Involuntary unemployment insurance

You can get unemployment insurance in Australia for redundancy.

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Involuntary unemployment could include being made forcibly redundant or having your contract end early due a businesses financial standing.

It does not include resigning from your job, being made redundant for poor performance, or selling your business.

Is unemployment covered by income protection?

You won't be covered by a standard income protection policy. Instead, certain plans offer redundancy cover as an option, which will provide you payments up to three months. These payments will have a limit in maximum amount they'll pay.

Most plans will require you to have the policy in place for a particular length of time before you become eligible for this unemployment cover.

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Which brands offer involuntary unemployment cover?

Redundancy insurance is not generally offered as a standalone policy. Usually, it comes as an optional extra with income protection policies.

Must read: Redundancy cover during COVID-19

Due to the current Coronavirus crisis, many insurers have temporarily paused offering redundancy cover options for new policies. If you have an existing policy with this type of cover, your insurance should still be honoured but you should always double check driectly with your provider.

Our table runs through the general offerings of involuntary unemployment for the brands that have offered it. Although some of these brands no longer offer this cover, we have left them displayed in case you have existing cover with them.

ProviderRedundancy cover conditions and featuresIs this option currently available to new policies?
AAMI income protection insurance

AAMI Income Protection

  • Up to $4,000 per month, for a maximum of 3 months
  • Optional add on
  • Up to 75% of income
  • Minimum of 20 hours a week eligibility criteria
No longer offered.
Suncorp Income Protection insurance

Suncorp Income Protection

  • Up to $4,000 per month, for a maximum of 3 months
  • Optional
  • Up to 75% of income
  • Minimum of 20 hours a week eligibility criteria
Not offered.

* Information correct as of October 2020. Please keep in mind insurers are rapidly changing their offerings and some information may have changed.

Involuntary unemployment cover from general insurance providers

The growth in the number of people looking for protection in the event that they are made unemployed has given rise to a number of general insurance companies offering an unemployment cover option. Redundancy cover usually provides an ongoing contribution of 75% of the policyholders regular income, usually up to three months.

What are some conditions around cover?

Applicants must be aware of the restrictions of this feature and the criteria for them to receive a payout. Most of these policies will require;

  • The policyholder to prove that their loss of job was in no way related to their performance but a result of the businesses financial strength.
  • In order to receive the benefit, the policyholder must not be receiving any other form of income whatsoever. This includes payment from a casual or part-time position.
  • The employee to have been employed continuously for a specified period (usually around 6 months).
  • Employee will only receive a benefit payment after a number of weeks, from being employed.
  • Payment not provided to people finishing seasonal or contract work.
  • The employee must provide evidence that they are genuinely looking for new employment.

What does this mean for the policyholder?

  • They are dependent on their savings for the period between redundancy and when the benefit will be paid.
  • Benefits will cease once the policyholder has obtained paid work. This may be part-time or full-time employment.
  • Can be extremely difficult to show that their loss of job was not related to their performance whatsoever. This is especially the case if they were let go at a time when only a portion of the company lost their position.
  • Workers employed on a contract basis are not able to take out cover.

Taking each of these points into consideration, the applicant must really consider their own position. While the benefit payment might provide some support for a short period of time, most workers will still be entitled to some form of redundancy benefit from their company. Policyholders must weigh up the restrictions of the policy and what they will be paying in premium payments to assess whether they really stand to gain much in the long run.

Income protection insurance and unemployment cover from life insurers

There are some policies available that will give certain support to customers that become involuntarily unemployed.

Unemployment cover benefit

Commonwealth Banks Income Protection Policy Income Care will provide a benefit to cover the minimum monthly loan repayments held with commonwealth bank for a maximum period of three months. This means that if the policyholder has a mortgage or credit card debt held with Commonwealth Bank, they will cover the minimum monthly repayments on that debt for a three-month period.

Unemployment premium waiver

This feature means that the policyholders premium payments will be waived if they made involuntarily unemployed. This waiver will only be available for a certain number of months and they will usually have to show evidence that they are actively seeking a new line of employment.

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