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NZ financial product comparison: Pocketwise

A new NZ financial product comparison site compares KiwiSaver schemes, mortgages, credit cards and loans. Pocketwise is the name of the new site, which launched last month. View the site at this link and an article about their growth plans by David Chaplin from Investment News NZ at this link. Congratulations to Binu Paul and Richard Dellabarca on the new venture. 

What you think you know versus what's actually happening

The New York Times Blog "The Upshot" has a cool feature - it's called 'you draw it' and shows the first half of a trend graph, and invites you to draw the second half with your mouse. It's a great test of what you think you know about current issues. For example, one is a chart of the number of deaths from HIV, the part of the graph you can see shows the years from 1968 to 1990. You then draw the line from 1990 onwards, and it then reveals the actual data. Finally it shows all the data together in a chart of selected causes of death. The results may surprise you. But the reason I like this so much is because, as a confirmed data nerd, I hate the idea of making a mistake based on something I think I know - when in fact the truth is different. I haven't included any pictures because, well, that would spoil the game if you wanted to play: do try it, only a two minute read. Link

Goodreturns take news to training market with IFA webinars

We should welcome the broadening of the training market with the entry of Goodreturns to the provision of relevant educational content through IFA webinars. Regular readers will recall, of course, that I write for goodreturns, so I am a supporter, nevertheless, I feel that this is a welcome development. Product providers have a great store of technical knowledge and skilled people, but are, of course, partial to telling the stories that support their products. Training providers do a great job but sometimes lack the currency with the market that is important to fulfill requirements to stay up to date with the latest trends. A news provider can add another dimension to that. You can check out details of the agenda at this link

UK: Contesting non-contestability

Here is an interesting article from the specialist consultant Chris Pollard in the UK:

"There has been some industry debate (and polling) as to whether a non-contestability period should be implemented within UK life insurance. Non-contestability would prevent an insurer from investigating whether or not, a claimant provided correct application information after a specific period of time, perhaps five years from when the policy started. Some markets, notably the US, operate such a policy."

Pollard makes a case for no move to a mandatory non-contestability period. Along the way, it is interesting to contrast the UK's situation with that here in New Zealand. 


Insurance Sales in the News

This article from NZ Herald gives three examples of people who are "selling money at a discount" - two of which are related to insurance. Click here to read them. Although I don't like the explicit focus on just the claim payment, which in the long-run must always be lower than the premium, and ignores the peace of mind enjoyed when you don't claim, it is interesting to see how these approaches are portrayed in the media. 

Aspire Conference by Gen Re

Gen Re hosted an excellent conference on underwriting and actuarial matters in Auckland on Wednesday. Topics covered included: insuring diabetic lives, health incentive programmes, progressive trauma pricing, behavioural economics and application forms, insurtech, surveillance and investigations, and pastimes underwriting. Although there was lots of good content, for me the New Zealand lump sum study was perhaps the most interesting. But Insurtech was valuable as well. That may be a reflection of the fact I am less familiar with underwriting and claims, and more familiar with insurtech. I shall write longer pieces on some of the most interesting ideas. 

GenRe Aspire conference

Gen Re staff presenting on the day included, from Gen Re Life Australia: Andres Webersinke, Managing Director, Robert Kerr, Senior Account Manager, James Louw, Chief Actuary, Viviane Murphy, Senior Account Manager, Lindsay Cross, Principal Underwriter, Rob Frank, Principal Claims Advisor, Matthew Ramjan, Chief Underwriter, Winncy Wong, Senior Pricing Actuary, Li Wen Beh, Senior Pricing Actuary, Carol Smit, Head of Claims. From Gen Re Life Cologne, Karin Neelsen, Head of Product Underwriting.