You’re covered in ways you don’t think about.
You may not think about this, but there are two forms of insurance that you already have in place. These policies cover you under particular circumstances and give you a number of benefits. But they’re not policies you elected to take out yourself personally. You didn’t sit down with anyone and discuss your needs or your level of cover. And you didn’t choose between a range of insurance providers to make sure you got the best deal.
So what are these insurance policies? Well one is run by the Transport Accident Commission (TAC) and the other covers you for accidents at work and it’s called, not surprisingly, Work Cover.
Now you probably knew these organisations exist, but you probably don’t think much about how their insurance actually covers you and in what circumstances. But like any insurance policy, they won’t help you at all if you don’t understand what your rights and benefits are. (Once you know where you stand with these policies, you can assess whether or not there’s a shortfall in your cover that you may need to look at extending by taking out your own cover.)
Now the TAC covers you if you’re involved in a transport accident and you suffer injuries. It can pay medical expenses as well as being able to cover some loss of income while you’re recovering. They can pay you up to a maximum $1200 per week income for up to 18 months, after which time your benefits reduce to a maximum of $1020 per week for a further 18 months. Most people’s benefits cease after that period, after which you’ll have to turn to Centrelink for further assistance.
Work Cover covers you if your injury or illness was caused by work related incident. They can pay your medical expenses and loss of income for a period of time depending on the severity of the injury. For the first 13 weeks, they’ll pay 95% of your Pre-Injury Average Weekly Earnings (PIAWE). From 14-130 weeks they’ll pay 80% to a maximum of $2050 per week. If it’s over 130 weeks and the condition is not likely to change, then the payments can continue until retirement age.
In addition to the above wage loss benefits, there are also some lump sum benefits available in the event of a death occurring in a motor vehicle or at work. There are other possible benefits available with both of the covers as well. I suggest you take a look at their respective websites for yourself and find out a little more about what you’re actually covered for.
When you visit these websites, you’ll see there are some excellent benefits that are already in place for most people so long as the main pre-condition of the policy applies. If you pay your rego, then TAC can apply in the case of a car accident. If you don’t pay your rego… well that’s another story. If your employer pays his Work Cover premiums, then Work Cover can apply to you for work related accidents and injuries.
The key here is understanding where the difference lies between what these policies actually cover you for, and what you need in your particular situation. One of the biggest gaps in these policies realising that what they cover you for is conditional on you being in certain locations (ie in a car or at a place of employment). Also, if you’re a high income earner, it’s easy to see that your income levels may not be covered under the limits outlined above.
If you have questions on what you are and aren’t covered for, or if you already know your gaps and want to discuss options, I suggest you find a trusted advisor who can walk you through the myriad of insurance options available to cover you in the event of an accident or injury, whether it takes place in a car, at work or at home.
As always, I’m more than happy to give you advice, so please feel free to contact me at Investors Direct Financial Planning – firstname.lastname@example.org