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Q&A Life Insurance

I have heard that the term 'Life insurance' doesn’t just mean paying out on death. What other types of cover are there?

Correct, you are right that people generally think of life insurance as just an insurance which pays out in the event of your death but there are actually a number of types of life insurance policies:

Life Insurance – pays a lump sum on your death but also very importantly most covers now include payment on the diagnosis of a terminal illness. This is becoming more prevalent nowadays with people getting more notice of a terminal illness and often some options to pursue new or trial treatments here and overseas that can be paid for from the insurance payout. So if the worst case scenario happens, by insuring the risk you can pay off the mortgage and other debts, provide for your children's education and child care costs, thereby securing your family's lifestyle. It may also be used or seek out treatments that may help you delay or overcome a terminal diagnosis. For example, a case where a client with terminal liver cancer was able to receive treatment that delayed the progression of the disease long enough to rise to the top of the transplant list. They beat the cancer and had enough of the insurance payout left to pay down a substantial part of their mortgage so they had time to recover.

Total and Permanent Disability Insurance – pays a lump sum if you become permanently disabled and are unable to ever work again. You can use this lump sum to cover the costs of rehabilitation, debt repayments and invest so that you have an annual income to help maintain your lifestyle. Your insurer will define TPD as either when you: you can't work again in “any” occupation which is the standard basic cover available through superannuation, or You can't work in your “usual or own” occupation which is a more comprehensive cover that is only available outside of superannuation or via an additional policy held in your name but linked to your super cover.

Income Protection– provides a replacement income of up to 75% of your current income if you are unable to work due to illness or injury. This insurance can cover you for short or long periods and offer various waiting periods from 30 days to 2 years to suit your personal circumstances. If you have a good cash reserve or considerable sick leave and unused annual leave, then you could opt for a 90-day waiting period to lower costs. Depending on the policy, payments may continue right up to the age of 70 if the disability is ongoing or permanent. For most people their earning capacity is their biggest and most important asset and influences the lifestyle they will have in retirement if affected by prolonged illness or injury, if you buy this cover outside of superannuation it is tax deductible at your marginal tax rate. You should also choose the type of cover carefully to suit your individual occupation, age and whether employed or self-employed.

Critical Illness Insurance (Trauma or Living Insurance)– pays out a lump sum on the diagnosis or occurrence of one of a list of specific illnesses such as cancer, heart attack or stroke and comprehensive policies often make a partial payment on some more minor illnesses. That insurance lump sum gives you choice and flexibility at a time when you need it most. It is often used to let the you pay the costs for: Specialist treatment not covered by your health insurance; to allow you to reduce your working hours; for your spouse to take time off to care for you; Mortgage repayments; the ongoing cost of any therapy and special transport costs and adjustments to housing, vehicle and lifestyle changes.

Business Expenses Insurance and Key Person Insurance– business expenses insurance covers the ongoing costs of your business if you are self-employed and cannot work due to illness or injury. Key person insurance covers the losses incurred when a person essential to the success of your business is injured, becomes sick or dies. It is always worth reviewing your insurance needs regularly as your circumstances and priorities change through your life-cycle. Income protection may be important while you have debt but Trauma protection may become more important as you approach retirement as your age group become more susceptible to cancer or stroke.


This information is current as at 03/02/17 This article has been prepared by Heart1Stop, a social media brand owned by Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers. The information contained in this article is an overview or summary only and it should not be considered a comprehensive statement on any matter nor relied upon as such. The views expressed here are not those of Heart1stop, Heart Mortgage Services, Heart Financial Advisers, shareholders, directors or staff and associated contractors and business associates. This article has been prepared without taking into account any person’s objectives, financial situation or needs. Because of this, you should, before acting on any information contained in this article, consider its appropriateness, having regard to your objectives, financial situation or needs. Any taxation information contained in this article is a general statement and should only be used as a guide. It does not constitute taxation advice and is based on current laws and their interpretation. Each individual’s situation may differ, and you should seek independent professional taxation advice on any taxation matters. While the information contained in this article may contain or be based on information obtained from sources believed to be reliable, it may not have been independently verified. Where information contained in this publication contains material provided directly by third parties it is given in good faith and has been derived from sources believed to be accurate at its issue date. It is not the intention of Heart1Stop or Heart Mortgage Services and Heart Financial Advisers that this publication be used as the primary source of readers’ information but as an adjunct to their own resources and training. To the maximum extent permitted by law: no guarantee, representation or warranty is given that any information or advice in this publication is complete, accurate, up to date or fit for any purpose; and no party of Heart1Stop or associated entities as mentioned is in any way liable to you (including for negligence) in respect of any reliance upon such information. This article may also contain links to websites operated by third parties ("Third Parties") who are not related to Heart1Stop. These links are provided for convenience only and do not represent any endorsement or approval by us.

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