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How to Compare Income Protection in Ireland (2023 Edition)

best insurer for income protection

It’s highly likely that when you were a smallie, your Ma or your Da told you

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 rather than a Doctor.

Instead of working hard, all you gotta do is make videos of yourself playing video games while screaming at your computer.

Keep it up, son, and someday you might have 111m subscribers like PewDiePie.

What your parents probably didn’t tell you is 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 knock you right on your ass.

The wheels come clean off, and you’ll be stuck struggling to make ends meet on the government’s paltry State Benefits (it’s currently €220 a week) or blowing an absolute hole in your savings.

Unless you have the absolute belter that is 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 you’ve never encountered income protection before now: 

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

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.

income protection deferred period (2)

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

Everyone should have Income Protection.

For one, you don’t actually have to die to reap the benefits, which is a novelty for life insurance.

And it covers you for 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.

We’re not tied to any one insurer for income protection.

So if you choose us to arrange your cover, you get access to 

  1. Aviva 
  2. Zurich Life
  3. Irish Life 
  4. New Ireland
  5. Royal London

For the TL; DRs among you, I recommend Aviva’s Income Protection.

For those who like to draw their own conclusions, let’s keep her lit.

Cost of Income Protection in Ireland

Meet Sally.

Sally is a 40-year-old accountant.

For the sake of argument, she earns €45,611.

Yes, a precise number and as it’s from the CSO so we can assume it’s legit the average income in Ireland.

Sally wants Income Protection with a 13-week deferral period (remember this means it will pay out if Sally can’t work for more than 13 weeks due to illness/accident)

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 real 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 means the price is fixed for the term of the policy so what Sally pays now as a 40-year-old, she will continue to pay even when is 60.

For what it’s worth, I recommend Guaranteed.

It may cost a few quid more at face value, but at least you know it’ll stay at that price.

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

If you want to compare all of the benefits on offer at the various insurers, we’ve done the grunt work for you here.

Why choose Aviva for Income Protection?


Value Added Benefits

Their Best Doctors service is the most comprehensive second opinion service out there.

Once you engage Aviva’s Teladoc, they’ll collect your health information directly from your GP/consultants and send it over to the “Best Doctor.”

I’ve used it before and was impressed by the service.

It also covers any minor ailment (except pregnancy-related or mental health issues), even if you haven’t been diagnosed yet.

Their Family Care Service offers therapy sessions with registered psychologists (not just counsellors).

Oh, and guess what?

Aviva just added a Digital GP Service to their income protection plans. So, you can get access to a GP online without having to leave your house.

Pretty handy, amirite?

aviva care

Key Features

Aviva’s executive policy has a great feature – the continuation option. If you leave your job or your company goes under, you can keep your policy in your own name. Other insurers will cancel your policy in this situation, but with Aviva, you’re covered and won’t be left in a financial bind.

Another cool thing about Aviva is that they let you choose indexation and escalation separately on your policy. This is handy if you ever feel like your policy is getting too expensive or you’re over-insured, and you want to cancel indexation. With Aviva, you can do this without losing the escalation option on your policy. (And just to clarify, escalation means your claim payout increases each year you’re out on a claim.)

Oh, and guess what? Reviewable premiums are available too. So, you can rest assured that you’re getting the lowerst premium in the ma


Aviva is known for having the best claims history in the market.

They even have qualified nurses on their claims team.

Their claims are handled in Dublin, and from what we’ve seen, they pay claims quickly and fairly.

And when it comes to rehabilitation services, Aviva is top-notch.

Quick story – I had a physio who was interested in income protection and he insisted on going with Aviva. Why? Because he had actually worked with some people who were out on an income protection claim with Aviva and was so impressed with the service.

And get this: in 2021, they paid out over €46 million to more than 2000 claimants. That’s a lot of people who were able to get the support they needed.

What else?

Say you have an executive policy (which means your company pays for it), but you switch companies or your employer agrees to pay for your premium instead. No sweat!

With Aviva, you just need to fill out a change of ownership form – you don’t have to go through the hassle of getting a new policy with full underwriting.

And here’s another little know benefit: if your company goes out of business while you’re on a claim, Aviva will pay the premium directly to you. That way, you’re not left high and dry without coverage.

And finally!

If you work in a Class 3 or 4 occupation, Aviva has a Wage Protector option that might be just what you need. It’s a lower-premium alternative to full income protection that could save you some serious cash.

So it’s a resounding thumbs up from us for Aviva Income Protection.

Are Royal London a good choice for Income Protection?

royal london logo

Royal London’s Income Protection policy comes with some useful bits too.

If you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness, you can start receiving your Income Protection payment right away. That’s some relief in a horrendously difficult situation.

The deferred periods start at just 4 weeks, which means you won’t have to wait too long before your benefits kick in.

Royal London can cover you until you’re 70 years old.

But wait, there’s more!

Free steak knives?

Not quite!

With Royal London, you can split your deferred benefit into two separate periods so you can have some income paid out after 13 week with the balance after 26 weeks. Why – lower premiums!

Plus, they’ve got a back-to-work benefit that provides you with financial support for the first three months after you’re back on the job.

And last but not least, Royal London’s “Helping Hand” program gives you access to free counsellors and medical therapies to help you through your illness or treatment. It’s like having a little extra support when you need it most.

What are New Ireland like for Income Protection?

new irela


With New Ireland, you can take advantage of their confirmed income option which guarantees that if your salary falls, they will still pay out the higher amount that you applied for.

New Ireland also offers the best indexation rates in the market, ensuring that your policy keeps up with inflation and maintains its value over time.

Their policies also include a back-to-work benefit, providing you with financial support for the first three months after you return to work.

What are the benefits of Income Protection from Irish Life?

With Irish Life’s Income Protection, you can also protect your pension payments through their Pension Payment Protection benefit. Additionally, Irish Life offers LifeCare which provides policyholders with access to a medical second opinion service, medical helplines, and a claims helpline at no extra cost.

Zurich Life’s Income Protection

Zurich’s Income Protection is more than just a monthly income – they’ve got your back (excuse the pun) when it comes to rehab too. They’ve got a team of rehab nurses who can come to your home and help you come up with a plan to get you back to work.

And get this, they’ll even pay for treatments with a local physio or counsellor if you need it. They can sort out an appointment with your GP or even get you to see a specialist if you’re stuck on a long waiting list.

If you’re back to work but on reduced earnings, you could still get a partial benefit payment. Not too shabby, wha!

But what I really love about this insurance is that it’s flexible to your needs. You get to choose your coverage, and if your life changes, you can adjust your coverage accordingly. Whether you get a pay rise or take out a bigger mortgage, Zurich’s got you covered (within limits of course). That way, you’re not paying for anything you don’t need, and you can feel confident knowing that you’ve got the right coverage for you.

Which Income Protection is the Best?

So what you should be looking at:

☑️ What does it cost? Remember to look at the column 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? If you’re a Class 3 (jobs like care assistant, nurse, electrician) or 4 worker  (carpenter, plumber, etc.) and you want the lowest premium, look at the 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 costs less..

Over to you…

And that’s it!

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 at 05793 20386

Chat soon!

Nick | Protection Broker of the Year ?

Income Protection Insurance
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