Insurance is a way of managing your risk and protecting yourself against unforeseen events that life may throw your way such as, natural disasters, theft, car accidents, or even illnesses. Without insurance, you may have to personally pay for all the costs associated with this event. Couples and families often hold insurance policies jointly, so they’re an important consideration when separating or experiencing family and domestic violence.

Many insurers in Australia now have a family violence policy which outlines how they will support you and minimise the possibility of insurance being used to inflict further harm. Here are some things to be mindful of that your partner or family member could do:

  • remove your name from the policy or cancel the policy without your knowledge
  • stop paying for a policy without letting you know
  • change the details of the policy without your consent
  • pretend to be you to find out personal information.

If it’s safe to do so, try and get copies or photographs of insurance policies you hold. If you have any concerns about your insurance policies, speak with your insurer.

Depending on your circumstances, there are a number of steps the insurer can take to support you. For instance, they may advise you to start a separate policy in your name so the perpetrator is not able to obtain your personal information.

If you are struggling to cover the cost of the premium, discuss this with the insurer as they may be able to defer the payments so you can continue to have protection over your property, health and family.

In Australia, there are several types of insurance across two main categories; General Insurance and Life Insurance. General Insurance includes:

  • Car insurance
  • Home and contents
  • Health Insurance
  • Pet insurance

Life Insurance includes policies often found in superannuation, such as:

  • Income Protection insurance
  • Total and Permanent disability insurance
  • Life Insurance.

Check to see what you are covered for and if you need it. If you need help understanding your policy, call your insurer and ask them to explain it to you.

It is important to review your policy at least once every year and notify your insurer if something in your life changes, e.g., moving house, change of income, as this can impact the premium you pay. The premium can usually be paid at an interval of your choosing, from weekly to annually. It is often cheaper to pay it annually if you can afford to.

The FRLC provides advice about insurance problems. Learn about general insurance. Find out how life insurance works.