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Community support partnerships helping create new customer conversations   

29 June 2022

This year Asteron Life is supporting the Financial Services Council campaign “It Starts with Action’, a three-month initiative with the goal of making impactful change to the financial confidence and wellbeing of New Zealand women. 

As part of this, Asteron Life is sponsoring a week of activity themed “Navigating Life’s Challenges - led by our community support partner Good Shepherd NZ.

One of the ways Asteron Life supports its customers to navigate life’s challenges is through the support options available to customers that are experiencing vulnerability, which Good Shepherd NZ supports us with. 

The goals and aspirations of Asteron Life’s support for customers experiencing vulnerability are broad. Asteron Life offers a range of support options to customers, to help customers keep their insurance in place through periods of financial hardship and long enough to get back on their feet. 

In addition, with the skills and support of community support partners, including Good Shepherd NZ, Shine and Lifeline, Asteron Life teams are able to consider different needs of customers and connect them to our community partners when they have needed it the most. 

Executive Manager of Asteron Life, Claire Sutton says in the shadow of COVID-19, with some Kiwis looking to make trade-offs in household budgets, the need has increased for insurers to continue to provide support options so customers don’t need to cancel their insurance due to temporary hardship and potentially disrupt their future financial resilience.

“When life gets challenging, we want our customers to feel okay about asking or accepting help. Through our customer vulnerability programme and during COVID-19, we’ve offered more than $3m in premium relief to help our customers keep insurance in place through periods of financial hardship. 

“In addition to temporary hardship relief, we’ve continued to enable our teams to learn and benefit from the expertise of our community partners, so our employees are better skilled and empowered to notice and act on clues when customers may be experiencing vulnerability, without them having to explicitly vocalise this.”

Asteron Life customer facing teams receive regular training and are empowered to refer customers on to a Lifeline Connect service, or to the domestic violence support service and educator Shine, where someone has indicated they are experiencing severe mental health issues or indicators of domestic abuse.

In June, Good Shepherd NZ provided Asteron Life Customer team members with training on economic harm (behaviour that controls, restricts or removes access to money, economic resources or participation in financial decisions and how to identify clues in conversations with customers that may benefit from extra help  

“For many, keeping insurance in place is a core building block of increasing financial resilience, and through premium relief and hardship support we will do our best to help our customers.

“In situations, though, where we can’t or aren’t qualified to help, and a customer vulnerability concern is raised for one of our customers, our people value that they can connect the customer with the services of our community support partners, whose care and expertise offer our customers that extra layer of support.” 

“We have had feedback from customers that have benefitted from the relief we’ve been able to offer - be that counselling, connecting to support agencies or financial support. These customers say they would never have dreamed of coming to their insurance provider when times get tough. We want to make it easy to ask for help as we recognise that vulnerability can be a short-term state – not a trait – and if we can help, then we will.”

Media contact details

For all media enquiries please contact: 

Lisa Meiklejohn

Phone: 027 404 4355 

Email Lisa

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