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What is life insurance and why should I have it?

Life insurance provides a sum of money to your family or loved ones should something life-altering happen to you. It gives you the peace of mind knowing that if you were to become ill or disabled, or even pass away, that your family will be able to cope financially by providing them with a lump sum payment.

This could be used to pay for any funeral or legal expenses, your day-to-day costs of living, including mortgage or rent or even debt repayments.

What will life insurance cover?

It depends on what type of policy you take out.

Term Life Insurance pays a lump sum to your spouse or dependents when you pass away.

Trauma Cover pays a lump sum to you if you are diagnosed with a serious illness. This includes, strokes, heart attacks and cancer.

Income Protection covers you if you become ill or suffer an injury that means you are unable to work for the time it takes you to recover. It usually pays up to 75% of your regular earnings.

Total & Permanent Disability is paid out as a lump sum if you became so ill or injured that you were unable to return to work.

I have private health insurance. Do I need trauma cover as well?

Unfortunately, private health insurance only covers your time you are in hospital, plus any treatment you may need to have. If because of your illness or injury you need more long-term care or adjustments made to your home, private health insurance will not cover this.

Therefore, trauma cover will give you a payout that could go towards the support you may need; and particularly if you are unable to return to work, will provide some much-needed financial support.

I have a pre-existing medical condition; will I need to have a medical before I can take out a policy?

Not necessarily. There are many insurers who do not request a medical examination prior to the cover commencing. Usually, however, if you do have an existing injury or illness, the provider may ask you to pay more for your premium or add an “exclusion” to your cover. This means that if your death is related to your pre-existing condition, you will not be covered.

Can I claim my life insurance premium as a tax deduction?

It is always best to check with your financial advisor to see if you are eligible.

With so many policies to choose from, how do I know what is best for me?

Here at Cheapbills, we will ask you a range of questions to determine what your needs are. Once we have a better understanding of what you and your family need from a life insurance policy, we will search our providers for the best deal for you.

Do I need home insurance?

If you are a home owner you are responsible for the bricks and mortar, the physical house. This is whether you live in the property or choose to rent it out. If something was to happen to the house that resulted in repairing or rebuilding it, home insurance would cover it. A property is a considerably large purchase, so it is highly recommended that you have some form of cover.

What sort of things would I be covered for?

It depends on whether your policy covers you for defined events, accidental damage, or both. A defined event may include, fire damage, water damage, malicious damage, natural disasters, theft or explosion. The events would be specified on the policy. Accidental damage covers you for any accidental loss or damage to your property or belongings and usually covers a lot more than a defined events policy.

What about contents insurance?

Whilst home insurance covers you for the home itself, contents insurance covers you for what is inside the property – your belongings. If an item was to be lost, stolen or damaged, the insurance company would pay out for it, depending on your level of insurance.Some policies will offer you a replacement value for the item, meaning that you would receive what it would cost to replace the item, like-for-like. Other policies offer new for old, which would give you the cost of a brand-new item, regardless of how much the original item was worth.

What other things could I be covered for?

Portable items are possessions that you would take out of the house with you. These include, your camera, mobile phone, pram or computer. You can choose to have these covered under your contents insurance policy.

How much does home and contents insurances cost?

These two policies are very much dependent on how much your items are worth and what the cost of replacing them would be. Cheapbills makes it a hassle-free process to find you the best home and contents insurance deal to save you time and money.

Call us on 1300 786 045 or complete the online comparison for now.

Do I need private health insurance?

Maybe. It depends on your circumstances and what you want from your insurance. You should take time to read through our health insurance information and consider your own personal circumstances before deciding.

There are a few different types of cover available. You can choose from ambulance cover, hospital cover, extras cover or a combination of some or all of them. Of course, having peace of mind is always an added benefit when it comes to your health, knowing that should you become ill or need any remedial treatment, that you would be entitled to some additional extras.

Do I need to pay an excess when I make a claim?

An excess is a single payment that you make directly to the hospital if you are admitted, whether as a day patient or longer stay. The amount can vary, but generally, the more excess you pay, the less the cost of your policy is overall.

Some insurance companies may charge an excess per in-patient stay, whilst others have an annual cap. Some also charge an excess if you call an ambulance.

What about co-payments?

A co-payment is an additional amount that you pay as an in-patient, but it is calculated on a daily basis. For example, you may pay between $50 and $250 per day for staying in hospital. You should check with your health fund to make sure that your policy does not include both co-payments and an excess as this would make a hospital stay expensive.It may also be worthwhile seeing whether a co-payment or an excess option is more financially beneficial to you, especially if the annual amount is capped.

What is ambulance cover?

Most states and territories will charge you if you call an ambulance and require treatment. This is because they are not covered by Medicare. However, if you are a concession holder you may be entitled to a discount or a free service. See below for details – prices correct as at October 2018. This is not a definitive list and may be subject to amendment or exemption by the individual state or territory authority.

State How much does an ambulance cost for an emergency call out? Who is entitled to a discount or free service?

Treatment & Transport - $959 plus $13 per kilometre

Transport only - $665

School students; pension & concession card holders; those who are injured as a result of a motor vehicle accident; if the ambulance was called as a result of performing a Good Samaritan act; those who have been arrested or are in police custody; a child who has a care order; a victim of domestic, family violence or sexual assault; those who claim financial hardship or exceptional circumstances.
NSW $382 plus $3.44 per kilometre. However, only 51% is charged to the patient as the remaining 49% is state funded. If you hold a Health Card, Pensioner Concession, Commonwealth Seniors Health Card, Veterans Affairs Card; children who are wards of state; victims of sexual assault, domestic violence or child abuse; a patient being taken involuntarily to a declared mental health facility under the Mental Health Act 2007 or the Mental Health(Forensic Provisions) Act 1990; you will be exempt from paying. Other exemptions include, if you are a member of a private health fund; a school; part of a worker’s compensation, motor accident or third party insurance claim – however, you may have to pay the full service first of $748 plus $6.75 per kilometre; if you are covered by The Lifetime Care & Support Authority.
QLD FREE to Queensland residents only

Regional Treatment & Transport - $1,820

Metropolitan Treatment & Transport - $1,234

Treatment only - $532

Holders (and their dependent children) of, a current Victorian Pensioner Concession Card; a current Health Card; a Child Disability Health Care Card; a Foster Child Health Care Card. A child who is a ward of the state; a person who is subject to an order under the Mental Health Act 2014, Sentencing Act 1991 or Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997; asylum seekers who have sought support from one of the 16 nominated agencies.

Treatment & Transport - $976 plus $5.60 per kilometre

Treatment only - $218

If Ambulance Cover membership is held; if the patient was involved in a motor vehicle accident.
WA $967 flat fee Centrelink or Department of Veterans’ Affairs Age Pension card holders; residents over the age of 65; concession card holders.
TAS FREE to Tasmania residents only.
NT $790 pus $5.10 per kilometre Holder of an NT Centrelink Pensioner Concession Card; Holder of an Health Care Card.

Some funds will include this in your policy, whereas others may not. However, it is possible to purchase comprehensive ambulance cover, which can cost around between $50 and $100 a year.

If I call an ambulance but I don’t need to be taken to hospital, will I still be charged?

Maybe. Every time you call an ambulance you will be charged a “call-out” fee. If a paramedic simply treats you and you don’t need to go to hospital you will be charged this fee. If you need to go to hospital, you will be charged an additional amount. It is best to check with your health fund to see if just one or both portions are covered.

What if I travel inter-state? Will I still be covered if I need an ambulance?

Since the fees and charges vary per state, you will need to check with your health fund to see if you are covered for ambulance call outs if you are in a different state or territory from the one you live in. For example, if you live in New South Wales and need an ambulance whilst on holiday in Queensland, you may not be covered.

My health insurance says that it will only cover my ambulance fees if it is an emergency; what does an emergency mean?

One would expect that an “emergency” situation is classified as a life-threatening injury or condition. However, it depends on the individual health fund and what their definition is, so it’s best to check with the provider to see what you would be covered for.

What if I need to be transferred from one hospital to another, or receive treatment in an air ambulance? Will I be covered?

It will be written in your policy whether you are covered for private ambulances, transport and air ambulance. This may vary from policy to policy.

What is hospital cover?

If you have hospital cover on your policy, you will be treated as a private patient which means all or most of your costs will be paid for. This includes, your accommodation whilst in hospital, any treatment you have (including operations or procedures), any medication you receive. 75% of this is covered by the Medicare Benefits Schedule, whilst the remaining 25% is covered by your health fund.

As a private patient can I choose my doctor and hospital?

If you are a private patient in a private hospital, yes you can. However, you can opt to go to a public hospital and seek the services of a private doctor. If you do not have hospital cover, you will not be able to choose your doctor or which hospital you go to. Public hospitals also tend to have a longer waiting list for doctors and procedures than if you were to use a privately covered doctor.

What is extras cover?

This gives you additional “extras” that are not covered by Medicare. For example, they may include dental, podiatry, chiropractic, optical or physiotherapy. The number of extras you are entitled to will depend on the level of cover you receive and are usually set at annual or lifetime limits.

Will I have to serve any waiting periods?

A waiting period is the length of time you must wait until you are able to use a particular service on your health fund. For example, some policies state that you must wait 12 months before using any pregnancy benefits, whilst others say you must have your policy for 2 months before using any physiotherapy benefits.

Each health insurance provider will have their own set waiting periods and some may even transfer any waiting time served from your current policy to your new one.However, if you are upgrading your policy, you will have to wait until you have served the waiting period for the additional services.

Are there any additional expenses I need to consider when choosing private health insurance?

If you do not have private health insurance and you are earning over a certain amount, you may have to pay the Medicare Levy Surcharge. This is a percentage of your taxable income that goes towards providing the Medicare service.

If you are unsure or need more advice on this, you should contact the Australian Tax Office or consult your own financial advisor.

How much does health insurance cost?

With so many policies and options to choose from, Cheapbills makes it a hassle-free process to find you the best health insurance deal to save you time and money. Call us on 1300 786 045 or complete the online comparison for now.

Do I need to buy car insurance?

Yes. At a very minimum you must have Compulsory Third Party insurance. CTP is also referred to as the vehicles “green slip” and is usually required when you register the vehicle each year. It covers you if you were to have an at fault car accident that involves a third party, including passengers, pedestrians, cyclists or other drivers.

I want more cover than just CTP. What are my options?

The next level up from CTP is Third Party Property Cover. If you were to have an accident where you damaged another vehicle or property, this insurance would cover costs to the third party. It does not cover you for any damage caused to your own vehicle.

Third Party, Fire & Theft covers everything that Third Party Property Cover does, but also gives you peace of mind if your vehicle was stolen or involved in a fire. The top level of cover is known as Comprehensive Insurance. This basically covers every type of damage regardless of if the accident is your fault.

What else can I be covered for?

Each insurance company will also provide you with a choice of additional benefits such as new car replacement, hire car, windscreen cover or even protection of your No Claim Bonus. As added extras, they may affect the price of your insurance premium.

What if my car cannot be repaired?

In this case, your car will be “written off” and depending on your level of cover, the insurance company will pay you for either the Agreed Value or the Market Value.

An Agreed Value is the price that you set as the value of the car should it be written off, which is then fixed for the duration of the policy. If your car is written off and you have opted for Market Value this will pay you according to how much the car is worth depending on age, condition and make and model.

Will I have to pay an excess?

Yes. The excess is the first amount you must pay before the insurance company will pay for the repairs or replacement. So, if the damage is worth $2,000 and your excess is $500, you would pay the first $500 and the insurance company would pay you the remaining $1,500. This is known as basic excess and is a fixed amount.

Your insurance policy may also stipulate that you pay a voluntary excess in addition to the basic excess if you make a claim. This may make your overall premium lower. If you are under the age of 25 you are classified as an inexperienced driver and so your excess may be higher.

Is there anything else I should consider when buying car insurance?

It’s probably a good idea to think about what would happen if your car was involved in an accident or written off, and how this would affect you and your family on a practical level.

  • Can you afford a higher excess? This could reduce the price of your insurance policy. This would be fine for a newer car as the cost of the car would be significantly higher than the excess you would pay. However, for an older vehicle, the excess may be of similar value to the car and so a higher excess would not be reasonable.
  • Do you have a significant No Claims Bonus entitlement? It may be worth paying extra on your premium to protect it as losing it in the event of a claim may increase your premium in the following years.
  • Imagine that you were involved in an accident that meant your car was off the road. Would you need a hire car? Would you need a taxi to and from the smash repairers?
  • Think about how much and who uses your car. Will this affect your premium? Will where you keep the car make a difference if you have a choice between the road and a driveway?

How much does car insurance cost?

With so many policies and options to choose from, Cheapbills makes it a hassle-free process to find you the best car insurance deal to save you time and money. Call us on 1300 786 045 or complete the online comparison for now.

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It can be confusing when comparing insurance deals, but Cheapbills makes it really simple for you. Whether you’re looking to find a better provider or simply renew your policy, we can find you a better deal to save you money.

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