Australia’s insurance market can be divided into roughly three components: life insurance, general insurance and health insurance.
Life insurance products sold in Australia include term life insurance and disability income insurance. Australian insurers are unusual in providing a lump sum Total and Permanent Disability insurance. Life insurers also sell superannuation investment products
General insurance products sold in the Australian market can roughly be divided into two classes:
Liability insurance such as Compulsory Third Party (CTP) motor insurance, worker’s compensation, professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance, business insurance;
Property insurance such as Home and Contents insurance, travel insurance, and comprehensive motor vehicle insurance
Certain types of insurance, such as CTP and worker’s compensation, are statutory (i.e. are required by law), and can differ considerably by state.
The Australian Government provides a basic universal health insurance, ‘Medicare’. Private health insurance in Australia is limited to those services not covered by Medicare or to services provided in private hospitals
Australia’s health system is sometimes described as a ‘mixed system’, because private funding and services operate alongside the public system. Private health insurance provides cover for private hospital services and many out-of-hospital services not covered by Medicare (such as dentistry). Consumers with private cover can avoid potentially long waiting lists in the public system and choose their own doctor.