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ANZ, Zurich take action on premiums

ANZ and life office Zurich have both taken action on risk insurance premiums, with the risk product manufacturers set to provide new customers two years of premium rate certainty.

According to ANZ, from July 2016 all clients who enter into a new OneCare insurance policy will be provided with a two-year premium "rate lock".

This will mean that all new clients who take up a policy will not be subject to any "unforeseen" premium rate increases in the first two years of their policy.

However, the two-year "rate lock" will not apply to a policy if there is any increases made to the original cover amount.

The rate certainty will also not apply to associated age increases of stepped premiums, CPI increases and any government imposed charges.

ANZ Wealth's insurance team has also developed a new predictive modelling tool to further assist advisers with client retention.

"We are providing further support to help advisers with their business retention needs by offering an innovative client retention program that will proactively identify and assist them to retain clients that are at risk of lapsing, based on our market-tested predictive model," ANZ managing director of global insurance Alexis George said.


Taking a similar approach to ANZ, Zurich said it has taken a number of measures which will help advisers position themselves for the incoming Life Insurance Framework.

Among these measures, Zurich said for all new wealth protection policies written between 1 January and 31 December 2016 customers will benefit from two years of rate certainty.

"We are effectively keeping the underlying base rates unchanged for the first two years of the policy, to give advisers and customers added confidence and certainty about the cost of cover," Zurich's life and investments general manager, Philip Kewin, said.

Zurich also said it has made a reduction in premiums for new term and TPD business.

The life insurer added that it will also launch a new range of income protection products which are intended to be more "future proof" in both design and pricing.

"The changes we have made reflect a move towards simplifying our product range, pricing and execution to benefit advisers and their customers. We feel this sentiment has been lost in much of the recent industry dialogue," Mr Kewin said.

"The retail income protection market has faced many challenges in recent years, with rapidly deteriorating claims experience being reflected in a seemingly constant cycle of rate increases."