Income protection insurance xplained

Income protection provides you with a regular income if you fall sick or are injured and cannot work for an extended period of time. Most policies offer a monthly payment of up to 80% of your insured income, with flexible benefits and waiting periods. Some policies provide extra benefits, such as a claims escalation option, day 1 accident benefits and a business expenses benefit, however, costs vary significantly based upon your choice of waiting period, benefit period, amount of income insured and occupation.

Income protection waiting period

The waiting period is how long you are unable to work before the policy begins paying you the monthly benefit. This time is usually anywhere between 14, 30, 60, 90, 180, 360 and 720 days. For example, a 30 day waiting period would mean that you would begin receiving payments after 31 days. When thinking about what waiting period to set, remember:

  • Income protection should be there to protect you for the long term, not for two weeks that you might be off work. Changing a waiting period from 14 days to 30 days can sometimes halve the premiums
  • Remember that if you cannot work, you can still use any sick leave, annual leave and long service leave you have before income protection would need to kick in
  • The longer the waiting period chosen, the lower the premiums
  • Many companies can offer an accident benefit, which will waive the waiting periods in the event of an accident. This will attract an additional premium
  • The waiting period should not be confused with the time when the insurance starts, as is in the case of health insurance

Is income protection different between insurers?

Income protection can differ markedly across different insurance companies. The main differences are related to:

  • Definitions of disability, partial disability and recurring disability
  • Definitions of income
  • Range of additional benefits (e.g. nursing care, hospital benefits, accident benefits)

Make sure you read the insurer’s product disclosure document carefully to see what conditions are included and excluded.

WealthMaker, through it's relationship with Lifebroker insurance is able to provide you with a range of Income Protection options. And, by working with 12 of the top insurance companies in Australia you're guaranteed a competitive quote.

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