Why search is a critical function in product analysis

Search is the latest in developments in information sharing. Seth Godin has an excellent post about the development of information sharing and how that has been a revolution driving forward our development as a species. Life and health insurance research is, I admit, not quite as exciting as the development of written language. However we took a big decision to make all our data searchable.

That means that for almost tens years of product data we can find the product version, the specific clauses, and find the sub clauses and conditions that contribute to a better or worse wording. We quantify the impact of that and our reasons why. It is a trail of data that is roughly 50,000 data points wide by ten years long. Searching across the data enables analysis of how product improvements have been applied by companies over time. We can directly relate those to the price charged over time as well, because we took the same decision for pricing data. Only that data is a huge motorway by comparison. Our most recent pricing database has two million data points and the path goes back almost 20 years now.

To add to these great rivers of product and price data we have some tributary streams. We have tracked commissions data for about ten years, quarterly. We recently took our non-searchable news database and 18 months ago renovated that to make it so that it is properly indexed and can be connected to the product, price, and commission data flows. Now when someone comes to us and says 'how did X product compare on Y date?' we can tell you. We can tell you each of the steps between that comparison and today. It's a great resource for product management, heads of sale, and heads of marketing. It is great for advisers too. Predictions about the future usually use past data extensively. Helping advisers with complaints and challenges, assisting in the analysis for current clients with older products, all that data is available to you.

If you subscribe. 

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

4 Mar 2021 - Overseas Investment Amendment Bill (No 3), introduced on 14 May 2020, reported back to Parliament. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_97807/overseas-investment-amendment-bill-no-3

4 Mar 2021 – APRA released separately the statistics for December 2020 for life insurance and general insurance. Weblinks are https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-statistics-for-december-2020 and https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-general-insurance-statistics-for-december-2020

4 Mar 2021 – Financial Advisers Disciplinary Committee issued its penalty determination on the case decision released in Jan 2021 regarding Code Standard breaches. The FADC imposed the penalty that the Respondent is censured for the Code breaches together with permanent suppression of identity. https://fadc.govt.nz/decisions/

4 Mar 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability announced that it had launched achievement standard resources through its Sorted in Schools programme. The resources are designed to be taught by teachers as part of day to day classes in Statistics and Economics for students studying toward NCEA Levels 1 and 2. https://cffc.govt.nz/news-and-media/news/money-lessons-offer-ncea-excellence-grades/

5 Mar 2021 – FMA issued a public warning to the adviser for KiwiSaver advice given generally to switch funds in the wake of COVID-19 and market volatility in March 2020. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-warns-financial-adviser-kiwisaver-covid19/

5 Mar 2021 – IRD advised that the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020–21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill, introduced on 4 June 2020, was reported back to Parliament on 4 March 2021. https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_98047/taxation-annual-rates-for-2020-21-feasibility-expenditure

Partners Life on preparing for 15 March, and more daily news

In preparation for 15 March, Partners Life has compiled a list of things that financial advisers must do to ensure compliance. The list is designed as an informative piece as well as a mini checklist with questions regarding duties. ​The list is made up of the following six points:

  1. “Ensure you come under a transitional licence by 15 March You may obtain your own licence, or be engaged under someone else’s. If the licence hasn’t come through by 15 March, you cannot give financial advice until it arrives. Use this time wisely for business planning, reviewing your processes, documenting what you do, and any number of other business-related activities. Note that the FSPR will be mostly offline from 2-15 March to prepare for the new regime (more details here). 
  2. Get your disclosure sorted You must meet the new disclosure requirements from 15 March, including your website, Facebook page, engagement letters, and statements of advice. Use the FSC Disclosure Guide templates to write your text. Have your website developer draft your new site and be ready to go live late at night on 14 March. Use this opportunity to review your other client documents – do they meet the requirements of the Privacy Act (e.g. permission to share client data with the FMA and your compliance consultant), Secret Commissions Act (do you disclose referral fees and commissions), and other legal obligations? 
  3. Have you documented your complaints process? Ask your Disputes Resolution Scheme for help. They are very likely to have learning resources and templates to help you. Implement a Complaints Register, and check monthly that it is completed properly. Write down your process, including how you check it is working. 
  4. Is your record-keeping up to scratch? Do you have all client files backed up? Are they secure – how do you protect client information from being seen or taken by others? Can you access them quickly when you need them? Are they complete – do you record all of your interactions with each client? Challenge your process – where are the risks that privacy could be breached? What interactions are not recorded? Write down your process, and what you do to check that it is being followed 
  5. Do you comply with the new duties? Challenge your process against the new duties, and write down how you meet your obligations. Good advisers meet these obligations now, and may only have a few minor tweaks to make. How can you prove that you meet them? 
    1. ​How do you ensure that your clients understand the nature and scope of your advice, the limitations to your advice, and the advice you give them? 
    2. How do you ensure you give suitable advice? Do you use research tools? Do you use advice tools? How do you calculate the quantum of cover, and choose the best provider and products for each client?
    3. Care, diligence and skill? This is already the law. If you don’t meet this now, step it up!  
  6. Some of the duties are a no-brainer But just because they’re a no-brainer, don’t forget to properly document how you are observing them – if anyone asks, don’t just tell them you are a good adviser: make sure you can show them! 
    1. Do you recommend products for your benefit, or for your client’s? If you give advice other than to benefit your clients, you are breaking the law. How do you prove that your advice is for your client’s benefit, and you are not influenced by commission?
    2. Treat clients fairly and act with integrity – this should underpin everything you do as a financial adviser. Think about it hard – do you?
    3. Don’t recommend financial advice products that don’t comply with the law.”

Partners Life has also stated that advisers that make structural changes and advisers that make a mistake must inform the FMA. Partners Life has explained that advisers must tell the FMA what they are doing to about the issues and steps they are taking to minimise any potential harm.

“If you do anything wrong, or make structural changes to your business or key personnel, you have to tell the FMA about it if it is material. If this happens, don’t just give the FMA a problem. Tell them what you are doing about it – how are you minimising any harm that the problem may cause?

If you hold a licence and have other financial advisers working in your business, you must ensure that they meet these obligations too. How are you ensuring that happens?

While the full list of obligations is long, many of them articulate things you should already be doing. Work through the list above, and embrace the opportunities that FSLAA brings!”

In other news

FMA: FMA warns adviser for KiwiSaver advice

Southern Cross: Southern Cross offering advisers access to StayingWell, a free hub of hand-picked wellness information

Decrease in Australian adviser numbers related to increased lapse rates, and more daily news

Australian consultancy firm NMG Consulting was commissioned to review different aspects of the Australian life insurance industry. The report found that the decrease in adviser numbers, advisers shifting their attention to higher value customers along with more frequent reviews will mean that within the next three years, cover will be offered to less than 15% of the financially active population. The report noted that research backed the expectation that the industry shrinking would result in an increase in lapse rates as access to financial advice would reduce. It was stated that there is an increase in partial lapses and a sharp decrease in re-broking. The decrease in re-broking means affordability pressures on clients trying to keep their policies. The report suggests that prices are likely to increases and risks pools are likely to shrink as a result of reduced access to financial advice.

“The ongoing decline in total number of advisers, combined with the rational adviser shift to focus on fewer, higher value customers and more frequent reviews will reduce coverage to less than 15% of the financially active population within 3 years. The focus will be the top-tier 200 – 300 consumers with a three year or shorter review cycle. This implies a highly productive, sustainable and high quality ‘best advice’ model, that narrowly supports informed decisions by only the wealthiest and most financially sophisticated 10% - 15% of the population (with a resulting skew to older ages/more complex cases).

Research supports expectations that the contraction in the advice market will lead to an increase in lapse rates as customer access to advice reduces. Partial lapses and the rate of lapsing out of the system has increased. The sharp decline in re-broking is leading to increasing affordability pressure on customers who try to ‘hang on’ and then lapse out altogether, as opposed to an advised glide path to retirement with benefit and affordability aligned to need.

It should be noted that of the 25% of Australians aged 25 – 35 (predominantly middle income, with children or non-working spouses) who have less insurance than the community standard, almost one in five has not been able to access financial advice.

These trends suggest that future risks to the life insurance market are likely to relate to lack of access to the advice system and sustainability due to shrinking risk pools driving up prices and reinforcing the adverse selection spiral. Regulatory reforms need to both protect Australian consumers whilst making sure they can access an affordable advice system; while ensuring life insurance is sustainable over the longer term. Otherwise the pattern of under-insurance among young and middle-aged Australians, and the over-insurance of older Australians due to lack of access to advice, is likely to get worse at least over the next three years.”


In other news

Fidelity Life: Ross Fowler from Wealth Protection in Christchurch awarded the Gordon Watson trophy 

Fidelity Life: Brett and Niki Stonham from Stonham and Co in Auckland awarded the Cary Veenhof Service award 

Fidelity Life: Joey Gregory from Discovery Financial in Auckland awarded the Emerging Adviser of the Year award 

Fidelity Life: Chris Aynsley from Aynsley and Associates from Canterbury awarded the Fidelity Life trophy

Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

4 Mar 2021 – RBNZ released its decisions in response to submissions received on the Insurance Solvency Standards Principles and Timeline consultation. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/03/insurance-solvency-standards-refined-by-feedback

4 Mar 2021 – FMA released its fourth statistical report for the year ended 30 June 2020 covering activity by licensed P2P and crowdfunding providers that provide annual information returns to the FMA. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/peer-to-peer-lending-crowdfunding-2020/

3 Mar 2021 – Government announced the next stage of COVID-19 support for business and workers. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/next-stage-covid-19-support-business-and-workers

3 Mar 2021 – RBNZ further updated its statistics release calendar to reinstate a wide range of publications throughout this month. During March, it will be catching up on the remaining December month banking statistics. RBNZ will also return towards its normal schedule for banking and other financial data by adding in several publications of January and February month data. The new calendar follows:


Reference period


Original date

New publication date






Managed Funds





LVR – Positions (quarterly)


C35 (also C32 part update)







12 Mar 2021 **

Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 & Feb2021


5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021


Retail interest rates

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021


5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021


Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 &
Feb 2021

B20-B21, B25-B27

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021


Credit card

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021


26 Jan 2021 &
22 Feb 2021


LVR – New commitments





Fidelity Life customer engagement initiative, and more daily news  

Fidelity Life has announced that the customer engagement initiative will go ahead this year. The initiative is based on customer feedback via a net promoter score (NPS). In September 30 advisers with the highest NPS and their partners will travel to Hawkes Bay where the winning adviser will be awarded the Cary Veenhof Trophy. Advisers and FAPs will be rated. For advisers, scores will be allocated based on feedback on their service. FAPs will be scored on the feedback of advisers within the FAP.


“After the success of our inaugural Customer Engagement initiative, we’re gearing up to do it all again!


The initiative involves getting customer feedback on adviser businesses using Net Promoter Score (or NPS) and celebrating the top performers.


This year the 30 top scoring advisers and their partners will travel to the mighty Hawkes Bay where the winner of the Cary Veenhof Trophy will be announced.


Travel is 22-24 September 2021 and there's two ways to register:


Financial adviser (FA) – calculated based solely on feedback of your individual service.

Financial advice provider (FAP) – calculated based on aggregated feedback on all individual FAs within your FAP. Any Individual FA’s who register in their own right will be excluded from these metrics.” Click here to register


In other news


TAP: In the past two weeks 11 new advisers have been working through TAP’s adviser academy

Financial Advice: Financial Advice has reported that 400 financial advisers have achieved the Trusted Adviser mark

FMA: Adviser, Licensing role currently being advertised

Westpac Australia set to sell life insurance business, and more daily news

It is being reported that Westpac Australia is working alongside JPMorgan Chase & Co. to begin a formal sale process for the life insurance business. It is being reported that the sale process could begin this month, with AIA Group, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. being possible buyers.  There is a possibility that the sale may not go forward as sources have noted that Westpac is still weighing options, although Westpac has previously stated that it would focus on banking business by divesting non-core assets.

“Westpac is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to start a formal sale process for its life insurance business, according to a Bloomberg report. The sale process could start as soon as this month. AIA Group, Dai-ichi Life Holdings, and Meiji Yasuda Life Insurance Co. are among the firms that have reportedly been sounded out as possible buyers.

Westpac is still debating the sale, and could still decide to keep the business, sources told Bloomberg. If it decides to sell, the bank may seek a premium to the life insurance unit’s net asset value of $1.8 billion – although the asking price will depend on buyer interest.

The life insurance business is likely to see continued pressure on earnings this year, Westpac told investors in November. The unit posted $229 million in income in the 2020 financial year before write-downs, Bloomberg reported.

Westpac said it would divest itself of non-core assets and focus on its banking business after a series of scandals resulted in the banking giant getting slapped with a record $1.3 billion fine in September. Since then, Westpac has sold its general insurance business to Allianz SE for $725 million and its Pacific unit to Kina Securities for around $420 million, Bloomberg reported.” Click here to read more

In other news

FSC: Hayley George joined the FSC in February as Marketing and Communications Manager

Strategi: Strategi offers ‘Covid assistance pack’ to advisers

Strategi: Code of Conduct – how can advisers make it work?

QPR: Updates for Implementation of new FSLAA Regime

To help you prepare for the implementation of the Financial Services Legislation Amendment Act implementation on 15 March Quality Product Research Limited has made the following changes to the Quotemonster site:

  1. Prepared an outsourced provider statement. This provides you with information to meet the license conditions for a Financial Advice Provider to use a third party (us) as part of your advice process (for example: preparing comparison quotes and research reports). Subscribers to the research and advicemonster services will see an announcement when they next log in. A link to the outsource provider statement is included in the site in the About Us section. 

  2. Updated Advicemonster – an external review has been conducted, the draft statement of advice (SOA) has been updated, and the system for preparing the SOA has been improved. If you are an Advicemonster subscriber we suggest you run a new trial needs analysis to check out the new report – it is a more comprehensive and robust document that speeds up the process of creating new life and health statements of advice. If you don’t subscribe, or you would just like a quick refresher on how to use the system, click here to request a demonstration.

  3. Updated our terms and conditions – refer this link for details. Also, a link to the terms is included in the site in the About Us section, and on every page in the site. 

Coming up: there will be further changes to the adviser profile page to reflect changes to the FSPR due to the new license regime. We will update you on those next week. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact us or call (09) 480 6071. Thank you for being a customer of Quality Product Research Limited.

Quality Product Research appoints new General Manager

We are pleased to announce that Treena Jordan has been appointed General Manager of the team at Quality Product Research Limited. Treena has an extensive background in product development and is extremely adviser focused. Over the last 20+ years Treena has worked for AIA, Sovereign, and Cigna as well as life insurers in both Australia and New Zealand.

Due to the increasing scrutiny with the new regime ahead we believe it is essential to grow our resources. Having Treena on board now means that we will have two full time product experts in the team. Treena has substantial experience working with advisers and is a very industry-focused person. Her involvement working with advisers around business insurance will be extremely valuable. Those of you that have worked with Treena in the design of business insurance products will be aware of her passion for good insurance cover.

As part of the change in team you can expect to hear more from Doreen and Treena  as they are keen to hear from you about your experiences with our product providers and how you use Quotemonster, Research Reports, and Advicemonster.


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2021 - KiwiSaver (Life-shortening Congenital Conditions) Amendment Regulations 2021 (‘Regulations’) were released, coming into force on 26 March 2021. This is an important component of planning life risk - especially as KiwiSaver balances rise. It isn't quite the predictable model for early withdrawals we would have liked, but valuable for those it does cover, enabling some access to funds where a person's life expectancy is going to be shortened due to our of the listed conditions.  https://www.legislation.govt.nz/regulation/public/2021/0025/latest/LMS449982.html

1 Mar 2021 - The Minister of Revenue indicated an intention to introduce legislation to relax New Zealand’s loss continuity rules to allow businesses better access to capital via a supplementary order paper to the Taxation (Annual Rates for 2020-21, Feasibility Expenditure, and Remedial Matters) Bill later in March. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-03-01-introduction-new-business-continuity-test-tax-losses

1 Mar 2021 – IRD FATCA email update covered:

  • S. IRS announced voluntary changes to the FATCA schema for reporting of missing US TINs with application to this coming 2021 FATCA reporting period ended 31 March 2021; and
  • A general reminder to New Zealand Financial Institutions ("NZFIs") about the (aggregated) account balance reporting thresholds that apply to whether a person’s financial accounts are reportable. 

2 March 2021 – IRD sought feedback on 10 proposed remedial changes to the foreign trust disclosure rules, which were enacted in the Taxation (Business Tax, Exchange of Information, and Remedial Matters) Act 2017. Submissions close on 23 March 2021. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-03-02-feedback-sought-foreign-trust-remedials

Feb 2021 - Insurance (Prudential Supervision) Act 2010 (IPSA) RBNZ Review – New submission closing date set of 19 March 2021.

1 March 2021 – NZ Police Financial Intelligence Unit released its Dec 2020-Jan 2021 “Suspicious Activity Report.” https://www.police.govt.nz/sites/default/files/publications/fiu-monthly-report-dec2020-jan2021.pdf

Changes to QPR and Advicemonster Subscription Pricing

Effective 1 April 2021 pricing will change for QPR and Advicemonster subscriptions.

  • Quoting remains free! Quote on advisers!
  • There will be no increase for Admin/Compliance Logins which remains at $20 + GST per month
  • The retail rate for Research will increase from $113 + GST to $125 + GST per month
  • Annual Research subscriptions will increase from $1,130 + GST to $1,250 + GST (you get 2 months free compared to monthly!)
  • Advicemonster will increase from $50 + GST to $55 + GST per month.
  • Group pricing will be as follows:
    • For groups with 5+ advisers there will be a 10% discount applied to monthly pricing for QPR
    • For groups with 15+ advisers there will be a 20% discount applied to monthly pricing for QPR
    • For groups with 100+ advisers there will be a 30% discount applied to monthly pricing for QPR

With the implementation of FSLAA we have had a big focus on developing our services so that they are a robust support to your advice process. That means we have been working hard to ensure we meet and exceed requirements for an outsourced provider for our services Quotemonster, Research Reports, and Advicemonster. As part of the standard license conditions the Financial Markets Authority requires you to ensure that any provider you use in your advice process provides you with assurance that it meets standards suitable to support the services you provide to your clients. Subscribers to the research and advicemonster services will get a notification on the third of March and a link to our outsource provider statement. 

In order to meet the standards required by the increasing scrutiny of the legal and regulatory regime we are providing additional services, investing in better quality assurance in our core research service, and have been updating Advicemonster. All this requires investment in the quality of the services we provide. 

Pinnacle Life on insuring rainbow families, and more daily news

Pinnacle Life has published a piece on their website on the importance of insuring rainbow families. Pinnacle Life noted that families today no longer resemble the typical nuclear family unit. The piece focuses on rainbow families, which are families with parents who are part of the LGBTQI community. Pinnacle Life highlighted that the 2013 census recorded that there were 1,479 children of same-sex families in New Zealand. Pinnacle Life also noted that insurers base premium rates on assigned gender. While Pinnacle Life asks about a person’s gender, they have stated that they offer flexibility around policy ownership. Nonbinary individuals are still able to take out life insurance for themselves and their families, without worrying about gender-based pricing.

“The stereotypical family of 2021 is remarkably different from the family of 50 years ago. Mum, dad and two kids are becoming less the norm and more the unlikely. Today we are more likely to have blended families, split families, 1-child families, many kid families, single-parent families, multi-race families, rainbow families and more. With the pride festival winding down this week, we wanted to take a moment to acknowledge rainbow families particularly. 


A rainbow family is a same-sex or LGBTQI-parented family. Statistics are hard to come by, but in 2013 the census recorded 1479 children of same-sex families in New Zealand. It's safe to imagine that if we broadened the definition, considered the number of people who didn't complete the census and increased public acceptance during this period, that this figure has probably doubled and is growing. Teachers and schools will be factoring this into activities involving families, clubs and community centres too. It's not difficult; it just takes a bit of thoughtfulness to remember that not all kids have a 'mum and dad'. Some have two mums, two dads, or a combination that extends beyond one of each or something in between.


If you're part of a rainbow family, you might be frustrated that life insurance companies seem to be behind the times. While there is total flexibility around who owns your policy, we still ask questions about gender, with the only options to be male and female. Some life insurance companies underwrite transgender applicants based on assigned gender, while others use their stated gender.


Life insurance rates are calculated based on assigned gender and this is understandably a sensitive subject for a lot of people. This is unfortunately the norm in the industry because of the statistics around mortality. We can ensure that, once you purchase your policy online, your true gender is recorded in your policy document.


The important thing is you can still get life insurance if you are nonbinary, and it doesn't mean that you'll pay higher premiums because of your gender.


Your rainbow family may not have a nonbinary member. Rainbow families come in all shapes and sizes. But one thing they all have in common is that a lot of thought went into creating the family in the first place. Finding the 'missing ingredient' takes consideration and planning that most heterosexual couples haven't had to give a second thought. And that's just the starting point.” Click here to read more


In other news


nib: EMA HR Summit to be held 25 March 2021

FSC: Adviser research reveals optimistic outlook for the sector

Southern Cross: Southern Cross’s membership at 13-year high

New Partners Life partnership means update to claims system

An announcement on Partners Life and FINEOS Corporation claims system partnership has been made public. The partnership will mean that current claims systems and processes will be replaced. See details below.

“DUBLIN--(BUSINESS WIRE)--FINEOS Corporation (ASX:FCL), the market-leading provider of group and individual core systems for life, accident and health insurance, today announced that Partners Life, following a comprehensive market evaluation of Claims Management System vendors, has selected the FINEOS Platform for life insurance and medical claims.

The Partners Life and FINEOS partnership will bring about changes focused on replacing existing claims systems and processes with a differentiated value proposition. This will bring key operational benefits such as efficient, integrated and automated workflow processes and accurate claims covering life, TPD, trauma, income protection and medical products.

Speaking about the selection, Tracey Lonergan, Partners Life Chief Claims Officer said, “Claims service is at the core of Partners Life’s business and so when we looked for a credible provider it was important that the provider had the capability, experience and infrastructure to deliver and support a Claims Management System that would integrate into the Partners Life ecosystem. Also important to us was that the selected vendor come with a strong record of successful implementations and strong support of its Claims Management System within the New Zealand and Australian life and health insurance industry. FINEOS met these requirements. Our initial collaboration has been extremely positive, and we envisage that the project will deliver high quality results”

Commenting on the deal, Michael Kelly, CEO, FINEOS added, “We’re delighted that Partners Life has selected to partner with FINEOS and adopt the FINEOS Platform for life insurance and medical claims. The FINEOS Platform includes a market tested, pre-configured pack for the region known as LISA (Life Insurance Solutions Australasia). This is an exciting project for us in New Zealand and we look forward to a fast and smooth system implementation to enable the benefits of using FINEOS as early as possible thereby delivering a high-level service to its customers and independent financial advisers across New Zealand.

The FINEOS Platform provides a comprehensive SaaS end to end core solution for the Global Life, Accident and Health market. Key to the solution is the rich functionality that underlies FINEOS AdminSuite, FINEOS Engage and FINEOS Insight, a common set of capabilities including workflow, rules engine, customer management, no-code/low-code configuration tools, a standardized API connection and the cloud environment powered by AWS.”

More details for FINEOS can be found here. We think that claims automation will become increasingly important to ensure a range of claims goals: such as fair application of policy terms, meeting the requirements of good conduct obligations, containing costs, and speeding up the whole process. 


nib health management programmes, and more daily news

As part of their well care approach, nib has provided insights into health initiatives and pilot programmes. The free Health Management Programmes are intended to offer members support in managing their health and offering expert advice from nib Wellness Coaches. Health Management Programmes include:

  • Healthier Joints Pain Management programme
  • nib Healthier Heart
  • nib Cancer Care
  • nib Healthier Joints Weight Management

“The impact of long-term health conditions can take a toll on not only physical wellbeing, but mental wellbeing too. That’s why we offer our range of free Health Management Programmes, to support our members in proactively managing their health conditions (aiming to reduce the need for invasive medical procedures) while providing expert support and advice from an nib Wellness Coach, every step of the way. 

Our nib Healthier Joints Pain Management programme, for example, covers 9-12 weeks of rehabilitation and helps members effectively manage their pain and symptoms, while also increasing strength and mobility through personalised activity plans.

Other nib Health Management Programmes available to members who meet selection criteria include: nib Healthier Heart, nib Cancer Care and nib Healthier Joints Weight Management.”

Another programme dedicated to bettering the health of members is the Bowel Screening Programme. Through a partnership with MercyAscot, nib offers screening kits to members identified as being at higher risk of developing bowel cancer. The initial screening was offered to Auckland Māori and Pacific Islander members between 45-75 years and other Auckland members aged 55-75 years. More screenings set to begin in March. 

“Bowel cancer is the second highest cause of cancer death in the country, but there’s a great chance of beating it if detected early. To support our members who are at higher risk of developing bowel cancer, we partnered with MercyAscot to deliver our bowel screening programme. 

The programme offers free bowel screening kits to eligible members, so they can easily complete it at home and send back for testing. If needed, members receive priority access to diagnostics, specialists and treatment. They can also receive individualised one-on-one health coaching before and after treatment. 

The pilot was offered to Auckland-based members aged 55-75 years (45-75 years for Māori and Pacific Islanders). Abnormalities were found in two members results, however, early detection has allowed MercyAscot to arrange further screening and treatment. 

Wave two of the programme will commence in March.”

The partnership with Tend allows Auckland members access to GPs through the phone and through an app. Nib offering pilot subscription for eligible members. Members will have: 

  • unlimited access to consultations for a year
  • free repeat prescriptions
  • one influenza vaccination
  • annual health check

“We’ve teamed up with Tend, an innovative and convenient healthcare solution, so we can help members see a doctor all from the comfort of their phone. Eligible Auckland-based members will have access to trusted medical advice quickly and easily through Tend’s online (in-app) appointments, secure messaging or at their in-person clinic in Kingsland if preferred. Tend’s team of experienced doctors and nurses are committed to understanding individual member needs. 

As part of our exclusive partnership, we’re rolling out a pilot subscription for eligible members, offering unlimited GP consultations for 12 months, free repeat prescriptions, one influenza vaccination and an annual health check.”

In other news:

Fidelity Life: Senior Product Manager role being advertised

Fidelity Life: Risk and Compliance Advisor - Reporting and Analytics role being advertised

RBNZ: Shares fall as investors call RBNZ's bluff

AMP sell part of AMP Capital Private, and more daily news

It has been announced that 60% of the AMP Capital private markets investment business will be purchased by Ares Management. It was previously reported the non-binding sale was off the table. The new sale proposal is a more limited joint-venture that will allow Ares to acquire the majority stake in the AMP Capital infrastructure debt, real estate and other minority interests. This is stake is valued at A$2.25 billion. AMP will own AMP Capital’s public markets businesses, with the Multi-Asset Group transferred to AMP Australia.

“Ares Management will buy 60 per cent of the AMP Capital private markets investment business in a proposed deal announced this morning.

After ditching efforts to by all of the ASX-listed AMP in February, the US investment firm has instead opted for a more limited joint-venture arrangement to be explored over the next 30 days in a just-inked non-binding heads of agreement.

Under the deal Ares would acquire the majority stake in the AMP Capital infrastructure debt, real estate and other “minority interests” valued at A$2.25 billion, according to a release issued this morning.

“AMP will retain ownership of AMP Capital’s public markets businesses, which in FY 20 made a modest NPAT contribution,” the statement says. “The public markets strategy will continue, including the Multi-Asset Group (“MAG”) being transformed and transferred to AMP Australia, and actively exploring sale or partnership opportunities for the Global Equities and Fixed Income (“GEFI”) business.” Click here to read more 

In other news

Cigna: Cigna has announced multi-benefit promotion extended to 30 June 2021

Financial Advice: Concern adviser outreach may be shackled by FMA advertising rules

nib: nib conducting another review of existing members policies' exclusions and loadings. Members with special terms on their policies will be contacted by nib directly


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

24 Feb 2021 – Trustees Executors’ newsletter advised of the recent publication of a final report by the Board of the International Organization of Securities Commissions (IOSCO) outlining nine sound practices for retail investor complaint procedures in financial markets.  The January 2021 IOSCO report is titled “Complaint Handling and Redress System for Retail Investors”. https://www.iosco.org/library/pubdocs/pdf/IOSCOPD670.pdf

25 Feb 2021 – Government and RBNZ announcements that the RBNZ is now required to consider the impact on housing when making monetary and financial policy decisions. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/release/reserve-bank-take-account-housing-decision-making

AIA Vitality enhancements on the horizon, and more daily news

AIA chief partnership insurance officer Sam Tremethick shared insights on AIA Vitality to mark the anniversary of the launch. Tremethick noted that AIA Vitality has been embraced by clients and the wider community. Although AIA has reported a high level of engagement, Tremethick has said that the insurer is looking to introduce enhancements next month. Tremethick described AIA Vitality as the cornerstone of what AIA does in terms of shared values.

““We’re over a year into Vitality being launched here in New Zealand, and the great thing is that the community and our clients have really taken to it,” Tremethick commented.


“We’re planning to release some further updates in March which will provide some further benefits to clients, and a further update will happen in June.”


“We’re continuing to evolve, but we’re already seeing some incredibly high levels of engagement,” he added.


“The release of the Apple Watch benefit last year also increased people’s interest in the programme, so we’re certainly continuing to come up with new ideas.”


Tremethick says that Vitality has been key to its mission of helping Kiwis improve their health and catch illnesses early, and he says the annual health check benefit and premium incentives have been very successful in promoting these goals.


“For us, Vitality is the cornerstone of what we do in terms of shared values,” he said.” Click here to read more


In other news

Financial Advice: Financial Advice has reported that they are continuing to develop new tools regarding disclosure, and looking to release it in the next 10 days

nib: 2 Months Free Health Insurance on any new Ultimate Health Max, Ultimate Health or Easy Health policy offer ends 28 February 

MBIE: MBIE has updated the FSPR with information on FAP linking

Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

23 Feb 2021 – IRD released a special report on the new resurgence support payment legislation. https://taxpolicy.ird.govt.nz/news/2021/2021-02-23-special-report-resurgence-support-payment

24 Feb 2021 – Companies Office published the following notice on it FSPR website: https://fsp-register.companiesoffice.govt.nz/

FSPR online services will be unavailable from 5pm Tuesday 2 March 2021 to 8am Monday 15 March 2021 while we update the register to support the new financial advice regime that comes into effect on 15 March 2021.

During this period, you will be able to search the public register, but you won't be able to log in to your online services account to file, update, or access information regarding your financial service provider.

However, FSP’s wishing to give notice of their intention to apply for a transitional licence during this period can still do so. Shortly we will publish forms and information on how to apply during the outage.

23 Feb 2021 – Hone David Clark, Minister of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, diary released for January 2021, containing just 9 items, none identified as directly relevant to financial services. https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-02/Min%20Clark%20Ministerial%20Diary%20January%202021.pdf

23 Feb 2021 – The Department of Internal Affairs advised that it is undertaking a review of sector specific guidelines for accountants, lawyers and conveyancers, and real estate agents, and is offering a survey for completion as a means to provide feedback on the guidelines. https://www.dia.govt.nz/AML-CFT-DNFBPs---Help-us-improve-our-guidance

15 Feb 2021 - The FMA released the Financial Markets Conduct (NZX Derivatives Market Rules) Approval of Rule Change Notice 2021. The notice came into effect from 15 February 2021.

FSC announce RBNZ outlook webinar, and more daily news

The FSC has announced that an outlook webinar will be held on 3 March 2021 to hear from Geoff Bascand, Deputy Governor and General Manager of Financial Stability. RBNZ’s first Monetary Policy Statement for the year is set to go ahead during the webinar. This means that webinar attendees will hear about the current economic as well as getting an update on cyber security and other key focus areas. During Q&A, the Deputy Governor will be joined by:

  • Richard Dean, Manager, Insurance Oversight
  • Andy Wood, Head of Supervision
  • Brendan Manning, Senior Adviser External Stakeholders

The agenda for the session is:

8.00am - Welcome from FSC Chief Executive, Richard Klipin
8.05am - Outlook 2021 with Geoff Bascand, Deputy Governor, Reserve Bank of New Zealand
8.30am - Fireside chat and audience Q&A with Geoff Bascand and Reserve Bank team

  • Richard Dean, Manager, Insurance Oversight
  • Andy Wood, Head of Supervision
  • Brendan Manning, Senior Adviser External Stakeholders

Click here to register

In other news

From Good Returns: Guaranteed medical cover policy wordings

nib report on interim results, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has reported on the half year results that were presented in a webcast by nib holdings limited. nib New Zealand CEO Rob Hennin has said that the results to 31 December 2020 were pleasing. Hennin noted that there were 3,135 new policies in the past 12 months, this is a 2.8% increase in health insurance coverage. nib also found that claims increased 7.6% as members were seeking medical care after lockdown. Hennin continued by explaining that $6.5 million claims catch-up provision has been released.

“nib New Zealand today announced its results for the six months to 31 December 2020 (1H21) with premium revenue up 7.9% to NZD$136.1 million and underwriting result1 of NZD$12.3 million broadly in line with same period last year (1H20: NZD$12.6 million).

nib New Zealand Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin said overall the result was pleasing with earnings stable as healthcare treatment bounced back following COVID-19 restrictions.

“Despite uncertain market conditions, over the past 12 months we grew New Zealand residents health insurance coverage by 2.8%, adding 3,135 new policies,” Mr Hennin said.

“Our first half result also shows claims increased 7.6% as members head back to their medical professional or seek treatment following first wave of COVID-19 restrictions.

“We know from our claims experience that many of our members either had healthcare treatment delayed or chose to stay away from hospitals during the peak of the pandemic,” he said.

“Its great members are now feeling more confident and getting the necessary healthcare treatment. Recognising some healthcare treatment in FY20 was simply deferred not cancelled during COVID-19, nib set aside a provision meet this expected claims catch-up over the course of FY21. As at 31 December 2020, NZD$6.5 million of the NZD$9.0 million provision has been released,” he added.

Hennin revealed since lockdown, neurological, cardio-thoracic surgery, diagnostics, and gynaecological claims have experienced the largest increase.  It was revealed that the nib Group member support package is more than $45 million.  The package includes:

  • financial hardship premium relief
  • suspension options
  • pre-approval extensions
  • expanded coverage
  • Lifeline Aotearoa and Clearhead support

The procedures that have experienced the largest increase following the initial lockdown (relative to pre-pandemic claims activity) were:

  • Neurological: 116% increase
  • Cardio-thoracic surgery: 49% increase
  • Diagnostics: 38% increase
  • Gynaecological: 36% increase

“To date our nib Group member support package totals more than $45 million, and includes financial hardship premium relief, suspension options, automatic six-month pre-approval extensions and expanded coverage for COVID-19 related treatment at no cost,” he said.

In other news:

Partners Life: Expressions of interest now open for our 3 day Virtual New Adviser Training Course - March 2021

FMA: Scams under-reported by Chinese New Zealanders: FMA