Protecting your income is one of the most important financial decisions you can make. An income protection policy guards against you and your family being left high and dry in the event of accident or illness to the breadwinner.

These days it’s easier than ever to organize this cover because of the popularity of Direct Income Protection. Buying direct means no meetings with financial planners and no (or limited) medicals. You simply buy over the net or phone and, in most cases, you’ll know straight away if you’ve been accepted.

There are now 11 insurers in the market offering 13 direct life insurance policies – and they’re not all the same. It’s important to tailor the right policy for your situation. Subtle differences you may well overlook – such as the maximum sum the insurer will pay, waiting periods before a claim and the amount of time the policy will cover you for. Familiarising yourself with the fine print now may save a lot of heartache at claims time.

Our first-ever research into Direct Income Protection drills down into 80 profiles covering a variety of ages, occupations, gender and smoking status. As well as studying premiums, we looked at features of importance, such as policy terms, benefits, claims payment terms and ease of application.

It’s far more research than the average person could do, even if the desire was there. As such CANSTAR’s first annual comparison of Direct Income Protection is an important resource as we reveal the insurers that offer outstanding value with five-star policies for consumers.

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