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Insurance Complaints Drop for the First Time

Maryvonna Gray from Insurance Business NZ writes "Complaints against insurance companies have dropped by a third in the half year from July to December 2014, according to Financial Services Complaints Ltd (FSCL). The disputes resolution scheme, which is the largest of the four schemes available to insurance companies, said there were 28 cases opened in that period compared to 37 in the corresponding period of 2013."

Click here to read the full article.

Southern Cross Travel Insurance Decreases Excess

This press release has just been released by Southern Cross:

"Medical Woes No Longer A Pain In The Wallet For Travellers

Southern Cross Travel Insurance is removing its $100 excess on TravelCare medical claims, the only insurer in New Zealand to offer no medical excess as part of their standard policies. 

Craig Morrison, SCTI CEO, says the company has built its business on what is best for customers and the move further entrenches that philosophy.

“If our customers are making a medical claim, it is quite likely the experience they went through overseas was a stressful one.”

12% of all SCTI claimants in the last half of 2014 called Emergency Assistance when travelling. 51% (or over 1,800) of those calls were medically related.

Morrison says, “From our point of view, when you consider that medical costs can easily run into the hundreds of thousands, $100 is a trivial amount. We simply believe that removing the excess, and therefore any additional stress, is the right thing to do.”

Morrison says removing the excess will hopefully ensure travellers who suffer minor ailments seek medical attention more promptly, to prevent a minor problem from becoming a major and costly one.

SCTI research showed that over half of all Kiwi travellers have suffered from some sort of minor illness while abroad, the most common of these being a cold or flu (19%), travellers’ diarrhoea (16%) and travel sickness (12%).

“We recently had a case where a coral cut wasn’t checked. It then got badly infected and cost $60,000 to fly the traveller home from Raratonga via air ambulance,” says Morrison.

“Similarly, a traveller to Australia was hospitalised with a foot ulcer and cellulitis caused by a spider bite, which then required an upgrade to business class in order to have the foot elevated during the flight home.”

The removal of the excess will take effect from today. The cost of SCTI’s travel policies will remain the same."

Insurers Missing the Mark on Millennial Consumers

The term 'millennials' is used to describe people born between 1980 and 2000, this group is one of the most underinsured groups today.

Chantall Marr from LSM Insurance explains the factors contributing to the disconnection between millennials and insurance companies including:

  • Insurers don't full understand millennials
  • Many insurers don't engage on social media enough
  • Accessible and user-friendly websites
  • Insurers underestimate millennials

Click here to read in more detail.


Life Insurers 2020+ - Prepare to be Disrupted

According to Darren Stevens from Australian website Risk Adviser "While life insurance companies are busy dealing with business as usual imperatives, game-changing social and digital trends are unfolding that stand to turn the industry on its head." 

Stevens warns life insurers must prepare their businesses to cater for these trends – not next year or in five years’ time – but right now.

The article lists in detail these trends that are happening right now:

  • The Millennials
  • Social capital
  • Predictive analytics
  • Crowdsourcing
  • Insurance bought not sold

And these trends which are close at hand:

  • Wearable technology
  • The internet of things
  • The cloud
  • Genetics

Followed by these trends on the horizon:

  • Medical advances
  • Safer lifestyles
  • Cyber security

FMA Have Launched Their Refreshed Website

The FMA has launched their refreshed website which now makes it easier for regulated businesses to quickly find the information they need. Visitors to the website will notice a simplified design, plus much-improved navigation and search functionality.
The new preference centre enables you to update personal details, select the type of email communications you receive from the FMA and tailor the content we send you to a more personalised level.