Funds need to engage with members and their insurance providers in order to help overcome the under insurance problem in this country. A recent roundtable held by Investment & Technology, in conjunction with MetLife Insurance, discussed the mechanisms by which funds can engage with members including better data mining and tailoring of communication to certain demographics.

Participants at the roundtable were:

John Jones, executive manager member services, MTAA Super

Glenn Palmer, general manager, insurance, AustralianSuper

Mario De Bono, senior insurance consultant, IFS Insurance Broking

Joe Farrugia, secretary, Catholic Superannuation Fund

Frances Magill, chief executive, Statewide Superannuation

Mark Griffiths, principal. Rice Warner Actuaries

Geoff Brooks, manager, communications, Equipsuper

David Atkin, chief executive, Cbus

Rex Phillipott, chief executive, Astarra Funds Management

Julie Lander, chief executive, Care Super

Michael Bailey, editor, Investment & Technology

Amanda White, journalist, Investment & Technology

Tassin Barnard, chief executive, MetLife Insurance

Aaron Stokeld, institutional business development manager,

MetLife Insurance Michael Bailey: We have a number of super fund CEO’s and insurance executives in the room today. What do you think are the reasons for the possible perception among people who have considered their insurance, that group insurance is adequate?

Julie Lander: We found that only about 30 per cent of our members even realise they have insurance cover, and that’s up from 20 per cent the last time we surveyed. So it’s just not an issue that is on their radar. I think people like to put it off because they don’t want to think that anything’s going to happen to them and so therefore I’ll just put that off and therefore it won’t.

Michael Bailey: In terms of a real life example of a fund currently looking at a communication campaign around insurance MTAA Super is, as we speak, preparing an upcoming campaign around the introduction of age based defaults.

John Jones: Membership of the Retail Motor Trades which is our membership is basically male and basically quite young, and has very low levels of account balance. So they’re not interested in super. They’re not interested in their super fund, and so engaging with them with communication is a constant challenge. We all know that.

We’re trying to take a holistic approach where things like improving the offer itself so that we increase the level of default cover. Introducing TPD as part of that default cover, and that’s us catching up to the rest of the industry I suspect. Making it easy for automatic acceptance limits to be available to members, up to five units within six months of them joining, without a medical statement, and a range of other things that improve the offering. But as well as that, we’re trying to make the process of applying for insurance a lot easier. We’ve put in place a dedicated insurance group within our fund team and the administration company, SuperPartners. We’re involving a medical practitioner group to assist members to arrange medicals, get their reports done, follow up for bloods and anything else that needs to be done. So making the process a lot easier. Even to the extent of…our marketing plan, trying to engage more with our younger membership by sponsorship of motor sport which again fits very neatly with the membership.

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