Asteron Life have made a claim for real innovation by launching their new continuous trauma benefit. There are some details to get across, and you can read about those in the link below. But the essence of the number of the product enhancement is that with this optional add on, trauma automatically reinstates immediately after a claim.It is the automatic nature that I think is really powerful. I shall be taking a closer look at pricing and seeing how that works. too.
[In the UK...] The number of deaths from sepsis have soared, rising by more than a third in two years. Nicki Plews, senior propositions manager at AIG Life says (quoted from cover magazine):
"We need to talk about the prospect of encountering a serious illness like sepsis and raise awareness as our industry wants to be there to help people deal with the impact of serious illnesses like sepsis. It is something that can strike any of us as the UK Sepsis Trust notes 25,000 children are diagnosed with sepsis every year and five people die from it every hour in the UK."
Plews then proceeds to list a number of enhancements to AIG Life's trauma product. Well worth a look for product managers.
The news on cancer is both good and bad. The long retreat of infectious disease as a cause of early death means that cancer is a far more likely disorder. Within that great trend there are other trends, national, and individual factors which affect risk. But this is the key from a recent article:
"Given increasing incidence rates, the average lifetime risk of being diagnosed with cancer has increased from one in three to one in two. However, as incidence rates have increased, mortality rates have reduced, leading to better outcomes overall. The good news is that cancer survival rates are improving: for patients diagnosed during 2010-2011 in England and Wales, 46% of men and 54% of women are predicted to survive their cancer for 10 years or more. However, the cost challenge for critical illness insurers and reinsurers is likely to persist."
The article "Cancer and cost", by Aisling Kennedy, reports on the latest data on the incidence and risks of cancer, at The Actuary.com - and it is well worth a read.
The implication for individual insurance programmes, I think, is that a good combination of trauma and income protection insurance is ideal. Trauma because it can deliver assistance even before the insured is too ill to work. Income protection because it can provide most of the funds to replace income for a long period of time.
There are some people that don't think trauma cover is worth having - I am not one of them. Their view is that trauma cover depends on a kind of lottery: that the disease is one of those listed as a claimable event. That's true as far as it goes, but doesn't properly acknowledge that of the truly major illnesses you can contract in modern life, modern trauma covers. As a fall-back, most up to date trauma products to include some total and permanent disability benefit. But put that aside, and read these stories describe diagnosis of MS. They exemplify the value of early, partial payments for diagnosis and full payment for the point where disability is being experienced. With a benefit of $100,000 the partial payment - for most adviser companies, and one or two bank versions of the product - would be $25,000. At that point most income protection contracts would not pay out.
We are very pleased to announce after much adviser feedback that you can now quote Level Trauma and Level TPD on Quotemonster for those companies who offer them. Simply add the benefit in the 'Benefits' screen.
Quotemonster continues to respond to market changes and is developing the platform accordingly.
BNZ made a number of changes to their LifeCare products on the 1st of September. Critical conditions such as benign brain tumour, major head trauma and out of hospital cardiac arrest have been added to their Critical Condition benefit. However, the severe heart attack definition remains tough by industry standards with a requirement to meet at least three of four defining factors or alternatively have a substantially ventricular ejection fraction. A couple of exclusions have also been removed from some benefits including an exclusion for war and one for HIV. Click here to read more.
The table below shows the trauma sums insured selected. There are some details about the data below, but in summary you can quickly find the most commonly chosen sum: $100,000, following by $50,000, and then $200,000. Although a better interpretation might be: for the population as a whole, most people don't buy trauma. If you look at the cluster of quotes around $50,000 then most people choose much less cover than $100,000, a few choose $100,000, and the rest choose the same cover as their life sum insured.
The chart shows the value selected by for either the only client, or the first client of two, where there are more than two clients. Although the scenario may be crunched several times the value is taken from the most recent crunch, because that is expected the be the iteration closest to an application if that eventuated. It is only for crunches in the quarter to the end of March 2017 on Quotemonster, it includes trauma sums insured from any combination of benefits which included trauma.