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Life insurance losses weigh on ClearView result

Wealth management group ClearView has reported a 23 per cent decline in profit for the second half of 2019, driven primarily by poor results in its life insurance business as increased lapses cost the group $1.4 million.

ClearView reported a half-year underlying net profit after tax of $10.2 million, a 23 per cent decrease on results for the prior corresponding period. While modest growth was seen in its financial advice business, both its wealth management and life insurance arms recorded significant declines of 19 per cent and 27 per cent, respectively.

In what the group called “extremely challenging market conditions”, ClearView saw an adverse claims experience loss of $4.7 million in its life insurance business over the half, and a lapse experience loss of $1.4 million, though it noted that lapses improved in the second quarter.

ClearView noted that income protection (IP) products in particular had had a significant impact on its life insurance results.

“Coinciding with APRA’s recently announced individual disability income insurance sustainability measures, a comprehensive review of the ClearView LifeSolutions IP product series is underway with a focus on improving product design and pricing,” the group said.

“ClearView has also started to implement analytics and early intervention techniques to improve IP claims outcomes, in addition to optimising claims resourcing.”

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ClearView managing director Simon Swanson said while the business had its challenges overall, the shift occurring in the advice industry as more advisers moved to non-aligned dealer groups would be beneficial for the company.

“These are without doubt challenging conditions but key foundational decisions made from the outset, such as our deliberate decision to establish a diversified business model, focus on the advised market and primarily pursue an organic growth strategy, mean that during this period of enormous change, ClearView is in a strong position to adapt to change and capture opportunities arising from the disruption in the market,” Mr Swanson said.

“With the industry commencing the implementation of the royal commission final report’s recommendations, advisers and their customers are looking for an experienced, responsive financial services partner.

“The fundamental purpose and need for quality life insurance and wealth management products, along with professional advice, has not changed. Australia’s ageing population, compulsory super system, rising household debt levels and complex tax system underpins demand for ClearView’s high quality products and services.”

Life insurance losses weigh on ClearView result
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