Insure Yourself and Your Livelihood
For good advice about buying insurance start by reading the MoneySmart, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s consumer website.
There are some enticing reasons to take out private health insurance, including shorter waiting periods for elective surgery, your choice of doctor and more comfy surrounds in a private hospital if you do need treatment. Added to that, you won’t be charged the Federal Government’s Medicare Levy Surcharge if you’re a higher income earner and don’t have private health insurance (so earn $90,001 or more as a single or $180,001 or more as a family) and you’ll also escape the Federal Government penalties that kick in after the age of 30 if you don’t cover yourself. However, if you’re young and healthy or you don’t earn a fortune these might not be compelling enough reasons to sign up – it’s up to you to decide!
Medicare doesn’t cover ambulance costs. If you have private health insurance check with them to find out exactly what you’re covered for. If you don’t have private health insurance you should think about taking out ambulance membership (contact your State ambulance service directly to see if they offer this) or ‘ambulance only’ cover with a private health insurer (try Bupa or Medibank Private).
Income protection insurance
While most people don’t hesitate to take out insurance to cover their car or house, they often neglect to insure what’s perhaps the most important asset they have – their ability to earn an income. Income protection insurance is designed to provide you with an ongoing income if you become incapacitated and are unable to work. Premiums are tax deductible.
You should think about taking out income protection insurance if you’d be unable to support yourself or your dependents (your children or anyone else who relies on you to support them) if you could no longer work. It can be a complicated type of insurance to understand and organise but a financial adviser will be able to help (or they’ll put you in touch with an insurance broker if need be). Of course, don’t forget to read the terms of any policy that you’re considering very carefully!
Life insurance pays your dependents a lump sum if you die. Experts suggest that you only need to take out life insurance if you have dependents (children or anyone else who relies on you to support them).
It can be difficult to choose the best life insurance policy because there are so many on the market, all with varying features. If you need help, speak to a financial adviser – they’ll put you in touch with an insurance broker if necessary. Again, don’t forget to read the terms of any policy that you’re considering very carefully!
For health, life and income protection insurance, Moneygirl recommends
Travel insurance covers you for a range of events such as cancellation of your holiday, illness, loss of your possessions and personal liability (if you injure someone or something while you’re travelling). Anyone travelling overseas for any length of time should take out travel insurance without fail!
How to organise it? Your travel agent will be able to offer you a policy but before you sign up check what else is out there – get recommendations from your friends and compare the policies of a number of companies.
Find a financial adviser
Check out the Australian Securities and Investments Commission’s consumer website MoneySmart – it has loads of great information about obtaining personal financial advice and finding a qualified financial adviser. Experts often suggest you find an adviser who charges by the hour instead of receiving a commission.
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