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:

Survey

Reference period

Series

Original date

New publication date

Liquidity

Dec-20

L1-L3

5-Feb-21

5-Mar-21

Managed Funds

Dec-20

T40-T48

18-Feb-21

9-Mar-21

LVR – Positions (quarterly)

Dec-20

C35 (also C32 part update)

29-Jan-21

10-Mar-21

RBNZ

Feb-21

R1-R3

12-Mar-21

12 Mar 2021 **

Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 & Feb2021

B3

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Retail interest rates

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021

B6

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Retail interest rates

Jan 2021 &
Feb 2021

B20-B21, B25-B27

5 Feb 2021 &
5 Mar 2021

16-Mar-21

Credit card

Dec 2020 &
Jan 2021

C12-C13

26 Jan 2021 &
22 Feb 2021

16-Mar-21

LVR – New commitments

Jan-21

C30-C32

25-Feb-21

17-Mar-21


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.

Treena


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 about the 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 screen is 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

Picture1


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


Australia: "ASIC boss should enforce rules not fantasise about setting them"

The Sydney Morning Herald had that powerful headline in a revealing piece about the future direction for ASIC as it enters upon the search for a new CEO. Link: https://www.smh.com.au/politics/federal/new-asic-chief-must-enforce-rules-not-fantasise-about-setting-them-hartnell-20210221-p574cs.html 


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

22 Feb 2021 – Privacy Commissioner released new guidance in relation to Privacy Principle 12 for sending personal information overseas, with the guidance in the form of two new interactive online tools to help organisations and businesses understand what they need to do. https://www.privacy.org.nz/publications/statements-media-releases/new-guidance-for-sending-personal-information-overseas/

19 Feb 2021 – RBNZ announced amended dates for statistical releases as follows:

Survey

Series

Original date

New publication date

New mortgage commitments - LVR

C30-35

29 January

19 February


Bank balance sheet
 

C5, C50-52, S10-41

29 January

23 February

Non-bank lending institutions

T1, T4, T11, T21,
T31

29 January

23 February


Insight into FSPR usage, and more daily news

MBIE has published a document covering adviser and FAP responsibilities under the new regime. The document first sets out the rules of engagement, stating that every adviser must be engaged or linked to a FAP. Advisers must ensure the FAP registers the engagement on the FSPR. But to link to FAPs, advisers must first provide the FAP with their name and FSP number.

 From 15 March, advisers must have these things before linking to a FAP:

  1. A RealMe® login
  2. An online services account with the FSPR
  3. Authority to update records on behalf of the financial advice provider

In order for advisers and FAPs to engage, FAPs must:

  1. Log in to your online services account using your RealMe ID and password, and locate your registration in the ‘FSP Registrations’ tab of your dashboard.
  2. On the ‘View FSP details’ screen, select the ‘Financial Services’ tab and click the ‘Maintain Financial Services’ button.
  3. Scroll down to the ‘Financial advice service’ where you’ll see the FAs, if any, that you’re linked to.
  4. Click the ‘Add Financial Adviser’ button and search for the FA you wish to engage, using their FSP number or name. Select the FA from the drop-down list, and indicate whether or not they will be covered by your dispute resolution scheme (DRS).
  5. Repeat step 4 above for each new financial adviser you add. Please note, multiple advisers are displayed alphabetically. (Cont.)
  6. When you’ve finished updating your registration, click on ‘Next Step: Declaration’. Review and confirm the declaration.
  7. Click on ‘Next Step: Review’. Review the information you have entered and tick the check box to confirm the information is true and accurate
  8. Click on the ‘Submit’ button at the bottom right of the screen.
  9. Viewing the FAPs financial services, you’ll see that the FAs now appear on the ‘Financial Services’ tab.

To support the new regime being implemented, the FSPR will also be updated. The Companies Office will release guidelines and videos to help users closer to the date.

This video shows the engagement process.

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Asteron Life set to run regulatory webinars, and more daily news

In response to high demand, Asteron Life is set to run three webinars focused on the upcoming regulatory changes. The webinar will walk advisers through the new requirements and will help them understand what they need to do. Asteron Life has noted that templates for the new process will be available. The three webinars will be held on:

  • Monday 22 February at 1pm
  • Tuesday 23 February at 11am 
  • Tuesday 23 February at 1pm

With just weeks to go, this webinar will step you through the new requirements and help you understand what you need to do. Because each FAP and adviser has different information to disclose, Asteron Life cannot provide templates for the new process.

If you haven’t yet thought about this vital requirement or are still a bit unsure, please enrol for this webinar today - there are three available sessions for you to choose from, click here to register for one now. 

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