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The verdict on Fidelity Life’s new Platinum Plus

  Jenha White explains the changes to Fidelity Life's new range of life insurance products and finds out what one researcher has to say about the changes.

Tuesday, December 22nd 2009, 8:41PM

by Jenha White

 

Fidelity Life has launched Platinum Plus, which amalgamates product features and benefits of its previous two plans.

Fidelity Life national marketing manager Peter Lee says the consolidation of the Platinum and Protection plans into the Platinum Plus plan came about in an effort to make its product more efficient and easier to understand.

He says Platinum Plus is predominantly based on old Platinum products with increased benefit levels and some definition changes.

"It's not going to be the cheapest in the market. But it's a bit silly to have the best products and the cheapest premiums," he says.

Strategy Financial Services director Graeme Lindsay, who regularly surveys term life policies, the Platinum plan was always a good product and after some tweaking the Platinum Plus plan is now marginally better.

"It's always in the top two or three products in the market place, but the new changes are like fluffy dice, they're not that significant."

Fidelity Life says one of the major changes is the introduction of Level Term Income Protection with the ability to select your own term rather than a pre-determined one, with a partial premium payback at age 80 and a guaranteed premium.

Fidelity Life chief executive Milton Jennings says it is unusual to guarantee income protection because it is very hard to forecast the rate at which people will get sick or injured.

"But because the idea of buying level term is knowing how much you will pay for that term, we're locking it in and not changing premiums because with other companies that amount can change."

Income protection has also had changes with a new agreed value available at 55% and partial advance payment at claim time.

The new non-medical limits have also seen modifications. For people up to age 45, there is no medical required for up to $2 million. For age 46 - 50, there is no medical required for up to $1 million, age 51-60 there is no medical required for up to $750,000 and up to age 61+ there is no medical required for up to $300,000.

Another key change is that the Mortgage Protector has introduced an optional redundancy benefit and partial advance payment on the Monthly Mortgage Repayment.

Trauma now covers 45 conditions, but no longer gives a full payment for prostate cancer unless it results in surgery or treatment. There is a partial payment of up to $100,000 for diagnosis of prostate cancer.

General changes include in-built future insurability sum assured on life, total and personal disability, trauma and life care being increased from $100,000 to $250,000 and the premium holiday sum assured under Life, Total and Personal disability and survivors income has also been increased from $300,000 to $500,000.

Other major areas of product change are life care, total and permanent disability, key person, rural key person and business expenses.

Jennings says this combination of product along with the revised remuneration terms, offers advisers a great opportunity to build a good long term, sustainable business.

 

Jenha is a TPL staff reporter. jenha@tarawera.co.nz

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