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Life Insurance Glossary – Understanding Insurance Terms –
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Life Insurance Glossary

Please note this glossary is intended as guidance only and may assist you in understanding the meaning on a different range of commonly used insurance terms. For a more in depth explanation about specific terms its best to refer to the insurer’s product disclosure statement.

Accidental Death Cover

Is the optional benefit payable on the death of the insured as a result of an accident.

Advisor (Financial)

Is authorised by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission to be able to provide advice and sell financial products, which includes life insurance products.

Agreed Value Policy

The payment you would receive in the event of a claim on an Income Protection Insurance policy is agreed at a set amount which is determined by the financial evidence provided during the application and this can be useful to self employed people with varying salaries.

Annual premium

This is the premium that is required to be paid as specified in the Policy Schedule for the benefits included in the policy. This also includes a policy fee.

Automatic indexation of benefits

Unless detailed otherwise, each policy anniversary date benefits will increase in line with the Consumer Price Index.

Benefit period

The maximum amount of time that selected benefits will be paid for with regards to each claim.

Cooling off period

A short period usually within 21 days in which you can cancel the policy you have purchased without any financial penalty (usually 28 days).


When you apply to receive funds from the insurer due to a particular event arising which you are insured for.

Duty of Disclosure

Your duty to provide complete and honest answers to all the questions the insurer asks you when you apply for an insurance product.


The term used to describe you’re not able to work as a result of a sickness or injury. Being totally disabled is when you are unable to work at all, and being part disabled means you are able to work but on a limited capacity.


Some policies exclude certain events or conditions and these are usually outlined in the insurers Product Disclosure Statements.

Future insurability

You can increase your amount of insurance cover in the future without any medical requirements under specific events.

General Insurance

Is insurance cover for cars, homes, travel, and home contents.

Health Insurance

Provides cover for private hospital stays and medical treatments that are not paid for by Medicare.

Income protection

Insurance on your income, to ensure you are paid a percentage of your salary if you stop work due to a temporary disability or illness, for a particular period of time.

Indemnity Policy

In regards to Income Protection this means that in the instance of an accident you must be able to prove your income at the time of claim.


The person on whose insurance benefits are payable and the name of the insured appears on the Policy Schedule.

Interim Cover

As soon as an application for insurance is lodged interim cover will be in place. With regards to Life Insurance it is when accidental death cover is in place while the application is underwritten.

Monthly benefit

The specific amount you are insured for under an income protection policy.

Nominated beneficiary

A person, company or trust account nominated by the insured to receive the claim payable under a Term Life insurance or Accidental Death Cover policy.


The insurance contract with the insurer, provided to the policy owner.

Product Disclosure Statement (PDS)

It is a requirement of the law that all the insurance companies include all the terms and conditions of the insurance product in a single document, known as the product disclosure statement (PDS). You need to read this document carefully before buying insurance.


Is when an illness or disease appears when the policy is in place.

Term or Life insurance

An insurance policy that pays a lump sum to the nominated beneficiaries on the death of the insured person

Terminal Illness Benefit

A Life Insurance policy feature that can be added on your policy that allows you to claim on your Life Insurance policy if you are diagnosed with a terminal illness and have less than 12 months to live. Total and Permanent Disablement insurance A policy that provides insurance cover if a person suffers from a permanent disability.

TPD Insurance

This is an abbreviation for Total and Permanent Disablement insurance.

Trauma Insurance

Trauma insurance can also be known as Critical Illness provides a lump sum cash amount in the event of specified disease or trauma arising.

Upgrade Guarantee

This is a benefit available with some life insurance policies, and it is when the policy is automatically upgraded to incorporate the new features or benefits after the policy was first taken out.

Waiting period

The amount of time you have to be disabled before you are eligible for any disability benefits. The waiting period can be nominated depending on how long you wait can wait before you require the benefits to be paid.

Please note this glossary is intended as guidance only and if you require further clarification please feel free to contact us.

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