Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

2 Dec 2021 – Council of Financial Regulators released its quarterly statement following the meeting held on 30 Nov 2021, with key items of discussion being cyber resilience, the role of credit unions and building societies within the financial sector, and reports of the ongoing work in the priority areas of conduct and governance and financial inclusion. The group also discussed plans for the next meeting of the Trans-Tasman Banking Council to be held in early December. https://www.cofr.govt.nz/news-and-publications/quarterly-statement-by-cofr-november-2021.html

3 Dec 2021 - FMA released CPA Australia and NZICA accredited body reports. https://www.fma.govt.nz/news-and-resources/media-releases/fma-releases-cpa-australia-and-nzica-accredited-body-reports/

3 Dec 2021 – Ministry of Justice seeks feedback on political donation rules, with submissions closing on 25 Jan 2022. https://www.justice.govt.nz/about/news-and-media/news/feedback-sought-on-political-donation-rules/


Fidelity Life appoint new Business Managers, and more daily news

Fidelity Life has announced the appointment of Alex Paul, Michelle O’Connell, and Haylee Edwards as new Business Managers. Alex Paul is the new Northland/Auckland Business Manager. Michelle O’Connell is the new Business Manager for Auckland. Haylee Edwards is the new Business Manager for Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and up to Taranaki. Adviser Distribution Todd Allan has said that the new appointments indicate Fidelity Lie’s commitment to supporting advisers.

“Fidelity Life continues to boost its support for advisers across New Zealand with the appointments of three new Business Managers in the North Island.

Alex Paul (Northland/Auckland), Michelle O’Connell (Auckland) and Haylee Edwards (Palmerston North, Horowhenua, Wairarapa and up to Taranaki) join the existing team of Peter Warfield (Auckland), Jenn Quinn (Marlborough, wider Wellington and Hawkes Bay), Gary Binnie (Christchurch/Timaru), and David Telfer (Central Otago, Invercargill, Dunedin).

Fidelity Life Head of Adviser Distribution Todd Allan says the new appointments clearly show Fidelity Life’s intent when it comes to delivering best-in-market support to advisers.

“Financial advisers are key partners for Fidelity Life as we continue to progress our customer-led transformation. Alex, Michelle and Haylee will help advisers keep one step ahead of the constantly evolving business environment so that together we can help more New Zealanders get the benefits of insurance protection.”

Since the appointment of Chief Sales and Service Officer Bronwyn Kirwan in August, Fidelity Life has created a new Solutions and Services team, announced the expansion of its market-leading Building Better Businesses programme, and launched a new-look Strategic Alliance team.

Meet our new Business Managers

  • Alex Paul - Originally from the UK, Alex moved to New Zealand 15 years ago. She steps into the role with a wealth of knowledge and experience under her belt including 13 years as an insurance adviser.
  • Michelle O’Connell - Michelle is Level 5 qualified and has over 20 years’ experience in the industry. She's worked with dedicated advisers, managed call centres and held national sales roles for dealer groups including Lifetime and SHARE.
  • Haylee Edwards - Haylee's been in the industry for 8 years, having started with FMG as a Report Planner and more recently in a leadership role, managing in-house advisers. Haylee has a wealth of knowledge when it comes to the rural industry, Fidelity Life’s products and systems all while understanding the adviser world.” Click here to read more

 

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Alex Paul                        Michelle O'Connell                          Haylee Edwards

In other news

DecemBeard was on 1 December

World Aids Day was on 1 December

International Day of Disabled Persons will be held on 3 December

RBNZ: Reserve Bank appoints new Assistant Governor

Fidelity Life: Fidelity Life drops the jargon, boosts adviser support

FSC: Winners of the inaugural school video competition are


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

1 Dec 2021 – Treasury sought feedback on the Living Standards Framework (LSF) Dashboard to reflect the new and revised parts of the LSF framework. As well as informing policy advice more generally, the Dashboard will provide the indicators that the Treasury will use to inform the development of its first Wellbeing Report in 2022. Feedback closes on 15 Dec 2021. https://www.treasury.govt.nz/news-and-events/news/feedback-sought-lsf-dashboard-indicators

2 Dec 2021 – RBNZ advised that it had made submissions to two climate-related consultations.

  • To the External Reporting Board on the Governance and Risk Management sections of its proposed New Zealand Climate Standard 1
  • To the Ministry for the Environment seeking views on its Emissions Reduction Plan Discussion Document

https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/12/reserve-bank-responds-to-climate-consultations

1 Dec 2021 – Commerce Commission issued a reminder about changes to consumer credit laws coming into effect today. https://comcom.govt.nz/news-and-media/media-releases/2021/additional-changes-to-consumer-credit-laws-come-into-effect-today

1 Dec 2021 - Privacy Commission website included new posts on four topics as follows:

  • More privacy guidance on contact tracing registers
  • The other side of the CovidCard
  • Human error leading cause of privacy breaches
  • December 2021 Insights Report - Privacy Breach Reporting

https://privacy.org.nz/new-on-the-website


Cigna enhance automatic acceptance, and more daily news

Cigna has announced that the e-app acceptance limit for Income and Mortgage Repayment Covers has been increased. This change means that from November 25 customers can have their Agreed Value Income Protection and/or Mortgage Repayment Cover conditionally accepted and issued on the same day. In order to guarantee acceptance, the cover must have a combined total benefit of up to $6000 per month, the underwriting engine must accept the risk, and evidence must be uploaded on eApp.

“You talked, we listened. As part of our commitment to bringing you and your customers a market-leading service offering, we’re proud to announce we’ve increased the automatic acceptance limit for our Income and Mortgage Repayment Covers and made it even easier to get your cover issued on the same day.

From 25 November, customers taking out Agreed Value Income Protection and/or Mortgage Repayment Cover with a combined total benefit of up to $6000 per month can have their cover conditionally accepted and issued on the same day, provided supporting evidence is uploaded and can be validated.

What do I need to do to have a policy accepted and issued on the same day?

To be conditionally accepted through our eApp and have cover issued on the same day, the application must:

  • be for Agreed Value Income Cover and / or Mortgage Repayment Cover up to a maximum total benefit (including any existing cover) of up to $6,000 per month
  • have the risk accepted by our underwriting engine
  • upload evidence of income or mortgage supporting the benefit your customer is applying for

Our underwriting team will then simply need to validate the evidence before issuing the policy. 

In other news

Cigna: over 100 enhancements made to eApp and underwriting rules engine since its release in April

Cigna: enhancements to Income Protection and Mortgage Repayment Covers to be made over the coming months

Financial Advice: Industry leaders end of year wrap up

Financial Advice: final Professional Ethics workshop of the year

FMA: More changes at the top for the FMA


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

30 Nov 2021 – RBNZ released a further consultation outlining options for cash system reform, with submissions on this latest paper closing on 7 March 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/11/reserve-bank-outlines-options-for-cash-system-reform

29 Nov 2021 – RBNZ announced it is reviewing its connected exposures policy for locally incorporated banks. Submissions close on 31 March 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/regulation-and-supervision/banks/consultations-and-policy-initiatives/active-policy-development/review-of-the-connected-exposures-policy-bs8-for-banks?


FYI: Quotemonster training videos available now

If you're a visual learner, you'll be interested to know that we have a YouTube channel, and have recently added a number of tutorial and troubleshooting videos. Click the button below to check it out and don't forget to share the love by subscribing, sharing and liking our content!

Sub

If you have a specific video you'd like us to record or any general feedback please feel free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz 


Quality Product Research: rating of specific injury as a standalone benefit

Introduction

We have had quite a few requests in the past to add Specific Injury to our product suite on Quotemonster. Now that we have three insurers in the market that offer a comparable standalone product – AIA, Asteron Life and Cigna (plus Partners Life has a built-in version of the benefit) we are working to release a draft rating to our users. If you would like to receive a copy, please email me (details below). Our resources highlight the importance of Specific Injury in situations where ACC or other insurances are unable to offer cover and this is a wonderful opportunity for you to be involved in the addition of this benefit to our platform, so any feedback you have is greatly appreciated.

Process

Insurers are aware that we are adding Specific Injury to Quotemonster and are open to provide any data or claims information. We will publish a draft rating for review by all industry personnel and circulate them for review. Any changes will be based on our view of all the information sent to us and will subsequently be posted for further review.

Your feedback

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

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


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

  • Private health insurance statistics

https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-quarterly-private-health-insurance-statistics-for-september-3

  • Life insurance statistics

https://www.apra.gov.au/news-and-publications/apra-releases-life-insurance-statistics-for-september-2021


nib accredited Rainbow Tick and Accessibility Tick, and more daily news

nib New Zealand has been accredited the Rainbow Tick for the processes and policies in place to create a more inclusive environment for people part of the LQBTQ+ community. nib CEO Rob Henin has said this accreditation is a result of implementing changes that accommodates all employees that are part of the rainbow community. nib has also been accredited with the Accessibility Tick in recognition of the work they have done to become more accessible and inclusive for people with disabilities. 

“nib New Zealand (nib) has received the Rainbow Tick accreditation which recognises the steps nib has taken to create a more inclusive and supportive workplace for LGBTTQIA+ employees and allies.  

nib Chief Executive Officer, Rob Hennin, said over the past two years nib has been continually improving its internal policies and procedures to meet the Rainbow Tick standards. 

“To receive a Rainbow Tick accreditation is no small task, we listened to our employees made meaningful and continual changes to our workplace policies and practices to amplify the voices and experiences of our LGBTTQIA+ employees,” Mr Hennin said.

“We held a number of LGBTTQIA+ education sessions with our leaders and employees; updated our internal policies, recruitment practices, and external website to reflect rainbow-inclusive language; provided easy access to resources and support via our ‘Pride at nib’ employee-led group; and held various events for our people to attend, including our Wear It Purple Day virtual brunch,” he added. 

Rainbow Tick Programme Manager, José Taiapa, said that to be eligible to receive the Rainbow Tick, nib had to satisfy the five Rainbow standards: policies; employee training; employee engagement and support; external engagement and monitoring. 

“nib is an organisation with a big heart and this is reflected in the work they’re doing to ensure that people from LGBTTQIA+ communities can bring their whole selves to work. This kind of inclusivity is so important, understanding that there are still many people out there that don’t feel comfortable to express their sexual orientation or gender identity at work,” Mr Taiapa said.  

“Rob authentically leads by example and is in full support of this mahi. It is a credit to the leadership of nib that they have continued to act on the feedback from employees and, in such short time, embedded the rainbow inclusive principles and standards into their organisation and in some instances exceeded expectations,” Mr Taiapa said.  

In addition to the Rainbow Tick, nib recently received the Accessibility Tick in recognition of the steps nib is taking to overcome barriers to access for employees, members and travellers so they can thrive irrespective of any difference in ability.  

Managing Director of Accessibility Tick, Phil Turner, said the accessibility journey for organisations are a long-term commitment and this is a great first step for nib.

“nib should be proud of the commitment and action plan they have made for disability inclusion and accessibility. It shows nib is an organisation that embodies diversity and inclusion, committed to their people and the 24% of New Zealanders who are disabled,” Mr Turner said.

Mr Hennin said nib is committed to continuing to work alongside Accessibility Tick and Rainbow Tick to help create a workplace where all employees feel comfortable and empowered to work to the best of their ability.

“The work we’re doing in the diversity and inclusion space isn’t a ‘tick of the box’ practice, it’s cultural change that is embedded in our everyday practices and conversations and filtered from the top down. We still have a way to go, but I truly believe the journey to receive both the Rainbow Tick and Accessibility Tick has helped to lay the foundation for greater acceptance, understanding and support of our people and their diverse backgrounds across the nib Group,” Mr Hennin said.”

In other news

Cigna: Good things come in twos offer ends on 17 December

Financial Advice: The positive impact of advice on insurance reviews

From Good returns: CoFI adds more challenges to financial services


Quality Product Research: Proposed rating for Chronic Lung Disease

To commemorate World Pneumonia Day on November 12, 2021, we would like to share our rating for Chronic Lung Disease. World Pneumonia Day aims to highlight the importance of pneumonia as a public health issue and to encourage more countries to invest in learning more about the disease. Interestingly, in New Zealand Respiratory disease is the third leading cause of death as mentioned in our resources below: 

For more information on pneumonia and how you can support the cause please visit https://stoppneumonia.org/

Sub-items rating review

LD

Notes

We used the same logic as per our proposed rating for Peripheral Neuropathy (click here to see this). Definitions do seem to vary among insurers which we believe is important to highlight so we have created additional sub-items for this purpose. The condition has a low weighting compared to Trauma as a whole, for example Chronic Lung Disease only contributes a rating of ~0.30 to Trauma.

Your feedback

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

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


Legal and regulatory update for the life and health insurance sector

23-24 Nov 2021 – Parliament completed all stages under urgency of the following two Bills with implications for many businesses, only requiring Royal Assent to become law.

  • COVID-19 Response (Vaccinations) Legislation Bill

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_117923/covid-19-response-vaccinations-legislation-bill

  • Taxation (COVID-19 Support Payments and Working for Families Tax Credits) Bill

https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/bills-and-laws/bills-proposed-laws/document/BILL_117924/taxation-covid-19-support-payments-and-working-for-families


nib publish findings of parenting survey, and more daily news

nib has published the findings of the nib State of the Nation Parenting Survey that they conducted in partnership with One Picture. 1,200 parents from around New Zealand were surveyed. There are three key themes, the links between screen time and mental health, positive shifts from the pandemic, and greater awareness on health needed.

Key points from the survey include:

  • Use of technology and screen time ranked as the top parenting concern again
  • 77% of respondents expressed mental health concerns
  • Screen time, social media and gaming reported as the top three addictive activities
  • 63% of respondents believed their child couldn’t live without their devices
  • Sleep, diet and exercise, and behavioural issues are top three health-related concerns
  • 57% of respondents noted their appreciation for their family’s good health and time spent together increased in the last 12 months
  • Over 50% of respondents said they have had help from family and friends while daycare and school were closed
  • 38% of respondents highlighted that balancing work and parenting was the number one source of household stress
  • Over one in three parents prioritise their child’s health over their own
  • 73% of respondents knew or had a record of all the vaccinations their children had and only 42% said they kept track of their own

Positive shifts from the pandemic

Despite health-related concerns increasing last year, this year’s survey findings highlighted that most Kiwi parents are feeling more optimistic now, with results having largely dropped back to 2019 (pre-pandemic) levels. Sleep, diet and exercise, and behavioural issues were cited as the top three health-related concerns.

For 57% of parents, appreciation for their family’s good health and time spent together increased in the last 12 months. Of those, more than half said both factors were a direct result of the pandemic, demonstrating some positive shifts for Kiwi families. 

While many families struggled without access to daycare centres and schools during changing alert levels, more than half of respondents identified having close family to lean on, with friends (28%) and extended family (24%) also being common sources of support.

Noting the art of balancing work and parenting as the number one source of household stress (cited by 38%), many Kiwi companies can also be commended for contributing towards the almost half of working parents (47%) that experienced an increase in flexible working arrangements in the last 12 months.

nib New Zealand CEO, Rob Hennin said, “While nobody celebrates the disruption and distress caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, it has provided greater opportunity for companies to rethink traditional work practices and explore what work, family and life really looks like to our people.

“One aspect of this has been ensuring parents feel supported in the workplace to put their whānau first. At nib, we encourage flexibility around when and where our people work, so they can make time for key moments like their child’s doctor’s appointment, home-schooling during the pandemic or their afternoon sporting activities. We support this by providing our employees with an annual NZ$1,260 work from home allowance, in recognition of the ongoing costs of remote work as well as free access to online GP consultations in partnership with Tend,” Mr Hennin added.

Greater awareness on health needed

As the topic of health and vaccinations continue to dominate headlines, the survey uncovered it’s an area where parents require more support. Over one in three parents prioritise their child’s health over their own (especially when it came to lower income and single parent households) suggesting that many are faced with making a choice between addressing their own health issues or their child’s.

Around half of respondents knew what health checks their children needed each year, with this dropping to 35% when it came to their own health checks. While 73% knew or had a record of all the vaccinations their children had, only 42% of parents said they kept track of their own.

“With 71% of children having experienced at least one negative mental, physical or behavioural issue in the last six months, we need to ensure Kiwi parents are feeling supported to deal with the health and wellbeing needs of their whānau,” Mr Hennin said.

“We aim to address some of the barriers faced by families when accessing health information through our various initiatives – such as our partnership with Nathan Wallis, providing free resources to help families through life, as well as wellness programmes which deliver plans to help improve health outcomes for our members.”

“We hope these annual insights spark conversations around parenting and health and encourage all generations to be more proactive when looking after their health and wellbeing,” Mr Hennin said.

nib partnered with One Picture to deliver the nib State of the Nation Parenting Survey, which surveyed a representative sample of 1,200 respondents from around the country.

Screenshot 2021-11-24 160540

In other news

ASB: More people using financial advisers: ASB

AIA: AIA NZ chief executive takes leave

Screenshot 2021-11-24 155659


Covid-19 vaccines are effective

With billions of people vaccinated around the world we are now getting some robust numbers about vaccine effectiveness - which is very good - the following chart, using US data, shows powerfully that vaccination has reduced death rates from Covid-19 substantially. This from Our World in Data project on Covid-19 data tracking:

The United States has fully vaccinated 58% of its population, mostly with the mRNA vaccines produced by Pfizer and Moderna. Mortality data by vaccination status is published by the US CDC. This chart presents the COVID-19 death rate among unvaccinated people and among fully-vaccinated people. You can click the “Change age group” button on the top-left to explore data for a specific age group.

For more information about the effectiveness of vaccination please do go and check out the whole article on Covid-19 deaths by vaccination status available at this link (including a nice simple example, suitable for sharing to non-stats people, about the base rate fallacy): https://ourworldindata.org/covid-deaths-by-vaccination

Also, their wider work on covid-19 vaccinations is very helpful and may be a useful resource if you want to share data with vaccine hesitant people that you come across. https://ourworldindata.org/covid-vaccinations

 


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

17 Nov 2021 – Advertising Standards Authority released a new Financial Advertising Code. https://www.asa.co.nz/2021/11/17/media-release-new-financial-advertising-code/

23 Nov 2021 – RBNZ sought feedback on the merits and design features of debt serviceability restrictions (DSRs) on residential mortgage lending. Submissions close on 28 Feb 2022. https://www.rbnz.govt.nz/news/2021/11/views-sought-on-debt-servicing-restrictions-framework


Quality Product Research – upcoming training sessions

We only have a limited number of sessions before we’re closed for the Christmas holidays so why not finish off the year with a bang by joining one of our upcoming demonstrations:

Quotemonster Basic (Introductory session - great for new users or for a refresher)

  • Thursday, 25 November 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm
  • Thursday, 16 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Quotemonster Deep Dive (great for advanced users who use Quotes and Research on a regular basis) 

  • Thursday, 9 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Advicemonster (great for those who would like to learn more about our Statement of Advice (SOA) subscription) 

  • Thursday, 2 December 2021 11:00 am-12:00 pm

Please feel free to email us on info@quotemonster.co.nz with the session you'd like to attend and we will organise to send through the zoom link.


Southern Cross receive Readers Digest readers endorsement, and more daily news

Both Southern Cross Health Insurance and Southern Cross Travel Insurance have been awarded gold in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards 2022. This is the fifth consecutive year that Southern Cross Health Insurance has been awarded gold in the health insurance category. Southern Cross has credited their commitment to helping members navigate through the pandemic as the reason for maintaining their award-winning customer service. To assist members Southern Cross has offered several services including the hardship packages, ProCare, CareHQ as well as offering the Cancer Cover Plus policy.

Southern Cross’ shared commitment to strengthening customer connections in the wake of the pandemic has resulted in its health insurance and travel insurance businesses both winning gold in their respective categories in the Reader’s Digest Quality Service Awards 2022...

This is the fifth consecutive gold for Southern Cross Health Insurance (SCHI) and the third in a row for Southern Cross Travel Insurance (SCTI). Both organisations share the Southern Cross brand, and are businesses united by a not-for-profit ethos helping New Zealanders to look after their health and wellbeing.

The Southern Cross businesses worked hard to maintain this award-winning customer service by providing ongoing support to customers during a time of increased uncertainty due to COVID-19, when accessing healthcare and travel plans were significantly impacted. It also delivered improvements and innovations based on the changing needs of customers.

SCHI initiated hardship packages to support members facing challenges due to the ongoing effects of the pandemic. It also launched, in partnership with ProCare, virtual health consultation service CareHQ, and introduced a new health insurance policy upgrade option – Cancer Cover Plus. SCHI’s membership is now the highest in 14 years, sitting at almost 893,000.

In other news

Southern Cross: Southern Cross Travel Insurance won the Best Plain English Legal Document category at the Plain English Awards 2021

Cigna: Cigna Live will be held Wednesday 24 November at 10 am

Partners Life: Partners Life Digital Lead Generation Webinar 1 : Ryan Pinney webinar will be held on 30 November 2021 at 11 am

Partners Life: PartnersLife Digital Lead Generation Webinar 2 : Chelsea Tobin will be held on 1 December 2021 at 10 am


Legal and regulatory review for the life and health insurance sector

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

  • 13 Oct 2021 – NZ Insurance Council (Chris Curtin – AA Insurance, Toni Ferrier – AIG, Andrew Brooks – Chubb, Chris Black – FMG, Jimmy Higgins – Suncorp, Declan Moore – QBE, Blair Turnbull – Tower, Amanda Whiting – IAG, Dean Edwards (acting for John Lyon) – Hollard, Tim Grafton – ICNZ, Martin Stokes (MAS))
  • 20 Oct 2021 – Meeting with Retirement Commissioner (Jane Wrightson, Retirement Commissioner)
  • 20 Oct 2021 - Climate-related Disclosures Consultation Launch Event (Video conference – undisclosed participants)

https://www.beehive.govt.nz/sites/default/files/2021-11/Hon%20Dr%20David%20Clark%20Proactive%20Diary%20Release%20%20October%202021_0.pdf

22 Nov 2021 – Commission for Financial Capability released a statement that the National Strategy for Financial Capability partners have joined forces to encourage safer spending this Christmas. https://retirement.govt.nz/news/latest-news/financial-support-agencies-join-forces-to-encourage-safer-spending-this-christmas/


The cost of care

It is hard to measure the true cost of an event like a cancer diagnosis. But insurers in Australia have done some excellent work on assessing the cost of care, at least, for many of the most common diagnoses. It is well worth a look: https://media2-production.mightynetworks.com/asset/29819978/cost-of-care-whitepaper.pdf I see it as helping to inform questions such as how much trauma and TPD cover are required, as well as providing some context for typical, as opposed to extreme, values for treatment. Advisers keen on a New Zealand version should let us know - we're contemplating projects for the New Year!