Life Insurance Trends In 2017

Here’s what Australians need to know about life insurance in 2017, based on Canstar’s expert ratings and analysis.

What are people looking for in direct life?

What people need to know is that direct life insurance policies vary widely in terms of what cover is available. For example, a policy might only provide death cover; another policy might cover death plus critical illnesses and Total & Permanent Disability (TPD).

This is why it’s so important to check what cover you’re getting before you sign up, and to compare your options if you’re not happy with your current policy’s level of cover.

The Direct Life Insurance Report 2017 from Strategic Insights shows that Australians with direct life products most commonly choose policies that include cover for:

Trauma cover, TPD cover, and Accidental Death cover recorded single digit portions of the direct life market. Canstar’s website can help you compare your options for each of these types of direct life insurance cover:

The changing face of direct life insurance

In analysing the 2017 direct life insurance market, the Canstar Research team has seen two main trends continue for the good of consumers.

There are now some policies in the market that are highly-featured products. The coverage is getting closer and closer to what you’d get from an advised life policy.

In fact, some insurers have been restructuring their policies, removing their policies temporarily from the market and returning now with new and improved direct life policies that offer more coverage than before.

One new product that entered the market in late 2016, TAL Lifetime Protection, is a good example of this. While not an award winner this year, this product offers term life cover, plus optional Total & Permanent Disability cover and trauma cover. Canstar’s Research and Product Data teams say the trauma cover provided by this product is above the rest of the direct market.

Naturally, this is not a product recommendation to rush out and buy this policy without checking that it would meet your needs. Always read the product disclosure statement (PDS) and consider what you really need from a policy – and check our guide to features and coverage in direct life if you’re not sure what you should be looking for.

1 in 3 Aussie families uninsured

Real Insurance’s recent Family Protection report revealed that more than 1 in 3 Aussie families don’t have any life insurance (37.8%).

And the results of this are being felt, with the report surveys finding that 1 in 8 Australian parents (13.3%) have experienced a financial burden after having a loved one pass away with little or no life insurance cover.

The report survey also found that:

  • 1 in 3 parents admit their family would face financial burden if they were to pass away (34.8%)
  • 1 in 4 parents don’t feel confident that they have enough insurance (22.5%)
  • Nearly 2 in 3 parents say they wish they had life cover for their long-term peace of mind (64.9%)
  • 4 in 5 parents worry about their family’s safety on a daily basis (80.4%)

And as Canstar and insurer NobleOak pointed out this Mother’s Day, this isn’t just a message for parents who are working. Stay-at-home parents need life insurance just as much as the household breadwinner, because of the financial impact it would have if the stay-at-home parent were no longer able to perform their role in childcare and other home maintenance.

If you’re not sure how much life insurance you would need for term life, trauma cover, TPD cover, and more, read our Canstar guide to What amount of life insurance is enough? You can also use the Canstar Life Insurance Calculators to get a good estimate of your coverage needs.

Once you know what you need to look for, you can compare direct life insurance policies using the Canstar website. The comparison table below displays some of the policies currently available on Canstar’s database for a 30-39 year old non-smoking male working in a professional occupation. Please note the table is sorted by Star Rating (highest to lowest) followed by provider name (alphabetical) and features links direct to the provider’s website. Use Canstar’s life insurance comparison selector to view a wider range of policies.

Find out which insurers have won our annual 5-star ratings for Direct Life Insurance or compare the rest of the market to search for policies that provide outstanding value:

Read our detailed Direct Life Insurance Star Ratings Methodology to understand why a life insurance policy might receive a 5-star rating for a particular age demographic and/or occupation group:

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