Centrepoint initiative responds to claims disputes



Centrepoint Alliance says it is developing a new life insurance initiative over the next 12 months in response to feedback from advisers and clients that underwriting services are deteriorating.

In announcing its half-year financial results to the ASX last month, Centrepoint managing director John de Zwart said it “seeded a new life insurance initiative” and was looking forward to developing it over the next year.

“It involves us seeding a new life insurance development business to work with an insurance company on the design of a range of life products for the IFA market which provide better value and service to the end client and adviser,” a Centrepoint spokesperson told Risk Adviser with reference to the initiative.

The spokesperson said there is a need for better value and a better client experience.

“Feedback from clients and advisers [is] that underwriting services have deteriorated,” they said.

“[There is] increasing frequency of disputes between clients and life insurers around claims, and frequent and excessive price increases that have been forced on clients in recent years.”

Last month, Synchron chair Michael Harrison, who was Zurich’s head of life risk from 1998 to 2003, told the parliamentary joint committee on corporations and financial services life insurance inquiry that there are steps life insurers could be making to alleviate industry issues, including moving from stepped to level premiums.

When Risk Adviser asked Centrepoint whether the initiative was in response to Mr Harrison’s statement, they responded, “No. We are not looking at varying the product structures as suggested by Synchron.”

Centrepoint said it would disclose more details about the initiative later this year.

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