Quality Product Research: value-based research supports evidence-based advice

We have recently had an influx of new users register on Quotemonster and would like to take the time to re-introduce our Research and Rating Methodology.

We think that using real-world data to make our research value-based makes it a lot easier to see which features and benefits really count, and which are just bells and whistles.

Our Four-Factor Research includes:

  1. Definition – the quality of the policy wording

In our definition score, we are purely looking for differences between policy wordings but will use the same sub-items across products (e.g., Agreed value, Indemnity, Loss of Earnings). We start with a score of 100 and usually make deductions according to restrictions and limitations in cover. Our approach differs for “Exclusions” as these take away from the policy so you will see this as a negative total score. A variation of this approach is also used in our rating for “Offsets.  

  1. Incidence – How likely the benefit is to be claimed

We collect data from re-insurers, statistics, underwriters, and medical experts to identify how likely each benefit will be claimed on.

  1. Amount – How much would be paid

Here we identify how much each insurer will pay. In trauma insurance, some companies pay the full benefit for an item, others only make a payment of 10% or 20% of the sum insured because the condition was not severe enough to warrant a full payment. Our score is varied according to how much would actually be paid. For some benefits, we create a claims scenario to determine the amount paid as it is not as clear-cut.

  1. Frequency – How often the benefit would be paid

Here we determine if a claim can be made more than once. A client can only claim on life insurance once, therefore the frequency will be 100% however this is less clear-cut for Medical which is where we create a claims scenario that will reflect multiple claims over a lifetime of the policy.

We then multiply the four factors to obtain the Insurance Quality Score that you will see on Quotemonster.

Definition x Incidence x Amount x Frequency = Insurance Quality Score

Also, we don't so this alone. We take advice - from a variety of expert sources below, and also from regularly engaging with advisers and insurers. In fact, we are running two consultations right now, and receiving input from reinsurance research to update our trauma claims incidence rates. We support an evidence-based approach to advice. 

Methodology add on v1

If you would like a one-page explanation of why methodology matters please email or call the team and we can send you the methodology info-graphic. If your team has new staff members (or any that would like a refresh), we can invite them to our regular Quotemonster and Advicemonster training sessions (attendees include Insurer Product Managers and various other Industry members). Please feel free to email through contact details of those who are interested in attending (researcher@qpresearch.co.nz). 

 

 


Quality Product Research: Health Insurance - major review process commenced for Exclusions (feedback closure 30/05/2021)

Following on from our correspondence in mid-March, if you wish to submit any feedback or claims experience to assist us with our review on Medical Exclusions, please do so by 30 May 2021. We appreciate the feedback we have received so far and look forward to creating a new model which will also be posted for feedback in the next few weeks.


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Benign Brain and Spine Tumour

Introduction

The World Health Organisation states that 130 different types of brain tumours exist. A benign brain tumour is a non-cancerous growth in a distinct area of the brain. The survival rates for patients with benign brain tumours are higher than others, however this depends on the size and location of the tumour within the brain.

Proposed sub-items

Capture

Notes

There are some noticeable differences between insurers such as whether partials exist, or if the spinal cord or tumour on the pituitary gland is covered. We have tried to make the sub-items clearly demonstrate the variation between insurers.

Why is this important?

Although QPRs weighting of this item is low, it would be of high interest to those that have a family history of brain cancers. With a lot of insurers now having specialised cancer products we would like to ensure that our rating is relevant. 

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


March peaks interest in comparison

An all-time record high of 2,504 users on quotemonster.co.nz in the last 28 days confirmed that it was a very, very, busy March. More advisers than ever are interested in comparisons. Advisers tell us that consumers like comparisons. Guidance around replacement advice requires that either a comparison is done, or the risks of proceeding without having done a comparison are explained - for example, in this report. It seems that advisers, regulators, and consumers all agree that comparisons are an essential part of financial advice. This situation is dynamic - you cannot form a view and then keep expecting that to hold true - every quarter, on average, four insurers change the pricing for eight product lines and the policy wordings for five product lines. So if you haven't compared, how can you be confident in your recommendation? 


Quality Product Research: Inflation Adjustment item update for Life Cover

Introduction

Inflation is often overlooked when customers are looking to purchase Life Cover. Although it may not be necessary for short term policies, it is however, a valued feature for long term policies (i.e., those that are in place for 20 years or more). 

Sub-items rating review

Hello

Following up on adviser feedback, we have recently added the optional Inflation Adjustment feature to MAS increasing the accuracy of our rating for Life cover for this insurer.

Please note we currently only show the pricing difference between indexed vs non-indexed (as shown below) and the rating for optional items are excluded from the total rating you will see on your research report.

Lol

Notes

The Inflation Adjustment benefit does not significantly vary among providers. Companies differ in expiry age, with Pinnacle being the only that expires at age 60. ANZ bank seems to be the only provider with a deduction for the sub-item “Excludes when premiums are waived”. A significant difference is whether the benefit is optional or included.    

Why is this important?

The benefit would be of high value for those looking to purchase long term policies. To not have this option would have a great impact in the future as you would understand that the cost of living will only increase as time goes on (and so should our Life cover). 

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


QPR Update

The latest QPR database has been sent out to subscribers and it has also been updated on Quotemonster. This version includes the following changes:

Remediation to:

  • AIA Future Insurability (Indexed vs Level)
  • Partners Life Covid-19 related changes

Product updates on QM:

  • You can now quote Partners Life Indemnity LOE with TPD Booster

IP ratings under review

Product scores for income protection products are under review. We need to consider how to take into account temporary measures being applied to contracts with some disablement components - IP, Trauma, and TPD - such as the recent restrictions being applied by Partners Life. In the meantime, you need to familiarise yourself with what those restrictions are and whether they apply to the cases you are submitting. We have a schedule of COVID-19 impacts available for subscribers in the quarterly life and health review, which will be issued today. 


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. 


Product Research

The Quality Product Research database V130 has now been distributed to all subscribers. This version includes the following changes:

  • Southern Cross and nib added to Standalone Trauma
  • Partners Life documents and rating update V14.5 – effective 09.12.2019 (personal and business)
  • Fidelity Life remediation of booster benefit