Traditionally income protection policies have only been available to those working full time (usually more than 20 hours a week) in recognised occupations. This has meant that usually no cover has been available for the partner who has chosen to stay home to look after young children.
However this has now changed with BT introducing a new Home Duties Income Protection policy which offers up to $5000 a month for up to 2 years for homemakers who find themselves unable to perform normal household duties. The impact on a family in this situation can be quite severe and costly. A carer may needed for children, a housekeeper required for cooking and cleaning, transportation needed for school and other activities, and these costs could be in addition to medical and nursing costs. Alternatively the working partner could be called upon to reduce working hours or change jobs to accommodate some or all of these needs and this could result in a drop in income for the family.
Home Duties Income Protection meets a need which has previously gone unmet or been imperfectly covered. In the past advisers may have advocated trauma or Homemaker TPD cover for the non working spouse but these benefits would only be paid if the homemaker suffered one of the specific conditions covered by a trauma policy or resulted in their total and permanent disablement. The criteria for a claim under the BT Home Duties Income Protection policy only requires that an illness or injury prevents the performance of normal household duties and then payments will begin after the waiting period. A Crisis Benefit option can also be added which will pay six months of benefits if a trauma event is suffered, even if household duties are still able to be performed.
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