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Asteron product enhancements well-received

Asteron's new product enhancements has seen it rated number one for term life, income protection and business expenses and second for trauma on IRESS's financial planning software platform.

Wednesday, July 15th 2009, 5:08AM

by Paul McBeth

Last month, the life insurer made 13 modifications to its products bringing it in line with most of its competitors, as it brought in enhancements such as free upgrades for existing clients, and premium holidays for financial hardship.

Its trauma and total and permanent disablement option was an "industry first" and would probably filter through to the rest of the sector in the next six months, according to insurance product analyst Graeme Lindsay of Strategy Financial Services.

"They were all good changes - one in particular, trauma and total and permanent disablement specifically, was clever," Lindsay said.

Asteron general manager Antony Vriens said their other enhancements give advisers the opportunity to contact existing clients and let them know their cover had been improved.

"Advisers have said the enhancements are particularly attractive to the market because there is no impact on premiums," he said in a statement.

Life insurance products have continued to be popular despite the first recession in a decade, according to the Investment Savings and Insurance Association's update on the sector.

The association found risk insurance products noticeably trauma products had seen a rapid increase in the 12 months ended March 31, and chief executive Vance Arkinstall predicts this will be an area of growth for the industry.

Paul is a staff writer for Good Returns based in Wellington.

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