If you’re a member of a super fund, it’s more than likely you have insurance through your super. The cost of this insurance is deducted from your super account balance – so you’re effectively paying for it – unless your employer is covering the cost on your behalf. To help you, we’ve identified some key things to ask yourself when it comes to your insurance inside super.
1. Is insurance inside super something you need?
Deciding whether you need to have insurance, is something that only you can answer as it really comes down to your own personal circumstances. We’ve listed some scenarios below to help you with this.
Scenario 1 — dependants
If you have people depending on you financially, and you died unexpectedly, could your dependants continue to live the same lifestyle without you? Would you and your family be able to meet your mortgage repayments, and what if you’re self-employed? How about if you were ill, or injured, and as a result unable to work for a period of time, or permanently? In these cases, having Death only, or Death and Total & Permanent Disability insurance, could help to provide financial security.
Scenario 2 — no dependants
If you don’t have anyone financially depending on you, but you were unable to work for an extended period of time due to an illness, would you be able to cover your expenses without an income? If not, perhaps Income Protection insurance is something to consider.
2. Which types of insurance inside super are most appropriate for you?
There are three main types of insurance cover available through your super.
- Death insurance cover
This type of cover is designed to provide your family, or any nominated beneficiaries, with a sum of money if you were to die. It may also come with Terminal Illness cover which provides financial support if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness.
- Total and Permanent Disability (TPD) cover
If you were unable to work ever again in an occupation that you are suited to, because of a disability, this type of cover pays you a lump sum which could help to pay for things like your living expenses or repay any debt you may have, such as your mortgage.
- Income Protection (IP) cover
If you’re injured or suffer an illness, or have a disability and are unable to work for a temporary period of time, this cover would provide you with a short-term income stream to help you pay for things like living expenses or cover debts.
So, what is income protection?
Income protection insurance is designed to provide an income stream if you can’t work due to certain reasons, like injury or illness.
Generally, income protection insurance will replace part of your income (up to 75%) if you’re unable to work due to injury or sickness and can’t work. However, this is usually subject to certain monetary caps. To receive benefit payments, insurers will typically require you to be totally or partially disabled or have a specific injury or sickness that renders you unable to work.
Key features of income protection
- This type of insurance is designed to step in and replace your income should you become sick or injured. You can just set up your monthly payment and have peace of mind knowing you're covered if something happens.
- You should look at income protection insurance as a financial safety net – it pays you a percentage of your wage, for a set period if you're unable to work due to a sudden illness or injury. So, if you had a serious car accident, and couldn’t work for six months, you'd get regular payments from your insurer – meaning you could focus on getting better without falling behind on bills.
- For a monthly payment – usually around 1-2% of your salary – income protection insurance gives you peace of mind if you become too sick or injured to work.
3. How much insurance inside super do you need?
Insurance calculators such as that available on the Moneysmart website are a good starting point to work how much insurance you may need, depending on your personal circumstances. You may also want to consider speaking with a financial adviser as they’ll be able to assess your situation and advise which types of policies could work best for you.
Some things you may want to consider include:
- The amount you’d need to cover your current lifestyle if you were unable to work for an extended period or permanently.
- Whether you or your family could rely on other financial resources if you were unable to work or died.
- Any debts you have such as a mortgage.
Bottom line: when deciding if having insurance inside super is beneficial, it really comes down to being clear about your own circumstances and what’s best for you. A financial adviser may be able to help in making this decision.
For free general advice call 132 652 or find an adviser
Important information and disclaimer
This article has been prepared by NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited ABN 80 008 515 633 AFSL 236465 (NULIS) as trustee of the MLC Super Fund ABN 70 732 426 024. The information in this article is current as at 31 July 2020 and may be subject to change. This information may constitute general advice. The information in this article is factual in nature and does not take into account your objectives, financial situation or needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions based on this information. You should not rely on this article to determine your personal tax obligations. Please consult a registered tax agent for this purpose. An investment with NULIS is not a deposit with, or liability of, and is not guaranteed by NAB or other members of the NAB Group. Opinions constitute our judgement at the time of issue. In some cases information has been provided to us by third parties and while that information is believed to be accurate and reliable, its accuracy is not guaranteed in any way. Subject to terms implied by law and which cannot be excluded, neither NULIS nor any member of the NAB Group accept responsibility for any loss or liability incurred by you in respect of any error, omission or misrepresentation in the information in this communication. Past performance is not a reliable indicator of future performance. The value of an investment may rise or fall with the changes in the market.