What is Redundancy Insurance?

Redundancy insurance is a form of insurance that provides financial benefits if you unexpectedly lose your job because of redundancy or retrenchment. This form of insurance is designed to help you cope financially while you look for a new full-time job. Because of its specialised nature, redundancy insurance is also less common than other types of life insurance. Not every insurer will offer this insurance, and it is generally not a feature of retail income protection policies.

How Does it Differ from Income Protection?


Although they appear similar, redundancy insurance and income protection insurance are two completely different insurance products.

Their main difference lies in their purpose. Income protection provides financial assistance if you’re unable to work because of an illness, injury, or disability. Redundancy insurance, on the other hand, provides financial assistance if you lose your job unexpectedly because of redundancy or retrenchment. Income protection, therefore, is designed to help you financially while you wait to get back to work, while redundancy insurance helps you financially while you’re looking for a new job.

This fundamental difference is what separates the two. But because they both concern your employment, some insurers offer these insurances as a package, depending on your needs and financial goals.

What Does it Cover?


Typically, redundancy insurance covers your income in the even you are made redundant. It is generally very limited in the length of time it will pay you with many policies ceasing payment after 3 months. In today’s job market, 3 months is often not long enough – often leading to the illusion that you will have a sustained income for the duration of your job search.

As well as this limitation, some policies will have a 6 month period at the start where no claims are payable. This protects the insurer as it indicates that the policy holder is in a secure job.

What Does it Require?


Given the specialised nature of redundancy insurance, it’s naturally stricter and more limited than other types of insurance.

To make a successful claim and receive benefits from redundancy insurance, you need to satisfy the requirements set by your insurer. Some of the most common requirements include:

  • Involuntary unemployment – You must meet your insurer’s definition of “involuntary unemployment”. That is, you can’t have voluntarily left your job. Definitions may also involve details like your length of employment, reasons for redundancy, and other job-specific factors. It’s important to note that each insurer will have their own definitions for involuntary unemployment, so your eligibility may vary between providers.
  • Waiting Period – Redundancy insurance requires completing a waiting period before you can make a claim for benefits. Many insurers require a 30-day waiting period, although some providers may require longer periods.
  • No-claim Period – Many redundancy insurance plans specify that you can only make a claim starting from a certain period after signing up. This period typically lasts somewhere between 3-6 months (depending on the insurer), which means that you may not be able to claim benefits if you lose your job soon after signing up.
  • Proof of Redundancy – To satisfy the definition of “involuntary unemployment”, you’ll need to prove that your job loss was indeed caused by redundancy and not the result of your own work performance.
  • Employment Requirements – Many insurers have strict guidelines regarding the nature of your employment, with many policies requiring at least full-time employment.
  • Limited Financial Sources – There may also be limits on your benefits if you have other financial resources to draw from. Some insurers, for example, won’t provide benefits if you’re receiving compensation from part-time or casual work while you’re unemployed.

Remember that these requirements will differ for each insurer, so it’s best that you check their guidelines and requirements that are defined in their Product Disclosure Statements (PDS).

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What Should I Consider?


If you’re thinking of getting redundancy insurance, then you need to consider the following factors beforehand:

  • Waiting and No-claim periods – Are you prepared to cover expenses while you’re still on the waiting or no-claim periods? Claiming benefits from redundancy insurance isn’t automatic, and it may take some time before you receive benefits.
  • Nature of your job – Did you work full-time or part-time? Or are you self-employed or a contractor? The nature of your job can affect your eligibility and limit your options because many insurers typically require full-time employment (although some insurers may provide more flexible policies).
  • Field of occupation – Not all industries and job categories are covered by redundancy insurance, so you need to make sure your job classification and industry are covered.
  • Circumstances of redundancy – Your unemployment must be involuntary and unexpected as defined by your insurer’s policies. Voluntary unemployment or redundancy after being given appropriate time and warning by your employer may not be accepted.
  • Payment limits – Are you planning to get a part-time job or do casual work while you’re away from your full-time job? Some insurers will not provide benefits if you’re not completely unemployed.
  • Savings – Do you have any savings that you could use to pay bills and cover expenses while you’re looking for a new job? Your amount of savings could help determine if you really need redundancy insurance to help you.
  • Payment Limits – Most redundancy insurance plans are designed to provide temporary financial assistance only. This means you’ll only receive benefits for a certain period, which is defined by the maximum cover period of your policy.

Is Redundancy Insurance Right for Me?


It depends. Although redundancy insurance can be useful for some people, it’s not for everyone.

When evaluating the value of redundancy insurance for your case, it’s important to consider all relevant factors. This includes your current financial situation, the nature of your job and release, and your eligibility for making a claim.

You need to assess its pros and cons, weighing the price of its premiums against your chances of being made redundant. You also need to evaluate your ability to cope financially if you lose your job unexpectedly. Some may find redundancy insurance worthwhile, while others decide that it’s simply not worth the cost.

Remember that there are also other types of life insurance that might be more suitable for your needs or situation. For some people, options like income protection, trauma insurance, or even TPD insurance provide more value and align better with what they need. Others also realise that simply saving money to prepare for a job loss or similar incident is more practical.

Need More Help?


If you need more information to answer “What is redundancy insurance?” and determine what it can do for you, feel free to contact us. We can help you do a life insurance comparison and compare life insurance quotes for other types of insurance.

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