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Asteron boosting trauma

Asteron is boosting its trauma policies as part of a bigger push into that part of the market. "Trauma insurance is the least sold part of our product range," Asteron's general manager, Antony Vriens, told a Roadshow for advisers in Wellington.

Tuesday, April 22nd 2008, 9:52AM

by Rob Hosking

The new Trauma Plus option allows a boost to the number of conditions covered by the policy.

Vriens says one of the more significant effects of the aging population for the industry is that while people are living longer; the number of events being covered by trauma insurance is rising.

A typical such event – a heart attack or stroke, for example – can cost between $300,000 and $500,000.

"The public health system will contribute about $110,000 to that. The issue for people is where does the rest come from?"

Another change from Asteron is allowing clients to insure their children under the Smart Living policy for free until they are 18.

At that age they will be able to convert the cover to either a SmartLife policy with total permanent disability and accelerated trauma cover, or a Smart Living Deluxe policy without any further underwriting.

Asteron national sales manager Mark Frecklington told advisers at the same Roadshow that customer service will be "the next big battleground between suppliers."

And he was modest about Asteron's placing.

"I think at best we would be about average. We have a group of new initiatives coming through in the second half of 2008 which will be aimed at changing that."

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

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