Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Aplastic Anaemia

Introduction

Were back with another item analysis - this time for Aplastic Anaemia.

Please find our proposed sub-items below.

Sub-items rating review

Aplastic

Notes

A defined treatment option is a commonality across all insurers, excluding Asteron Life who have a more open definition when compared to their competitors. We have included a sub-item for those insurers who require diagnosis from a medical specialist along with a deduction to those that do not offer an additional treatment option. Aplastic Anaemia is a lowly weighted item in our database; however, our proposed rating aims to emphasise the difference in the definition between insurers, rather than focusing too much on ranking them from best and worse.  

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


Asteron Life announce policy changes, and more daily news

Effective Monday, 27 September, Asteron announced a series of product enhancements to their personal range. Asteron Life has announced that changes have been made to expiry ages for Trauma Recovery Cover. The new expiry age for both standalone and accelerated benefits has increased from 75 to 85. Additionally, the expiry age for Continuous Trauma and Trauma Reinstatement benefit have increased to 75, and the maximum entry age for Asteron Life Trauma cover has increased to 70. Robyn Bartlett, Asteron Life Product Manager, has noted that the changes are a result of focusing on flexibility and usability for both advisers and customers. As part of the change, Astron Life has also:

  • Added premium holiday benefit and premium and cover suspension to business insurance policies 
  • Added a new lump sum specific injury benefit 
  • Made changes to its Major Trauma ratios 
  • Changed the definitions for seven conditions in its Trauma policies for new and existing customers back to 2004 
  • Updatied policy wordings for various benefits including grief support and financial planning 

“Asteron Life has announced changes to expiry ages for Trauma Recovery Cover, as part of a suite of product enhancements it has released this week. 

For its standalone and accelerated benefits, the expiry age is lifting from 70 to 85. Some other benefits including its Continuous Trauma and Trauma Reinstatement benefit will lift to age 75. 

Robyn Bartlett, Product Manager at Asteron Life, said that flexibility and usability have been the core values that have driven the range of enhancements the company is releasing. 

“We have heard from advisers that they value being able to give their customers choices when it comes to building a package of insurance cover to suit them,” say Bartlett.  

“Increasing the expiry ages of our Trauma recovery packages gives advisers and customers increased flexibility to put together insurance that will give them peace of mind in their unique circumstances.” 

The maximum entry age for Asteron Life Trauma cover will also be extended to age 70. 

Bartlett said that providing a valuable Trauma cover that would create great outcomes for customers was a big focus for the insurer. 

“Trauma cover is one of the most valuable products for our customers at claim time,” she says.  

“As well as updating the entry and expiry ages, we have also made changes to the definitions for some conditions, including the updated cerebral aneurysm definition being a direct result of compelling customer feedback.” 

In 2018, Asteron Life released its Continuous trauma benefit, which remains the only benefit of its kind in the market in New Zealand. Continuous Trauma is an optional benefit which gives customers Trauma cover that they can claim on up to three times for unrelated events, even immediately after they have made a claim.  

“With things like Continuous Trauma and our latest enhancements, we’re working to create a robust Trauma that will give customers peace of mind over the long term, and improve the ability of customers to make a claim when they need to.” 

The changes to the expiry age take effect this week, and existing Trauma policyholders’ expiry ages will be automatically extended. 

As well as changes to its Trauma product, Asteron Life has released a number of other product enhancements including: 

  • Adding premium holiday benefit and premium and cover suspension to business insurance policies 
  • Adding a new lump sum specific injury benefit 
  • Making changes to its Major Trauma ratios 
  • Changing the definitions for seven conditions in its Trauma policies for new and existing customers back to 2004 
  • Updating policy wordings for various benefits including grief support and financial planning 

These and a suite of other changes are live in Asteron Life’s system this week.” Click here to read more

We will keep our users on Quotemonster in the loop as to when these ratings will be made available on our quoting platform. 

Please feel free to send through any information or feedback to info@quotemonster.co.nz 

 

In other news:

Financial Advice: Katrina Skanks had a global meeting with Financial Planning Standards Board, to plan for the World Financial Planning Day

FSC: ReGenerations Reimagined will begin 19 October. All ticketholders will be given all access passes for the new schedule

AIA: adviser wellbeing research closes on 10 October

FMA: FMA appoints Karen Chang as Acting General Counsel


Partners Life underwriting process updates, and more daily news

Partners Life has announced that there will be several changes made to the underwriting process from 27 September. The updates include the removal of certain requirements for large sums assured cases, changes to Monthly Disability non-medical limits and Trauma Cover non-medical limits, making questionnaires available on MyPartnersLife, and making the latest Adviser Underwriting Guide available on MyPartnersLife.

“The following changes were implemented into our systems over the weekend, and are effective today, Monday 27 September 2021:

Removal of some requirements for large sums assured cases
We have reflected on what value each of our limit requirements give to us, and have identified that a number have rarely affected the outcomes in the past. As such, we have removed the following from our standard limits requirements:

  • Resting ECG’s. This means that the Code C Medical Examination is no longer required to be completed by a Senior Physician, and a GP medical will now be sent in its place
     
  • HIV and Hepatitis C blood tests from Code B blood tests
     
  • HIV, Hepatitis C, Full Blood Count and ESR blood tests for Code C and above, where Life Cover does not exceed $5,000,000 and TPD Cover does not exceed $3,000,000

Changes to Monthly Disability non-medical limits
We have reflected on our non-medical limit sums assured for monthly disability cover, and have heard your comments around clients issuing cover at either $7,999 per month or $14,999 per month.  As such, we have changed the limits by $1 as a quality of life change, so you can now issue up to $8,000 per month on the personal statement only and between $8,001 and $15,000 per month with an additional Code B blood test and PMAR.

Changes to Trauma Cover non-medical limits
Previously our guidelines considered industrywide standalone Trauma Cover, while the rest of our non-medical limits only considered the risk held by Partners Life. We have updated this to now reflect all Trauma risk held by Partners Life, and have increased the non-medical limit from $1,500,000 to $2,000,000.

Questionnaires available on MyPartnersLife
Historically when clients have had to provide additional disclosure after you have submitted an application, our underwriting team has requested relevant questionnaires be completed from the application form.

With the continued growth in MUM, we recognise the use of our paper application form is fast becoming a thing of the past. As such, we have digitised all of the manual application form questionnaires, which are now available on MyPartnersLife’s forms section.

Adviser Underwriting Guide
We are also pleased to advise that the latest version of our Adviser Underwriting Guideline is available on MyPartnersLife. This updated guide incorporates all changes to our product offerings made since March 2020, including the addition of our new Moderate Trauma Cover and Income and Expense Cover. It also reflects the updated non-medical limit requirements indicated above.”

In other news

Asteron Life: Feedback improves Asteron's trauma cover

From. Good returns: [The Wrap] It's time to check in on advisers' wellbeing

AIA:

GRTV Adam and Sam.mp4 from Good Returns TV on Vimeo.


FYI: Asteron Life - Trauma Reinstatement replaces Continuous Trauma

Following on from our post on the release of Database V14.5 – a significant change we have made to Quotemonster is replacing Asteron's Continuous Trauma with Trauma Reinstatement for the Trauma Buyback option.

This image has an empty alt attribute; its file name is image-1-1024x144.png
 

This will mean that you can no longer quote Continuous Trauma however we are exploring options on how to integrate both in future. To learn more about Asteron's Trauma product please click here. Please free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz if you have any questions or comments.

Happy Crunching!

 
 

Quality Product Research: How do we model the package weightings and why?

A package should reflect the relative value of different types of insurance protection to the person buying that cover. We put weightings on packages because, for example, a package of just life and trauma is less comprehensive than a package of life, trauma, mortgage protection, and medical.

A summary of the weightings is shown below:

Prdouct new

Zoom in on the income and mortgage elements for a moment. That was raised by several advisers recently who feel that mortgage cover is the first element of temporary disability protection put in force. Market practice backs this up - quoting by advisers in Quotemonster shows that more mortgage protection is now quoted than income protection. So how were we to revise the package breakdown? We took the view that of the 45% of the package value assigned to MP and IP combined, the scores should reflect the relative weights when MP and IP are typically included in a plan together. MP often covers the first 40% of income insured and IP tops that up to about 75%. Clearly it can vary according to rules specific to each company and products used, but broadly this gives a new weighting as follows:

MP         25%

IP           20%

Total      45% of package value

We value and appreciate all the feedback coming through! If you have any questions or comments please email them through to info@quotemonster.co.nz


FYI: How to quote Partners Life Income and Expenses or Moderate Trauma Cover

We have recently added Partners Life Income & Expenses and Moderate Trauma to our product selection on Quotemonster.

To learn more about these please click on the product - Income and Expenses or Moderate Trauma

To quote these products on our platform, select them in your “Settings” as per our screenshots below:

Moderat

IE

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

Happy Crunching!


Quality Product Research: QPR database update V145

Quality Product Research works continually to update our product ratings. We have just distributed the QPR Database V145 to subscribers which includes the following changes:

 

* Medical Exclusions Major Review - all insurers

* Partners Life - new policy document effective 12/07/2021

> Income & Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma rated

> Enhancements effective 12/07/2021

 

* AIA enhancements to Trauma & IP/MP effective 23/07/2021

* Pinnacle Life - new policy document loaded

> Life: no rating changes

> IP: no rating changes

> TPD Any Occ Accelerated rated

> Trauma: minor rating changes

* Reviews:

> Trauma

- Osteoporosis re-rate for all companies

- Asteron - Trauma Reinstatement replaces continuous Trauma in TBB

> IP/MP

- Total Disability Class 1&2 5yr for PL

> Life

- Financial Planning & Legal - re-rate for all companies

- Grief and Funeral Support - re-rate for all companies

- Business Future Insurability (optional) added to PL


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Osteoporosis

Introduction

We have recently renamed the “Osteoporosis” item to “Early Onset Osteoporosis” to reflect the severity-based definition that insurers use and a common limit of payment to those aged under 50 years old. 

Sub-items rating review

Osteon new

Notes

A noticeable difference is the fact that several insurers do not offer this benefit once the insured is over 50. Though osteoporosis among those younger than 50 is considered rare, a study conducted at the University of Arkansas found that it's a greater risk than most women realize. From information on 164 college-aged women, 2 percent had bone densities low enough to be considered osteoporosis, and 15 percent were low enough to be in the osteoporosis risk range. To read more on this click here. Nevertheless our previous penalty for the limitation on age was far below the level of cases that this probably removes from the claims pool. So we have increase the penalty from -10 to -75. 

This is also a great example of how our methodology, specifically the  “Amount Score” (one of four) comes into play, to highlight the different payment amounts made by insurers. Please note, Asteron Life only offers cover for Osteoporosis with their “Early Trauma Benefit” similarly with AMP products you will need to select the Plus Options. These are all available in your “Product Settings” on Quotemonster.

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email any claims information you have regarding this condition.   

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


FYI: How to quote Severe Trauma on Quotemonster

There are three insurers that currently offer Severe Trauma in their Product Suite – AIA (Progressive Care), Asteron (Major Trauma) and Partners Life (Severe Trauma)

For further information on each please click on the product below:   

To quote this on Quotemonster, simply select Accelerated or Standalone Trauma and click the “Severe Trauma” box below the cover amount

Here are some options on how to quote:

1. You can split the amount between standard Trauma and Severe Trauma to generate a quote for all three insurers

First

2. As a work around to the above, you can add $1 into the Cover Amount for standard Trauma and the full amount for Severe Trauma

Only two insurers will generate a comparision in this case as Asteron requires a minimum sum insured of $5,000 for their standard Trauma

One

3. By splitting the cover amount, you can generate a quote that contains both AIAs' Critical Conditions Cover and Progressive Care

Progress and CC

This method allows us to compare a premium and rating for Severe Trauma on Quotemonster, however if you have any feedback, please feel free to send this through to info@quotemonster.co.nz


Detailed schedule of Partners Life Product Changes and Benefit Improvements

Partners Life Product Changes and Benefit improvements 

Special Events Increase benefit limits increased from 75% to 100% for aggregated sum insured and new special event added

Counselling Benefit increased “use by” time to 12 months after claim

Financial and Legal Advice Benefit increased “use by” time to 12 months after claim and the maximum benefit increased to $3,000

Special Events Increase deal on offer to customers who missed policy anniversaries. Customers will have a have an additional 12 months added to their 60-day time limit that applies to their immediate past anniversary

Dependent Child Funeral Support Benefit updated to include unborn child age moving to 20 weeks or weighing more than 400 grams

Bed Confinement Benefit added under the daily care of a registered nurse as an alternative requirement

Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Aplastic Anaemia, HIV (medical acquired), Multiple Sclerosis, Major Organ Transplant, Diabetes definitions changed in Trauma Cover

Non-surgical Benefit (Private Hospital and Serious Illness Benefits) annual limit increased from $300,000 to $500,000

New Public Treatment Top-Up Benefit means Partners Life will pay for some treatments after customer has covered treatment in public system.  

$5,000 maximum limit removed for Second Opinion Benefit (Private Medical Cover)

New cover for mental health consultations has a maximum of $2,500 under Surgical and Non-surgical Benefits (Private Hospital and Serious Illness Benefits)

Optional Specialists and Test now includes Podiatrist as a specialist for consultations

Cancer definition simplified in Excess Waiver Benefit.

 

Income and Expenses Cover

Income and Expenses Cover is designed to include sustainability features, remove over-insurance and moral hazard opportunity, and provide customer support

Benefit is the greater of pre-disability income less offset x 75% of life assured’s share of pre-disability monthly domestic expenses

The cover term for Income Cover and Expenses Cover is to age 65 with payments term options of 2 years, 5 years and to age 65

Pre-disability income is the same as Income Cover

Disabled for occupation classes 1-4 includes 10 hours or 75% of activities but it moves from own to reasonable occupation after 12 months

Customers will be considered to be in occupation class 5 if they have been unemployed, on unpaid leave, working less than 25 a week, incarcerated in a penal institution, or legally barred 12 months before disability

Income Cover offsets apply to Income Cover and Expenses Cover

Income and Expenses Cover has a payment term restriction that applies for medically unevidenced claims. These are not a fixed restriction for mental health claims

Unevidenced claims in the Income and Expenses Cover are paid for up to 12 months

Fixed payment terms reset for new disability for the Income and Expenses Cover, although customers must be back to full time work for more than 12 months to reset.

Disability within 12 months of claim for any reason is a recurrent disability

Income and Expenses Cover ancillary benefits include Bed Confinement Benefit, Return to Work Benefit, Increasing Income Benefit, Recovery Support Benefit (reduced to 6x SI), and Vocational Retraining and Rehabilitation Benefit (reduced to 3x SI or max $10,000)

Income and Expenses Cover ancillary benefits don’t include Lump sum TPD, Critical Illness Benefit, Specific Injury Benefit, Child Care Assistance Benefit, Death Benefit, and Return to Home Benefit

YRT option only applies.

Moderate Trauma Cover

Partners Life desires to get back to the principle of indemnification meaning that customers don’t need claims paid unless they have financial losses, and they don’t need to pay premiums that doesn’t indemnify against loss

Moderate Trauma Cover allows price efficiency, cutting out claims with immaterial financial consequences. This enables customers to afford higher sums insured.

Moderate Trauma Cover will mean future prices will be sustainable and will allow advisers to fine tune severity based on trauma solutions

Moderate Trauma Cover will have more defined conditions for Alzheimer’s Disease, Dementia, Aplastic Anaemia, Angioplasty, Blindness, Cardiomyopathy, Chromic Kidney Failure, Cancer, Diabetes, Heart Attack, Intensive Care, Loss of Cognitive Function, Motor Neurone Disease and Muscular Dystrophy, Multiple Sclerosis, Severe Rheumatoid Arthritis, Stroke.

Designed to be 20% cheaper than Trauma Cover (TC), price differential expected to grow

Designed to be a mid-range trauma cover (between TC and Serious Trauma Cover)

No built-in TPD, customers that need TDP will need to take TPD Cover.

Moderate Trauma Cover can be combined with TC and STC to create a severity-based trauma option.