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How an outdated cancer grading system could impact client policies

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Advisely-Team
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20 days ago

Xplan Risk Researcher, the fully-interactive risk insurance comparator system, has received updates that make it even easier for advice professionals to meet their clients’ complex needs.

The updates – to ratings methodologies and approaches, as well as group cover – provide you with the precision you need to advise your clients in an ever-changing landscape. Powered by the most comprehensive premium modelling engine available, Risk Researcher provides qualitative and quantitative analysis of personal risk insurance products.

Revised rating methodology for prostate cancer helps advisers see the true value of add-ons to help clients

Risk Researcher has revised its rating methodology for “Trauma – Cancer (Prostate)” after identifying a change in the way the medical industry grades prostate cancer: pathology labs no longer report on Gleason scores of five and below.

In a review into early stage prostate cancer policy wording, the Iress team identified life offices selling policies that still used this outdated grading system as part of their partial benefit requirements. It also considered the practical impact of the revised staging and grading approach adopted by the medical sector and, as a result, the ratings awarded to a number of products have been increased (along with their core product scores), while some have been downgraded.

Our data shows that a high percentage of trauma plans are recommended to clients with optional add-on benefits that cover early-stage cancers. Thanks to our ratings changes, you will be able to see the true value of these add-ons and make more informed recommendations for your clients.

Prostate cancer is Australia’s most diagnosed cancer – it’s estimated that more than 25,400 males were diagnosed with it in 2023 – and it’s imperative that policyholders can successfully make claims based on the strict interpretation of policy wording.

The Gleason score issue could affect many people. But during our discussions with life offices, it became apparent that we were the only research house to raise concerns about it.

Revised rating approach for terminal illness helps advisers tailor advice

We have split our rating approach for terminal illness in two – in a bid to give you more nuanced information when providing for clients’ specific needs. 

We’ve made no change to the rating methodology in cases where the selected cover type doesn’t include a trauma rider. But where the selected cover does include trauma as a rider, the A-rating benchmark now recognises that there are instances where having a shorter “life expectancy” period may be preferable – particularly when a life cover buy-back feature is included in the cover.

This revised approach helps you better tailor advice for your clients, thanks to our easy-to-understand A-B-C rating system.

Group cover updates

Updates for the following group covers have been applied: IOOF, Russell Investment, NESS Super, CFS FirstWrap Super, ANZ Smartchoice Super and Australian Super – Deloitte.

Risk Researcher has a fully-transparent rating methodology. Uniquely, Risk Researcher provides research notes and full-definition extracts for each policy researched. If you want to drill deeper, the Iress research team’s notes explain the analysis. You can even review the extracts that were used to determine our research notes and ratings.

It’s all part of the ever-evolving package that puts Xplan Risk Researcher ahead of the pack.

Updated 20 days ago
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