What is Income Protection?
Income Protection is a type of life insurance policy that pays you money each month if you are ill or injured and can’t work, until you are fit to return to work again. If an illness or injury stops you working, you need time to get better. But you’ll still need to be able to support yourself and your family financially. You might get sick pay from your employer or have some savings in the bank to fall back on. However, outlays such as your mortgage, bills and weekly food shop will still need to be paid.
What does Income Protection cover?
Income Protection gives you money each month if you are ill or injured and you are unable to do your job, until you can work again. You can use the money to pay your bills, or cover expenses you might build up around medical treatment. You can use it to keep doing the things that make you happy. However, you decide to use your money, it’s there to support you and your family so you can focus on getting better.
How does Income Protection work?
While you’re healthy, you pay a premium every month, or each year if you prefer. If you are unfortunate to fall ill or become injured and are unable to work during the term of your plan, you can then make a claim and receive a monthly income until you’re fit to return to work or you reach the end of the plan. While you’re getting your monthly income, you don’t pay any premiums to us. When your illness ends and you return to work, you start paying premiums again.
Benefits of Income Protection with Zurich
No limit to how many times you can claim.
Get the rehabilitation you need to get better: Income Protection from Zurich is more than just a monthly income. We’ll give you the help you need to get better. We have access to a team of rehabilitation nurses who will go to meet you in your home and help put a plan in place to get you back to work. We can also fund the costs of treatment with a local physiotherapist or psychologist/counsellor which we can arrange in conjunction with your own GP, or we may be able to pay for you to attend a specialist doctor if it will help you avoid a long waiting list and get better faster.
Proportionate payment: This benefit may provide you with a partial benefit if you return to work on reduced earnings. If you return to work on a reduced salary whether in your current occupation or an alternative occupation you may be eligible for a proportionate benefit payment
Cover that fits around you: We’ve built our income protection in a way that lets you choose the cover you want today and change it when things in your life change. It means you can increase your cover if something big happens, so if you get a pay rise or a bigger mortgage, you can increase your level of protection too (subject to certain limits). It means you can choose the cover that’s right for you – and feel confident you’re not paying for anything you don’t need.
Choose an Income Protection plan
We have two plans for you to choose from – depending on whether you are taking out the plan, or your employer is taking it out for you. Both plans work in broadly the same way, but there are some subtle differences that you should be aware of.
Personal Income Protection:
- This is suitable if you are self-employed or if you are in a job that doesn’t provide an income protection plan for you.
- You will pay the premiums, but you can get tax relief at your marginal rate on the premiums you pay.
- Claiming tax relief is really important as it reduces the cost to you by the rate you pay tax at - so either 20% or 40%. For example, if you are a higher rate tax payer, a monthly premium of €50 would effectively only cost you €30 because of tax relief at 40%.
- If you need to claim, we will pay your income protection benefit directly to you, after tax, USC and any other relevant deductions.
Executive Income Protection:
- This is designed for employers who want to provide an income protection plan for employees.
- The premiums are paid for by the employer and qualify as business expenses that can be offset against corporation tax. The employer can also elect to have pension contributions covered under this plan.
- If you need to claim, we will pay the income benefit to your employer, who passes it onto you as the employee through salary, making any relevant deductions such as tax and USC.
Employer Pension contributions
To ensure that employer pension contributions are maintained while an employee is off sick, you can cover up to 100% of the employer pension contribution with Executive Income Protection. You can cover up to 35% of the employee’s salary to a maximum of €50,000.
Frequently asked questions
Can I increase my level of Income Protection benefit?
A lot can happen between the day you take out income protection and the day you need to make a claim. You might get married, have a child, or get a promotion. That’s why you can increase the amount of monthly income you’re covered for when certain big events happen. And you won’t have to answer any questions about your health in the process. You can use this when you:
- Become a parent through a birth or adoption
- Get married or enter a civil partnership
- Buy a home or increase your existing mortgage
- Get a pay rise of 10% or more
Each time one of these things happens you can boost your cover by the lower of €20,000 a year (this is around €1,667 a month) or 50% of your existing level of cover. As a special one off, you can also increase your cover by a maximum of €20,000 a year provided your salary has increased by 20% since your first started your plan. Over the course of your plan the maximum you can increase your total cover by is the amount of cover you initially took out.
With all the above options, the most you can increase your cover to is 75% of your salary. We’ll work out a new premium based on how much you want to increase your cover. You can decrease your cover at any time you like, and you won’t have to answer any questions about your health to do that either.
Is Income Protection tax deductible?
With Personal Income Protection you can get tax relief at your marginal rate on the premiums you pay. If you need to claim, we will pay your income protection benefit directly to you, after tax, USC and any other relevant deductions.
With Executive Income Protection the premiums are paid for by the employer and qualify as business expenses that can be offset against corporation tax.. If you need to claim, we will pay the income benefit to your employer, who passes it onto you as the employee through salary, making any relevant deductions such as tax and USC.
Does Income Protection cover pre-existing conditions?
Yes you can get income protection cover for a pre-existing condition. Depending on the condition you have you may need to pay more for your premium or have an exclusion added to the policy.
Can I have two or more Income Protection policies?
How do I make an Income Protection claim?
When you first call to make a claim, we’ll want to find out how you are. We’ll send you a Claim Form to ask you about what’s happened and how we can help you – not just with paying out your claim, but with everything else, like rehabilitation, too.
- We may also arrange to have a nurse contact you by telephone to discuss the circumstances of your claim and identify how we can help with your recovery.
- You might prefer to speak to someone in person, so just ask and we’ll send a nurse out to visit at a time that suits you. Or we can do things via email and post if that’s easier.
- The next stage will be to obtain medical reports from your treating doctors, and we may ask you to attend a medical examination to assess your claim and to see what rehabilitation services we can offer to you.
Even when we’re paying you your monthly income, your claims specialist will still be on hand. You can talk to them about anything that’s on your mind. They’ll be there for you all the way, to support you and to help you get better, until you’re confident you don’t need them any longer.
What is a deferred period for Income Protection?
Not everyone needs their income to start as soon as they’re out of work. If your employer pays you sick pay, you might only want your money to kick in after that. The time in between when you stop working and when we start paying you is called your deferred period. You can choose how long this is: 1, 2, 3, 6 or 12 months (4, 8, 13, 26 or 52 weeks). The longer you wait, the lower your premiums will be.