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Pinnancle pushes into adviser market

Direct-selling insurance firm Pinnacle Life has added a serious illness cover policy to its product range, which it says will help its push into the adviser market.

Wednesday, December 10th 2008, 5:30AM
Pinnacle currently has life, mortgage and funeral products.

Director Ed Saul won't reveal how much cover the company has written or how many lives it covers, however he says things have gone well for the company.

"Last year was a good year," he says. "This year has been even better.

"We don't see ourselves as a major threat to major life companies.....yet."

He says because the company has done well it has been able to add the serious illness cover and soon it will be enhanced with a rider.

The product is a reasonably basic one covering just the four main diseases; heart attack, cancer, stroke and heart bypass surgery. People can get cover up to $250,000 and it can be bought online, without a medical.

Pinnacle underwrite the policy and Hanover Re are the reinsurers.

Saul says the product is essentially suited to the under-45 market, but it is available to anyone aged 20 to 59.

Saul says the closest similar product in the market is Sovereign's Essential cover.

While Pinnacle sells its policies directly it also uses third-party distribution where it pays firms a referral fee for business and in some cases includes extra benefits such as $10,000 accidental life cover.

Some of the more interesting partners are Tonys Tyre Service in Palmerston North which sell insurance with its tyres. Many clubs and organisations are part of the referral process and Pinnacle lists around two dozen advisory and brokerage firms as partners.

Saul expects to add more advisers and mortgage brokers to its partner list. He says advisers had asked for serious illness cover. Now Pinnacle provides it Saul expects to push further into the adviser market.

Today’s ‘instant serious illness cover’ follows the launch of instant Life Cover, instant Mortgage Cover and instant Funeral Cover by Pinnacle Life over the past 18 months.

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