income protection for people taking PrEP
COVID-19 & Life Insurances FAQs
Our top frequently asked questions by clients about life insurance policies and COVID-19 and vaccinations
Australia is now in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic.
With rolling lockdowns and much general uncertainty ahead, as we race towards the nation's next mass vaccination target, it's only natural people are looking for certainty and asking important questions about 'whether COVID-19 affects their life insurance policies in any way?'
Well we have some good news to share.
Here are some of the most frequently asked questions we’ve received about life insurances and COVID-19 and COVID-19 Vaccinations.
- Read the video transcript below.
He's a big fan of the party life and 'works hard so he can play hard'. If you ever got into a serious conversation with him, he's an open-minded no-labels kind of guy.
His work ute looks as good as he does and he's in high demand on Saturday night - and always swipes right - if you know what we mean.
Protecting yourself from sickness and injury – so you can keep on earning a living.
We help people living with well-managed HIV, diabetes or other complex health conditions get high quality Income Protection cover
Previously, people with complex health needs were excluded from high-quality Income Protection - now that's changed for our clients.
- Income Protection is an insurance cover for one of the most important assets of all – your ability to continue to keep on earning a living.
Explaining Income Protection
Income Protection insurance as the name suggests is designed to protect your ability to continue to earn an income and pay up to 70% (previously 75%) of your income if you're unable to work due to sickness or injury. It can provide cover worldwide 24/7 and can even protect 100% of your employer's super contributions too.
- The waiting period is the number of days before the income benefit payments start. It can be as short as 14 days and can be as long as 12 months (or even more), whatever you choose.
- The benefit period is the length of time you’ll receive payments while you’re unable to work due to sickness or injury. These can often be for set periods of 2 years or more, even up to age 65 (and now in some cases age 70), depending on what you choose.
- The payment method is the way you agree to pay the insurance premiums. These can be from your personal funds, perhaps from your super fund or even a combination of both, depending upon whatever you choose.
There are so many different options available with Income Protection.
Your financial advisor from unusual risks is the expert to best help you understand your options and cut through what can often feel an overwhelming process to find your unique solution.
Our income drives our lifestyle - not just paying rent, mortgages, car loans and credit cards, but living a full and interesting life Drew Browne
Practically speaking - always protect what you cannot afford to lose
Meet Amber and Jenni: corporate professionals who, like most Australians, rely upon their weekly wages to maintain their lifestyle.
Leanne had a back injury that over time deteriorated into a herniated disk in her lower back and she needed to claim upon her income protection insurance.
This is how Leanne's income protection was useful in three different ways;
- While needing to work part time with reduced hours due to the injury, her income protection insurance helped cover the part time loss of wages.
- A year later when the doctors decided a surgical solution was needed and Leanne was unable to work at all, her income protection helped cover the full-time loss of wages while surgery, recovery, and rehabilitation occurred.
- After successful surgery and rehabilitation, Leanne returned to work, initially part-time. Her income protection insurance again helped cover the part time loss of wages until she was able to fully return to work and continue her normal job. At that point, her income protection stopped and life returned to a new type of normal.
Having access to flexible income protection, Leanne was able to take time off work as she needed and have her income continue to meet her mortgage, car loans, manage credit cards and plan a way through with financial certainty.
In an unrelated incident the following year while cleaning a blocked gutter in the rain, while standing on a wheelie bin, Leanne slipped and broke her leg and was off work again - and her income protection commenced again as it was needed.
Why you may need income protection
The financial engine of our lifestyles is our continuing ability to earn our incomes.
Over the course of a lifetime, most people will earn a small fortune (and rely upon their super contributions for their ability to eventually retire).Quick Tip: Just multiply your current annual income by the remaining years until you reach age 65 (retirement age) and you’ll see what you really have at risk if you lose your ability to earn an income.
Protecting your ability to continue to earn an income makes clear financial sense.
It’s especially relevant for:
- Single people who might not have strong family or relationship support
- People in relationships depending upon dual incomes
- People with ongoing debts, like a mortgage, rent, credit cards and personal loans that couldn't be paid if they were unable to work due to sickness or injury.
- People who have regular family expenses like food, household bills, council rates or strata fees, school fees, vehicle costs (and perhaps child support payments or IVF treatment costs) and who don't have immediate access to substantial savings to use to replace their lost income if needed
- People who want an effective backup plan in place if one (or both of their incomes) were to stop due to sickness or injury
A special note for self-employed people
Self-employed and business people have different needs and restrictions on their incomes so if that's your situation, relax, the professionals behind Unusual Risks Insured can talk you through your special options too.
Real Life Statistics
- 20% of all mortgage defaults in Australia are ‘due to illness or accident in household'
(Mortgage default in Australia: nature, causes and social and economic Impacts, Australian Housing and Urban Research Institute, March 2010)
How it works together with other insurance covers
This is how Income Protection works alongsideTotal and Permanent Disability.
- Income Protection insurance is designed to protect up to 70% of your income after a waiting period of your choice, while you cannot work due to sickness or injury.
- TPD insurance is designed to protect against long-term disability and pay a lump sum after 6-month wait if you become permanently disabled, as defined in the policy and you can no longer work in your current occupation.
- Crisis Recovery insurance is designed to pay an immediate lump sum to help offset short-term unexpected medical expenses should you suffer a medical crisis specified in the policy, to help stabilise debt obligations and personal cash flow.
Together they can protect you against short term interruption in your ability to go on earning your income and long term permanent disability when you meet the conditions of both insurances you can receive both benefit payments
Questions people ask about...
Income Protection Insurances
Take a look at some quick questions people ask about Income Protection Insurance.
What is it?
Income Protection Insurance provides a regular payment in place of your income if you’re unable to work for extended periods due to injury or illness.
- Income Protection can protect up to 70% of your earned income if you're sick or injured and can't continue to work in your current job.
How it helps you?
Income Protection can help get you through a difficult period, without having to eat into your savings or rely on outside help – so a temporary setback to earning your income doesn’t put you behind for years.
What's the chance of needing it?
- There is a 1 in 4 chance of needing to claim for Income Protection insurance during your working life.
It can pay you for as long as you remain temporarily disabled and unable to work, as specified in your policy and depending on the policy, can also replace your super fund contribution, so your retirement savings can keep growing even while you’re unable to work.
Do I need Income Protection insurance?
Most probably, Yes.
You have a 1 in 4 chance of being off work for at least 3 months due to sickness or injury before you reach age 65 and most people do not have sufficient liquid assets in an emergency fund to replace their income (and continue to pay their regular bills) for more than 30 days.
When you start thinking about Income Protection insurance, you're also protecting your ability to continue to receive an income until you either recover or retire.
How much does it cost?
The cost of Income Protection insurance is based on a range of factors: your age, gender, smoking (and vaping) status, current health, lifestyle, and general occupation.
How do you pay for it?
Income Protection insurance premiums can be paid monthly, half-yearly or yearly by direct debit and may be tax-deductible.
You may even be able to have the premiums paid from an existing super fund or SMSF as an automatic partial rollover, in certain circumstances.
How much Income Protection cover do I need?
You can choose up to 75% of your earned income How much cover you need depends upon your ability to meet your own ongoing living (and perhaps Rehabilitation) costs, the degree to which you depend upon your income and who depends on you financially.
Can they cancel the policy on me if I get sick?
No. A Guaranteed Renewable Income Protection policy obligates the insurer to continue coverage as long as premiums are paid on the policy, regardless of changes in the policy owner's health or occupation.
Can I upgrade the policy as I need later?
You can always apply to upgrade an existing policy to a higher level of cover when you're verifiable income increases beyond 75% of your current in force policy.
Do I have to update them about changes in my health?
No. There is no requirement for you to update a life insurance company about any changes in your future health.
Once an Income Protection Insurance policy is in force, any future changes in your health (or even your occupation), will not affect your cover while the policy remains paid up and in force.
Where to Now?
Continue your journey…
And that's great news for everyone who's using PrEP medication to take better control over their health.
Caring for caring professionals.
Blood Borne Disease Insurance compensates you if you contract HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C due to a sharps injury while working in your regular occupation
Hospitals, surgeries, clinics and accident sites are often high-pressure, fast-paced environments where sharps injuries to medical professionals occur all too frequently.
- A needlestick or sharps injury (NSI) can also have a devastating impact on your long-term income earning capacity
White-collar professionals are often highly paid and highly leveraged, so they need a comprehensive insurance strategy to safeguard what they have worked hard to achieve.
Accidents do happen
Watch Donald's real-life story below of how a trauma nurse experienced an accidental needle stick injury.
Do you have your own Blood Borne Disease insurance in place?
Often the main reason medical professionals don't have the appropriate insurance in place is due to its complexity. It also takes time and expertise to understand how a bloodborne disease (BBD) can have a devastating effect on both your health and your ability to continue to earn an income.
- Remember that each professional association and governing body may have additional reporting and special requirements that have to be followed after suffering a sharps injury (or blood spatter event) that can have wide-ranging effects on your career.
We understand the needs of medical professionals and can help you protect yourself, your family and even your business partners from the financial consequences of work-related injury.
The Unusual Risks Insured solution for busy and remote professionals
unUsual Risks Insured have flexible face to face, phone to phone or online only solutions to meet these challenges and to provide absolute confidentiality when needed too.
- This also means we can work easily with remote clients in different time zones.
Australian nurses and healthcare workers suffer an estimated 18,000 needlestick injuries a year*
*Cathryn L. Murphy, RN, PhD, CICP, CIC Improved surveillance and mandated use of sharp with engineering sharp injury protection: A national call to action. Healthcare Infection 2008.
Blood borne disease insurance cover can provide lump-sum cover between $50,000 and $1 million for medical professionals (dentists, doctors, nurses and paramedics) and for people working in some other at-risk occupations (such as police and pathologists) if they contract HIV, hepatitis B or hepatitis C due to an accident while working in their usual occupation.
This type of cover can be put in place alongside a typical life insurance policy and covers Bone Dust and Blood Splatter events.Read our case study about Needle Stick Injuries Naomi, nursing, needlestick and sharps injuries.
Real Life Statistics
- In Australia, approximately 30 needlestick injuries per 100 beds occur per year.
- At least 18,000 healthcare professionals suffer from an NSI every year.
- And 80% of reported NSI's involve a contaminated needle. The Alliance for Sharps Safety and Needlestick Prevention in Healthcare
Managing the emotional risks
Occupationally contracting HIV or hepatitis B or hepatitis C can cause emotional significant distress and career consequences that, in turn, can create financial anxieties for you and for those who depend on you.
- Such stresses may have a real impact on your ability to keep working in order to provide for your family and/or run your business.
Confidentiality concerns may further complicate the issue while professional body memberships and requirements may trigger consequences not previously envisaged.
Managing the financial risks
For medical professionals, a work-related injury could mean a long illness and or particular restrictions on the types of duties you can continue to perform at work. Some specialists can even be prevented from working in their chosen field.
- All of these events can have devastating effects on your personal financial situation that could rapidly turn a comfortable financial position into a desperate one.
We have a powerful supportive option to this problem
Where to Now?
Continue your journey…
They met on a dating app and have been good mates ever since.
Simon is a teacher currently completing additional night study at Uni. Jordan works from home 4 days a week in IT support for a large logistics and distribution company.
Both guys have separate casual relationships and enjoy live music, online gaming together, and following music festivals around the country. They’re both fit and healthy, have packed social calendars and both use PrEP to help manage their own sexual health.
Are you using PrEP to better manage your good health?
If you're using PrEP to help manage your health and wondering if you can still get high-quality life insurance cover, the simple answer is now Yes!
- The good news is, Australians taking PrEP are now eligible for the full range of Life Insurance products stigma-free.
- The bad news is, not all insurance companies have the same attitude about why it's used, so you'll need expert help to find the ones that suit you best.
Lucky for you you've already found the Australian experts at unusualrisks.com.au who understand what's required to help people who use PrEP to manage their health, get their personal insurances sorted.
We understand PrEP helps to prevent HIV
An increasing number of Australians are using PrEP to better manage their good health but still have uncertainty about how this can affect an application for a life insurance product.
- We've been working with people Australia wide to manage their privacy around their decisions to use PrEP and specialise in understanding complex health management systems.
- This means you don't have to continually be the educator for an insurance underwriter or financial adviser about what they know nothing about.
You shouldn't be disadvantaged for being responsible.Drew Browne Founder UnusualRisks Insured
Here are the questions we'd be asking when you use our services to help get your insurances sorted.
Questions we'll ask when you're making an application for cover
When getting ready for an application for a life insurance product, you'll need to know the following;
- When did you first begin taking PrEP?
- How often do you test for STIs?
- Do you have any other medical conditions that might prevent you from taking PrEP long term?
- When was your last followup with your GP?
And if you'd like to fast-track the application process, if you have the results of your recent blood test on hand, that might enable us to speed up the assessment process for you too.
Why should people using PrEP only use the experts at Unusual Risks Insured to get their life insurances sorted?
We're glad you asked.
- Australian life insurance companies traditionally have not developed and marketed their products with the LGBTI community in mind. This means, whether by design or default, you'll see insurance companies tend not to give the issues of LGBTI people and their families the equal consideration and respect they deserve.
- When it comes to the broader understanding of ‘why responsible people use PrEP to better manage their sexual health’, such concepts don't fit the conservative (some would say blinkered) world of old school insurance underwriting.
- Too many times we have seen personal biases and discriminations - religious or otherwise - inappropriately affect the assessment of life insurance applications.
If you're tired of continually having to be the medical educator to other people, (we understand your frustration) and would love to help you out
- That's why we say it's critically important to only work with an insurance adviser from unusualrisks.com.au who understands our issues and more importantly, understands in advance how an insurance company we might recommend, will respond to those issues.
- You need a financial adviser who will be your powerful advocate in dealing with an insurance company, and not someone whose own bias may undermine your efforts (and perhaps even compromise) your future ability to obtain coverage.
- In short, when it comes to getting your personal insurances sorted, you need a financial adviser with whom you can be completely forthright and upfront - free of any stigma and discrimination.
And after you've found that person, it's also imperative that you are in fact forthright and upfront about your circumstances.
Lucky you have found unusualrisks.com.au
We’ll help you navigate the life insurance environment safely and keep your dignity intact.
Read more about Life Insurance for People using PrEP.