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All change for products and pricing

Over the past few weeks there has been so much product and pricing activity it has been hard to keep track of it all. In strict alphabetical order the companies that have made changes include: AIA, Accuro, AMP, Asteron Life, BNZ Life, CIGNA, and Sovereign.

Monday, November 2nd 2015, 6:00AM

by Russell Hutchinson

The changes made by AIA, AMP, and Sovereign have affected several products across the range. AIA’s changes were perhaps the most extensive, including a multi-benefit discount – so in effect, even where base rates were unchanged, pricing for every product in the range has moved depending on the combinations of benefits. I like the effort to get more broadly based cover packages. We know that an awful lot of insurance sold is life coveralone, and the next most common quote is life plus trauma. It would be good to see more of a dent being made in the underinsurance problem, particularly in respect of income protection products. Discounts for multiple benefits might help.

Perhaps the most interesting aspect to all the recent changes is the prominence of medical in the news. The decision to purchase OnePath’s medical book by nib, plus nib’s changes earlier in the year, AIA’s new medical product, Accuro’s changes, and so on. A result is that several features introduced by Partners Life have been adopted by others to a greater or lesser extent. That now makes them standard – at least in the set of medical products sold most by financial advisers, that is. These all indicate a fierce battle for medical business. That is interesting, not least because until recently the health / medical insurance market was shrinking, and recently is has only just levelled off. Yet there are many companies indicating that it is an important market to them.

The single most different product was Asteron Life’s new workability income protection – a much cheaper and simpler policy from a company that has made its name pioneering loss of earnings and providing fully featured products. This is also aimed firmly at those buying no Income Protection cover.

Updates to bancassurance products are much rarer than changes to products sold via financial advisers – and they tend to have fewer features – so it is always good to see a bank insurer update their product. There should be more of this.

Finally, ANZIIF nominated Asteron Life, CIGNA, and Partners Life for Life Insurance Company of the Year award.

Overall the impression is of a dynamic market.

Tags: AIA AMP health insurance Life insurance Sovereign

« Asteron accepts award, predicts change aheadHealth insurance coverage increases »

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