Being a soldier in the Australian Defence Force comes with enough challenges. Finding a life insurance policy to protect your loved ones shouldn’t be one of them. The additional risk of serving in the Australian Defence Force can make finding comprehensive life insurance difficult. There are a number of insurers and options are available to provide life insurance for Army soldiers, Navy and Air Force personnel.
What life insurance is available for Defence Soldiers?
There are some life insurance policy types that are not available, Income Protection and Total and Permanent Disablement (TPD) Insurance for example. Life Insurance and Trauma Insurance is available and being a member of the defence force alone does not mean that you will pay more for insurance or have any particular difficulty obtaining life insurance.
Several life insurance companies provide Life Insurance and Trauma insurance to soldiers offering Army, Navy and Air Force members a range of choices in deciding which policy suits their needs. Unless the particular role in defence presents additional risks (see below) – ADF personnel generally do not pay higher premiums than anyone else based on occupation.
Do Defence soldiers have War and Terrorism Exclusions on Life Insurance?
Life insurance policies for Army, Navy and Air Force members do not automatically have War and Terrorism exclusions. Generally the only time an insurer will apply a War and Terror Exclusion on a new policy is if that member currently has a notice to deploy on particular active operations. Deployments on exercises and in some cases non-warlike operations generally do not incur a War and Terror Exclusion (e.g. Rifle Company Butterworth).
If a War and Terror Exclusion has been applied on a policy it is not indefinite. Exclusions can be reviewed when that risk is no longer apparent and on return from operations, defence personnel with exclusions are encouraged to review their policies. On the other hand, where a policy has been obtained, if no exclusion is applied, then that defence member will be insured in any potential future war-like operations.
Our Tip: Once a defence member has or knows he/she is going to get a deployment notice, this needs to be disclosed in a life insurance application. Applying for life insurance as early as possible in an Army, Navy or Air Force career can help a member obtain an exclusion-free life insurance policy.
I handle explosives / I am a special forces soldier – can I get Life Insurance?
Being a member of the special forces presents particular difficulties for insurance companies as the nature of the occupation presents a higher than usual ongoing risk. An increased insurance risk also applies for defence members who handle explosives (e.g. DMEO Operators, Engineers). In spite of these additional risks, Life Insurance and Trauma Insurance is still available.
To compensate for the higher risk, insurance companies charge a higher premium to members in these roles. ADF members are not disadvantaged by the higher risk premium as ADF personnel have access to a reimbursement of up to $2,189 per financial year (PACMAN 4.9) which is paid to compensate for the higher premium charged. This reimbursement is enough to cover the additional premium charged on a $1,000,000 Life Insurance policy1.
I want insurance for injuries sustained while serving in the Australian Defence Force
Although specific injury related policies are rare for ADF members, Trauma Insurance is available. Although trauma insurance is not particularly designed for injuries, most Trauma Insurance policies cover events like paraplegia, blindness, coma, loss of hearing, loss of sight/limbs and major burns along with other major illness events. Trauma Insurance can be used by Army, Navy and Air Force personnel to protect against major injuries that occur whilst serving. Trauma Insurance covers individuals 24/7 and can be used to supplement existing defence injury benefits.
Am I covered by the Australian Defence Force for death and disablement?
There are some payments that are made from the Australian Defence Force when a member dies or becomes disabled. Payments are covered under the Military Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2004 (MRCA) and the Safety, Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1988 (SRC) and entitlements under these and other Acts depend on when an injury first occurred.
Payments can vary and most payments are linked to the course of employment; that is where death or disablement does not occur at work, benefits may not be payable. Although defence members and their families have access to benefits ‘at work,’ defence member should not be complacent, and proper financial risk planning is still required.
What is needed to apply?
For the most part, applying for life insurance in the Army, Navy or Air Force is no different to any other applicant. Some insurers may ask some specific questions around your occupational or service duties and any information is provided ‘in-confidence’ to allow the insurer to properly assess the risk of your application.
As an Army, Navy or Air Force Reservist, unless you are about to start (or know your about to start) Continuous Full Time Service (CFTS) or be deployed, Reserve Service is generally disregarded from an insurance assessment.
1 $1,000,000 policy for a special forces soldier with a premium loading of $2 per $1000 insured.
2 Cash Refund paid as cash to applicant based on first year premium
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About the Author – Benjamin Irons
Benjamin has been involved in the financial services industry since 2004. Benjamin has a Bachelor in Business, Diploma of Financial Services (Financial Planning). Previously a Financial Adviser and a business owner, Benjamin has worked with hundreds of individuals and businesses to implement simple strategies to improve wealth. Benjamin writes for a number of websites to assist people take control of their finances and find their financial freedom!