Group insurance is about “more than writing a cheque” and insurers should highlight work wellness and preventative actions.
Speaking at the Australian Institute of Superannuation Trustees super insurance symposium, Sean Williamson, chief group life insurance officer at MLC, said insurers were focused on individual problems and needed to consider the larger issues at hand.
“We appreciate the group insurance is more than writing a cheque when someone is on claim but is about prevention and return to work strategies. As an industry, we do good work and it’s a shame we need to remind ourselves of that.
“We must get off the busy dancefloor and onto the balcony to say the critical role that group insurance as a community code plays for our society and ensure that the noise of constant change and pressure of competition doesn’t distract from the good work.”
Looking to the future, he said there were several questions insurers, funds and trustees were facing at the moment as they sought to ensure everything was developed in the best interest of members.
“How do we make group insurance fairer and ensure cross-subsidisation is reduced? What can the industry and members afford? Rich benefit designs established well before the onslaught of mental health claims that beset up today are out. We are much more mindful now of the trade off between protection today and future retirement income.”
One of these was the development of the wellness programs and Williamson said he expected insurance payments in the future could be tied to return to work milestones rather than a single lump sum payout.