Partners Life announce new products, more daily news

Partners Life Chief Marketing Officer Kris Ballantyne announced two new products, Income and Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma Cover. These new products were created based on the belief that insurers need to be sensitive in regards to pricing and affordability. The new IP product is designed to be an option for new and existing business. The cover is 25% cheaper than similar existing products. The Moderate Trauma Cover sits between the existing standard trauma cover and severe trauma cover. The cover is approximately 20% cheaper than other trauma covers offered.

“At a recent conference, Partners Life chief marketing officer Kris Ballantyne gave advisers an overview of their new products - Income and Expenses Cover and Moderate Trauma Cover. 

He told attendees that insurers "...need to be sensitive toward pricing and affordability for customers as prices go up".

"The truth about income cover is that the claims experience is declining fast for a number of reasons and has been for some time.

"Some of these reasons are self-inflicted wounds from insurers like ourselves...for example, mortgage repayment cover not offsetting ACC allowable income.

"This makes no sense objectively, but it's a good competitive edge. So it happened and everyone followed [and] that's a position we've created as an industry."

Ballantyne says in Australia the issue has become so bad that industry regulators have stepped in and started to mandate "...what products can look like, what products can be and how products are going to work".

"It is one of the worst product designs I have ever seen in my life, it actually offends me as a product person.

Ballantyne says some companies are taking steps to fix the problems with income cover such as better underwriting and raising prices to maintain profitability.

"The better long term solution is that we as an industry define how we are going to fix it rather than it being dictated to us."

Partners Life's response is the introduction of Income and Expenses Cover that Wright described as a disability income-style product with the key difference being it's about 25% cheaper than similar products already in the market.

"It also has an ability to account for household expenses as a loss of earnings paid position.

"But the definition of DI will change after one year to a reasonable occupation definition - by way of suitable experience and training - you get 80% of that same income.

"That's a way we protect against those long-lasting claims that start as one thing and transform into another.

He says the new product is an option for both new business and existing business as a retention strategy.

The second product launched is Moderate Trauma Cover, which sits between standard trauma cover and severe trauma cover.

"Trauma is going to keep getting more expensive, severe trauma has stayed more or less the same, but the gap between the definitions is widening."

Ballantyne used the example of the definition of cancer in trauma claims.

"It looks like the cancer definition on trauma requires malignancy, it requires spread - it doesn't.

"We are paying full trauma claims of hundreds of thousands, or in some cases millions of dollars, on stage zero cancers which are asymptomatic and shouldn't even be treated from a medical prognosis point of view.

"That is crazy and is only going to lead to more and more claims dollars being paid out and that price going up and up in the future."

Ballantyne says the severe trauma definition sits at stage four and stage three cancer where treatment is likely to fail.

"Where moderate trauma cover sits at stage two, at the point where it has spread, and does show malignancy and requires some form of treatment."

He says the Partners Life product will be about 20% cheaper than trauma cover offered today.” Click here to read more

In other news

Asteron Life: Suncorp NZ invests in a technology-enabled workforce

mySolutions: mySolutions recently formed a partnership with Prosper Group

FSC: 13 days left to get EarlyBird tickets

Strategi: AML/CFT Refresher Training - Classroom

AIA Vitality campaign launches and more daily news

AIA has announced the launch of an AIA Vitality campaign to encourage advisers to share their AIA Vitality experiences. AIA has noted that the campaign is designed to support adviser businesses and amplify health and wellbeing. Chief Partnership Insurance Officer Sam Tremethick has said that AIA is aware of countless AIA Vitality stories and would like to hear more personal stories from advisers and clients. Advisers have the opportunity to share their stories and go into the draw to win a day with one of the AIA Vitality ambassadors. Ambassadors will offer their services throughout the day. Advisers are able to enter the draw until 9 July 2021.

“AIA New Zealand has launched a campaign encouraging its advisers to share their experiences with AIA Vitality, the insurer’s flagship programme.

The campaign’s winners can spend a day with one of the programme’s three ambassadors: Dame Valerie Adams, former All Black Ian Jones, and wellness advocate Jess Quinn. The ambassadors will support the winning advisers in their business for a day, taking part in various activities, such as speaking at a business event, participating in a team activity, or supporting a community project. 

According to AIA NZ, the competition is its way to further support advisers’ businesses with a creative concept, as well as broadcasting its message of health and wellbeing for all New Zealanders. Entries are open until July 09, and can be submitted through the AIA NZ website.

“There are so many amazing stories out there that bring the AIA Vitality journey to life,” said AIA NZ chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick. “We know of advisers who have seen significant mental and physical benefits since joining the program, and clients who’ve shared their own positive personal experiences. We’d love to hear more of these, and how together we’re making a difference in people’s lives.” Click here to read more


In other news

nib: clients that have stopped vaping and/or smoking tobacco for more than 12 months, can apply for non-smokers rates

Russell’s piece in Good Returns: The tale of two claims - The media's perception of insurance


Quality Product Research: Medical - major review process commenced for Medical Amount Scores (feedback closure 30/06/2021)

Following on from our correspondence in mid-April, if you wish to submit any feedback or claims experience to assist us with our review on Medical Amount Score, please do so by 30 June 2021. We appreciate the feedback we have received so far and look forward to creating a new model which will also be posted for feedback in the next few weeks.

AIA appoints new BDMs around the country and more daily news

High performance was a central theme in the appointment of several Business Development Managers. Tim Coltman, Anna Corbin, Rakesh Masalawalla, and Hannah Anderson have all been appointed as BDMs.

Tim Coltman has been appointed as the Southern BDM and will be responsible for servicing advisers based in the lower part of the South Island from Timaru and Dunedin through Central Otago to Invercargill.

Anna Corbin is the new Lower North Island BDM. Corbin is based in Wellington and is responsible for servicing advisers in the Whanganui, Wairarapa and Wellington areas.

Rakesh Masalawalla is based in Wellington and will be closely working with key advisers in the Wellington region.

Hannah Anderson has been appointed as the new Christchurch BDM. Anderson will be responsible for looking after the wider Canterbury region. Click here to read more

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In other news

AIA: Laura Holyoake has been appointed as an AIA NZ Vitality Coach

Asteron Life: is promoting its level to 100 option

Partners Life: seeking to find a new 'middle ground' with trauma and income protection products that are sustainable

XY Adviser: are promoting how to maintain deeper client relationships at scale



Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Coma (Trauma)


Following on with our recent theme of revising ratings, we have reviewed Coma, re-assessing the item based on modern definitions.  A rarely claimed on benefit, yet significant coverage in the media when the insurer decides not to pay out.  

Below are the proposed items for Coma.



Momentum life is the only provider that requires the insured to be in a coma for 96-hours, while Westpac uniquely requires a permanent neurological deficit. Three insurers, Fidelity, Pinnacle and Westpac specifically exclude medically induced comas and a similar definition is observed in the use of life support systems and response to internal and external needs.

Few insurers continue to use the Glasgow Coma Scale in their definitions – here is a quick overview of what the scale demonstrates

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,

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

11 June 2021 – ASIC announced that it is extending for 12 months – to 31 March 2023 – transitional relief for foreign financial services providers (FFSPs) from the requirement to hold an Australian financial services (AFS) licence, pending the outcome of the Australian Government’s consultation about the regulation of FFSPs.

11 June 2021 – NZX announced it is proposing hygiene amendments to the Listing Rules as part of its Hygiene Review, with a consultation paper released and submissions closing on 30 July 2021.

13 June 2021 – Government announced its intent to progress the Births, Deaths, Marriages and Relationships Registration Bill, making it easier for people to formally acknowledge their identified gender, including proposing a range of sex markers to be set in regulations rather than in legislation. - if this one raises questions about pricing and classification for risk I suggest you look back to my post : 

14 June 2021 – NZ Herald reported on Government moves in Australia and NZ to allow unclaimed Australian superannuation money to go into KiwiSaver, also reported as agreed on 31 May 2021 in the joint release from the Australian and NZ Prime Ministers. Paragraph numbered 22 in the release at

8 June 2021 –Anti-money laundering and countering the financing of terrorism regulatory updates released including:

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Requirements and Compliance) Amendment Regulations 2021

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Cross-border Transportation of Cash) Amendment Regulations 2021

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Definitions) Amendment Regulations 2021

  • Anti-Money Laundering and Countering Financing of Terrorism (Exemptions) Amendment Regulations 2021


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

11 June 2021 – FMA announced a temporary extension for certain reporting deadlines in response to a shortage of auditors in New Zealand.

9 June 2021 - New Zealand Superannuation and Retirement Income (Fair Residency) Amendment Bill completed second reading in Parliament.

9 June 2021 – reported that Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister David Clark says a discussion paper on the potential regulation of unregulated buy now, pay later services will be issued later this year.

10 June 2021 – IRD and Government announced consultation has opened on deductions for interest expenses on rental properties, to be restricted from 1 October 2021, with an exemption for new builds. Submissions close on 12 July 2021.

10 June 2021 – Government announced that a license to operate a share trading market for small companies has been issued to Catalist Markets Ltd, with the new market expected to open for trading on 21 June 2021. Relevant weblinks are and

Quality Product Research - Quotemonster Demonstration

We have scheduled a Quotemonster Demonstration with Kelly on Monday, 21 June 2021 11:00 AM-12:00 PM

In this introductory session, we will go over the basics of using the website including: 

  • How to directly compare two insurers for replacement business (Head to Head) 
  • How to add banks and non-adviser companies to your Research comparison 
  • How to find older policy documents 

...and much more!

All Industry members are welcome to join this session. 

Furthermore, here’s a short promo video we recently created highlighting the reasons why all advisers should be using Quotemonster

Please register your interest by emailing 

Happy Crunching! 


Quality Product Research - Update to QPR's Outsourced Provider Statement

We have updated our Outsourced Provider Statement with a new section titled 'Conflicts of Interests'.  Like advisers, we must be transparent about where our revenue is generated and declare any interest conflicts. 

We have included the update below.  To access our complete Outsourced Provider Statement, sign on to Quotemonster and select 'About' from the dashboard.

Conflicts of Interest

We place a high value on our reputation for independence and the transparency of our research. In 2021 it is expected that we will receive revenue from between 150 and 200 organisations covering between 1,000 and 2,000 users of the service. The largest will contribute no more than 8.5% of our revenue. The top ten clients will contribute between 2.5% and 8.5% of revenue each. The revenue from insurers with current product offers rated in the system will be less than a quarter of our total, spread across the market. Because our revenue sources are diverse, we have no significant incentive to prefer one insurer over another - our research rating and process are transparent, so any perceived bias is quickly picked up by advisers and insurers and challenged.


Financial Advice NZ launch liability programme

Financial Advice NZ has announced that a liability programme for members has been launched. The insurance plan will be available to all advisers from 1 July 2021. Financial Advice NZ CEO Katrina Shanks has said that the programme is designed to offer an affordable alternative to Professional indemnity insurance. Sole advisers with their own license, classified as Class 1 FAPs, will be offered premiums ranging from $1,700 to $3,600. While licensed FAPs with 2-12 advisers, classified as Class 2 FAPs, will be offered premiums of between $2,250 to $4,300. Premiums will vary depending on advice streams. The liability programme will be underwritten by NZI and QBE.

“Financial Advice New Zealand chief executive Katrina Shanks says the new liability programme is for its members only and took seven months to put together with its broker Marsh New Zealand.

Shanks says the new insurance scheme is available to all advisers, including financial planners, and will start on July 1.

With PI insurance costs escalating, Shanks says the new liability programme offers great value for money and further incentives for members who qualify for "trusted adviser" status, plus runoff cover for FAPs and individual advisers.

"Professional indemnity insurance is a hardening market in these uncertain times due to the changing regulatory environment and the risk appetite of insurers, and the process to finalise this programme has been robust," she says.

"We have worked very hard on your behalf in a very difficult market.

Class 1 FAPs (sole advisers with their own license), will face premiums ranging from $1,700 to $3,600, depending on the advice stream.

The liability programme will cover all advice provided by the FAP.

Meanwhile, costs for Class 2 FAPs (licensed FAPs with between 2-12 advisers) will need to pay premiums of between $2,250 to $4,300, depending on the advice stream.

Marsh New Zealand central region manager Marijke von Molendorff says the policies are being underwritten by NZI and QBE who have spread the risk 60% - 40% respectively. 

She says the features of the programme are different depending on the size and licence class of each FAP and premiums are calculated based on income (see tables below) and people can pick and choose indemnity cover levels.” Click here to read more

Quality Product Research - Advicemonster Training

We have scheduled an Advicemonster Demonstration with Russell and Treena on Tuesday, 22 June 2021 11:00 AM to 12:00 PM. 

In this session, we will go over how Advicemonster helps advisers meet their compliance regulations and offer their clients quality advice. 

All Industry members are welcome to join this session. 

Please register your interest by emailing 

Happy Crunching! 





Legal Advisers

Below is a list of legal advisers experienced in financial services law - it is clearly not exhaustive, but these are providers we know of: 

Chapman Tripp
Tim Williams
M: 027 243 1629

Cygnus Law
Simon Papa
M: 022 644 7193

Dentons Kensington Swan
David Ireland
M: 021 343 615

Jeremy Muir
P: (09) 353 9819

Bell Gully
Katie Dow
M: 021 450 547

DLA Piper
Tracey Cross
M: 027 255 5710

Anthony Harper
Nick Summerfield
M: 021 242 7686


Partners Life ten year review, and more daily news

Chief financial officer Sean Kam said that the secret to Partners Life’s success is its efficiency. Kam has said that Partners is 58% more efficient than competitors. This has been credited to the use of best technology, cloud-based solutions and not having legacy systems in place. Managing Director Naomi Ballantyne noted that Partners has a better lapse rate than competitors and that it is currently getting the largest share of all adviser new business. Ballantyne also provided insights into what Partners Life has achieved in the past decade by noting:

  • Partners has paid $692 million in claims since inception
  • It now insures 215,000 lives
  • 2208 advisers support the company
  • It has trained 1250 advisers
  • Annual premium income sits at $389 million
  • Partners has implemented 232 individual product upgrades
  • Partners is ranked second in the market for in-force business
  • The company has raised $450 million of capital in 10 years
  • Its current appraisal value is $1.3 billion

“Managing director Naomi Ballantyne says people should think of Partners as a “technology company in the business of insurance.”

She says Partners will “never allow legacy to impact our business.”

Chief financial officer Sean Kam says the "secret sauce" to Partners' success is its efficiency. Based on publicly available data he says Partners is 58% more efficient than its competitors because it uses the best technology, cloud-based solutions and has not legacy systems.

"We have an absolute laser focus on not allowing legacy into our business."

Its technology means the company "can do more with less people".

He believes Partners has an "unbeatable competitive new advantage."

The firm celebrated its 10th birthday with an event for advisers recently.

Ballantyne says in its first decade the company has:

·       Paid $692 million in claims since inception

·       It now insures 215,000 lives

·       2208 advisers support the company

·       It has trained 1250 advisers

·       Annual premium income sits at $389 million

·       Partners has implemented 232 individual product upgrades

·       Partners is ranked second in the market for in-force business

·       The company has raised $450 million of capital in 10 years

·       Its current appraisal value is $1.3 billion

Ballantyne says Partners has a better lapse rate than its competitors. According to Financial Services Council numbers the average lapse rate across the industry is 11.6%, while Partners sites at 10.2%.

The company is currently getting the largest share of all adviser new business. Ballantyne says 34% of new business is written by Partners and the next biggest is sitting on 20%.” Click here to read more 

In other news 

From Good Returns: Looking forward to full licensing - but don't wait too long

From Good Returns: Educating the educated - Code Standards 6, 7, 8 and 9

Co-Op Bank CEO hits the road

Partners Life: Expressions of interest now open for our 3 day New Adviser Training Course


FSC's Consumer Engagement Committee project:


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

9 June 2021 – Privacy News from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner referred to a consultation released by the Department of Internal Affairs on 19 April 2021, with submissions closing on 11 June 2021, on a proposed Death Approved Information Sharing Agreement designed to make things a little easier for families when someone dies. This sets out the legal basis that makes it simpler to safely share personal death information that the Department of Internal Affairs holds on behalf of New Zealanders. This development would be very helpful for insurers who wish to monitor for the death of a life assured. That could help meet conduct obligations associated with offering a product that operates around the end of a life. Also, looking ahead, it could even enable automating the claim approval process. More information:

9 June 2021 - The Commission for Financial Capability released a report and recommendations following public consultation on a discussion paper studying the effects of the complex legal framework governing the retirement village sector.

Looking for compliance support?

Below is a list of companies who offer a range of compliance support to advisers.
Karty Mayne
M: 027 466 6686

Compliance Refinery
Steve Burgess
M: 027 522 0477

Fact NZ
Angi Mann
M: 021 293 1724

Service Assist
Barry Read
M: 021 888 054

Selvan Naidoo
M: 021 332 086

Strictly Business
Tony Vidler
M: 021 221 9001

The Compliance Company
Jeanette Kreft
M: 027 561 9521

Veritas HQ
Guy Dobson
M: 021 042 5766

Chatswood also provides compliance consulting - but we focus on strategy, gap analysis, and life and health advice process: we do not do compliance checking, audits, or  day-to-day documentation.

Life expectancy change over time

It is always worth reconnecting with this great story from time to time: humans have been able to increase life expectancy dramatically in the last 150 years. It is not, of course, a one way proposition. Poor management, disease, bad luck, and war can have an effect - even in modern times: take South Africa as an example. This long-run analysis flatters some recent challenges. The United States, for example, is in a period where due to poor healthcare and high levels of violence life expectancy has stopped growing. New Zealand's life expectancy is great - and yet we could still save hundreds of lives every year if we could just improve our performance in five key areas to the levels that are typical in several other OECD countries. I suppose that is what makes this journey exciting: there is still so much more room for improvement. 

Massey University announce Financial Capability Practitioners certificate, and more daily news

Massey University has announced the launch of the microcredit certificate for Financial Capability Practitioners (level 5). The course was created by Massey University’s NZ Financial Education and Research Centre (Fin-Ed Centre) and will be delivered by the Research Centre. Those that successfully complete the course will be provided with a Massey University Financial Capability Practitioner 10 credit micro-credit certificate. This can be go towards an individual’s on-going CPD requirement. The micro-credit requires individuals to undertake 100 hours of allocated learning and practice time.

Learning outcomes include:

  • Understanding national and international trends in financial capability and wellbeing
  • Current practices and models for delivery of financial capability
  • Ways to review clients’ current capability and progress during the course
  • How to apply principles of adult learning in the practice of developing financial capability
  • A model for embedding financial capability in current practice vs traditional ‘bolted on’ model
  • Personal financial management techniques and skills to facilitating learning about them.

Click here to find out more

In other news

Partners Life: Financial Security Questionnaires no longer required

Fidelity Life: Melissa Cantell - more than meets the eye

Asteron Life: Three insurances to consider when you start a business

Gen Re: A Mental Health Claims Dialogue

Fidelity Life: Senior Product Manager role advertised

nib: Protect, Connect & Empower Seminar Series to be held June 22, 2021—July 9, 2021

Fidelity Life: research insights 

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