Fidelity Life have announced the appointment of Craig Winterburn as GM Retail Sales & Key Partnerships, a newly-created role. Fidelity are still working through the recruitment process for a new Chief Distribution Officer.
Jenée Tibshraeny at interest.co.nz has written an excellent article on the issue of insurers underwriting people with mental health conditions. I think Tibshraeny does a great job of explaining the consumer position - even advocating for it - while explaining the industry position too.
There is a gap. Some people with mental health conditions may not be treated fairly in the underwriting process, and recent events are, maybe, changing the environment, and insurers are slow to change. They must be, insurers need good data before changing their views, or else they may be exposed to lots of new claims. In Australia there is a problem with income protection, and mental illness is contributing to that. For a complex issue to get covered in this way is both important and rare. I was glad to see it done so well. You can read the article at this link.
Stephen Potter, head of underwriting at Fidelity Life, did a great job of explaining the underwriting process, and in so doing, explaining how it is really good to have an adviser involved.
HARRISON, Peter (Harry). Born 27 April 1953, Taranaki, died peacefully at Hospice North Shore after an extended battle with cancer. Loving husband of Chris; much loved father of Mathew, Daniel and Anna; father in law of Christine and Sacha; Poppa of Cyrus, Maia and Aramis; and brother of Russell, Jim, Kath, Paul and Pauleen.
A service to celebrate Peter's life will be held at Windsor Park Baptist Church on Friday 17 February at 2pm. Peter will then return home to Taranaki on Saturday where whanau and friends will continue to commemorate his life at the Orimupiko Marae, Eltham Road Opunake, followed by his burial at the Orimupiko Urupa on Sunday. Link.
Peter Harrison, affectionately known as Harry, was much loved by many, many people in this industry. He loved what his industry did, providing financial lifelines when our bodies fail us. But I think even more he loved building partnerships with many different insurance advisers. And I think it was very hard for people to resist the enthusiasm that he had for both the benefits of the industry and the business opportunities therein. He was always infectious and always willing to leap into creating something marvellous.
He relished motivating and planning. He was a genuine developer of talent and opportunity. Particularly telling was his enthusiasm for starting from scratch with a new region, or a new panel of advisers - and finding opportunity. Not a product or detail person, he would focus on the essential 'why', the thing that would actually motivate you to action. Also a great enthusiast for life, and all its good things: food, clothes, music, driving, and people. Tremendous energy would be focused on these. Harry could be relied upon to help people, giving generously of time and resources. He would call sometimes and say "we've got to go and see..." and we'd be off. Sometimes he took a fierce delight in a good argument as well, ideally conducted with repeated supply of long black coffee. He loved his family, his care for them and their success drove him on. My thoughts are with them.
Fidelity Life has appointed Don Allerston to the newly created role of Chief Customer Officer.
Allerston has a wealth of experience in the financial services sector with a background in customer experience, innovation, marketing, transformation and strategic leadership. Most recently he was Executive Manager, Customer Strategy & Innovation at Suncorp for five years.
Before moving to New Zealand from the United Kingdom he worked with a number of financial services brands internationally including AMP UK Financial Services, AXA, and Royal and Sun Alliance.
Allerston’s appointment follows the announcement last year that a number of senior level changes would be made at Fidelity Life to realign the organisation’s operating structure.
“I’m very excited to welcome Don to Fidelity Life. He is an extremely talented and experienced marketer who brings proven ability in driving customer strategy and innovation within an adviser-focused structure,” says Chief Executive Nadine Tereora.
“Don’s capability positions us well for the future and will be a real asset to the company as we see the needs of our advisers and customers evolve in a changing industry landscape. We are focused on providing advisers with the strategic support they require to deliver the best outcome for customers, and I’m pleased to have Don on board to help with this transition to an exciting new phase in customer offerings and engagement.”
Allerston will join the company’s senior leadership team and takes up his new role at the beginning of February.
Fidelity Life announces earthquake support in press release below:
FIDELITY LIFE ANNOUNCES EARTHQUAKE SUPPORT
Fidelity Life has today announced support for advisers and policyholders following yesterday’s devastating earthquakes.
Advisers are being encouraged to offer their life insurance clients who have been affected by financial hardship from the earthquake the opportunity to waive their risk insurance premiums for the next three months.
Policyholders’ insurance cover will stay in place during this period meaning they can still claim if they need to.
In addition, for any valid disability claims accepted during the wait period and arising from the earthquakes, Fidelity Life will make an early payment of the insured’s first monthly benefit during the wait period if there is known or perceived hardship.
This relief package is available on application to clients in the Wellington, Marlborough and North Canterbury regions who meet the hardship criteria. Some people may also be affected in neighbouring regions and support will be extended to those who meet the hardship criteria in Wairarapa, Manawatu, the West Coast and Canterbury on a case-by-case basis.
“Our thoughts are with our advisers, policyholders and their families following yesterday’s devastating earthquakes in Wellington and the South Island,” says Chief Executive Nadine Tereora.
“A number of our policyholders will be experiencing hardship in the weeks and months ahead and we would like to extend a helping hand to our advisers and their clients over this time of uncertainty.”
Policyholders just need to complete a brief Earthquake Relief application form. This form is also available on Fidelity Life’s adviser website under the ‘forms and templates’ section.
Advisers should contact their BDM or Fidelity Life’s Client Services team for assistance on 0800 88 22 88.
Susan Edmunds has this article which brings together mainly anecdotal comments comparing New Zealand and Australian decline rates. Overall I think we probably do have comparable decline rates. The companies included in this article - AIA and Fidelity Life - are also mainly making sales through financial advisers. ASIC found that insurance sold by financial advisers was more likely to pay out than direct insurance (see this article). Another reason to take the comments on 97% claims payment rates as probably accurate enough. But we should still collect the data in a standardised way and report it.Why? It would be great for consumer confidence in the industry. It would also expose where there are any issues - such as possibly in our TPD policies. Link.