Risk Product, Company and Regulatory Updates as at 4 September 2018

Product Updates

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BT guaranteeing premium rates for two years
BT is setting its premium rates for two years inside the Protection Plans product suite, from 28 August 2018 for stepped and level premiums for the initial sum insured. This arrangement excludes standard increases like age-based adjustments and Consumer Price Index increases, and any adjustments made by the policyholder. Overall enhancements made by BT include: 

  • Sum insured limits for many Professional Package-listed occupations has increased
  • Sum insured limits for total and permanent disability (TPD) any cover for farmers has gone from $3 million to $5 million
  • Greater cover is now available for homemakers, up to $2.5 million for life and TPD, and $1.5 million for living insurance
  • Those under age 45 no longer need to do medical tests at application for an income product up to $15,000 per month
  • Six medical terms have been updated, as per the supplementary product disclosure statement

MetLife launches digital claims platform with industry super fund
A digital claims platform is now being used by an industry super fund in South Australia in conjunction with MetLife Australia. Fund members can scan and upload documents from a smartphone or tablet, and complete a claim quicker than ever. The platform includes claims tracking. 

OneCare insurance suite added to HUB24
HUB24 adviser platform has added ANZ's OnePath OneCare life insurance to its services. 

Company Updates

Yellow Brick Road rejects takeover bid
An 'opportunistic' takeover bid has been rejected by Yellow Brick Road (YBR) by Mercantile OFM. The off-market takeover bid was submitted to ASIC to acquire all ordinary shares of YBR for 9 cents per share, a price YBR chair Mark Bouris says was too low, unsolicited, and undervalues the company. Bouris said the takeover bid was opportunistic in nature, timing and price. Advice to shareholders by the board is not to take any action at all during the one month offer period, where there is enough time to make a decision. 

TAL launches youth mental health initiative, waives premiums for farmers
TAL and Orygen, a youth mental health organisation, have paired up to help address mental health issues. TAL is supporting Orygen to raise awareness of mental health issues. TAL has put extra focus on addressing mental health.

TAL is also offering six months premium relief to drought-affected farmers in New South Wales and Queensland who apply for Federal Government assistance. This premium waiver applies to TAL customers with a policy either directly or via an adviser, and any Insuranceline and Alliance partner products. The application period is 1 September 2018 to 30 November 2018.