Australia Life Insurance Products and Coverages-
Life insurance in Australia is a highly specialized field with a number of different types of plans offered by different providers. The insurance industry in Australia is dominated by the major companies, who account for a large majority of the market share. However, there are other players in this competitive niche, and many of them offer extremely customized plans based on your unique circumstances. To find the best option for you, it is important to understand the key differences between these different types of plans.
The Australian insurance market can be split into approximately three segments: life insurance, general health insurance and disability insurance. These industries are quite different, with many larger insurers focusing solely on one category, but in recent years many of these insurers have broadened their range to include disability insurance, and other general financial services. This allows these insurers to cater for a variety of client needs. For example, some life insurance policies will pay out if you become permanently disabled as a result of an illness or injury, while other forms of general insurance may pay out if you are injured in a car accident or killed in a flood. General insurers also provide additional services such as paying out for funeral expenses and legal costs, as well as investing in property and generating an annual income through dividends.
There are a number of highly specialized policies available from Australian life insurance companies, which are typically more expensive than general insurance products. These specialized policies typically cover survivors of an insured’s death, which can include children, partner and family members. These policies may also pay out if the insured has suffered an injury at work or had been involved in an accident that was deemed to be unsafe for work. While they are normally more expensive, many people choose to remain covered for as long as they can, simply because they offer peace of mind and make good sense in terms of protecting your family in the event of a tragedy. As well as providing compensation for survivors, compulsory third party insurance products provide extra coverage in the event of the insured damaging a vehicle or other property, hurting another person or causing damage to the environment.
With many Australian life insurance companies, the term “life insurance” refers to a comprehensive range of policies. The term “insurance” is commonly used to describe any type of protection, including protection against loss of life, loss of savings, and investment products. Life insurance companies will often refer to themselves as life insurance companies or life insurance agents, but these names are somewhat misleading, as they are not regulated by the Australian Insurance Association (NAIA). In contrast, life insurance companies can be registered with the Accreditation Council for Life Insurance (ACLI) and approved by the Productivity Commission (PC). As well as being officially licensed by the state government in which they operate, life insurance companies are required to abide by the laws of the United States Consumer Protection Act and the Competition and Consumer Act among other regulating bodies.
There are several main types of Australian life insurance. General insurers are generally less costly than specialized insurers. General insurers typically sell their policies to individuals, as opposed to life insurance companies that specialize in the group insurance of families and couples. Examples of general insurers include AIG, Allied Global, Allianz Worldwide, Manulife, Prudential Financial and US Life. Some major general insurers in Australia include AMP, Ansett, Bell Pot, CMS, MetLife, Insurance Australia and UPVC.
Specialized insurers typically concentrate on one particular area of the market. Examples of specialized insurers include those providing commercial and private financial services such as mortgage and finance products, annuities and insurance policies. Examples of specialized financial services insurers include Property and Casualty Insurer Australia and Cifiali Australia.
Many life insurers provide both independent and captive insurance products. Independent life insurers are generally regarded as less expensive than captive life insurers. While generally less costly, some independent insurers do offer discount deals on general policies. In addition, some independent life insurers are directly linked with financial services and banking groups. Examples of prudential insurers include Bankwest, National Australia, ANB, Royal Bank, Eurex and US Union.
Life insurance products and coverages can be purchased directly from a life insurance company, from an agent or directly from the Internet. With the growth of the Internet, the options for purchasing life insurance have become vastly expanded. Direct mail campaigns and telephone campaigns to purchase coverage are now commonplace. Regardless, of where you purchase your coverage from, remember that life insurance products and coverages are long-term necessities.