Our top priority at TAL during these challenging and unpredictable times is continuing to provide support and responsiveness to you and your clients. We recognise that a key part of continuing to provide that support is ensuring our own workforce remains healthy and safe.
Following recent developments around the globe and in Australia, we are taking further precautionary steps to ensure our business continues to operate effectively so we can continue to be there when we’re needed most. Our response is a coordinated effort across our entire business, with input from key external providers and experts, including the Australian Government and health professionals.
As I’m sure you’ve heard many times over, this is an evolving situation – and whilst our current priority is to ensure business continuity in the short term, we are also working to consider the longer- term impacts on the industry. We’ll keep you informed if any of this information changes, but, as always, we’re here to help.
General Manager, Retail Distribution
Maintaining our claims processing, payments & other services
As always, our priority is to ensure we keep the promise we make to our customers through the timely and accurate assessment and payment of all genuine claims.
For our claims managers and others supporting business critical processes, we have initiated a series of measures to ensure the continuity of our operations. This includes splitting our core operational teams into cohorts and implementing a rotational work-from-home pattern. We’re also focussed on keeping our other essential processing and payment operations running smoothly, including new business processing (including tele-interview & underwriting), commission runs and existing policy maintenance. In addition, our adviser and customer service centres, sales team, underwriters and claims departments will still be available to assist with any queries you may have.
Whilst we are trying to minimise any disruption to our service standards, there may be some delays as our team adjust to this new operating environment, and we appreciate your patience and understanding during this time. You can be confident that we are doing everything we can, and have robust plans in place to support you and your clients during an extended period of remote working.
Supporting your client conversations
We know that many advisers have been fielding enquiries from concerned clients about whether they are covered should they need to claim as a result of being diagnosed with COVID-19, so we have put together some answers to common questions to help.
There is no general COVID-19 exclusion in our Accelerated Protection or Asteron Life Complete policies. All claims will be assessed according to the terms and conditions of the specific polices incorporating any individual customer policy exclusions which may been applied at an underwriting stage on a case by case basis.
Upcoming changes to Accelerated Protection and our underwriting approach
As advised in our recent communication, we will be making some updates to Accelerated Protection from 27 March 2020.
This update includes the changes that have been made to improve sustainability in line with guidance from APRA, but we've also taken the opportunity to simplify our disclosure and policy documents, launch some improved features and, as always, review our medical definitions to make sure they're aligned to the latest diagnostic and treatment practices. This update will proceed as planned, with further information to be provided early next week.
When we release the abovementioned updates to Accelerated Protection, we will also be making adjustments to some of our underwriting questions to include additional information about travel and exposure to the COVID-19 virus. Depending on the answers provided there may be further assessment required during the application stage, or terms may be unavailable.
Can customers still write new policies with TAL?
Yes. If your clients wish to purchase insurance cover from TAL, then they can still do so, subject to our underwriting requirements.
Clients purchasing TAL policies will be covered in line with their policy and individual underwriting terms. If during the underwriting process it has been determined that customers have recently travelled abroad, or are showing symptoms of COVID-19, or are in high -risk groups, then they will be individually assessed, and individual underwriting terms may be offered. These matters would be identified and assessed through our normal underwriting process.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: THIS INFORMATION HAS BEEN PREPARED FOR USE BY LICENSED ADVISERS IN THEIR PROFESSIONAL CAPACITY ONLY, AND IS NOT INTENDED TO BE PROVIDED TO NOR USED BY YOUR CLIENTS FOR THE PURPOSES OF MAKING A DECISION ABOUT ANY FINANCIAL PRODUCT. ANY ADVICE IS GENERAL IN NATURE ONLY AND DOES NOT TAKE INTO ACCOUNT YOUR CLIENT’S OBJECTIVES, FINANCIAL SITUATION OR NEEDS. BEFORE ACTING ON IT, THE APPROPRIATENESS OF THE ADVICE FOR YOUR CLIENT SHOULD BE CONSIDERED, HAVING REGARD TO THOSE FACTORS.
PRIOR TO MAKING ANY DECISION TO ACQUIRE OR TO CONTINUE TO HOLD THIS PRODUCT, ADVISERS AND THEIR CLIENTS SHOULD OBTAIN AND READ THE RELEVANT PRODUCT DISCLOSURE STATEMENT.
ACCELERATED PROTECTION AND ACCELERATED PROTECTION FOR INVESTMENT PLATFORMS IS ISSUED BY TAL LIFE LIMITED GPO BOX 5380, SYDNEY NSW 2001, ABN 70 050 109 450 AFSL 237848 AND THE PRODUCT DISCLOSURE STATEMENT IS AVAILABLE AT WWW.TAL.COM.AU.
ASTERON LIFE COMPLETE IS ISSUED BY ASTERON LIFE & SUPERANNUATION LIMITED ABN 87 073 979 530 AFSL 229880 (ASTERON) GPO BOX 5380, SYDNEY NSW 2001, AND THE PRODUCT DISCLOSURE STATEMENT IS AVAILABLE AT WWW.ASTERONLIFE.COM.AU
THIS INFORMATION IS CURRENT AT 20 MARCH 2020 AND MAY BE SUBJECT TO CHANGE.