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What would happen if you couldn't work for 6 months or more?

Your greatest asset is not your house; it's you... or more specifically, your ability to earn an income.

What is Income Protection?

Income Protection insurance provides you with a monthly benefit if you are unable to work due to sickness or injury, including mental illnesses such as depression. 


Why do I need Income Protection insurance?

An ongoing income is important to protect your current lifestyle if you are unable to
work for any length of time.  Income Protection gives you a steady stream of income if you're unable to work due to sickness or injury.

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Does it pay to have income protection? 

Absolutely, without a doubt. Just look at our claim payout statistics:

Gender Age At Claim Occupation Policy Health Issue Monthly Claim Amount
M 51 Company Director Income Protection Depression $12,800
M 47 Account Executive Income Protection Depression  $8,966
F 46 Company Director Income Protection Fibromyalgia $8,506
M 44 Advertising Executive Income Protection Traumatic head injury  $8,392
F 42 Company Director Income Protection  Knee injury  $6,858
M 45 Marine Electrician Income Protection Degenerative knee condition $6,500
37 Company Director Income Protection Depression $6,000
M 40 Company Director Income Protection Depression $4,898
M 33 Quantity Surveyor Income Protection Depression $4,334
48 Company Director Key Person Income Cover Cervical cancer $4,000
F 52 Occupational Therapist Income Protection Ovarian cancer $3,590
M 40 Music Teacher Income Protection  Infection in spine  $3,517
M 56 Company Director Income Protection Crushed disc in neck $3,255
M 56 Sales Representative Income Protection Neuropathy (caused by chemo) $2,912
M 52 Sales Representative Income Protection Throat cancer $2,743
M 56 Builder Income Protection Back injury $2,733
M 51 Builder Income/Mortgage Protection  Right shoulder/left elbow injury $2,687
47 Physiotherapist Income Protection Pituitary Macroadenoma $2,428
M 57 Music Teacher Mortgage Protection  Prostate cancer $1,150


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Is Income Protection different from Redundancy Protection?

Yes. Income protection covers you if you can’t work due to accident or injury. Redundancy covers you if you get made redundant only. This is a separate benefit that is underwritten independently of income protection.

Download The Breadwinner's Guide to Income Protection eBook


Doesn't ACC cover me for that?

Many people mistakenly assume that ACC will take care of them if they can't go to work. ACC only provides cover for injuries that are the result of an accident.  Unlike ACC,
income protection covers non-accidental reasons for being off work, such as stress (the biggest cause of people needing time off).

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Isn't my income protected by my other policies–life, medical, disability and trauma?

These are specific policies that may share some features with income protection—particularly total and permanent disability or trauma insurance. If you rely on other insurance policies to cover you, you may find that something like a severe illness that knocks you out of the workforce for six months isn’t covered. Similarly, trauma insurance generally only covers physical trauma. Considering how frequent mental health claims are (they are our most common claim by far), you could be left high and dry if your high-stress job proved to be too much and you had to drop out of the workforce.

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As my fall was an accident, I was able to get some compensation from ACC. However, the benefit received from ACC only covers a fraction of your normal salary. Thankfully, my income protection kicked in. I’d hate to think where I’d be now if I’d never taken out that income protection policy.

Kevin McCann

What’s the best income protection for self-employed workers?

The fact that you cannot opt out of ACC is a common bugbear among the self-employed. So at first glance, paying for both ACC and private income protection insurance can seem like you’re paying for injury cover twice. As mentioned earlier, ACC covers accidental injury only. Income protection, on the other hand, covers illness—both physical (e.g. cancer) and mental (e.g. depression)—overuse injuries, and accidents.

The good news is that there are two ways to make your cover more cost effective: utilising ACC Cover Plus Extra and leveraging your mortgage

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Do I have the right type of Income Protection?

The difference between agreed value and indemnity cover is the amount of certainty at claim time.

Agreed Value policies require you to prove your income when you apply (usually an average income over 2 or 3 years - helpful with you are self-employed and your income fluctuates).

Indemnity policies require you to prove your income at claim time (which isn't always easy).

We recommend products that provide certainty at claim time - so you get what you are paying for.  Where possible, we recommend Agreed Value policies.

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How much does it cost?

This isn’t really the question you should be asking. It’s better to ask how much you can afford to lose if you were sick or injured. Despite that, we know the reality is that ongoing premium costs are a big factor in your insurance choices. To help you get an idea of your costs, we’ve put together a few of the factors that your insurance provider will consider. 

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Is Income Protection insurance tax deductible?

If you have an indemnity value Income protection insurance policy the premiums are tax deductible as part of your personal income tax return. However, if you choose to do this then it is important to be aware that in the event you make a claim on your income protection policy, then the proceeds of the claim will be treated as taxable income.

If you have an agreed value income protection insurance policy your premiums aren’t tax deductible, the good news with this type of policy is that this means that your benefits are tax paid at claim time. It also often means that your sum assured is lower (as the percentage of income you cover is calculated differently and this can mean that your premium can be lower than an indemnity income protection policy.

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When I claim, how long do I need to wait before I get my money?

You choose - most people go with either one, two or three months… the longer you can wait, the more affordable your premiums.  That's why it's important for you to think about how quickly you would need the money if you got sick and couldn't work.

Most insurance companies pay their income protection policies in advance.  For example, if you have a one-month stand down and are off work for a month, your policy will begin paying at the end of one month.  Others pay in arrears, so if you have a one-month stand down period and you're off work for a month, you won't receive your payment until you have been off work for two months.

Your stand down period has a big effect on how much you pay in premiums - the shorter the stand down, the higher the premium.  Consider how much income you need as a minimum and think about whether or not there is more than one income coming into your household.

It really depends on your situation… that's why you need our advice.

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How long does it pay for? Well that depends…

There are numerous options you can choose.  We recommend as long as you can… right through to retirement age.  That way when a claim happens you keep receiving your money until your doctor says you can go back to work, or if you can't go back to work you receive your money right through to age 65 or 70.

By choosing the longest payment term, you have the most choice at claim time.  If you were to claim in your 30's and could never work again, a five year payment term would not be sufficient to provide for your family long-term.

Protect your greatest asset. Get in touch.