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Insurance with flexibility at the core for changing customer needs    

4 July 2022

If there’s anything universal that we’ve learned over the past two years, it is that life can throw us unexpected challenges. Our health, business, career, family and relationship have all seen impacts as we have tried to adapt and respond to the ‘COVID years’.

Claire Sutton, Executive Manager at Asteron Life says, when the unexpected does occur, insurance can play a hugely positive role in enhancing people’s financial wellbeing and resilience - especially so during periods of change or disruption. 

“The rate and scope of change in the way people work, live and transact is high and because of this, as an insurer, we’re always looking for opportunities to listen to customer feedback, understand what is going on for customers and then adapt to ensure that our offer is relevant and changing with our customers as their needs change”.

Claire says Asteron Life’s commitment to building flexibility into its products is evidenced by the policy extensions and additions built into many of our products over the past few years:

Changes to Trauma cover following customer feedback 

In 2021, Asteron Life made changes to wording in its Trauma policy, following feedback from an adviser on behalf of their customer. The change brought an enhancement to a trauma definition - in fact the introduction of a brand-new definition - and was a tangible example of our commitment to listening and responding to customer feedback wherever possible. This was positive as the change meant that other customers in future can make a claim if they experience the same situation.

“One of the best ways to ensure that our products truly support our customers is through listening to customers and advisers’ feedback and experiences. We can’t include every idea or option that comes through otherwise our product could become highly unaffordable, but wherever we can make it work, we will.“  Claire Sutton, Asteron Life.

Latest Trauma updates based on customer experiences | Asteron Life

Asteron Life extends premium relief options during Covid-19

In 2020 at the start of the pandemic, we could see very quickly that customers needed help in ways they had never expected to.  Premium relief was already available on many of Asteron Life’s personal products, however we could see that business customers were also hurting and needing us to quickly flex. Asteron Life extended its premium relief availability to its on-sale business suite products, with the aim of supporting businesses to maintain their cover during periods of temporary financial hardship. This was followed in 2021, by the permanent addition of premium relief options to the business product suite, including adding a premium holiday benefit of up to six months, and premium and cover suspension benefits of up to 12 months to business insurance policies.  

Asteron Life provides enhancements to its Personal Insurance policy range

Asteron Life’s updates, in 2018, to include Continuous Trauma benefit for customers with Stand Alone Trauma Recovery Cover was market leading. 

Continuous Trauma is an optional benefit which, when purchased, ensures that customers have trauma cover in place for unrelated events, immediately after they have made a claim. The product update means customers can claim up to three times on their Trauma cover, and three years after their first claim their cover will reinstate for all events if they are not a recurrence, continuation or spread of the condition that lead to their first claim.

“The updates we’ve made will not only improve the claimability of our products for customers, but these enhancements also continue to create products that are more flexible for our customers’ different and changing needs,” Sutton said. 

Asteron announces product enhancements | Asteron Life NZ

New Parent Premium Waiver and Kids Cover 

Also enhanced in 2018 was Asteron Life’s New Parent Premium Waiver and Kids Cover – both fine examples of how Asteron Life has adjusted its products for customers’ changing needs.

The New Parent Premium waiver replaced Asteron Life’s Pregnancy waiver benefit, and means we’ll waive premiums for up to six months, while continuing cover, for an insured person who is taking long-term parental leave to care for a new child. The new product applies for both biological and adopted children and reflects the fact that family dynamics have changed, and more fathers are staying at home with new children into the early stages of life. 

We increased Kids Cover from $10K to $50K with no additional customer cost.

Mortgage and living cover 

Another product that has flex built into it that can help support customers affected by illness or injury is  Mortgage and Living Cover. The product provides rent or mortgage repayments and general living costs if a customer is hit by an illness or injury that impacts their ability to work. It can be matched to mortgage repayments, or to income, like income protection cover and customers can choose a combination of the two products, and modify their coverage as their financial circumstances change.

Customers can tweak their cover during the term of their contract without the need for another medical, or they can choose to “dial down” coverage if their financial situation improves. They’re also able to enhance cover if their circumstances change. 

 “We recognise that New Zealanders’ financial situations can go through different stages, and life can throw up unique and unexpected challenges,” Sutton says.  “Life is not as linear as it used to be and this reality is at the core of many of Asteron Life’s products, designed with flexibility so they can adapt with the financial journeys of our customers.”

A financial adviser will be able to talk customers through the insurance protection covers that suit their individual needs and advise on the best ways to structure products to meet their financial goals. 

Media contact details

For all media enquiries please contact: 

Lisa Meiklejohn

Phone: 027 404 4355 

Email Lisa

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