Asteron’s commitment to service

With Asteron Life team members working remotely it is business per usual. Clients looking to make claims will be offered the usual service and support. Asteron is working alongside providers to offer rehabilitation and assessment services via video conference. In regards to underwriting, Asteron will continue using their tele-interviewing service. If you are looking to book a time, you can do so through AsteronConnect. Although Asteron is closing applications for redundancy cover and restricting clients from increasing their existing benefits, they are supporting clients who have changing financial circumstances by offering:

Options under Lump Sum Covers

  • Premium Holiday
  • Premium freeze
  • A mixture of stepped and level premiums
  • Restructuring Trauma cover

Options under Disability Income Covers

  • Premium and cover suspension  

Asteron Life: Response to coronavirus

Asteron Life have announced the following options for customers in their recent adviser newsletter:

Options for customers

Some of your clients will be feeling the economic impact so we’d like to remind you that we have options available for customers who have changing financial circumstances.  

Options under Lump Sum Covers include:

  • Premium Holiday – a built-in benefit which allows customers to stop paying premiums for up to six months if they’re unemployed or experiencing financial hardship. Claims are still able to be made during this time.

  • Premium freeze – allows customers to freeze their stepped premium on lump sum covers for 12 months. This option reduces the lump sum benefit and applies from the policy anniversary.

  • A mixture of stepped and level premiums - options are available to suit long-term cover needs while matching short-term pricing needs.

  • Restructuring Trauma cover – an option to decrease premiums while still providing cover. For example, some Trauma Recovery Cover can be converted to Major Trauma benefit, which is a more affordable option as the trigger point for claims on 29 of the 45 listed conditions is higher. Another option is converting Trauma Recovery Cover to Cancer Cover, which has the same policy definitions but does not provide cover for other conditions.

Options under Disability Income Covers:

  • Premium and cover suspension - allows customers to suspend their premiums and cover for up to 12 months if they are experiencing financial hardship or are unemployed or on long-term leave from work. Cover can be reinstated at any point within the 12 months without further medical underwriting. Any conditions which first occur while the customer is on a premium and cover suspension will not be claimable, either during the suspension period or once cover is reinstated. 

Our policy wordings include other options such as Family Assist, Dependant Relative and Overseas Assist and others, which customers may find useful at this time. If your client’s circumstances fall outside the above options, please talk to your BDM about how we can help.


Asteron Life mixing and matching options for IP and Mortgage Protection Insurance

Asteron Life has recently made a number of changes to IP options based on SME research and also adviser feedback. See more details from them below:

Ability to Mix and Match different Income Protection options
One enhancement we made was the ability to offer new clients a range of flexible cover options which combine MLC and IP to tailor cover which suits your client. All new business has the option to combine Loss of Earnings (LOE) or Loss of Earnings Plus with Mortgage and Living Cover.

New Ten-hour benefit
We have also introduced an optional Ten-hour benefit which allows customers to work for up to 10 hours without it affecting their Living support benefit payment under Mortgage and Living Cover. This benefit provides a great option for customers who are self-employed and may work hours which don’t generate an income. 


Asteron Life: Key leadership team changes

Asteron Life has announced two recent changes to their leadership team to help support advisers with the industry changes:

Kevin Turnock has been appointed to our newly created role of National Manager Advice and Professional Standards. In this new role Kevin will be leading our support for Financial Advice Providers and Financial Advisers to help create strong, resilient adviser businesses that can seize the new opportunities emerging as we go through regulatory change. Kevin has over 22 years industry experience, over half of which was as an adviser and most recently as Regional Manager for Northern.

Crush Huston has been appointed as our new Regional Manager for Northern, effective as of Monday 24 February. Crush has been with Asteron Life for almost three years and was previously a Relationship Manager for ACC New Zealand, holding various roles for over 15 years. Crush is looking forward to continuing to develop relationship partnerships with our advisers.

Crush will be working alongside Kirsten Young, who was appointed as Regional Manager for our newly combined Central and Southern areas in December last year.


Asteron Life: Coronavirus

Asteron Life have announced that they have been closely monitoring the coronavirus 2019-nCoV outbreak. Based on this they have requested more information for any new and existing applicants regarding any travel to or from mainland China since 1 December 2019. Stating 'Our underwriters will be reviewing these applications on a case by case basis and, once the timeframe has been established, will be liaising with the adviser on any necessary disclosure updates'.

Asteron Life will also be updating AsteronConnect to include the following question: “Since December 2019, have you or anyone you reside with travelled to, from or through (i.e. transit stop) China or, have you been in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with the coronavirus?"


Asteron Life: Changes to Mortgage and Living Cover

Asteron Life have announced a number of changes to their Mortgage and Living Cover, as well as the ability to quote it alongside Income Protection.

As of Monday 9 December Asteron announced they have introduced:

  • The ability to combine Mortgage and Living Cover (MLC) with Income Protection (IP)
  • An optional Ten-hour benefit on Mortgage and Living Cover
  • Enabling bundling discounts across Personal and Business
  • Adding level Life Cover projections to age 100

Here is an example of combining Mortgage and Living Cover with IP: Combining MLC and IP may be suitable for clients who want the advantage of not offsetting ACC benefits as well as some tax deductibility of premiums; or for self-employed clients who could manage basic oversight of their business in less than 10 hours a week; or for self-employed clients who are used to meeting regular tax obligations.  

Here you can download a case study helping explain the optional ten-hour benefit on Mortgage and Living Cover. Download MLC Case study

 

 


Asteron Life adds shield to website to aid victims of domestic abuse

Suncorp, Vero and Asteron Life are now part of the "shielded Sites" network. Shielded sites is an initiative aimed at helping New Zealanders experiencing domestic violence to safely gain support. Visitors to the websites are able to click on the Shielded Site icon to access information that can help them live a violence-free life without websites being visited showing in their browser history. This is a great initiative - ideally almost every high-traffic consumer site will do this, so people trapped in households with domestic violence and controlling family members will be able to see how and where they can get help safely. Click here to read more.