What exactly is income protection insurance and do I need it?

Have you ever wondered how you and your family would cope if you had an injury or illness and couldn't work for several months... or even years? 


For some people, income protection insurance might be the answer. 

So what is income protection insurance?

Income protection insurance (or temporary incapacity or salary continuance insurance) provides cover if you can’t work due to illness or injury. It generally pays up to 75% of your monthly income for your chosen benefit period to help you pay the bills and maintain your family’s quality of life.

Income protection insurance can:

  • cover daily living expenses, such as the mortgage, groceries, school fees 
  • pay your medical expenses and rehabilitation costs
  • provide access to support services to help you return to work or find a new job, depending on your insurer.

Generally, you can purchase income protection insurance via your super or through a financial adviser, for example. If you choose to purchase your income protection insurance through your super the premium comes out of your super, which is in pre-tax dollars. 

Alternatively, if you pay directly, you’ll have to pay with after-tax dollars, but you may be able to claim your insurance premiums on your tax return1.

For more information check out our article Am I better off buying insurance through my super?

How long do I have to wait to get paid?

Firstly, you’ll need to provide to your insurer all the necessary documents for your claim to be considered, such as your personal details, financial situation and medical information. 

Most insurers have a waiting period (usually 30 to 90 days2), before they will start paying your claim. You may be able to select the waiting period when you take out the policy. Additional waiting periods may apply when insurance is purchased through your super, so it’s best to check with your insurer. 

Is income protection insurance right for me?

Income protection insurance has helped many Australians to get through a difficult time without the added stress of worrying about how to pay the bills and look after their family3.

Everyone’s situation is different, so you need to think about what’s right for you.

If you are employed by an organisation, you may already have income protection insurance included in your super (sometimes called salary continuance or temporary incapacity cover), so check with your super fund. Make sure the amount you are covered for would provide enough to cover your everyday expenses, as well as any medical or rehabilitation bills. 

If you’re self-employed, you may not have income protection insurance, so you may decide to buy it separately. Check what it covers, how much it costs and how long you’ll be paid for.

Benefit periods and premiums can vary depending on your individual circumstances and the insurer. 

Next steps

So now might be a good time to review your income protection situation.

If you still need help in deciding if income protection is right for you, speak to your adviser, find an adviser or call us on 131 267.

We’re here to help.

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Any advice in article is general in nature and is provided by AMP Life Limited ABN 84 079 300 379 (AMP Life). The advice does not take into account your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. Therefore, before acting on this advice, you should consider the appropriateness of this advice having regard to those matters and consider the product disclosure statement before making a decision about the product. AMP Life is part of the AMP group and can be contacted on 131 267 or askamp@amp.com.au If you decide to purchase or vary a financial product, AMP Life and/or other companies within the AMP group will receive fees and other benefits, which will be a dollar amount or a percentage of either the premium you pay or the value of your investments. You can ask us for more details.