Asteron Life introduces Workability Cover
11 August 2015
Asteron Life launches affordable income protection cover
Asteron Life is delighted to launch an alternative income protection option that makes income protection more affordable for many Kiwis.
Workability Cover, an income protection cover that places a greater focus on ability rather than disability, is designed to be more proactive in helping customers get back to work if they get sick or injured. It compliments Asteron Life’s existing premier Income Protection Covers – Loss of Earnings and Loss of Earnings Plus.
Asteron Life managing director Nadine Tereora says feedback from advisers indicates that getting their clients income protection is an important priority. “But that’s not always reflected in sales. We sell far more life policies than income protection. We’ve identified that one of the biggest barriers for customers when looking to get income protection is affordability.”
The premium difference between Workability Cover and Asteron Life’s current on-sale Income Protection Covers is at least 24% less.
The Workability Cover monthly benefit will be payable if the claim criteria is met and the customer is not eligible for weekly compensation from ACC. But if ACC stop paying, Workability Cover will kick in and continue to make payments if its claim criteria are met.
“We’ve stripped away some of the non-core benefits to make this an affordable option for a lot of people in the market who want protection – but not top of the range,” Tereora says. “The fact is, many people don’t need the bells and whistles, or don’t want to pay for it.”
“A lot of Kiwis are currently priced out of the market, which is what we’re responding to by launching Workability Cover. It means we’re now able to provide a suite of income protection options to advisers, to help introduce their clients to income protection. It also provides an alternative option for existing clients who are struggling to pay for their top of the range income protection, because of the premium increases that come with it.”
Workability Cover focuses on the positive health benefits of working. It offers to support customers by helping them put a plan in place for rehabilitation, retraining or support, to get them back to work if they experience a sickness or disability. Asteron Life is also prepared to help cover the costs of retraining customers for another job if appropriate, including expenses that go hand-in-hand when getting a new role – such as work clothes, equipment and CV writing.
Payment of the monthly benefit is determined by customers meeting criteria based on their ability to work in the role they performed before they got sick or injured. After a year of receiving the benefit, the criteria changes to their capacity to earn 75% of their pre-disability income from any role, taking into account their skills, experience and education.
“We think there’s a big opportunity out there to help more Kiwis protect their income,” says Tereora. “We’re focused on the long-term sustainability of Workability Cover, meaning families are able to afford it both today and tomorrow.”