Quality Product Research: Trauma – the addition of Cerebral Aneurysm

According to the NZ Medical Journal (2013), Intracranial aneurysms are present in 2-6% of our population. Small unruptured and mostly asymptomatic aneurysms are relatively commonly found on brain imaging studies performed for other reasons and early intervention is crucial.

Insurers have responded to customer feedback by incorporating either partial or full benefits into their Trauma product suite, so we are now looking to add Cerebral Aneurysm as a separate item in our database to reflect this.

The definitions offered by most providers are essentially the same. AIA does specify the type of evidence required but in practice, the specified evidence is what all providers would effectively require when assessing the claim. Furthermore, Asteron’s definition differs but is the only provider with a full benefit payment. This would be reflected in the amount score.

Before we publish a draft rating, we would be interested in getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Most importantly, we need to determine what the incidence rates are for Cerebral Aneurysm.   

If you're interested in being involved in this rating, have had a client with a claim, or are an expert in this field please email us on researcher@qpresearch.co.nz  

We look forward to your assistance and input with this rating exercise and thank you in advance for your participation and time.


Cigna offer free critical care cover, and more daily news

From 1 February, Cigna will be offering up to $30,000 of free critical illness cover to eligible customers. The cover applies to customers that take out new or additional Cigna Assurance Extra Life Cove worth a minimum of $100,000 via an adviser before 31 March. These customers will receive free critical illness cover that is valid for two years. Once the two years are up customers have the option of renewing to paid cover. When customers choose to have paid cover advisers will receive full commission.

For a limited time beginning 1 February we’re offering a little something extra to New Zealanders by providing them up to $30,000 free critical illness cover for two years on us.

How does the offer work?

For new customers

New eligible customers who purchase a minimum of $100,000 of Cigna Assurance Extra Life Cover through an Independent Financial Adviser will receive two years of free critical illness cover up to the value of $30,000.

For existing customers

Eligible customers that top up their existing Cigna Assurance Extra Life Cover with their Independent Financial Adviser by $100,000 or more will receive two years of free critical illness cover up to the value of $30,000.

For you

At the end of the free cover period, you’ll have the opportunity to connect with your customer to check in and review if the trauma cover still meets their needs. Switching them to paid cover will be as simple as ticking a box. If they choose to keep their cover, you’ll receive full commission on the renewed business. Click here to read more

In other news

Cigna: customers who get a quote for cover through the Cigna online quote tool between 13 February - 30 April 2022 will go in the draw to win a month of HelloFresh boxes

Cigna: Income Protection calculator is now available on Adviser Hub

Cigna: Cigna is currently developing a plan to run Business Development Forums across the country under the Red setting


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for HIV

Introduction

According to the New Zealand AIDS Foundation, in 2020, 162 New Zealanders were diagnosed with HIV – the lowest number since 2012. Advancements in reproductive medicine have led to a low prevalence of the virus in our country and ultimately a low weighting in our Trauma Research. We have renamed Medically Acquired HIV to HIV and rated insurers based on the coverage they offer for both Medically and Occupationally acquired HIV.

For more information on HIV in NZ click here

Sub-items rating review

Please find our proposed rating below: 

HIV

Notes

Our Research rating reflects the similar approach insurers take with their HIV definition. While AMP Lifetrack and Westpac require an incidence report within 14 days, most other insurers request a 30-day notice period, and a negative HIV antibody test must support a potential claim. AMP also includes the previous requirement for any claims outside of NZ or Australia, whereas Westpac entirely excludes any overseas coverage. Most insurers also require evidence of medically acquired HIV from a recognised health authority and after reviewing several online resources, the likelihood of this seemed relatively low.

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 Manager, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz

 


New Year, new research: expanded and updated research database and product range details...

The Quotemonster team is back on deck for the new year and ready to support your quoting and Research needs.

On our last day of business, we uploaded database version 14.7 to Quotemonster which contained the following changes:

> Fidelity’s range of enhancements effective 15 November 2021  

  • Updated policy wording, brochures, and application forms are also available in the “Documents” tab within your Research comparison screen   
  • Funeral Fund was withdrawn from this date however a static Research rating for this can be found in your "Research Tools" tab 
  • More information on these enhancements can be found here 

> Updates to our Research include:

Within Trauma:

  • Chronic Lung Disease
  • HIV Medically Acquired renamed to HIV

Within Medical:

  • Specialist Consultation – (minor correction to guide score)
  • Imaging
  • Mental Health
  • Physiotherapist (applies to Southern Cross Wellbeing 2)

> Updates to our website include:

  • Research for Life Income/Family Protection has been enabled for AIA, Cigna, Fidelity, and Partners Life

And the biggest upgrade will be an entire site refresh scheduled for early 2022!

Happy Crunching!  


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Chronic Lung Disease

To commemorate World Pneumonia Day on November 12, 2021, we would like to share our rating for Chronic Lung Disease. World Pneumonia Day aims to highlight the importance of pneumonia as a public health issue and to encourage more countries to invest in learning more about the disease. Interestingly, in New Zealand Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death as mentioned in our resources below: 

For more information on pneumonia and how you can support the cause please visit https://stoppneumonia.org/

Sub-items rating review

LD

Notes

We used the same logic as per our proposed rating for Peripheral Neuropathy (click here to see this). Definitions do seem to vary among insurers which we believe is important to highlight so we have created additional sub-items for this purpose. The condition has a low weighting compared to Trauma as a whole, for example Chronic Lung Disease only contributes a rating of ~0.30 to Trauma.

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


The cost of care

It is hard to measure the true cost of an event like a cancer diagnosis. But insurers in Australia have done some excellent work on assessing the cost of care, at least, for many of the most common diagnoses. It is well worth a look: https://media2-production.mightynetworks.com/asset/29819978/cost-of-care-whitepaper.pdf I see it as helping to inform questions such as how much trauma and TPD cover are required, as well as providing some context for typical, as opposed to extreme, values for treatment. Advisers keen on a New Zealand version should let us know - we're contemplating projects for the New Year!


Fidelity Life enhancements

Along with introducing a range of system upgrades, Fidelity have also released a series of changes to their product suite effective 15 November 2021.

Some of these changes include:

  • Enhancements to their CPI and Indexation option
  • Changes to Survivor's income cover
  • Amendments to the total disability and Trauma (Severe inflammatory bowel disease) definitions
  • Funeral fund and Defined disability income protection cover will be removed from sale
  • Clarity of wordings and cover name changes to various policies

Additionally, these enhancements have not led to any pricing increases and full information can be found on the Apollo Illustrator or the attached article. We have received the full range of policy documents from Fidelity and are currently working to release the next database with these updates in the next few weeks.

Please feel free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz if you have any questions 


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Peripheral Neuropathy

Introduction

Peripheral Neuropathy is a condition where the nerves that relay messages to and from the brain, spinal cord and body are damaged or diseased. Most commonly affecting diabetics but also caused by traumatic injuries or infections.

Please find our proposed rating for Peripheral neuropathy below.

Sub-items rating review

Peripheral neuro

Notes

Peripheral neuropathy has a low weighting in our Research database. Most insurers have the same stance towards this condition, with Asteron Life recently removing their drug and alcohol exclusion. While most insurers use the same assessment criteria to qualify for payment: 1) insured must have the inability to perform one or more Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) or 2) a 25% permanent whole person impairment, Asteron only has one of these (which according to our methodology is a difference). When we further investigated how this definition might be applied to other insurers, it became clear that practically, access to a qualified medical practitioner who can perform an assessment, diagnosing permanent impairment may be a challenge for clients outside our larger cities. ACC also uses this permanent impairment criteria for lump sum claims, however very little information can be found elsewhere. Overall, existing data does suggest that claims for this condition are quite low, so we conclude that the definition for all insurers is functionally similar in this case.

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


Database V14.6 now Live!

Our updated database is now live on Quotemonster and reflects the following changes:

Changes to Research include:

  • New policy documents and minor rating changes for Accuro and Unimed
  • Asteron Life's new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Cignas’ new range of enhancements (for more details click here)
  • Income and Mortgage Protection product weightings have been updated (for more details click here
  • Definition reviews for:
    • Aplastic Anaemia - Trauma
    • Critical Cancer & Booster (AMP only) – reflecting the difference between the base and plus range
    • Peripheral neuropathy- Trauma
    • Diagnostic tests – Medical
    • Imaging – Medical
    • Product flexibility – Medical
    • Support & Allowance – Medical
    • Inflation Adjustment (Partners Life Income and Expenses only)
    • Offsets – Income protection
    • Partial Disability – Income and Mortgage Protection

Changes to Quotemonster include:

  • The option to add a 50% benefit loading to health cover – initiated by your feedback
  • Family Protection Research now available for AIA, Cigna, Fidelity Life and Partners Life
  • Spring cleaning for our Research ratings:
  • Optional items that are not included in the score are shown as 0*

0

  •   If an insurer does not have an item (but others do) this will be shown as a dash (-) for their score

Dash

  • A legend has been added to our Heat Map report once generated

Leg

  • Rate changes for the following companies:
    • nib (effective 1 October 2021)
    • Unimed (effective 1 August 2021)
    • AIA Private Health (effective 1 November 2021)
    • Southern Cross (effective 1 November 2021)

Please email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz if you have any questions or feedback.

Happy Crunching!