Head of Retail Distribution
There’s little doubt that this has been, and continues to be, a transformative time for our industry. Through it all, we remain firmly committed to supporting the growth of your business by minimising the impact of any changes, as well as helping you to attract and retain your clients.
It is with this in mind that we’re introducing some important updates and launching a new PDS for our flagship product, Accelerated Protection from 1 April 2021. These changes include:
- Expansion of our popular TAL Health Sense Plus program
- New business pricing updates & policy fee changes
- Updates to some of our product features
- Our regular review of our medical definitions to make sure they’re aligned to the latest diagnostic and treatment practices.
We’re also continuing our proud track record of passing back improvements to existing customers under our Guarantee of Upgrade philosophy*.
Finally, we’re providing some further information on available alterations for existing TAL and Asteron Life policy holders. Importantly, your clients will still have access to over 95% of the requests we process today.
Here’s what you need to know about the key updates.
TAL Health Sense Plus now available from day one for eligible customers
We’re focused on improving your clients’ health and wellbeing, now and into the future, which is why from 1 April 2021, we’re expanding our popular TAL Health Sense Plus program to allow eligible customers access to the additional 5% discount from day one of their Accelerated Protection policy.
New customers (with a PDS dated 1 April 2021) eligible for the TAL Health Sense BMI discount who select stepped premiums will automatically receive the additional 5% TAL Health Sense Plus discount on premiums for Life, TPD, and Critical Illness Insurance, without the need for a preventative health check.
Customers can retain this 5% discount by reconfirming their BMI is within the TAL Health Sense range (19.0 – 28.0) and taking a preventative medical check every two years. Importantly, we’ll never ask for the test results: that’s between your client and their GP. We just ask for evidence that your client had a test, like a copy of their GP’s invoice or referral letter.
There will be no change to the existing lifetime TAL Health Sense BMI discount or TAL Health Sense Plus program for all other eligible customers. For more information, please visit our website, or download the full terms and conditions here.
Supporting your existing customers
We’re committed to ensuring your existing clients have the flexibility they need to manage their policies. Subject to existing product rules, eligible customers will still be able to apply for a large range of key alterations including:
- an increase to their sums insured
- a change of policy ownership
- adjustments for premium affordability, such as decreasing cover, changing premium type (i.e., from stepped to level) or removing optional benefits and
- an alteration to their income protection waiting or benefit periods.
As we’ve previously communicated, there will be a small number of alterations which will be unavailable for TAL & Asteron Life policy holders with a PDS issued prior to 1 April 2021, however these make up less than 5% of the requests we process today. Some examples of the alterations we will be unable to process are:
- adding a new benefit or option to an existing policy
- certain underwritten alterations to your client’s coverage, including changing TPD type from Any occupation to Own occupation, or moving from Linked or Attached benefits to standalone.
Should you wish to discuss your client’s specific needs or request, please get in touch and we will provide support wherever possible. In addition, we will provide a 90‑day transition period for any of the ceasing alterations to be finalised. All applications must be received by us no later than 31 March 2021.
For more information on these changes, you can view a copy of our Alterations Guide (available from 1 April 2021).
Pricing updates for new business and policy fee changes
We have reviewed our new business pricing for both stepped and level premiums across both Lump Sum and Income Protection covers. The changes will result in both premium decreases and increases across various segments from 1 April 2021. Where rates have increased this is to ensure we can maintain our strong capacity to pay claims.
The impact of these changes will vary depending on your client’s individual circumstances, as they take into account a variety of factors such as your client’s age, BMI and the products they wish to hold. If you would like further information, please visit the TAL Adviser Centre for a quote, or speak to your Business Development Manager.
We will provide a 30-day transition period for both existing quotes and incomplete applications for any of your clients if this is required.
Policy Fee changes
We are increasing our policy fee for new customers from $7 to $8 per month ($77 to $88 annually). This is the first time we have increased our policy fee since the launch of Accelerated Protection more than 10 years ago.
Other changes to Accelerated Protection product features for new customers from 1 April 2021
- We've comprehensively reviewed our Critical Illness definitions with our in-house medical experts, to reflect the latest medical practice and to give you confidence in your recommendations, resulting in 41 definitions being improved for simplicity and clarity.
- ‘Normal Domestic Duties’ tier will no longer be available for TPD cover. Please note, we continue to offer homemakers an 'Any Occupation' definition, giving your customers flexibility to meet their needs.
- Removal of level premium lifetime guarantee for Life Insurance cover.
- Increase in permitted maximum monthly benefit for occupation classes A, BBB, BB and B working in mining, oil and gas industries from $7,500 to $10,000.
Our new Product Disclosure Statement will be available to download from the issue date, 1 April 2021 via the TAL Adviser Centre. You can also download the new Upgrade Booklet, Adviser Guide and any updated forms and documents from the TAL Adviser Centre on this date.
Please ensure you use the new forms for all business submitted on or after 1 April 2021.
Transition rules & key dates
Existing quotes and completed applications must be received by 30 April 2021. Beyond this date, quotes and incomplete applications expire and a new request must be created via the TAL Adviser Centre.
All submitted applications for new business will be valid until 30 June 2021.
Please note that all tele-interview applications for new business must be submitted by 30 April 2021.