Personal insurance guide for women
The situation may not have improved enough when it comes to the treatment of women in the work place, or with domestic household duties; however personal insurance for women in Australia has improved in leaps and bounds over the past decade.
Most insurers now cover a wider variety of medical conditions and diseases, and offer benefits specific to women.
Despite the improvements, many Australian households still mainly insure men who are typically viewed as the main income earner, leaving women woefully underinsured. While this is not always the case, it is unfortunately common. After all, if we as women don't learn how to protect ourselves financially, who will?
Types of personal insurance
First and foremost, you should get a good understanding of the main types of personal insurance available in Australia. These include:
- Life insurance - pays a lump sum to your beneficiaries or your estate upon your death, or if you are medically diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than 12 months to live.
- TPD Insurance - pays a lump sum if you are totally and permanently disabled.
- Trauma Insurance - pays a lump sum if you suffer a traumatic event as outlined in a PDS (Product Disclosure Statement).
- Income Protection Insurance - pays up to 75% of your income each month if you suffer a sickness or accident.
Top 5 tips for women
- Compare quotes - whether you compare quotes online, over the phone, or with a financial adviser it always pays to compare. Not only should you compare premiums, but also the terms of your coverage. Ensure you understand what you get, and most importantly what a policy does not offer.
- Direct is not always best - dealing directly with an insurer does not always mean you will get cheaper rates. In fact many financial advisers and online comparators offer premium discounts, with some even offering some policies not available directly from insurers.
- Get a tailored policy - having your policy underwritten (where an adviser or insurer asks you questions to assess your situation) usually offers cheaper premiums compared to buying an 'off-the-shelf' policy.
- Couples insurance discount - you can save thousands over the life of a policy if you cover both you and your spouse. This is because most insurers offer a couples' insurance discount of around 5-10% depending on which insurer you go with.
- Get free childrens insurance - select insurers offer premium free child cover when you buy an adult's life, trauma or income protection policy.
The consequences of not having cover
There are a number of consequences you would have to live with if you didn't get adequate cover. You may not be able to:
- afford specialist medical treatment
- get immediate medical care and be placed on a waiting list
- pay for long-term hospital care (not covered by health funds)
- pay your mortgage or household bills
However, if you had personal insurance you'd be financially protected if something bad were to happen. To take control of your financial life contact an xLife financial adviser to discuss your needs free of charge; after all it's better to be prepared than to suffer the consequences.
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