TAL, a leading Australian life insurance specialist, today launched a new underwriting education initiative designed to help advisers and their clients better understand the underwriting process and support TAL customers with their ongoing health.
The initiative, which currently focuses on underwriting education for musculoskeletal health conditions, namely underwriting the spine following lower back pain, will move on to underwriting for other health conditions later in the year.
TAL General Manager for Health Services, Dr. Sally Phillips, said the industry-first initiative increases transparency in the underwriting process by providing advisers and their clients with tools to better understand why underwriting exclusions are applied and when clients may be eligible for an underwriting review.
“We understand that the underwriting process can be a confusing time for customers, which is why we aim to support our customers and adviser partners as best as we can by equipping them with simple, evidence-based factsheets that outline their health condition and associated risks, as well as explaining the underwriting process and potential outcomes for their specific condition.
“At the same time, this initiative recognises that TAL’s commitment to the wellbeing and health of our customers is not limited to underwriting and claim time. We view this as an ongoing partnership, so explaining the reasoning behind an underwriting exclusion, when they might be eligible for another review, and providing guidelines on how to manage back pain and promote spinal health will help them continue to lead fulfilling lives.
“We recognise that mental, physical and financial health are intrinsically linked so it is important to look at health across these dimensions. By providing customers with practical tools and techniques to help manage any ongoing health condition, we can empower customers to live their best life through good health.”
TAL Musculoskeletal Manager, Gavin Law, is leading the first phase of the underwriting education initiative, which focuses on the underwriting process for the spine following lower back pain.
Mr Law, said, “Back pain is one of the most common health conditions in Australia, affecting about 3.7 million Australians . We also know that underwriting the spine can be challenging when customers have a history of back pain because there is often no specific problem or disease that can be identified as the cause of pain.
“Our first suite of education materials up-skills our adviser partners on the specifics of back conditions so they can have well-informed conversations with their clients about spinal exclusions in addition to enabling them to engage with their clients about managing and supporting their health. We outline techniques to ease back pain and promote health and provide common treatment options for back conditions to assist recovery. We also direct our customers to community support programs,” he said.
Advisers can access the spinal exclusion underwriting factsheets and ‘Healthy Back’ information booklets to use with their clients from the TAL Adviser Centre.
Australian Institute of Health and Welfare. Australia’s Health 2016. Canberra: AIHW, 2016