TAL to boost adviser underwriting knowledge

A new underwriting education initiative from TAL will help advisers and clients better understand the underwriting process.

TAL launched the education initiative to increase transparency in the underwriting process, and said the initiative would provide advisers and clients with tools to better understand underwriting exclusions and when they are applied. The life insurer added it would also educate advisers on circumstances where a client may be eligible for an underwriting review.

Highlighting how the underwriting process can be confusing for customers, TAL general manager for health services Dr. Sally Phillips, said the goal of the initiative was to provide support to advisers and customers.

"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," Phillips said.

"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."

Currently, the initiative focuses on education for musculoskeletal health conditions, with specific focus on underwriting processes for the spine after lower back pain. TAL added the initiative will shift focus toward other health conditions later this year.

TAL musculoskeletal manager Gavin Law said difficulties in underwriting the spine was challenging given there is often no specific problem or disease which can be identified as the cause of back pain - a health condition affecting more than 3.7 million Aussies according to Law.

"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," Law said.

"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."

Separately, the life insurer last month rolled out a new mental health coaching program for people leaders and claims managers based on a partnership with SuperFriend.

The program is designed to improve customer and employee mental health by educating claims managers on the goals of claimants, while TAL people leaders are undergoing training designed to equip them with the tools required to support their teams and foster an environment where staff feel comfortable discussing mental health.

Read more: TALGavin LawDr. Sally PhillipsAussies
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