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How to Compare Income Protection in Ireland (2021 Edition)

best insurer for income protection

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. 

Welcome!

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 lion.ie, we’re an online Life Insurance broker, and we deal with all the major insurers. For income protection insurance, your options are:

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:

Why choose Aviva for Income Protection?

aviva

 

Value Added Benefits

  • Aviva Family care is the only service that provides therapy sessions with registered psychologists and not counsellors
  • Best Doctors is the most comprehensive second opinion service in the market service– once Aviva’s Teladoc is engaged by the policyholder – Teledoc will then collect the health information directly from the GP/consultants and correspond with the “Best Doctor”, making the process far easier for the client.
  • Aviva Best Doctors cover any minor ailment (apart from pregnancy-related or mental health), including conditions where no diagnosis has been given.

Key Features

  • Aviva offer a continuation option on their executive policy, so if you leave or your company ceases and you would like an individual policy, you can continue with the policy in your own name without having to answer health questions. Other insurers wll cancel your policy should this happen leaving you exposed financially.
  • Aviva allow you to choose indexation and escalation separately on the policy. This is important because if at a point in the future the client feels their policy is getting too expensive or they are over insured and wants to cancel indexation, with Aviva they will not lose the escalation option on their policy. (Escalation means your claim payout will increase each year you are out on claim)
  • Reviewable premiums are available.

Claims

  • Aviva have the best claims history in the market – they have a qualified nurse on their team and are known in the market to be the best company to deal with from a claims perspective. Their claims are handled in Dublin and from experience, they are efficient.
  • The rehabilitation services that Aviva provide are the best in the market.
  • In 2019 they paid out €43million to over 1600 claimants

Exclusives on offer with Aviva!

  • If you client has an executive (company paid) policy and you change the company name or go to work for another company who is willing to pay your premium, Aviva just need a change of ownership form to change the name – they do not require a new policy with full underwriting.
  • If a company ceases trading while you are on claim, Aviva will pay the premium directly to the client
  • Aviva offer Wage Protector for Class 3 & 4 occupations which offers a lower premium than full income protection.

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

  • 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.

What are New Ireland like for Income Protection?

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.

What are the benefits of Income Protection from 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 all day, every 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!

Nick

Income Protection Insurance
Give us a quick outline of how we can help and we'll be right back to you.

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Keeping a paper trail.
Dealing with estate agents.
Living at home in the box room with yer ma and da for a year to save a deposit. 
Paperwork. 
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More paperwork. 
Budgeting for stamp duty and a solicitor.

It’s no wonder you might be tempted just to say ‘feck it’ and go with your bank when they offer you a Mortgage Protection policy. But don't!

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