Will I be paid if I am made unemployed?
Very few income protection policies will pay you a benefit if you are made redundant. This is because income protection insurance is primarily intended to cover you against sickness or accident affecting your ability to earn an income.
However there are two insurers compared by Insurance Watch who offer a limited unemployment benefit:
- OnePath OneCare Income Secure policies – after 30 days of involuntary unemployment your ANZ minimum loan repayments of up to $5000 per month may be paid for up to 3 months
- CommInsure Income Care policies – after 60 days of involuntary unemployment your CBA minimum loan repayments up to your monthly benefit amount may be paid for up to 3 months
If you have one of these policies but do not have a loan with the specified bank you will not be eligible to receive a payment. Other conditions and eligibility criteria apply.
Find out more by going to Compare Quotes.
How will being unemployed affect my policy?
Your premium may be waived
Some policies will waive the premium on your income protection policy for a period of time while you are unemployed. If your policy has this feature you may need to provide evidence of your unemployment to have your premium waived.
You may be able to suspend your policy
Some policies offer the option to suspend your policy if you are unemployed or suffering financial hardship. Usually this means that you will not be able to claim during the period that the policy is suspended. But it does make reinstating your policy once you are employed again easier.
Your cover may change from Own occupation to Any Occupation
If you have an “Own occupation” income protection policy then your inability to work will be measured against your regular occupation prior to suffering the illness or injury. However if you have been unemployed for a prolonged period your regular occupation may be difficult to determine. Therefore most income protection policies will change from “Own occupation” to “Any occupation” after 12 months of unemployment, which means when you make a claim it will be assessed against any occupation you are suited to by training, experience or education.
You may cease to be covered after a period of unemployment
In a small number of cases an insurer may cease to provide any income protection cover once you have been unemployed for more than 12 months. You should check your policy’s features to see if this is the case.
No cover while unemployed under superannuation policies
If you have an income protection policy from a superannuation fund, including one owned by a self-managed super fund, you will not be able to claim an income protection benefit while you are unemployed. This is because superannuation legislation requires that you be “gainfully employed” immediately prior to becoming sick or injured.