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Opinion: Where's the insurance innovation?

Since you can insure your pets, your hands and even the weather, you might well ask if there is anything left to insure. Well, perhaps not, but there are plenty of things that are not insured very well, and maybe we should set about improving those.

Wednesday, October 7th 2009, 5:43AM 1 Comment

by Russell Hutchinson


But innovation can be hard. I remember being laughed at when I asked someone in the UK a couple of years ago about product innovation, but it seems our battered cousins over there are getting on with it at last - with some help from the politicians.

The Conservative Party has announced plans for a public-private partnership to deliver long-term care insurance. The idea is that a one-off premium at age 65 - presently thought to be GBP 8,000 - would be sufficient to protect the individual from all future permanent residential care costs for the rest of their life.

The Association of British Insurers has cautiously welcomed the plan and it might just work. Covering the cost of long-term aged care is one of the areas where a good insurance solution could be really helpful - and it probably cannot be done alone. That's because government policy has too much impact on costs in the sector and government's ability to tax or charge means that too much uncertainty is left for individuals unless they are part of the ‘insurance promise'.

Noting Dorchester Life's announcement this week about redundancy cover gives us some hope that product innovation here hasn't entirely been buried underneath the weight of new regulation.

But with this exception aside, it's little more than hope. We should ask our insurers to get moving.

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Comments from our readers

On 13 October 2009 at 9:24 am get real said:

You talk utter crap!!!

Having spent 20 years in the UK, the products are restrictive & plain boring. Take Trauma for example, in the UK policy wordings must match ABI code, so tell me, do the UK Insurers cover partial payments, diagnosis payments,terminal illness etc. No they dont.

Level to age 60 then it disappears - not much flexability there i tell yo

From my experience here in NZ, the products are way superior to the UK system, so stop trying to bag what goes on here in NZ & do some bloody research!!!
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