Insurance through your super: how to choose the right insurance cover for you
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, things don’t always go to plan in life. The same way car insurance protects your vehicle against accidents or damage, insurance through your super fund ensures that you and your loved ones will have a safety net to fall back on if you’re unable to work in the future.
There are a number of insurance types you can access through your superannuation account. For many Australians, this insurance is their main source of protection against serious illness, injury, or death. Understanding the different types of insurance available through your super will help you determine whether you have the right level of cover for your lifestyle.
Understanding insurance types in super
There are three types of insurance cover available through Media Super. Each insurance type covers you for a different set of circumstances, and it’s important to understand the differences between them so you can make the right insurance choice for you and your loved ones.
Most Media Super members receive a default level of automatic insurance on their account, which includes both Income Protection, and Death and Total & Permanent Disablement cover. You can find out more about default cover in our Insurance Guides.
Income Protection (IP)
Income Protection provides you with a safety net if you’re unable to work for an extended period of time due to an accident, illness, or other injury. Income Protection typically pays out a percentage of your wages as a monthly, ongoing payment. Your super payments will also continue to be paid under Income Protection.
Most Media Super members will receive Income Protection cover by default—however, there are a number of options for tailoring your IP cover to ensure it fits your lifestyle requirements. When tailoring your Income Protection insurance, you will be asked to make a number of decisions about:
- Waiting periods – the time between the date of your injury and when your first Income Protection benefit will be paid. You can choose from 30, 60, or 90 days. Note that choosing a longer waiting period may reduce your insurance premiums. Keep in mind that you may have personal/sick leave available through your employer which you can rely on for a period of time before your Income Protection payments kick in.
- Benefit periods – the maximum amount of time you will receive Income Protection benefits for. You can choose 2 years or 5 years.
Note: Income Protection only covers you if you are unable to work due to serious illness or injury. It does not protect against redundancy or unemployment for non-medical reasons.
To learn more about the tax implications of insurance payouts, call our team and speak to someone today.
For more information about Income Protection, please see the Insurance Guides.
Death and Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD)
Death and Total & Permanent Disablement insurance provides cover for terminal illness, permanent incapacitation, or death.
Total & Permanent Disablement (TPD) insurance helps you meet medical and ongoing living costs in the event you become unable to work due to disability. TPD cover is usually a one-off lump sum payment into your super account—however, you can also request to receive it as a Media Super pension. To learn more about receiving an insurance benefit as a Media Super pension, our team is here to help.
Death Cover provides for your loved ones in the event you pass away. Death Cover is paid as a one-off lump sum payment, and includes the value Death Cover you have selected, plus the total balance of your super account. Eligible beneficiaries can also request to receive this payment as a Media Super pension to provide them with an ongoing income stream.
When selecting Death Cover, it’s important to also make note of who you want to receive your super and Death Cover benefit if you pass away. You can nominate beneficiaries for your super (including insurance benefits) in your secure online account.
Death Only cover insures you in the event you pass away or become terminally ill.
If you are diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may be eligible to receive your death cover benefit early, provided your diagnosis meets certain criteria. Find out more about terminal illness benefits in our Insurance Guides.
Death Only cover is paid out as a one-off lump sum payment, made up of the value of your Death Only cover combined with the total balance of your super account. This amount will be paid to nominated beneficiaries of your super account if it is a binding nomination; otherwise it is up to the Trustee’s discretion to pay the benefit to your dependents or the estate.
When selecting Death Only cover, it’s important to also make note of who you want to receive your super and Death Only cover if you pass away. You can nominate beneficiaries for your super and insurance in your member portal.
For more information about Death Only insurance, please see the Media Super Insurance Guides.
How much insurance cover do you need?
When it comes to insurance, one size doesn’t fit all. There are a number of factors that will influence the amount of insurance cover you may need, including:
- Your age
- Your relationship status
- Whether you have any dependents – including children or family members you look after
- Your financial responsibilities, such as mortgages, car repayments, or other loans.
So how do you figure out how much insurance you’ll need to cover your expenses? It’s often easier to think about insurance in terms of multiples of your income. According to Rice Warner’s 2017 report Underinsurance in Australia, the estimated insurance needs for 30-year old parents with children are:
- Income Protection insurance equal to 85% of family income
- Total and Permanent Disablement insurance equal to 4 times family income
- Death cover equal to 8 times family income
Of course, everyone’s insurance needs are different, so it can be helpful to seek professional advice about calculating the exact value of insurance you’ll need to protect yourself and your loved ones.
Our team are on hand to help with your insurance planning. Get in touch today to find the best coverage option for your needs.
Find out your current insurance status
Most new members joining Media Super will automatically receive both Income Protection and Death and TPD insurance. The amount of insurance you will receive by default will depend on your income level, and any selections you may have made in the insurance section of the new member application form.
There are a number of ways to find out what your current level of insurance cover is:
Please note that if you are under 25, or your super balance is less than $6,000, you won’t qualify for automatic default insurance cover right away. Once you turn 25 and your super balance exceeds $6,000, your automatic default cover will kick in, provided you meet certain employment criteria.
You can find out more about qualifying for automatic default insurance cover by reading our Insurance Guides.
You can cancel or change your insurance at any time
Depending on your personal circumstances, you may be looking for a higher or lower level of insurance cover, or want to change the type of insurance you have through Media Super. You can change or cancel your Media Super insurance cover at any time to suit your needs.
Changing your insurance cover
The easiest way to update your insurance cover is through our online member portal:
- Log in to your Media Super account online
- Click ‘Insurance’ on your dashboard or the right-hand menu
- Click the ‘Edit/Update’ button
- Make the desired changes to your insurance cover.
Before making changes to your insurance, it’s a good idea to seek advice about the best insurance approach for your lifestyle. To learn more about your insurance options, call our team and speak to someone today.
Our insurance resources are designed to help you understand your insurance options within Media Super and find out more about which type of cover is right for you. Find the forms you need to apply for, change, or cancel your insurance, and access our full Insurance Guide.