Hold off premium hikes during clawback period: Asteron



Asteron Life has backed calls made by the AFA to prevent premium increases during the three-year clawback period since this could "jeopardise" an adviser's future.

Speaking to Risk Adviser, Asteron executive manager Mark Vilo said the life insurer is supportive of holding off premium hikes during the three-year responsibility period to mitigate the possibility of a client cancelling a policy due to affordability.

“The AFA has called that out as a challenge and I think a real opportunity for the life insurance industry to get behind it and support it,” Mr Vilo said.

“I think to further jeopardise an adviser’s future by first of all imposing a clawback, and then secondly imposing an additional premium increase, is going to make it even more challenging for an adviser, going forward.

“Anything that we can do to minimise that is going to improve the customer experience as well as their experience,” he said.

Responding to advice community concerns that insurers will want to cap level commissions, Mr Vilo said the market should be left to decide on the commission rate.

“We won’t be looking to make a cap on level commissions, we will really follow what the market is doing,” he said.

“My take on it is level commissions probably won’t have a clawback. It will really be a situation where there is a higher year one, like the hybrid remuneration style structure.”

With the transition to the Life Insurance Framework set to significantly challenge advisers, Mr Vilo said Asteron will be looking to use its position to help improve the ways in which advisers operate their businesses.

“As a medium to large organisation, we get access to a whole range of tools and resources that help us become better at what we do, how do we actually pick that up and translate that into an adviser’s practice,” he said.

“That can range from things like our financial modelling, HR, marketing ideas, end-to-end processing and so on. We can actually add value in an adviser’s practice through that way without necessarily talking to them about product,” Mr Vilo said.

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