AIA Australia number 1 for Term & TPD products

AIA Australia has come out on top in the term and total and permanent disability (TPD) product category at the Money Management/DEXX&R Adviser Risk Choice Awards, beating silver medalist OnePath, OneCare Life and TPD, and TAL Accelerated Protection Life and TDP, which claimed bronze. 

AIA Australia CEO Damien Mu said a focus on innovation got the company over the line to win the award in this category. 

"The introduction of health and wellness program AIA Vitality this year, which pays people for making healthier decisions, now provides a better value proposition for people to engage with life insurance in a more tangible way," Mu said. 

The firm said it looked at optimum premiums, where premiums are more affordable in the initial years of the policy, but provides "certainty of level premiums in the long term". 

"We provide affordable levels of life and income protection cover that cater to the needs of all customers. We also offer a suite of 'accident' type products that offers cover to Australians with health issues, such as obesity, diabetes and mental illness," he said. 

Mu added the firm updates its product offering twice a year to make sure the products and the definitions are adapting to the changing needs of the market.  

"We regularly work collaboratively with advisers to better understand what client needs they are being presented with and work out enhancements to our products that will address these needs," Mu said. 

He said the firm introduced health and wellness program, AIA Vitality, this year, which pays people for making healthier decisions, which "now provides a better value proposition for people to engage with life insurance in a more tangible way". 

Looking forward, the firm is moving to a hybrid commission structure for advisers, which it says allows advisers to manage their revenue and value of their business in a sustainable way. 

Coming second in the category with silver is OnePath's OneCare Life and TPD, where the firm recognised that people use life insurance for different reasons like funds protection or business protection. 

"What you need in a business environment can be slightly different to what you need in a personal funding environment," head of life insurance, ANZ Global Wealth Gerard Kerr said. 

Kerr said the firm is prepared to look at $10 million in insurance TPD cover. With some people in buy-sell agreements and others in share purchases, these businesses would be large enough to warrant that much cover to protect each of the directors. 

OnePath also introduced value protector around 18 months ago which pays out death or TPD cover in instalments rather than a large lump sum.  

Bronze winner TAL Accelerated Protection Life and TPD snatched third place after making major changes in the past 12 months. 

TAL Life general manager for retail distribution Niall McConville said guaranteed level premiums to age 70, along with a new SuperLink facility meant advisers and clients have certainty around premium costs and flexibility in paying then from a super fund where suitable.

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