TAL has taken out top spot in the Money Management/DEXX&R Adviser Choice Risk Awards in the disability income product category for the second consecutive year with its Accelerated Protection Income Protection Premier policy.
TAL Life general manager for retail distribution Niall McConville said allowing policy holders to receive both a lump sum for a critical illness and an income payment had provided flexibility for advisers and their clients.
"The critical illness option on a Premier policy allows a client to receive a lump sum equivalent to six months' salary to pay up front medical bills while also receiving 75 per cent of their income to deal with day to day expenses," he said.
"Also the ability to pay superannuation guarantee payments while on claim and allowing small business owners to return to work for limited periods to maintain their business without impacting payments means people have work and a business they can go back to."
History has also repeated for MLC who have taken out silver for the second year in this category with its Insurance Income Protection Platinum product which Sean McCormack, MLC general manager insurance product and underwriting, said offered clients a "flexible choice of disability definitions that can be applied at claim time".
McCormack described income protection as "the cornerstone of many insurance strategies", with the team at MLC focusing "on ensuring the 'permanent incapacity' requirement could be appropriately accommodated without losing the flexibility and comprehensiveness of the cover," they provided clients over the last 12 months.
"We have also been working particularly hard on delivering an even better service experience for advisers and customers," he said.
AIA Australia was awarded Bronze for its Priority Protection - Income Protection Advantage product with chief executive Damien Mu stating the group was seeking to engage with advisers through product development and innovation, such as level premiums, and with customers through the introduction of its health and wellness program, AIA Vitality.
"Sustainability of products for both the client and the adviser has been a key focus for us. On the adviser side, we are moving to a hybrid commission structure which gives advisers an opportunity to manage the revenue and value of their new business in a sustainable way."