Australia’s largest life insurer is set to get bigger.
Today TAL announced that it would be purchasing Westpac Life Insurance Services Limited, the issuer of BT Life Insurance policies (BT Protection Plans).
At at 31st December 2020, TAL had premiums in force of $4,523 million and Westpac Life $940 million. After TAL buys Westpac Life, its market share will rise from 27.7% to 33.5%, increasing its dominance of the Australian life insurance market.
TAL is owned by Japanese insurer Dai-ichi Life. It already provides insurance to more than 4.5 million Australians. In 2020 TAL was voted Life Insurance Company of the year for the fourth year in a row.
As part of its agreement to acquire Westpac Life for around $900 million, TAL has entered into a 20 year strategic alliance to provide life insurance solutions to Westpac customers.
In their media release, TAL Group CEO and Managing Director, Brett Clark, said “This acquisition confirms TAL’s and Dai-ichi Life’s strong commitment to the Australian life insurance market and community. The Australian life insurance market is a key component of Dai-ichi Life’s global strategy, and this acquisition will enable TAL to extend our life insurance experience and capabilities to Westpac’s customers now and into the future.”
In addition to offering the TAL range of Accelerated Protection policies through life insurance brokers (such as Insurance Watch), TAL are also the underlying insurer for a range of direct insurance brands, including Insuranceline and Qantas insurance and a number of large industry superannuation funds, such as Australian Super and REST.
TAL also owns 100% of Lifebroker, a company which services the insurance leads generated by the Compare the Market and iSelect websites.
This latest sale continues the trend of Australian banks divesting themselves of life insurance businesses. It follows the sale of CBA’s CommInsure life insurance business to AIA, the sale of ANZ owned OnePath to Zurich and NAB’s divestment of majority ownership in MLC to Nippon Life. In March 2019, TAL purchased the Asteron Life insurance business from Suncorp and in July 2019 closed the brand to new business.
The sale is not expected to be completed until the second half of 2022 and is subject to regulatory approvals. Until that time BT Life Insurance and TAL will continue to operate as separate brands. The sale will have no effect on the terms and conditions of the policies of any existing BT Life clients, as these will continue to be honoured by TAL.
For more information about TAL and BT Life see Compare Life Insurance Companies.