Asteron Life unveils adviser campaign


By Caitlin Scarr

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Asteron Life has launched an online education campaign for insurance advisers to combat the growing number of Australians without adequate trauma cover.

The adviser support package is designed as the initial part of a campaign for advisers to educate clients on the importance of maintaining their insurance policies at a statistically vulnerable period in their lives.

The life insurance firm in February said Australians in their 40s made more life insurance claims than any other age bracket, but despite that, many in that age bracket were cancelling their trauma cover.

The average age at which Asteron Life clients claimed for trauma insurance was 49, but the company said many clients let their insurance policy lapse at the age of 44, exposing them to financial risk in the event of injury or illness.

“Forty-nine is typically the age people claim for trauma insurance due to middle-age onset of serious illnesses like cancer, cardiovascular diseases, stroke and diabetes,” Asteron Life executive manager Mark Vilo said.

In 2013, 71 per cent of lapses in trauma cover occurred because of affordability pressures, according to Asteron Life research.

Vilo said although Australians in their 40s were generally working at their peak earning capacity, they also carried a high level of financial responsibility.

Mortgages and multiple dependants created extra financial pressure, he said, and many clients were in the unfortunate position of deciding between renewing their insurance policy or covering their basic living expenses.

The website encouraged Australians to embrace their 40s as “the years of living smarter”.

Vilo said living smarter is about being smart with insurance choices, and making sure clients had adequate cover. There was no such thing as being over-insured, he said.

Advisers were often unaware their clients were not properly insured against trauma, and the website was a first step in building an ongoing education campaign for advisers and their clients, he said.

He said it was important advisers discussed trauma insurance with clients so that they made informed decisions.

Clients wishing to change or cancel their policies also had a team at Asteron Life who could explore alternative options to ensure they were not left financially exposed, he said.

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