Insurance and you

Insurance and you

Insurance is about managing risks so when it comes to insurance, the old adage, 'better safe than sorry' rings true.

Underinsurance is a problem for Australians.

Our research shows that Australians are overwhelmingly optimistic about their financial future. This optimism is a key driver behind Australia being the most underinsured of any developed country.

Many Australians simply don’t have enough insurance, and some have none at all. It’s a worrying thought when you consider the following statistics:

  • 6 out of 10 Australians with dependent children don’t have sufficient life insurance cover to care for their families for more than a year if they were to die^.
  • 96% of their families lack enough life insurance to protect them for 10 years or more^.

Can I get by without life insurance?

Many people think they’ll receive financial assistance through Workers Compensation, their health fund, or the Government in the event of injury or illness.

While some assistance is available, it is important to understand that there may be limits which can have a significant impact on your lifestyle. Here are some things to think about:

  • Workers compensation offers important financial protection against work related injuries. But it doesn’t cover injuries that happen away from work, or provide protection against serious illnesses like cancer and heart attack.
  • While there are a range of social security payments to assist people with illness, injury or disability, the amount you are eligible for may not cover your medical and living expenses.
  • Private health insurance can help cover a range of medical expenses, but it doesn’t help you with your everyday living expenses – like household items or mortgage repayments. Health claims are also often capped, which may leave you with a gap in your medical expenses to cover.

More Information

If you are an employee, chances are you have some life insurance cover through your super fund. But the level of cover provided through your super fund is often a conservative estimate based on your salary. It doesn't take into account your level of debt, or the number of dependants you have – factors which are crucial to determining your insurance needs. So it may not be enough.

You should be able to find out your current level of cover by checking your super statements, calling your super fund, or asking your employer.

 OnePath's Insurance Fundamentals can help you make sense of insurance, and work out how much you might need.

^ ‘Fast facts – a nation overexposed’ – Investment and Financial Services Association, 2005
* ‘Getting home insurance right ‘ – Report 54, Australian Securities and Investments Commission, 2005
In legal terms ‘destroyed’ implies that your home is a total loss as a result of an insured event, like storm or fire