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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

August 26th, 2012 | Posted by Editor in News

ClearView takeover bid ‘wholly inadequate’
Mid-tier life insurer ClearView Wealth has urged shareholders to reject a $220 million takeover bid from Crescent Capital Partners, labelling the private equity offer as “inadequate” and substantially undervalues the company.

SELF-MANAGED SUPER’S HOUSE OF HORRORS
The 867,000 members of self-managed superannuation funds (SMSFs) are a pretty independent lot. They’ve foregone the services of public-offer superannuation funds in preference for trusting their accountant or financial planner and backing their own abilities. However, it seems many of them are foregoing insurance as well – especially those that have been advised by accountants – and in so doing may be putting their nest egg at risk. Only about 13 per cent of SMSF members have life insurance through their funds.

Brokers credited for Suncorp’s strong results
Suncorp has reported a rise of nearly 60% in its net annual profit and was quick to credit the involvement of brokers for the success of its Commercial Insurance (CI) business. Net profit for the 2012 financial year came in at $724 million, compared to $453 million last year. Profit for the insurance division was $493 million, with life insurance earning $251 million, and the banking arm just $26 million – down from $84 million last year.

Wealth management a tough play for big banks
IN SUBDUED banking market conditions Commonwealth Bank last week posted a fall in earnings from only one of its divisions – wealth management. Despite good growth in life insurance premiums, falling asset balances and investor preference for low-risk investment options have driven an 11 per cent fall in cash earnings to $569 million.

Price isn’t everything
‘Direct life insurance business has been growing at a high rate and is now a significant proportion of the retail market,” an executive group member of the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority, Ian Laughlin, told a conference recently. ”We are concerned that the quality of the products and of the business being written may be poor in some cases. We see examples of expensive products and high [policy] discontinuance rates.”

APRA tweaks insurance in super
APRA will change its stance on insurance in super, allowing registered superannuation entities to seek income protection through general rather than life insurance providers alone.

Will the communications revolution solve the underinsurance crisis?
Allen Iu writes that the communication evolution is changing the way the life insurance industry connects with customers – and could help us solve the underinsurance problem once and for all.

Ignorance on life insurance stymies SMSFs
Ignorance about life insurance is a massive problem in the self-managed super fund (SMSF) sector, with two-thirds of trustees unaware that this coverage can be taken out by their fund.

Direct life insurance easier to obtain
Insurers are removing some of the barriers for being approved for life insurance cover in the hope that it will aid Australia’s underinsurance problem. Australia’s top three life insurers are also named…

This material is not intended to constitute personal advice, and must not be relied on as such. This information has been prepared without taking into account your objectives, financial circumstances or needs. Before making a decision based on this material, you should consider the appropriateness of this material having regard to your own objectives financial circumstances and needs. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any decision.

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Weekly Life Insurance News Roundup

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