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Scotiabank's Affirm plan gaining speed

Published:Monday | December 15, 2014 | 12:00 AM

Launched to the public in June, Scotia Jamaica Insurance's universal-life policy, Affirm, is gaining traction in the local market.

"The response has been very positive," said Lana Forbes, director of sales and service at Scotia Jamaica Insurance. "In the past, we had to turn away customers because we didn't have a product that offered that high coverage." Under the Affirm plan, persons can get up to JA$50 million in coverage.

Affirm offers critical-illness life insurance with investment potential. Customers can direct their total premium to the investment funds of their choice. Affirm offers three different investment funds - a money-market fund, a fixed-income fund and a growth fund; so Scotia Insurance can build a portfolio just right for each client.

Forbes noted younger customers tend to go for the money-market fund (which includes investing in stocks) as those investments may be viewed as more risky. Older clients tend to go for more 'secure' investments as their (the clients') life expectancy is generally smaller.

"What we try to come up with is a mix of options based on the various age groups," Forbes said. With Affirm, clients can add accidental-death and dismemberment coverage or critical-illness coverage that pays a benefit if they are ever diagnosed with a covered illness, providing comprehensive coverage within one policy. Through Affirm, they have flexibility to meet their changing needs. For example, basic premiums can be paid once a month or once a year, and clients have the option to add premiums to their investment funds at any time.

"The plan gives a little more flexibility and we are seeing a higher yield already," she said. Clients can select the Sum Insured Enhancement benefit that will increase their insurance coverage each year by five per cent of the original amount, without the need to have a medical exam.

For more about Scotiabank and its offerings, watch 'Corporate Coffee Mornings' with Barbara Ellington at and scroll to videos.