Disability Insurance for Self Employed Workers: Compare TPD Cover from Leading Insurers

Protect yourself and your loved ones from financial hardship with Total and Permanent Disability Insurance.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance (TPD Insurance) offers a lump sum payment when you suffer an injury or illness that renders you unable to return to work ever again. As you would be unable to earn an income, TPD benefit payments can be used to provide financial support for yourself and your family. You can use the benefit to replace your income, repay debts, manage ongoing expenses, make modifications to your home or in any way you wish.

Disability Insurance is an important consideration for all types of workers across all manner of industries, including the self employed. It offers financial security and peace of mind to self employed workers, giving them confidence in the knowledge that they will be able to provide for their family if tragedy strikes.

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Coverage is the amount of money that you will be paid in the event of a claim. An insurance consultant can help you determine an appropriate amount. Calculator
Provides a lump sum payment if you become totally and permanently disabled and are unable to return to work.
Provides a lump sum payment if you suffer a serious medical condition. Cover can be taken out for 40-60 medical conditions depending on the policy you choose.
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Compare TPD insurance quotes from these direct brands

Product details Maximum cover Maximum Entry Age Cooling-off
NobleOak TPD Insurance
NobleOak TPD Insurance
Get fully underwritten Total and Permanent Disability Insurance that can be customised to fit your occupational situation and financial circumstances. $5,000,000 64 30 Get quoteMore info
Real TPD Insurance
Real TPD Insurance
Optional TPD cover available with Real Family Life Insurance. Get up to $1 million in cover against total and permanent disablements. $1,000,000 64 30 Get quoteMore info

What cover does disability insurance provide for self employed workers?

With so many different products available on the Australian life insurance market, it’s worth taking the time to explain exactly what a TPD policy covers. As mentioned, this type of policy provides a lump sum payment when you suffer an injury or illness and are simply unable to return to work.

There are two types of TPD policies offered: ‘any occupation’ and ‘own occupation’;

  • Any Occupation: Under an any occupation policy, you will receive a benefit if you become disabled and are deemed unable to perform any type of job
  • Own Occupation: Under an own occupation policy, a benefit is paid if you are unable to return to your previous job or to a job for which you have the necessary experience, training or qualifications. Own Occupation TPD Insurance is no longer available through superannuation. This came into effect July 1, 2014.

Partial Disability Cover

It’s also possible to receive a partial disability benefit when you become partially disabled. In cases where sickness or injury result in you being unable to work in your own occupation at full capacity, meaning you are working at a reduced capacity and earning less than your pre-disability income, many policies will also offer a benefit. This benefit is typically a percentage of the maximum TPD benefit amount payable under your policy.

Why Should Self Employed Workers Consider Disability Insurance?

TPD Insurance offers a wide range of important benefits to all sorts of workers, but it can be particularly beneficial for self employed workers. This is because the self employed are not entitled to the same benefits as other workers, leaving them in a more exposed position if they are struck down by sickness or injury.

For example, regular contracted employees can enjoy the protection offered by benefits like workers’ compensation schemes and sick pay. These benefits make it much easier for them to manage financially when they are sick or injured and unable to work, but these benefits are obviously not available to self employed workers.

With this in mind, Disability Insurance becomes an even more important consideration for self employed workers, as it offers critical financial protection to safeguard against future dangers.

How is disability insurance for self employed workers taxed?

The tax treatment of your disability insurance premiums and benefit payments differs depending on whether or not you hold your policy inside or outside of super.

  • Cover outside superannuation: For policies held outside super, your premiums are not tax deductible. However, if you receive a benefit from your policy you will not have to pay any tax on that amount.
  • Cover inside superannuation: If your policy is held through your superannuation fund, however, your premiums are fully tax-deductible to your super fund if they are for an ‘any occupation’ TPD policy. As mentioned previously, Own Occupation TPD Insurance is no longer available in superannuation.

How much does self employed disability insurance cost?

If you’re shopping around for disability insurance cover, one of the most important things you’ll do is compare the cost of different policies. However, remember to keep in mind that there are a range of factors that can influence the cost of your premiums, including:

  • Your age. Disability insurance premiums are typically offered in stepped form, which means they rise as you age.
  • Your gender. Statistics show that women in Australia have a higher life expectancy than men. As a result, insurance premiums for women are usually cheaper than those for men.
  • Your occupation. If you work in a high-risk occupation where the chances of sustaining an injury are increased, such as if you work on a construction site, you will be seen to pose a higher risk to your insurer and can therefore expect to pay a higher premium. Those who work in less hazardous occupations like office jobs will receive lower premiums.
  • Your family medical history. If there’s a history of genetic health problems in your family tree, expect this to be reflected in higher premiums.
  • Your health status. Your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, allergies and other factors can all be taken into account to generate a full picture of your health status.
  • Your lifestyle. If you drink too much, are a smoker or if you participate in high-risk adventure activities like skydiving, your insurer will view you as posing an increased risk of making a claim and increase your premiums.

When you consider all the factors that can affect the cost of disability insurance, it makes good financial sense to shop around and compare quotes online. It’s quick and easy to do and could save you a whole lot of money.

Should I take out cover inside or outside of Super?

One key question many people must answer is ready or not they should take out their TPD Insurance inside or outside of their superannuation. There are benefits and drawbacks to each approach, so it’s a good idea to take a closer look at the pros and cons when comparing your options.

Inside Super


  • Premiums are paid from your super balance rather than from your after-tax income, making it a more cost-effective way of taking out cover. This also means you don’t have to dig into your own pocket and disrupt your day to day cash flow to take out cover.
  • Premiums are fully tax deductible to your super fund if you have an any occupation policy, and partially tax deductible if you have an own occupation policy.
  • You get automatic acceptance with no need to undergo any medical checks.
  • Super funds can use their bulk buying power to offer cheaper policies.


  • You will need to satisfy a condition of release in order to receive your benefit payment from your super fund.
  • A portion of your benefit payment will be taxed.
  • You are using your retirement savings to fund your premiums, which may not be a wise financial move for some people.
  • Own Occupation TPD Insurance is no longer offered in superannuation.

Outside Super

  • The benefit is paid directly to you rather than to your super fund.
  • Standalone policies typically offer a broader level of cover than those held through super and are more able to be tailored to meet your individual needs.
  • You will not have to pay tax on any benefits you receive.
  • Own Occupation TPD Insurance is still available outside superannuation.


  • You will need to satisfy a condition of release in order to receive your benefit payment from your super fund.
  • A portion of your benefit payment will be taxed.
  • You are using your retirement savings to fund your premiums, which may not be a wise financial move for some people.

As you can see, there are benefits and drawbacks to each approach, so make sure to compare your options before deciding which TPD insurance policy offers the right cover for you.

Interested in applying for TPD insurance?

If your looking to apply for cover or just want to find out more about TPD and other types of insurance available, you can make a secure enquiry via form above or by phoning an insurance consultant on 1300 743 254. A consultant will help you compare the different options available and provide you with a quote for cover.

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Maurice Thach

An insurance researcher and writer for finder.com.au who loves finding an answer to the question "Am I covered for ________?" Maurice has also completed a Tier 1 Life Insurance and a Tier 2 General Insurance Certification under ASIC's Regulatory Guide 146. This means he can confidently provide general advice for life insurance and non-life insurance products.

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