It is Chris Bell's last day as manager of the claims team at Asteron Life today as he leaves to pursue other interests. Many people will know and like Chris Bell's approach to the team, always exuding compassion, competence, and a balance which has made him widely respected. I have heard him talk about the claims process and managing disability claimants back to work - and it is an important and difficult task. He was part of my early career when he managed the underwriting team at Prudential. He will be missed.
The latest premium comparison (version 76) is available to subscribers and will be supplied in the usual delivery process. The changes include:
- Updated Fidelity Mortgage Protection rates effective 1st March.
- Added rates for TPD Occ class 4
It is the antithesis of the online advert for "pills that melt belly fat" and it is the truth. Along with "eat lean" and "70% of how you look is about your diet" the other 30% is covered by "train until you want to throw up". There are no easy answers. From Asteron's excellent blog interview with Hugh Jackman. Link.
Quality Product Research New Database Version 7.7a is now live on Quotemonster. Between 7.6 and 7.7 the following major changes were made:
SBS - Life & Trauma rated.
AA Life - Income Cover (AV) rated.
AIA Life Cover rated.
AIA Trauma Cover (SA & Acc.) rated.
AIA Income (AV & Ind.) rated.
AIA Mortgage Repayment rated.
OnePath Redundancy Cover rated under all Income Products & Mortgage Repayment. Existing redundancy cover for all othe providers reviewed.
Sovereign review (Life & TPD & Mortgage Protection).
AMP RPP Income (total disability to age 70)
AMP RPP - 'future insurability' and 'special events' increase added to Life, Trauma & TPD.
Medical Review changes for Sov ans Accuro.
Product changes to Asteron Trauma Acc and Standalone
Version 7.7a has a minor fix incorporated and went live overnight. Subscribers to the database will receive in the database in the usual way. Users of the Quotemonster site are already using the new database.
The New Zealand insurance market is richer, bigger, and more complex than you might suspect. Through adviser demand Quality Product Research has expanded the number of companies researched to 28, and that number is still likely to rise.
If, like most advisers, you don't use anything like that number of companies, they may still be useful to you:
- You may come across their products in the market and wish to do a comparison.
- You may be looking for a product solution for a client and find it is offered by an insurer you were unaware of.
- You may be approached by a new company and wish to build competence in advising on their products before you talk to clients about them.
You can check out the full list at the Quotemonster blog.
Asteron Life won the third annual ANZIIF award for life insurer of the year 2014. They also won in 2013. Congratulations to Asteron Life and the team who have worked hard to do well. Link.
Asteron is the latest company to put a greater focus on group business alongside individual life business. Last year Partners Life appointed a development manager to this market segment. Now Asteron has started advertising their group offer on goodreturns - the advert is shown below.
After a slow first half of the year the pace of change has pushed back above the trend line with seven companies changing product or price (or both) in the past quarter.
- Partners Life
- Southern Cross
We report on each one as they come up, but it is worth reflecting the number as a whole. If you are not watching the market bear in mind that your perceptions of price and product competitiveness can quickly get out of date with this rate of change.
Version 71 of the Premium Comparison database have been uploaded to Dropbox for subscribers, or made available in your preferred delivery mechanism.
Updated prices for Asteron LOE, LOE Plus and Mortgage Protection. Please note that we are now including Increasing Claim for Asteron Mortgage Protection, which wasn't included previously. The prices have gone up by approx. 5% but the Rate Change tables are showing larger increases due to this change. When the other companies do pricing updates in the future we will endeavour to quote the equivalent prices - but there remains a number of Mortgage Repayment Covers which do not include an indexation option.
Asteron has repriced income protection and mortgage repayment cover adding about 4%, on average, to pricing for to-age 65 benefits and to-age 70.
Users of Quotemonster can access quotes on the new rates now.
Subscribers to the premium comparison database will receive a new version early next week to enable a review across large numbers of sample of quotes.