The huge activity undertaken by insurers in releasing their new range of IP products picked itself as the Story of the Week this week. Advisers and other industry stakeholders will now be fine tooth-combing the new IP offers to see where the companies match-up and where there may be differences in some of the key features and benefits that constitute this re-set for IP product sustainability following APRA’s intervention…
The second stage of APRA’s intervention into the income protection insurance market is coming into effect from this week, with the rollout of all the new retail income protection insurance product offers.
In line with APRA’s sustainability measures, the new range of products include, among other changes:
- Reduced income replacement ratios (maximum of 70%, down from 75%)
- Tighter definitions of pre-disability income
- Stricter disability definitions to apply for longer benefit periods
The rollout of the new products follows the first stage in APRA’s IP intervention, which saw the removal of Agreed Value products from the market after 31 March 2020.
This current round which sees the rollout of the new PDSs was originally slated to come into effect from 1 July 2021, but this was delayed by three months due to disruption associated with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Stage three will see the implementation of maximum five-year terms for IP products taking effect from 1 October 2022. This restriction was originally intended to have been included in this current round of new IP product releases, but APRA has provided the insurers with an additional 12 months to allow sufficient time for them to arrive at a workable solution for this new maximum term requirement (see: …APRA Gives Insurers Another Year).
For this current round of updates, some insurers have released new PDSs effective from the last week in September, while others will become effective from the required date of 1 October 2021.
Behind the scenes, all insurers have been in touch with the adviser community about the changes that will be implemented. Numerous insurers have already released a variety of summaries of their new product offers, while others will be publicly releasing more information to coincide with the impending release of their new PDS.
This summary below will be updated over the coming week as more details are released by the product manufacturers:
AIA Australia was first cab off the rank in releasing its new IP Core product range in January 2021 (see: AIA Australia Set to Launch New IP Offer).
Not all of the APRA-stipulated features were included in the January 2021 rollout, but there have been subsequent PDS updates, culminating with the new PDS released effective from 25 September 2021 (click here).
The insurer has also released a change summary document for advisers.
ClearView’s new IP range is named ClearView ClearChoice, with details included in its new PDS taking effect from 25 September 2021 (click here).
The insurer also issued a media release outlining its rationale, together with information pertaining to its new technology platform (see: ClearView Unveils IP Product & New Tech Platform).
Integrity Life has released its new PDS which takes effect from 1 October 2021.
The new IP proposition offers clients the ability to select income replacement ratios of 50%, 60% or 70%, while the booster or top-up option for this product range will apply for the first six months where 50% or 60% of income replacement is selected by the insured.
Click here for the insurer’s ‘Product at a Glance’ summary.
MetLife Australia’s IP changes will take effect from 1 October 2021 with the release of its new PDS.
The insurer has also released a change summary document which provides key details of its new IP proposition, including a booster option and no tiering of the income replacement ratio (click here).
Click here to view the 1 October 2021 MetLife PDS.
The new MLC Life Insurance PDS takes effect from 1 October 2021.
Click here for initial summary details of the new product package, contained within this FAQ document.
According to MLC, one of the key drivers in structuring its new offer revolves around a strong focus on choice and flexibility, as evidenced in the offer of four options inside two distinct product choices (see also: MLC Life Insurance Launches New IP Product Range).
The new NEOS Life PDS takes effect from 1 October 2021..
Like some – but not all – insurers, NEOS Life has also released an updated adviser guide (click here).
The insurer also released an updated adviser support brochure, but this is broader in nature and not specifically related to the new IP proposition (click here).
Zurich’s OnePath brand is updating its OneCare Income Secure Protection offer in its new PDS, which is effective from 27 September 2021 (click here).
A fact sheet released by the insurer outlines some of the key changes made to the Income Secure Protection product, including details around new replacement ratios, the definition of Total Disability, calculation of income at claim time and capacity to work wording, as well as detailing the introduction of a new severity booster option.
The new PPS Mutual PDS comes into effect from 1 October 2021, where its new IP proposition offers income replacement ratios of 60% and 70%, while its booster option will pay 84% of income in the first six months of claim.
PPS Mutual offers an Own Occupation definition throughout the claim provided the claimant is following a recovery plan, which is normally set by the treating medical practitioner and needs to be agreed by the claimant and insurer. Only those who don’t follow this plan will have a definition change after two years – and even then, the insurer is offering an Any Professional Occupation definition for those who were working in a professional occupation prior to claim.
Click here for a features and benefits overview of the new PPS Mutual Income Protection Select range. Take particular note of the Any and Own Occupation definition chart on the second page.
TAL was quick off the mark in issuing a statement at the end of last week to coincide with the 24 September 2021 release of it new PDS (click here).
The insurer has split the new IP offer into three distinct options, being Income Protection Enhance, Income Protection Assist and Income Protection Focus (see: TAL IP Product Update).
Zurich has released a new IP offer named Zurich Income Safeguard, contained in its updated Wealth Protection PDS dated 27 September 2021 (click here).