Income Protection Insurance is accessible to people who suffer from sickness or injury which prohibits them from working. In light of the recent COVID-19 developments, questions surrounding ones eligibility to access Income Protection Insurance as compensation for closure of businesses and illness have been raised.
KEY TAKE OUTS:
- You may only access your Income Protection Insurance if you have been diagnosed with COVID-19 by a medical practitioner and are no longer able to work due to the illness.
- Most Income Protection Insurance policies do no have any exclusions on the policy relating to COVID-19.
- You are not eligible to claim Income Protection Insurance if your place of employment has closed down due to COVID-19. You will be required to utilise your leave entitlements to compensate this.
- If you currently do not have Income Protection Insurance and wish to enter into a policy, you still may be eligible to access your Income Protection Insurance if you contract COVID-19 and your inability to work extends beyond the required waiting periods for the new policy.
Research suggests that persons eligible for Income Protection Insurance are those who have been diagnosed with COVID-19 and are unable to work as a result of this illness. If you have contracted COVID-19 and are unable to work, you are required to seek advice from a medical practitioner and then contact your insurer regarding the lodgement of a possible Income Protection Insurance claim. The insurer will then assess your claim on a case by case basis in accordance with their guidelines, taking into account that a majority of insurers do not impose any exclusions on the Income Protection Insurance Policies regarding COVID-19.
If you have been stood down as a result of COVID-19 or your place of employment has ceased operations until further notice, you will not be eligible to lodge a claim for Income Protection Insurance, and you will be required to utilise your leave entitlements with your place of employment. However, you may be eligible to seek an allowance from Centrelink and in order to do so, you will need to make enquiries with Centrelink direct and they will assess your claim on a case by case basis.
If you are currently not protected by Income Protection Insurance, you may enter into a policy and the insurer is required to assess your application on a case by case basis in accordance with their guidelines. Should you contract COVID-19 after you have purchase Income Protection Insurance, you are still eligible to make a claim provided that it is within the guidelines specific to your policy and your inability to work exceeds the required waiting period as provided for in your individual policy.
ABOUT KARENA NICHOLLS:
Karena is a partner at Coutts Lawyers & Conveyancers and heads up the injury compensation (with extensive knowledge in personal injury) and employment law teams. She is passionate and dedicated to helping her clients understand their rights and obligations and advising them on the best course of action to achieve their desired outcomes. It is her practical and client-orientated approach which has attributed to her authentic reputation positioning her as a highly regarded compensation and employment lawyer.
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This blog is merely general and non specific information on the subject matter and is not and should not be considered or relied on as legal advice. Coutts is not responsible for any cost, expense, loss or liability whatsoever in relation to this blog, including all or any reliance on this blog or use or application of this blog by you.