The origin story you have all been waiting for - Income Protection - the earliest version of which was created in 1878 and formed the basis for a new kind of mutual. There are some other good nuggets in the article too, at this link.
There is 'what-will-happen' versus 'what-we-would-like-to-happen'. You probably have a similar problem when contemplating the year ahead. But it is crucial that we face 2017 and the balance of the next five years clear eyed: only seeing what is most likely, rather than what is most preferable. Understanding what lies outside our current perception of boundaries. Taking into account that change is often slower than we think at first, but greater than we expect over time. A good perception busting approach is to look at other markets. I suggest the UK market as one which is culturally similar, but has some features which really contrast with our current market paradigm: product design, pricing, and use of technology to name three.
The UK's Financial Conduct Authority has decided to try and make the UK annuity market a bit more competitive by forcing insurers to show competitor quotes for annuities. That is an extremely activist measure to take. The details from the FCA show frustration with low levels of comparison by consumers, and a concern for market failure. This is a subject we will expand on in the Quarterly Life Review we will publish to institutional subscribers in a fortnight. Link.
Just how good is the current All Black side? The Economist can be relied upon to hunt down a quantitative answer, so if you want to know the win/loss percentage against any tier one side versus the All Black (at a neutral ground) then you should take this article as your starting point. I say starting point because it links to an even more detailed stats website focused on rugby if you wish to lose the better part of next week to the subject.
A financial columnist at the AFR, Lucy Kellaway, is leaving to go and teach in London. It is a break from our usual insurance-focused financial news. However, I know that a good number of readers are interested and have acquired great skills in long careers in advice or management. If you have something to offer, it can almost always be used with gratitude somewhere else. We should have a programme like this here. Link.
Which?An organization focused on consumers and consumer rights in the UK has a guide for people using price comparison websites. Following recently publicity, pointing out that the sets of available products, and other rules, that govern price comparison websites create inherent bias, the guide is a useful reminder that you cannot abdicate your responsibility to be a good shopper to a website. Link.
A report by the FCA has been published on the barriers to accessing financial products that consumers experience. There are lots of lessons from this report which are transferable to the New Zealand environment. Link.
This article from thisismoney.co.uk gets under the hood of many short-term travel, parcel, and warranty insurance products. You should read it. I have several colleagues in this industry who are convinced of the value of 'micro-insurance' of this type to re-start the engine of growth in the industry. But not if the policies are all this bad. The other thing that struck me was the use of long documents almost designed to have the consumer skip over them. Take this example:
"[in the]...terms and conditions 40 items are exempt, including electrical goods, antiques, jewellery, food and anything made from metals, ceramics or glass. It means barely any items will be insured under the policy. Its website does ask for details of what will be included in the parcel, but it won’t stop the customer buying a policy if they list an item that’s excluded"
Well, that simply is not good enough. The reputation of the insurance industry will remain low and continue to fall with sales practices such as that.