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How to Compare Income Protection in Ireland

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It’s highly likely that when you were a smallie, your ma or your da told you that to be successful in life, you need to do well in school, get a good job, and work hard. It’s not bad life advice, though it’s probably a little different now given that every eight-year-old wants to be a YouTuber.

Instead of working hard, all you gotta do to be a millionaire is make videos of you playing video games while screaming at your computer. Keep it up, son, and someday you might be PewDiePie.

What your parents probably didn’t tell you is that life isn’t linear and that sometimes shit happens. You can work hard and do everything right and then you can get sick or be in an accident, and it can wipe you clean out of the workforce.

The wheels will come clean off, and you’ll be stuck struggling to make ends meet on the government’s paltry State Benefits (it’s currently €203 a week) or blowing an absolute hole in your savings.

Unless you have Income Protection.

Presumably, you’re considering it, and that’s what’s brought you here to my corner of the internet. 


The Benefits of Income Protection

A quick recap if you’ve stumbled here by mistake or if this is your starting off point: 

Income Protection is a type of insurance that pays you a replacement salary if you can’t do your job, long-term, because of any injury or illness.

The average Income Protection claim, for context, is about seven years. 

Income Protection cover doesn’t kick in immediately; instead, you choose a waiting period (called a deferral period) of either 4, 8, 13, 26, or 52 weeks. Once you’ve been out of work for that period of time, the insurer will start paying you a replacement income.

As far as I’m concerned, everyone should have Income Protection. For one, you don’t actually have to die to reap the benefit, which is a novelty for life insurance. And it literally covers everything from long-term back pain to chronic depression.

Now we’ve covered the basics, let’s look at how you should compare Income Protection policies.  

How to compare Income Protection insurance in Ireland

At, we’re an online Life Insurance broker, and we deal with all the major insurers. For Income Protection, your options are:

  • Royal London Income Protection.
  • Irish Life Income Protection.
  • New Ireland Income Protection.
  • Aviva Income Protection.

For the TL;DR, I recommend Aviva’s Income Protection.

For the not-TL; D.R., keep reading.

Cost of Income Protection in Ireland

Meet Sally 👋

Sally is a 40-year-old accountant. For the sake of argument, she makes the average salary in Ireland of €45,611. This is a precise number and as it’s from the CSO so we can assume it’s legit.

Sally wants Income Protection with a 13-week deferral period.

Keep ‘er lit, Sally.

If Sally were to use my magic quote machine, her quote would look like this:

On the left, you’ll see a list of the insurers. The middle column is the price before tax relief. And the right column shows the actual cost after tax relief.

The amount of tax relief you can claim depends on how much income tax you pay. If you pay 20% income tax, you get 20% tax relief. If you’re a higher earner and pay 40% income tax, well then you can get 40% tax relief which is WHOPPER! And one of the main reasons that I prefer income protection to serious illness cover

If you’re wondering why you’re seeing double, it’s because some insurers offer two types of Income Protection: Reviewable and Guaranteed.

Reviewable means the price won’t necessarily stay the same over time, i.e. the insurer can review your policy/situation and change the price every 5 years.

Guaranteed or Fixed is a sticky price.

For what it’s worth, I’d usually recommend Guaranteed. It may cost a few quid more at face value, but at least you know it’ll stay at that price. This is especially true since COVID19 joined the party – the insurers will be looking for any excuse to raise premiums.

P.S. if you want more info on how your premium/price you pay is calculated, hop over here to my article on Income Protection calculators for some more soothing bedtime reading.

Income Protection Insurance policies comparison

You might be tempted to go for the cheapest quote. You wouldn’t be the first person to take the easy option; you won’t be the last. However, it’s also worth looking at the benefits each insurer offers.

So, because Income Protection is similar for each insurer, they also throw in handy little extras to sway you to them. You could call it marketing or bribery.

In quick table format, here’s the big 4 Irish Income Protection cover providers compared:

Irish Income Protection insurance Provider Aviva Irish Life New Ireland Royal London
Back to Work Benefit No No Yes Yes
Benefit/Premium Indexation 3%/3.5% 5% 3%/3% 3%/3.5%
Confirmed Income Option No No Yes No
Deferred Period (weeks) 4-52 13-52 8-52 4-52
Maximum Ceasing Age 69 65 65 70
Additional Medical Support Services Yes Yes No Yes
Benefit Increasing in payment 3% 5% 3% 3%
Rehabilitation Benefit/Programme Yes Yes Yes Yes
Terminal Illness Benefit No No Yes Yes
Unemployment Coverage No No Yes Yes


The benefits of getting Income Protection cover from each specific provider listed above, in brief, are:



  • Access to Best Doctors 2nd Medical Opinion: Help for anyone diagnosed with a medical issue to make sure your treatment is the best available. As this policy will payout if you are sick, you want to make sure your treatment is making you better asap. I highly recommend Best Doctors.
  • Aviva also has the best rehabilitation and retraining programmes in the market in case you can’t get back to doing your old job.
  • Deferred periods start at 4 weeks
  • Cover available to age 70
  • Premium waiver: You don’t have to pay your premium if you’re receiving Income Protection from Aviva.
  • Change of jobs: Keep your cover if you change job type.
  • Non-paid Employment Cover

Royal London

royal london logo

  • Terminal Illness benefit: If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can immediately start getting your Income Protection payment.
  • Deferred periods begin at 4 weeks
  • Cover available to age 70
  • Split Deferred benefit: You can choose two separate deferral periods within the same policy.
  • Back to work benefit: Financial support (i.e. cash monies) for the first three months after you go back to work.
  • Helping Hand: Free access to counsellors and medical therapies to help you through your illness/treatment.

New Ireland

new irela

  • Confirmed income option: If your salary falls, New Ireland will honour the higher amount you applied with. This is exclusive to New Ireland.
  • Best indexation rates in the market
  • Back to work benefit: A payment when you go back to work, for the first three months.

Irish Life

  • Pension Payment protection: If you have a pension with Irish Life too, you can use your Income Protection to protect those payments.
  • LifeCare: Access to a medical second opinion service, medical helplines, and a claims helpline, free with your cover.

So what you should be looking at:

☑️ What does it cost? Remember to look at the number that shows tax relief.

☑️ Is it Reviewable or Guaranteed? Generally, go with Guaranteed.

☑️ Are the benefits the best you can get for your situation?

☑️ Risky occupation? Class 3 (jobs like care assistant, nurse, electrician) or 4 workers (carpenter, plumber, etc.) should choose Aviva allll day e’ ery day. You’ll want their Wage Protector option, which is the only insurance of its type explicitly catered to help Class 3 and 4 workers to get a better deal. It’s not as comprehensive as full income protection, but it’s affordable.

Over to you…

And that’s it!

If you want a shortcut and it’s too late to become a YouTuber, I suggest asking a seasoned Income Protection broker to help you out. Of course, I mean me.

If you’ve made it this far in this article, you can see I’m a big fan of a no-bullshit approach to all of this. If that’s your vibe too, you can get a quote by filling in the quick form here or by giving me a call on

Chat soon!


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