Helping your clients quit the killer

02 June 2014 FAnews

According to the World Health Organisation, smoking is one of the major killers in the world as it is a significant contributor to a number of diseases such as cardiovascular diseases and cancer.

There are major campaigns worldwide to stop the prevalence of smoking, and insurers do have their role to play in this. One insurer that is really trying to make a difference is Altrisk, who launched a new industry offering with new premium ratings for smokers. This was launched at the company’s countrywide road shows which took place in May and June.

Understanding non-smoking benefits

Smokers pay substantially more for the higher risk of a claim as a result of their smoking compared to a non-smoker. However, not all smokers are the same. Through detailed research into the risk of smoking, and how related diseases result in claims, Altrisk has developed its rating approach to understand each client.

Clients who have health and lifestyle attributes which are associated with a reduced risk of death or disability, can now get the benefit of this in their premium rating with Altrisk’s new Proactive Risk offering. “By considering each client’s unique circumstances and smoking habits, Altrisk is able to provide the client with a quote that more accurately reflects his personal risks,” says Ryan Chegwidden, Executive Head: Product and Technical at Altrisk.

How the rating will work

“Altrisk is also offering smokers a reduced rate on their risk cover premiums for a period of two years, with the proviso that they intend to quit smoking during this period. Smokers who notify Altrisk at policy application stage of their intention to quit, will immediately qualify for a discount on their premiums for selected benefits,” says Chegwidden.

If a client is smoke-free for a period of six months, the client will qualify for non-smoker rates. If they remain non-smokers for a further six-month period – in other words 12 consecutive months as a non-smoker - non-smoker premium rates are guaranteed.

Below is an illustrative model demonstrating current cost of cover for smokers versus
Proactive Risk smokers.

For a female, age 40, with a three year tertiary qualification:

Helping to keep the promise

Altrisk is playing a role in helping clients keep to this commitment by providing clients who want to quit smoking with the tools and support they need to kick their nicotine addiction. This will be done via an online app available on Google Play and the Apple store, an Allen Carr discount voucher, and daily motivations via Facebook and Twitter.

“Smoking has a significant effect on risk insurance and the premiums that your client will pay. The reality is that the health and financial burden of smoking is a lot more extensive than most people realise, and there is growing evidence to show that the effects smoking has on health may soon mean that smokers will, in future, be paying even higher rates for cover compared to non-smokers,” says Chegwidden.

He adds that to quit smoking, regardless of how long the person has smoked for and how many cigarettes he used to smoke, is one of the best things a smoker can do for his health and finances.

Taking the company forward

It is this outlook and philosophy which will be a major influencer in Altrisk’s future products and services, said MD Michael Blain.

The role of every insurer is to make the complicated world of the financial services industry as simple as possible to the normal person on the street. “The only way in which this can be achieved is through a deep knowledge and understanding of risk. This has been gained through discussions with our advisers who engage with clients,” said Blain. Altrisk also believes that you cannot apply a blanket solution to the industry, and they will therefore be taking a more personalised approach to product development.



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