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Asteron rolls out new key person policy

Asteron is launching a new line of key person insurance, as well as add-ons to their existing SmartLife and SmartLiving products – and a premium increase.

Wednesday, February 21st 2007, 5:01AM

by Rob Hosking

The new key person insurance is a response to the fact that most New Zealand businesses are small operations which often depend on a small number of people with specialised.

The policy is an “agreed value” policy upfront so the insured person knows what they are getting, says Asteron risk product manager Jeremy Lawrey.

This can cover the injured staff member’s salary but also other costs related with replacing them temporarily such as advertising for a replacement.

“There are no offsets – if your client’s IT person falls off his mountain-bike they’ll get ACC, which is great for them, but how does it help the employer?”

The policy is also linked to Asteron’s partial disablement benefit, which means if the person insured under the Key Person policy comes back to work, but is partially disabled, the funding will only be partially reduced.

Other add-ons to existing trauma policies include an early stage cancer option, which allows coverage of serious but non-life-threatening levels of such cancers as breast, prostate and melanoma (and six other cancers). These are available for an added 5% to the client’s trauma premium.

A further add-on allows clients to pick a trauma reinstatement option, which reinstates their cover after a trauma claim.

The option applies to SmartLife and SmartLiving trauma clients and means clients who make a claim for, say, cancer, does not change their risk profile for heart attacks.

The premium increases for Asteron’s trauma products are the result of a review which showed the company’s premiums were “substantially below” the market.

“We were underpricing, and we will still be competitive, but we won’t be cheap,” he says. The range of increases will mostly be between 5 and 9%.

Rob Hosking is a Wellington-based freelance writer specialising in political, economic and IT related issues.

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