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ING Life considers new baby

ING Life is looking to provide an add-on to its trauma policy which provides women with a lump sum payment if they give birth to a child with various birth defects. Its Australian sister company launched such a policy this week and has received a huge amount of publicity.

Thursday, May 1st 2008, 5:47AM
ING Life's New Zealand managing director Naomi Ballantyne said she has been surprised at the amount of publicity. She says ING Life in New Zealand will watch the take up rates in Australia before making a decision to launch a similar product in this country.

She says ING Life is always looking for new products and it has the "luxury" of watching what happens in Australia before making a decision here.

The "baby policy" covers 15 conditions including birth defects, complications and death before the end of the year.

It will be an add-on to trauma policies and will cost around $30 a month (for a 30 year-old) and provide a lump sum payment of $50,000.

The add-on has to be taken out 12 months before the woman became pregnant and runs until the child is two years old to allow time for any congenital defects to be detected, Ballantyne says.

Women who were already pregnant would not be able to take out the policy.

While the policy provides cover for defects such as spina bifida, there is no genetic testing required to check the risks of policyholders.

Ballantyne says there are a couple of additional questions people have to answer in the proposal form, but these tend to be questions about previous pregnancies.

Ballantyne says trauma makes up about 20% of ING Life's book and half those people are women.

While there has been some criticism of the policy, Ballantyne stands by it: "I can't see how it could possibly be a bad thing," she says.

One part of the criticism is that such a policy focuses on issues people don't like to discuss.

But, as Ballantyne says: "These things happen."

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