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AFA levies and fees

If you want to check you've budgeted correctly for all your fees and levies then you can look at the information on these two source pages:

  • Companies office website - link 
  • Legislation website - Financial Markets Authority (Levies) Regulations 2012- link

We have a calculation tool, and here is a simple example of a renewal for one AFA in a limited company structure (below). The only difference between old and new is a reduction in FMA levies, of about $1,000 a year.


* The AFA renewal fee is one fifth of the cost, assuming that AFA's will only need to renew every five years (or good ones will, anyway :-)

# Criminal history checks could be required at any time, but are usually only at application.

Type of fee or levy Old Cost ($) New Cost ($)
FSP renewal fee  $   122.66  $     122.66
AFA renewal fee*  $   114.49  $     114.49
Criminal history check #  $          -    $           -  
Reserve Dispute Resolution Scheme administration levy  $     30.67  $      30.67
FMA levies (AFA and entity)   $1,820.00  $     750.00
AFA education & assessment costs - CPD  $   763.75  $     763.75
Other education & assessment costs  $          -    $           -  
Dispute resolution body annual fee  $ 1,030.00  $   1,030.00
Total  $ 3,881.57  $   2 ,811.57

Partners Life Product Changes

Product changes:

  • Business product wording enhancements
  • They have removed all offsets from teh Critical Illness Benefits provided under our Income and Mortgage Repayment Covers
  • Their current understanding of the tax position of these benefits is that premiums are not deductible and claim payments are not taxable
  • 5% stepped, 10 year guaranteed premium option
  • Medical benefit premium increase with effect from 1 September 2012, all medical premium rates will increase by a flat 10%
  • Also with effect from 1 September 2012 they will be limiting the commission options for bundled medical benefits. The only options available for medical business issued after 1 September 2012 will be the 'as earned' full commission option and 'fee' reduced commission option
  • With effect from 1 September 2012 policy fees will increase from $7.95 to $9.95 per month

Which insurers do...

A colleague of mine, and current user of Quality Product Research, gave me a call and asked whether I could say which insurers commit to retrospectively upgrading policy wordings.

This is a good example of the search function available in QPR. This is how you do it:

  1. Log in to quotemonster
  2. Click on 'launch QPR' on the left-hand side of the landing page
  3. Click on Policy Wording Analysis (fourth tab across)
  4. Choose the benefit (from Life, Income Protection, Trauma, TPD) ...we chose Income Protection
  5. Choose the product (from Agreed Value, Indemnity, Loss of Earnings) ...we chose Agreed Value
  6. Choose the item (from a long list)... we chose Upgrade Policy Wording
  7. Choose the company ...we chose All

Now you have a display on screen of each company, their wording for upgrades, and if they don't offer the benefit, then that shows clearly too.

You can just view it, or you can turn it into a PDF report and save it, print it out, or copy items out from it (such as policy wording) and paste them into a client letter or report.


Jack Hungelmann on What Makes Excellence in Risk Advice

Who is Jack Hungelmann? He's a 'personal lines adviser' based in the US, but better known for being the author of the popular guide "Insurance for Dummies". You can look at his profile here.

Jack has a thing about remuneration - he blames the current model for a variety of ills such as a lack of really good advisers in the personal risk space, he thinks that fees can help and sees those co-existing with commissions. He also thinks that if you are going to be able to charge for your services then value must be added - not in terms defined by insurers ('Did they write me a policy yet?' says the sales manager) but in terms defined by the client: "did this person do something I can clearly see is beneficial?"

It's interesting to see that he lists 16 commitments an adviser can make to deliver excellence. The first ten are virtually all about knowing more. You should read the whole article, but I will summarise (heavily) here:

  1. Know more about policies, especially exclusions. We're looking for cover gaps.
  2. Know more about a broad range of policies. That way consumers can see you as the go-to guy.
  3. Know more about risk management, and all the tools in risk management that aren't just about insurance.
  4. Know more about the risks in every type of personal contract - i.e. how these policies fail.
  5. Know enough to offer chargeable advice on contract - even if you don't sell those companies.
  6. Keep in-house specimen copies of every policy, rider, and endorsement you ever sell.
  7. Know about adjacent insurance needs - like small business cover.
  8. Do your own policy comparisons. It's an education in itself.
  9. Always obtain and review in detail policy documents before selling them.
  10. Buy external research and refer to it regularly. 

I'm sure you know why I like that last one - after all, Quality Product Research Limited is my baby (with Alan Rafe, Fran, and Kelly) - but there is a theme here: know more. Lot's of people talk about being 'professionals' and make comparisons with lawyers and accountants, but I rarely meet an insurance adviser with the same level of domain knowledge.

5 Ways to Screw Up Your Life Insurance Purchase

Jeff Rose from www.goodfinancialcents.com lists the top 5 things you should never do when applying for life insurance and the outcomes they can have come claim time:

  1. Lie on your life insurance application 
  2. "Putting off" your life insurance purchase to shed a bit of weight first
  3. Enjoying a cigarette here and there
  4. Plan an exotic vacation
  5. Seeing your own Doctor before the insurance medical exam

Want to save money on your insurance rates? It may not be worth doing any of the things listed above to save a dollar - it will be your family that misses out.

Click here to read full article.


AIA Trailer for New Online Systems

AIA is writing to advisers to let them know that the:

"...WinAIA (quote tool) and our adviser website will be things of the past."

In their list of announcements they include e-apps for all products, data synchronisation, and 'total customisation'. Good adviser systems are rare in this market and if fulfilled this would be a good benchmark. We shall watch with interest.

Medical Tourism: Southern Cross finds little demand

Southern Cross has a great report on medical tourism available on their website (find it here). It looks like a pretty thorough piece of work and has looked hard at the question of medical tourism. They find that although it is a talked-about subject, there isn't much demand, and there is limited scope to reduce treatment costs using medical tourism. That's not because you can't buy cheaper procedures, it's mainly because of the attitudes of the people who need the procedures - some justified, some less so.

In essence, the cheaper the procedure the further you will have to fly to have it, and the higher the perception of risk around that trip. Picture yourself trying to convince Granny to travel to India for her hip replacement.

It takes a person more comfortable with different cultures, with a contemporary outlook, and more comfortable with risk to undertake medical tourism.

There were also some gaps in the analysis. One was the 'tourism' component - the report didn't consider the attraction of the visit as an end in itself, although, with a focus on recuperating from serious surgery, perhaps the opportunity for 'touring' would be quite limited. It isn't the case with all procedures. My father has travelled to have dental work done - in Hungary rather than the UK. Although the saving was great, the opportunity to spend a couple of weeks in a country that he loves practising speaking Hungarian, was a big part of the attraction.

Another issue, quite sensibly outside the concern of Southern Cross, is that medical tourism is likely to be of more interest to the uninsured: because they bear the costs of cover directly. If faced with a choice of, say, a waiting list of 18 months, a procedure at home which costs $15,000, or a procedure in India which costs $5,000 they may well choose to spend the money, and travel, to enjoy both the saving and the faster access to treatment.