Frequently asked questions about Income Protection
Many of your general questions can be answered here.
If you have a specific question regarding your own policy, please contact us
Income Protection cover provides you with a regular monthly payment for a specified period in replacement of a proportion of the taxable income you'd usually earn. The cover provides an income if you become disabled or involuntarily unemployed (if the optional Redundancy Benefit is selected) and you are unable to work.
We can't give you advice on which cover is right for you; it's something you need to decide for yourself.
Many of our customers have said that during a claim they can't imagine how they'd have coped if they hadn't protected themselves against loss of income.
If you are capable of working part-time or if you are working in any capacity, you would not be considered disabled. For payments to start, you need to be continuously disabled for the entire waiting period of 30 days
If you are an employee or you are self-employed you are covered under the Redundancy Benefit, if you become involuntarily unemployed as a result of either:
- involuntary redundancy; or
- dismissal by no choice of your own; or
- a business you have a beneficial interest in is placed into insolvency administration; or
- your fixed term employment contract of 12 months or more ceasing prior to the agreed termination date by no choice of your own;
and you continue to be unemployed after the waiting period.
Underwriting is our way of assessing your occupation, health, lifestyle, age and earnings to determine if you can be offered cover. It determines how much premium you need to pay each month for the insurance and also applies any special conditions if necessary, like exclusions due to high risk activities or occupations. It's important to correctly and fully disclose all the information we ask for in the insurance application questions to ensure your policy is valid.
Your Disability Benefit can't be cancelled by the insurer except where there has been an attempt at fraud or where we are allowed by law if you have failed to fully disclose any relevant information when you applied for the insurance (non-disclosure). An insurer may also elect to cancel a policy for non-payment of premium. As the Redundancy Benefit is classified general insurance, the insurer can choose not to renew your cover at your policy anniversary.
If, when asked on the application for the insurance, you fail to tell us something important, either accidentally or deliberately, this is non-disclosure. It can mean your policy is invalid and therefore you may be unable to make a claim. It's important you give us all the information about your situation for each question we ask on the application.
When you apply for Income Protection, the maximum monthly benefit you can apply for will be calculated based on 75% of your taxable earnings, up to $10,000 for the Disability Benefit or $4,000 for the Redundancy Benefit. For example, if you earn $2,000 per month before tax from your occupation, then you can insure yourself for up to $1,500 monthly benefit for Disability and Redundancy.
Income Protection cover is available for up to 75% of your income to provide an affordable level of financial protection in the event of sickness or injury, and to provide an incentive for the recipient to return to work. This often allows you to pay for expenses and focus on returning to work. To ensure that this benefit is in proportion to your lost income, it is based on your income during the 12 months immediately prior to any claim. This insurance is not designed to place you in a better financial position than you were before you made a claim.
We can pay your insured monthly benefit or 75% of your usual earnings in the 12 months prior to the claim, whichever is less. You can never receive more than 75% of your usual income from all sources. This means that, if you receive other disability benefits, you can still receive this benefit, as long as the total amount of income you are receiving from all sources during a claim does not exceed 75% of your taxable earnings prior to the claim.
As only one benefit can be paid at a time under your Income Protection policy, the higher benefit will be paid. If the benefit amounts are the same, we will pay the benefit with the longest benefit period, that being the Disability Benefit.
The PDS and Policy Document details certain activities and conditions for which we don't pay claims. For example for the Disability Benefit: some high risk occupations and activities. For example; for the Redundancy Benefit: voluntary resignation or misconduct. By doing this, the monthly insurance premium is kept at a level that's more affordable for you.
Your policy has a 30 day waiting period which is the time that must pass before any payments will begin. You must be continuously disabled or involuntarily unemployed (whichever is applicable) for this entire period.
This is to prevent people taking advantage of a situation in which they may already know of their employment situation changing and claiming on the Redundancy Benefit immediately after purchasing a policy. The no claim period keeps down the cost of your insurance premium by preventing this occurrence.
For the Disability Benefit each time you claim, you can be paid for up to 1 or 2 years, depending on the benefit period you chose when you took out the policy, as long as you remain disabled for that time. You can claim any number of times over the life of the policy.
For the Redundancy Benefit you can claim the benefit for 3 months for any one claim while you are involuntarily unemployed. The maximum benefit claimable for any insured person is 12 months.
For the Disability Benefit, you can claim the 1 or 2 year maximum benefit period per claim and cannot claim again for the same disability unless you have made a full recovery between claims. If you do not make a full recovery and have not been paid for the full benefit period, we may treat the claim as recurring and continue your benefit without applying the waiting period again.
For the Redundancy Benefit, the maximum benefit period is 3 months for any one claim while you are involuntarily unemployed. The maximum benefit claimable over for any insured person is 12 months.
You can make changes such as increasing or decreasing the amount of cover or changing your occupation. If you apply to increase your benefit, you will need to provide further health and lifestyle information.
Please contact us on 1800 257 717 as soon as possible after the event giving rise to the claim.
You will need to complete a claim form and provide other documents including your passport/identification, financial documents and medical notes if applicable.
When you buy insurance cover we want to make sure you know what you're buying. You can learn more about your policy by reading the Product Disclosure Statement and Policy Document (PDS) relating to the product. You can also learn more about which policy best suits you by speaking to an independent financial adviser.
Yes, Australian and New Zealand Citizens and permanent residents, residing in Australia at the time of applying for the insurance policy can apply.
As long as you meet all the requirements of your policy you’ll be paid your benefit.