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More Young Adults Taking Out Health Insurance

HFANZ's recent media release has the latest June 2015 health insurance statistics. The key points to note are a rise in lives covered (see chart below), particularly in the 25-35 and over-65 age groups, and that the total amount of claims paid is again over the $1 billion mark for the year.   

Read the full press release here.



Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch Quotemonster Workshops

The monster is hungry for more...

Quotemonster is the number one place to go for pricing and research. We are thrilled with this response and are committed to continuing to be your first choice.

As part of this we are holding another round of road shows which are ideal for you to attend if you are a new user or a trained professional do not miss this session.


  • Quicker crunching
  • Easier Head to Head
  • Underwriting requirements
  • And much more .....

As always these sessions will be jam-packed full of good ideas and something to take away with you.

Click on the towns below for more details and to register. 
Auckland - Central - 18 August
Christchurch - 24 August
Wellington - 25 August
Auckland - North - 3 September

If you have any questions please feel free to call us on (09) 480 6071

We hope to see you soon!

Coming up: Asteron Life Announce Price Increases

Asteron announced last Friday a series of pricing changes that will take effect from 10 August. The lines of business are:

  • Personal and Business Insurance
  • SmartLife (includes SmartLiving, SmartLife Max, SmartBusiness, and Income Protection)
  • Smartplan
  • Economyplan
  • Careplan
  • Incomeplan

Here is a table of the premium changes:


PAA Wants the AFA Code to Apply to All Advisers

Goodreturns has this article. This is such a consistent piece of feedback on the FAA review that I might dare to even call it a consensus: many advisers, adviser associations, consumer groups, life insurers, and others agree that whatever the other arrangements if a person is providing the same type of advice on the same product then they should follow the same rules. 

Tablets and Touchscreens Enable Advice

The vision of sitting with a client and collaboratively working on an insurance solution for transferring risk is driving advisers to bring tablet computers into their business processes. Insurancenews.com.au reports that 37% of advisers use tablets and a further 41% want to. Link

We have also seen that among the 'power users' of quotemonster - who have been pushing us in a similar direction. Come along to the new Quotemonster roadshow to find out how we are optimising quotemonster.co.nz for tablets. 

Austere August Anyone?

This article in the New Zealand Herald suggests that you might try to have an austere August (by Richard Meadows). This is the financial equivalent of a 'dry July'. It reminded me of this Canadian student who is going a whole year with a strict 'nothing but essentials' shopping regimen. You can learn about her techniques at this link. And the skinny Daddy of the frugality movement, Mr Money Mustache. 

Some people choose to believe that radical personal austerity simply isn't possible. I have had one financial adviser tell me that they saw an item on the news scorning claims by Mr Money Mustache about his spending. Of course, financial austerity isn't for everyone, but don't knock it until you have at least considered it. There is good, credible, evidence that you can live a simpler life if you want to.

Take this as just one clue: in the NZ Herald article it suggests looking at your 'financial pipes' to check if there are any leaks. One of the items listed was paying for Television... our austerity bloggers would cull all pay TV services immediately. In the time saved you can tackle all the home insulation tasks that need doing in order to give your electricity bill a haircut. 

NZ Insurer Data Collections

RBNZ have been reporting insurer financial and exposure information over the last 18 months and have today published these final requirements. 

The start date for reporting using Quarterly Insurer Survey for relevant insurers was 30 June 2015, with the first completed return on a ‘best endeavours’ basis due by 25 August 2015.

Zurich Australia: Advisers Identify Efficiency and Technology As Priorities

Zurich Life recently completed a survey of 207 financial advisers to assess how they are responding to the new Australian life insurance framework, a scheme to reduce commissions and change other aspects of advice-giving in the risk advice sector in order to reduce conflicts of interest. Key highlights from the research are as follows: 

"Many advisers see room for improvement via efficiency

  • 37 per cent will respond to the new framework by increasing their focus on efficiency
  • 55 per cent indicated a more flexible, less onerous compliance regime was critical
  • A further 33.1 per cent indicated that automation and technology would underpin efforts to adapt to the evolving advice landscape

Many advisers are re-thinking their value proposition and business model:

  • 23 per cent seeking to specialise in market segments with higher value clients
  • 26 per cent indicating they would focus on more holistic (rather than risk specific) financial advice"

You can read the full release from Zurich at this link

As providers of adviser technology we are encouraged by the focus on technology and efficiency. Everyone concerned about underinsurance should be worried by the 26% who indicate that they would focus on broader financial advice - rather than risk-specific advice. 

Financial Advisers Account for Less than 50% of New Life Insurance Sales

Third-party Financial Advisers are probably less than 50% of the sales of life products. Although there is no industry standard approach to defining channels and sharing sales data by channel a reasonable model can be constructed using existing industry data.

The approach starts with deducting business from the total for companies which deal with no third-party advisers, such as BNZ Life, CIGNA, and similar.

Then you deduct the share of 'bank' business from OnePath and Sovereign business. Until recently the estimate could only be based on vague statements made by each company or estimates by other parties. However, recently ANZ published the data in a briefing for share analysts, which helped to make the model much more accurate. 

At this point the model already suggests that bank business is about 40% of all new life insurance sales and direct is about 10%. Not all the remaining business can be sold by third-party advisers: these companies also have institutional business divisions. These are deals to distribute insurance through companies such as The Warehouse. Although there is too little data on which to make a serious estimate it is plainly greater than nothing - these divisions are long-running features of several insurers' operations. Therefore third-party adviser business must account for less than half of all new business.