. T&Cs apply. Ends June 30, 2024.
$1 million
(maximum cover)
$1 million
Our verdict: The application is simple; it can be done with 1 phone call and there are no medical exams. But households with larger debts may need more than a $1 million payout.

⭐ Current offer: Get back 10% of the premiums you’ve paid after 1 year.

Why compare life insurance with Finder?

  • You pay the same price as buying directly from the life insurer.

  • We're not owned by an insurer (unlike other comparison sites).

  • We've done 100+ hours of policy research to help you understand what you're comparing.

When will life insurers pay out terminal illness benefits?

BrandMaximum time left to live (confirmed by a medical practitioner)
Asteron24 months
ClearView24 months
CommBank24 months
MLC24 months
OnePath24 months
TAL12 months
Zurich Futurewise24 months
Zurich Wealth Protection24 months
NobleOak24 months
Zurich Ezicover12 months
InsuranceLine12 months
Real12 months

Data taken from brand product disclosure statements on August 2022. Benefits, conditions and amounts are subject to change at anytime.

What’s considered a terminal illness?

A terminal illness is a condition which cannot be cured and is likely to lead to someone's death.

To be eligible for a terminal illness payout:

  • You must be medically certified, by 2 registered medical practitioners, jointly or separately, as having a terminal illness that is likely to result in your death within 12 or 24 months.
  • 1 of the registered medical practitioners must be a specialist practicing in an area related to your illness or injury.

What can I use a terminal illness benefit for?

There are no restrictions on how you can use a terminal illness benefit. While a large portion of the proceeds will most likely go towards providing for your family after you’re gone, you might also want to use some of the benefit for the following:

  • To cover the cost of specialist medical treatment
  • To pay for accommodation close to specialist medical facilities
  • To pay for the cost of transport to and from medical facilities
  • To cover the cost of palliative care
  • To replace the income of a family member who takes time off work to become your full-time carer
  • To take a holiday with your family or tick some other items off your bucket list

Why you can trust Finder's life insurance experts


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