Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 4 September 2017

Product Updates

01 PFL Product Company Regulatory.jpg

CommInsure new platinum IP option
A new Platinum income protection product is part of CommInsure’s latest product upgrades. Details of the IP product option, as well as other improvements across their product range, were outlined in an updated Product Disclosure Statement effective as of 17 September. These enhancements include:

  • Introduction of Income Care Protection
  • Introduction of a three-tiered definition of total disability – duties, hours and income
  • Those who have policies with a 90-day or less waiting period will not be penalised for returning to work within the waiting period
  • Introduction of a capability clause in the total disability definition to address sustainability factors

Other changes to income protection product applying to the Income Care range:

  • Enhancement of crisis and transportation benefits
  • Monthly income includes superannuation contributions for self-employed lives insured
  • Increasing claims option now accessible to more occupations
  • Removal of Cash Back option
  • Removal of Premium Saver option

Trauma improvements:

  • Twenty-three trauma definitions clarified
  • Five trauma definitions improved – stroke, heart attack, dementia and Alzheimer’s, cardiac arrest and major head trauma
  • Modification of 12-month trauma buy-back period, which now commences from the date it was submitted
  • New definition for ‘relevant medical specialist’
  • Removal of evidence of severity option

TPD improvements:

  • Introduction of stand-alone Domestic Duties TPD benefit for homemakers

Pricing increases:

  • An average 10 per cent rate increase to be applied to income protection and trauma new business policies for stepped and level premiums

AMP confirms closure of Flexible Lifetime range
The closure of the Flexible Lifetime – Protection product range has been confirmed by AMP and new applications will close at the end of September. While AMP will not accept any new applications, it will continue to invest in the product range.

AustralianSuper under-25’s default cover dropped
Following an internal analysis of member experience and feedback on default insurance premiums’ effect on account balances, AustralianSuper has stopped providing default life cover for those aged under 25. Members aged under 25 can still opt for death and total and permanent disability insurance.

Company Updates

Advisers provided with cancer education by TAL, TAL policy fee waiver
TAL’s continuous education arm, Risk Academy, has launched an education program for financial advisers to allow them to support cancer patients and better understand their conditions. TAL will run an on-demand web-based seminar course that aims to equip advisers with the tools to recognise the diagnosis, staging, prognosis and treatment of cancer. 

A limited-time policy fee waiver is being offered by TAL for new business within its Accelerated Protection product range. The offer took effect as of 8 September for any new and in-progress businesses. All eligible policies will have their annual fee waived for the life of their contract.

Advice business bought by Infocus
Infocus has acquired Announcer, an holistic financial advice business, to provide the wealth manager with a Sydney and Brisbane office.

AIA to buy CommInsure
The Commonwealth Bank is to sell its Australia and New Zealand life insurance business to AIA Group for $3.8 billion. The acquisition is expected to be completed during 2018 and is still subject to regulatory and government approvals.

AMP launches resource hub
A new Life Insurance Framework (LIF) resource hub has been launched that is to feature a cashflow modeller. This modeller will allow advisers to examine the impact different remuneration structures could have on their business. Advisers will also be able to compare the current cashflow, capital valuation and future projections to see how adjustments could influence their business.

Digital claims tracker launched by MetLife
MetLife Australia has launched a digital claims tracker that will allow clients to manage their claims and track progress anywhere. Members can log-in to get updates from MetLife, upload information, access contact details, complete tasks and check the status of claims.

WTW start-up chatbot launched
Willis Towers Watson have joined with CGU to launch StartUpCover, a Facebook Messenger chatbot designed for start-up companies. It will give businesses access to insurance information and an indicative quote within five minutes.  The technology was developed by a Melbourne-based tech company InGenious AI.