To curb the growing number of insurance claims made by Australians, the life insurance industry needs to focus on getting clients to think about their health, says AIA Australia.
Speaking at the FSC Life Insurance conference in Sydney last week, AIA chief executive Damien Mu pointed out that while there is significant discussion of the reforms recommended by the Trowbridge report now underway, it is important to not lose sight of the issues around growing claim numbers.
“To a degree [the Trowbridge report has] taken our eye off the ball about what’s really important, and what we need to be doing as an industry, which is actually dealing [with] the claims issues that are happening,” Mr Mu said.
“We provide life insurance on the basis that we’re there to provide financial protection to people and their families in a time of need when unfortunate things happen.
“But we can deal with the growing epidemic of health issues that lead to claims and help people not actually need that claim,” he said.
Mr Mu said advisers can play an important role in encouraging clients to think about their health while discussing the importance of having financial protection.
“The conversation is first and foremost about what the client has come to see [an adviser] about, which is making sure they have the financial protection in place, but then being able open up the conversation [about health] through that discovery process,” Mr Mu said.
“Every adviser has a discovery process in being able to understand the clients’ needs and to be able to develop a needs-based solution. It's then being able to introduce the concept of 'That’s great - we’ve got that in place now', but how do we now also ensure that you don’t necessarily need it?”
“[It’s] just presenting a very simple conversation [about a client’s health]. What we are seeing is that has been very successful for advisers in the market.”