nib reveal benefits of COVID-19 support package

It has been a year since nib begun offering members its COVID-19 support package. nib has revealed that over 2,000 members were relieved from paying over $870,000 as a result of premium waivers and suspensions. Another 2,500 members were granted a six-month pre-approval extension for any delayed medical treatments. nib CEO Rob Hennin has said that nib is pleased that the support package ensured that members maintained their medical cover regardless of their financial circumstance. Hennin has noted that although the fight against COVID-19 isn’t over it is rewarding seeing confidence in the healthcare sector returning.

Community initiatives that nib is backing have also had positive impacts. A $150,000 grant helped Lifeline Aotearoa to meet increased demand. Lifeline Aotearoa reported receiving 20% more crisis calls because of the impacts of the pandemic. With the support of nib, Clearhead offered over 850 one-on-one mental health telehealth sessions and developed a platform in Te Reo to bridge barriers.

“It’s been 12 months since leading health insurer, nib New Zealand (nib), launched its COVID-19 support package to assist its members and the wider community impacted by the pandemic. Released last April, the package provided access to a range of initiatives to support member’s individual health and financial needs during the crisis.

More than $870,000 was provided in financial assistance in the form of premium waivers and suspensions, helping over 2,000 nib members maintain their health cover. Around 2,500 members were also automatically granted a six-month pre-approval extension for any medical treatment delays they may have experienced.

nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said swiftly introducing immediate support and expanding assistance as the pandemic unfolded and needs changed has enabled members to continue to put their health first.

“It’s been a particularly hard year for many, and the pandemic has highlighted how important our health really is to us all. We’re pleased that we’ve been able to support our members to maintain their health during this challenging period,” Mr Hennin said.

Expanded coverage for COVID-19 related treatment was provided to all members at no additional cost, while telehealth services helped members access GP or specialist services from home.

“As a health partner for our members, establishing safe and meaningful pathways for their ongoing health was a top priority. Funding telehealth services was one way we did this, and it’s become a permanent benefit for eligible members,” Mr Hennin said.

Beyond the member base, nib together with nib foundation, provided $1 million in funding to community initiatives across both New Zealand and Australia to assist with the increasing demand for mental health support during the pandemic.

“Last year alone, Lifeline Aotearoa received a 20% spike in crisis calls as a direct result of the pandemic’s impact on our mental health. Our $150,000 grant assisted them to provide more than 2,300 additional hours of counselling as well as further training to help meet the surge in demand for services,” Mr Hennin said.

“In addition, our support of Clearhead has helped facilitate over 850 one-on-one mental health telehealth sessions for Kiwis and medical providers at no additional cost. It also enabled the development of a Te Reo version of the platform helping to reduce the cultural and language barriers often faced by Māori communities when seeking mental health support,” he added.

Mr Hennin said that while the fight against COVID-19 wasn’t yet over, it was rewarding to see that nib’s efforts to support its members and the community were having a positive impact and that confidence in the healthcare sector was returning.

“With many people unable to get the treatment they needed or being fearful of going to the hospital during the height of the pandemic, it’s encouraging to see the volumes of claims returning to preCOVID levels. It gives us peace of mind, knowing our members are getting the necessary healthcare treatment to continue looking after their health and wellbeing,” he. said.”

In other news

LifeDirect: Compass Life heads in a new direction after buy-out

nib: nib brings back popular offer

Partners Life: May New Adviser Training Course expressions of interest now open

Partners Life: Partners Life back big-screen documentary

FMA value for money guidance for KiwiSaver and managed fund providers.


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

12 Apr 2021 – RBNZ advised that it is ceasing to publish certain weekly banking customer lending metrics, as it also resumes publishing certain insurance financial statistics. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/statistics/statistics-news-and-updates

12-13 Apr 2021 - Financial Sector (Climate-related Disclosures and Other Matters) Amendment bill introduced into Parliament, intended to amend the Financial Markets Conduct Act 2013, the Financial Reporting Act 2013, and the Public Audit Act 2001 by implementing a single broad policy to broaden non-financial reporting by requiring and supporting the making of climate-related disclosures by certain FMC reporting entities and supporting related matters. Relevant web links are https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109905/financial-sector-climate-related-disclosures-and-other and https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/nz-becomes-first-world-climate-reporting

13 Apr 2021 – FMA provided a breakdown of financial advice providers in the new regime. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/breakdown-fa-providers/

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13 Apr 2021 – RBNZ announced the establishment of a new standalone Enforcement Department to promote confidence in compliance across regulated sectors. The Enforcement Department is operationally separate from the Bank’s Supervision team, but the two will work closely together to achieve the Bank’s compliance goals. https://mailchi.mp/rbnz.govt.nz/reserve-bank-launches-new-enforcement-department?e=1769bcd465


Government response to public cancer care limitations

NZ Herald has reported on Mandy Grantley’s cancer story. After Mandy was first diagnosed with bowel cancer she underwent chemo for six months. After finding out that the cancer had spread to her lungs, an additional six months of chemo and an unfunded drug, Cytoxan was recommended by three oncologists working within the public health sector. Mandy was informed that she could have her chemo at her local DHB hospital. She was told that she had to pay $64,000 for the drug herself and was redirected to a private clinic to have the drug administered. The drug was intended to simply prolong her life. With a young family, a struggling business, and an existing mortgage Mandy and her friends decided to set up a Givealittle page to raise funds. The experience made Mandy reassess the public health system. National deputy leader Shane Reti is seeking MPs to support his bill that will allow privately-funded cancer medicines to be administered through DHBs. In response, Finance Minister Grant Robertson has said that Labour wouldn’t support the bill as it would be adding to existing inequalities. Instead, the Government would focus on funding more cancer treatments through Pharmac.

“A woman battling cancer says heartbreak has turned to anger at the way she was forced to pay $64,000 for treatment advised by public health oncologists.

Mandy Grantley was given two years to live after bowel cancer spread to her lungs last year.

"They found a tumour in my bowels and removed it, which was all good," she told RNZ. "I had six months worth of chemo. After that I had a scan and it all looked good. It wasn't until last year during lockdown I was told over the phone it had spread to my lungs."

Grantley said she was then told by three different oncologists working within the public health system that her best course of action would be another six months of chemo alongside being administered unfunded drug, Cytoxan.

She was told she would need to go to a private clinic to have the drug administered after paying for the drug herself, and then go to get chemo at her local DHB hospital. The news was traumatic and overwhelming.

"The chemo was bad enough, but then being told you had to pay $64,000 for a private drug, which won't cure me but will prolong my life, and a better quality of life, I just thought, I can't do this.

"I have three young kids and a husband with a struggling business, we don't have $64,000. We would be remortgaging the house, which we already had a huge mortgage on."

Concerned for her family, Grantley persevered and two friends set up a Givealittle page and managed to raise the money.

The private drug cost her $27,000. To get it administered she had to pay a private clinic $36,000.

Grantley says she knows how lucky she is, but remains angry others will not be able to access money or credit to save their own lives.

"It makes me sick to my stomach that others out there don't have that opportunity ...  those poor families behind me - it's just wrong," she said.

Having to go to two different medical facilities was also stressful and time-consuming, with Grantley relying on people to drive her to and from the clinic and public hospital, she added.

To add insult to injury Grantley had to pay $8000 GST on her treatment. The experience has made her reassess the merits of the public healthcare system and the Government's priorities.

"They're making money out of me dying. So much for a free health system. When you really need it, you're on your own and you don't know what it's like until someone close to you goes through it. I was really upset, I was heartbroken. But now I'm just damn well angry."

Grantley finished her treatment in November and her scans since have come back clear, the latest a scan in February. She has another scan this month and remains hopeful.

"I've never felt so good, never felt so healthy."

She said her health outcome so far had proved the efficacy of Cytoxan as an anti-cancer drug.

National deputy leader Shane Reti is asking MPs to support his bill seeking to allow privately-funded cancer medicines to be administered through DHBs, to reduce the financial burden on those with cancer.

However, Finance Minister Grant Robertson told RNZ the Government would not be supporting the bill when it comes before Parliament because it would only add to existing health inequalities.

"It is a challenging area where people are self-funding the drugs because obviously for the most part what we want to do is fund people's treatment through the public system and then all of the costs and so on associated with it are managed that way," he said.

"The reason that we're not looking to move in this area is because what effectively it would mean is that somebody who does have enough resources to fund their own treatment would end up taking up space in the public health system that would otherwise go to people whose cancer treatment is publicly funded.

"So actually it would have the effect of exacerbating inequality rather than creating fairness."

He said the Government was instead focused on funding more cancer treatments through its Crown entity Pharmac. Click here to read more


Cigna set to implement number of new processes, and more daily news

Cigna is set to implement several changes, including a new commission structure, a new specific injury product, new eApp and online Adviser Hub, and new underwriting processes. The announcement was made during Cigna Live. During the livestream, David Haak, General Manager of Distribution, discussed the changes to commission by noting that advisers would no longer be paid on a 13 month basis, instead payments would commence from month two. Cigna will also offer an 'as earned' payment option that will allow advisers to spread out commission payments.

During the session Alison Manning, Head of Product, announced that a new specific injury product would be introduced. The product will focus on offering financial support to customers that suffer injuries such as fractures or burns. Unlike other products, this product will offer cover up to $5,000 for single injuries and more for multiple injuries, regardless of age and smoker status. Cigna will not consider any offsets due to ACC payments. Payment will be a lump sum and will provide cover for surgery after an accident. Customers will be able to include this product as an add-on to other policies.

Chris Hand, North Island Regional Manager, noted that Cigna has been developing a new eApp and online Adviser Hub for the past 12 months. Hand said that the new hub is intended to offer advisers and customers more data security. The new hub is also set to streamline the quoting and application process.

Similarly, Cigna is set to improve underwriting processes. Chief Operating Officer Debbie Eyre highlighted that the new underwriting approach will ensure disclosure processes are made easier. This change includes shorter questions to increase completion rates. Cigna plans to have a single simplified underwriting process for all products. 

“Cigna's top brass made the announcements during a live webcast to more than 1200 advisers and industry commentators this morning.

General manager of distribution, David Haak gave some information about Cigna's new commission structure but did not cover specific rates as that information would be sent to advisers at a later date.

However, Haak did say the new commission structure would be simplified and tailored to individual advisers.

He says renewal commissions will be paid from month two, instead of month 13 and 100% of documented commissions would be paid out.

We understand this to mean that commissions are paid to the financial advice provider, who may pay them on to dealer groups or service providers. The payment of renewal commission from month two has the effect of increasing the commission paid in year one, but not at month one, clearly. 

"There will also be an 'as earned' payment option where you can spread out commissions over a longer period, instead of a lump sum."

Cigna head of product, Alison Manning also announced a new specific injury product that would provide more financial support for injuries like fractures or burns.

Manning says cover is not determined by age or smoker status and would provide up to $5000 of cover and a higher payment for multiple limb fractures.

It will also cover second and third-degree burn cover and can be used as an add-on to any other policy.

Accidental injury cover is a valuable addition to the product range - there are now three insurers offering similar products, so we shall be adding the rating to research subscribers (available at quotemonster.co.nz). 

She says the new product was called for by advisers and "Cigna had listened and tailored the product on feedback from the industry".

Cigna's specific injury cover will not take into account any offsets due to ACC payments, will be paid out as a lump sum and will also provide cover for surgery after an accident.

Cigna's North Island regional manager Chris Hand gave a brief overview of the company's brand new eApp and online Adviser Hub that has been developed over the past 12 months.

He says the new hub will provide more data security for advisers and their clients as well as streamlining the quoting and application process allowing advisers to send questions to clients directly before any face to face meetings.

"In many cases, this will lead to instant cover and allow advisers to amend quotes on the fly."

Cigna's chief operating officer Debbie Eyre commented on the company's new underwriting approach that she says will make the disclosure process easier and clearer for its customers.

This will involve a new, shorter set of questions designed to increase disclosure rates and "maximise completions at point of sale".

"Regardless of the level of cover...there will be just one ruleset and one questions set...and will apply to almost all of our products - income protection, mortgage cover, trauma, life cover and waiver of premiums.

"This will mean our underwriting team are freed up to talk to you about more complex cases." Click here to read more

In other news

From Good returns: From army life to life insurance - a big gun leaves the industry

Quotemonster: QuoteMonster appoints new general manager


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Diabetes Mellitus (Adult)

Introduction

The Ministry of Health estimates that over 263,000 New Zealanders are living with Type 1, Type 2, or gestational Diabetes, with the highest incidence in Maoris, Pacific Islanders and South Asians. Many insurers do offer cover for diabetics, however, add on significant premium loadings (at times even 400%) in order to minimise the risk that arises from insuring a high-risk individual. 

Proposed Rating  

Sdd
Notes

The ongoing advancements in medicine have prompted us to review this rating. Policy definitions are similar among insurers with minimal variation. Interestingly, many insurers offer a partial/diagnosis benefit for Type 1 Diabetes once the insured is over 30. However, AIA offers full payment for Type 2 and Type 1 Diabetes after age 30. Asteron Life only offers a partial benefit with their optional Early Trauma Benefit.

Why is this important?

Clients that have a family history of Diabetes will be interested to find how each insurer rates in this area. Diabetics often pay increased premiums, regardless of how well their condition is managed, so there is a high level of responsibility on the adviser to conduct annual reviews that may reduce loadings or exclusions for their clients.  

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Survival curves

Max Roser at Our World in Data posted this great image of survival curves as a great way to visualise increased life expectancy added over the last 150+ years. A similar presentation can also be used to illustrate the probability of survival when demonstrating the issues of mortality risk in decumulation planning for retirement. Our World In Data is a fabulous resource for all sorts of issues, but especially good for mortality and morbidity statistics and ideas for good data visualisation. 

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New information: is this a threat?

Over decades of insurance sector research work (at Sovereign, consulting, and within Quality Product Research) new information comes all the time. All the time I try to remember to be curious about new information, to hold my current paradigm for the industry lightly, or to set it to one side from time to time to explore the new idea. No one can manage to maintain an entirely open mind - that's why the views of others that think a bit differently can be so valuable. Outsiders, fresh voices. I cannot rely on them exclusively, or all the time, but I have to be able to bring them into the discourse and analysis. If that is a subject that interests you, then this video may help to explain the mindset that can enable us to view new information not as a threat, but as something to be interested in. 

 


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

9 Apr 2021 - The Commerce Commission has issued its revised cartel leniency and immunity policy and revised template leniency agreement. The cartel leniency and immunity policy has been updated to reflect changes to the Commission’s cartel leniency policy resulting from the introduction of the new Commerce (Criminalisation of Cartels) Amendment Act 2019 which came into effect on 8 April. Cartel conduct can now be punished with a term of imprisonment of up to 7 years. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/commission-issues-updated-cartel-leniency-policy

9 Apr 2021 – Submission closing date on the Incorporated Societies Bill set as 28 May 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109429/incorporated-societies-bill

9 Apr 2021 – IRD advised that, following attachment of Royal Assent to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Act 2021 on 30 March 2021, IRD released a special report on the Act. The report covers:

  • early information on land-related amendments (including the extension to the bright-line test)
  • feasibility expenditure
  • purchase price allocation
  • unclaimed money, and
  • other changes.

Web link at https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/publications/2021/2021-sr-arferm-act


March peaks interest in comparison

An all-time record high of 2,504 users on quotemonster.co.nz in the last 28 days confirmed that it was a very, very, busy March. More advisers than ever are interested in comparisons. Advisers tell us that consumers like comparisons. Guidance around replacement advice requires that either a comparison is done, or the risks of proceeding without having done a comparison are explained - for example, in this report. It seems that advisers, regulators, and consumers all agree that comparisons are an essential part of financial advice. This situation is dynamic - you cannot form a view and then keep expecting that to hold true - every quarter, on average, four insurers change the pricing for eight product lines and the policy wordings for five product lines. So if you haven't compared, how can you be confident in your recommendation? 


Cigna maintains AM Best financial rating, and more daily news

Cigna New Zealand has maintained a Financial Strength Rating of A and a Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of A. Mark Schollum, Cigna Chief Financial Officer, has commented on the results saying that Cigna is pleased that the ratings haven’t changed. Schollum continued by saying that the unchanged rating is an indication of Cigna’s financial standing, business sustainability and strong global backing. Schollum has also noted that Cigna’s confidence should reassure financial advisers and customers during this climate. AM Best has highlighted that Cigna’s financial and operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM all contributed to the rating assessment.

“Cigna's Financial Strength Rating of A (Excellent) and Long-Term Issuer Credit Rating of “a” with stable outlooks, remains unchanged from last year's assessment.

Cigna New Zealand chief financial officer Mark Schollum says Cigna is pleased the rating has remained unchanged.

“This is confirmation of Cigna’s strong balance sheet, the underlying long-term sustainability of our business and our strong global backing,” Schollum says.

“At Cigna, we’re committed to being here for our customers not only now but in the long-term. Having this continued confidence in our business should be reassuring to our advisers and customers in these uncertain times.”

AM Best is a United States-based global credit rating agency, news publisher and data analytics provider specializing in the insurance industry.

In its rating report, AM Best states, "Cigna has strong earnings and dividends from the group’s insurance entities".

"These have helped bolster holding company metrics, such as interest coverage and reduction of outstanding debt...and Cigna’s insurance subsidiaries have consistently provided cash flow upstream in the form of dividends, which have been growing each of the past two years, given favourable operating results.

"Cigna Life & Health Group reported strong earnings again in 2020, supported by lower utilization in the face of the Covid-19 pandemic, with the organization also consistently reporting strong double-digit profitability ratios," the report states.

AM Best goes on to say the ratings of Cigna Life Insurance New Zealand Limited (CLINZ) "reflect its balance sheet strength, which AM Best assesses as very strong, as well as its adequate operating performance, neutral business profile and appropriate ERM.

"Furthermore, the ratings of CLINZ factor in rating enhancement from the Cigna group. This reflects integration and ownership from Cigna group and AM Best’s expectation that the group would provide capital support if required.”

“CLINZ ranks among the largest life insurance companies in New Zealand, benefiting from a multichannel distribution approach. While the company accounts for a small component of the Cigna group’s consolidated revenues and earnings, it is viewed as significant to the group’s operations in the Asia-Pacific region." Click here to read more

In other news

From Good returns: Have you been thinking enough about qualifications?

From Insurance Business Mag: New Zealand – Australia travel bubble to begin on April 19

From Insurance Business Mag: Why insurance needs to focus on ethnic and cultural diversity


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

6 Apr 2021 – The committee stage of the Financial Markets Infrastructure Bill was completed. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_93550/financial-market-infrastructures-bill

6 Apr 2021 – The first reading of the Incorporated Societies Bill was completed, with the Bill referred to the Economic Development, Science and Innovation Committee, with report back due by 6 Oct 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_109429/incorporated-societies-bill


nib on Pharmac review, and more daily news

Dr. Graeme Jarvis has written a piece on Stuff about the Government’s plan to conduct a review into Pharmac. In the piece, Dr. Jarvis notes that the review should be seen as being for the good of the country, as long as the review is intended to update an outdated system, improve Pharmac’s performance, and expand access to publicly funded medicines. Transparency, timeliness and equity have been described as being the focus of the review. 

“That this Government has decided to have a review into Pharmac should be seen as positive by the country, and good public sector governance. This assumes, of course, that the review truly aims to look at ways to modernise a 27-year-old system and both to improve the way New Zealand accesses publicly funded modern medicines and to enhance the agency’s performance.

Performance for any health service should not be about PR, such as modelled graphs reporting assumed, rather than actual, savings. It should be about health outcomes achieved. Hopefully, the review can lead to the generation of meaningful health outcome measurements for patients, not myth-based savings indicators.

Transparency, timeliness and equity seem to be key areas of focus in the review. Safety of medicines is not – that is rightly a statutory role for Medsafe, not Pharmac. However, given recent deaths following an enforced brand switch of an epilepsy drug, now subject to a coronial investigation, the safety of Pharmac’s cost-driven decision-making processes should be within scope.

Timeliness of decision-making is an issue. New Zealand takes 2.5 times as long as the OECD average of nine months to publicly fund modern medicines, all of which have undergone rigorous review internationally, including assessment of clinical need and effectiveness. Why the delay? Hopefully the review will answer this question.

Despite New Zealand’s comparable wealth on a GDP per capita basis, it funds between two and 10 times fewer modern medicines than our OECD peers. Why the disparity? Is it technical or fiscal rationing? Only the former is considered in-scope for the review.” Click here to read more

nib has noted that New Zealanders can take Pharmac out of the equation by signing up to Ultimate Health with Easy Overlay promotion. The campaign begun April 1 and will continue until 30 June 2021. The promotion is only being offered on nibAPPLY.

In other news

Financial Advice: Economic Series - Part 2 Economic Update on the Property Markets webinar

Professional IQ: Timing saving online tools workshop helps describe CRM options for advisers and helps on how to use them to best effect

Cigna: Cigna Live registration still open

 


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

5 Apr 2021 – Following the 15 March 2021 transitional licensing close off date, InvestmentNews NZ issued a media report updating the numbers of transitionally licensed Financial Advice Providers (1,817), Authorised Bodies (1,200) , Financial Advisers (10,750) and Nominated Representatives (12,246). David Chaplin also tells us that search functionality for the FSPR is substantially more limited than the old register. https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/fslaa-by-the-numbers-3000-entities-23000-individuals-1-register/

5 Apr 2021 – InvestmentNews NZ reported on Retirement Commissioner (RC), Jane Wrightson’s, presentation to a parliamentary committee last month, in which the Commissioner stated that the CFFC would unveil a new approach on April 16, targeting financial resilience, better stakeholder co-operation and access to ‘independent’ guidance. https://investmentnews.co.nz/investment-news/covid-prompts-retirement-commission-to-sort-strategy/


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

1 Apr 2021 – MBIE published a discussion document seeking public input into problems and proposed options to address jurisdictional inconsistencies between approved dispute resolution scheme rules, with submissions closing on 6 May 2021. https://www.mbie.govt.nz/have-your-say/review-of-approved-financial-dispute-resolution-scheme-rules/  This review process does not include the option of merging the scheme (along the lines of the Australian approach). The review looks at limits, consistency, and jurisdictional issues that may affect claimants. It is well worth taking a look at the document - advisers that have had claims would be advised to take a look too, your feedback may be especially valuable. 


AIA announce AIA Vitality enhancements, and more daily news

AIA has announced AIA Vitality enhancements. Len Elikhis, AIA NZ Chief Product and Vitality Officer, has said that changes have been made to ensure AIA continues motivating and rewarding members. The enhancements means that members have the option of getting a 25% discount on Samsung fitness devices as well as up to 50% off Event Cinemas tickets. Another added feature that members can utilise for free is the Allen Carr Easyway Quit Alcohol programme. More enhancements are expected in June 2021.

“Following the news late last year that AIA Vitality members could earn an Apple Watch for reaching weekly physical activity targets, the life, health, and wellbeing insurer today announced further AIA Vitality partnerships.

New partner brands, such as Samsung and Event Cinemas, along with the addition of the Allen Carr Easyway Quit Alcohol programme, will see AIA Vitality continue to support and reward members to improve their health.

“We’re regularly evolving our program to motivate and reward our members to live healthier, longer, better lives,” says Len Elikhis, AIA NZ Chief Product and Vitality Officer. “Utilising a global, science-backed program, AIA Vitality has given us the unique ability to engage with our customers on an ongoing basis, provide greater value and support healthier outcomes”.

From today, AIA Vitality members can enjoy a 25% discount on Samsung fitness devices, alongside existing program partners Garmin (25% discount) and Fitbit (30% discount). Len says tracking fitness can be a great motivator. “Whatever you do to keep active, activity tracking can help you stay committed and working towards your personal physical activity goals.”

Event Cinemas has joined Hoyts as an AIA Vitality rewards partner offering members up to 50% discount on movie tickets. “Having both Hoyts and Events Cinemas on the program gives our members more choice across the country.”

Another enhancement Len is pleased to share is the new free Allen Carr Easyway Quit Alcohol programme. “Following the success of the Allen Carr Quit Smoking programme, we are pleased to now support members looking to reduce their alcohol consumption.”

Since launching in August 2019, AIA Vitality has continued to grow. “Feedback from the adviser community and our members continues to be very positive,” says Len. “They have told us that they love the way AIA Vitality motivates and rewards behaviour change. We continue to receive feedback from members about tangible improvements in their health outcomes, which energises us to continue evolving the program.

“AIA Vitality is all about helping Kiwis learn more about their health, offering ways to improve it, and providing motivation and rewards along the way.

More exciting AIA Vitality partnerships and program enhancements are set to be announced in June 2021, continuing AIA NZ’s long-term commitment to helping New Zealanders get more out of life.”

AIA

In other news

nib: pre-existing conditions offer available through nibAPPLY between 1 April and 30 June 2021

From Good returns: Cybercrime rise: Advisers need to be on guard

nib: Maurice's nib story


Quality Product Research: Inflation Adjustment item update for Life Cover

Introduction

Inflation is often overlooked when customers are looking to purchase Life Cover. Although it may not be necessary for short term policies, it is however, a valued feature for long term policies (i.e., those that are in place for 20 years or more). 

Sub-items rating review

Hello

Following up on adviser feedback, we have recently added the optional Inflation Adjustment feature to MAS increasing the accuracy of our rating for Life cover for this insurer.

Please note we currently only show the pricing difference between indexed vs non-indexed (as shown below) and the rating for optional items are excluded from the total rating you will see on your research report.

Lol

Notes

The Inflation Adjustment benefit does not significantly vary among providers. Companies differ in expiry age, with Pinnacle being the only that expires at age 60. ANZ bank seems to be the only provider with a deduction for the sub-item “Excludes when premiums are waived”. A significant difference is whether the benefit is optional or included.    

Why is this important?

The benefit would be of high value for those looking to purchase long term policies. To not have this option would have a great impact in the future as you would understand that the cost of living will only increase as time goes on (and so should our Life cover). 

Your feedback

We value getting your feedback on how these wordings are being applied to claims you may be aware of. Please email us with details of any recent claims to help us update our understanding.

Doreen Dutt, Research Analyst, Quality Product Research Limited, researcher@qpresearch.co.nz


Quotemonster and Advicemonster updates - live now

We have updated the quotemonster site, on Thursday, and made the following items live, for more detail see below:

  1. New SOA report content setting options allow you to create more customisations for your SOAs if you are an Advicemonster subscriber. To access these click settings, then SOA Setting, then Report Content Setting
  1. New SOA template for Need analysis recommendation note pad - bring through all your calculations from the recommendation notepad in Advicemonster to quote and to the SOA.
  1. New nib rates applied to the site
  1. FSP input validation for user setting and register form - so it is important that your FSP number matches your name and the entry on the FSPR. A reminder that sharing your login is a breach of our terms and conditions and unusual account activity (like switching user names) will be picked up and we will be contacting account-holders that actively share their logins. 
  1. Improved the health product breakdown table in the research report.
  1. Applied Fidelity level standalone trauma maximum level term rule
  1. Changed Partners Life IP and MP max-age to 57 - as we do not quote reduced commission versions of income protection
  1. Update Web version number to v 3.8.7

Congratulations to Albert, Doreen, and the whole team on a big package of updates. Our special thanks to the advisers sending us issues and suggestions for improvement of the Advicemonster process and the SOAs. 


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

31 Mar 2021 – RBNZ advised via -email that it had published updated versions of the ‘working copies’ of the bank disclosure Orders in Council (OICs) that it maintains on its website.

31 Mar 2021 - Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Hon David Clark, February 2021 diary released with the following potential financial services sector related meetings noted:

  • 10 Feb 2021 – Speaking at the Financial Services Council (FSC) Get In Shape Summit
  • 12 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Forsyth Barr (Ken Lister and Trish Oakley)
  • 18 Feb 2021 – Insurance Council of NZ (Craig Olsen, President, Chris Curtin, Vice President, Tim Grafton, CE, and Board Members)
  • 24 Feb 2021 - Meeting with Asia Pacific MasterCard (Ruth Riviere, Country Manager, Peter Chisnell, Senior Vice President Market Development for Asia Pacific MasterCard)
  • 24 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Visa International (David O’Brien, Head of Merchant Sales and Solutions NZ & South Pacific, Marty Kerr, Country Manager, NZ & South Pacific for Visa International)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – KiwiSaver Announcement (Various attendees not listed)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Financial Services Council (Rob Flanagan, Chair, Richard Klipin, CEO, Thomas Pryor)
  • 25 Feb 2021 – Meeting with Financial dispute resolution schemes (CEO - Financial Services Complaints Ltd, General Manager - Fairway Resolution, Banking Ombudsman, Insurance and Financial Services Ombudsman, Board member of IFSO)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-03/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20February%202021.pdf


Quotemonster Chatswood Team

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This is your Quotemonster and Chatswood work team: I am so proud to work with such a great group of people. They have worked incredibly hard over the last few weeks as we had to make a lot of changes to meet new requirements for customers by 15 March. Since then we’ve trained hundreds of clients in updated processes. It has been so very busy and the team has stepped up.
 
From left to right, back row first: Melissa Waddel, our super new administrator; Treena Jordan, new Quotemonster GM, who starts with us on the 12th - we’re really looking forward to Treena joining us; Jerusalem Hibru who has been doing some great marketing work making us busier than ever. Doreen Dutt, researcher, who has also been so supportive of all the extra client calls for help. Kelly Pulham, who has been crucial to all the extra training and changes we’ve been doing. Fran, of course, who as well as business analyst and data work has taken on more leadership responsibility.
 
Front row, Rob Dowler compliance support and advice extraordinaire; yours truly; Ed Foster, does great data science work, and Albert Liu who is also an accomplished data scientist and IT leader. It has been so busy but working with this crew is a real privilege. We have big plans and lots of exciting stuff coming up.