This page answers a range of questions about Income Protection.
- Am I eligible to apply for income protection insurance?
You are eligible to apply for AIA Living Income Protection if:
- You are 16 to 55 years of age (or up to age 60 if you work in a clerical, managerial or professional job); and
- You are a New Zealand citizen or a permanent resident or you hold a current New Zealand work permit or a long term New Zealand business visa.
- Are all occupations eligible?
No. Most occupations are eligible, however some high-risk occupations are uninsurable due to the nature of these occupations and the risks they present from an insurance perspective. Some examples of occupations that are not eligible for Income Protection cover include armed forces personnel, police, prison guards, firemen, coal miners, professional divers and pilots.
- What if I already have an income protection insurance policy that I intend to keep?
If you already have income protection insurance with another insurer, and you intend to keep that policy, then you should think very carefully before applying for AIA Living Income Protection as well. The reason for this is that benefits paid to you under any other income replacement insurance policy will be offset (deducted from) any benefits payable under this policy. You could therefore be effectively paying twice for the same cover.
- What if I already have an income protection insurance policy that I intend to replace?
If you have an existing income protection insurance policy that you are thinking about replacing with a different policy, you need to be aware of the risks of doing so. Any pre-existing medical conditions you have may not be covered under a replacement policy, and stand-down periods may apply. Your existing policy may have different benefits, conditions, exclusions and cover to a new policy. It is highly recommended that you seek independent financial advice before replacing an existing insurance policy.
- How much cover should I apply for?
We are not able to say how much Income Protection cover you should apply for, as this website does not provide financial advice, and it takes no account of your personal insurance needs or circumstances. In particular, this website does not provide financial advice within the meaning of the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013 and it should not be relied upon in making a decision about insurance. If you are unable to (or do not wish to) determine your cover requirements yourself, then read our section about obtaining advice.
- What is a waiting period and how do I choose one?
A waiting period is the period of time between the date on which your illness commences (or your injury occurs), and the date on which your income protection benefits start. For example, if you injure yourself and you are unable to work and your waiting period is 4 weeks, then you will not start to receive benefits under your policy until 4 weeks after the date of your injury.
If you recover and return to work before the end of the waiting period, then you will not receive any benefits under the policy (as your income will have resumed). If you are still unable to work at the end of the waiting period then you will receive benefits until either, you return to work, or you reach the end of your benefit payment period.
You can choose a waiting period of 4, 8 or 13 weeks. The longer your waiting period, the lower your premiums. This gives you the flexibility to choose a waiting period which produces premiums to suit your budget, and a consequent benefit start date that factors in items such as sick leave entitlement and other savings that can be used to meet expenses, before the income protection benefit commences.
- Will I always receive the full benefit amount if I can’t work?
No, not always. Firstly, you will only receive an income protection benefit if you remain unable to work, or unable to work above 75% capacity or earn less than 75% of your pre-disability income, beyond the waiting period which you have chosen. If you are completely unable to work due to illness or injury beyond your chosen waiting period, and there are no offsets to your benefit (see What are benefit offsets, and how do they affect me? below), then you would qualify for the full income protection benefit stated on your policy. See also What is a partial disability benefit and when is it paid? below.
- What are benefit offsets, and how do they affect me?
Benefit offsets are amounts which are deducted from your income protection benefit payments, due to the fact that you are already receiving (or are entitled to receive) those amounts from another source. These offsets consist of any other income protection benefits which you receive as a result of the same illness or injury, including ACC payments, and any earnings you receive from your employer or business, such as sick leave payments. For example, if your calculated income protection benefit is $5,000 per month, and you are receiving $1,000 per month from ACC for the same cause that is preventing you from working, then the $1,000 ACC payment is offset against your income protection benefit, and you will receive a benefit of $4,000 per month.
- What is a partial disability benefit and when is it paid?
If you are unable to work due to illness or injury for a period of 2 weeks or more, and you return to work at less than 75% of full capacity. You will receive a partial disability income benefit if you have been totally or partially disabled and are working less than 75% or your pre-disability working hours or earning less than 75% or your pre-disability income, when your chosen waiting period ends. The amount of your partial disability benefit is the lower of 1/12th of the benefit shown in the schedule less benefit offsets or 75% of the difference between your pre-disability income and your post-disability income, less any benefit offsets.
- What if I become disabled again from the same cause?
If you become totally disabled from the same cause after you have returned to work and have stopped receiving an income protection benefit, your waiting period will be waived if your disability recurs within 12 months of your income protection benefit stopping. All claims resulting from the same or a related cause are considered to be the same claim for the purposes of the policy.
- Am I still covered if I travel or work overseas?
Yes, you are. Regardless of where you travel in the world, the reason for your travel or for how long you are away, you will be covered. This means that you remain covered even if you decide to leave New Zealand to travel or work overseas.
- Can I reduce my cover after my policy has been issued?
Yes, you can. If your circumstances or your financial responsibilities change, you can reduce your Income Protection cover at any time. However you may wish to seek financial advice about what such a change means for you before doing so.
- Will my cover expire at any particular age or date?
Yes, it will. Income Protection cover expires at age 65.
For questions about our Income Protection quotes, please see our Quote FAQs.
- When should I apply for cover?
You need to determine that for yourself based on your own situation. You never know when you might need cover. If you delay, you run the risk of developing a medical condition which could result an exclusion being added to your policy or a premium loading being applied.
- Is it easy to apply for Income Protection?
Yes, it’s very easy. Simply get a quote and apply online. It takes most people less than 20 minutes.
- Is there a lot of paperwork?
There is usually no paperwork at all. You apply for cover entirely online, and your application can be processed and your policy issued without you having to complete any paper forms.
- What sort of questions do I need to answer?
In addition to your name and contact details, the application form has questions about your residency, your occupation and activities, your income, your health, your medical history, any other life or health insurance you might have, and payment details.
- Will I need to undergo a medical examination or tests?
No medical examinations or tests are normally required. However, if you are requested to have either, then there would be no cost to you at all. In that event AIA’s HealthScreen service could be offered to you. This consists of a registered nurse visiting you at your home or office at a time which is convenient to you. It’s all very low key.
- What happens after I submit my application?
As soon as you submit your application a confirmation email will be sent to you. The email will outline what happens next, and it will have contact details in the event that you wish to contact us while your application is being processed. We will keep you updated at each step, right through to the acceptance and issue of your policy.
- How long will it take to process my application?
All applications undergo initial processing right away, and the majority are fully processed within a matter of days. If there are any details missing from your application, or if further information is needed, then that may extend the time required to process your application.
- What are my payment options?
All premiums are paid directly to AIA. You can pay your premiums by any of the methods below:
- Direct Debit from a New Zealand bank account;
- Credit Card (Visa or MasterCard); or
- Debit Card.
You can change your payment method at any time.
You can pay your premiums weekly, fortnightly, monthly or annually. If you pay your premiums weekly or fortnightly, you can choose which day of the week your premiums are deducted. If you pay monthly, you can choose which date your premiums are deducted each month. You change your payment frequency at any time.
You will be notified before your first premium will be deducted. In any event, your first premium will not be deducted until at least 10 days after your policy is issued.
- Do I get a discount if I pay my premiums annually?
Yes, you do. If you pay your premiums annually you will receive a discount of 4.76% on the total benefit cost (everything except the policy fee). This discount is automatically calculated when you get a quote and select an annual payment frequency.
- What happens if I miss a premium payment?
Don’t panic. Your cover will not immediately stop if you happen to miss a premium payment. Your policy provides 31 days’ grace for any premium due. If you miss a premium payment you should contact AIA as soon as possible and make arrangements to pay the missed premium. If you do nothing, and the premium remains outstanding beyond the 31-day grace period, then AIA is entitled to cancel your policy by providing notice to you in writing at your most recently advised postal address.
- Can I change my mind after I receive my policy?
Yes, you can. You may cancel your policy at any time.
All of our policies come with a 15-day free-look period. If, at any time within the first 15 days of receiving your policy, you do not wish to continue your cover (for whatever reason), you may cancel your policy and get a full refund of any premiums paid.
You may still cancel your policy at any time after this free-look period, but you will not receive a refund of any premiums paid.
- Can AIA cancel my policy for any reason?
AIA can cancel the policy if:
- The premium remains unpaid for more than 31 days after the premium due date;
- You fail to disclose material information to AIA prior to inception of the policy or any variation or reinstatement of the policy;
- You made a substantially incorrect statement on the faith of which the policy was issued, renewed, varied or reinstated;
- You make a claim under the policy that is false or fraudulent in any respect; or
- You are the subject of any sanction, prohibition or restriction under United Nations resolutions or trade or economic sanctions, laws or regulations of New Zealand, the European Union, United Kingdom or United States of America, or any of its states and/or any other applicable economic or trade sanction laws or regulations.
Please refer to the policy wording for full details.
- Can I change the owner of my policy?
Yes, you can. You may change the owner of your policy at any time. All existing and any new policy owners must agree to the change. For example, you could change the policy owner from just yourself to joint ownership between yourself and your partner. In order to change the policy owner, simply complete a Change of Ownership Form.
- How do I make a claim?
If you need to make a Income Protection claim, please read our guide to making a claim.
- Is any tax payable on any benefit received?
Yes. Ordinarily, benefits paid under this policy are assessable for income tax. Correspondingly, the associated premiums are ordinarily deductible expenditure for income tax purposes. You should obtain tax advice which is specific to your own circumstances in order to form a view on your tax position.
- Are there any exclusions which would prevent a claim?
Yes, there are. No benefit is payable if any of the following directly or indirectly causes or contributes to a disability:
- Deliberate or attempted self-harm by the insured;
- The insured engaging in or being part of any conduct that is criminal;
- Pregnancy or childbirth of the insured, unless the disability lasts for more than 90 days after the end of the pregnancy (in which case the waiting period starts from the 91st day); or
- The insured not complying with treatment prescribed by an attending treatment provider.
- Can I see the policy wording before I apply?
- What is the Enhancement Pass Back Benefit?
All AIA Living policies contain an Enhancement Pass Back Benefit. This means that if at any time in the future, AIA makes a change to the standard policy wording, and that change would be favourable to you, then the enhanced section will automatically be applied to your policy, subject to the conditions specified in your policy.
- Will my policy ever have a cash value?
No. The premiums for your policy provide risk cover only, and any other special benefits as set out in your policy. Your policy does not acquire any surrender or cash value at any time.
- The above provides a summary only of the benefits, terms and conditions of the policy. Please refer to the policy wording, including the policy appendix and schedule, for full details of the policy benefits and the terms and conditions under which they are provided.