Superannuation Life Insurance: is it enough?
Many superannuation funds in Australia provide members with a basic level of Life Insurance. This means that you may have some Life Insurance up your sleeve that you didn’t even know about! However, you should conduct your own due diligence when it comes to Life Insurance, and check with your super provider to see exactly what and how much you’re covered for.
The reality is, Life Insurance through super is usually not enough to cover your family’s financial needs in the case of your death or serious injury. It’s important to review your Life Insurance regularly to ensure you’re adequately covered as life changes for you and your loved ones. For example think about how much you have outstanding on your mortgage; would this amount cover it?
We spoke with Jo Tinyow – a Senior Product Manager for Life Insurance at Suncorp – about her experience with our customers and common Life Insurance misconceptions.
Why people start thinking about Life Insurance
Life Insurance can become important to different people at different stages in life. Jo notes that most people first start thinking about it when something big happens to them.
“Generally people think about Life Insurance when there’s a need – when a big life event happens, like when they start a family or they get married,” she says.
However, as Jo also explains, “it may be triggered by the unfortunate event of someone close to them – a friend or family member – passing away or suffering an illness or accident that prevents them from working. They may witness the hardships that person goes through, such as having to see doctors and pay for medical bills. This gets people thinking, how would I generate income to maintain my family’s lifestyle if I experienced something like this?”
Thinking about your Life Insurance, and how it could help protect your family financially, is a good idea even while you’re still young and healthy. Don’t expect that your Life Insurance in your super covers you automatically.
Superannuation Life Insurance vs. Separate Life Insurance
Jo says, “I’ve seen and heard about a lot of people who really thought that they had enough cover within their superannuation. They thought that their mortgage would be protected or that they had the sufficient amount of money insured (known as sum insured) available to them – but it’s not until something happens that they find out they may not have had enough cover within their super.”
While having Life Insurance through your super may provide some level of comfort, it’s important to keep in mind that this probably won’t be enough cover. You can contact your super provider to find out more details about whether they offer Income Protection or Death Cover for members, and how much this entitles your loved ones to if they have to claim.
It’s essential to consider how much your family would need to get by without you, and how much cover you need for them to be financially secure. You can use our Life Insurance Calculator to get an idea of how much is appropriate for you and your family.
The benefits of Life Insurance outside of super
Unlike Life Insurance within super, separate Life Insurance through a specialist such as Suncorp often allows payment to be accessed sooner by those who need it. For example, Suncorp Life Protect offers an advancement of $10,000 within 2 working days of receiving a death certificate and claim information, to help your loved ones cope with funeral costs. Life Insurance through super often results in the insurance being paid into the super fund, which can take quite some time to be released to those who need it.
Jo says, “the positive thing about having insurance outside of super is that it can complement the super insurance people have, and provide funding sooner.”
Separate Life Insurance can “top up” your cover in areas your super doesn’t cover. For example, if your super Life Insurance offers Death Cover or Income Protection only, you could take out separate Serious Illness Cover (aka Trauma Cover) to ensure you are covered in the case of serious illness.
If you’d like to learn more about Suncorp Life Insurance options, get a free online quote (without having to complete a medical assessment) or get in touch with a Suncorp Life Insurance Specialist on 13 11 55 (Monday–Friday 8am–8pm).
Information is intended to be of a general nature only and any advice has been prepared without taking into account any person's particular objectives, financial situation or needs. You should make your own enquiries, consider whether advice is appropriate for you and read the relevant Product Disclosure Statement or Product Information Document before making any decisions about whether to acquire a product