TPD vs Income Protection: Which One Should You Choose
Not being able to return to work because of an accident or sickness could have devastating consequences. While sick leave and workers compensation might provide some relief, TPD cover and income protection insurance will generally alleviate most of the financial burden.
Both TPD and income protection can offer financial support if you suffer an illness or injury and are unable to work,. However, the main difference is in the way your benefit gets paid and the circumstances of your disability. TPD provides a once-off lump sum benefit when totally and permanently disabled, never to work again, versus income protection which pays a monthly benefit when you're unable to work for a specific period.
Choosing the right type of insurance could help you and your family continue the lifestyle you’ve grown accustomed to.
Without TPD or income protection to support you when you’re unable to earn an income, you and your dependents are at risk of potentially losing your home, investments and retirement savings.
TPD vs Income protection insurance outside of superannuation
|How to purchase cover||Usually as part of an optional extra on your life insurance policy.||A stand-alone product separate from your life insurance coverage.|
|How claims are paid||Once-off lump sum payment.||Monthly benefit. Generally, for 2 or 5 years or up to your age 65 or 70.|
|What's covered||Complete and permanent disability.||Short term sickness or injury and permanent incapacity.|
|Benefits paid||From $100,000 up to $2 million depending on your insurer.||Generally, 75% of your regular income, up to $10,000 per month.|
|Waiting period||Usually, 3 to 6 months.||Can range from 14, 30, or 60 days, 3 or 6 months, 1 or 2 years.|
|Premium price||Generally cheaper than income protection.||Typically, more expensive than TPD because it covers more incidents.|
|Tax||Premiums are not tax deductible. Lump sum benefit is generally tax-free.||Premiums are tax deductible. The monthly benefit is usually taxed because it's seen as part of your regular income.|
- Paying the cost of specialist care and alternative treatments.
- To fund any adjustments, you need to make to your lifestyle.
- Settle any debts, including medical bills.
- You can enhance your policy by adding optional extras.
TPD cover options
- Own occupation: The lump sum payment is made when you are permanently and totally disabled and unable to work in your specific occupation, in which you were engaged before the injury or illness.
- Any Occupation: Provides cover when you are permanently incapable of working in any occupation suited to you by education, training or experience.
- Home duties: Covers the homemaker or stay-at-home parent when they are totally and permanently disabled and no longer able to perform their regular domestic tasks, for example, cleaning and preparing meals.
- Modified: Only pays a benefit if you are no longer capable of performing at least 2 of the 5 daily living activities. For example, bathing and eating.
Review your policy options
- Protect your ability to earn an income.
- Covers both short-term and long-term incapacity.
- Easier to claim because you do not need to prove permanent disability.
- Your income stream remains uninterrupted even when you cannot work.
Income protection insurance types
- Agreed value: Your monthly benefit is based on your income prior to application.
- Indemnity value: Proof of income will be requested and confirmed at claim time.
- Guaranteed Agreed value: Financial assessment takes place before the policy is accepted, and benefit payments may be guaranteed without needing financial proof.
Your monthly income and type of occupation will help you determine which income protection policy type is best suited to you.
Can you claim TPD and income protection at the same time?
Yes, you can generally claim and get paid for both TPD and income protection insurance when an illness or injury prevents you from working, and you've met the policy definitions of a claimable event, as stated in your product disclosure statement (PDS). However, this might differ from insurer to insurer depending on their underwriting guidelines.
Given the difference in how claims are paid for TPD vs income protection, you might want to consider taking out both policy types.
Take note; policy definitions are different for each insurance company, so shop around and use an independent broker to help you gather and compare quotes from Australia’s leading life insurance companies.
Combining income protection and TPD cover
It can take a long time for a medical expert to declare that you are unlikely ever to work again. TPD cover can thus take months or even years before it pays out because of the lengthy claims assessment process. This is where income protection can help fill the gap, by providing a monthly benefit to support you until you receive the TPD lump sum payment.
By combining TPD and income protection insurance, you are generally better protected and can potentially save on premiums when bought from the same insurance company. However, it's vital that you consider the right option for your particular circumstances and budget.
How to choose between income protection and TPD
If your current budget only allows for one persona insurance policy type, determine the following to help you decide:
- How much cover can you afford, i.e. the premium you can consistently pay.
- Assess your risk. Take a hard look at your lifestyle, health and family medical history.
- Whether a lump sum or monthly benefit would be better suited to your circumstances.
- How much money you have saved to help you while you wait for a benefit to be paid.
- The amount of time you’re likely to require financial support.
Can you have TPD and Income protection inside super?
You can set up both TPD and income protection inside your super fund. However, specific benefits and features will not be available, and some restrictions will apply.
Total and permanent disability cover is now only available for Any occupation when purchased through your super. Specific income protection benefits are not available in your superannuation, for example, the rehabilitation benefit, premium waiver benefit and the accommodation benefit.
Also, you’ll have to meet all the conditions of release before a benefit will be paid, including:
- The policy definition of a claimable event.
- The rules of your trust deed.
- The Superannuation Industry Supervision (SIS) legislation for a condition of release.
FAQs about insurance when you’re unable to work
Combine and compare life insurance policies
Review some of the best income protection insurance providers we compare. Plus, a free checklist to picking the right policy for your requirements and budget.
Discover which type of income protection policy best suits your unique requirements and budget by comparing agreed value vs indemnity value side-by-side.
Disability and insurance varies depending on the definition, which in turn can affect your claims payment
Insurance for women is more tailored as income protection companies now offer specific benefits for women such as pregnancy premium waivers, part time work cover
Income protection premiums for women are different to men based on historical, health & probablity to claim factors
Insurance for women is becoming more important, especially now as women are often key income earners in the family & need their income protected