Permanent health insurance (PHI) is an insurance policy that protects up to 70% of your income should you suffer a long-term illness. The policy usually has a deferred period e.g. 13 weeks, 26 weeks etc. During the deferred period, the benefit is not payable. After the deferred period, the insured proportion of your income is paid. The payments last until you recover or your nominated end date, whichever is first.