Loss of earnings insurance - The complete guide


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In the event of illness or accident resulting in total or partial incapacity, the basic scheme will only allow you to receive 60-70% of your salary. To make up the difference, you can take out loss-of-earnings insurance. How does this coverage work? Is it possible to benefit from this coverage if you are self-employed or unemployed? How much does it cost? Our comprehensive guide to loss of earnings insurance answers all your questions.

Loss-of-earnings insurance: what is it?

Loss-of-earnings insurance is a benefit designed to maintain the level of income of people temporarily unable to work due to illness or accident. Although benefits are available under compulsory insurance, they generally do not exceed 60% to 70% of salary. Loss of earnings insurance can therefore supplement lost wages throughout the period of incapacity.
Loss-of-earnings insurance can be taken out:
  • Individually;
  • Or by an employer for his staff.
In the second case, it is then a group health loss-of-earnings insurance that benefits all employees. Note that employers are not obliged to offer this coverage to their employees. However, if they do not, they will be obliged, under certain conditions, to pay them a salary in the event of illness.

How does loss of earnings sickness cover work?

It is possible to take out loss-of-earnings insurance that covers illness alone or illness and accident. There are several elements to consider when choosing your cover:
  • The amount of compensation paid in the event of illness or accident;
  • The duration of cover;
  • The waiting period, i.e., the time to be respected before compensation can be paid;
  • The percentage of incapacity from which cover is triggered;
  • Etc.
Please note: the percentage of incapacity is determined by a doctor. Most of the time, general conditions provide for benefits to be triggered from 25% incapacity. Benefits are paid on a quarterly basis.
There aretwo types of cover under sickness loss of earnings insurance:
  • The indemnity supplements the insured's income up to the limit of his or her salary;
  • A lump-sum indemnity provided for in the contract is paid, regardless of the actual loss of earnings.

Loss of earnings insurance: special cases

When we talk about loss of earnings health insurance, we generally think of employees who are covered by their company or who have taken out this cover individually to supplement their income in the event of incapacity for work. But what about the unemployed and the self-employed? There are formulas specially designed to cover the needs of these people.

Unemployment loss of earnings insurance

The aim here is to protect against illnesses or accidents resulting in incapacity that occur while the person is receiving unemployment benefits.
In such cases, unemployment benefit continues to be paid for a period of 30 days from the time the incapacity is established. It is therefore important to take out loss-of-earnings insurance to supplement your income from this point onwards.
Please note: if the person benefited from cover paid for in part or in full by their former employer, it is possible, under certain conditions, to continue to benefit from this loss-of-earnings insurance.

Loss-of-earnings insurance for the self-employed

The self-employed have every interest in protecting themselves against the risk of incapacity for work, since in the event of illness or accident, they find themselves unable to generate an income. What's more, the compulsory scheme for the self-employed is less extensive than that for salaried employees, since they automatically benefit only from the 1st pillar. The shortfall is therefore extremely significant.
This is why the self-employed are advised to insure the risk of loss of earnings for a period of two years. After this period, it may be a disability insurance annuity that will take over and supplement their income.

How much does loss-of-earnings insurance cost?

The amount of the insurance premium for loss-of-earnings cover varies depending in particular on:
  • The amount of daily benefits provided for in the contract;
  • The waiting period to be respected before benefits can be received.
As a reminder, your employer may pay half or all of the loss of earnings insurance premium.
If this isn't the case, it's vital to check with several insurance companies before choosing your loss of earnings insurance. You can also use our loss of earnings insurance comparator. This will ensure that you find the best health loss of earnings insurance, at the best rate.
Alexis Milon
Updated on: 01.02.2024Written by Alexis MilonHead of health insurance department at Comparea.
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Frequently Asked Questions

Loss of earnings insurance covers illness OR sickness and accident, with levels of cover defined when the contract is signed.