Displaying items by tag: family of choice

How much life insurance cover do I need?

This question has always intrigued me because it sounds similar to the equally difficult to answer question, ‘how long is a piece of string?’

I suppose the answer is, ‘as long as it needs to be and as much as you need to have’.

But that's probably not going to move the answer along much, so here is a good place to start your thinking.

Published in Blog

Why you should buy life insurance for your Co Parent or Ex Partner

Co Parents need life insurance and this is why

While you might not be together romantically, raising children together leaves Co Parents financially connected in many ways — whether you want to acknowledge that or not.

Jump Ahead

Remind me again what is Co Parenting?

The term Co Parenting was traditionally only used to describe a situation where a parent had split from their previous partner following a separation or divorce, but who were still actively involved in the lives of their shared children.

It's also a way to be actively involved in the life of a child along with other adults committed to helping you grow a happy child.

Talking about what matters most

Whether you’re Co Parents by choice happily sharing parenting responsibilities, or Co Parents by circumstance post separation, having a life insurance policy on each of your lives, protects your child from the financial effect of losing one (or more) of their parents.

Having open and frank conversations about these realities of life we all face is just another part of putting the needs of a child first.

A life insurance policy is essentially designed to help protect the nominated beneficiary from the financial impact that losing a parent will bring.

  • You may have particular plans for the child you Co Parent that require financial security.
  • You or your child may still depend on a former spouse financially.
  • If you receive maintenance or child support after a divorce, remember if your ex-spouse dies, that income would disappear.

Ultimately the loss of one parent will increase the financial responsibility of the surviving parent - and usually at a time when finances are already stretched.

Conversations about this essential part of life and parenting should always be about the benefit of the child in the long run.

Learn more about the risks families face when they lose an income-earning parent to unexpected death.

Download our free eGuide 31 Australian Families Lose a Parent Every Day.

Case study 1

Co Parenting by circumstances post separation

Olivia has three kids to two separate fathers from past relationships and has been receiving child support for each of them ever since the relationships broke down. One of the kids has now been diagnosed with additional needs and requires more attention and care, so family budgets and free time can get out of balance quickly.

  • If something happened to one of the fathers and the child maintenance stopped, she would have to make some very difficult care decisions and she's understandably concerned her ability to care for her boys would suffer.

The answer - a life insurance policy on each of the children's Co Parent fathers.

Three things Co Parents need to understand about Life Insurance

1.  Understand the difference between the Policy Owner and the Life Insured

In Australia, a life insurance policy can be owned and paid for by a person different from the Life Insured. For example, a policy can be owned by a parent and the life insured be their child or parent or even an employee who is considered a Key Person to a business.

2.  Understand the Policy Owner gets to name the Policy Beneficiary

In Australia, if you are the Policy Owner and paying the premiums for a Life Insurance policy, you have the right to nominate who is the policy beneficiary and make changes to the policy. The Policy Beneficiary is the person nominated and named in an insurance policy to receive a future life insurance payout.

3.  Understand the special limitations of Life insurance nominations policies in a Super fund

When a life insurance policy is held in a super fund, it's fair to say the rules about who is allowed to be a nominated beneficiary, have not kept up with modern life. There are special rules about biologically related children under 18 that change once the child is over 18. The rules relating to stepchildren are even more confusing and may see a stepchild losing their right to inheritance once their stepparent dies.

Work with a professional adviser at Unusual Risks Insured who understands Co Parenting.

Case study 2

Practical planning for Co Parents

David separated amicably from his former partner last year who now has primary custody of his teenage daughter Sarah completing her private schooling. David's new partner has two infant twins who adore him and his time and finances for his new younger family are getting stretched looking after them all.

  • The prospect of having to assume full financial care for his own daughter too, in the event that his ex-partner was to unexpectedly pass away, is protected by him having a separate life insurance policy on his ex and a separate life insurance policy on himself.

Both life insurance policies each name his daughter Sarah as the sole beneficiary of the policy. Of course, everyone hopes they will never need to make a claim, but now it's in place, they all benefit from the peace of mind this type of backup plan brings to all their families.

Co Parents need life Insurance

Take a proactive approach to your Co Parenting.

Although your Co Parent may already have their own life insurance policy in place naming a number of different beneficiaries, taking out a separate policy on them where you are the policy owner puts you in the driver's seat.

You know for sure the policy premiums are being paid, the beneficiaries cannot be changed without your approval and the peace of mind knowing the policy is accurate and up to date.

How to set up a Life Insurance Policy as a Co Parent

Purchasing a policy on your ex-spouse or partner requires their cooperation as they will need to answer the personal health and lifestyle questions during the application process.

This is when things can get complicated.

Co Parenting by choice

  • If your Co Parent is onboard, the process of setting up a life insurance policy on you or both Co Parents is straightforward

Co Parenting by circumstance - post separation

  • Navigating a divided family can be both emotionally and financially difficult.

If your relationship with your ex is less than ideal, or they’re simply not invested in the welfare of their child, it might be difficult to convince them to complete the health and lifestyle questions that every life insurance policy requires.

Who should pay the insurance premiums?

The subject of who should pay for the premiums on a life insurance policy can also be problematic. Remember, the policy owner/payer gets to nominate the policy beneficiary.

  • If your ex doesn't feel they should be obligated to make the premium payments by themselves, they may suggest that you split the cost of the premiums down the middle.
  • If you're worried that co-managing the policy might become too stressful, you might consider making premium payments on your own.

How Unusual Risks Insured can help

As an independent third party, Unusual Risks Insured can send people applying for life insurance cover a confidential link to an online form so they can complete their own personal health questions confidentially, at a time convenient to themselves. This means we try and remove any face-to-face contact for them and maximise their privacy.

We believe in Advice Equality

Unusual Risks Insured specialise in working with clients with hard to insure health or occupations, people with diverse backgrounds, family and relationship structures, and people with high privacy needs - Australia-wide.

You can have a comfortable conversation with us

We’re the experts at talking about what matters most.

Advice equality means our clients never have to prepare for a homophobic conversation, religious judgementalism, never have to be prepared to be ‘the constant educators’ and be forever ready to explain and defend the benefits of PrEP, that HIV is a chronic but now manageable condition or how Gay Dads and Lesbian Mums have different needs, that growing families takes time and ultimately some guys love guys and some girls love girls, that love knows no gender and that Love Makes a Family.

We get it, we love it, we defend it and we celebrate you.

Begin with the end in mind 

Co Parenting, whether by choice or circumstances post separation is a part of Modern Australian Family Life.

Ultimately a Life Insurance policy alone is not the goal - it's a means to an end.

  • It's a way to make sure your child is protected if you unexpectedly find you’re no longer around to care for them.
  • It's a way to make sure whoever cares for your child has sufficient resources to do so, if you're no longer around and they unexpectedly find themselves without you.

For a Co Parent, increased peace of mind and financial security may come in the form of a simple life insurance policy.

Start up a conversation and send us an email today to see if we're the type of people you'd like to work with.

Published in Blog

Co Parenting - it takes a modern village to raise a modern child

Gay couples don't stumble into parenthood by accident — it's always a deliberate act (and usually a complicated one too).

Like any modern family, there are many ‘ways to grow a family’ and Co Parenting is becoming just one of those many ways.

  • Back in the day, the term Co Parenting was traditionally only used to describe a situation where a parent had split from their previous partner following a separation or divorce, but who were still actively involved in the lives of their shared children.
  • In the past, Gay Parents were mainly women or men, who had children from former heterosexual relationships and who had later separated or divorced, but who were still actively involved in the lives of their shared children.
  • Today, Co Parenting is becoming just another way of creating a family for many gay, lesbian, or gender diverse people often because it’s a way of having your own biological child, and being actively involved in its life and development with other adults who are committed to helping you grow a happy child, (and all without having to go through the uncertainty and financial stress of surrogacy).

Regardless of whether you're Co Parenting from circumstances or choice, the parents agree to put the needs of the child first.

Meet Chris & Mirko, Anna & Jennifer

It really does take a modern village to raise a modern child.

Meet Chris and his partner Mirko.

Today they have a three-year-old daughter and they share her parenting responsibilities with their two female friends, Anna and Jennifer. Chris also shares additional parenting responsibilities with their 18-month-old son, while Mirko is just the Uncle. But it wasn’t always like that.

Wait - feeling confused and starting to need a flow chart to keep track of who's who and how?

Relax - it's Co Parenting.

A proud gay dad, if you ever ask Chris about his daughter he'll show you what can feel like 100+ photos of her (that he just happened to have on hand from last weekend's photoshoot).  He'll also tell you,

“I always knew I would be a parent, I didn’t know how but it had to happen. I love kids and I love family - it's who I am and it's super important to me”.

As a child, Chris helped his own single mother raise 3 younger siblings, but when he began dating, his plans for future fatherhood seemed to be in conflict with his dating experience. That was until he met his partner Mirko, who was already a proud and active ‘Funcle’ (aka the Fun Uncle) to his own nephews and nieces.

Together, over the next two years, they looked for ways to build their own family. They discussed fostering, looked seriously into adopting, and even ran some very detailed numbers on the cost of altruistic surrogacy in Australia.

The biological link

Chris wanted a biological link to a child of his own, whereas Mirko had no especially strong feelings either way, as long as he could be the fun dad.

“Through mutual friends, we met a lesbian couple Anna and Jennifer who also wanted to have a baby of their own. At first, we just shared our respective frustrations about growing our own families and the cost of surrogacy, over weekend dinners together. Over time it was clear they were looking for ways to create their only family too and we all became really good friends”.

Over time, they began to discuss if they ‘could use each other's reproductive capabilities’ to have a child?

They talked about each other's parenting expectations, their hopes for the future, compared ideas about how their own parents and circles of friends might react to them becoming parents, and discussed the types of support each had and might need.

Hastening slowly

Over time they all slowly edged a little closer towards the idea of them all becoming parents and Co Parenting. Eventually, they had separate discussions with a solicitor - both to get clarity on their important decisions and to formalise their shared plans for the future.

Happiness comes in pairs

  • That was two years ago and since then, little Miss ‘Charlotte Lousie’ arrived in the world two years later - daughter to two proud and doting dads Chris and Mirko.
  • A little over 18 months later Little Master ‘Samual Elijah’ arrived - son to widely happy Anna and Jennifer.

Together they are happy Co Parents, and another modern family.

Who is Co Parenting in Australia today?

Simply put, Co Parenting is an arrangement (formal and in writing or informal but clearly understood) made between two or more people to raise a child together, when the two biological parents are not in a romantic relationship with one another.

Single and Co Parenting

  • This could be a single man and a single woman (heterosexual or LGBTQI+ ) who have not found a partner and want to have a child.

Partnered and Co Parenting

  • This could be a same-sex couple and a single person of the opposite sex, (in this case the child might be brought up by 3 parents, for example, two fathers and one mother)
  • This could be a lesbian couple and a gay couple who agree to raise a child together which might be biologically related to one of the lesbian mothers and one of the gay fathers, (in this case the child might be brought up by 4 parents).
Gay couples don't stumble into parenthood by accident. It's always a deliberate act.

How we support modern Co Parents

Unusual Risks Insured is a modern financial advice practice that specialises in helping Modern Families get their life insurances stored.

Everyone who comes to us as a Co Parent has given parenting a great deal of thought, has the resources to care for a child and all share the same commitment - to make sure those they love are protected and provided for financially, in case a parent unexpectedly becomes disabled or passes away.

Where Co Parents start their insurance thinking

Most parents start with the idea of having a realistic picture of ‘what they want family life to look like, if they are unexpectedly disabled or no longer around’.

Pro Tip: As an absolute minimum, we say make sure you have adequate life and disability insurance in place to buy a nice place to live, to replace your income for at least a year, and consider what it will cost to safely provide for your children (and a partner or guardian to care for them) through to at least the end of their education.

You can read more about How Much is Enough, here.

Protect your family's future

Co Parents put particular time into making sure insurance policy beneficiaries are clearly identified and they make sure they get clear on their own estate planning needs as well, to make sure there is a family backup plan in place, just in case.

Professional Advice makes life easier

Having an ongoing relationship with a specialist financial adviser like the team behind Unusual Risks Insured, means they never lose track of important paperwork and policies, they can make updates as needed and they don't have to constantly re-explain their family structure to a stranger whose attitudes toward modern family life might not match their own.

  • An ongoing professional advice relationship also provides a family a clear and immediate pathway to managing an insurance claim too - if the unthinkable were ever to happen.

In short, taking control of your family’s future means peace of mind - knowing you have done everything you can as a parent, to protect and provide for your family — biological and logical.

Read our blog Single Parents Need Life Insurances Too.

Some of the advantages of taking control of your growing families insurance needs

Whether you're Co Parenting by circumstance or choice, taking a deliberate approach to growing and protecting your family has clear benefits. Each person has different needs and abilities and each situation has unique risks to manage.

If you’re Co Parenting by circumstance post-separation

  • taking out a separate life insurance policy on your Co Parent places you in the driver's seat. Rather than risk future confusion or disagreements about what percentage of a policy payout goes to who and when, having a separate policy makes your expectations clear.
  • You're in the position to determine who the policy beneficiary should always be and to know how much the benefit payout will be.
  • Additionally, when you're the policy owner/payer you know for a fact that the policy is being maintained and the premiums are up to date.

If you’re Co Parenting by choice

  • You can decide how your own life insurance payout should be distributed, whether that's held in trust solely for the future benefit of your child or immediately split between a partner and your child.
  • If you're a non-biological partner, you can control who is your nominated policy beneficiary (or beneficiaries) and better understand the future tax effects.

Regardless of how you might Co Parent, whether by circumstances or choice, putting the needs and best interest of the child you love first, is what guides your decisions.

And isn't that what a modern family should be about?


Where to now?

  Discover someone with a similar situation in our Case Studies.

  Have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions.

  Make sure you Browse through our Blog.

  And when you're ready to know if we can work with you why not Skip the Que & Call for a Chat.


Published in All Case Studies

Who's your Super Beneficiary?

Many LGBTQI+ Australians have Super account balances receiving at least 10% of their wages annually.

As most super funds have Life Insurance attached to their members account in some way, this ever increasing pool of wealth is hard to ignore.

So if you're an LGBTQI+ Australian with a Superannuation account, the next logical question is;

'Who's your Super Beneficiary?'

Published in Blog

Life still goes on, even in the middle of a Pandemic.

Yes, it makes perfect sense to think about life insurance today - especially today - because life still happens to us all, all the time, even during difficult times.

One of the dangers of living through difficult times (and the LGBTI Community is no stranger to surviving difficult times) is we can sometimes fixate on the biggest issue and ignore the most important issue - our life, love, and relationships continue regardless.

Our innate adaptability can lead many LGBTI couples to embrace wildly different financial goals, styles and circumstances in our partners.

Published in Blog

The labour of love that is Altruistic Surrogacy in Australia

Altruistic Surrogacy is legal in Australia and so is paying the premiums for a Surrogates' Life and Disability insurance policies.

Who’s using Surrogacy in Australia?

For many Australians, having children and raising a family is a natural and important part of their lives. But for some people, this dream doesn't come easily and when other avenues have been exhausted, options for surrogacy are considered.

  • The intended parents, (sometimes referred to as commissioning parents), are the parents of a child born through surrogacy.
  • A surrogate is a woman who carries a baby for a couple or individual who cannot conceive naturally on their own.

Different types of surrogacy

Gestational Surrogacy (as opposed to Traditional Surrogacy) uses a form of assisted reproductive technology (ART) where a woman (the surrogate) offers to carry a baby through pregnancy on behalf of another — a person or couple, same-sex or heterosexual — and then returns the baby to the intended parent(s) once it’s born.

The gestational surrogate has no genetic link to the child she carries as her eggs cannot be used to conceive the child.

Traditionally, Surrogacy was one way only heterosexual couples, who had difficulty falling pregnant or who were unable to carry a pregnancy safely, could have a child of their own.

Now a growing number of single parents and same-sex couples looking to start their own families are looking to use Surrogacy.

What's our part in this journey?

Vertical chart IVR and Intended parents cycleWe're all about protecting both the intended parents and their surrogates from the major insurable risks of life and unexpected disability.

We specialise in helping;

  • intended parents get the highest quality life insurances in place for themselves, and help them
  • arrange life and disability insurances for their surrogate

in a respectful and confidential way, with a minimum of paperwork and no need for a face-to-face meeting.

Life and Disability Insurances for your surrogate should be established well before any medical assessment or attempts to become pregnant.

Download our Insurance Timeline Chart

Learn more about the IVF & Insurance Timeline to arrange Life Insurances for Intended Parents and their Surrogate. Download our free resource, When to Arrange Intended Parent and Surrogate Life Insurances, chart.

We understand not everyone understands

If you're an intended parent and partway through the roller coaster that can be Altruistic Surrogacy in Australia, you may have already spent what feels like a small fortune on medical and legal costs.

We also understand you may even have had to battle a level of ignorance and stigma from the un-informed portion of the community, or even extended family.

  • The team behind Unusual Risks Insured respects your need for privacy and completes all our work under the brand name of our parent financial advice company, Sapience Financial a financial advice brand that provides a wide range of different financial services Australia-wide.

The uncomfortable truth and what you can do about it

Although it may not be the most pleasant thing to think about, it's true pregnancy is not without risks.

  • From early pregnancy until some weeks after delivery, the statistical reality is pregnant women have an increased risk of mortality compared with women who are not pregnant.

This is why Unusual Risks Insured provides comprehensive life insurance and disability protection for intended parents and their surrogates.

Critical steps in keeping everyone safe

Family Protection planning involves;

  • understanding the statistical realities of life, and
  • the critical role Life Insurances and Estate Planning documents (like Wills and Powers of Attorney) all contribute to building a safety net under your family's future.

We can help you with all of these critical steps.

It is important to protect everyone involved in a surrogacy arrangement against the risk of one of the adults involved unexpectedly dying or unexpectedly becoming long-term disabled?

The intended parents should;

  1. arrange and pay for life insurances for their surrogate, to make sure her family is financially protected if anything happens to her as a result of the pregnancy.
  2. arrange and pay for life insurances for themselves and their future family
  3. include their future child in their current Estate Planning by nominating potential Guardians and providing the protection of a backup inheritance from a life insurance policy in case one or both parents were to unexpectedly pass away before their child turns 21.

The Good News

We can help you with these critical steps in your surrogate journey.

We understand the complex process (and an array of emotions) that can be part of the surrogacy journey, so we create solutions to fix potential problems before they ever arise so you can have more time and emotional space to enjoy the journey you’re on together.

Who we work with?

We work with intended parents who are;

  • ready to get their own life insurances sorted, and
  • ready to protect their Surrogate with the highest quality life insurances, too.

Australian Law

Laws relating to surrogacy are managed independently by different Australian states and territories.  Altruistic Surrogacy is legal in Australia as is paying for a Surrogates's life insurance and disability insurance policy premiums.

Law in NSW

In NSW, the Surrogacy Act 2010 recognises certain surrogacy agreements, prohibits commercial agreements and clarifies the status of children born via surrogacy.

Section 7(3) of the Act outlines what is considered the surrogates reasonable costs associated with the pregnancy or birth as;

(a) any reasonable medical costs associated with the pregnancy or birth (both prenatal and post-natal),
(b) any reasonable travel or accommodation costs associated with the pregnancy or birth,
(c) any premium paid for health, disability or life insurance that would not have been obtained by the birth mother, had the surrogacy arrangement not been entered into...

Law in other States & Territories

Benefit from our professional privacy and expertise

We understand for intended parents, knowing how and who should best arrange high-quality life insurance for their surrogate can be complicated and loaded with privacy and practical personal concerns.

For over 20 years, the Financial Advisers at Unusual Risk Insured have watched Australian legislation lag behind the needs and demands of the community and how insurance companies have tried to quietly avoid this type of client; so were decided to be the change we wanted to see in our community.

All life insurance policies vary from company to company, as do their policy features and conditions.

  • Sadly, the attitude of many insurance companies towards what are usually short term policies, are often less than welcoming
  • Some life insurance companies deliberately tilt their policy wording towards people having pregnancy inside families, rather than outside.

As the awareness of Surrogacy increases, some insurance companies have started writing policies that only cover a pregnancy within the family, not a surrogate pregnancy.

Why work with us?

Whether you’re an intended parent or prospective surrogate, it's important you work with a specialist financial adviser who understands both;

  • the technical nuances of getting the right policy cover for you, and
  • who respects the deeply human connection involved when a person decides to be part of a surrogacy journey.

How to work with us

Our fee-for-service advice model allows us to provide Intended Parents the highest quality insurance for their Surrogate, at a wholesale price - something simply not available through traditional sources.

Additional value for a Surrogate

After the pregnancy, a Surrogate also has the option to simply take over the insurance policy (and keep its wholesale price structure) - potentially saving then thousands of dollars off the standard premium rates over the length of a life insurance policy.

If you're looking for additional online resources?

Make sure you're aware of these recourses:

Where to now?

  Learn about our Surrogacy and IVF Life Insurances.

  Have questions? See our Frequently Asked Questions specifically for Surrogacy services.

  Read about our range of Services. See Our Services.

  Ready to know if we can work with you? Get in touch with us for a chat.


Published in Services

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Pic of Advisor Drew Browne (he/him)

Drew Browne (he/him)

Senior Advisor to Unusualrisks
& Sapience Financial


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Click below to browse through over a dozen different case studies and see how we've helped different people all feel safer and more secure in their love, life and work.Read through over a dozen individual Case Studies

Whatever your situation, we can help you

  • Single

    Age is no indicator of relationship status or financial responsibility.

    • You can be young and starting out or older and established; and both enjoying living the single life.
    • You might be single, single again, sometimes single, single with kids, single with pets or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to being single in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    And it's your single life, so live it your way.

  • Partnered

    Sharing life and love with someone can be twice as exciting.

    • You might be partnered, partnered with pets, officially de facto, officially married (yay!), splitting expenses but sharing life, or joining incomes and combining financial lives too.
    • You might be together but living apart, working towards a future with kids, thinking about fostering, adopting, IVF or surrogacy; or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to being partnered in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    There's no right or wrong way to live a purposeful life, just what works for you both.

  • Parenting

    For today's LGBTQI+ families, there are no accidental families.

    • You might be parenting and single with kids, parenting solo with kids, parenting and partnered with kids, (yours, theirs and ours), dual parents with kids, co-parents, foster parents, adoptive parents, or even adoptive parents of kids with additional needs (just beautiful!).
    • You might be a lesbian co-parenting couple or super involved 'Guncles' or Aunties. You might not even identify with the broader LGBTQI+ community but find yourself a parent in a same-sex relationship, or perhaps something a little more complicated.

    When it comes to parenting in the LGBTQI+ community, there's really no such thing as average.

    However you're doing it, Love makes a family.