Canstar is thrilled to announce that ASB’s Compassionate Care is a winner of one of its Innovation Excellence Awards 2021. The awards, which involve a sophisticated rating methodology unique to Canstar, compare the latest innovations from a range of business and financial services, from banking and loan providers, to superannuation, investing and insurance.
The winners are scored based on how disruptive, new, or unique their products are, with the addition of their overall wow factor. The awards also rate the products’ affordability and ease of use, to measure the impact that the innovations have on consumers’ everyday lives.
This year’s submissions were of an extremely high quality and Canstar’s team of expert judges was particularly impressed by the trend towards innovations designed to support Kiwi consumers’ personal needs.
“We all had a tough 2020, due to the stresses of COVID-19 and uncertainty in so many aspects of our lives. This year, we saw through our awards that local businesses stepped up to help,” says Canstar NZ General Manager Jose George.
“Our winners innovated to deliver products and services that simply made New Zealanders’ lives easier, better and cheaper. They did the right thing, and we applaud them for that.”
ASB Compassionate Care
ASB Compassionate Care is designed to help home loan customers mourning the loss of a partner. If one of the borrowers on an ASB home loan passes away, Compassionate Care covers the interest payments on that home loan for up to 12 months, to a maximum of $60,000. When it launched, ASB Compassionate Care instantly provided cover for around 160,000 ASB customers.
ASB’s Compassionate Care was assessed as being unique in the market and having a significant impact, due to the unprecedented support it offers to customers during particularly stressful times.
To mark ASB’s win, Canstar asked Craig Sims, Executive General Manager Retail Banking, ASB, to discuss the merits of Compassionate Care for ASB’s customers.
Canstar: Compassion is not a term that springs to mind when you think of banking. What inspired ASB to create Compassionate Care?
Craig: We know that mortgage repayments are one of the biggest financial commitments for most home owners, so we introduced Compassionate Care in 2020: a free ASB home loan benefit that covers around a year’s worth of home loan interest in the event that a borrower passes away. We wanted to provide families with peace of mind and some breathing space during what we know is a very difficult time, so they can focus on what’s important.
Canstar: What makes ASB Compassionate Care unique?
Craig: There’s no comparable offering from any other bank in New Zealand and customers are automatically eligible for Compassionate Care provided they have owner-occupied home lending with ASB. There’s no application forms, questions, underwriting, claims forms or complicated claims processes, and pre-existing medical conditions are not excluded. When we launched the benefit in May 2020, more than 160,000 of our customers became automatically eligible for the cover.
Canstar: Who and what does ASB Compassionate Care cover?
Craig: ASB’s vision is to accelerate the financial progress for all New Zealanders. Given the significance of home lending repayments on an average household budget, we knew that helping alleviate financial stress at what could be one of the most difficult times for our customers, with no strings attached, aligned perfectly to our DNA as a bank.
ASB Compassionate Care treats all customers equally, regardless of what stage they’re at in their home lending journey. Customers are automatically covered when they have an owner-occupied home loan with ASB. There’s nothing more they need to do.
Canstar: What feedback have you had about Compassionate Care from your customers?
Craig: In a reasonably short amount of time, we’ve been able to help a significant number of our customers through ASB Compassionate Care. While we can’t take away the pain of losing a loved one, we’ve been able to reduce the financial burden that’s often created when one of the borrowers on a home loan passes away. And to provide some reassurance and support at an incredibly difficult time.
We’ve received numerous heart-felt emails and calls from customers since we launched this proposition. It’s great to be able to reach out to customers and let them know we’re here to support them financially in their time of need, and that we’re covering interest costs for a year.
If you want to read more about ASB’s win, and the full results of the Canstar Innovation Excellence Awards 2021, click on the button below.
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