Sovereign enhancements

Exciting times for AIA and Sovereign.

AIA and Sovereign are combining the deep industry knowledge of our people and bringing together our best products, systems and processes. This includes working towards providing a competitive single-market offering designed to fulfil the insurance needs of Kiwis.

We remain committed to delivering the best outcomes for our existing customers. As part of this commitment, future enhancements to our new product will continue to be passed-back to existing AIA and Sovereign customers in line with the current pass-back approach (i.e. eligible AIA customers since January 2003 and Sovereign TotalCareMax customers since February 2001).

A key first step towards a single-market offering is aligning the existing AIA and Sovereign product ranges. Over the next couple of months, we'll be announcing about 90 enhancements across the AIA and Sovereign product ranges. We are taking the best of AIA and Sovereign to deliver the best outcomes for our customers by providing greater access to treatments, better support services and wider definitions that support Kiwis throughout their everyday life.

12th March 2019Trauma Enhancements

The first set of enhancements is for the AIA and Sovereign Trauma products.

  • We're introducing approximately 45 enhancements. These help ensure that our products support even more customers should they suffer a major medical event.
  • We've created a new Severe Illness or Injury Benefit. This enhancement is a market first innovation that aims to protect our customers should they suffer a rare or obscure medical condition or major injury that isn't specifically listed in the policy wording.
  • Medical technology is moving fast and it's hard to keep medical definitions in insurance products current at the same pace. To overcome this, we've added a new Medical Advancement Provision which means that new medical diagnostic testing techniques may be considered when assessing a condition.

For all details including the training pack, AIA/Sovereign Product Enhancements 2019 FAQs and policy wordings, please visit the Training page.

We've made a few changes to our Level Life premium rates. These come into effect today, and we'd like to share the details with you.

Changes to our to Age 65 and to Age 80 Level Life rates

We're always listening to feedback from our advisers - you asked and we've delivered. Level Life premium rates for to Age 65 and to Age 80 premium options have improved, starting today. You'll notice the majority of Sovereign's Level to Age 65 and to Age 80 Life rates will be cheaper for new TotalCareMax clients.

These rates apply to new business only.

Indicative premium changes

We've outlined a summary of the changes below, to give you an idea of what you can expect from here on. Please note, these figures don't include policy fees and are a guide only.

Life Level Rate to Age 65

Rate change
Age Male non-smokers Male smokers Female non-smokers Female smokers

20

-8.9%

-0.1%

-1.0%

-0.7%

25

-4.2%

3.2%

-0.8%

0.7%

30

-7.5%

4.4%

-8.2%

-5.1%

35

-10.1%

6.6%

-7.9%

-2.7%

40

-5.7%

5.1%

-7.0%

-4.8%

45

-10.0%

-1.8%

-10.0%

-9.5%

50

-17.5%

-7.8%

-11.8%

-10.1%

55

-8.8%

-9.4%

-11.8%

-1.5%


Life Level Rate to Age 80

Rate change
Age Male non-smokers Male smokers Female non-smokers Female smokers

20

-6.4%

22.9%

-6.9%

24.4%

25

-7.2%

5.3%

-0.6%

8.6%

30

-4.8%

11.2%

-1.6%

14.5%

35

-3.1%

8.3%

-1.4%

3.4%

40

-4.8%

4.6%

-8.6%

-14.6%

45

-12.9%

-6.2%

-12.5%

-25.2%

50

-4.7%

-0.2%

-8.2%

-15.4%

55

1.4%

-0.7%

-4.9%

-7.4%

60

-6.2%

-9.2%

-8.6%

-13.1%

65

-17.2%

-13.9%

-17.0%

-17.6%

70

-28.7%

-15.5%

-19.1%

-14.6%

The tables above are an illustrative guide only.

How to access the new Level Life rates in Illustrations

From the 18th June 2018, Illustrations will require an online update to 10.0.8 to access the new rates. Your software will not prompt you to download this update so you will need to click the 'About' icon and click 'check for updates' to download the new rates.

If your Illustrations software has expired, please click OK to launch the Update Manager and apply the online update. If you have any problems downloading the update, you can go to Sovlink and download the update.

If you do not have a Sovlink login or require assistance installing Illustrations, please contact Practice Solutions Hub on 0800 484 444 or Practicesolutions@sovereign.co.nz.

You can still quote using Illustrations version 10.0.7 until 23 July 2018, but your customers won't have access to the latest Level Life Cover rates.

Questions?

If you have any questions or require support please contact your BDM or the adviser relationship team on 0800 768 287.

Here at Sovereign, we want to help you to have better Income Protection conversations with your clients. We've listened to your feedback, and have implemented a number of exciting changes to our Mortgage and Income Protection and Income protection products so that you can build the best possible insurance plans to suit your clients' individual needs.

Mortgage and Income protection (MIP)
  • We've increased the cover limits to better reflect the changing financial environment, such as rising rental, mortgage and living costs.
    • Increase from 110% to 115% of contractual mortgage repayments
    • Increase from 40% to 45% of gross income
    • Maximum sum assured limit stays the same at $72k
  • We're offering more wait periods for our Mortgage and Income Protection customers who do not require short-term benefit cover. This aligns with our Income Protection product. We now offer the following MIP wait periods:
    • 4 weeks; 8 weeks; 13 weeks; 26 weeks (new); 52 weeks (new); 104 weeks (new)
  • Your clients can now choose indexation across both the income or mortgage component of their MIP cover to protect themselves against future interest changes or inflation. Economic volatility impacts mortgages just as much as incomes and currency.
  • There is now the option for clients to suspend their MIP cover to help them navigate their finances when circumstances change. This removes the burden of paying premiums for a period of time, and they won't have to go through the complexity of reapplying for cover when they are able to start paying for it again.
  • We've added fixed term premium options for MIP. Your clients now have the option to choose fixed term premium pricing for MIP to help with their financial planning and future certainty. They can now choose fixed term premium option for 10 years or to age 65, as well as rate for age. The premiums are not guaranteed and may be reviewed at any time in line with emerging claims experience.
  • If your client discloses all income protection cover they have in place, there should be no offsets at claim time if their situation has not changed. This is because clients have given us the opportunity to ensure they're appropriately insured across all products (Sovereign and competitors). We've refined our offsets provision to clarify how we deal with other cover disclosed in your client's application.
Income protection (IP)
  • Eligibility ages for Income Protection have been updated in Illustrations to allow easy quoting for clients aged 56-60 to take out IP to age 70 (occupation classes 1 and 2 only).
  • Clients who claim under Occupation Class 5 will now receive an increased benefit payment amount. This has been increased to reflect the rising cost of homecare and support.
  • We've reduced the Premier Option premium loading on current Income Protection to give your clients more value for money with this option.
  • We've removed the offset calculation from the Bed Confinement Benefit. Our claims team work with your clients at claim time to make sure they can quickly get the financial support they need. This means a quicker process to provide the Bed Confinement Benefit while working through their larger Income Protection claim, to help with the additional expenses, such as full-time care, they may incur during this difficult time. This enhancement also applies to Mortgage and Income Protection.

For all details including the training pack, adviser quick fact sheet and policy wordings, please visit the Training page

It's our mission to be there for your clients in their moments of truth. Our health insurance Waiver of Premium on Death, and Bereavement Grant benefits exist to do just that, by offering some financial relief in the event of a loss of a loved one.

For these benefits, we've updated the 'self-inflicted act' exclusion. Now for customers who have health insurance for more than 13 months and pass away due to deliberate self-harm, their family members can access this extra financial help.

Any claims submitted from the 5th September 2017 would have been assessed against this enhancement.

For full details on this enhancement please visit the Training Page. Please also refer to the policy wordings for full details on the Waiver of Premium on Death and Bereavement Grant benefits.

These changes don't apply to staff MajorCare, EBS and Sure Health products.

We're here to help you look after your clients - new and existing - by delivering value through our products and keeping our systems relevant for your changing needs.

Our latest updates reflect the trends we've seen across technology, our claim stories, your feedback and our desire to give customers on older products access to some of the great benefits Private Health offers.

Keep reading for the highlights of our latest changes covering two areas:

1. Illustration quoting software changes to enhance usability

  • Aligning Disability Income Protection (DI) and Mortgage and Income Protection (MIP) sum assured frequencies: Providing you with consistency and removing what can sometimes be a manual process. You can now quote the sum assured for both as an annual amount. MIP will still offer monthly quoting as well.
  • Allowing you to choose Premier Cover Option for a second Disability Income Protection (DI): Some client's plans require Premier Cover on both DI benefits. This can now be selected with ease.
  • Helping you set expectations for the health insurance underwriting process for clients over 70 years old: You'll now see a pop up reminding you that the Special Consideration Process will need to be followed for anyone 70 years or over applying for health insurance. This way you can start having those conversations earlier.
  • Fixing the pop up message for Accidental Injury Cover: There was a misalignment with the age pop up causing confusion. It will now read: 'Age should be between 16 and 65 for this policy'.

2. Health product enhancements

Note that all of the below applies to our Private Health, Absolute Health and MajorCare products. These benefits don't apply to staff MajorCare, EBS and Sure Health products.

Claims made from 5th September 2017 will take into account these changes.

  • Extending coverage to our legacy health product customers:
    • They can now access the Post Cancer Treatment Care and Support benefit giving them up to $1,000 per policy year towards support services and personal items post-cancer diagnosis.
    • They're now covered for Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) surgery which can be a major medical expense. TMJ is the hinge connecting the jaw to the temporal bones of the skull.
  • Giving customers the choice to have skin prick tests and skin biopsies performed by General Practitioners (GP) or specialists: These procedures are now included under the Minor Surgery benefit, not just under the Specialist Consultations benefit. Customers with any Sovereign health insurance product can see a GP to have a skin prick test and/or skin biopsy performed.
  • Providing cover for new devices: Clients can now claim for the device costs of cardiac pacemakers and Implantable Loop Recorders (ILR) enabling them to focus on treatment and recovery rather than finances.

For all the detail including a training pack and policy wording, please visit the Training Page.

There is a clear need for customers to have a simple product that quickly helps them deal with an accidental injury as it can have an immediate impact on their daily life and ability to do their job, whether they're a builder, office worker, or a parent caring for children at home.

We've created a solution that we think will be a big help in building a comprehensive insurance plan for customers - giving them options no matter what life throws at them.

From Friday 1st September 2017 our new Accidental Injury Cover is available to new and existing customers (with a policy issued after February 2004 Illustrations version 8.3 or later).

It's an optional benefit that can be added to our core TotalCareMax (TCM) Personal and Business range and provides customers an up-front payment, should they be injured accidentally. They can use this lump sum for whatever they need: covering treatment costs, getting taxis to work, hiring someone to help with children or running their business, or simply taking time off work to recover.

Key features:

  • Can be taken out with any of our core TCM products giving flexibility to you and your clients.
  • Sum assured can be anywhere between $500 - $5,000 a month with no proof of income required and flat rate pricing based on gender and smoking status.
  • Easy to understand insurance with four simple claim categories.
  • Once approved, claims are paid as a lump sum giving your clients quick access to funding to deal with the accidental injury they're facing.
  • There are no offsets against ACC or other insurances so your clients get the financial support they need, relevant to their situation.
  • Application is easy. For new customers, there are no extra questions than what is required for their core TCM products. For eligible existing customers there is a new, simple form to endorse it on to their existing policy.

For all the detail and access to helpful supporting tools and documents including policy wording, please visit the Training Page.

It was clear to us that our Advisers and customers needed more options to cover children in addition to Private Health. This typical customer journey shows how a seriously ill child could impact an entire family financially.

We're pleased to have evolved our personal trauma products to now provide parents the opportunity to receive a lump sum to help get the entire family through a difficult time with as little disruption as possible.

We've lowered the entry age of personal Progressive Care and Comprehensive Living Assurance from age 16 down to age 2.

Key features:

  • Can be taken out standalone or as part of a family package
  • A maximum sum assured of up to $250,000 for children under age 16
  • Flat rate pricing for ages 2 to 21. Affordable at $1 a month per $10,000 of cover for Progressive Care
  • Cover continues into adulthood - no expiry or continuation paperwork

Useful links

Here's a quick video explaining why trauma insurance for children can be important.

For more information and to access helpful supporting tools and documents, the Progressive Care and Comprehensive Living Assurance product pages will be updated from Monday 19th June.

For all the detail, including policy wording, please visit the Training Page.

The age restriction for Pregnancy Complications under Sovereign's Optional Children's and Maternity Benefit has been removed to ensure that all eligible female customers who experience the defined complications are covered.

In line with Sovereign's Guaranteed Enhancement Benefit, this change applies for all claims with an effective date from 24 January 2017.

We've made some enhancements to our health products. These changes apply to treatment performed after 5th December 2016.

These benefits apply to:

  • All new policies from 5 December 2016
  • Existing Private Health Cover and Private Health Plus
  • Absolute Health
  • MajorCare sold from 1 November 2003

These enhancements include:

  • Unlimited surgical benefit: Surgical claim amounts are now unlimited.
  • Outpatient treatment costs: Within six months after surgery customers can claim for physiotherapy and prescription costs relating to surgery. (For MajorCare 2003, this benefit is available for three months after surgery).
  • Extended cancer care: Customers can now claim for breast symmetry surgery following a mastectomy along with an increased post treatment care benefit.
  • Get treated anywhere in the world: Customers can choose to undergo treatment anywhere in world. If your clients choose to go beyond Australia to have treatment, up to 75% of the reasonable costs payable in New Zealand (subject to applicable maximums) may be covered for approved treatments.
  • Dental support prior to major treatments: Dental evaluation and treatment can be claimed for in advance of specified chemotherapy and radiotherapy treatments and heart valve replacement surgery.
  • Increased minor surgery cover: The claim amount has been increased to $1,000 a year.

For more information and to access supporting tools and documents please go to the Health product page.

For all the detail, including policy wording, please go to the Training Guide.


TCM Enhancements

Introduction of Level Premiums for Progressive Care
From 25th November 2016 two level premium rate options are available for Progressive Care; 10 year level premium and to age 65.

For all the detail, please go to the Training Guide.

New Heart Attack Definition
From 5th December 2016, Living Assurance, and all benefits that cover heart attacks, have been enhanced with a new, simplified Heart Attack definition, removing the 50% partial payment definition.

This is great news for your clients. Previous wording meant customers needed to be aware of the technical and medical distinction between the full and the partial definitions. This change assists not only with clarity of technical definitions, but also meets customer expectations in terms of policy coverage.

For all the detail, please go to the Training Guide.

Pass Backs
Under the TCM Guaranteed Enhancement Benefit, all enhancements will be passed back to all existing policies issued from 1st February 2001 (illustration version 6.24) when claim event first occurs on or after 5th December 2016 (unless otherwise stated). If the claim event first occurred before the 5th December 2016, then the claim will not be assessed or reassessed using the new wording.

For all the detail, please go to the Training Guide.