Life insurers must educate and engage to manage claims

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Survey of insurance and superannuation professionals at AIA Australia Group Insurance Summit reveals changing priorities of industry

Damien Mu

Damien Mu

The life insurance industry must educate and engage with fund members and employers to ensure successful outcomes for IP and TPD claimants, according to a new survey from AIA Australia.

Superannuation and insurance professionals at the recent AIA Australia Group Insurance Summit were asked for their views on current and future issues in life insurance, and what role an insurer should play in addressing these. Rising premiums overwhelmingly remain the most pressing issue for industry professionals, with 81% saying balancing rising claims with sustainable premiums for members would be the greatest challenge for life insurers.

In addition, 47% of respondents said the most important thing the industry could be doing to address current sustainability challenges was either educating members on life insurance products or the role work can play in rehabilitation. 40% said the greatest challenge to implementing a successful rehabilitation program through their insurer was engaging stakeholders including employers, members and their doctors to participate.

“As insurers we have a role to play by not simply addressing the issue of claims sustainability through continual premium increases,” said Damien Mu, AIA Australia’s chief executive officer. “We need to think more broadly about the ways we manage these claims, so implementing rehabilitation programs backed by comprehensive support, training and education for members and employers needs to be a key capability for group insurers.”

Respondents also believed life insurers should be making more of the advancements in technology and data collection available to them in today’s market. Some of the ways this could be achieved included leveraging data to provide funds with greater insights on employers and members (23%), and allowing members to manage cover online more easily (28%).

“It’s important that the industry make it as easy as possible to encourage members to engage with and learn about their insurance”, said Mr Mu. “We’ve seen recent improvements in online application and claims lodgement, but we need to ensure this level of innovation keeps up with the rapid pace of technological advancements and changing consumer dynamics.”

Insurance education emerged as the primary theme of the survey, with 26% of industry professionals indicating insurers could best demonstrate their value to super funds by educating their members around the claims process. A further 25% said that more creativity and innovation was needed in product design.

“It’s vital that the industry continues to address these issues as we move forward to a more sustainable future”, said Mr Mu. “Life insurers and super funds must continue working together to educate and engage employers and members to ensure group insurance policies remain valuable to Australian’s and they understand what they are getting and how to engage with their insurance”

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