MLC Life Insurance says the structure of its newly-released income protection product range has been shaped by the need to offer greater flexibility and choice for consumers.
The insurer releases its new PDS on 1 October, which includes two new IP products: Income Assure and Income Assure+.
In terms of delivering flexibility and choice, MLC notes each product offers four different options for consumers, with this design shaped by what it says has been extensive customer, adviser and licensee research and analysis.
Key findings from this background research included:
- 83% of retail insurance customers earn $150,000 or less per annum, with income replacement needs highest during the early stages of a claim
- 89% of retail insurance customers were able to return to full health within the first two years of making a claim
- Both customers and advisers value price and income replacement ratios, well above all other features
- Advisers wanted us to introduce products with greater certainty of future premiums, underpinned by more choice and options
- Customers would like greater flexibility of the conditions included in their policy
…these new products strike the right balance between benefits and affordability
MLC Life Insurance Chief Life Insurance Officer, Michael Rogers, said the insurer went back to the core principle of how it could meet customer needs: “We looked at the principles of indemnity, and insuring definable, calculable, and meaningful losses caused by accident, injury, or illness,” said Rogers, who added he and his colleagues believe these new products strike the right balance between benefits and affordability.
Broader details outlined by MLC ahead of the release of the new PDS include:
- Income Assure and Income Assure+ enables most customers to have the maximum sum insured allowable
- Income Assure provides an income replacement ratio of 70 per cent, with tiering for income above $150,000
- Income Assure+ provides a ratio of up to 90% for six months post claim if customers select the ‘booster’ option
…the traditional offers in the market have not been sustainable
Rogers conceded that while the insurer’s research demonstrates customers value income protection insurance as a product, “…the sobering reality is that the traditional offers in the market have not been sustainable. This needs to change,” he said.
“With the launch of Income Assure and Income Assure+, we recognise that customer needs and adviser preferences are evolving,” noted Rogers in conclusion, “…and this is our opportunity to offer more tailored solutions through greater choice and flexibility.”
MLC Life Insurance is set to host a series of three webinars across October to help financial advisers learn about its new product offer, with the first of the events to be conducted on Thursday 7 October. Interested advisers and advice business support team members can click here to register.