With the likely continued spread of the Coronavirus one question we have been asked quite a lot is whether or not your income protection will cover you for COVID-19. Each individual policy and insurer is slightly different in their definitions but from my research this is what I’ve found. It is very important to check your specific policy as some industry funds have a pandemic exclusion, however some have said this would not be invoked for COVID-19. Most insurers and industry funds have been good at updating their website with information regarding COVID-19 so it’s important to jump on your particular insurers website and check the PDS and policy documents for further details as every policy can be different. For policies that are about to go in force or about to be applied for, there may be extra questions regarding recent travel and so on.
I have COVID-19, will my income protection pay?
If you come down with the COVID-19 virus then your income protection will pay providing you are unable to work due to the virus for longer than your waiting period and you contracted the virus after your policy has started. Most waiting periods will sit at around 14-90 days so it’s important to check that first.
From what I’ve looked at most cases of COVID-19 will be cured before you are able to claim however if you are unlucky and have a severe case or it has effected you severely and you are unable to work due to the illness past your waiting period time then you will be able to claim subject to meeting the definitions of your particular policy.
I have lost my job due to the Coronavirus, can i claim on my income protection?
The short answer unfortunately in almost all cases is no. Income protection policies don’t cover you for loss of job but rather for when you are unable to work due to illness or injury. There are some policies that may have inbuilt benefits such as a few months of mortgage repayments if your loan is with the same institution that your income protection is however this is quite rare but may be worth double checking.
It’s always important to ensure that you carefully read the product disclosure statement (PDS) and policy documents to understand what you are and aren’t covered for. For recent policies you will find them on the insurers website, but if you have an older policy type then you may need to contact your insurer directly to get the relevant copy emailed out to you.
As always if you have any questions be sure to email me at email@example.com
Zac is a qualified financial planner at Pekada and host of the Wealth Collective Podcast. Living in Melbourne, Zac has six years of experience in advice and specialises in wealth accumulation and protection strategies. He loves to keep his finger on the pulse for the best strategies for wealth accumulators looking to build and protect their wealth tax effectively. Zac has been featured as an expert in Money Magazine.