Insurance is a way of managing risk and protecting ourselves against unforeseen events that life may throw our way such as, natural disasters, theft, car accidents, or even illnesses. Without insurance, we 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 people separate or experience family and domestic violence.

Many insurers in Australia now have a family violence policy which outlines how they will support victim-survivors and minimise the possibility of insurance being used to inflict further harm. Here are some of the ways insurance can be use extend abuse:

  • removing a person's name from their policy or cancelling a policy without telling them
  • stopping paying for a policy
  • changing the details of the policy without the other person's consent
  • pretending to be another person to find out personal information.

If you're concerned about someone, and it’s safe to do so, suggest they get copies or photographs of insurance policies. If they have any concerns about their insurance policies, they can speak with their insurer.

Depending on their circumstances, the insurer may be able to support people by creating separate policies to protect personal information, or defer payments.

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.

If someone's uncertain what they are covered for, they can call their insurer and ask them to explain it to them.

It is important to review insurance policies regularly and notify the insurer if something has changed, e.g., moving house, change of income, as this can impact the premium.

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